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Richard Dawkins - Creativity and ScienceRichard Dawkins - Creativity and Science


Richard Dawkins (1941- )


English scientist (pictured right). 

Outspoken atheist and passionate supporter of Charles Darwin's  theory of evolution.


His most famous books are...

The Selfish Gene (1976) 

The God Delusion (2006).


What does he say?


1. Evolution is a factRichard Dawkins - Creativity and Science

The evidence totally supports Charles Darwin’s (pictured right) theory of evolution.

This says that all living creatures (including humans) evolved through natural selection (in which the creatures that survive are the ones that best adapt to their environment).

Dawkins calls this “adaptive evolution” and strongly attacks creationists who

  • support the creation story in the Book of Genesis.
  • believe that Adam and Eve (and so the human race) were created without evolution.


2. Memes and selfish genes

The drive for survival (inherent in natural selection and evolution) is in our genes – thus the title of his best-seller, The Selfish Gene.Richard Dawkins - Creativity and Science

Being born selfish, doesn't mean we have to be selfish.

We can learn the importance of generosity and self-sacrifice through “memes”.

Memes are cultural phenomena (like ethical and religious beliefs) that lead to cultural evolution by gradually changing as they pass from one person to another.

 Richard Dawkins - Creativity and Science

3. Good without God

Dawkins is a humanist, believing that people have the:

  • right to be treated with dignity and kindness.
  • responsibility to treat others the same.

In his best-seller, The God Delusion, he totally rejects God and religion, attacking them for:

  • inciting evil (e.g. 9/11 and Jewish persecution).
  • propagating untruths without evidence (e.g. the Biblical creation story).
  • dogmatism (from narrow-minded and bigoted obedience to what God says in holy books like the Bible and Qur'an).


  • challenges the authenticity of the Bible
  • says it is riddled with inconsistencies (like the cruel God of the Old Testament contradicting Jesus’s compassion).


Key quotes on society

We are survival machines – robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes.

Natural selection...has no mind...no vision, no foresight, no sight at all...it is the blind watchmaker.


Key quotes on religion

Religion is about turning untested belief into unshakeable truth.

Being an atheist...is something to be proud of.

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world.

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