787 Inspiring Quotes by Richard Dawkins with Shareable Pics

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Wikipedia Summary for Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins (born 26 March 1941) is a British evolutionary biologist and author. He is an emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford and was Professor for Public Understanding of Science in the University of Oxford from 1995 to 2008. An atheist, he is well known for his criticism of creationism and intelligent design.

Dawkins first came to prominence with his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, which popularised the gene-centred view of evolution and introduced the term meme. With his book The Extended Phenotype (1982), he introduced into evolutionary biology the influential concept that the phenotypic effects of a gene are not necessarily limited to an organism's body, but can stretch far into the environment. In 2006, he founded the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science.

In The Blind Watchmaker (1986), Dawkins argues against the watchmaker analogy, an argument for the existence of a supernatural creator based upon the complexity of living organisms. Instead, he describes evolutionary processes as analogous to a blind watchmaker, in that reproduction, mutation, and selection are unguided by any designer. In The God Delusion (2006), Dawkins contends that a supernatural creator almost certainly does not exist and that religious faith is a delusion. Dawkins's atheist stances have sometimes attracted controversy.

Dawkins has been awarded academic and writing awards, and he makes television, radio, and internet appearances, predominantly discussing his books, atheism, and his ideas and opinions as a public intellectual.

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By all means let's be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out. -this quote is actually found in Carl Sagan's book The Demon Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, where he attributes it to engineer James Oberg, who says he stole it from someone else.


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Let us try to teach generosity and altruism, because we are born selfish. Let us understand what our own selfish genes are up to, because we may then at least have the chance to upset their designs, something that no other species has ever aspired to do.


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Far from being demeaning to human spiritual values, scientific rationalism is the crowning glory of the human spirit. Of course you can use the products of science to do bad things, but you can use them to do good things too.


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We admit that we are like apes, but we seldom realise that we are apes. Our common ancestor with the chimpanzees and gorillas is much more recent than their common ancestor with the Asian apes -- the gibbons and orangutans. There is no natural category that includes chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans but excludes humans.


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Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence.


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The feeling of awed wonder that science can give us is one of the highest experiences of which the human psyche is capable. It is a deep aesthetic passion to rank with the finest that music and poetry can deliver. It is truly one of the things that make life worth living and it does so, if anything, more effectively if it convinces us that the time we have for living is quite finite.


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Creationists eagerly seek a gap in present-day knowledge or understanding. If an apparent gap is found, it is assumed that God, by default, must fill it. What worries thoughtful theologians such as Bonhoeffer is that gaps shrink as science advances, and God is threatened with eventually having nothing to do and nowhere to hide.


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Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose. Physics is the study of simple things that do not tempt us to invoke design.


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The human psyche has two great sicknesses: the urge to carry vendetta across generations, and the tendency to fasten group labels on people rather than see them as individuals. Abrahamic religion mixes explosively with (and gives strong sanction to) both. Only the willfully blind could fail to implicate the divisive force of religion in most, if not all, of the violent enmities in the world today. Without a doubt it is the prime aggravator of the Middle East. Those of us who have for years politely concealed our contempt for the dangerous collective delusion of religion need to stand up and speak out. Things are different now. ‘All is changed, changed utterly.


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The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.


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After sleeping through a hundred million centuries we have finally opened our eyes on a sumptuous planet, sparkling with color, bountiful with life. Within decades we must close our eyes again. Isn't it a noble, an enlightened way of spending our brief time in the sun, to work at understanding the universe and how we have come to wake up in it? This is how I answer when I am asked -- as I am surprisingly often -- why I bother to get up in the mornings.


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No matter how much knowledge and wisdom you acquire during your life, not one jot will be passed on to your children by genetic means. Each new generation starts from scratch. A body is the genes' way of preserving the genes unaltered.


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Indeed, organizing atheists has been compared to herding cats, because they tend to think independently and will not conform to authority. But a good first step would be to build up a critical mass of those willing to 'come out,' thereby encouraging others to do so. Even if they can't be herded, cats in sufficient numbers can make a lot of noise and they cannot be ignored.


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We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die, because they are never going to be born. The number of people who could be here, in my place, out number the sand grains in the Sahara. If you think about all the different ways in which our genes could be permuted, you and I are quite grotesquely lucky to be here. The number of events that had to happen in order for you to exist, in order for me to exist... we are privileged to be alive and nd we should make the most of our time on this world.


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Longer Version:

We are survival machines -- robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes. This is a truth which still fills me with astonishment.


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