Richard Dawkins has responded to Twitter derision after his honey was confiscated at Edinburgh airport, condemning his critics for their unwillingness to believe his public-spiritedness.
The author of The Selfish Gene lamented why everyone was quick to label his actions as motivated by self-interest after his anger at the appropriation.
He had pointed to the restriction as proof “Bin Laden has won”, slamming the “inflexible rule-bound airport security.”
He tweeted “Of course I know the airport security rules. My point is those rules are stupid advertising displays of dundridge zeal. Bin Laden has won.”
He later sought to clarify his remarks, posting: “Do you idiots seriously think I give a damn about my stupid honey? It's the PRINCIPLE I care about. Get it? Principle, not honey, principle.”
He laid that principle of public-spirited bare in an article for the Guardian, admitting that he “foolishly chose a peg that was vulnerable to misinterpretation as self-interested. And the result was a puerile display of sniggering frivolity such as only Twitter can serve up.”
However arguably it was Dawkins’ blaming of Bin Laden that proved most amusing, with those the scientist labelled “the tweeting twerps” seizing upon the hashtag #TweetLikeRichardDawkins.
Suggestions like "Two rear-wheel punctures in the space of a week. Time to welcome our new Islamic overlords #tweetlikericharddawkins" and "Egg and cress only available on white bread. Evil has triumphed #tweetlikericharddawkins" were widely shared.
However Dawkins dismissed ideas that he was overreacting by comparing the confiscation of honey with terrorist atrocities, writing “aren't our rule-merchants playing into Bin Laden's dead hands by their futile displays of stable-door-shutting?”