​Richard Dawkins Clock: Atheist Says Famous Clock Hoax - Did Ahmed Mohamed Absolutely Invent It?

Author: Kara GilmourBy:
Staff Reporter
Sep. 22, 2015

Richard Dawkins’ clock statement has a lot of people upset after he said the device made by 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed was invented by someone else, and the evolutionary biologist claims everyone was duped. Dawkins found himself at the center of controversy on Sunday when he questioned the motives of the boy who was arrested and detained in Texas when a teacher thought a device he had made was a bomb, according to The Blaze. Richard is still feeling the heat from multiple groups over his statements.

Dawkins did not dispute that Mohamed should not have been arrested, but questioned whether the boy had truly “invented” the device, as has been reported. Richard tweeted : “If this is true, what was his motive? Whether or not he wanted the police to arrest him, they shouldn’t have done so[.]”

Mohamed, whose parents are from Sudan, was arrested, handcuffed and questioned by five police officers at MacArthur high school in Irvine on Monday. He was then suspended for three days.

He said he was not allowed to call his parents and was accused of carrying a hoax bomb. He said: “I felt like I was a criminal, I felt like I was a terrorist. I felt like all the names I was called.” He added: “In middle school I was called a terrorist, called a bomb maker, just because of my race.”

Richard Dawkins’ clock theory is one that has mixed support. He believes the same device could be purchased at Radio Shack and dissembled to appear as if it was a new invention.

In a controversy that largely played itself out on Twitter, Mohamed then received overtures from Silicon Valley tech companies , support from Hillary Clinton and an invitation to the White House from President Obama.

On Friday, Mohamed spoke to the Guardian. Such national attention was “worth it, once you realize what you’re fighting for,” he said, adding that that fight was “not just for Muslims … but for anybody who has been through this.”

Richard Dawkins, the author of books including the groundbreaking The Selfish Gene, the bestselling The God Delusion and the memoir A Sense of Wonder, is a leading critic of religious belief and an advocate of “rational thought.”

On Sunday, the emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford said he was simply looking for the truth of the Texas schoolboy’s story.

In a tweet, the scientist linked to a YouTube video entitled Ahmed Mohammed [sic] Clock is a FRAUD”, in which user Thomas Talbot alleges Mohamed’s device “is in fact not an invention. The ‘clock’ is a commercial bedside alarm clock removed from its casing.”

In his tweet , Richard Dawkins said: “If this is true, what was his motive? Whether or not he wanted the police to arrest him, they shouldn’t have done so.” His next tweet said of the video: “This man seems to know what he’s talking about.”

Subsequent tweets, issued against a growing storm of online protest, said: “Assembling clock from bought components is fine. Taking clock out of its case to make it look as if he built it is not fine. Which is true?”

“Yes, there are other reasons why a boy might take a clock out of its casing & pretend he’d made it. Trying to impress teachers, for instance[.]”

Richard Dawkins tweeted : “If the reassembled components did something more than the original clock, that’s creative. If not, it looks like hoax.”

Dawkins eventually retreated. He devoted tweets to questioning police motives and tweeted a reference to the new leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party: “Sorry if I go a bit over the top in my passion for truth. Not just over a boy’s alleged ‘invention’ but also media lies about J[eremy] Corbyn.”

In an answer to a Twitter user who wrote: “I think you too frequently confuse ‘truth’ with ‘obsessive and unnecessary dedication to accuracy'”, he wrote : “That could well be true, in which case I apologise. I guess I’m a bit sensitive about being among the many fooled.

Richard Dawkins’ clock statement does come with support, but it appears he’s backing down on his stance. He subsequently retweeted President Obama’s White House invitation.

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