Clinton Richard Dawkins FRS FRSL is an English ethologist, evolutionary biologist and author. He is an emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford, and was the University of Oxford’s Professor for Public Understanding of Science from 1995 until 2008. Dawkins is an atheist, and is well known for his criticism of creationism and intelligent design. Dawkins has been awarded many prestigious academic and writing awards and he makes regular television, radio and Internet appearances, predominantly discussing his books, his atheism, and his ideas and opinions as a public intellectual.
Faith Is The Great Cop-out, The Great Excuse To Evade The Need To Think And Evaluate Evidence. Faith Is Belief In Spite Of, Even Perhaps Because Of, The Lack Of Evidence.
Even If 'Going Retrograde' Or 'Moving Into Aquarius' Were Real Phenomena, Something That Planets Actually Do, What Influence Could They Possibly Have On Human Events? A Planet Is So Far Away That Its Gravitational Pull On A New-born Baby Would Be Swamped By The Gravitational Pull Of The Doctor's Paunch.
The Reason We Personify Things Like Cars And Computers Is That Just As Monkeys Live In An Arboreal World And Moles Live In An Underground World And Water Striders Live In A Surface Tension-dominated Flatland, We Live In A Social World.
I Am Against Religion Because It Teaches Us To Be Satisfied With Not Understanding The World.
Science Has Taught Us, Against All Intuition, That Apparently Solid Things Like Crystals And Rocks Are Really Almost Entirely Composed Of Empty Space. And The Familiar Illustration Is The Nucleus Of An Atom Is A Fly In The Middle Of A Sports Stadium, And The Next Atom Is In The Next Sports Stadium.
Do You Advocate The Ten Commandments As A Guide To The Good Life? Then I Can Only Presume That You Don't Know The Ten Commandments.
Every Night Of Our Lives, We Dream, And Our Brain Concocts Visions Which Are, At Least Until We Wake Up, Highly Convincing. Most Of Us Have Had Experiences Which Are Verging On Hallucination. It Shows The Power Of The Brain To Knock Up Illusions.
In The Case Of Stalinism, People Actually Distorted Science Because It Was For The Good Of The Communist Party.
The Central Dogma Of The New Testament Is That Jesus Died As A Scapegoat For The Sin Of Adam And The Sins That All We Unborn Generations Might Have Been Contemplating In The Future. Adam's Sin Is Perhaps Mitigated By The Extenuating Circumstance That He Didn't Exist.
I'm Fascinated By The Idea That Genetics Is Digital. A Gene Is A Long Sequence Of Coded Letters, Like Computer Information. Modern Biology Is Becoming Very Much A Branch Of Information Technology.
Christopher Hitchens Was A Writer And An Orator With A Matchless Style, Commanding A Vocabulary And A Range Of Literary And Historical Allusion Far Wider Than Anybody I Know.
Personally, I Rather Look Forward To A Computer Program Winning The World Chess Championship. Humanity Needs A Lesson In Humility.
Discrimination Is Not Liberal. Arguing Against Discrimination Is Not Intolerance.
What Has 'Theology' Ever Said That Is Of The Smallest Use To Anybody? When Has 'Theology' Ever Said Anything That Is Demonstrably True And Is Not Obvious? What Makes You Think That 'Theology' Is A Subject At All?
By All Means Let's Be Open-minded, But Not So Open-minded That Our Brains Drop Out.
Natural Selection Is Anything But Random.
The Fact That Life Evolved Out Of Nearly Nothing, Some 10 Billion Years After The Universe Evolved Out Of Literally Nothing, Is A Fact So Staggering That I Would Be Mad To Attempt Words To Do It Justice.
God Exists, If Only In The Form Of A Meme With High Survival Value, Or Infective Power, In The Environment Provided By Human Culture.
Today The Theory Of Evolution Is About As Much Open To Doubt As The Theory That The Earth Goes Round The Sun.
The Enlightenment Is Under Threat. So Is Reason. So Is Truth. So Is Science, Especially In The Schools Of America.
We Admit That We Are Like Apes, But We Seldom Realise That We Are Apes.
It's A Difficult Business, Finding Out What's True About The World, The Universe.
Let Us Try To Teach Generosity And Altruism, Because We Are Born Selfish.
How Can You Take Seriously Someone Who Likes To Believe Something Because He Finds It 'Comforting'?
All The Great Religions Have A Place For Awe, For Ecstatic Transport At The Wonder And Beauty Of Creation.
You Can't Imagine How Gratifying It Is To Have A Reader Come Up To You And Say, 'You Changed My Life.'
A Good Theory Explains A Lot But Postulates Little.
To Fill A World With Religion, Or Religions Of The Abrahamic Kind, Is Like Littering The Streets With Loaded Guns. Do Not Be Surprised If They Are Used.
If You Think About It, 534 Members Of The U.s. Congress Cannot All Be Religious. That's Just Statistical Nonsense. Many Of Them Are Quite Well-educated.
How Any Government Could Promote The Vardy Academies In The North-east Of England Is Absolutely Beyond Me. Tony Blair Defends Them On Grounds Of Diversity, But It Should Be Unthinkable In The 21st Century To Have A School Whose Head Of Science Believes The World Is Less Than 10,000 Years Old.
Publishers Like A Good Buzz, And Negative Responses Sell Books Just As Well As Positive Ones.
To An Honest Judge, The Alleged Marriage Between Religion And Science Is A Shallow, Empty, Spin-doctored Sham.
People Believe The Only Alternative To Randomness Is Intelligent Design.
One Of The Things That Is Wrong With Religion Is That It Teaches Us To Be Satisfied With Answers Which Are Not Really Answers At All.
I Guess The Democrats Have To Pretend To Be More Pious Than The Republicans Because They Are Under Suspicion Of Not Being.
People Like To Trace Their Ancestry.
As Darwin Himself Was At Pains To Point Out, Natural Selection Is All About Differential Survival Within Species, Not Between Them.
In The World Wars, People Were Perfectly Able To Shoot Other People Just Because They Belonged To The Wrong Country, Without Ever Asking What Their Opinions Were. Faith Too Is Like That.
I Do Think Imagination Is Enormously Valuable, And That Children Should Be Encouraged In Their Imagination. That's Very True.
I Think The Written Word Is Probably The Best Medium Of Communication Because You Have Time To Reflect, You Have Time To Choose Your Words, To Get Your Sentences Exactly Right. Whereas When You're Being Interviewed, Say, You Have To Talk On The Fly, You Have To Improvise, You Can Change Sentences Around, And They're Not Exactly Right.
You Can Legally Lie About The Real World To Your Heart's Content, But Until Some Human Being Is Materially Damaged, Nobody Will Complain.
Religion Teaches You To Be Satisfied With Nonanswers. It's A Sort Of Crime Against Childhood.
What Darwinian Theory Shows Us Is That All Human Races Are Extremely Close To Each Other. None Of Them Is In Any Sense Ancestral To Any Other; None Of Them Is More Primitive Than Any Other. We Are All Modern Races Of Exactly Equal Status, Evolutionarily Speaking.
If There Are Other Worlds Elsewhere In The Universe, I Would Conjecture They Are Governed By The Same Laws Of Natural Selection.
Presumably What Happened To Jesus Was What Happens To All Of Us When We Die. We Decompose. Accounts Of Jesus's Resurrection And Ascension Are About As Well-documented As Jack And The Beanstalk.
There Is Something Cheap About Magic That Works Just Because It Is Magic.
We Have A Huge Amount Of Dna In Common With Jellyfish.
There Are Risks In The Sheer Brevity Of Twitter, And It's Actually Quite An Elegant Art Reducing What You Have To Say To 140 Characters, And It's Something That I Quite Enjoy Attempting To Do.
We Humans Are An Extremely Important Manifestation Of The Replication Bomb, Because It Is Through Us - Through Our Brains, Our Symbolic Culture And Our Technology - That The Explosion May Proceed To The Next Stage And Reverberate Through Deep Space.
The Earliest Books In The New Testament To Be Written Were The Epistles, Not The Gospels. It's Almost As Though Saint Paul And Others Who Wrote The Epistles Weren't That Interested In Whether Jesus Was Real.