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Clinton Richard Dawkins, FRS, FRSL (born March 26, 1941) is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and popular science writer. He holds the Charles Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford.
Born in Nairobi, Kenya, Dawkins moved to England with his parents at the age of eight. A graduate of the University of Oxford, Dawkins spent two years as an assistant professor at the University of California, Berkeley before joining the faculty at the University of Oxford in 1970. He came to prominence with his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, which popularised the gene-centered view of evolution and introduced the term meme. In 1982, he made a widely cited contribution to evolutionary biology with the theory, presented in his book The Extended Phenotype, that phenotypic effects are not limited to an organism's body but can stretch far into the environment, including the bodies of other organisms.
In addition to his biological work, Dawkins is well-known for his views on atheism, evolution, creationism, intelligent design, and religion. He is a prominent critic of creationism and intelligent design. In his 1986 book The Blind Watchmaker, he argued against the watchmaker analogy, an argument for the existence of a supernatural creator based upon the observed complexity of living organisms, and instead described evolutionary processes as being analogous to a blind watchmaker. He has since written several popular science books, and made regular appearances on television and radio programmes, predominantly discussing the aforementioned topics.
Dawkins is an atheist; a freethinker, secular humanist, sceptic, scientific rationalist, and supporter of the Brights movement. He has widely been referred to in the media as "Darwin's Rottweiler", by analogy with English biologist T. H. Huxley, who was known as "Darwin's Bulldog" for his advocacy of natural selection. In his 2006 book The God Delusion, Dawkins contends that a supernatural creator almost certainly does not exist and that religious faith qualifies as a delusion—as a fixed false belief. As of November 2007, the English language version had sold more than 1.5 million copies and had been translated into 31 other languages, making it his most popular book to date.
Richard Dawkins was born on March 26, 1941, in Nairobi, Kenya. His father, Clinton John Dawkins, was a soldier who moved to Kenya from England during the Second World War to join the Allied Forces. Dawkins' parents came from an affluent upper-middle-class background—the Dawkins name was described in Burke's Landed Gentry as "Dawkins of Over Norton". His father is a descendant of the Clinton family, which held the Earldom of Lincoln, and his mother is Jean Mary Vyvyan Dawkins, née Ladner. Both were interested in natural sciences, and answered the young Dawkins' questions in scientific terms.
Dawkins describes his childhood as "a normal Anglican upbringing", but reveals that he began doubting the existence of God when he was about nine years old. He later reconverted because he was persuaded by the argument from design, an argument for the existence of God or a creator based on perceived evidence of order, purpose, design or direction—or some combination of these—in nature. However, he began to feel that the customs of the Church of England were absurd, and had more to do with dictating morals than with God. Later, when he better understood the process of evolution, his religious position again changed, because he felt that natural selection could account for the complexity of life in purely material terms, rendering a supernatural designer unnecessary.
Education and academic career
Dawkins moved to England with his parents at age eight, and attended Oundle School from 1954 to 1959. He then studied zoology at Balliol College, Oxford, where he was tutored by Nobel Prize-winning ethologist Nikolaas Tinbergen, graduating in 1962. He continued as a research student under Tinbergen's supervision at the University of Oxford, receiving his M.A. and D.Phil. degrees in 1966, while staying as a research assistant for another year. Tinbergen was a pioneer in the study of animal behaviour, particularly the questions of instinct, learning and choice. Dawkins' research in this period concerned models of animal decision making. In one of his first papers, "A threshold model of choice behaviour", he devised a model to explain the following question:
Among the problems raised by choice behaviour is that of the mechanism of decisionmaking. Given that a chick pecks more often at a red spot than at a green one, but nevertheless sometimes pecks at the green one, what mechanism determines each individual choice?
From 1967 to 1969, Dawkins was an assistant professor of zoology at the University of California, Berkeley. This was a period of great unrest in America due to the ongoing Vietnam War. Sentiments among the students and faculty at UC Berkeley were largely opposed to the war and Dawkins became heavily involved in the anti-war demonstrations and activities. He returned to the University of Oxford in 1970 taking a position as a lecturer, and—in 1990—a reader, in zoology. In 1995, he was appointed Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford, a position that had been endowed by Charles Simonyi with the express intention that the holder "be expected to make important contributions to the public understanding of some scientific field". Since 1970, he has been a fellow of New College, Oxford.
Dawkins has delivered a number of inaugural and other notable lectures, including the Henry Sidgwick Memorial Lecture (1989), first Erasmus Darwin Memorial Lecture (1990), Michael Faraday Lecture (1991), T.H. Huxley Memorial Lecture (1992), Irvine Memorial Lecture (1997), Sheldon Doyle Lecture (1999), Tinbergen Lecture (2004), and Tanner Lectures (2003). In 1991, he gave the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures for Children (released on DVD in 2007 as Growing Up in the Universe). He has also served as editor of a number of prominent journals, and has acted as editorial advisor to Encarta Encyclopedia and the Encyclopedia of Evolution. He is a senior editor of the Council for Secular Humanism's Free Inquiry magazine, for which he also writes a column. He is also a member of the editorial board of Skeptic magazine.
He has sat on numerous judging panels for awards as diverse as the Royal Society's Faraday Award and the British Academy Television Awards, and has been president of the Biological Sciences section of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2004, Balliol College, Oxford instituted the Dawkins Prize, awarded for "outstanding research into the ecology and behaviour of animals whose welfare and survival may be endangered by human activities".
In 1967, Dawkins married fellow ethologist Marian Stamp, and they divorced in 1984. Later that year, Dawkins married Eve Barham—with whom he had a daughter, Juliet Emma Dawkins—but they too divorced, and Barham died of cancer in early 1999. In 1992, he married actress Lalla Ward. Dawkins had met her through their mutual friend Douglas Adams, who worked with Ward on the BBC science-fiction television programme Doctor Who. Ward has illustrated over half of Dawkins' books and co-narrated the audio versions of two of his books, The Ancestor's Tale and The God Delusion. In April 2008, it was announced that Dawkins will appear as a guest star in the fourth series of the revived Doctor Who.
In his scientific works, Dawkins is best known for his popularisation of the gene-centered view of evolution. This view is most clearly set out in his books The Selfish Gene (1976), where he notes that "all life evolves by the differential survival of replicating entities", and The Extended Phenotype (1982), in which he describes natural selection as "the process whereby replicators out-propagate each other". In his role as an ethologist, interested in animal behaviour and its relation to natural selection, he advocates the idea that the gene is the principal unit of selection in evolution.
Dawkins has consistently been sceptical about non-adaptive processes in evolution (such as spandrels, described by Gould and Lewontin) and about selection at levels "above" that of the gene. He is particularly sceptical about the practical possibility or importance of group selection. The gene-centred view also provides a basis for understanding altruism. Altruism appears at first to be an evolutionary paradox, since helping others costs precious resources, thus reducing one's own fitness. Previously, many had interpreted this as an aspect of group selection: individuals were doing what was best for the survival of the population or species as a whole, and not specifically for themselves. British evolutionary biologist W. D. Hamilton had used the gene-centred view to explain altruism in terms of inclusive fitness and kin selection—that individuals behave altruistically toward their close relatives, who share many of their own genes.[a] Similarly, Robert Trivers, thinking in terms of the gene-centred model, developed the theory of reciprocal altruism, whereby one organism provides a benefit to another in the expectation of future reciprocation.
Critics of Dawkins' approach suggest that taking the gene as the unit of selection—of a single event in which an individual either succeeds or fails to reproduce—is misleading, but that the gene could be better described as a unit of evolution—of the long-term changes in allele frequencies in a population. In The Selfish Gene, Dawkins explains that he is using George C. Williams' definition of the gene as "that which segregates and recombines with appreciable frequency". Another common objection is that genes cannot survive alone, but must cooperate to build an individual, and therefore cannot be an independent "unit". In The Extended Phenotype, Dawkins suggests that because of genetic recombination and sexual reproduction, from an individual gene's viewpoint all other genes are part of the environment to which it is adapted. Recombination is a process during meiosis when pairs of chromosomes cross over to exchange segments of DNA. These sections are the "genes" to which Dawkins and Williams refer.
Advocates for higher levels of selection such as Richard Lewontin, David Sloan Wilson and Elliot Sober suggest that there are many phenomena (including altruism) that gene-based selection cannot satisfactorily explain.
In a set of controversies over the mechanisms and interpretation of evolution (the so-called "Darwin Wars"), one faction was often named after Dawkins and its rival after American biologist Stephen Jay Gould, reflecting the pre-eminence of each as a populariser of pertinent ideas. In particular, Dawkins and Gould have been prominent commentators in the controversy over sociobiology and evolutionary psychology, with Dawkins generally approving and Gould generally critical. A typical example of Dawkins' position was his scathing review of Not in Our Genes by Steven Rose, Leon J. Kamin and Richard C. Lewontin. Two other thinkers on the subject often considered to be in the same camp as Dawkins are Steven Pinker and Daniel Dennett; Dennett has promoted a gene-centric view of evolution and defended reductionism in biology. Despite their academic disagreements, Dawkins and Gould did not have a hostile personal relationship, and Dawkins dedicated a large portion of his 2003 book A Devil's Chaplain to Gould (who had died in the previous year).
Dawkins coined the term meme (the cultural equivalent of a 'gene') to describe how Darwinian principles might be extended to explain the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena. This has spawned the field of memetics. Dawkins used the word meme to refer to any cultural entity which an observer might consider a replicator. He hypothesised that people could view many cultural entities as capable of such replication, generally through exposure to humans, who have evolved as efficient (although not perfect) copiers of information and behaviour. Memes are not always copied perfectly, and might indeed become refined, combined or otherwise modified with other ideas, resulting in new memes, which may themselves prove more, or less, efficient replicators than their predecessors, thus providing a framework for a hypothesis of cultural evolution, analogous to the theory of biological evolution based on genes.
Though Dawkins originally floated the idea in his book The Selfish Gene, he has largely left the task of expanding upon it to other authors such as Susan Blackmore. Philosopher Mary Midgley, whom Dawkins has debated since the late 1970s, criticises memetics, gene selection and sociobiology as being excessively reductionist. Midgley wrote in 1979 that she had previously "not attended to Dawkins", thinking it unnecessary to "break a butterfly upon a wheel"—a comment that Dawkins described as being "hard to match, in reputable journals, for its patronising condescension toward a fellow academic".
Although Dawkins coined the term meme independently, he has never claimed that the idea itself was entirely a new one—there had been similar expressions for similar ideas in the past. John Laurent, in The Journal of Memetics, has suggested that the term may have derived from the work of the little-known German biologist Richard Semon. In 1904, Semon published Die Mneme (which appeared in English in 1924 as The Mneme). Semon's book discussed the cultural transmission of experiences, with insights parallel to Dawkins'. Laurent also found the term mneme used in Maurice Maeterlinck's The Life of the White Ant (1926), and highlighted the similarities to Dawkins' concept.
Criticism of creationism
Dawkins is a prominent critic of creationism, describing it as a "preposterous, mind-shrinking falsehood". His 1986 book, The Blind Watchmaker, contains a critique of the argument from design, and his other popular-science works often touch on the topic. In the book, Dawkins argued against the watchmaker analogy made famous by the 18th-century English theologian William Paley in his book Natural Theology. Paley argued that, just as a watch is too complicated and too functional to have sprung into existence merely by accident, so too must all living things, with their far greater complexity, be purposefully designed. According to Dawkins, however, natural selection is sufficient to explain the apparent functionality and non-random complexity of the biological world, and can be said to play the role of watchmaker in nature, albeit as an automatic, nonintelligent, blind watchmaker.
In 1986, Dawkins participated in the Oxford Union's Huxley Memorial Debate, in which he and English biologist John Maynard Smith debated Young Earth creationist A. E. Wilder-Smith and Edgar Andrews, president of the Biblical Creation Society.[b] In general, however, Dawkins has followed the advice of his late colleague Stephen Jay Gould and refused to participate in formal debates with creationists because doing so would give them the "oxygen of respectability" they crave. He suggests that creationists "don't mind being beaten in an argument. What matters is that we give them recognition by bothering to argue with them in public."
In a December 2004 interview with American journalist Bill Moyers, Dawkins said that "among the things that science does know, evolution is about as certain as anything we know". When Moyers questioned him on the use of the word theory, Dawkins stated that "evolution has been observed. It's just that it hasn't been observed while it's happening." He added that "it is rather like a detective coming on a murder after the scene… the detective hasn't actually seen the murder take place, of course. But what you do see is a massive clue ... Huge quantities of circumstantial evidence. It might as well be spelled out in words of English."
Dawkins has ardently opposed the inclusion of intelligent design in science education, describing it as "not a scientific argument at all, but a religious one". He has been a strong critic of the British organisation Truth in Science, which promotes the teaching of creationism in state schools, and he plans—through the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science—to subsidise the delivering of books, DVDs, and pamphlets to schools, in order to counteract what he has described as an "educational scandal".
Atheism, humanism and rationalism
Dawkins is an outspoken atheist and a prominent critic of religion. He is an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society, a vice-president of the British Humanist Association (since 1996), a Distinguished Supporter of the Humanist Society of Scotland, a Humanist Laureate of the International Academy of Humanism, and a fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. In 2003, he signed Humanism and Its Aspirations, published by the American Humanist Association.
In his 1991 essay "Viruses of the Mind" (from which the term faith-sufferer originated), he suggested that memetic theory might analyse and explain the phenomenon of religious belief and some of the common characteristics of religions, such as the belief that punishment awaits non-believers. According to Dawkins, faith—belief that is not based on evidence—is one of the world's great evils. He claims it to be analogous to the smallpox virus, though more difficult to eradicate. Dawkins is well-known for his contempt for religious extremism, from Islamist terrorism to Christian fundamentalism; but he has also argued with liberal believers and religious scientists, from biologists Kenneth Miller and Francis Collins to theologians Alister McGrath and Richard Harries. Dawkins has stated that his opposition to religion is twofold, claiming it to be both a source of conflict and a justification for belief without evidence. However, he describes himself as a "cultural Christian", and proposed the slogan "Atheists for Jesus".
Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, when asked how the world might have changed, Dawkins responded:
Dawkins continues to be a prominent figure in contemporary public debate on issues relating to science and religion, especially since his 2006 book The God Delusion, which has achieved greater sales figures worldwide than any of his other works to date. Its success has been seen by many as indicative of a change in the contemporary cultural zeitgeist, central to a recent rise in the popularity of atheistic literature. The God Delusion was praised by many intellectuals including the Nobel laureate chemist Sir Harold Kroto, psychologist Steven Pinker, and the Nobel laureate biologist James D. Watson. In the book, Dawkins argued that atheists should be proud, not apologetic, because atheism is evidence of a healthy, independent mind. He sees education and consciousness-raising as the primary tools in opposing what he considers to be religious dogma and indoctrination. These tools include the fight against certain stereotypes, and he has adopted the term Bright as a way of associating positive public connotations with those who possess a naturalistic worldview. Dawkins notes that feminists have succeeded in arousing widespread embarrassment at the routine use of "he" instead of "she". Similarly, he suggests, a phrase such as "Catholic child" or "Muslim child" should be considered just as socially absurd as, for instance, "Marxist child": children should not be classified based on their parents' ideological beliefs. According to Dawkins, there is no such thing as a Christian child or a Muslim child.
In January 2006, Dawkins presented a two-part television documentary entitled The Root of All Evil?, addressing what he sees as the malignant influence of religion on society. The title itself is one with which Dawkins has repeatedly expressed his dissatisfaction. Critics have said that the programme gave too much time to marginal figures and extremists, and that Dawkins' confrontational style did not help his cause; Dawkins rejected these claims, citing the number of moderate religious broadcasts in everyday media as providing a suitable balance to the extremists in the programmes. He further remarked that someone who is deemed an "extremist" in a religiously moderate country may well be considered "mainstream" in a religiously conservative one. The unedited recordings of Dawkins' conversations with Alister McGrath and Richard Harries, including material unused in the broadcast version, have been made available online by the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science.
Oxford theologian Alister McGrath maintains that Dawkins is "ignorant" of Christian theology, and therefore unable to engage religion and faith intelligently. In reply, Dawkins asks "do you have to read up on leprechology before disbelieving in leprechauns?", and—in the paperback edition of The God Delusion—he refers to the American biologist PZ Myers, who has satirized this line of argument as "The Courtier's Reply". Dawkins had an extended debate with McGrath at the 2007 Sunday Times Literary Festival.
Another Christian philosopher, Keith Ward, explores similar themes in his 2006 book Is Religion Dangerous?, arguing against the view of Dawkins and others that religion is socially dangerous. Criticism of The God Delusion has come from philosophers such as Professor John Cottingham of the University of Reading. Other commentators, including ethicist Margaret Somerville, have suggested that Dawkins "overstates the case against religion", particularly its role in human conflict. Many of Dawkins' defenders, however, claim that critics generally misunderstand his real point. During a debate on Radio 3 Hong Kong, David Nicholls, writer and president of the Atheist Foundation of Australia, reiterated Dawkins' sentiments that religion is an "unnecessary" aspect of global problems.
Dawkins argues that "the existence of God is a scientific hypothesis like any other". He disagrees with Stephen Jay Gould's principle of nonoverlapping magisteria (NOMA) and with similar ideas proposed by English astrophysicist Martin Rees regarding the coexistence of science and religion without conflict, calling the former "a purely political ploy to win middle-of-the-road religious people to the science camp".
Rees has suggested that Dawkins' attack on mainstream religion is unhelpful. Regarding Rees' claim in his book Our Cosmic Habitat that "such questions lie beyond science", Dawkins asks "what expertise can theologians bring to deep cosmological questions that scientists cannot?" Elsewhere, Dawkins has written that "there's all the difference in the world between a belief that one is prepared to defend by quoting evidence and logic, and a belief that is supported by nothing more than tradition, authority or revelation." As examples of "good scientists who are sincerely religious", Dawkins names Arthur Peacocke, Russell Stannard, John Polkinghorne and Francis Collins, but says "I remain baffled ... by their belief in the details of the Christian religion." He has said that the publication of The God Delusion is "probably the culmination" of his campaign against religion.
Richard Dawkins Foundation
In 2006, Dawkins created the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (RDFRS), which seeks to advance the causes of rationalism and humanism. The foundation is in developmental phase. It has been granted charitable status in the United Kingdom and the United States. RDFRS plans to finance research on the psychology of belief and religion, finance scientific education programs and materials, and publicise and support secular charitable organizations.
Dawkins founded the Out Campaign in 2007 to encourage atheists worldwide to declare their stance publicly and proudly. Inspired by the gay rights movement, Dawkins hopes that atheists' identifying of themselves as such, and thereby increasing public awareness of how many people hold these views, will reduce the negative opinion of atheism among the religious majority. The campaign urges atheists to "come out", "reach out", "speak out", "keep out" (that is, to resist intrusion of religion into education and politics), and "stand out". To "stand out", the campaign encourages atheists to wear or display the movement's symbol, a stylized red letter A called the "Scarlet Letter A", an ironic reference to The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
In his role as professor for public understanding of science, Dawkins has been a critic of pseudoscience and alternative medicine. His 1998 book Unweaving the Rainbow takes John Keats' accusation that, by explaining the rainbow, Isaac Newton had diminished its beauty, and argues for the opposite conclusion. He suggests that deep space, the billions of years of life's evolution, and the microscopic workings of biology and heredity contain more beauty and wonder than do "myths" and "pseudoscience". Dawkins wrote a foreword to John Diamond's posthumously published Snake Oil, a book devoted to debunking alternative medicine, in which he asserted that alternative medicine was harmful, if only because it distracted patients from more successful, conventional treatments, and gave people false hopes. Dawkins states that "there is no alternative medicine. There is only medicine that works and medicine that doesn't work."
Dawkins has expressed concern about the growth of the planet's human population, and about the matter of overpopulation. In The Selfish Gene, he briefly mentions population growth, giving the example of Latin America, whose population, at the time the book was written, was doubling every 40 years. He is critical of Roman Catholic attitudes to family planning and population control, stating that leaders who forbid contraception, and "express a preference for 'natural' methods of population limitation" will get just such a method in the form of starvation.
As a supporter of the Great Ape Project—a movement to extend certain moral and legal rights to all great apes—Dawkins contributed an article entitled "Gaps in the Mind" to the Great Ape Project book edited by Paola Cavalieri and Peter Singer. In this essay, he criticises contemporary society's moral attitudes as being based on a "discontinuous, speciesist imperative".
Dawkins also regularly comments in newspapers and weblogs on contemporary political questions; his opinions include opposition to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the British nuclear deterrent, and the actions of U.S. President George W. Bush. Several such articles were included in A Devil's Chaplain, an anthology of writings about science, religion and politics.
In the 2007 TV documentary The Enemies of Reason, Dawkins discusses what he sees as the dangers of abandoning critical thought and rationale based upon scientific evidence. He specifically cites astrology, spiritualism, dowsing, alternative faiths, alternative medicine, and homeopathy. He also discusses how the Internet can be used to spread religious hatred and conspiracy theories with scant attention to evidence-based reasoning.
Awards and recognition
Dawkins was awarded a Doctor of Science by the University of Oxford in 1989. He holds honorary doctorates in science from the University of Westminster, Durham University, and the University of Hull, and an honorary doctorate from the Open University and from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. He also holds honorary doctorates of letters from the University of St Andrews and the Australian National University, and was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1997 and the Royal Society in 2001.
In 1987, Dawkins received a Royal Society of Literature award, and a Los Angeles Times Literary Prize for his book, The Blind Watchmaker. In the same year, he received a Sci. Tech Prize for Best Television Documentary Science Programme of the Year, for the BBC Horizon episode entitled The Blind Watchmaker.
His other awards have included the Zoological Society of London Silver Medal (1989), the Michael Faraday Award (1990), the Nakayama Prize (1994), the Humanist of the Year Award (1996), the fifth International Cosmos Prize (1997), the Kistler Prize (2001), the Medal of the Presidency of the Italian Republic (2001), and the Bicentennial Kelvin Medal of The Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow (2002).
Dawkins topped Prospect magazine's 2004 list of the top 100 public British intellectuals, as decided by the readers, receiving twice as many votes as the runner-up. He has been short-listed as a candidate in their 2008 follow-up poll. In 2005, the Hamburg-based Alfred Toepfer Foundation awarded him its Shakespeare Prize in recognition of his "concise and accessible presentation of scientific knowledge". He won the Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science for 2006 and the Galaxy British Book Awards Author of the Year Award for 2007. In the same year, he was listed by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2007, and was awarded the Deschner Prize, named after Karlheinz Deschner.
Since 2003, the Atheist Alliance International has awarded a prize during its annual conference, honoring an outstanding atheist whose work has done most to raise public awareness of atheism during that year. It is known as the Richard Dawkins Award, in honor of Dawkins' own work.
- The Selfish Gene, Oxford University Press, 1976, ISBN 0-19-286092-5
- The Extended Phenotype, Oxford University Press, 1982, ISBN 0-19-288051-9
- The Blind Watchmaker, Norton & Company, Inc, 1986, ISBN 0-393-31570-3
- River out of Eden, Basic Books, 1995, ISBN 0-465-06990-8
- Climbing Mount Improbable, New York: Norton, 1996, ISBN 0-393-31682-3
- Unweaving the Rainbow, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998, ISBN 0-618-05673-4
- A Devil's Chaplain, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2003, ISBN 0-618-33540-4
- The Ancestor's Tale, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2004, ISBN 0-618-00583-8
- The God Delusion, Bantam Books, 2006, ISBN 0-618-68000-4
As sole editor
Dawkins' next book, which will marshal empirical evidence supporting the theory of evolution, is scheduled to be published in the United States by Free Press on November 24, 2009, the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin's seminal On the Origin of Species.
- Sexton, Ed (2001). Dawkins and the Selfish Gene. ISBN 1-84046-238-8.
- Sterelny, Kim (2001). Dawkins vs Gould: Survival of the Fittest. ISBN 1-84046-249-3.
- Grafen, Alan; Mark Ridley (eds.) (2006). Richard Dawkins: How a Scientist Changed the Way We Think. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-929116-0.
- Montague, Roger (2008). "Dawkins' Infinite Regress". Philosophy 83: 113-115.
- McGrath, Alister (2004). Dawkins' God: Genes, Memes, and the Meaning of Life. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 1-4051-2538-1.
- Ward, Keith (2006). Is Religion Dangerous?. London: Lion Hudson Plc. ISBN 978-0745952628.
- McGrath, Alister; Joanna Collicutt McGrath (2007). The Dawkins Delusion?. Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. ISBN 0-281-05927-6.
- Hahn, Scott; Benjamin Wiker (2008). Answering the New Atheism: Dismantling Dawkins' Case Against God. ISBN 978-1931018487.
Documentaries and debates
- Nice Guys Finish First (1987)
- The Blind Watchmaker (1987)
- Growing Up In The Universe (1991)
- Break the Science Barrier (1996)
- The Root of All Evil? (2006)
- The Enemies of Reason (2007)
On September 30, 2007, Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens discussed their views on atheism and religion, amongst themselves. The talk was filmed and entitled Discussions with Richard Dawkins, Episode One: The Four Horsemen. Episode Two in the series, a short segment of which has already been released, will feature a 90-minute conversation between Dawkins and PZ Myers.
a. ^ W. D. Hamilton hugely influenced Dawkins and the influence can be seen throughout Dawkins' book The Selfish Gene. They became friends at Oxford and following Hamilton's death in 2000, Dawkins wrote his obituary and organised a secular memorial service.
b. ^ The debate ended with the motion "That the doctrine of creation is more valid than the theory of evolution" being defeated by 198 votes to 15, according to a report reproduced on the American Association for the Advancement of Science site. However, the voice of the teller of the vote on the video is not clear enough to discern the exact number of persons in support of the motion.
- ↑ The Simonyi Professorship Home Page. The University of Oxford. Retrieved on 2008-03-08.
- ↑ The Third Culture: Richard Dawkins. Edge.org. Retrieved on 2008-03-08.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Smith, Alexandra. "Dawkins campaigns to keep God out of classroom", The Guardian, November 27, 2006. Retrieved on 2007-01-15.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Chittenden, Maurice, Waite, Roger. "Dawkins to preach atheism to US", The Sunday Times, December 23, 2007. Retrieved on 2008-04-01.
- ↑ Persuad, Raj. "Holy visions elude scientists", The Daily Telegraph, 2003-03-20. Retrieved on 2008-04-17.
- ↑ Why I am a secular humanist. The University of Oxford. Retrieved on 2008-03-13.
- ↑ Hitchens, Christopher (2007). God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. Twelve Books, 5. ISBN 0-446-57980-7.
- ↑ Hall, Stephen S. (2005-08-09). Darwin's Rottweiler. Discover magazine. Retrieved on 2008-03-22.
- ↑ Mohler, R. Albert (September 9, 2005). "Darwin's Rottweiler" -- Richard Dawkins Speaks His Mind. AlbertMohler.com. Retrieved on 2008-03-22.
- ↑ Dawkins, Richard (2006). The God Delusion. Transworld Publishers, 5. ISBN 0-5930-5548-9.
- ↑ Richard Dawkins - Science and the New Atheism. Richard Dawkins at Point of Inquiry (2007-12-08). Retrieved on 2008-03-14.
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 12.7 12.8 Curriculum vitae of Richard Dawkins. The University of Oxford. Retrieved on 2008-03-13.
- ↑ Catalano, John (1995). Biography of Richard Dawkins. The University of Oxford. Retrieved on 2006-01-29.
- ↑ "Richard Dawkins: The foibles of faith", BBC News, 2001-10-12. Retrieved on 2008-03-13.
- ↑ Hattenstone, Simon. "Darwin's child", The Guardian, February 10, 2003. Retrieved on 2008-04-22.
- ↑ Dawkins has written amusingly about the "mixture of swagger and lumbering roll", which as a student of animal behaviour he now recognises as a "dominance display", adopted by the senior boys at Oundle as they entered the chapel. Dawkins' father dubbed this gait "the Oundle roll". The Ancestor's Tale, p 227.
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 Schrage, Michael (July, 1995). Revolutionary Evolutionist. Wired. Retrieved on 2008-04-21.
- ↑ Dawkins, Richard (1969). "A threshold model of choice behaviour". Animal Behaviour 17. doi:10.1016/0003-3472(69)90120-1.
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 19.2 "Belief" interview. BBC (April 5, 2004). Retrieved on 2008-04-08.
- ↑ Simonyi, Charles (1995-05-15). Manifesto for the Simonyi Professorship. The University of Oxford. Retrieved on 2008-03-13.
- ↑ The Current Simonyi Professor: Richard Dawkins. The University of Oxford. Retrieved on 2008-03-13.
- ↑ Growing Up in the Universe: 2-Disc DVD Set. RichardDawkins.net (April 2, 2007). Retrieved on 2008-04-23.
- ↑ Editorial Board. The Skeptics' Society. Retrieved on 2008-04-22.
- ↑ The Dawkins Prize for Animal Conservation and Welfare. Balliol College, Oxford (November 9, 2007). Retrieved on 2008-03-30.
- ↑ Dawkins, Richard. Charles Simonyi Professorship in the Public Understanding of Science. RichardDawkins.net. Retrieved on 2008-03-29.
- ↑ Charles Simonyi Professorship in the Public Understanding of Science - post advertisement. The University of Oxford. Retrieved on 2008-03-29.
- ↑ Riddell, Mary. "Eating people is wrong", New Statesman, March 26, 1999. Retrieved on 2008-03-13.
- ↑ McKie, Robin. "Doctor Zoo", The Guardian, July 25, 2004. Retrieved on 2008-03-17.
- ↑ Moreton, Cole. "Russell T Davies: Return of the (tea) Time Lord", The Independent, April 6, 2008. Retrieved on 2008-04-08.
- ↑ Dawkins, Richard (2006). The God Delusion. Transworld Publishers, 169–172. ISBN 0-5930-5548-9.
- ↑ Hamilton, W.D. (1964). "The genetical evolution of social behaviour I and II". Journal of Theoretical Biology 7: 1–16, 17–52.
- ↑ Trivers, Robert (1971). "The evolution of reciprocal altruism". Quarterly Review of Biology 46: 35–57.
- ↑ Dover, Gabriel (2000). Dear Mr Darwin. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 0-7538-1127-8.
- ↑ Williams, George C. (1966). Adaptation and Natural Selection. United States: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-02615-7.
- ↑ Mayr, Ernst (2000). What Evolution Is. Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-04426-3.
- ↑ Brown, Andrew (1999). The Darwin Wars: How stupid genes became selfish genes. London: Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0-684-85144-X.
- ↑ Morris, Richard (2001). The Evolutionists. W. H. Freeman. ISBN 071674094X.
- ↑ Dawkins, Richard (January 24, 1985), "Sociobiology: the debate continues", New Scientist, <http://www.simonyi.ox.ac.uk/dawkins/WorldOfDawkins-archive/Dawkins/Work/Reviews/1985-01-24notinourgenes.shtml>. Retrieved on 2008-04-03
- ↑ Dennett, Daniel (1995). Darwin's Dangerous Idea. United States: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-684-80290-2.
- ↑ Dawkins, Richard (1989). The Selfish Gene, 2nd ed., United Kingdom: Oxford University Press, 11. ISBN 0-19-286092-5.
- ↑ Kelly, Kevin (1994). Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, and the Economic World. United States: Addison-Wesley, 360. ISBN 0-201-48340-8.
- ↑ Blackmore, Susan (1999). The Meme Machine. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-286212-X.
- ↑ Midgley, Mary (2000). Science and Poetry. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-27632-2.
- ↑ Midgley, Mary, "Gene Juggling", Philosophy 54 (210): 439–458, <http://www.royalinstitutephilosophy.org/articles/article.php?id=14>. Retrieved on 2008-03-18
- ↑ Dawkins, Richard, "In Defence of Selfish Genes", Philosophy 56: 556–573, <http://www.royalinstitutephilosophy.org/articles/article.php?id=5>. Retrieved on 2008-03-17
- ↑ "The Man Behind the Meme: An interview with Richard Dawkins", Slate, December 1, 2004, <http://www.slate.com/Default.aspx?id=2110249&>. Retrieved on 2008-03-17
- ↑ 47.0 47.1 Laurent, John (1999), A Note on the Origin of 'Memes'/'Mnemes', vol. 3, Journal of Memetics, pp. 14–19, <http://cfpm.org/jom-emit/1999/vol3/laurent_j.html>. Retrieved on 2008-03-17
- ↑ Dawkins, Richard. A scientist's view. The Guardian. Retrieved on 2008-04-03.
- ↑ Catalano, John. Book: The Blind Watchmaker. The University of Oxford. Retrieved on 2008-02-28.
- ↑ Dawkins, Richard (2003). A Devil's Chaplain. Houghton Mifflin, 256. ISBN 0-618-33540-4.
- ↑ Moyers, Bill (December 3, 2004). Now with Bill Moyers. Public Broadcasting Service. Retrieved on 2006-01-29.
- ↑ Dawkins, Richard and Coyne, Jerry (September 1, 2005). One side can be wrong. The Guardian. Retrieved on 2006-12-21.
- ↑ Swinford, Steven (November 19, 2006). Godless Dawkins challenges schools. The Times. Retrieved on 2008-04-03.
- ↑ Our Honorary Associates. National Secular Society (2005). Retrieved on 2007-04-21.
- ↑ The HSS Today. The Humanist Society of Scotland (2007). Retrieved on 2008-04-03.
- ↑ The International Academy Of Humanism - Humanist Laureates. Council for Secular Humanism. Retrieved on 2008-04-07.
- ↑ The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry - Fellows. The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Retrieved on 2008-04-07.
- ↑ Humanism and Its Aspirations - Notable Signers. American Humanist Association. Retrieved on 2008-04-07.
- ↑ Sheahen, Laura (October, 2005). The Problem with God: Interview with Richard Dawkins (2). Beliefnet.com. Retrieved on 2008-04-11.
- ↑ Interview with Richard Dawkins. PBS. Retrieved on 2008-04-12.
- ↑ 61.0 61.1 Dawkins, Richard (January/February 1997). Is Science a Religion?. American Humanist Association. Retrieved on 2008-03-15.
- ↑ Dawkins, Richard. "Religion's misguided missiles", The Guardian, September 15, 2001. Retrieved on 2008-04-13.
- ↑ Hall, Stephen S. (2005-08-09). Darwin's Rottweiler. Discover magazine. Retrieved on 2008-03-22.
- ↑ Biema, David Van (November 5, 2006). God Vs. Science. Time. Retrieved on 2008-04-07.
- ↑ Dawkins, Richard (2006). The Root of All Evil?. Channel 4. Retrieved on 2008-04-13.
- ↑ Dawkins, Richard (2006). The God Delusion. Transworld Publishers, 282-286. ISBN 0-5930-5548-9.
- ↑ "Dawkins: I'm a cultural Christian", BBC News, December 10, 2007. Retrieved on 2008-03-01.
- ↑ Dawkins, Richard (April 11, 2006). Atheists for Jesus. RichardDawkins.net. Retrieved on 2008-03-15.
- ↑ Odoyo, Peter (July 16, 2007). The Death of Religion And Rise of Atheism in the West. The Nation. Retrieved on 2008-03-15.
- ↑ Burkowitz, Peter (July 16, 2007). The New New Atheism. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved on 2008-03-15.
- ↑ The God Delusion - Reviews. RichardDawkins.net. Retrieved on 2008-04-08.
- ↑ 72.0 72.1 Dawkins, Richard (2006). The God Delusion, 3. ISBN 0-618-68000-4.
- ↑ 73.0 73.1 73.2 Dawkins, Richard (June 21, 2003). The future looks bright. The Guardian. Retrieved on 2008-03-13.
- ↑ "The Jeremy Vine Show", BBC Radio 2, January 5, 2006. Retrieved on 2008-04-11.
- ↑ Jacobson, Howard (November 11, 2001). Nothing like an unimaginative scientist to get non-believers running back to God. The Independent. Retrieved on 2007-03-27.
- ↑ Ferguson, Ron (January 19, 2006). What a lazy way to argue against God. The Herald. Retrieved on 2008-04-03.
- ↑ Dawkins, Richard (January 30, 2006). Diary - Richard Dawkins. New Statesman. Retrieved on 2007-03-25.
- ↑ Richard Dawkins and Alister McGrath Root of All Evil? Uncut Interviews. RichardDawkins.net (May 31, 2007). Retrieved on 2007-10-10.
- ↑ McGrath, Alister (2004). Dawkins' God: Genes, Memes, and the Meaning of Life. Oxford, England: Blackwell Publishing, 81. ISBN 1-405-12538-1.
- ↑ Dawkins, Richard (September 17, 2007). Do you have to read up on leprechology before disbelieving in them?. RichardDawkins.net. Retrieved on 2007-11-14.
- ↑ Myers, PZ (December 24, 2006). The Courtier's Reply. Pharyngula. Retrieved on 2007-11-14.
- ↑ Cole, Judith (March 26, 2007). Richard Dawkins at The Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival. The Times. Retrieved on 2008-03-04.
- ↑ Cole, Judith (October 19, 2006). Flawed case for the prosecution. The Tablet. Retrieved on 2008-03-04.
- ↑ Huxley, John (May 24, 2007). Aiming for knockout blow in god wars. The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved on 2007-05-27.
- ↑ Easterbrook, Gregg. Does God Believe in Richard Dawkins?. Beliefnet. Retrieved on 2007-05-26.
- ↑ Is God a Delusion?. Radio 3, Hong Kong (April 04, 2007).
- ↑ Dawkins, Richard (2006). The God Delusion, 50. ISBN 0-618-68000-4.
- ↑ Van Biema, David (November 5, 2006). God vs. Science. Time. Retrieved on 2008-04-03.
- ↑ Jha, Alok (May 29, 2007). Scientists divided over alliance with religion. The Guardian. Retrieved on 2008-03-17.
- ↑ Dawkins, Richard (2006). When Religion Steps on Science's Turf. Free Inquiry magazine. Retrieved on 2008-04-03.
- ↑ Dawkins, Richard (2006). The God Delusion, 55–56. ISBN 0-618-68000-4.
- ↑ Dawkins, Richard (2006). The God Delusion, 99. ISBN 0-618-68000-4.
- ↑ Crace, John (January 10, 2006). Richard Dawkins: Beyond belief. The Guardian. Retrieved on 2008-04-03.
- ↑ Ruse, Michael (2000). Double-Dealing in Darwin. Beliefnet. Retrieved on 2008-04-03.
- ↑ Belief - radio interview. BBC Radio (2004). Retrieved on 2008-04-03.
- ↑ The Atheist: interview with Gordy Slack. Salon.com (April 28, 2005). Retrieved on 2008-04-03.
- ↑ Bearder, Tim (March 24, 2006). BBC Oxford interview. FT Magazine. Retrieved on 2007-05-25.
- ↑ 98.0 98.1 Our Mission. The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. Retrieved on 2006-11-17.
- ↑ The Out Campaign (original announcement). RichardDawkins.net (2007-07-30). Retrieved on 2008-04-01.
- ↑ Dawkins, Richard (October 24, 2007). Richard Dawkins speech at Atheist Alliance International Convention 2007. The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. RichardDawkins.net. Retrieved on 2008-04-01.
- ↑ Dawkins, Richard (1998). Unweaving The Rainbow. United Kingdom: Penguin, 4–7. ISBN 0-618-05673-4.
- ↑ Diamond, John (2001). Snake Oil and Other Preoccupations. United Kingdom: Vintage. ISBN 0-099-42833-4.
- ↑ Dawkins, Richard (2003). A Devil's Chaplain. United States: Houghton Mifflin, 58. ISBN 0-618-33540-4.
- ↑ The Selfish Green. RichardDawkins.net (April 2, 2007). Retrieved on 2008-04-22.
- ↑ Dawkins, Richard (1989). The Selfish Gene, 2nd ed., United Kingdom: Oxford University Press, 213. ISBN 0-19-286092-5.
- ↑ (1993) The Great Ape Project. United Kingdom: Fourth Estate. ISBN 0-312-1181-8.
- ↑ Dawkins, Richard. "Bin Laden's victory", The Guardian, March 22, 2003. Retrieved on 2008-03-15.
- ↑ Dawkins, Richard. "While we have your attention, Mr President...", The Guardian, November 18, 2003. Retrieved on 2008-03-16.
- ↑ The Enemies of Reason. Channel 4 (August, 2007). Retrieved on 2008-04-13.
- ↑ "Durham salutes science, Shakespeare and social inclusion", Durham News & Events Service, August 26, 2005. Retrieved on 2006-04-11.
- ↑ "Q&A: Richard Dawkins", BBC News, July 29, 2004. Retrieved on 2008-03-09.
- ↑ Herman, David (2004). Public Intellectuals Poll. Prospect magazine. Retrieved on 2008-03-09.
- ↑ The Top 100 Public Intellectuals. Prospect magazine. Retrieved on 2008-04-22.
- ↑ Galaxy British Book Awards - Winners & Shortlists 2007. Publishing News (2007). Retrieved on April 21, 2007.
- ↑ Behe, Michael. Time Top 100. TIME. Retrieved on 2008-03-02.
- ↑ Stiftung, Giordano Bruno (May 28, 2007). Deschner-Preis an Richard Dawkins. Humanisticher Pressedienst. Retrieved on 2008-04-04.
- ↑ Slack, Gordy (2005-04-30). The atheist. Salon. Retrieved on 2007-08-03.
- ↑ Neyfakh, Leon. "Richard Dawkins' Follow-Up to God Delusion Sold to Free Press for $3.5 Million", The New York Observer, February 7, 2008. Retrieved on 2008-03-04.
- ↑ Discussions with Richard Dawkins, Episode One: The Four Horsemen. RichardDawkins.net. Retrieved on 2008-03-08.
- ↑ Discussion on PZ Myers being expelled from Expelled. RichardDawkins.net. Retrieved on 2008-03-27.
- ↑ Dawkins, Richard. "Obituary by Richard Dawkins", The Independent, October 3, 2000. Retrieved on 2008-03-22.
- ↑ 1986 Oxford Union Debate: Richard Dawkins, John Maynard Smith. RichardDawkins.net. Retrieved on 2007-05-10. Debate downloadable as MP3 files.
- Official website
- The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science
- The Current Simonyi Professor: Richard Dawkins
- TED Talks: Richard Dawkins Speech – An atheist's call to arms.
- Template:Imdb name
- Richard Dawkins Resource Page – links to videos that include Richard Dawkins, with thumbnails and descriptions.
- Livejournal community dedicated to discussing Dawkins' ideas and activities
- Viruses of the Mind (1993) – Religion as a mental virus.
- The Real Romance in the Stars (1995) – A critical view of astrology.
- The Emptiness of Theology (1998) – A critical view of theology.
- Snake Oil and Holy Water (1999) – Dawkins claims that there is no convergence occurring between science and theism.
- What Use is Religion? (2004) – Suggests that religion may have no survival value other than to itself.
- Race and Creation (2004) – On race, its usage and a theory of how it evolved.
- The giant tortoise's tale, The turtle's tale and The lava lizard's tale (2005) – A series of three articles written after a visit to the Galápagos Islands.
- Dawkins' Huffington Post articles
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Dawkins, Clinton Richard|
|SHORT DESCRIPTION||Evolutionary theorist, atheist, humanist, and sceptic|
|DATE OF BIRTH||March 26, 1941|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Nairobi, Kenya|
|DATE OF DEATH|
|PLACE OF DEATH|
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