Richard Dawkins (March 26, 1941 - ..)
Born: 26th March, 1941
Nationality: English
Profession/Occupation: Scientist
Region: Nairobi, Kenya
Notable works: evolution, gene

Richard Dawkins Facts

Biography

Richard Dawkins, in full Clinton Richard Dawkins, (born March 26, 1941, Nairobi, Kenya), British evolutionary biologist, ethologist, and popular-science writer who emphasized the gene as the driving force of evolution and generated significant controversy with his enthusiastic advocacy of atheism.

Dawkins spent his early childhood in Kenya, where his father was stationed during World War II. The family returned to England in 1949. In 1959 Dawkins entered Balliol College, University of Oxford, where he received a bachelor’s degree in zoology in 1962. He remained at Oxford, earning his master’s and doctorate degrees in zoology in 1966 under famed ethologist Nikolaas Tinbergen. Dawkins assisted Tinbergen before becoming an assistant professor of zoology (1967–69) at the University of California, Berkeley. He returned to Oxford to lecture in zoology in 1970.

In 1976 he published his first book, The Selfish Gene, in which he tried to rectify what he maintained was a widespread misunderstanding of Darwinism. Dawkins argued that natural selection takes place at the genetic rather than the species or individual level, as was often assumed. Genes, he maintained, use the bodies of living things to further their own survival. He also introduced the concept of “memes,” the cultural equivalent of genes. Ideas and concepts, from fashion to music, take on a life of their own within society and, by propagating and mutating from mind to mind, affect the progress of human evolution. Dawkins named the concept after the Greek word mimeme, meaning “to imitate.” It later spawned an entire field of study called memetics. The book was notable not just because of what it espoused but also because of its approachable style, which made it accessible to a popular audience.

More books followed, including The Extended Phenotype (1982), The Blind Watchmaker (1986), which won the Royal Society of Literature Award in 1987, and River Out of Eden (1995). Dawkins particularly sought to address a growing misapprehension of what exactly Darwinian natural selection entailed in Climbing Mount Improbable (1996). Stressing the gradual nature of response to selective pressures, Dawkins took care to point out that intricate structures such as the eye do not manifest randomly but instead successively increase in sophistication. He also released The Evolution of Life (1996), an interactive CD-ROM with which users could create “biomorphs,” computer-simulated examples of evolution first introduced in The Blind Watchmaker.

Dawkins was named the first Charles Simonyi professor of public understanding of science at Oxford (1995–2008). In that capacity he continued to publish prolifically and produced an array of television programs. His 1996 documentary Break the Science Barrier featured Dawkins conversing with an array of prominent scientists about their discoveries. In the volume Unweaving the Rainbow (1998), Dawkins contended that evolutionary theory is aesthetically superior to supernatural explanations of the world. The Ancestor’s Tale (2004), structured after Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, traced the human branch of the phylogenetic tree back to points where it converges with the evolution of other species. Further publications include The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution (2009), a tribute to, and vehement defense of, the theory of evolution by natural selection, and The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True (2011), a book for young readers that juxtaposed the scientific understandings of various phenomena with mythologies that purported to explain them. He also edited The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing (2008).

Though much of Dawkins’s oeuvre generated debate for asserting the supremacy of science over religion in explaining the world, nothing matched the response to the polemical The God Delusion (2006). The book relentlessly points out the logical fallacies in religious belief and ultimately concludes that the laws of probability preclude the existence of an omnipotent creator. Dawkins used the book as a platform to launch the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (2006), an organization that, in dual American and British incarnations, sought to foster the acceptance of atheism and championed scientific answers to existential questions. Along with fellow atheists Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Daniel C. Dennett, he embarked on a campaign of lectures and public debates proselytizing and defending a secular worldview. Dawkins launched the Out Campaign in 2007 in order to urge atheists to publicly declare their beliefs.

In addition to promoting his organization through its Web site and YouTube channel, Dawkins produced several more television documentaries, variously declaiming the problems created by religion and superstition in Root of All Evil? (2006) and The Enemies of Reason (2007) and celebrating the achievements of Darwin in The Genius of Charles Darwin (2008). Sex, Death, and the Meaning of Life (2012) explores the implications of living without religious faith. In the memoir An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist (2013), Dawkins chronicled his life up to the publication of The Selfish Gene. A second volume of memoir, Brief Candle in the Dark: My Life in Science (2015), recorded episodes from the latter part of his career.

Dawkins was named a fellow of the Royal Society in 2001.

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Top 292 Richard Dawkins quotes

The theory of evolution by cumulative natural selection is the only theory we know of that is in principle capable of explaining the existence of organized complexity.
Capable
Complexity
Evolution
Existence
Explaining
Know
Natural
Natural selection
Only
Organized
Principle
Selection
Theory
Religious fanatics want people to switch off their own minds, ignore the evidence, and blindly follow a holy book based upon private 'revelation'.
Based
Blindly
Book
Evidence
Fanatics
Follow
Holy
Holy book
Ignore
Minds
Off
Own
People
Private
Physicists are working on the Big Bang, and one day they may or may not solve it.
Bang
Big
Big bang
Day
May
One day
Physicists
Solve
Working
I think I would abolish schools which systematically inculcate sectarian beliefs.
Abolish
Beliefs
I think
Schools
Sectarian
Systematically
Think
Which
Would
Biology is the study of complicated things that have the appearance of having been designed with a purpose.
Appearance
Been
Biology
Complicated
Complicated things
Designed
Having
Purpose
Study
Things
An Internet meme is a hijacking of the original idea. Instead of mutating by random change and spreading by a form of Darwinian selection, Internet memes are altered deliberately by human creativity. There is no attempt at accuracy of copying, as with genes - and as with memes in their original version.
Accuracy
Altered
Attempt
Change
Copying
Creativity
Darwinian
Deliberately
Form
Genes
Human
Idea
Instead
Internet
There's branches of science which I don't understand; for example, physics. It could be said, I suppose, that I have faith that physicists understand it better than I do.
Better
Branches
Could
Example
Faith
For example
Physicists
Physics
Said
Science
Suppose
Than
Understand
Which
Natural selection will not remove ignorance from future generations.
Future
Future generations
Generations
Ignorance
Natural
Natural selection
Remove
Selection
Will
Personally, I rather look forward to a computer program winning the world chess championship. Humanity needs a lesson in humility.
Championship
Chess
Computer
Computer program
Forward
Humanity
Humility
Lesson
Look
Needs
Personally
Program
Rather
Winning
I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world.
Against
Am
Because
I am
Religion
Satisfied
Teaches
Understanding
Us
World
Isn't it sad to go to your grave without ever wondering why you were born? Who, with such a thought, would not spring from bed, eager to resume discovering the world and rejoicing to be part of it?
Bed
Born
Discovering
Eager
Ever
Go
Grave
Part
Rejoicing
Resume
Sad
Spring
Thought
Were
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?
Anybody
Anything
Ever
Makes
Obvious
Said
Smallest
Subject
Theology
Think
True
Use
You
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.
Because
Belief
Evaluate
Even
Evidence
Excuse
Faith
Great
Lack
Need
Perhaps
Spite
Think
There may be fairies at the bottom of the garden. There is no evidence for it, but you can't prove that there aren't any, so shouldn't we be agnostic with respect to fairies?
Agnostic
Any
Bottom
Evidence
Fairies
Garden
May
Prove
Respect
You
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.
Basic
Biology
Bound
Claims
Different
God
Look
Most
Physics
Quite
Religion
Scientific
Scientific theory
Theory
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.
Appreciation
Classes
Could
Experience
History
Ideas
Laboratory
Perhaps
Rather
Rest
Science
Scientific
Separate
Than
By all means let's be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.
Brains
Drop
Drop-out
Means
Open-minded
Our
Out
For the first half of geological time our ancestors were bacteria. Most creatures still are bacteria, and each one of our trillions of cells is a colony of bacteria.
Ancestors
Bacteria
Cells
Colony
Creatures
Each
Each one
First
Geological
Half
Most
Our
Still
Time
It has become almost a cliche to remark that nobody boasts of ignorance of literature, but it is socially acceptable to boast ignorance of science and proudly claim incompetence in mathematics.
Acceptable
Almost
Become
Boast
Boast
Claim
Cliche
Ignorance
Incompetence
Literature
Mathematics
Nobody
Proudly
Remark
Let us try to teach generosity and altruism, because we are born selfish.
Altruism
Because
Born
Generosity
Let us
Selfish
Teach
Try
Us
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.
Beliefs
Changed
Consolation
Crutch
Evidence
Harm
Harmless
Lack
Many
Might
Needed
Nonsense
People
Religion
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.
Answers
One of the things
Really
Religion
Satisfied
Teaches
Things
Us
Which
Wrong
Religion is about turning untested belief into unshakable truth through the power of institutions and the passage of time.
About
Belief
Institutions
Passage
Power
Religion
Through
Time
Truth
Turning
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.
After
Attempt
Billion
Evolved
Fact
Justice
Life
Literally
Mad
Nearly
Nothing
Out
Some
Staggering
The meme for blind faith secures its own perpetuation by the simple unconscious expedient of discouraging rational inquiry.
Blind
Blind faith
Discouraging
Expedient
Faith
Inquiry
Meme
Own
Rational
Simple
Unconscious
Today the theory of evolution is about as much open to doubt as the theory that the earth goes round the sun.
About
Doubt
Earth
Evolution
Goes
Much
Open
Round
Sun
Theory
Today
We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.
About
Atheists
Believed
Ever
Further
Go
God
Gods
Just
Most
Societies
Some
Us
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.
Because
Bomb
Brains
Culture
Deep
Deep space
Explosion
Extremely
Humans
Important
Manifestation
May
Next
Our
Complex, statistically improbable things are by their nature more difficult to explain than simple, statistically probable things.
Complex
Difficult
Explain
Improbable
More
Nature
Probable
Simple
Than
Things
The essence of life is statistical improbability on a colossal scale.
Colossal
Essence
Life
Scale
Statistical
God exists, if only in the form of a meme with high survival value, or infective power, in the environment provided by human culture.
Culture
Environment
Exists
Form
God
High
Human
Meme
Only
Power
Provided
Survival
Value
The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.
Blind
Bottom
Design
Evil
Expect
Good
Indifference
Nothing
Observe
Precisely
Properties
Purpose
Should
Universe
I suppose if you look back to your early childhood you accept everything people tell you, and that includes a heavy dose of irrationality - you're told about tooth fairies and Father Christmas and things.
About
Accept
Back
Childhood
Christmas
Dose
Early
Early childhood
Everything
Fairies
Father
Heavy
Look
People
Sometimes I think it's possible to mistake desire for clarity and talking in a no-nonsense way for aggression.
Aggression
Clarity
Desire
I think
Mistake
Possible
Sometimes
Talking
Think
Way
I once wrote that anybody who believes the world is only 6,000 years old is either ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked.
Anybody
Believes
Either
Ignorant
Insane
Old
Once
Only
Stupid
Who
Wicked
World
Wrote
Years
I love romantic poetry.
I love
Love
Poetry
Romantic
My decision to be a scientist was a bit of a drift really, more or less by default.
Bit
Decision
Default
Drift
Less
More
More or less
Really
Scientist
I was confirmed at my prep school at the age of 13.
Age
Confirmed
Prep
School
I do disapprove very strongly of labelling children, especially young children, as something like 'Catholic children' or 'Protestant children' or 'Islamic children.'
Catholic
Children
Disapprove
Islamic
Like
Protestant
Something
Strongly
Very
Young
Young children
I love words.
I love
Love
Words
I don't know what to think about magic and fairy tales.
About
Fairy
Fairy tales
Know
Magic
Tales
Think
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.
Affect
Allowed
Back
Childhood
Fact
Frogs
I think
Insidious
Looking
Looking back
Many
My own
Own
Perhaps
Intelligent life on a planet comes of age when it first works out the reason for its own existence.
Age
Existence
First
Intelligent
Intelligent life
Life
Out
Own
Planet
Reason
Works
Of course in science there are things that are open to doubt and things need to be discussed. But among the things that science does know, evolution is about as certain as anything we know.
About
Among
Anything
Certain
Course
Discussed
Does
Doubt
Evolution
Know
Need
Open
Science
Things
At the deepest level, all living things that have ever been looked at have the same DNA code. And many of the same genes.
Been
Code
Deepest
Dna
Ever
Genes
Level
Living
Looked
Many
Same
Things
We are a very, very unusual species.
Species
Unusual
Very
I mean I think that when you've got a big brain, when you find yourself planted in a world with a brain big enough to understand quite a lot of what you see around you, but not everything, you naturally fall to thinking about the deep mysteries. Where do we come from? Where does the world come from? Where does the universe come from?
About
Around
Big
Big enough
Brain
Come
Deep
Does
Enough
Everything
Fall
Find
Got
I think
It would be intolerant if I advocated the banning of religion, but of course I never have.
Banning
Course
Intolerant
Never
Religion
Would
Would-be
Nothing is wrong with peace and love. It is all the more regrettable that so many of Christ's followers seem to disagree.
Christ
Disagree
Followers
Love
Many
More
Nothing
Peace
Peace and love
Seem
Wrong
Metaphors are fine if they aid understanding, but sometimes they get in the way.
Aid
Fine
Get
Metaphors
Sometimes
Understanding
Way

Richard Dawkins books

The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True

The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True

The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution

The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution

The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design

The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design

The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution

The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution

Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder

Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder

Climbing Mount Improbable

Climbing Mount Improbable

The True Nature Of Human Nature: The Symbiotic Parasite Known As Religion

The True Nature Of Human Nature: The Symbiotic Parasite Known As Religion

The Extended Phenotype: The Long Reach of the Gene (Oxford Landmark Science)

The Extended Phenotype: The Long Reach of the Gene (Oxford Landmark Science)

God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

El gen egoísta extendido

El gen egoísta extendido

God: The Most Unpleasant Character in All Fiction

God: The Most Unpleasant Character in All Fiction

Richard Dawkins (Great Thinkers)

Richard Dawkins (Great Thinkers)

Richard Dawkins essays

Read more informative topics on our blog
The God Delusion Issue With Dawkins/Lennox
The first main point argued by Dawkins is that the size and the difficulty of the world tempt us to feel that there is a creator, a God. Knowledge however, managed to emancipate us from detailing everything all around us using the term God. Technology works on responding to question based on evidence. Religious beliefs uses trust to disregard the question and pushes it to God. He further argues that the only real time faith is necessary is when there is absolutely no evidence. Dawkins' second point areas that the medical method is the correct way to choose between atheism and Christianity. He clarifies..
The immortality of the soul and ressurection of the body Essay
1 . Compare the immortality of the spirit and the revival of the human body. The concept of the immortality from the soul is a dualist 1, meaning that your body and spirit are two separate entities. Whereas resurrection of the body is the opposite thinking that one are not able to necessarily live without the different. People that acknowledge the idea of growing old of the heart believe that the soul can be separate through the body and that when we die the heart will go on making it immortal. Resurrection from the body nevertheless differs because the body and soul are together and when you expire both..
Article about Trust and Cause
Richard Dawkins, a great evolutionary biologist and the University or college of Oxford's Professor to get Public Understanding of Science once said, "Faith is the superb cop-out, the great excuse to evade the necessity to think and evaluate data. Faith is usually belief inspite of, even most likely because of, having less evidence. " Professor Dawkins is an enthusiastic evangelist of reason and logic, and condemns any faith-based worldviews, seeing hope and cause as full opposites. The conflict involving the two is and eternal debate, pondered by many wonderful philosophers..
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