Clinton Richard Dawkins, FRS, FRSL, born March 26, 1941 (age 69), is a biologist, evolutionist, atheist, and leftist/liberal. Most of Richard Dawkins' popular books have been on the topic of evolutionary biology. Dawkins is also the former holder of the Charles Simonyi Chair of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. He is an ardent opponent of religion, which he dismisses as mere superstition. However, Dawkins has offered no effective rebuttal to studies which show that the irreligious are more likely to be superstitious than evangelical Christians. Moreover, in terms of the theism vs. atheism issue, Dawkins has shown himself to be rather ignorant in matters of theology and philosophy. For example, atheist philosopher Dr. Michael Ruse declared concerning Dawkins' book The God Delusion: "The God Delusion makes me embarrassed to be an atheist." Furthermore, Richard Dawkins has established a reputation for avoiding debates with his strongest opponents.
Richard Dawkins is known for his vehement and sometimes vitriolic promotion of atheism and the evolutionary paradigm. Dawkins has repeatedly likened religious faith to a mental defect despite the fact that atheists are more likely to commit suicide than believers in the existence of God and the plentitude of studies associating theism with better mental and physical health. Mr. Dawkins currently resides in the UK. He was an assistant professor of Zoology at the University of California, Berkeley for two years before becoming a zoology researcher at Oxford. Biography of Richard Dawkins
When Richard Dawkins was a young man, he recognized the complexity of life and believed that it indicated a designer.
Richard Dawkins was raised to have religious values, and confesses that when he was young, he acknowledged the complexity of life and believed that it indicated a designer. However, during his teens, he chose to abandon this faith and embrace Darwinism instead, despite admitting that he hadn’t actually read Charles Darwin’s works.
Dawkins studied zoology at Oxford University, and graduated in 1962. He remained at Oxford for his doctoral work, receiving his Ph.D in 1966. From 1967-1969, Dawkins served as Assistant Professor of Zoology at Berkeley. During this time, he was, in his own words, “heavily involved” in the unrest and liberal activism for which Berkeley is notorious. He returned to Oxford in 1970 and served as a Lecturer in Animal Behaviour and a Fellow of New College. In 1995, Dawkins became the Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science which was a post created by an endowment of £1.5m from Dr. Charles Simonyi. In September 2008, Richard Dawkins retired from his post as Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science.
Despite this, Richard Dawkins might have remained a relatively obscure professor if not for the publication of his first book, The Selfish Gene, in 1976. This book became a bestseller, and brought Dawkins a celebrity which he has worked to maintain with further books and lectures.
In 1984, Dawkins divorced his wife of 17 years, Marian Stamp; later that same year, he married Eve Barham. Dawkins also divorced Barham, though the precise circumstances of this divorce are unclear. He married science fiction actress Lalla Ward in 1992; at present, the two are still married.
Creationist Video Interview of Richard Dawkins Being Stumped
The video From a Frog to a Prince, produced by Creation Ministries International, features Richard Dawkins being stumped by the question of a creationist. The interviewer asked Dawkins for an example of genetic information arising from a mutation. Recently, a creationist produced an excellent YouTube video demonstrating the Richard Dawkins still has not answered the question posed to him by the interviewer and he uses Richard Dawkins own words to demonstrate this fact.
See also: Richard Dawkins and Creation Ministries International and Richard Dawkins' public refusal to debate creationists and Instances of Richard Dawkins ducking debates
In 2008, a video clip featuring Richard Dawkins became widely available to the public, showing Dawkins being stumped by a question from the creationist interviewer. A shortened version has been translated into 10 languages. The clip was part of an interview included in the video and DVD From a Frog to Prince, produced by Creation Ministries International about the genetic information required by evolution, and the interviewer is asking Dawkins for an example of genetic information arising from a mutation.
In later interviews, Dawkins claims that he was not stumped, but instead shocked when he realized that the interviewer was a creationist, and the video was edited in a way to make him look like he was unable to answer the question. However, the question came after he had that realization, and after the creationists negotiated with Dawkins and he agreed to continue. However, despite being given a free reign in a sceptic publication to respond, he still didn't provide any examples. Recently, a creationist produced an excellent YouTube video demonstrating the Richard Dawkins still has not answered the question posed to him by the interviewer and he uses Richard Dawkins own words to demonstrate this fact. The video can be found at YouTube and is entitled Is Richard Dawkins Really Stumped? The Truth - In His Own Words - YES...he is!
Dr. Don Batten of Creation Ministries International postulates that Richard Dawkins may not truly be an atheist, but perhaps Richard Dawkins is merely a God hater. The video in which Richard Dawkins clearly squirms when asked for an example of genetic information arising from a mutation and dodges the question with an unrelated monologue, certainly gives some credence to Dr. Batten's postulate. Richard Dawkins inept response relating to the existence of God during his interview with Ben Stein further bolsters the view that Richard Dawkins is more motivated by hatred towards God than any inward assurance Dawkins has concerning the validity of his atheistic contentions.VIDEO There is certainly historical precedence for evolutionists/atheists having inward doubts about the validity of evolution and atheism. The evolutionist Charles Darwin wrote in a private notebook that he was a materialist (a type of atheist). Late in Charles Darwin's life, Darwin told the Duke of Argyll that he frequently had overwhelming thoughts that the natural world was the result of design.
Richard Dawkins has been inconsistent concerning his supposed refusal to debate creationists and his refusal is merely a ruse to avoid losing debates to creation scientists. Generally speaking, creation scientists tend to win the creation vs. evolution debates.
Evolutionist and atheist Richard Dawkins said in an interview: “What’s to prevent us from saying Hitler wasn’t right? I mean, that is a genuinely difficult question."
Dawkins' comment concerning Adolf Hitler
For details see: Richard Dawkins' commentary on Adolf Hitler and Essay: Richard Dawkins' comment concerning Adolf Hitler
When asked in an interview, "If we do not acknowledge some sort of external [standard], what is to prevent us from saying that the Muslim [extremists] aren’t right?", Dawkins replied, "What’s to prevent us from saying Hitler wasn’t right? I mean, that is a genuinely difficult question, but whatever [defines morality], it’s not the Bible. If it was, we’d be stoning people for breaking the Sabbath."
The interviewer wrote in response, "I was stupefied. He had readily conceded that his own philosophical position did not offer a rational basis for moral judgments. His intellectual honesty was refreshing, if somewhat disturbing on this point." Richard Dawkins, pseudoscience, and other errors
For more information please see: Richard Dawkins and pseudoscience
Within the evolutionary science community and the creation science community, Richard Dawkins has faced charges of engaging in pseudoscience and also has faced charges of committing elementary errors.
The website True Free Thinker notes: “Moreover, note that with regards to “assertions without adequate evidence” evolutionary biologist and geneticist, Prof. Richard Lewontin, referenced Carl Sagan’s list of the “best contemporary science-popularizers” which includes Richard Dawkins. These authors have, as Lewontin puts it, “put unsubstantiated assertions or counterfactual claims at the very center of the stories they have retailed in the market.” Lewontin specifically mentions “Dawkins’s vulgarizations of Darwinism” (find details here and here).
Even renowned evolutionary biologists H. Allen Orr, David Sloan Wilson, and Massimo Pigliucci have called into question the power that Dawkins once had as an intellectual, since he has made elementary errors in The God Delusion.”
A Baylor University study found that the irreligious are more likely to be superstitious than evangelical Christians.
In 2010, a new discovery relating to the eye further discredited the evolutionary quackery of Richard Dawkins. In addition, in 2010, the journal Nature featured an interview with the evolutionist, biologist, and atheist David Sloan Wilson who criticized Richard Dawkins for denying the evidence for the societal benefits of religion (see also: Atheism and Mental and Physical Health).
As far as the the social science of history, Richard Dawkins has engaged in historical revisionism when it comes to the mass murders committed by atheists.
Many of Richard Dawkins detractors are conservative Christians which is not surprising. As alluded to earlier, the Wall Street Journal reported: "A comprehensive new study released by Baylor University yesterday, shows that traditional Christian religion greatly decreases belief in everything from the efficacy of palm readers to the usefulness of astrology. It also shows that the irreligious and the members of more liberal Protestant denominations, far from being resistant to superstition, tend to be much more likely to believe in the paranormal and in pseudoscience than evangelical Christians." In the United States, CBS News reported in October of 2005 that the Americans most likely to believe only in the theory of evolution are liberals. Richard Dawkins' battle with online fans
In February of 2010, the news organization The Telegraph reported Richard Dawkins was "embroiled in a bitter online battle over plans to rid his popular internet forum for atheists of foul language, insults and 'frivolous gossip'." Given that Wired Magazine and Vox Day declared for various reasons that atheists tend to be quarrelsome, socially challenged men, it is not surprising the online dispute was bitter. In addition, Richard Dawkins has a reputation for being abrasive.
Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed
In the film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, a documentary concerning suppression of the intelligent design movement, Ben Stein interviewed Richard Dawkins. Ben Stein Interview with the evolutionist Richard Dawkins
See also: Ben Stein Interview with Richard Dawkins
In the movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, Ben Stein demonstrated the folly of evolutionism in his interview with Richard Dawkins (A clip of the interview has been uploaded to YouTube ).
The Discovery Institute provides an transcript of part of the interview along with some commentary: “BEN STEIN: "What do you think is the possibility that Intelligent Design might turn out to be the answer to some issues in genetics or in evolution?"
DAWKINS: "Well, it could come about in the following way. It could be that at some earlier time, somewhere in the universe, a civilization evolved, probably by some kind of Darwinian means, probably to a very high level of technology, and designed a form of life that they seeded onto perhaps this planet. Now, um, now that is a possibility, and an intriguing possibility. And I suppose it's possible that you might find evidence for that if you look at the details of biochemistry, molecular biology, you might find a signature of some sort of designer."
Ho,ho! That is precisely what the Raelians say: Years ago, everybody knew that the earth was flat. Everybody knew that the sun revolved around the earth. Today, everybody knows that life on earth is either the result of random evolution or the work of a supernatural God. Or is it? In "Message from the Designers", Rael presents us with a third option: that all life on earth was created by advanced scientists from another world. Richard Dawkins and Rael; "clear thinking" kindred spirits! ” Ben Stein
A Christian apologetics website provides some additional commentary on the Ben Stein/Richard Dawkins interview which focuses on Dawkins response to Ben Stein's questions about the likelihood of the existence of God: “ In this interview there is the following exchange between Ben Stein and Richard Dawkins. Mr. Stein prefaces the exchange with this comment: “Professor Dawkins seemed so convinced that God doesn’t exist that I wondered if he would be willing to put a number on it.” Here is Professor Dawkins response, “Well, it’s hard to put a figure on it, but I’d put it at something like ninety-nine percent against or something like that.” Mr. Stein responded with this question. “Well, how do you know it’s ninety-nine percent (“I don’t,” Dr. Dawkins interjects.) and not, say, ninety-seven percent?” Dr. Dawkins continues, “You asked me to put a figure on it and I’m not comfortable putting a figure on it. I think it’s… I just think it’s very unlikely.” “But you couldn’t put a number on it?,” Mr. Stein clarifies. “No, of course not,” said Dr. Dawkins. “So it could be forty-nine percent?,” Mr. Stein asks. Dr. Dawkins replies, “Well, it would be… I mean I think it’s… it’s… it’s unlikely, but… but… I… and it’s quite far from fifty percent.” (He's very difficult to quote.) “How do you know?,” Mr. Stein asks. “I don’t know, I mean, I put an argument in the book,” Dr. Dawkins responds. ”
Stein expressed surprise in the narration that Richard Dawkins "believe[d] in intelligent design."
Instead of attempting to defend abiogenesis, Dawkins actually suggested directed panspermia—the very thing that Francis Crick once suggested to explain life's beginnings.
On March 20, 2008, Dawkins and colleague P. Z. Myers tried to gain entry to a special preview of the Ben Stein documentary, though no member of the production team had invited them. Dr. Myers was not allowed in, but Dawkins was. Accounts vary as to why this was so; the production team asserts that they decided to grant Dawkins entry on-the-spot because “ he has handled himself fairly honorably, he is a guest in our country and I had to presume he had flown a long way to see the film. ”
On the other hand, Myers himself states that he guesses that Richard Dawkins was not recognized.
Richard Dawkins arranged to have a filmed conversation between Richard Dawkins and PZ Myers concerning this incident posted to YouTube In it Myers claimed that the production team had full knowledge of his attendance through the online RSVP system and Dawkins claimed that it was an "incredible piece of inept public relations" to "expel" PZ Myers from a film about people being expelled for their views. Both PZ Myers and Richard Dawkins were featured in the film. Richard Dawkins, atheist attrocities, and historical revisionism
For more information please see: Richard Dawkins, atheist atrocities, and historical revisionism
Dinesh D'Souza took Richard Dawkins to task for engaging in historical revisionism when it comes to the atrocities of atheist regimes and declared Dawkins "reveals a complete ignorance of history".VIDEO Joseph Stalin's atheistic regime killed tens of millions of people.
In a recent interview D'Souza declared: “Richard Dawkins argues that at least the atheist regimes didn't kill people in the name of atheism. Isn't it time for this biologist to get out of the lab and read a little history? Marxism and Communism were atheist ideologies. Stalin and Mao weren't dictators who happened to be atheist; atheism was part of their official doctrine. It was no accident, as the Marxists liked to say, that they shut down the churches and persecuted the clergy...”
Dinesh D'Souza stated in another interview: “As one writer put it, “Leaders such as Stalin and Mao persecuted religious groups, not in a bid to expand atheism, but as a way of focusing people’s hatred on those groups to consolidate their own power.” Of course I agree that murderous regimes, whether Christian or atheist, are generally seeking to strengthen their position. But if Christian regimes are held responsible for their crimes committed in the name of Christianity, then atheist regimes should be held accountable for their crimes committed in the name of atheism. And who can deny that Stalin and Mao, not to mention Pol Pot and a host of others, all committed atrocities in the name of a Communist ideology that was explicitly atheistic? Who can dispute that they did their bloody deeds by claiming to be establishing a “new man” and a religion-free utopia? These were mass murders performed with atheism as a central part of their ideological inspiration, they were not mass murders done by people who simply happened to be atheist.” Vladimir Lenin
Karl Marx said "[Religion] is the opium of the people". Marx also stated: "Communism begins from the outset (Owen) with atheism; but atheism is at first far from being communism; indeed, that atheism is still mostly an abstraction."
Vladimir Lenin wrote: "A Marxist must be a materialist, i. e., an enemy of religion, but a dialectical materialist, i. e., one who treats the struggle against religion not in an abstract way, not on the basis of remote, purely theoretical, never varying preaching, but in a concrete way, on the basis of the class struggle which is going on in practice and is educating the masses more and better than anything else could."
Dr. R. J. Rummel, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Hawaii, is the scholar who first coined the term democide (death by government). Dr. R. J. Rummel's mid estimate concerning the loss of life due to communism is that communism caused the death of approximately 110,286,000 people between 1917 and 1987. The atheism in communist regimes has been and continues to be militant atheism that has committed various acts of repression including the razing of thousands of religious buildings and the killing, imprisoning, and the oppression of religious leaders and believers (for details see: communism). In the atheistic and communist Soviet Union, 44 anti religious museums were opened and the largest was the 'The Museum of the History of Religion and Atheism' in Leningrad’s Kazan cathedral.
Richard Dawkins Lost a Debate to a Rabbi and then Claimed the Debate Never Took Place
Richard Dawkins, (photo by Shane Pope, obtained from Flickr, see Creative commons license agreement)
See also: Richard Dawkins and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and Atheism and Debate
As briefly noted earlier Richard Dawkins had a debate with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. Rabbi Shmuley Boteach was named the London Times Preacher of the Year 2000 and is the author of 20 books.
Recently Rabbi Shmuley Boteach wrote: “ ...Dawkins attacked me on his website and denied that he and I had ever debated. My office quickly posted the full footage of a two hour debate which took place on October 23, 1996, a debate which Dawkins actually lost after a vote taken by the students as to which side, science or religion, caused more students to change their minds. In my article on the subject responding to his attack I was extremely respectful of Dr. Dawkins and was therefore shocked to receive a letter in return in which he accused me of speaking like Hitler. Had the noted scientist lost his mind? Hitler? Was this for real? ”
WorldNetDaily offers the following quotes of Rabbi Boteach about debate and the initial denial by Dawkins that the debate never took place: “ That is a particularly bold untruth. Our debate, which took place at St. Catherine's College, Oxford on Oct. 23, 1996, attracted hundreds of students and featured, on the atheist side, Prof. Dawkins and chemistry Prof. Peter Atkins, and on the religion side, me and Prof. Keith Ward, Oxford's Regius Professor of Divinity. Student president Josh Wine was in the chair," the rabbi explained.
"In a vote at the end of the debate as to how many students had changed their minds after hearing the arguments, Dawkin's side was defeated and religion prevailed, which might account for his selective memory," he wrote. ”
Rabbi Boteach reported at Beliefnet: “I also gave Dr. Dawkins the opportunity to even score by accepting a further debate, at the time and place of his choosing (within reason, of course), to which he has yet to respond. ”
A video of the debate that Dawkins lost to Rabbi Shmuley Boteach is available at Rabbi Schely Boteach's website.
Christian apologist Dr. William Lane Craig is Reported to Have Called Dawkins a Coward
See also: Richard Dawkins and William Lane Craig and Atheism and Debate
Dr. William Lane Craig is one of Christianity's leading defenders and many individuals over the years have attempted to arrange a debate between Dr. Craig and Richard Dawkins. Richard Dawkins has offered various ruses on why he will not debate William Lane Craig, which Dr. Craig supporters have shown were inconsistent and merely a dodge to avoid debating one of Christianity's strongest advocates.
Dr. William Lane Craig
Christian apologist Dr. Victor Reppert is the author of C. S. Lewis's Dangerous Idea: In Defense of the Argument from Reason. In 2007, Dr. Reppert wrote: “Bill Craig sent me a newsletter in which he will be debating twice in the UK on "Is God a Delusion" but will not be debating Dawkins himself. Now that would be the debate to see! Having seen this, I wrote him saying "Oh drat! no debate with Dawkins!" He responded: The coward! He said, "I've never heard of William Craig. A debate with him might look good on his resume, but it wouldn't look good on mine!" Bill”
There is now growing public pressure for Dawkins to debate the Christian philosopher of science and Christian apologist Dr. William Lane Craig. For example, currently there is a petition for Richard Dawkins debate William Lane Craig. YouTube recently featured a video which incorporates an audio excerpt of Craig stating that he would like to debate Dawkins and also features Dr. Craig commenting on Dawkins refusal to debate him.
Refusal of Richard Dawkins to Debate Christian apologist Dinesh D'Souza
See also: Richard Dawkins and Dinesh D'Souza and Atheism and Debate
Christian author Dinesh D'Souza wrote concerning Richard Dawkins refusal to debate him: "To be honest, I find your behavior extremely bizarre. You go halfway around the world to chase down televangelists to outsmart them in an interview format that you control, but given several opportunities to engage the issues you profess to care about in a true spirit of open debate and inquiry, you duck and dodge and run away." D'Souza further wrote concerning Dawkins: "When he is confronted with history, philosophy, and logic, Dawkins seems to have very little to say." Next, D'Souza indicated Dawkins was a "showman who takes on unprepared and unsuspecting opponents when you yourself control the editing, but when a strong opponent shows up you manufacture reasons to avoid him." Lastly, D'Souza wrote: "So why doth Dawkins languish in his corner, attended by sycophants? Tremble not, Sir Richard. 'Cowards die many times before their deaths. The valiant do taste of death but once.'"
Dr. Jamie Glazov wrote concerning the refusal of Richard Dawkins to debate Dinesh D'Souza: “ As many readers can attest, D’Souza has debated Daniel Dennett, Christopher Hitchens, Peter Singer, Michael Shermer, Dan Barker, and other well-known atheists. He intellectually cut those guys to pieces. Harris and Dawkins are just afraid to meet D’Souza. D’Souza writes: “And my challenges to Dawkins to step into the arena have only met with pathetic rationalization: ‘Richard is simply too busy and smart to debate you Dinesh.’ Busy doing what besides being caught with his pants down by Ben Stein? And I guess he's smart because he doesn't want to risk further embarrassing himself and destroying his public reputation. Won't it be hilarious if the ‘party of faith’ is unafraid of opposing arguments while the ‘party of reason’ cannot withstand the arguments of its critics? This is what Henry James might describe as a most interesting turning of the screw.” ”
Richard Dawkins' public refusal to debate creationists
Recently, a Christian apologist called Richard Dawkins a "cowardly clown" for refusing to debate apt debate challengers such as the creation scientists at Creation Ministries International. Dr. Jonathan Sarfati recently published the book The Greatest Hoax on Earth which rebuts Richard Dawkins' recent book The Greatest Show on Earth.
For more information please see: Richard Dawkins' public refusal to debate creationists
Richard Dawkins has publicly declared that he will not debate creationists. Yet, Richard Dawkins debated the theist John Lennox who adheres to the position of intelligent design. According to Richard Dawkins, intelligent design is a form of creationism/creation science. Therefore, Richard Dawkins is not consistent and trustworthy concerning his assertion that he will not debate creationists. Evolutionists and atheists inconsistency concerning debating creationists was commented on by the Christian apologetic website True Free Thinker which declared: "Interestingly enough, having noted that since some atheists refuse to debate “creationists” but then go on to debate some of those people but not others, it is clear that they are, in reality, being selective and making excuses for absconding from difficulties..." When Richard Dawkins refused to debate Dr. William Lane Craig one of the ruses Richard Dawkins used was supposedly because Dr. Craig was a creationist and Richard Dawkins claimed he didn't debate creationist. Richard was called on his inconsistency and lack of trustworthiness concerning his excuses for refusing to debate Dr. Craig by the intelligent design advocate Clive Hayden.
In 2010, the prominent atheists who attended the 2010 global atheist conference, which included Richard Dawkins, were challenged to a debate by Creation Ministries International. Richard Dawkins, PZ Myers and other prominent atheists refused to debate the creation scientists at Creation Ministries International. Generally speaking, creation scientists tend to win the creation vs. evolution debates.
The refusal of Richard Dawkins and other prominent atheists to debate the staff of Creation Ministries International is not surprising given that there are several instances Richard Dawkins avoiding strong debate opponents. In addition, creationists maintain that Richard Dawkins did not give a particularly strong showing at the Huxley Memorial Debate. One of the more embarrassing debates (particular the events surrounding the debate) was the case of Richard Dawkins losing a video taped debate to Rabbi Boteach according to the college audience. After the debate, Richard Dawkins denied the debate ever took place and Rabbi Boteach provided the video taped evidence that the debate did take place. Mr. Dawkins has declined to debate Rabbit Shmuley Boteach another time. Incidentally, Paul Humber notes there was a deception that occurred during email correspondence with Mr. Dawkins concerning the tally of vote counts that occurred for the Oxford debate between creation scientists Professor A.E. Wilder-Smith and Professor Edgar Andrews and evolutionists Richard Dawkins and John Maynard Smith (see: Huxley Memorial Debate) Mr. Humber did not indicate whether Mr. Dawkins committed the deception or was merely duped by someone who provided an altered account.
Atheist and evolutionist PZ Myers, (photo obtained from Flickr, see license agreement)
The website True Free Thinker declared concerning the refusal of Richard Dawkins, PZ Myers and other prominent atheists to debate the creation scientists and other staff at Creation Ministries International: “ In keeping with his constant attention getting shenanigans and his equally constant absconding from debating apt challengers via a barrage of illogical and excuses, the moniker of cowardly clown fits Richard Dawkins more than ever (see Send in the Clowns – Richard Dawkins Obliges).
Enter Jonathan Sarfati (PhD in chemistry),senior scientist at Creation Ministries International, who recently published the book “The Greatest Hoax on Earth? Refuting Dawkins on Evolution.” Interestingly, Jonathan Sarfati sought to publish the book by the time that the 2010 Global Atheist Convention—billed as “The Rise of Atheism”—of March 12-14 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Center in Australia.
The most intelligent, well informed and vociferous atheists in the world, including Richard Dawkins, Dan Barker, PZ Myers, et al, were challenged to debate while their worldwide choir was gathered in one place and yet, one by one they each found excuses to cower from debate even whilst proclaiming to their adherents the intellectual superiority of atheism. ”
Richard Dawkins excuses for not debating creationists
Richard Dawkins has offered some unjustifiable ruses for not not wanting to debate creationists but the true reason is that he knows he will lose the debates.
There are certainly reputable scientists, medical doctors and members of the public who hold the evolutionary paradigm in low esteem for quite valid reasons so Dawkins excuses for refusing to debate creationists simply have little to no weight and they are certainly not the best explanation for Mr. Dawkins' behavior in this matter. In 2007, "Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture today announced that over 700 scientists from around the world have now signed a statement expressing their skepticism about the contemporary theory of Darwinian evolution." In addition, given that atheism is held in low esteem in many parts of the world and it is a minority position worldwide, Dawkins' refusal to debate strong theistic debaters is quite odd given his allegation that he doesn't debate creationists because he doesn't want to give them respectability and publicity. Furthermore, the Rabbi Boteach debate and the events surrounding it, shows the great lengths that Dawkins will go to avoid letting the public know about a debate loss to a theist (As mentioned previosly Dawkins lost his video taped debate to Rabbi Boteach and then claimed the debate never took place). The reason why Dawkins refuses to debate creation scientists is that generally speaking, creation scientists tend to win the creation vs. evolution debates.
Selective outrage on child molestation and so called "gentle pedophiles"
Ben-Peter Terpstra wrote in the Australian Conservative: "In all truth, Britain’s clean-shaven atheists aren’t serious about children’s rights, or they’d be launching venomous attacks against the United Nations, in light of their more recent sex abuse scandals.".(photo obtained from Flickr, see license agreement)
For more information please see: Richard Dawkins on child molestation and so called "gentle pedophiles"
The Australian Conservative recently published an article by Ben-Peter Terpstra entitled Preparing for Richard Dawkins’ crocodile tears which charges that Richard Dawkins exhibits selective outrage on the issue of child molestation. In the article Terpstra cites Bendan Oneill who wrote: “ The New Atheist campaign to have Pope Benedict XVI arrested when he visits Britain later this year exposes the deeply disturbing, authoritarian and even Inquisitorial side to today’s campaigning secularism... In 2006, Dawkins criticised ‘hysteria about paedophilia’ and said that, even though he was the victim of sexual abuse at boarding school, he would defend his abusive former teachers if ‘50 years on they had been hounded by vigilantes or lawyers as no better than child murderers’. Yet now he wants to put abusive priests on a par with genocidaires. ”
Ben-Peter Terpstra writes: "In all truth, Britain’s clean-shaven atheists aren’t serious about children’s rights, or they’d be launching venomous attacks against the United Nations, in light of their more recent sex abuse scandals."
Concerning Richard Dawkins recent selective outrage on child molestation the Christian apologetics website True Free Thinker writes: “His reputation has always been the very same and this Pope related publicity stunt is nothing new. Moreover, why would he oppose the Pope considering that what the Pope may be complicit in, surely, relates to some gentle pedophiles. What! “Gentle pedophiles”!!! Oh, no, no, no; those are not my words but Richard Dawkins who, indeed, argues that there are gentle pedophiles and that way too much is made of pedophilia at times. For these reasons and more Robert Fulford’s referring to Richard Dawkins as a clown is very, very offensive—to clowns. Clowns are lovable and funny whilst Richard Dawkins is belligerent, arrogant, belittling and shockingly lacking in knowledge with regards to many of the issues that he takes on (find ample evidence here).” Implication in the death of Jesse Kilgore
Pitzer College sociologist Phil Zuckerman stated concerning atheism and suicide: "this is the one indicator of societal health in which religious nations fare much better than secular nations."
Dawkins' book "The God Delusion" along with a community college biology class, have been linked to the tragic suicide of Jesse Kilgore. Kilgore had several discussions with friends and relatives in which he made it clear Dawkins' book had destroyed his belief in God. This loss of faith is considered the cause of his suicide which is not surprising given that there is evidence which suggest that atheism can be a causal factor for suicide for some individuals.
Jesse's father is quoted as saying "If my son was a professing homosexual, and a professor challenged him to read [a book called] 'Preventing Homosexuality'… If my son was gay and [the book] made him feel bad, hopeless, and he killed himself, and that came out in the press, there would be an outcry. He would have been a victim of a hate crime and the professor would have been forced to undergo sensitivity training, and there may have even been a wrongful death lawsuit. But because he's a Christian, I don't even get a return telephone call."
Jesse's blog remains online after his death. Richard Dawkins and the women and minority population
Survey data and website tracking data of prominent atheist websites indicate that in the Western World, atheism appears to be significantly less appealing to women. According to the website tracking firms Alexa and Quantcast women frequent the website of richarddawkins.net significantly less than men.
Recently, Vox Day and Wired Magazine made the observation that atheists tend to be quarrelsome, socially changed men. Women's views of Richard Dawkins
See also: Women's views of Richard Dawkins
Survey data and website tracking data of prominent atheist websites indicate that in the Western World, atheism appears to be significantly less appealing to women. According to the website tracking firms Alexa and Quantcast women frequent the website of richarddawkins.net significantly less than men. One possible explanation of many women's lack of interest in the message of Richard Dawkins is the abrasiveness of Richard Dawkins. For example, in September of 2010, Richard Dawkins became nasty towards a woman in an audience he spoke before. Another plausible explanation for many women having a lack of enthusiasm for Richard Dawkins's message is that many women who attend religious services and hold traditional beliefs and values find Richard Dawkins' atheism and atheistic values repugnant. In terms of traditional values, as noted earlier, in 2007, when asked in an interview, "If we do not acknowledge some sort of external [standard], what is to prevent us from saying that the Muslim [extremists] aren’t right?", Dawkins replied, "What’s to prevent us from saying Hitler wasn’t right? I mean, that is a genuinely difficult question, but whatever [defines morality], it’s not the Bible. If it was, we’d be stoning people for breaking the Sabbath."
(See also: Richard Dawkins' commentary on Adolf Hitler and Essay: Richard Dawkins' comment concerning Adolf Hitler )
Recently, Vox Day and Wired Magazine made the observation that atheists tend to be quarrelsome, socially changed men. Richard Dawkins commentary on Mary the Mother of Jesus
In 2010, the Christian apologetics website True Free Thinker wrote: “The atheist and evolutionist Richard Dawkins just referred to Mary, the mother of Jesus, as a ‘submissive cosmic doormat’... If Richard Dawkins had a better grasp of womanhood and a greater grasp of manhood, he would still be married to his first wife and not his third.” Racial Minority population views' of Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris
According to the web traffic tracking firm Quantcast, the following racial groups have below average interest in the website richarddawkins.net: Asians, Hispanics, and African Americans. In addition, according to the web traffic tracking firm Quantcast, the following racial groups have below average interest in the website samharris.org: Asians, Hispanics, and African Americans. This suggest that the New Atheist movement may be significantly less appealing to racial minorities. Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and the white male audience
According to the Quantcast data, white males appear to be the group of individuals who are most receptive to Richard Dawkins' and atheist Sam Harris' message. This finding suggest that New Atheism movement is significant more appealing to white males.
Opposition to Creationism and Religion
Professor Dawkins' anti-religious views are based on two subjective opinions. The first is that religious faith is irrational, the second is that religion causes wars and hatred, or as he puts it, 'Religion makes good people bad'.
Richard Dawkins is a writer and media commentator on the debate between the theory of evolution and the opposing positions of creation science and intelligent design. He is an ardent proponent of the evolutionary view of life in works targeted at the general public, such as his books entitled The Selfish Gene and The Ancestor's Tale. However, his efforts to promote the theory of evolution have not been very successful, and even in his native land of the UK, 40% of the population believes that creationism or intelligent design should be taught in the school science curriculum.
Lord Robert Winston stated Richard Dawkins is bringing science "into disrepute".
As an atheist and evolutionist, Dawkins holds Charles Darwin's view that "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." In addition, he often comes across as having a mocking attitude towards religion. He stridently opposes the traditional role of religion in educational institutions and in society in general. Dawkins has derided belief in God as a "mind-virus", which is infectious and harmful to society. In his 2006 book The God Delusion, he states his belief that fundamentalist religion "subverts science and saps the intellect," a view that is contrary to the fact that many of the most productive scientists, from Isaac Newton to Louis Pasteur, were devout Christians. The foundation of modern science was largely established by those who held a Christian worldview. Dawkins often says that these men were rather a product of their time and, like many that came before them, lived in fear of persecution by Christians. There is no substantive evidence for this. Dawkins also cites in his book, the God Delusion, that not one winner of the Nobel Prize for Science is a theist. While this has been openly debated, he cites his own personal relationships with many of these scientists. Alister McGrath
Lord Robert Winston is a prominent scientist and British doctor who served as the President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science from 2004 to 2005. Currently, Lord Winston serves as Emeritus Professor of Fertility Studies at Imperial College in Britain. In 2006, Winston launched a broadside against Richard Dawkins and stated that he is bringing science "into disrepute" due to his refusal to "connect with spirituality". Winston also stated that Dawkins "sometimes doesn't seem to understand the limitations of science."
Alister McGrath, a Christian theologian who has a background in biophysics and is Professor of Historical Theology at Oxford University, wrote: “ Richard Dawkins’ latest book The God Delusion fires off a series of salvos against religion. It is perhaps his weakest book to date, marred by its excessive reliance on bold assertion and rhetorical flourish, where the issues so clearly demand careful reflection and painstaking analysis, based on the best evidence available.”
Atheist philosopher Michael Ruse echoes McGrath's estimation of The God Delusion and recently stated that the book makes him embarrassed to be an atheist.
Professor McGrath asserts that the aggressive rhetoric of Dawkins' works is merely a mask to cover a deep insecurity about the public credibility of atheism. McGrath recently wrote a book opposing the atheist ideology of Dawkins entitled The Dawkins Delusion?: Atheist Fundamentalism and the Denial of the Divine.
Darwin's Rottweiler and the Huxley Memorial Debate
The September 2005 issue of Discover magazine had an article on Richard Dawkins entitled "Darwin’s Rottweiler". The title is an allusion to Thomas Henry Huxley who became to be known as "Darwin's Bulldog". Huxley is arguably most well known for his debate with Bishop Samuel Wilberforce over the theory of evolution, and evolutionists and creationist dispute whether or not a key claimed event in the debate actually occurred. The Discover article stated the following: “ Dawkins has become “Darwin’s rottweiler”— as Alister McGrath, an Oxford theologian, reminded readers of his recent book, Dawkins' God: Genes, Memes, and the Meaning of Life — so intent on prevailing in intellectual combat that he alienates others and undermines the dazzling quality of his argumentative skills." ”
The Simonyi Professorship Home Page promotes the idea that Richard Dawkins is "Darwin's Rottweiler" and has an article published in the Seattle newspaper EastSideweek which states the following: “ ...Thomas Henry Huxley, earned the nickname "Darwin's bulldog" from his fellow Victorians. In our own less decorous day, Dawkins deserves an even stronger epithet: "Darwin's Rottweiler, perhaps," Simonyi suggests. Now, thanks to Simonyi's gift of £1.5 million sterling to England's venerable Oxford University, the Rottweiler is unleashed." ” Dr. Arthur Ernest Wilder-Smith
Now given that Thomas Henry Huxley's is arguably most well known for his debate over the theory of evolution and given that Dawkins has stated he will no longer debate a creation scientists the title of "Darwin's Rottweiler" can certainly be disputed. Creationists wrote regarding Richard Dawkins current refusal to debate a creation scientist: “ A. E. Wilder-Smith is also probably responsible for Richard Dawkins refusing to debate creationists any more. In 1986, Wilder-Smith and Edgar Andrews debated the two leading evolutionists in Britain, Richard Dawkins and John Maynard Smith, at Oxford – a lions’ den with the two strongest Darwinian lions in Europe. Yet even there, over a third – almost half – of the staunchly pro-evolution audience voted that the creation side had won the debate. The vote count became a contentious issue. There were claims of a cover-up by the Oxford Student Union. The AAAS was accused of lying about the vote count and didn’ [sic] correct it even when confronted (see article). The evolutionists apparently were embarrassed that the creationists made such a strong showing. For whatever reason, Dawkins no longer will debate creationists. Reports from those in attendance say that, contrary to the ground rules of the debate, the Dawkins and Maynard Smith repeatedly attacked religion, while the creationists used only scientific arguments. Dawkins himself had to be reprimanded by the moderator for attacking Wilder-Smith about his religious views. Dawkins implored the audience not to give any votes to the creationists lest it be a “blot on the escutcheon of ancient University of Oxford” (an odd remark, considering Oxford was founded by Christians). After the debate, details of the event were lost by the University. Normally, Oxford Union debates are big news, given prominent publicity in the press, radio and television. This one, however, which should have rivalled the historic 1860 Huxley-Wilberforce debate in importance, and indeed was even titled the ’Huxley Memorial Debate,” was silently dropped from the radar screen. In his memoirs, Dr. Wilder-Smith wrote, “No records of my having held the lecture as part of the Oxford Union Debate could be found in any library. No part of the official media breathed a word about it. ”
The aforementioned debate involving Richard Dawkins is fairly well known in creationist/intelligent design circles and the debate was tape recorded. In August of 2003 the Creation Research Society published some interesting material about their correspondence with Richard Dawkins which focused on the debate. The Creation Research Society declared:
Henry Morris“ Despite Dr. Dawkins’ plea, there were apparently 115 votes for the creation position (more than 37%). This was done near Darwin’s turf. Imagine flat-earthers going to NASA and convincing over 37% of the scientists there that the earth is flat. Maybe creation science is not as closely akin to flat-earthism as Dr. Dawkins supposes (see his Free Inquiry article). ”
Richard Dawkins no longer will debate a creation scientist. Robert Sloan, Director of Paleontology at the University of Minnesota, reluctantly admitted to a Wall Street Journal reporter that the "creationists tend to win" the public debates which focused on the creation vs. evolution controversy. In August of 1979, Dr. Henry Morris reported in an Institute for Creation Research letter the following: “By now, practically every leading evolutionary scientist in this country has declined one or more invitations to a scientific debate on creation/evolution.” Morris also said about the creation scientist Duane Gish (who had over 300 formal debates): “At least in our judgment and that of most in the audiences, he always wins.” Generally speaking, leading evolutionists generally no longer debate creation scientists.
Richard Dawkins violation' of the terms of the debate proceedings
As noted earlier, it was agreed before the debate that discussion of religion was not to occur during the debate and that only the evidence related to the physical sciences were going to be discussed. At the end of the debate, Richard Dawkins started to give an impassioned plea to the audience to not give a single vote to the creationists which would show support for creationism. Mr. Dawkins was told to sit down by the President of the Oxford Union for violating the terms of the debate as far as not mentioning religion (as noted earlier John Maynard Smith also violated the terms of the debate).
Deception related to email correspondence with Richard Dawkins
As mentioned earlier, Paul Humber notes there was a deception that occurred during email correspondence with Mr. Dawkins concerning the tally of vote counts that occurred for the Huxley Memorial Debate between creation scientists Professor A.E. Wilder-Smith and Professor Edgar Andrews and evolutionists Richard Dawkins and John Maynard Smith. Mr. Humber did not indicate whether Mr. Dawkins committed the deception or was merely duped by someone who provided an altered account.
Abrasiveness of Richard Dawkins
Gary Demar commenting on the abrasiveness and incivility of Richard Dawkins quotes Dawkins stating the following:
Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr.“It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I'd rather not consider that).”
Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. has echoed Mr. Demar's estimation of Richard Dawkins and has stated regarding Richard Dawkins the following: “ His aggressiveness and abrasiveness have now prompted some of his fellow defenders of evolution to wonder if he is doing their cause more harm than good.
The September 2005 issue of Discover magazine features an article that raises this very question. In "Darwin's Rottweiler," author Stephen S. Hall suggests that Dawkins is simply "far too fierce."....
Dawkins admits that he just may be "a bit of a loose canon." In reality, that is a significant understatement.”
In addition, Richard Dawkins appears to have had struggles maintaining marital harmony in his life and as noted earlier two of his marriages ended in divorce (see also: Women's views of Richard Dawkins).
Ex-atheist and psychologist Dr. Paul Vitz
The Brights Movement was started in 2003 by Paul Geisert and Mynga Futrell in order to assist in the advocacy of a naturalistic worldview. In October of 2003 in a article in the Guardian, Richard Dawkins associated being a "bright" with being an intellectual. Atheist author and columnist Christopher Hitchens expressed his "annoyance at Professor Dawkins and Daniel Dennett, for their cringe-making proposal that atheists should conceitedly nominate themselves to be called "brights". ABC News.com commentator John Allen Paulos remarked of the Brights campaign, "I don't think a degree in public relations is needed to expect that many people will construe the term as smug, ridiculous, and arrogant" (Paulos 2003).Psychologist and ex-atheist Dr. Paul Vitz wrote a book entitled Faith of the Fatherless in which he focuses on his study of the lives of more than a dozen leading atheists. Dr. Vitz has stated there were two common factors he observed in the leading atheists he profiled: they were all intelligent and arrogant. Richard Dawkins is listed as an "Enthusiastic Bright" at the Brights Movement website. Other reactions to Dawkins' views within the academic community
Some in the academic community are critical of Richard Dawkins. One such example is Martin Rees, the Astronomer Royal and President of the Royal Society. In a debate in May 2007 between Rees and Dawkins, Rees said that science needed as many friends as possible and that creating enemies within mainstream religion will make it "more difficult to combat the kinds of anti-science sentiments that are really important". He also argued that it will make it more difficult to fight terrorism. Richard Dawkins counter-argued that being nice to bishops helps to foster the view that faith is virtuous and can excuse any act on its behalf. Rees continued to argue that religion has no monopoly on being unreasonable citing examples of scientific sects such as the Raelians or extreme eco-groups as being as dangerous as religious fundamentalists.
Among theologians there are many critics of Richard Dawkins, a notable example being Alister McGrath as noted earlier. Alister McGrath is Professor of Historical Theology at the University of Oxford. He has accused Dawkins of being ignorant of theology and has written a book challenging Dawkins' anti-religious stance, The Dawkins Delusion. Even among biology colleagues, there are critics. While Ken Miller, a biology professor, doesn't challenge Dawkins' views on evolution, he does take issue with his insistence that religion and science are incompatible.
Richard Dawkins, for his part, claims bafflement that some scientists he respects are capable of religious faith.
Criticism of the Blind Watchmaker and Climbing Mount Improbable
Dr. Dallas Willard
American philosopher Dr. Dallas Willard wrote concerning The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins:
“When he writes a book like the present one he is not functioning as a scientist. If he were, he should incorporate his "findings" into the most advanced textbooks in the field and see how they fare as representations of established knowledge. He complains that "the true, Darwinian explanation of our own existence is still, remarkably, not a routine part of the curriculum of a general education." Then by all means let him enter the academic arena and present his views about the watchmaker as established knowledge. He should not reserve his views for infliction upon a largely helpless public whom his scientific credentials and elaborate rhetorical devices will overwhelm and make incapable of any accurate assessment of argument. When he writes books like The Blind Watchmaker he is just a naturalist metaphysician, trying to cozy up to the scientists and blend into their company in such a way that his true colors will not be noticed. He takes the liberty to dress down what he calls "redneck creationism", but unfortunately there are rednecks on the side of "Darwinianism" as well. He is one of the most outstanding.”
Dr. Jonathan Sarfati offered several criticisms of the book The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins and states in his summary that the "...Apostle of Atheism has a long way to go to make a convincing case for his faith."
Non-Academic Position at Oxford Up until his retirement from the post in September 2008, Dawkins was the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University, having been appointed as the first holder of this endowed position. One Reverend has accused him of using his post "not to promote science, but rather his own atheistic materialist philosophy." The "post" was a donated one, and is not a normal professorship at the Museum of Natural History, an institution owned by the University of Oxford. The "post" did not entail "substantial teaching and administrative duties within Oxford University." According to the Simonyi Professorship website, the professor holding this position is to "communicate scientific ideas through a variety of media, in order to reach a wide range of people." However, in a review of the book Climbing Mount Improbable by Richard Dawkins, Dr. Jonathan Sarfati has stated regarding Dawkins's position at Oxford:
British author Paul Johnson called it ‘Oxford’s first Chair of Atheism.’ But true (operational) science involves repeatable, observable experimentation in the present, which includes physics, chemistry, experimental biology and geology, etc. ... Dawkins has made no notable contributions to any of these, or even to the history or philosophy of science.
It has been claimed by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach that the special terms of this gift might have allowed Dawkins to bypass the peer review promotion process customarily required before receiving the title of "professor" as he believes a decree by Oxford seems to imply this. Rabbi Shmuley Boteach wrote about Dawkins' claim to legitimate professorship: “ Many publications refer to you as 'Professor' Richard Dawkins, even though, as your critics maintain, leading Universities regularly deny to any Professor who played a role in acquiring the funding for their own chair the use of the title. Your critics may be wrong here, Richard, but they cite the fact that the Oxford University Hebdomadal Council Decree of 6 November 1995, establishing the Charles Simonyi Professorship, says that you hold a "post" rather than a "professorship." They write that since your post was endowed by Charles Simonyi and the terms of the gift allowed you to bypass the peer review promotion process customarily required for a professorship, it will become a "professorship" only when a subsequent beneficiary is promoted to the position based on a peer review election process, which, they maintain, was not conducted for your receipt of the post. Now, you defended yourself in a posting on your website, dated Sept. 28, 2006, and wrote that you were "elected to the Charles Simonyi Professorship." But that does seem to directly contradict the Hebdamadol Council decree cited above which expressly says "Notwithstanding the provisions of Ch. VII, Sect. III (which discuss the election of a professor to the post), the income from the endowment shall be applied in the first instance to fund a post in the Public Understanding of Science to be held by Dr C.R. Dawkins, Fellow of New College." It seems, so your critics contend, that your appointment was a condition of the grant rather than the product of an election, and since it may be that you are falsely maligned in the matter, your clarification as to the true nature of your professorship, whose official location is the Museum of Natural History, is welcomed." ”
Richard Dawkins announced his intention to retire from his position in September 2008:
"The University of Oxford has advertised the Charles Simonyi Professorship in the Public Understanding of Science. I retire from the Chair in September 2008."
Silver Medal of the Zoological Society of London (1989)
Royal Society's Michael Faraday Award (1990)
Nakayama Prize for Achievement in Human Science (1990)
The International Cosmos Prize (1997)
Kistler Prize (2001)
Shakespeare Prize of the Alfred Toepfer Foundation (2005)
Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science (2006)
Galaxy British Book Awards Author of the Year (2007)
Honorary Doctorates in both literature and scienceFellow of the Royal Society
Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature
Dawkins has written nine books: eight have been on evolution and evolutionary theory, the other is his New York Times bestselling atheist polemic The God Delusion. The first of his books, The Selfish Gene, was published in 1976, and won him international acclaim. It has sold over one million copies and has been translated into 25 languages.
His books are: The Selfish Gene (1976)
The Extended Phenotype (1982)
The Blind Watchmaker (1986)
River Out of Eden (1995)
Climbing Mount Improbable (1996)
Unweaving the Rainbow (1998)
A Devil's Chaplain (2003)
The Ancestor's Tale (2004)
The God Delusion (2006)