Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins

Clinton Richard Dawkins (born 26 March 1941) 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.

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Metaphors are fine if they aid understanding, but sometimes they get in the way.

I don't know what to think about magic and fairy tales.

Complex statistically improbable things are by their nature more difficult to explain than simple statistically probable things.

If children understand that beliefs should be substantiated with evidence as opposed to tradition, authority, revelation or faith, they will automatically work out for themselves that they are atheists.

A universe with a God would look quite different from a universe without one. A physics, a biology where there is a God is bound to look different. So the most basic claims of religion are scientific. Religion is a scientific theory.

I once wrote that anybody who believes the world is only 6 000 years old is either ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked.

The essence of life is statistical improbability on a colossal scale.

Segregation has no place in the education system.

Religion is about turning untested belief into unshakable truth through the power of institutions and the passage of time.

Intelligent life on a planet comes of age when it first works out the reason for its own existence.

Sometimes I think it's possible to mistake desire for clarity, and talking in a no-nonsense way for aggression.

Nothing is wrong with peace and love. It is all the more regrettable that so many of Christ's followers seem to disagree.

Many of us saw religion as harmless nonsense. Beliefs might lack all supporting evidence, but we thought if people needed a crutch for consolation, where's the harm? September 11th changed all that.

Science coverage could be improved by the recognition that science is timeless and therefore science stories should not need to be pegged to an item in the news.

Something pretty mysterious had to give rise to the origin of the universe.

I think looking back to my own childhood the fact that so many of the stories I read allowed the possibility of frogs turning into princes whether that has a sort of insidious affect on rationality I'm not sure. Perhaps it's something for research.

When I say that human beings are just gene machines one shouldn't put too much emphasis on the word 'just.' There is a very great deal of complication and indeed beauty in being a gene machine.

I am one of those scientists who feels that it is no longer enough just to get on and do science. We have to devote a significant proportion of our time and resources to defending it from deliberate attack from organised ignorance.

Today the theory of evolution is about as much open to doubt as the theory that the earth goes round the sun.

But perhaps the rest of us could have separate classes in science appreciation the wonder of science scientific ways of thinking and the history of scientific ideas rather than laboratory experience.

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