It was somewhere between deism, the belief that some sort of intelligence started the universe going and then stepped back and did nothing else, which actually I don't think Einstein believed in, and a sort of pantheism, where he was using the word 'God' as just a name for the laws of nature, the laws of physics, for which he had a deep reverence, as do I. Stephen Hawking ends up his famous book by saying 'Then we would know the mind of God' and that's precisely like Einstein. American troops would win. And River Out of Eden, which of course is just lifted straight from Genesis, so that's not surprising that it's poetic. Dawkins himself has stated that his political views are left-leaning. Recently, he appeared on the Michael Medved Show. It's very likely that most mammals have consciousness, and probably birds, too. I think that is such a satisfying thing to have in your head, that I find it very hard to believe that anybody would prefer astrology, crystal gazing, or religion. But then those puppeteers moved on to their long-term project: Iraq. I'm happy to use a word like 'evil' of a particular individual. Yes, yes, I know you had your genitals mutilated with a razor blade, and ... yawn ... don't tell me yet again, I know you aren't allowed to drive a car, and you can't leave the house without a male relative, and your husband is allowed to beat you, and you'll be stoned to death if you commit adultery. I want everyone to flinch when they hear such a phrase, just as they would if they heard, 'That is a Marxist child.'. I currently live in Seattle. He said: “Well, I think it partly comes from history, obviously. Home of the Daily and Sunday Express. As humans with consciousness, we have purposes which we actually visualise in our minds and we see in our mind's eye something that we wish to achieve. Stephen Hawking was looking forward to a day when physicists finally have unified all their theories and understand everything, and 'Then we should know the mind of God' was a way of expressing that. Thanks to his new autobiography, Richard Dawkins is making the media rounds again. And so natural selection was a winnowing process - some survived, some didn't. The right question is 'Why do they have the kind of brain which in the wild state made them do something which, in the human-dominated state where there are candles, makes them fly into candle flames?'. Well I have said that. "I think we owe Jesus the honour of separating his genuinely original and radical ethics from the supernatural nonsense which he inevitably espoused as a man of his time", while also creating a T-shirt that read "Atheists for Jesus". He criticized Bush by stating that "George W. Bush says that God told him to invade Iraq (a pity God didn't vouchsafe him a revelation that there were no weapons of mass destruction). [81][82], Dawkins has criticized unscientific concepts in Islamic beliefs, such as the idea that an embryo starts as a blob, semen comes from the spine and the sun sets in a marsh. Religion is capable of driving people to such dangerous folly that faith seems to me to qualify as a kind of mental illness. Religion teaches you to be satisfied with nonanswers. This was how you'd get elected in 2004 (not re-elected, elected). Religion is the one... of course in practice, children very often do. But we know that the victims of sexual abuse suffer the same effects whether it was 50 years ago or today. I'm happy to say that Adolf Hitler was evil, Adolf Hitler did evil things, but too many people once again, leap to the conclusion 'Oh there must be some kind of spirit of evil which entered into Hitler,' or 'There's a spirit of evil abroad'. This page was last edited on 6 March 2019, at 00:12. If I take an analogy of... well, one that I'm particularly fond of is the tendency of moths to fly into candle flames, and it's tempting to label that suicidal behaviour in moths, and ask what on earth is the Darwinian advantage of suicidal behaviour in moths. 1291 quotes from Richard Dawkins: 'We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Poor people who have lost their homes, their relatives, everything. "[37], In January 2016, Dawkins tweeted a link to a cartoon caricature of feminists and Islamists. He is also a very outspoken atheist. Monday, 03 May 2010", "Richard Dawkins Condemns British Libel Laws", "Electoral Reform: The Liberal Democrats Must Stand Firm", The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, "Richard Dawkins condemns British libel laws", "Liberal Democrats back calls from Richard Dawkins to reform libel laws", "Venomous Snakes, Slippery Eels and Harun Yahya", Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, "Richard Dawkins rips into Harun Yahya and Muslim creationism", "Turkish court bans Richard Dawkins website", "Richard Dawkins website banned in Turkey", "Pakistan Government Bans Online Political Forum", "Top Torrent Sites and Richard Dawkins Blocked in Pakistan", "Sir Salman Rushdie facing threats of Muslim reprisals over Jaipur Literature Festival appearance", "Forget religion, get 21st century morals: Richard Dawkins", "Look forward to the death of organized religion: Richard Dawkins". I don't actually think The Selfish Gene is a very good title. I'm not sure that I'm going to say that, but that... Well, I think there may be more subtle processes of selection going on. "[67][68], Dawkins is a noted critic of religion, atheist, anti-theist, anti-religionist and a secular humanist. Yes there very possibly are. When asked where religion “started” Prof Dawkins revealed the surprising roots of which mainstream religion has bloomed through the ages. We've all been brought up with the view that religion has some kind of special privileged status. In 2015, along with the National Secular Society, he expressed opposition to a proposal by then Labour Party leader Ed Miliband to make Islamophobia an "aggravated crime." And you certainly don't assume that a child will inherit his father's sports team, or love of ornithology, or politics or economics. And so something like a wing or a foot or an eye really does carry the most incredibly powerful illusion of purpose. He supported an initiative in which 56 newspapers from 47 countries simultaneously published a joint editorial expressing their views on climate change in order to promote awareness of the problem. Clearly not everybody does reproduce. Any old genes can get passed on, if the welfare state keeps you alive. And so my suspicion is perhaps there is a vacuum that needs to be filled, and it may be that scientific rationalism just hasn't got its act together enough to fill that vacuum, and if it did, it would fill it. [57] A passage from Dawkins's contribution is as follows: The word 'apes' usually means chimpanzees, gorillas, orang-utans, gibbons and siamangs. In my spare time, I read, drink coffee and frequently travel to Europe with my Polish-born wife. [83][84] Dawkins furthered his criticism, saying moderate Christians and moderate Muslims inadvertently contribute to making the "world safe for extremists", but noted that "It's very important that we should not demonize ordinary, law-abiding, very decent Muslims which of course is the vast majority in this country. [38] Organizers of the 2016 Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism unilaterally declared his tweet "very offensive" and disinvited him without speaking to him. Intelligent life on a planet comes of age when it first works out the reason for its own existence.