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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Tuesday's Connector of the Day – Richard Dawkins

November 23rd, 2009
04:31 PM ET

Fervent atheist and anti-creationist, Richard Dawkins is often referred to as "Charles Darwin's rottweiler." He has torn into the religious establishment with his claim that God is a delusion. It seems the British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and author will stop at nothing to provoke intelligent and honest debate about the truth of our existence.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/21/art.dawkins.jpg caption="Richard Dawkins is marking the 150th anniversary of Charles Darwin's 'On the Origin of Species'"]

His writings have inspired and angered many a reader – and now he's back with more.

Dawkins’ latest book “The Greatest Show on Earth" offers scientific evidence as proof to back-up his own theory of evolution. Like his other writings, he has provoked a mass of rebuttals. The Christian-evangelical group, Living Waters, has recently countered Dawkins’ book with an unlikely source of its own. It has re-released Darwin’s manuscript with a new 54 page foreword penned by the group’s president Ray Comfort that refutes Darwin’s theory of evolution.

This Tuesday marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species.” Dawkins joins us again as our Connector of the Day – so don't miss the opportunity to ask him about Darwin’s most celebrated and much-debated manuscript.

Send us your comments below.

soundoff (184 Responses)
  1. Vinay

    Dear Dawkins,

    I am a recovering religious person. Though I am very certain of the fact that God has no role to play in my life I frequently slip into a prayer or request to God, sometimes just after I have realised how foolish it is. Is this natural? have you experienced something similar ? what would be your remedy for such a thing? Thank you very much.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:55 am | Reply
  2. James Scott

    What is your stance on why Christians, and other creationists can not believe also that human beings were created by God, and also evolved from that original creation? Because, I am a Christian, and I do believe that God created us however, I also think that since that point of creation, we have evolved in many different ways. God created us in his image and even if you look in the Bible, God changes his stance on issues as the text goes on.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:58 am | Reply
  3. T1Brit

    'Darwin's rottweiller' 'Will stop at nothing' – These are the lazy and cheap little tags that Dawkins must allow to be pinned on him.

    He simply stands up for the truth, and for reason, and for scientific method rather than superstitious mumbo-jumbo and this is how he is treated?

    People like Ray Comfort and his 'Living waters' ( poisoned waters ) are not fit to lick Dawkins' boots. Long may he continue to defend the legacy of Darwin and the marvelous gift of reason.

    November 24, 2009 at 11:06 am | Reply
  4. Brenda

    It is a pity that one of the greatest history books, the Bible, which has never been denied, all evidence point to its integrity, is not accepted for it's purpose. The saddest part the more brilliant the mind, the less they understand, that God is love. The violence of the world is man's choice, not God's, freedom of choice is give to all, but it's up to you to choose your path. May you one day wake up to the truth.

    November 24, 2009 at 11:18 am | Reply
  5. Michiel

    Dear sir,

    Regardless of my beliefs, I think it is great that someone like you works to keep the church separated from the state. It is also good that an atheist stands up and expresses his feelings about the inequality in which atheists are treated.

    However, I would like to ask you why do you feel the need to attack religious people so directly? By asking atheists to unite and form a group as well are you not doing the same as Christians? When saying that their God does not exist do you not do the same as them when they say that non-believers are outcasts?

    In short: would you agree with the statement that the atheist's power lies in not entering the religion discussion?

    November 24, 2009 at 11:19 am | Reply
  6. Alan Perlman

    Darwin propose a theory of gradual evolution when the current theory of the origin of the univers was that the universe was eternal and steady state. With the big bang established as fact, even Scientific American retracted George Wald's article that "time is the hero of the story" and acknowledged that there just was not enough time for evolution as Dawin proposed. And we also know that there were sudden emergences, not gradual evolution. How can you still support Darwin? And given the fine tuning of the universe, the replacement of Determinism with the Uncertainty Principle and Quantum Entanglement, and the creation of life going against the natural laws of entropy (and requiring the introduction of more information into a closed system), how can you be so ceertain that there is no G-d?

    November 24, 2009 at 11:20 am | Reply
  7. Peter

    There are things in this universe which are outside the scope of Dawkins and Darwin. They cannot in terms of their "scientific experience" explain ideas like ambition, anxiety, greed, philosphy, theology, love, hatred, morals, ethics, etc.

    Personally, to briefly extrapulate their vague propositions, I think they are juveniles when they speak their doctrine about God and things unknown, even about things unknown to them.

    Before they get personal about matters of religion, they should stick to their knitting, and explain the unknown according to their extreme scarcity of knowledge and facts.

    November 24, 2009 at 11:20 am | Reply
  8. Mel

    I have a question.....
    Mr. Dawkins, if evolution took place without the control of a Creator, if we are the product of millions of years of random, mindless development, then how do you explain that human beings are THE ONLY species that can talk, reason, and build things? I am no scientist, so please excuse me if the question is not in the "scientific" language to which you are used. I cannot honestly believe that out of millions of species in just our planet (we still have no evidence of life in oute space), and after millions of years of "evolution" the only species that came out as the indisputable master of the planet is the human race. Don't you think that it is impossible for evolution, or at least a god-less evolution, is mathematically impossible?

    November 24, 2009 at 11:21 am | Reply
  9. Deepanjan Nag

    When or which kind of scientific discovery will make the theists take stock of reality and compel them to do a rethink about the existence of God? How far can the human intellect go in denying ideas just because they contradict their own faith?
    Do you think one way to promote rational thinking is by stopping religious subscription from being enforced by default on newborns? Wouldn't it be nice if children are brought up in a secular environment and given the choice to choose 'their' religion after coming of age?

    November 24, 2009 at 11:24 am | Reply
  10. Mel

    This is in response to some of the posted comments.

    Do you call "reason" to accept a theory that leaves so many questions unansweredl? It sounds more like bitter hatred of a specific groups. Organized atheists are no better than the Inquisition or the Nazis.

    November 24, 2009 at 11:27 am | Reply
  11. Edmund

    Would you agree that we believe in the manner we do because of our biological makeup?

    Specifically the brain. It occurs to me that we are unique obviously and since the brain dictates behavior. Shortly put that some people are more logical and hence they will look for answers in science while others naturally are more emotional and in turn look towards faith.

    The reason I think so is when I read a story about a brain doctor that had a stroke herself. She spoke about what would happen to a person should one half of your brain become paralyzed. These extreme situations prove the outcome. Now people are not born 100% left or right brained, however the slight difference in it from the start could be the main reason for that person's belief in my opinion.

    November 24, 2009 at 11:29 am | Reply
  12. Bala Bhaskar

    On chapter 11 on "The Greatest Show on Earth" you talk about the recurrent laryngeal nerve in humans and giraffes and how it takes a ridiculous detour. Are there any other potentially dangerous evolutionary mistakes like these in humans? Can religion be considered one such mistake where, the marginal cost of passing on such behavior is little, compared to a major upheaval of rewiring neurons in our brain.

    November 24, 2009 at 11:30 am | Reply
  13. Bou Peters

    Given the incomprehensible time span over which the universe including the earth and life has developed, why would Darwin be important or the evolution theory for that matter? Surely on such an immense scale that would be totally irrelevant?

    November 24, 2009 at 11:31 am | Reply
  14. monkey man

    Dr. Dawkins:

    While a nearly universal belief in God (or deities) may not prove God’s existence, doesn’t it prove to you that evolution endowed us with deep spiritual sense because such a psychological adaption has helped ensure survival of our species? If so, isn’t your suggesting to people that they should be atheists asking them to do something as counter-instinctual as not experiencing fear, joy or love?

    November 24, 2009 at 11:34 am | Reply
  15. Jayaraman

    Recently, the beautifully preserved remains of a 47-millionyear-
    old, lemur-like creature have been unveiled in the US.
    The preservation is so good, it is possible to see the outline
    of its fur and even traces of its last meal. The fossil,
    nicknamed Ida, is claimed to be a "missing link" between
    today's higher primates – monkeys, apes and humans – and
    more distant relatives. Man does not relish being told that
    he is part of the evolution process having monkeys and apes
    as an ancestor. However he does not mind behaving like one.
    Man is proud of his achievements in scientific discovery and
    exploration of space and would rather remain in the make
    belief fantasy of he having created the universe. If one of
    today's monkeys decides to blow the atomic weapon in his
    possession, imagine a few survivors on this planet who starts
    the evolution process by surviving difficult climate and
    conditions to become an Ida, a Lucy, a monkey, an ape and
    then a man 47 million years from now. Man has not emerged
    from ape but it is the other way round. Isn't it, Mr. Dawkins?

    November 24, 2009 at 11:35 am | Reply
  16. Ken

    My question is: How does evolution prove there is no God? If anything, it would point to an intelligent being who designed the universe in such a complex and marvelous way so as to change, adjust, and evolve as needed. And, as you go further and further back in evolutionary time, how does the theory answer where matter came from? At some point, it seems, there needs to be a start and there needs to be something to start with. Where did that start come from? What was there before that start? How did that start actually get started?

    November 24, 2009 at 11:37 am | Reply
  17. Edward B.

    I am not going to argue the point of where there is a God or not I am a firm Believer in Christ my Lord and savior because he live with in me, and that settles it for me because once our Lord chooses to dwell within a believer there is no turning back you can no longer deny Him or His existence. I pray for those who chooses not to believe. God will never take our freedom of choice from us. Its not a matter of Good and Bad its a matter of who you believe in. May you choice life someday.
    A believer Ed.

    November 24, 2009 at 11:38 am | Reply
  18. kevin

    Dr. Dawkins,
    Could you tell me why you think altruism is "moral", and why you don't think it is an ethical code invented to subordinate people for political reasons? In one of your books, you try to explain how altruism is an evolutionary moral code for perhaps biological reasons. Could it not have evolved and be so prevalent because it serves the interest of some particular group over another?

    November 24, 2009 at 11:38 am | Reply
  19. Markusmaximus III

    Just wondering what percentage of the population you believe would be religious today if it wasn't "taught" to people as a kid or fed by parents?

    November 24, 2009 at 11:40 am | Reply
  20. AM

    Growing up in Oklahoma, my little brother was once harassed and kicked on a school bus when several kids found out he did not believe in God. Shockingly, there were zero repercussions for the kids on the bus. Had it been a religious child being harassed for his religion, I believe people would have been outraged.

    What can we do to make sure atheists get the same protection and respect in society as religious people?

    November 24, 2009 at 11:41 am | Reply
  21. Carl


    "...the Bible, which has never been denied"
    Wrong, countless people deny the Bible every day. For example, atheists and members of non-Abrahamic religions.

    "The saddest part the more brilliant the mind, the less they understand, that God is love."
    Or perhaps the more brilliant minds are right. Could you be wrong? I could be. Dawkins could be. We have the modesty to consider that possibility. Are you modest enough to consider that the billions of people who are not Christians might be right?

    November 24, 2009 at 11:42 am | Reply
  22. Alan Roberts

    As a convinced Christian and a geoscientist I see no reason why the evolutionary description of how life may have come about and the action of a creator God instigating and maintaining that process. I respect other Christians who hold to a different view of the Genesis account, but to me it is clear that this is an account designed to inform in language which all can understand that God created the universe and life in stages and that we are the pinnacle of that creation with God-given authority to rule over and shepherd that creation. Science by it's very essence can only describe how things work since it is fundamentally based on observation. Evolutionary theory is a description of how things seem to work. To make a logical leap and say God exists or not purely from that description is folly. To come to an understanding of our meaning and the 'why' of things we can only rely on God to intervene in his creation and show us. To me, the Biblical account is precisely that intervention. Likewise Christians should never be afraid of scientific discovery in that we are only observing that which the Lord has created and it's beautiful and exciting!

    November 24, 2009 at 11:44 am | Reply
  23. Kathleen

    Edmund, your question is well thought. There is a discussion about "the Bicameral Mind" which is facinating and you might enjoy it. The concepts are precisely what you are thinking...there is a short version in a wonderful text on brain and mind called "Maps of the Mind." I saw the professor on the TED lectures ( Online and you can see her lecture as well.) Extraordinary work! Keep thinking.

    November 24, 2009 at 11:44 am | Reply
  24. Patrick

    Does it not seem deceitful that evangelicals feel compelled to hijack an aging text and insidiously distribute it out to students?

    Professor Dawkins may be controversial but he is honest. Ray Comfort, on the other hand, should be ashamed.

    November 24, 2009 at 11:46 am | Reply
  25. Ignacio Taboada MD

    I know, as a psychiatrist, it is imposible to win a discussion between two ideas being both reinforced by the beliefs adquired during your chidhood.
    Have you ever heard of a Democrat win a discussion againts a Republican on politics? or vice versa; or a Yankee´s fan and a Boston Red Sox fan on baseball?
    But if you use reason, the simple idea of the existence of a superior "being" is inadmisible.
    Every specie is at the top of it´s own evolution line. Humas are not superior over any other specie.

    November 24, 2009 at 11:48 am | Reply
  26. Robert

    Statements like "I believe in God" or "I don't believe in God" distract us from the really interesting question. "Who am I?". The question is profound and its investigation does not require the special abilities of scientists such as Dr. Dawkins, nor the dogma of any organised religion. Does Dr.Dawkins believe that this line of self-inquiry can lead to new understanding of the nature of reality? I am grateful for the efforts of scientists who are looking into the origins of man and the universe. Awed by their discoveries, scientists write books which seem to present these investigations as an alternative and more progressive form of worship, for want of a better word. Take any of these rational, objective and scientific pathways, whether on the cosmological or quantum scale, and your way is eventually blocked by a mirror. Any path which leads to such an encounter is valid and must be honored.

    November 24, 2009 at 11:51 am | Reply
  27. Tom Colbert

    How can a country so advanced and forward thinking as the US, produce people who refuse to accept a scientific fact. How can you live your life based on an ancient book for which there is not a shread of proof to show it is based on anything other than stories created by the writers. I am forever dumbfounded.

    November 24, 2009 at 11:51 am | Reply
  28. Vladimir

    Humans are not the only "species that can talk, reason, and build things?". We are just the FIRST.

    November 24, 2009 at 11:51 am | Reply
  29. akstom

    I think he has to look into the mirror and tocuh his face and tell "I am evolved " out of random, mindless evolution and my parents are simply learned to know how to produce me in that evolution process. I think the creator will speak to him at that moment only!!. Those who deny god is fool-This was told in the sense to address the follishness to accept the sim[ple truth that you are not simply exists and you are created by the almighty.

    November 24, 2009 at 11:52 am | Reply
  30. Kim Armstrong

    I'd like to see the atheist evolutionists admit that there is a difference between theory and fact. Evolution is a theory which stemmed from the opinion that there is no God. It is taught as fact in our schools and no debate is allowed. Let's be honest–evolution is atheist religion masquerading (not very convincingly) as science. Personally, the more you study real science, the more faith is required to believe in evolution.

    November 24, 2009 at 11:52 am | Reply
  31. Joseph

    I am ardent fan of Professor Dawkins and I think he has a point in most of the issues he talks about. The only thing is you cannot disprove the existence of God but this God story has been used to exploit too many people in Africa. It is time Africans looked at the evidence rather than the mere faith in something that seems to send us backwards.

    November 24, 2009 at 11:53 am | Reply
  32. kingsley

    There certainly are puzzles about life....things unexplanable within time and space....things that can only be appreciated on planes higher the our present diamensions.

    One thing is certain, neither Religion nor atheism has the answer.

    This said, i would leave you both to cancel each other out....it doesn't make any difference.

    Life isn't gonna stop rolling for both group to comprehend. Continue in your squables....at least it would feel the gap you've created by closing your minds to original ideas.

    November 24, 2009 at 11:53 am | Reply
  33. June

    Zeus & Hera and all the gods around them were strongly believed by civilization for hundreds of years before christianity came along. I wonder what kind of gods people will be believing in in the year 4000 and if as many people will die in the name of that new religion.

    November 24, 2009 at 11:55 am | Reply
  34. Richard

    I'm surprised that the author of a book that "... is not an anti-religious book" spends so much time, effort, and space debunking religion.

    Dawkins bemoans the fact that people were smarter, once upon a time, and throws out increasingly seething remarks in each chapter.
    He makes Clarence Darrow look like a toy poodle.

    November 24, 2009 at 11:55 am | Reply
  35. Mike Thompson

    What exactly is God? If God was the creator, then who created God?

    November 24, 2009 at 11:56 am | Reply
  36. Mawushi NUTAKOR

    Dera Richard Dawkins, Is it not fair to say that both Science and
    Religion believe in some REALITY whose Cause or Origin is unknown or as yet unaccounted for? Science calls it Energy or Matter and Religion calls it Spirit or God. Science does not say what is before the big bang nor where energy commes from, but claims that energy is neither created nor destroyed. Religion claims God or spirit created everything else but was not created itself. Dont both claims look quite the same to a great extent? The only difference is that Science talks about Energy (notwithstanding the progressive understanding we have of it) and Religion talks about a Great Spirit (notwithstanding how God is personified and qualified according to the different religious traditions). In fact therefore, we would gain more from a harmonious approach to the Truth by both Sources of human Knowledge based on rational reasoning for what ever conclusions we draw form the investigation.
    Rewligion and science should not compete. They should work hand in hand based on a new investigative approach to truth (which will always be relative and progressive) which I challenge you to establish.

    November 24, 2009 at 11:57 am | Reply
  37. Kevork Oskanian

    By reducing the debate around God to one between creationism and Darwinism, Dawkins and his detractors create red herrings and straw men that reduce arguments to the lowest common denominator. Both sides, in different ways, confound the RESULTS of creation with creation itself and end up arguing patent nonsense, one side basing itself on the dogmas of scripture, the other on the hubris of science.

    I for one am a firm believer in evolution; but at the same time, I don't see how this obviates or somehow invalidates my equally firm belief in a Supreme Being, or Supreme Entity, or, in Aristotle's terms, an 'unmoved mover'.

    November 24, 2009 at 11:57 am | Reply
  38. Nietzsche

    The best receipy for overcoing religious convictions is reading the Bible.
    – God commits the biggest genocide of all times (deluge)
    – Moses ordered the massacre of 3000 men women and children
    – Abraham was obviously schizophrenic
    – St. Paul was the first anitsemite
    – St. John of Patmos was a Osama bin Ladin style hater of Rome

    and this goes on anon and on.....

    November 24, 2009 at 12:00 pm | Reply
  39. Robert

    Possibly we are not the FIRST, more likely we are the only ones now.

    November 24, 2009 at 12:02 pm | Reply
  40. Paolo

    What amazes me is that no one seems to have noticed that the Catholic Church is not against evolution, as it isn't contradicting creation in any way.

    I read Dawkins. I studied a bit of philosophy as well.

    I am a catholic evolutionist, you could say. But I found myself comparing Dawkins' analytical skills to those of any of the greek philosophers who lived 2400-2100 years ago.

    Believe you me, it made me doubt the fact that man evolved at all.

    November 24, 2009 at 12:05 pm | Reply
  41. Louis K

    Dear Dawkins

    The courage and commitment you have displayed in furtherance of the human intellect is commendable.

    While I hesitate in labeling your rhetoric as strident or shrill, I am slightly concerned that the confrontational and denigrative tone have been counter-productive in promoting the public embrace of science and encouraging the eschewing of religious beliefs.

    It appears those in the religious camps have reacted by entrenching themselves deeper in their orthodoxy. The human condition is that we loathe to be proven wrong, especially in such forthright and offensive manner as you have been.

    Perhaps a new approach is needed; one that is less confrontational. I am confident that if we were educate the public on the scientific pursuit without , the faithful flock will gradually witness the improbability and primitivity of religion.

    In short, let us expend our effort in making science more accessible to the uninitiated public, and allow the people to discover for themselves the foolishness of religious beliefs in light of what science has discovered.

    Forget the disparaging diatribe against religion and concentrate on the science.

    What do you think?

    November 24, 2009 at 12:07 pm | Reply
  42. Akobe

    Well done Professor Dawkins !!
    May be in future we will be able to talk to plants, insects. At the moment, progress is coming up with cats, dogs, horses etc. Who knows, Professor Dawkins may get nobels price from Norway in future.

    November 24, 2009 at 12:09 pm | Reply
  43. sam sam

    Richard Dawkins has only an abilityt o think within his capasity. There are many thounsands natural questions that are beyong his ability. Let somebody come out with better theories, God is God, and HE is supernatural in nature.

    November 24, 2009 at 12:12 pm | Reply
  44. Þorsteinn Halldorsson

    Thank you for being so forward and holding the torch for all of us who have been discriminated for so long on our nonbelief. Humans have to start waking up to the ridiculousness of religion and its injustices. I realize we are only 200 years from burning witches and some still believe and do, but every step to humanity and not false religious hope and prophets is a good one.
    Keep up the good work.

    November 24, 2009 at 12:15 pm | Reply
  45. Paolo Berni

    With the spectacular fall from grace of your good friend the Rev Ted Haggard, do you now believe in divine intervention? 😉

    November 24, 2009 at 12:17 pm | Reply
  46. Louis K

    Edward B, any argument purporting to show how evolution dismisses the idea of a supernatural and personal God is at best spurious.

    What Darwin did was to disprove the literal interpretation of Genesis, and, in the process, provide an alternative theory to how life on earth came about.

    By virtue of the scientific theory of evolution, God's role in shaping lifeforms is diminished. If God does exist, then there is something to be said about his merely introducing the first single-celled organism and watching evolution unfold for the past 4.8 billion years.

    I hope you will not seize on my choice of diction and claim that it is 'merely a theory'. Evolution is no more a theory than is gravity.

    Alain Roberts, I will adhere to the principle of charity and take you up on your claim. I assume that you do not hold a literal understanding of the Bible, since you claimed that evolution is compatible with Christianity.

    May I humbly ask, what guidelines exist that dictate certain segments of the Bible to be interpreted figuratively, metaphorically, and others, lietrally? Who drew up these rules in the first place?

    November 24, 2009 at 12:21 pm | Reply
  47. Claus

    Dear Mr Dawkins – I find it difficult to grapple with the concept of eternity (of space and time), can you offer a simple clue to rationalise this in "non-spiritual" ways?
    Best regs, Claus

    November 24, 2009 at 12:22 pm | Reply
  48. Carolina from Germany

    Legal and social discrimination against atheists in some places may lead some to deny or conceal their atheism due to fears of persecution. A 2006 study by researchers at the University of Minnesota involving a poll of 2,000 households in the United States found atheists to be the most distrusted of minorities, more so than Muslims, recent immigrants, gays and lesbians, and other groups. Many of the respondents associated atheism with immorality, including criminal behaviour, extreme materialism, and elitism.[4]

    What is it that implies that atheist = inmoral? how can we change that. I am slowly turning to atheism, how can i speak to my very religious family about it, whitout them thinking am evil.

    November 24, 2009 at 12:23 pm | Reply
  49. cellurar phone and a dog

    You walk and see a cellular phone on the street. Do you think that it was created by wind and water thru ages ? No. And a moment later you see a dog, incredibly more sophisticated thing than a phone. Do you think that dogs were created by winds, waters, electricity thru the ages ?

    November 24, 2009 at 12:24 pm | Reply
  50. Carlo

    Prof Dawkins,
    What is thought or reason? There appears to be an assumption that homo sapiens have it and other species do not and that this has been bequeathed to us as an evolutionary advantage. I am not so sure. For instance, assuming that we are responsible for global warming and that if we do not mend our ways we will ultimately render this planet unihabitable and therefore ensure our own extinction (note I am merely making an assumption here and not stating one way or the other the truth of it – I also note that this reasoning could apply to the development of weapons of mass destruction or the unsustainable consumption of non-renewable resources etc). Clearly there are individuals that have arrived at a view that certain aspects of human development are unsustainable, however, it is not their view that is prevailing with the result that the majority view can result in the extinction of the species. Is this not a paradox of evolution in that this means that we are sowing the seeds of our own extinction when evolution is about having the fittest survive. You could say that this is what evolution is about, weeding out the unsuccessful including entire species that have developed into a dead end niche and their environment has changed beyond their ability to adapt. However, it would be interesting that intelligence and reason may actually turn out to be counter productive instead of an evolutionary advantage particularly as it might be tied to our ability to change the environment so that it can no longer support us instead of the reverse which has probably been true up until we evolved. I would be interested to know your thoughts on this.

    November 24, 2009 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  51. Eytan LEVI

    Of couse there is NO GOD !

    We say ONE CRAZY GUY thow a stone into the Cave
    and Millions of crazy ones cannot take the stone out !

    That is Religion I am jewsih but if MOSES knew what he is
    doing he would keep the 10 commandmends to himself.

    Sure if they knew next week all muslims would slughter
    millions of sheep and cow 's for sacrifice as due to religious beliefs
    Moses would not tell no one about GOD either.

    November 24, 2009 at 12:29 pm | Reply
  52. Seamus

    Tom Colbert,
    Being a European I absolutely agree with you.
    It's all about how you've been brought up as a child and the influence you get when at a later age. No one is born religious.

    Whether you believe in the evolution theory or not, to base your everyday life on supernatural beliefs is truly beyond me.
    And not just me, this is the stance that the majority of West-Europeans take. We can be good people and we make the best of our lives and our families' lives without supernatural claims.
    We're just so much more sober in these things.

    USA, the Middle East, it's the same religious fundamentalism.

    November 24, 2009 at 12:30 pm | Reply
  53. Paolo Berni

    Mel; beavers , bees, birds,and termites etc build things and you'll find that animals DO interact, organize ,communicate, talk ( parrots 🙂 ) and have feelings and emotions too – moments of joy and moments of grief etc. If you have a pet, I'm sure you'll notice these things...

    November 24, 2009 at 12:32 pm | Reply
  54. One man's view

    You have to be a real idiot.... to look outside into creation and see its true beauty..... ................and then call that a mistake.. nothing we can creating can challenge the wonder of a single cell.... Think about it!!!

    ... It takes an incredible amount of arrogance to think that our lives were made without purpose.

    Evolving is one thing... Evolution implies accident.... i.e. Humanity has no purpose in its existence.... thus no morality.... Yet every human knows that morality is some form exists..... Think about it!!! Its really not that hard.

    A very dangerous place to be if you are wrong!!

    November 24, 2009 at 12:33 pm | Reply
  55. Richard du Toit

    Two areas where evolution falls short

    What was there in the beginning – before the big bang?
    For something to exist and have a beginning there had to be something without a beginning to start the beginning of all things

    Secondly is the issue of design. I struggle to see how creatures who are stronger than others and who in the process of having sex designed the human brain or something like the placenta the bodies own ICU unit for the baby. What are we designing for the future?

    It is far easier to believe in God than the many wonders that evolutionists call Mother Nature

    November 24, 2009 at 12:39 pm | Reply
  56. Alastair

    Dear Mr. Dawkins,

    What are your views on Mr. Comfort and Mr. Cameron defacing one of the greatest books of human history? How do you think the public will take to it, and how do you think atheists should respond (that is, if it would be wise to make a response at all)?

    I personally believe that they are making mockeries of themselves in front of most scientists, however, this doesn't mean that some people aren't actually going to take their comments seriously, and I think this is a retrograde step.

    November 24, 2009 at 12:43 pm | Reply
  57. Jim Jimmerson

    Its amazing... it really is... people....PEOPLE! The little people with their little ideas... thinking they know so much...not one of us, not one including myself has the foggiest idea of the real truth.

    We are ever so blind. We see and understand so very little of the images that flash before our waking eyes. I appreciate Mr. Dawkins and what hes doing, i think there is a better way to get his message across than his militant atheism... but i also appreciated John Paul the second and what he did and said. People think they know with absolutely certainty that they are right and are willing to die and defend that "truth", such blind defense of something so uncertain, life is strange.......it is all quite a mystery is it not?

    Maybe we're meant to appreciate that... and in the end, never knowing truly what "is", and what "is not".

    I leave with a statement made by Dakwins and while i disagree with the man on much, this statement still seems to hold some meaning...

    "The Universe is queerer than we can suppose."

    At least this much can be said....

    November 24, 2009 at 12:50 pm | Reply
  58. Traveler

    Evolution is a non-issue - it is way too obvious and overwhelmingly evidenced for that. If you don't see it, you're either not bright enough or you've hamstrung your observational and learning skills with a foolish certainty.

    The big issue is DIVINE INSPIRATION VS. THE EVOLUTION OF CONSCIOUSNESS. Did a god 'inspire' a supernatural soul into the zygote that became you at the moment of conception? Or does ontogeny recapitulate phylogeny - the individual, biological you becoming conscious in early development just as consciousness evolved in early humans.

    This is the last bastion for a 'point of faith' that can survive reason (for awhile at least).

    November 24, 2009 at 12:52 pm | Reply
  59. David in Cincinnati

    It seems that group behavior present in many mammals has interacted with the unique human capacity for the written or oral record, resulting in a condensation into groups with incredibly stable beliefs that transcend rationality. Though with origins in survival, it's probably too early evolutionarily to determine if this condensation will result in our survival or demise, or if the rational group can become dominant.

    November 24, 2009 at 12:53 pm | Reply
  60. Mel

    I still insist that it is IMPOSSIBLE for evolution to create ONLY ONE intelligent species! People, get your collective heads out of the evolutionary hole and THINK for once in your life! It is IMPOSSIBLE FOR ONLY ONE SPECIES TO HAVE EVOLVED TO SUCH A TECHNOLOGICAL DEGREE!
    And you call yourselves "free-thinkers" and "reasonable"

    November 24, 2009 at 12:58 pm | Reply
  61. Markus

    The current order of religions fighting each other while technology grows more powerful every day is not sustainable. I believe that, possibly within as short a time as a hundred years, there will be no religious people because:

    1) Only rationalists will survive, OR
    2) There will be no people.

    November 24, 2009 at 12:58 pm | Reply
  62. Mel

    And those of you who asks questions like, "if there is a God then why does he allow evil things to happen?" That has nothing to do with the issue. The industrialized world allows millions of people to starve to death, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. It only means that they don't care. God exists. Whether He loves us or couldn't care less is a question that should be answered by theologians, and this is not the place for it.

    November 24, 2009 at 1:03 pm | Reply
  63. Ilyes Eaton

    he is completely right on evolutionary matters but is dead wrong on spiritual matters. evolution only confirms the greatness of the great one up above... call him god, allah or whatever you wish... its just his master plan in motion and the clear rules and theories that us humans can come up with are just more proof that there is a master plan.

    November 24, 2009 at 1:04 pm | Reply
  64. Fabricio

    For me, you´re so immature as the most faithful man in the world, regarding God´s existence.

    The truth is: we´ll only know that after the death. Arguing that until this moment comes along, it´s just speculation. If you make more sense than others, you just make more sense – it doesn´t mean that you have the answer.

    November 24, 2009 at 1:05 pm | Reply
  65. Liezle

    Why do you think that in every culture, in every society, humans generally worship gods? We have this need to be humble, to give thanks for blessings and pray/ask for our needs ie harvest, rain, fertility, etc?

    November 24, 2009 at 1:06 pm | Reply
  66. cynik, Switzerland

    There will always be customers for priests because people are born ignorant and fearful: it is the human condition in the absence of education and reason.

    So there will always be people and businesses which feed of the ignorance and the fear.

    If there is any worthy criticism of Dawkins, it is that he attacks the church as if that business was the most dangerous institution in our society which feeds itself from the the fear and ignorance of the people.

    I would the major political parties, the DEA and the military industrial complex do far greater harm to society, and they do it in the same way.

    The political parties destroy the economy by spending money on corrupt schemes after frightening ignorant people. The DEA frightens ignorant people and feeds its members by sustaining the absurd war on drugs. War is an impossible business without the exploitation of fear and ignorance.

    So i question Dawkins faith in reason itself. If he is really concerned about institutions which exploit fear and ignorance for profit, there are plenty of places to look aside from religious groups. Priests are only the beggars in the marketplace of fearful idiots.

    November 24, 2009 at 1:06 pm | Reply
  67. Levi

    To the person who said this:

    "You walk and see a cellular phone on the street. Do you think that it was created by wind and water thru ages ? No. And a moment later you see a dog, incredibly more sophisticated thing than a phone. Do you think that dogs were created by winds, waters, electricity thru the ages ?"

    My cell phone says "made in china", my dog does not.

    November 24, 2009 at 1:07 pm | Reply
  68. monkey man

    Dr. Dawkins:

    Doesn't the nearly universal belief in deities, or "God Delusion" as you describe it, by humans suggest that it is an evolutionary psychological adaptation that helps ensure survival of our species? If the "God Delusion" helps ensure our survival, as an ethologist and evolutionary scientist, shouldn't you be encouraging people to embrace it rather than reject it?

    Monkey Man

    November 24, 2009 at 1:08 pm | Reply
  69. William Griessel

    I totally agree with Mr. Alan Roberts' above comments. Science, in fact, is converging with God's Word but man is diverging from God's word because of the "scientific method" which limits the boundaries of his knowledge to only PHYSICAL proof.

    Let's face it. Anyone who thinks that everything has always been here, and that we all came from an ancient soup is not only ignorant but willingly ignorant. Darwin, in my opinion, was such a guy. As a matter of fact, he called the cell as being a "simple cell". Today, we know that the simplest cell is in fact more sophisticated than any complex system on Earth. And not only that but the cell in composed of sub structures that appear as mechanical devices, and needs all these parts to function – we call this irreducible complexity; which immediately questions the theory of (Darwin's) evolution. It has been proven wrong so many ways it is getting boring to discuss it any more?!

    November 24, 2009 at 1:10 pm | Reply
  70. Paul

    The truth about creation is something that does not debating but something that needs understanding. Even if we get so many perceptions about something, the issue is not debating about it, the issue is understanding. Understanding is not coming up with your own set of facts but it is looking at what is there and appreciating it. Appreciating all living creatures will give one sight on things that the debating eye can't see. There is a God who created all that is there. Whether we have a word to justify those who don't believe in God and creation or not, there will still be a God. Those who boldly profess arrogance to the fact that there is God must not be argued with. Let them be like that. Do not worry about the unbelievers. Righteousness and wickedness have nothing in common. We can only but pray for the unbelievers now because the door is still open for them. Individually we are seeking to live according to the will of our creator but we will still consider those who are living contrary to the Word of God. Jesus told them another parable:
    The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. The likes of Richard are the weeds that have been sowed. But even with the weeds being there it will not mean there is no wheat in the same field. So don't worry too much my fellow brothers and sisters in the faith. Don't worry if anyone mocks our God. It will not change the truth that is there. What we are here for now is to prepare for the time that is coming. The second coming of Jesus Christ.
    We have so much to look forward to to be thrown back by someone who is being used by the devil to shift the focus of those who want to know God. Those who are in search of hope in trying times like these. Do not worry about those who don't believe. We can only do our best to tell them about our creator and God will do the rest. It is not our duty to argue or engage in debates with them especially of this nature.

    Be Blessed and may the good Lord show us the LIGHT.

    November 24, 2009 at 1:10 pm | Reply
  71. Mimi


    I would say keep praying if you feel like it. I don't believe in organized religion, I support the theory of evolution etc but not being religious does not have to mean you're unspiritual or don't realize there are unexplored areas to our existence. I believe praying, chanting, a feeling of gratitude, love etc can make a difference in our lives and attract the things we want, not because of some guy in the sky listening to it, but because of the energy we project when we're in that mode.

    I think we will eventually be able to explain all 'supernatural' mysteries as science, it's all a process of learning how the universe, our energies and consciousness work. That's the beauty of science and evolution. It's forever evolving – which is more than one can say about organized religion, where there is no room for growth or debate.

    November 24, 2009 at 1:11 pm | Reply
  72. Daniel Stewart

    Organic evolution is a fact - there is far too much convergent evidence of many kinds to deny it. What is not a fact is the Darwinian hypothesis of evolution through natural selection of random variation.
    I like your metaphor of "climbing Mt. Improbable" but I am not convinced by the argument. It seems to me that there is nothing in a scientific approach to evolution that excludes a (sort of Larmarckian) mechanism which somehow modifies the genome during an organism's lifetime to produce a more adaptive genotype for transmission to offspring. Further, there are hints of this in the genetic literature.

    The examples of "irreducible complexity" described by Bahe and others - eyes, cilia, blood clotting etc. are not evidence of intelligent design but they remain difficult puzzles for evolutionary theory. Rejecting the idea of an intelligent creator (as I do as well as you) does not require rejecting any possibility of non-random production of variation.

    November 24, 2009 at 1:12 pm | Reply
  73. Christopher P. DeVeau

    I' a fan of Richard Dawkins and have read his God Delusion and the Greatest Show on Earth. Even though I grew up very close to the Church (not by choice), at around 10, I started questioning religion in general (dangerous) and became more of a realist. Life on Earth was not created within a week 6,000 to 10,000 years ago – In fact there are cave in southern France with 15,000 to 30,000 year old art depicting religious adoration for mammoths and other local creatures of the time. My 13 year old daughter was also very skeptical when she found out, 4 years ago, that Santa didn't exist... Maybe we are just talking of different levels of maturity and awarness... Is religion really so necessary for us to enjoy life? Perhaps, and I think it's well documented throughout history (especially nowadays) that it really has just been a tool for whoever to achieve whatever end necessary at the time by playing on our fears of the "afterlife" How many people would inhabit the earth by now if it wasn't for religion? I guess that in view of our Earth's natural resources, it would be dangerously crowded...

    November 24, 2009 at 1:14 pm | Reply
  74. Tony-S

    I have yet to hear one person who can rebut Richard Dawkins's clearly thought-out and logical arguments. I would not deny people the right to believe what they wish (provided they cause no harm to anyone else), but I personally can see no reasoning which would persuade me that Richard Dawkins is incorrect in his analysis.

    November 24, 2009 at 1:15 pm | Reply
  75. Mario Van Essche (Belgium)

    Prof. Dawkins,

    Your magnificent research and scientific knowledge (of which I'm a big admirer) gains interest throughout the world and even in the US, but at the other hand creationism becomes popular even in education and politics.

    Is this a 'battle' you can? What is to gain? And what if this 'battle' isn't won? What could be the danger?

    November 24, 2009 at 1:15 pm | Reply
  76. Ben

    Dr. Dawkins,

    Are you as depressed by the majority of questions posted thus far as I am?

    Charleston, SC

    November 24, 2009 at 1:16 pm | Reply
  77. from Germany

    Personaly I believe that the evolution IS the actual creation by god, so to say the work-in-progress. The creation as described in the bible is a beautiful literarily picture of what is happening around us every day, it is not to be read as a CNN report like 'Our reporter covers the story live from the scene in Eden'. It just tells us that god is the creator of the world, the universe and the creatures inhabiting it. If i have understood the principles of evolution right it means a slow process from good to better, so it is with our free will as human beings, we are supposed, as said in the bible, to experience an evolution of the mind from bad to good. Concerning atheists i just can quote my late father: "We all will know the truth as soon we close our eyes for final rest. Should have been my believe in god a mistake and the atheists were right, well... than it has been a beautiful mistake".

    November 24, 2009 at 1:20 pm | Reply
  78. silencedogood

    Creationism, as someone who grew up religious, is bunk. Believing in evolution is not necessarily inconsistent with belief in God.

    I would strongly advise anyone to read Ancestor's Tale. Even if you hate Dawkins borrow it from your local library so no money goes in his pocket.

    November 24, 2009 at 1:21 pm | Reply
  79. Ajit Korgaokar

    Evolution, no doubt, does not provide all of the answers to the origin of man, but it is far more plausible than creationism.

    You can still be a Christian and believe in the theory of evolution, which makes a lot more sense.

    Teaching the stories from the Bible to young children as fact is simply irresponsible parenting. However, there's a lot worse things parents could do!

    November 24, 2009 at 1:24 pm | Reply
  80. Paolo

    Prof. Dawkins, forgive my previous sarcastic post. You may understand a bit of bitterness, after all the slagging in your interviews and in these posts.

    Well, here's my point:

    human reason is a method. A good one, it works, but it doesn't stand by itself. Not even when you bare it naked, as in mathematics.

    The simple thought that any number could be divided forever should reasonably put us off from giving mathematics any credit. And yet it works! Because it is a method. Any assertion in Maths is fundamentally a postulate. If we had to enquire with a philosophical mind over it, we'd dismiss the whole thing.

    This is even more true with Physics, but it does work.

    At this stage a believer looks beyond it, and searches for a paradigm, an archetipal structure that may give a final, proper REASON to all this well-working but nonsensical method.

    Here's where we step in: we catholics believe that Paradigm to be God, because he bothered coming down to tell us (Jesus) with His life, death, resurrection. We did not invent it, we took it from the Disciples first-hand, and then the Gospels, written a short time after. The Gospels leave you with but a choice: believe it or not. Historical research doesn't totally confirm it in each and every detail (only some), but neither contradicts it.

    The Bible says that we were created in God's Image, that would make Reason itself THE method, because it mirrors God's own mind, although imperfectly. This is the final celebration of Reason! Anything, from maths to the study of Evolution, to the CERN experiments is 100% compatible with a belief in God.

    Are we still sticking to Gnostic and Dualistic theories? They are fundamentalism, closeness of mind. You, prof. Dawkins, are on one side of this medal. The other side of the medal is Monophysism, Superstition, Creationism, religious fundamentalism.

    On my opinion both are irrational.

    My question is: Prof. Dawkins, I don't presume to convert you, but it puzzles me as to why you seem to rule out any possibility of an ultimate meaning for Reason. It there is none, than the Method itself is wrong, we should stop studying because it's meaningless.

    It is not just about opening your heart (that may come as well), it's also about opening your mind. Faith does not require giving up reason, Faith requires and explains reason.

    Jesus said "I am the Way, I am Truth, I am Life" (forgive my translation, I'm a foreigner). That would draw an equation Truth = Being (Life, existence). That's Creation.

    My suggestion is: stop making documentaries on american Creationist lunatics only to have a chance to label us all (unfairly) and start exploring the rational side of Christianity, you'll be surprised. You may not come to conversion, but that will definitely unlock other possibilities, rational ones.

    Best of luck

    November 24, 2009 at 1:24 pm | Reply
  81. Patric

    "I think therefore I am" is unfortunately not "I think therefore I know" which ultimately leads to the fundamental key to the rise of God, faith and religion: fear. We are only afraid of what we do not know, and since the essence of our existence is and will remain inexplicable, fear will always dominate the human psyche.
    Unfortunately the comfort of the concept of God through faith and religion overshadows that what makes us human – logic. What will it take, to make people use this evolutionary pinnacle to accept the truth: that there is no spiritual meaning to life?
    Harmony for life on this planet can only be achieved when this ultimate truth is accepted by man, because only then will we finally realize that each other is all we're ever going to have.

    November 24, 2009 at 1:24 pm | Reply
  82. HM

    The fact is that there is always a "doubt" about existence from the very moment a person is awake – being awake as you are now or being awake in a dream. Most of the time, this great doubt is covered in aimless activities throughout a day. And often when it comes to addressing the "doubt", there is always this second-hand knowledge from all sort of books, be it on religion or evolution or whatever. One seldom make a true attempt to clear the doubt first-hand, and that is how our brains are conditioned – second hand knowledge. Is it true that it takes great eagerness and patience to wrench oneself free from such knowledge? Do you ever feel the urgency to resolve this doubt, for yourself and be 100% clear about it – something as clear as the sweetness of sugar is, personally to you? It does not matter what others know.. but just for yourself?

    November 24, 2009 at 1:24 pm | Reply
  83. Pete UK

    With a few notable exceptions the quality of the comments above depresses me profoundly.

    The faithful trot out the usual responses – arguments either completely empty, completely incoherent or completely dealt with many times before.

    Paolo, yes we have noticed that the Catholic Church has accommodated evolution – although the current Pope seems to be in danger of backslipping. But that doesn't make the doctrine of the Catholic Church any less ridiculous or cruel. In fact, by accepting evolution and at the same time by continuing to deny African populations the use of condoms to prevent AIDS and homosexuals any rights at all other than condemnation to a mythical hell, they demonstrate a quite staggering mixture of hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance. I hope you can see this.

    Peter –
    "There are things in this universe which are outside the scope of Dawkins and Darwin. They cannot in terms of their "scientific experience" explain ideas like ambition, anxiety, greed, philosphy, theology, love, hatred, morals, ethics, etc.

    Personally, to briefly extrapulate their vague propositions, I think they are juveniles when they speak their doctrine about God and things unknown, even about things unknown to them.

    Before they get personal about matters of religion, they should stick to their knitting, and explain the unknown according to their extreme scarcity of knowledge and facts."

    They're not the arrogant ones. Actually, it's arrogant of you to assert that our emotions will never be explained, and it's the kind of arrogance that faith – blind insistence without evidence" seems to foster. Try googling Evolutionary Psychology for some pretty interesting stuff on this front. Early days, but promising. Start with the intro by Tooby and Cosmides.

    Brenda, dear, you're living in a fantasy world. All evidence points to it being a cobbled together collection of stories, about a God we are probably very lucky isn't real. Visit the Skeptic's Bible on the web to learn more.

    I could go on, but what is the point?

    November 24, 2009 at 1:26 pm | Reply
  84. Chudamani Ratnam

    GOD : Does “IT” Exist.
    A Rational Examination
    Chudamani Ratnam

    As the saying goes”whether or not God created man in his own image,man certainly created God in his.”.Today there is a tendency to cast all theories into “models”,some real and some empirical, and though this terminology is of very recent origin it’s practice goes back to time immemorial. Homo Sapiens means thinking man and when he started thinking about the universe around him ,he came to the conclusion that it was Created. All Creations axiomatically need a Creator and man came up with the model of a GOD.It was also decreed that this model was so fundamental that it could not and should not be questioned and only a chosen few,prophets of one kind or another,apparently endowed with a preordained wisdom, were competent to pass on the word of God to mankind at large.

    Models are used in all walks of life and science is no exception. In centuries bygone, to explain the phenomena of breathing and combustion, scientist came up with the Phlogiston theory. This was knocked for a six when Priestly and others discovered oxygen More recently light was supposed to be propagated through a medium called “ether”. However the studies by Maxwell showed that this was not true and one more model was consigned to the dustbin of history..Newton added his twopennies worth by creating a concept of “fluxions of time”, which has also accumulated in the same dustbin.

    The first person to pick a hole in the GOD model was Darwin. He demonstrated that man was not created but evolved in a manner similar to all forms of life,plant or animal. To him, as a scientist, this was no more than a rational scientific theory, but others in the ruling establishment correctly foresaw a threat to their own allegedly God given status in society..The argument is yet to be resolved to everybodies satisfaction as there have always been forces in all societies, ready to kill the spirit of enquiry..

    The real threat posed by Darwin’s theory is that man is not at the apex of the evolutionary chain .New life forms are continuously appearing and old ones are becoming extinct..In all probability at some stage a creature,not belonging to the genus Homo, with a superior intellect will appear which will not only displace man and become the ruler of our planet but more importantly will have a better understanding of our universe and subscribe to a differerent model than God. Typically most species have an existence of between 5 and 15 million years. Man and his immediate evolutionary ancestors have been around for about 5 million years and therefore may not last another 10 million years. This idea is obviously not compatible with a God model. Actually a more likely sequence of events will be that man will become extinct sooner through his own foolishness rather than later due to natural causes.This will leave the field wide open for a superior life form to appear from some other evolutionary path.

    The earth has been in existence for about 5 billion years and life on earth for about 1 billion years.The indications are that that like all other stars in a few billion years the Sun will eventually die but in the process will swallow up the earth.However long before that the earth will become too hot to permit any organic life to survive. It is indeed likely that elsewhere in the universe there is life which could even be inorganic.Delving into the depths of modern physics it is possible to speculate on life based on anti-matter in an anti-matter universe.

    Now comes the more difficult part and this relates to the concept of Time. Einstein and now Hawking have joined Darwin in putting in the last nail in the coffin of God.. Most arguments in favour of the Supernatural come up with the final question of “what was there before”. It now appears that there was no “before”. Just like there is no negative temperature on the Absolute Scale, there is no negative time and hence no “before” a zero time., as represented by the Big Bang. around 15 billion years ago. Time came into existence at this point and as a concession to religious obscurantism if needed,so did God. It also goes without saying that space also came into existence at this time and hence there was no “outside”.

    November 24, 2009 at 1:26 pm | Reply
  85. Charles

    Christians are so smug as to believe that they have the corner on the Creator market. You are a religious minority on this planet and your bigotted attitudes match every other religious bigotted attitude all over the world.
    If the universe were to reveal itself to you, you could never see it unless it was through your filter of belief. Stop arguing over what you truly have not knowledge of.

    November 24, 2009 at 1:32 pm | Reply
  86. Johannes de Jong

    Proven evolution does not prove there is no God. Dawkins wants us in fact to read Genesis 1 and 2 literally in order to be able to pin evolution against faith in God. This is the fundament of his atheism. Which is a poor belief because it exists only in the denial of religion and lacks a positive drive.

    However, a growing number of christians (in The Netherlands a majority of them) does believe that there is no necessary contradiction of faith in God and evolution. It's really just a matter of how you read the first chapters of the bible.

    To say it simple: God is great enough to be involved in evolution and he can call humanity from the apes as well as from dust.

    November 24, 2009 at 1:33 pm | Reply
  87. Alexander A

    Mr Dawkins,

    I consider the idea of a god to be highly unlikely, but not provable as existent or non-existent. What is your position on agnosticism?

    November 24, 2009 at 1:35 pm | Reply
  88. Dave

    Interesting to see that you claim the bible is one of the greatest books and at the same time you claim it portrays a god of love.
    If you would read the bible from start to finish, you wouldn't claim that it's a god of love.... some chapters are downright frightening (the massacres in the old testament to name but a few....)
    You can not focus on a few chapters from the new testament, dismiss the old and claim it's a god of love.
    Please do read his book on the God Delusion – it's clearly written and does not use the confused reasoning as we are used to in religion (I know because I was raised a religious person but at a certain point in time I had to agree it simply didn't make sense).
    I don't have pity on religous people – it takes courage to believe but it equally takes courage to explore the other side and come to a conclusion.

    November 24, 2009 at 1:37 pm | Reply
  89. Nozar

    Do not both science and religion belong to metaphysics? Is it not that they both "BELIEVE" in a system, a structure, outside humans and independent of humans? And that both only differe in assigning the theory behind its existance, of such human-independent world? And how do they know. How objective observation (science) is possible at all, if I see and touch with human eyes and fingers?

    November 24, 2009 at 1:37 pm | Reply
  90. paul

    I just wonder how Darwins "origin of the species" can be refuted in 54 pages? Taking into account all the highly researched scientific work to verify the facts that has taken place in that 150 years. Mr Comfort's agument must be pretty impressive . In fact I would suggest a mere wave of Mr Comforts hand and the result is "I told you so, Dawrin is a load of baloney".

    November 24, 2009 at 1:38 pm | Reply
  91. raybor

    All those who are capable of clear, unbiased thinking realize that man created god...& that god differed a great deal, depending on when & at what period of mankind we examine. Not only do believers invent an invisible entity, they allow it to take credit for all the good & beauty in the world, but they absolve it from all that's evil & ugly. The alcoholic believes that god got him sober, but it certainly wasn't god who poured all those drinks down his throat for all those years. You look at a rose or a gorgeous sunset,& you associate the good feelings these things give you with the "the beauty of god's creation", & yet you conveniently omit associating god with viruses, disease bearing mosquitos,catostropic floods, earthquakes, volcano erruptions, etc.. Then there's prayer....I've often heard believers state "when I pray god sometimes grants my wishes, & sometimes doesn't. I never pray, & get the exact same results. Speaking of prayer........Do you imagine there was a good deal of praying going on in the twin towers from the time the planes hit until the towers collapsed? How about in the Natzi concentration camps in WW II? If you believers are right and I stand before god on judgement day, I'm affraid he has more explaining to do than do I. '

    November 24, 2009 at 1:40 pm | Reply
  92. David C. Smith

    Dear Dr Dawkins,

    1) Religion is a characteristic of humans, is there a genetic or sociobiological explanation for it (in the same way that there is for reciprocal altruism)?

    2) In the 150 years since Darwin, in what major ways has our understanding of evolution changed?


    November 24, 2009 at 1:43 pm | Reply
  93. Gerald

    ".....fools say(prove) there is no GOD"

    November 24, 2009 at 1:44 pm | Reply
  94. Gregor of CT


    I am an atheist who was going to write books and tick off crhistians myself. How can I join the fight and profit too? Keep up the good fight. If you look around everywhere church participation is down and atheism is slowly climbing. We are slowly winning the war against brainless godly beliefs. Good luck in your endeavors.

    See when I finish my book, which I promise you will really piss off the truly holy.


    November 24, 2009 at 1:44 pm | Reply
  95. Simon

    The thing I dislike about Creationism is its inherent arrogance. By taking the stance that what we don't understand must be the work of God, it seeks to close the chasm between us, our minds and that of a universal creator. i.e. We are so supremely intelligent that the only level of understanding or intelligence above us is God itself. (If I were religious, perhaps I'd even call it an evil doctrine because of it..)

    What's wrong with science unwrapping the onion to reveal nature's secrets? Evolution may not be the whole answer, but I'm confident it's a part of it. Perhaps it does not provide a complete explanation. But that simply suggests there is more for science to discover and does not immediately prove the existence of a supernatural deity. Perhaps biology favours particular patterns and structures like physics does. Random mutation may not have to be the answer all the questions.

    Look at the discovery of DNA: Darwin couldn't have forseen it, yet knew such a mechanism must exist. DNA can be proven to mutate to the benefit of a species. Darwin's theory is not a speculation. It's part of the unified solution, like Newtonian physics is part of a greater cosmological understanding, but by no means the whole of it. This is what science does, and it's what's created our modern world.

    If you re-read Genesis as an analogy, a metaphor describing the order of events, then it doesn't entirely disagree with science. The world came first, then the seas, fish, animals and finally man. In the same order as science suggests. Six days can be seen as epochs. The language and choice of words it is written is largely irrelevant. The message is essentially the same. One's just written in the language of 19th century science, the other by BC philosophy.

    November 24, 2009 at 1:46 pm | Reply
  96. Dave

    With all due respect, I don't think you understand what you are messing with. Eternity is a long time and you can choose 1 of 2 ways, eternity in Heaven or eternity in Hell. I am afraid that your blasphemous ideas are going to take you to a place of suffering that no man could ever imagine.
    Its not too late to change your thoughts and ideas and ask GOD to forgive you.
    May God bless your soul

    November 24, 2009 at 1:51 pm | Reply
  97. LMiele

    Dr. Dawkins is not just an "atheist". He is a full professor of biology at Oxford University, and has come to his conclusions about evolution through his research. His suggestion that the true subject of evolution is not "the species" but quite simply, "the gene" dates back to the 1970s. At that time, before the invention of DNA sequencing and long before genome sequencing, that was a truly revolutionary insight. Today, we can read the genomes of organisms large and small and discover that all life on Earth is related. The evolutionary distance between species can be precisely measured by how related their DNAs are. This is why, incidentally, medical experiments run in mice or even fruit flies can accurately predict human biology. The simplest explanation for this is that all life on Earth derives from a single ancestor through a process of evolution by natural selection. This is where for many people's emotions are too strong to allow thoughtful debate. Dr. Dawkins has taken the phylosophical position that there is no need to postulate an act of creation to explain life. That is his prerogative and he has every right to express his positions. He is not the first to take this position and he won't be the last, and his philosophical stance does not make him evil.
    On the other hand, evolution is not necessarily incompatible with religion. All one needs to postulate is that a Supreme Being set the evolutionary process into motion. There is no way to prove or disprove this hypothesis. There was a time when the Catholic Church feared that accepting the science of astronomy would threaten Christianity. Hence the Galileo trial. Today the Church does not dream of disputing that Jupiter has moons or that the Earth revolves around the Sun. The same will happen with evolution. Rather than endlessly questioning the science of evolution, which is much more solid than the lay public realizes but requires scientific training for a thoughtful discussion, those of us who are religious should focus on asking why did God set things in motion the way He did.

    November 24, 2009 at 1:54 pm | Reply
  98. DAVID B




    November 24, 2009 at 1:59 pm | Reply
  99. Simon Beirut

    Dear Mr. Dawkins,

    I am from the Middle East. After reading your book the God Delusion, I was surprised I already was convinced of all your points prior to reading the book. If anything, that makes me a closeted atheist whom your book helped "come out", so as to speak. While I understand your background as a Westerner, I think of your work on de-constructing Islam to be poor, and relies heavily on Ibn Warraq, a practical nobody. Now perhaps you are too busy to get down to a religious debate and instead focus on the power of evolution and Occam's razor to burn bridges with irrational beliefs, it may important in your future work to do more important research in what regards Islam if you hope to win over some of the agnostics in this area of the world, especially when Islam makes the same claims as all Abrahamic religions.

    the question that follows is: are you interested in debunking Islam, or are you afraid to become like Salman Rushdie?

    November 24, 2009 at 2:00 pm | Reply
  100. DAVID B

    you like reality Richard, what is the reality for the future of human life on planet earth?

    November 24, 2009 at 2:03 pm | Reply
  101. Craig

    Professor Dawkins,

    What is your response to Living Waters and Ray Comfort to have distributed Darwin's famous book with a creationist introduction?

    What upsets me is that the people who receive the book usually have no idea about the propaganda contained during the first 50 or so pages. I would feel that it would be the same as adding an atheistic introduction to the bible and then distributing it on college campuses. An understander of evolution and the non existence of a god would never blatantly attack another group in such a matter. I appreciate your approach to discussing your viewpoints through intelligent debate.

    November 24, 2009 at 2:06 pm | Reply
  102. Geeshgirl

    If (when?) you reach the Pearly Gates and see once and for all that there is a Heaven, do you think that you would go so far in your "fight for truth" that you would would turn your back on Him? What would you consider in making such decision?

    November 24, 2009 at 2:11 pm | Reply
  103. karim hassani

    Dear Professor Dawkins,

    I am a huge fan of yours. Could you please summarize for us, how much science has advanced so far in explaining the origins of the universe?

    Is the big bang theory reliable? Why did life occur only on earth and not on other planets of our solar system?

    As far as the theory of Evolution by Natural Selection is concerned, since it bases itself upon irrefutable scientifical proofs, why do the majority of people rebuke it in the 21st century? A century which is supposed to be one of reason and enlightment ?

    November 24, 2009 at 2:12 pm | Reply
  104. julio serra

    Richard Dawkings is to be taken serious. It takes a bold man to say the truth to all religions followers that man is a product of evolution and not created by a god or a higher power from above.
    If there was a god there would be only one religion.
    The bible is all but stories told by ancient men who had not a clue about the world surrounded them. Those profets didn't know about the weather or why their crops failed and why their sons died from a serious disease.
    I agree with Mr. Dawkins in everything.

    November 24, 2009 at 2:15 pm | Reply
  105. Hibernunculus

    I can accept the theory of evolution but science can never prove or disprove the existence of GOD.

    As a scientist let me ask a simple question;

    How can "memetics" be a valid science when the curious concept of the meme does not survive the application of the Scientific method?

    There is no proof that such a thing as a "meme' really exists;It is self-evident that there is cultural or behavioural imitation in the world so the fabricated idea of the meme is no more scientifically proven than the Freudian id.

    How can "memetics" be valid when the meme itself is not scientifically proven to be true by experiment?;indeed the science world rejects it.

    November 24, 2009 at 2:16 pm | Reply
  106. Heinrich

    My dear Sir...

    There is one final bridge we all must cross and that is death. I see your thought as a bit of a gamble. Let's say that there is a 90% chance that there is no GOD. It still leaves a 10% chance that there is. Would it be wise to base your stance this side of life on a 10% chance that you could be wrong? Remember, whether you believe in gravity or not does not diminish its reality. The same, just because you do not believe that there is a Creator does not diminish the 10% chance that there is.

    But lets say you have 100% conviction (your anti-pascal wager) that you are right based on your findings. Surely it should be a celebration to you and all who espouse your thinking, then why tear into the religious establishment with your "God is a delusion" remarks, breaking down those who also have a 100% conviction based on their findings and more importantly their experience that God exist.

    Like I said, this side of life we can toy with these ideas until we blue in the face. We can prove and disprove each other, but there is nothing like crossing that bridge of death that will have the final say.... You don't know what lies behind that door. You can speculate and hypothesise but it will still be an illusion because you have not been there.

    November 24, 2009 at 2:19 pm | Reply
  107. DST

    God gives us freedom of choice? Where was the freedom of choice given to the starving child in Africa or the cancer sufferer, or the victims of the Boxing Day Tsunami?

    If suffering is caused by the hands of man, and God created man, then by that logic God created suffering. That's the problem with religion: it emphasises faith to the exclusion of logic.

    Surely if such a God existed, it would not be worth worshipping anyway.

    It has taken us thousands of years to say that.

    Maybe one day, the world can remove the blind fold of religion and even of the concept of God, and focus on the real issues at hand: war, poverty, and illness- without being bound by an obsolete institution.

    Thank you Mr. Dawkins.

    November 24, 2009 at 2:21 pm | Reply
  108. Gerard Mayne

    Professor Dawkins – as a highly educated and thoughtful person how do you maintain the energy and drive to deal with attacks directed against you by people who have not spent any time reading your work, Darwin's work or making even the slightest attempt to understand science?
    Question 2 – How do you change of minds of those who support religions that are in many ways unchanged since the time when the earth was flat and the sun revolved around us?

    November 24, 2009 at 2:21 pm | Reply
  109. William Tell

    I have difficulty relating to the overwhelming compulsion to have an answer to every question. A couple of days ago CNN brought to our attention a mathematics problem proposed 150 years ago; it has yet to be solved. So, presently, the answer is, "we don't know". And we're ok with that, we don't have faith that a supernatural being is the answer... most would agree that that would be absurd.

    How did the universe begin? We don't know. And we might not know in our lifetime. That's ok. There's no need to panic, it is not imperative that we answer this within any timeframe. A supernatural being has not proven to be the answer to any other question posed since the dawn of time... so rationally, what is the likelihood that it would answer this one? And the next logical question is "where did God come from", so it really doesn't resolve anything.

    We could call these beliefs childish, except that most of the children I have encountered age 5 and under, who are free to express themselves, heavily question the concept of God, and some openly mock it. Only an adult could come up with the concept of a supernatural being, to quell their own irrational fears.

    How long will it take us to evolve minds strong enough to question the implausible from near the beginning of our lives? I don't see know how else we will ever see the light of reason collectively.


    November 24, 2009 at 2:24 pm | Reply
  110. Emmon Bach

    "a new 54 page foreword penned by the group’s president Ray Comfort that refutes Darwin’s theory of evolution."
    Watch your language please: to refute a claim is to show that it is false, not just to argue against it!

    November 24, 2009 at 2:24 pm | Reply
  111. ALSPAIN

    I am just a simple sole who was supposed to be brought up Christian,
    I became Jewish, I then became a REALIST....All religion , or fanatical
    belief without PROOF is MAN MADE..to divide people and rule them
    Religion does not go back than one second of 100 years comparison with time..think for ourselves, I am still a GOOD person who will leave the similar legacy as other GOOD people...PLEASE NOTE THE ONLY LETTER MISSING FROM GOOD TO GOD (o)

    November 24, 2009 at 2:27 pm | Reply
  112. B Brennan

    Tom Colbert said:

    "How can a country so advanced and forward thinking as the US, produce people who refuse to accept a scientific fact. How can you live your life based on an ancient book for which there is not a shread of proof to show it is based on anything other than stories created by the writers. I am forever dumbfounded."


    Many of these "stories" have been validated by archaelology (sp), and the people mentioned are indeed still in existance today; the Jews (descended from Jacob) and the Arabs (descended from Ishmael and Esau). Moreover, the scriptures even said that there would be conflict betw the two sons of Abraham, and voila, look at the front page of the newspaper. The last 4-5 U.S. Presidents have spent a good deal of effort trying to close that rift to no avail.

    Back on creation. If Evolution is such a great thing, then why all the hoax's perpetrated by Darwinists in the last 100 or so years, like the Pilt Down Man or the Java Man, or Embryonic Recapitulation. With all the fossils bragged about, why are there no transitional forms? That lemur example that was cited above was later downplayed, in less bright lights and camaras shooting than it was originally trumpeted in front of; as were many other examples in the past.

    Also, if we want to address all the killing that was done in the name of "god", then let us also mention all the killing that occurred due to the belief of atheism and evolution; such as what was done by Darwin disciples such as Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and others, just in the last century. Their hundreds of millions far outweigh the 10's of thousands killed by the combination of the inquisition, the crusades, and the Salam Witch trials. I don't want to play tit for tat.... yet don't you see there is a great inequality betw the two?

    If any of you claim you are open minded, and are daring enough to prove it, then read scientific articles that support Creation. Check out the websites of Creation Ministries International, or Answers in Genesis, or Institute for Creation Research.

    November 24, 2009 at 2:28 pm | Reply
  113. richard

    God is perfectly capable of making life that follows rules of evolution.

    November 24, 2009 at 2:29 pm | Reply
  114. Fabian

    Deep inside, beneath all belief, you all do understand that there is no god right? Right?

    November 24, 2009 at 2:30 pm | Reply
  115. Jim M

    Professor Dawkins,

    Do you think it is possible that evolution could be part of God's creation process?

    November 24, 2009 at 2:31 pm | Reply
  116. faz

    what puzzles me with evolution theory, is that, why no life form evolutionized in their own environment in venus , mars etc. Its been said that its too hot, too cold for human beings. Then why, no life form evolutionized in their own environment in other planets in the solar system. Please enlightened me, but dont tell me, because earth has such special mix and balance of chemicals, that life form can thrive. That is a partly evolution theory. God + Darwins theory = life on earth

    November 24, 2009 at 2:34 pm | Reply
  117. Marcia Huntington

    The most important things from Darwin's book are his observations. As a Christian, I can accept his observations, and still believe that God exists. I can accept these observations and still believe that Jesus Christ died that I might live life more abundantly.

    November 24, 2009 at 2:39 pm | Reply
  118. Samuel Eshiet

    Why is it that it is only man, the plants and animals that have species and evolves? Why not the sun, moon and stars? Why not the heavens, sky, clouds and even the planets? Why does the night not evolve? Why not the day? Why does the air not evolve? What about
    water, light and sound, do they also evolve? I think the whole theory of Evolution should be left to time which influences all things! Or does TIME also evolve? I am not a Scientist. But I am convinced that theories like Evolution gave birth to artrocities committed on earth today with impunity, because it makes some people to treat Human Life with little sanctity since they see humanity as animal species. The thoery of evolution is for the minds and consciences that have been turned completely against God and His beautiful works of creation. Let us beware!

    Thanks and regards.

    Samuel Eshiet,
    Ilorin, Nigeria.
    Tel. 234-8038388925

    November 24, 2009 at 2:41 pm | Reply
  119. Roberto Borda

    Atheism equals ignorance.

    If there actually isn' a God or Creator in a traditional sense, then how come everything in this planet is actually "designed" to function in a certain way.

    Take this example, water has a cycle which actually never disappears from this planet, there will never be less water than there was a million years ago, its recycable in every sense. Every living species in this planet needs water to endure and exist. Isn't there some kind of possibility that something programmed the water in our planet to behave this way? It was designed to never run out.

    Think about this, 90% of the human body is composed by water, which means that "we" are "Water". A combination of just two molecules of hydrogen and one molecule of oxygen (H2O). In adition, we also have electricity running through our body, and extremities which function trough these electrical pulses combined. We are mechanical beings with intelligence.

    Are we by any chance an A.I.? Are our bodies some sort of robotic design which we interpret as flesh and bones? Could be. We humans have the ability through technology to make thing behave a certain way. Why can't some other species have a different formula?

    But yet, there is a scientific explanation for everything, which is obvious because things don't just occur for no apparent reason, there is no true magic in our world. So, everything has to have a scientific explanation. Our creation did not happen out of coincidence, because if that were true it would mean that every aspect of science is wrong and contradictory. Something oroginated the big bang 13 billion years ago, and that "something" is what we all call God or our Creator. This Creator could actually be anything or anyone.

    Science proves that there is no miraculous behavior in things, but it does not show us who or what made it behave that way, religion does. In my opinion, both share a common goal and neither of them can give us a straight and correct answer. Religion has faith, science has doubt and atheism has nothing.

    November 24, 2009 at 2:42 pm | Reply
  120. lee

    For the religious out there: –

    A man makes tools, not tool makes man. A being cannot make a system more complex than itself. (Have you ever seen a spanner make a man?)

    The odds of life spontaneously coming into existence has been quoted (if such a thing can) as in the order of 10 to the power 4,478,000. Whilst improbable, not mathematically impossible. (Obviously not, as we can see people exist)

    So following the man/tool argument, the odds of God existing would have to be substantially higher.

    I’m not a betting man, but, if I had to put my money somewhere, I’ll bet on spontaneity every time.

    10 to the power 4,478,000/1 seems like good odds to me.

    Has anyone got the number for William Hill?

    November 24, 2009 at 2:42 pm | Reply
  121. Chris

    Here is an exercise for all of the religious people who do not understand why evolution is so accepted. For a moment forget everything your holy book has ever told you about the world. In fact, pretend that none of it was ever written. All of it. Now, go out into the world and try to find evidence that on it's own points to the existence of a god. Not I-don't-know-what-did-it-so-it-must-have-been-god type of evidence, but REAL evidence. Also, keep in mind that our understanding of the universe and biological life is limited and we are constantly learning more and more. The more we learn about how the world works, the more our eyes are opened, the more it undermines religious dogma.

    November 24, 2009 at 2:42 pm | Reply
  122. graemesbest


    If you had to choose just one, out of the hundreds of Gods that man has invented, which do you believe would be the most beneficial for future societies to adopt?

    This doesn't have to be limited to just the bronze age myths or just the abrahimic splinter groups, but from any of the gods that have ever been imagined.

    You have to pick one!!!

    November 24, 2009 at 2:47 pm | Reply
  123. Prof AB

    How can a man, given such an amazing brain, be so narrow minded, and lack such basic understanding of life.

    Is it beceause. His world is trapped in so confined a space. Or is it, he is simply angry with God. ?

    November 24, 2009 at 2:48 pm | Reply
  124. B Brennan


    "The best receipy for overcoing religious convictions is reading the Bible.
    – God commits the biggest genocide of all times (deluge)
    – Moses ordered the massacre of 3000 men women and children
    – Abraham was obviously schizophrenic
    – St. Paul was the first anitsemite
    – St. John of Patmos was a Osama bin Ladin style hater of Rome
    and this goes on anon and on.....

    Sigh! Where do i start:

    First of all, God did not want to destroy the world's population (except for 8 people), but was forced to because it had become so violent. And don't be hypocritical. I bet if someone were to kill 3/4 of your family in a massecre, you would want their head, and it would be right to try them in court and to carry out the death penalty.

    Moses actually did not order the attack by himself. God told him to, due to the evil that that city and it's people had done. If it is the Amalekites you are speaking of, these very same people were following behind the Israelites in their wonderings in the desert, and were picking off the women, children and the weak that were in the rear of the crowd.

    Abraham, a schizo? Did he have a psychological with you?

    St Paul wasn't an Anti-Semite. Rather, he was a Jew himself. In fact, before conversion, he was a very religious Jew who watched and approved the killing of an innocent Christian Jew named Stephen. And it was not he who rejected his own people; it was they who rejected his message, forcing him to turn to the Gentiles. He said in his writings that he loves his people and his heritage.

    Are you speaking of John the Apostle being Osama bin Ladan? Where do you get this from. Apparently not from history that said that
    Caesar first tried to have him boiled in hot oil (from which he emerged with no burns or injury) before sending him off on a one way cruise to Patmos, where he penned a book we all know of.

    ... and the refutation goes on and on and on....

    November 24, 2009 at 2:48 pm | Reply
  125. Mjo lkoe

    Dawkins is an insane man and the other people who believe the universe and everything that's in it evolved. You ' re all need to be put in an insane people asylum. I was raised christian myself, but went astray for over ten years; got involve into heavy witchcraft, mystical kaballah, voodoo, santeria. My parents are devout christian and are always praying. Whenever they were praying just the mentioning Jesus would make my skin crawled, irritated, wanted to hurt them.

    I became christian again after a closed encounter with the field general and the fallen Lucifer. It was scary he was angry, very angry I was calling him to come down. In the middle of the madness I got scared, couldn't say a word finally I manage to say Jesus suddenly everything was calm. This is a very short version.

    If evolution was true where the spirits,demons come from. What is the purpose of life, why do we have right, why do we punish criminals who what their brain tells them to do.

    I dare any of you who says the spiritual world does not exist to say those word at noon 7 times LUCIFER, OUIA, KAMERON, ALISCOT, MANDESUMINI, POEMI,
    LUCIFER. Amen.

    November 24, 2009 at 2:50 pm | Reply
  126. Jose Eduardo del Valle

    Most of us Atheists agree with him but to integrate into society we stay quiet about our beleives. God is a mass delusion

    November 24, 2009 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  127. Erik

    It wasn't creation, it wasn't evolution that created the universe, it was of course the Flying Spagetti monster... just as valid of a hypothesis of what created the universe and life ... just as hard to prove or disprove ...

    But seriously, science doesn't say why the universe was created and evolution does not give any reason for why life started. Anyone who uses evolution to discredit the existence of a god, a goddess, or a collection of gods, has left the realm of facts as proven by science (such as evolution, gravity, quantum electrodynamics, etc.) and moved into the world of speculation. As well, anyone who uses a religious text as a means to discredit science is also in the realm of pure speculation.

    Part of the problem is that science has its own language, for example the word theory means something compeletly different to a scientist than it does to the general public, to a scientists is is a proven hypothesis, whereas to the general public tha theory is a hypothesis, of course to muddy it up, even scientists at times misuse their own terms, as well they are only human and thus not perfect, it is sort of like the terms lawyers use, that also have very special meanings in a law court, that the general public interprets in a different manner.

    Also don't get me wrong, speculation is in itself very useful, but just like theories (the proven scientific kind which also clearly state the scope to which they apply) they also have limitations. It is usually best to understand the limits of the tools one is using before you use them...

    November 24, 2009 at 2:55 pm | Reply
  128. Jill

    As a Christian, living the life I am called to live, your idea's do not confront me. A day will come when all will give an accounting before our Lord, you as well as myself, and on that day you will know.

    Christians that oppose your view, in manner that contradicts the way we have been called upon to live, are out of line, pure and simple.

    Debate, if approached, should be logical, but alas there is the rub. Faith is much more than words and far more profound than logic lets on, that is your faith and mine.

    The Christian should not concern themselves with the trap. You've chosen your religion and we, Christians, beyond any denomination bla bla, have chosen HIM.

    November 24, 2009 at 2:56 pm | Reply
  129. God Brand

    God is in all of us, in every creature, there is not a single god, religions are only 'God Brands.'

    Organizes religions have packaged and branded what each of us already have within us.

    Unfortunately the very idea of another religion based the above could/would just be packaged and sold again to another group of followers "We are with the religion that promotes that god is in all of us"

    We know what is right and wrong, good and bad,

    Bottom line, professor Dawkins will be treated like the sheep who strays from the flock...

    Good luck!

    November 24, 2009 at 2:56 pm | Reply
  130. James

    The Bilderberg group and the elitest have all of the religious people of the world right where they want them. I say pick up a history book and read about the Counsel of Nicea and how a roman pagan like Constantine turned to christianity. Better yet, really look at the bible and ask why are there so few accounts in the New Testament from the orignal 12 apostles and so much from a guy who never met Jesus, (also a Roman) Paul. Not to mention, no one can verify who wrote the four gospels. Do some basic research and you can see how the bible combines fact and fiction superbly.

    Finally see what Jesus and these earlier god stories have in common:Horus, Krishna, Gautama, Zoroaster, Mithras, Attis, and Dionysus. It is the same story recycled in different cultures. Keep looking for Jesus and I will have my ancestors in 2,000 years ask you where he is at. He is not coming because he is fiction!

    November 24, 2009 at 2:57 pm | Reply
  131. Tom from Bangkok

    Dear Mr. Dawkins –

    May I ask, If it is not God or some divine energy, what is it then that gives you the right to deny the existence of it?

    November 24, 2009 at 3:04 pm | Reply
  132. B Brennan

    One last thing for now:

    Tom Colbert,

    I forgot to mention the absolute lack of human bloodshed by Creationists in their research, as opposed to the Aboriginies of Australia and elsewhere, who were thought, according to evolutionists, to be less than human. We're talking about men, women, and children who were caged in zoos and killed for scientific research, and later put on display at museums.

    How can you explain this to be scientifically advanced? If you could, I would be forever dumbfounded.

    November 24, 2009 at 3:04 pm | Reply
  133. R8

    For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.

    For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

    But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.

    For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

    November 24, 2009 at 3:04 pm | Reply
  134. Christian

    I myself am an atheist, I have read most of your books and I agree with almost everything, but I have a nagging question about religion that you may be able to help me with: simply put, is atheism the best choice for society? In The God Delusion you argue that the most widely practiced religions, i.e. Christianity and Islam, may confer some benefit on society but do more harm than good. Here I agree, but I think that by framing the argument this way, you inadvertently create a false dilemma. People do not have to choose between these religions and atheism. They could, in theory, choose to believe in some hypothetical religion that has all the advantages with none of the disadvantages. If such a scenario reduced overall human suffering, wouldn’t this be the best option? If not, by insisting on being factually correct at all costs aren’t you elevating the idea of empirical truth to godlike status, forsaking any potential benefits to humanity in the interest of one all-powerful idea?

    November 24, 2009 at 3:07 pm | Reply
  135. Francesc Redondo

    When I was a kid, back in traditional catolic Spain 30 + years ago. My religion teacher told us that God made us at his image and resemblance. Some days later, the same priest in the science lesson was talking about evolution.

    My question to the priest was "father, if God made us at his image and resemble, and we came from the monkey, God is a monkey?"

    I never got an answer!

    Thanks Darwin, without you I would be used by religious groups for not religious purposes! (it is human nature)

    Thanks Mr. Dawkins for you dedication to science and the search of the truth.

    November 24, 2009 at 3:07 pm | Reply
  136. Dunlop brilliant

    Unfortunately, all the opinions and complaints, or whatsoever against Dawkins, are invalidated. They're all wrong. Misunderstanding and unnecessary confusion with science and religion are the causes, of which none of those who got furious about Dawkins' publication.

    Evolution is one of the most important scienetific topics, regardless of numbers of different theories for its mechanism. It has nothing to do with God or religion, or personal belief, but belongs to one of the methodologies in science to view our world. In this methodology, sicentists construct hypotheses based on empirically definable evidence, with which God or any sorts of devine will etc. is intractable.
    Basically, to address this subject is one thing and God or religion is another, which has been reiterated already, but still there are some who are unaware of it.

    Through works of Dawkins, he was not interested in God's power, which is undefinable or intractable with the scientific protocol. In this sense, he had recourse to more logical pathway to understand phenomena in nature. The entire story is that simple, but this resulted in ira of those who believe in unknown figure, unfortunately becoming over-aggresive unnecessarily. It's a sad to see illogical, ugly, dispute yet prevailing.

    November 24, 2009 at 3:08 pm | Reply
  137. Mike G

    Do you not think it is a shame that Erasmus Darwin and AR Wallace do not get more credit?

    November 24, 2009 at 3:08 pm | Reply
  138. Markus

    What so many people are failing to understand is that science is the study of reality. A scientist is someone who studies reality.

    In the arguments where believers keep insisting that science does not apply in certain instances my response cannot be polite, because the only proper response is: bullsh*t! Science doesn't stop applying just because you say so, or just because some man on Sunday says so, or a man in Rome in a hat says so, or just because some books says so.

    People really seem to believe that the laws of science are as optional as legal laws. Understand that the laws of science, though equally invented by us, are the best available approximations of the real laws of nature, rules that cannot be broken.

    |As an example, there is no controversy when we say that the virgin birth didn't happen, because we know that a Y chromosome is too improbably to spontaneously assemble and needs to be inherited from a father. The event simply did not happen, and there is no debate to be had. This entire conversation is not a debate but just a (futile) attempt by rationalists to educate the willfully ignorant.

    November 24, 2009 at 3:17 pm | Reply
  139. Moe Lester

    Mr. Dawkins,
    Who do you got for winning the Super Bowl this year?

    November 24, 2009 at 3:19 pm | Reply
  140. Ali

    Respected Sir.

    Why religion is intolerant of independent thoughts? How should a free thinker move forward without clashing with religion?

    November 24, 2009 at 3:22 pm | Reply
  141. RE_DST

    “God gives us freedom of choice? Where was the freedom of choice given to the starving child in Africa or the cancer sufferer, or the victims of the Boxing Day Tsunami?”

    NONE of us are guaranteed tomorrow. This does not differ at age 0 or at age 110. Do I need to give all the Bible quotes for this?

    “With the big bang established as fact” ? Do people really not know how many science(S) there are, and then the divisions between them?
    OK, let’s say the big bang is truth. Show me one engineer in ANY field that can achieve a “bang” without any parts. I’ve gone to the top universities and have asked this myself. No matter how large or small the first thing(s) in existence were, how do you get a big bang without parts? Is it easier to believe that many things came from nothing at some point, than believing in God? So EVERYONE believes in magic that we only hope to understand someday, or God.

    November 24, 2009 at 3:22 pm | Reply
  142. Paul W Sanders

    Militant religiosity is at the root of most of the world's misery. But does militant atheism mitigate or just add to the fray? If the human condition were the first priority, would teaching tolerance be a more practicable path.

    November 24, 2009 at 3:22 pm | Reply
  143. Ivanna Humpalot

    Hey Richard,
    What's your beef against Christians and other religious folk? Couldn't our meaningless lives be better spent like enjoying the millions we make off of our atheist (who are just as bit as narrow-minded as some of those religious folk) supporters? Just a suggestion...

    November 24, 2009 at 3:24 pm | Reply
  144. Daniel Collingsworth

    Hey Dawkins,
    Who do you have on a potential Mayweather-Pacquiao fight? I got $50 riding on Pac-Man.

    November 24, 2009 at 3:27 pm | Reply
  145. BAM

    Unfortunately, as a scientist, I can state that there is really not much "unbiased" science left today. Most scientists, who believe (yes, here is the word "belief" used in science) in evolutionary biology have a lot of money riding on having folks put backing into their research and as Dawkins has, many (of which most I have read) books to sell. There are many Ph.D level scientists, of different disciplines, who would find many faults in Dawkins process, if not evolution at large. Most of what Dawkins puts forth is not, unfortunately based on the scientific method. You see, science is terrible at extrapolating backwards; requiring lots of, dare I say, faith. It works great predicting forward movement. This is a wasted argument. Both sides have cyclical arguments. You can not budge faith, if you could, it would not be faith. Nor can you disprove God. Both sides of the coin would serve humanity far better to use their talents doing something useful, such as curing diseases (and don't you go being silly thinking you need evolution to cure cancer), curbing global warming or a host of other needed works. As as for many folks using the bible or God, either to positively or negatively impact their stance, have you actually studied the bible? It is my experience that most folks, even christians, have not put in the kind of effort required to understand the work.

    I am a chemist and a christian, and I approved this message.

    November 24, 2009 at 3:28 pm | Reply
  146. Robert Allan

    In my opinion, Dr. Dawkins is one of time´s great teacher-philosophers, able to share his conclusions in a compassionate manner easily understood by those of us less brilliant. It is sad that, in the 21st Century, man-poor-man is still too terrified to be rational when presented with truth.

    November 24, 2009 at 3:29 pm | Reply
  147. Simon

    I get so depressed when I read comments by people like Brenda when she says that nobody has ever denied the Bible.She HAS to be totally uneducated to make such an asinine and vapid statement. I am a Jesuit-trained Catholic, but I have NEVER put my faith in the Bible, which is merely a collection of stories – and TRANSLATED stories at that. It's nothing more than a compendium of religiously-themed Chinese whispers.

    November 24, 2009 at 3:31 pm | Reply
  148. Camelle Toe

    Mr. Dawkins,
    Someone once told me that "in order for you to say unwavingly that there is no God, you have to be God. You would have to know all, be everywhere, and transcend time, because God might be in a place you didn't look or existed at a time you weren't born." Could you respond to this comment?

    November 24, 2009 at 3:34 pm | Reply
  149. anonymous

    Once you realize that people are stupid and that you are one of them, life becomes simple.

    November 24, 2009 at 3:41 pm | Reply
  150. graemesbest


    Allowing that every single race or tribe has evolved to believe in their own particular set of Gods ... all different, obviously, and all equally ridiculous.. but without exception they all have them, do you think that perhaps it could be harmful in any way if believing in the supernatural was allowed to whither and die?... as from an evolutionary point of view, surely belief in religion has been naturally selected.


    November 24, 2009 at 3:44 pm | Reply
  151. Marc

    I am always amazed when I find time and time again atheists bringing out a book that attempts to prove evolution. If the evolutionary theory had such a body of evidence, as Mr. Dawkins suggests, why is it that in all the history of mankind it has never been embraced before? Some purport people of the time did not know what we know today—really—how did the Egyptians construct the pyramids; how did the Babylonian’s build their gardens and the Chinese ascertain medicine that we are just rediscovering today; and yet they all worshiped various forms of gods. If evolution has such a body of evidence why are we never able to find an “in-between” species that would fit their paradigm? If evolution has such a body of evidence how is it that throughout the universe we have laws that are constantly repeating themselves? Why is gravity always a constant, why is mathematical principle found everywhere and why is symmetry found throughout? Natural selection would not have produced such a pattern in itself. If evolution has such a body of evidence why do they always hit the same wall regarding the beginning of life, which started the process? The “big bang” theory explains the universe to be perhaps 14 billions years old, but what released the initial body of matter that launched the universe? If evolution stands against creationism because they say, “the earth is only 6000 years old”—then, yes, I would agree that creationists are wrong. If evolutionists attack creationists because they feel the dinosaurs and other fossil records are false—then, again, I would agree. Creationists ignore undisputable evidence. But in all of this discussion one fact remains true—if you look at the Book—the Bible, which evolutionists don’t want to acknowledge and creationists distort to promote their own views of religion—it cannot be broken; whether you thrust upon it science or false religion. The Bible says what it says and means what it means if you take it as a complete work!

    November 24, 2009 at 3:44 pm | Reply
  152. Flores

    Couples of years ago Discovery channel had a program (forgive me, I forget) which showed real experiences of many people and house that some spiritual beings are there, staying at that place or house. My question is: Mr. Dawkins, do you believe that there are such as spiritual being as shown in Discovery channel and witnessed by millions of people for the last thousand of years? If there are spiritual beings, can you explain it from the evolution point of view and how do spiritual beings evolve? I believe you have answers for my questions.

    November 24, 2009 at 3:46 pm | Reply
  153. Michael

    Let me be clear. I am not an Athiest. I am a Pantheist. The overwhelming and essentially inctonrovertible evidence supporting evolution does very little to indicate the non-presence of a creator. Rather, it indicates that it's unlikely there's an involved creator that particularly cares about life on 1 planet in 10, surrounding one star in 100 billion in 1 galaxy of 100 billion galaxies, let alone an individual life amongst the trillions on Earth. Still the fact that something exists versus nothing at all is a powerful and perplexing argument for some force for creation that defies current explaination. Most people would call that God. Even if the Physicits or Mathematicians produce an explaination for how something can be created from nothing (and there are now seedlings for rigorous explaination of similar phenomena – consider quantum foam and spontaneous non-symmetry), it would still be such an incredible property that I'd call it equivalent to God. In fact, if the universe can create itself then one might argue the universe itself could be considered 'God' : Hence for now I call myself a Pantheist.

    November 24, 2009 at 3:49 pm | Reply
  154. David

    Four hundred years ago, Francis Bacon warned that our minds are wired to deceive us, assuming more order than really exists. No matter how much evidence we gather for a particular theory, we never really are able to prove it. Seeing white swans again and again and again does not ever prove that all swans are white. But sighting a single black swan allows us to disprove the theory. Many 'manifestations' of God(s) have been sighted all over the place, in all kinds of forms, throughout recorded history. None of it proves the existance of God(s). On the other hand, atheists haven't exactly come up with a black swan either, in the forms of evolution or scientific inquiry, to disprove it, and have settled on trying to dismantle the validity of the white 'sightings'. But that doesn't work, because no one knows the 'critical mass' of white swan sightings that sustains the belief that all swans are white. Not to mention that there are many shades of white. And some might even argue that black is the new white anyway. Both reason and beliefs have their up and down sides. A more pragmatic discussion would focus on the cost-benefit ratio of rationality and beliefs when they tend to conflict, since most decisions have to be made in the context of some, but limited knowledge.

    November 24, 2009 at 3:53 pm | Reply
  155. Paolo

    I kept reading posts and I'm a bit disheartened.

    Not by the sheer lack of intellectual depth many display – at the end of the day it wasn't requested.
    Nor by the cheesy, irritating worshipping servitude of the many Dawkinsians who have come to pay homage to their own human god – at the end of the day, they too need one.

    What leaves me baffled is the lack of knowledge about the Catholic Church, its studies or its beliefs. 2000 years of major works on every human field, including Science, 2000 years of philosophical thought by the brightest minds, productive confrontation with the brightest atheists and agnostics, and we find ourselves debating on things like this:

    DST wrote: "If suffering is caused by the hands of man, and God created man, then by that logic God created suffering. That's the problem with religion: it emphasises faith to the exclusion of logic".

    My good friend, we don't need Christ to answer to that. Just buy a standard philosophy manual, go at the chapter "Aristotle", then sub-chapter "Syllogism" and ... study. All logical stuff, of course.

    Or this:
    Peter wrote: "Paolo, yes we have noticed that the Catholic Church has accommodated evolution – although the current Pope seems to be in danger of backslipping. But that doesn't make the doctrine of the Catholic Church any less ridiculous or cruel. In fact, by accepting evolution and at the same time by continuing to deny African populations the use of condoms to prevent AIDS and homosexuals any rights at all other than condemnation to a mythical hell, they demonstrate a quite staggering mixture of hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance. I hope you can see this."

    No, I fail to see where the current Pope is backslipping on this. Also, I fail to see the link between evolution and condoms. Talking about condoms, you might be right, but last time I checked it was statistics about Uganda: the State has adopted a stance based on education, not condoms, and has reduced AIDS in the past few years from 21% to 6%, all concentrated in the upper classes. It definitely wasn't the case of Uganda, data in hand.
    Finally, I really fail to see where the Catholic Church says that homosexuals are condemned to hell.

    But maybe you have more info than I do...

    Or here's another:

    Cynik wrote: "There will always be customers for priests because people are born ignorant and fearful: it is the human condition in the absence of education and reason".

    Thanks, Cynik. I studied 25 years in State schools and am doing a Ph.D. right now. You see, that's the problem: if you start from that postulate, how can you move forward on the path to understanding religion and why people believe?

    Finally, someone said that Darwin, Einstein and Hawking nailed God's coffin.
    Well, Darwin nailed Creationism's coffin, and I'm happy of it. But Creationism is not the Church's position.
    Einstein proved time and space as relative: you can read it both ways, I think it's a good step forward, the Church's teachings has been saying for centuries that God is beyond time and space. The presence of God in time and space is Jesus Christ.
    Hawking has been fairly heavily contrasted in his assertions: do a little research and you'll find out.

    Some months ago an animalist confronted me on the issue of monkeys: 98% (or so) of their DNA is the same as humans, we shouldn't be as arrogant as to think we're so superior, was his point.

    I looked at him as if I was looking at a dim-wit: "in God's name, do we look 98% the same? Do we behave 98% the same? Do we have the same conscience of ourselves? Are monkeys debating on humans right now, as we do about them?" That 98%, if anything, is the most convincing proof of Creation. We came from the monkeys, but the final leap is so huge as to be unexplainable only through Evolution.
    Why only humans, and no other species on Earth?

    Creation through Evolution.

    November 24, 2009 at 3:54 pm | Reply
  156. Rocky

    Blessed are those who enlighten us in ways such as Dawkins and Hitchens. Having read ALL the comments above I keep relishing in the thought that I am maybe the proudest born again atheist in this entire world.

    This entire Creationist myth is simply "Jesus through the back door". It just seems to tick off Christians to no end that someone would dare to invoke scientific research to seek answers in the complex issue called "LIFE".

    Darwin had an idea....a theory that life was just maybe a bit more complex than say....someone like Sarah Palin....who is convinced that dinosaurs and man walked hand in claw together say about 6000 years ago.

    Dawkins does not have to be NICE and POLITE to these narrow minded religious zealots. His distain is directed at the non-thinkers of all religions. He dares to ask you to think beyond the myths that you intrepret as FACT. He challenges BLIND FAITH. And this is what ticks off so many bored again christians and muslims alike.

    He asks you to think outside the narrow confines of your rigid mythical based belief system. And oh...how religious people hate having their dreamworld rocked in any way.

    I shudder at the message of divisive hate that so many American evangelists preach on the airwaves on a daily basis. Their hatred for scientific research...their hatred for woman's rights...their hatred for gays and lesbians....their hatred for atheists.

    Yet so many of the religious comments are irritated at Dawkins tone of voice. Well....payback is a ....well....you know what I mean.

    November 24, 2009 at 3:57 pm | Reply
  157. JonJ in SF

    @Ben: lol

    @Sir. Dawkins:

    I wonder if I could pick your mind on some broad trends.

    1) Besides getting taller and increased brain size, has biological evolution had any recent effects on humanity that you would consider noteworthy? Specifically, I wonder if there have been any significant biological changes since the dawn of technology that you would consider worth mentioning.

    2) What's your opinion of the words 'self-regulating' as applied to the earth?

    3) What odds would you give to the possibility of digitally-based intelligences emerging in the foreseeable future (i.e. current lifetimes)? 5%? 50?

    On a related note, I've bought both God Delusion and am meaning to get around to the newest one. Thank you and please keep the good stuff coming for as long as age-extension lets you 😉 J

    November 24, 2009 at 4:09 pm | Reply
  158. Chris Roberts

    To think that all creation evolved to it's current state without God overseeing the building process is pretty stupid. Just look at the structure of the atom, the way the universe is structured, the way the earth is tilted at 23 degrees axis, I could go on on on. Yet you would say that all of this has come about by mere luck.

    One of the devil's best tricks was to make the world think he doesn't exist. Now, athesists are going to add that God doesn't exist. It's just another trick from the devil.

    I can say I know there is a God because there are too many things that happened in my life that cannot be explained by mere luck. In fact, I pray to God as my Creator and Father and I can feel His presence, and Jesus' presence (if not one and the same) in my life. I am not afraid to die because I know what is to come for me.

    I wish other people could feel what I do. When I read this nonsense, I feel so sorry for you people. Maybe one day something will happen to change your mind. Good luck.

    November 24, 2009 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  159. Christopher Swift

    No one knows "what's beyond that door" , death. All the so-called faith in the world does not make an eternal "spiritual world" so or prove it so. To have such a fixed idea of what God is and what "He" thinks, plans or cares about is childish, superstitious and cowardly. Conceptions of God as an Almighty Deity that will smite or destroy the unbelieving are just plain stupid. What kind of loving God would make man's continued existence contingent upon whether or not one believes in ancient stories, fables, contradictory historical texts, in a world where superstition, fear and submission to authoritarian religious leaders or dictators of righteous dogma have too long held sway. Religion is based on fear of the unknown. "We must appease the Diety with blood sacrifice or he won't let rain fall on our crops.....The 'wise man' will bet on the side of 'faith' for , what if all the stories of a Jealous God demanding absolute worship are true and you will be destroyed if you don't BELIEVE He exists!?... Oh my, you'll be imprisoned and doomed to a burning hell for all eternity!!!" God is love? Certainly not the standard conception of "Him" and all we have are conceptions.
    Can't we work on one that promotes life on earth for everyone(the entire human family) and leaves the "hereafter" to the hereafter? Wouldn't it be great if those who do choose to believe, just practiced the simple rule of love and respect for all fellow "creatures" regardless of religious affiliation? Can't we as humans, both non-believers and believers, seeing that we're in the same boat, try to find the common ground and work for the betterment of humanity and planet earth, breaking down all the barriers that divide and confuse rather than unite
    us? Ahh, probably not, but it is very likely the underlying hope of all reasonable, caring people who have their eyes, minds and hearts open hoping for a better life for all throughout the world.

    November 24, 2009 at 4:31 pm | Reply
  160. Christopher Swift

    My hat's off to Mr. Dawkins for daring to think and question and stimulate thought!

    November 24, 2009 at 4:38 pm | Reply
  161. Tim McDonald

    Take cause and effect back to its original source and you will find the essence of creation, or god,
    which continues to grow/evolve. But to say that this original creative force never existed,
    is like saying that the invention of the fax machine just “happened” out of thin air. This is a close second to the religious arrogance we exhibit in believing we know exactly why we are here, and where it is we came from. Which would be as if that same fax machine insisted it was meant to be a typewriter, or a rolodex, and that it was originally invented by Alan Dower Blumlein (29 June 1903 – 7 June 1942) . Which is a sure way to fax machine heaven!

    November 24, 2009 at 4:51 pm | Reply

    The Holy Scripture says that "The wicked shall be turned into Hell and all nations that forget God". It also says that "the foolish has said in his heart that there is no God". Yet Jesus(the only begotten Son of God) says" ...without Me, ye can do NOTHING". It is quiet unfortunate that that soem sect simply refuses to acknowledge GOD! The Bible has already said that we are in the last days and definitely perilious times are here and there are many antichrists already in the world. I am not surprised because the Holy Scripture is complete. the natures speak of God; times and seasons tells about God. God will help Mr. Ricahrd Dawkings!

    November 24, 2009 at 4:51 pm | Reply
  163. Tiffany

    Will you marry me?

    November 24, 2009 at 6:42 pm | Reply
  164. Charlie

    Mr. Dawkins,

    Could you please explain your thoughts on the probability of intelligent life having evolved elsewhere in the universe?


    November 24, 2009 at 7:12 pm | Reply
  165. Cole

    Dear Dawkins,
    I am big fan of yours. What I am wondering is what you believe is the biggest obstacle that currently prevents people from accepting evolution? Whether it be terminology, a fear of death, or something else.
    Thank you advance Cole

    November 24, 2009 at 7:19 pm | Reply
  166. Mark Greene

    I would like to thank Mr. Dawkins for seeing the need of empowering the human species through truth, fact, and knowledge. We have lived with superstitious nonsense for long enough.
    And now for a bit of poetic liberty:
    Religion begins to sing it's swan song, and we must all suffer it's scream. But soon enough it will have no life to give it breath, and our ears will hear only the sound of truth, making it possible to proceed into a future unrestricted by the shrieks of irrationality. It will become mere memory alongside all other falsehoods, and it's corpse will nourish scientific growth. And what grows from that death will be pure, unbridled reason.
    We Atheists must speak and be heard. And in the truth of our reason, the world will change and the human race will continue to evolve.

    November 24, 2009 at 7:39 pm | Reply
  167. kiyp

    Mr. Dawkins –

    How might Atheism give hope to those who experience grave injustices?

    November 24, 2009 at 8:10 pm | Reply
  168. Mohamed

    I'm a muslim and I have no doubt of the existence of one God one creator to all the people. Simply because:-
    1- If we look and think carefully in the design of the world and the life we can not say any think except "smart design" my question can this design be created from nothing or from evolution??
    2- If we compare between different creatures, we can see much similarities among them. If they are not created by one great superpower how can we explain this similarities such as eyes-legs-...
    3- I'm sure proving the existence of God is not like a theory which we can prove but again I can not understand that this smart design came from nothing

    November 24, 2009 at 8:28 pm | Reply
  169. Kelly Gullekson

    Dr. Dawkins,

    I was "raised" Roman Catholic from birth. However, thanks to a great college Professor who introduced me to evolution and also to your writing, I have since converted to atheism. Sadly, even though I have presented the same evidence to the rest of my family, they are refusing to follow suit.

    My son is turning three in January and I've been very adamant on not indoctrinating him into any religion, much to the chagrin of my family. They often ask when his baptism will be, even after I have told them I intend on keeping religion out of his child-rearing completely. They have bought him religious children's books for his birthday and holidays and insist on reading them to him. I am hoping you might have some advice on how to best deal with this situation while not completely losing my family.

    Thanks so much,

    November 24, 2009 at 8:32 pm | Reply
  170. Brendan Armstrong

    Hello Prof. Dawkins,

    I wanted to see your talk this evening at the Victoria and Albert but it was sold out when I found out about it.
    Are you planning to be doing any further talks in London soon.


    P.S. I think your book is very good.

    November 24, 2009 at 8:38 pm | Reply
  171. Phil

    Wow Godwin's law at its best in some earlier comments...

    Question to Mister Dawkins: Why do the media always point at your lack of belief in a deity instead of sticking to what your latest book is about: biology?

    November 24, 2009 at 8:46 pm | Reply
  172. Aleksandar

    In Australia there is a custom ... Roads ancestors ... where the youth moving to the ways our ancestors knew the origin. Only the movement of the moon and the sun below the level of Ecuador leads to a faster rotating field of thought which improves the reasoning ...

    November 24, 2009 at 9:54 pm | Reply
  173. Torrie

    How does it feel to be notified about the antics of Ray Comfort (re-writing Darwin's Origin Of Species) and have people wanting you to debate him, when you know he is not educated enough in Science to do so?

    November 24, 2009 at 10:36 pm | Reply
  174. Nick

    Mr, Dawkins,

    I was wondering, myself being an atheist, a zoologist-in-training and a big fan of yours, if you ever get weary of having to explain the fact of evolution and defend your views (which I share) against the aggressive force of religious followers who refuse to listen to science and reason. I certainly know that its often hard to do (like arguing with a brick wall).

    November 24, 2009 at 11:32 pm | Reply
  175. David from Pleasant Hill

    Richard Dawkins is one of the greatest thinkers alive. His crystal clear writing has explained complex subjects such as DNA, geographic dispersion of fossils and evolutionary biology to the layman.

    Evolution is as much a fact as gravity. Please don't be confused over the use of the word theory when used as a prefix to the word evolution. The description of how life changes from one form to another or, how on form adapts itself to the world around it is evolution.

    Please read Richard's book "The Greatest Show On Earth" or Jerry Coyne's, "Why Evolution is True" to uncover the truth for yourself.

    As for his stance as an atheist; he does not believe in supernatural explanations for those things that have natural meanings. Religion in my eyes is a manmade curse.

    Understanding that you don't have to cling to some dogma conjured up by goat herders 2000 years ago is very liberating.

    I'm glad to have seen Richard Dawkins in person and consider him one of the most significant people of the 21st century. Yet, I see him as just a man.

    November 25, 2009 at 12:22 am | Reply
  176. Patrick

    Thank God for Richard Dawkins! (Pun intended) There is no such thing as God. I wish there was but there just isn't. The bible was a creation of mortal men, not god. Any reasonable person can read it and see that it was written in a time when many things were not understood. Just the idea that the entire earth could be submerged in a flood shows a lack of understanding of how rain works, but it provided an explanation at the time of why there were sea shells in layers in the mountains. Surely, if there was a god, he would not have made such mistakes.

    November 25, 2009 at 6:35 am | Reply
  177. Lee

    "God is perfectly capable of making life that follows rules of evolution."

    "Evolution is perfectly capable of making life that follows rules of God."

    November 25, 2009 at 9:55 am | Reply
  178. The boss

    I love the fact it took 14 billion years to evolve to this point. But in a solid 300 years from our "natural selection" will probably destroy the earth.

    My question would simply be.... Natural Selection bases itself around the strong surviving. How is there such diversity a hundred years ago, but a 100 from now hundreds of species will be extinct. Are we are the middle point of evolution, and could the 14 billion years be a little off?

    November 25, 2009 at 3:11 pm | Reply
  179. Hail Santa

    Mjo Ikoe, I think you need to read about a condition known as sleep paralysis. You will see that there is a scientific and rational explanation for the recurring "presence" of demonic beings. Actually, I don't think you will because your ego is very wrapped up in being special enough to 'control' these things, but for anyone who might be considering that Mjo Ikoe might potentially NOT be deluded in his beliefs about devils it might be a good idea to read about it and inoculate yourself against this pernicious superstition.

    As for your challenge, Mjo, I did it, just for fun. Guess what? Nothing happened..... oh no! I was so wrong! Demons are coming, they're coming! They're all over me! Get them off! Get them off! Agghghghghh!

    November 25, 2009 at 6:13 pm | Reply
  180. vaibhav

    We cannot know at which point of time we are in the evolutionary process on this planet. It is a purposeless process so we cannot predict the speciation in the future we can only speculate. All we know is that 99% of the species ever produced by natural selection are now extinct. Evolution by natural selection does not base itself on the strong surviving it bases itself on surviving and passing on the genes to the future generation.
    And as for the universe being 14 billion year old, well that is a fact known to us due to cosmology

    November 25, 2009 at 9:09 pm | Reply
  181. Alexandra Zaharia

    Note to anybody wondering why brilliant scientists such as Professor Dawkins take on a critical stance towards religion.

    The problem runs deeper than you might think. The "religion versus science" thing is just a surface aspect. What is beneath it is the "superstition versus reason" clash. Simply put, superstition comes along with believing something without questioning and analyzing, being therefore willing to do anything that is required of you in order to protect those faiths you hold.

    Admittedly, the 21st century is in many aspects a lot better than the world's state 100 or 1000 years ago. People have rights and are entitled to their beliefs.

    If, however, you want to translate "being entitled to your belief" with taking active steps to impose your belief upon others, it is not as OK as you would like to imagine.

    Taking the reasoning one step further: opposing your belief to science – which is not based on hunches and faith, but on evidence and facts – is a critical affair that drags along with it a medieval close-mindedness that perverts or even denies scientific truth.

    No matter how much you would like to avoid it, science is involved in each and every aspect of modern living. "Adjusting" it to fit political, religious or simply personal cravings means violating its very neutrality. I invite you to make a thought experiment and try to picture where that might lead.

    November 25, 2009 at 9:59 pm | Reply
  182. Dunlop brilliant

    Today one, or some, of enthusiastic believers of God may jot down something. A few centuries later, that fascinating diary fortuitously unearthed with various pages. A new God is born, it's you!!

    November 26, 2009 at 9:36 am | Reply
  183. Angela

    WHAT IF, evolutionists, the creationists are right? What if you were made, with a purpose and you were known before you were even born by the Uncreated One? What if you will be judged when you die? What if "being a good person" isn't exactly what God desires of you?

    What if creationists (CHRISTIANS) are right?

    To the person who finds her/himself "slipping in a prayer here and there" -- PLEASE read with an open heart. The reason you keep praying is because you know, YOU KNOW, the Lord hears every prayer you pray. You don't need to try to convince yourself otherwise – He's there and He loves you and HE STILL HEARS YOU, EVEN WHEN YOU SAY YOU DON"T KNOW HIM!

    God Bless you all – I pray that your eyes be opened someday before Jesus returns for his people!

    November 28, 2009 at 9:27 pm | Reply
  184. Lionel

    Oh your god, so many people so vain believing that human have got the slightest importance in this universe. Evolutionism does not stem from non belief in higher being but from evidence that what creationists claim does not stand up to query.

    January 28, 2010 at 9:07 am | Reply

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