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QUOTES BY Richard Dawkins

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'Intelligent life on a planet comes of age when it first works out the reason for its own existence.'


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'I was confirmed at my prep school at the age of 13.'


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'When I say that human beings are just gene machines, one shouldn't put too much emphasis on the word 'just.' There is a very great deal of complication, and indeed beauty in being a gene machine.'


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'Design can never be an ultimate explanation for anything. It can only be a proximate explanation. A plane or a car is explained by a designer but that's because the designer himself, the engineer, is explained by natural selection.'


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'Personally, I rather look forward to a computer program winning the world chess championship. Humanity needs a lesson in humility.'


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'The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.'


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'Design can never be an ultimate explanation for anything. It can only be a proximate explanation. A plane or a car is explained by a designer but that's because the designer himself, the engineer, is explained by natural selection.'


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'Segregation has no place in the education system.'


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'But perhaps the rest of us could have separate classes in science appreciation, the wonder of science, scientific ways of thinking, and the history of scientific ideas, rather than laboratory experience.'


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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 meme for blind faith secures its own perpetuation by the simple unconscious expedient of discouraging rational inquiry.'


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'If children understand that beliefs should be substantiated with evidence, as opposed to tradition, authority, revelation or faith, they will automatically work out for themselves that they are atheists.'


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'At least the fundamentalists haven't tried to dilute their message. Their faith is exposed for what it is for all to see.'


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'By all means let's be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.'


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'Evolution never looks to the future.'


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'We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.'


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'A universe with a God would look quite different from a universe without one. A physics, a biology where there is a God is bound to look different. So the most basic claims of religion are scientific. Religion is a scientific theory.'


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'The question of whether there exists a supernatural creator, a God, is one of the most important that we have to answer. I think that it is a scientific question. My answer is no.'


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'God exists, if only in the form of a meme with high survival value, or infective power, in the environment provided by human culture.'


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'The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.'


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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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'When I say that human beings are just gene machines, one shouldn't put too much emphasis on the word 'just.' There is a very great deal of complication, and indeed beauty in being a gene machine.'


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'But perhaps the rest of us could have separate classes in science appreciation, the wonder of science, scientific ways of thinking, and the history of scientific ideas, rather than laboratory experience.'


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'I'm not one of those who wants to purge our society of our Christian history.'


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'Complex, statistically improbable things are by their nature more difficult to explain than simple, statistically probable things.'


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'Nothing is wrong with peace and love. It is all the more regrettable that so many of Christ's followers seem to disagree.'


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'The Bible should be taught, but emphatically not as reality. It is fiction, myth, poetry, anything but reality. As such it needs to be taught because it underlies so much of our literature and our culture.'


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'I love romantic poetry.'


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'Religion is about turning untested belief into unshakable truth through the power of institutions and the passage of time.'


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'God exists, if only in the form of a meme with high survival value, or infective power, in the environment provided by human culture.'


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'Religion is about turning untested belief into unshakable truth through the power of institutions and the passage of time.'


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


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'One of the things that is wrong with religion is that it teaches us to be satisfied with answers which are not really answers at all.'


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'A universe with a God would look quite different from a universe without one. A physics, a biology where there is a God is bound to look different. So the most basic claims of religion are scientific. Religion is a scientific theory.'


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'Many of us saw religion as harmless nonsense. Beliefs might lack all supporting evidence but, we thought, if people needed a crutch for consolation, where's the harm? September 11th changed all that.'


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'It would be intolerant if I advocated the banning of religion, but of course I never have.'


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'There may be fairies at the bottom of the garden. There is no evidence for it, but you can't prove that there aren't any, so shouldn't we be agnostic with respect to fairies?'


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'I love romantic poetry.'


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'Isn't it sad to go to your grave without ever wondering why you were born? Who, with such a thought, would not spring from bed, eager to resume discovering the world and rejoicing to be part of it?'


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'It has become almost a cliche to remark that nobody boasts of ignorance of literature, but it is socially acceptable to boast ignorance of science and proudly claim incompetence in mathematics.'


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'I am one of those scientists who feels that it is no longer enough just to get on and do science. We have to devote a significant proportion of our time and resources to defending it from deliberate attack from organised ignorance.'


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'The enlightenment is under threat. So is reason. So is truth. So is science, especially in the schools of America.'


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'Of course in science there are things that are open to doubt and things need to be discussed. But among the things that science does know, evolution is about as certain as anything we know.'


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'But perhaps the rest of us could have separate classes in science appreciation, the wonder of science, scientific ways of thinking, and the history of scientific ideas, rather than laboratory experience.'


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'Science coverage could be improved by the recognition that science is timeless, and therefore science stories should not need to be pegged to an item in the news.'


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'I'm not one of those who wants to purge our society of our Christian history.'


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'We humans are an extremely important manifestation of the replication bomb, because it is through us - through our brains, our symbolic culture and our technology - that the explosion may proceed to the next stage and reverberate through deep space.'


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'Religion is about turning untested belief into unshakable truth through the power of institutions and the passage of time.'


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'For the first half of geological time our ancestors were bacteria. Most creatures still are bacteria, and each one of our trillions of cells is a colony of bacteria.'


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'I am one of those scientists who feels that it is no longer enough just to get on and do science. We have to devote a significant proportion of our time and resources to defending it from deliberate attack from organised ignorance.'


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'Religion is about turning untested belief into unshakable truth through the power of institutions and the passage of time.'


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'The enlightenment is under threat. So is reason. So is truth. So is science, especially in the schools of America.'


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'If children understand that beliefs should be substantiated with evidence, as opposed to tradition, authority, revelation or faith, they will automatically work out for themselves that they are atheists.'


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'I suppose if you look back to your early childhood you accept everything people tell you, and that includes a heavy dose of irrationality - you're told about tooth fairies and Father Christmas and things.'

 

 

 

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