My watch list  

Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins

lecturing on his book, The God Delusion.
BornMarch 26 1941 (1941-03-26) (age 71)
Nairobi, Kenya
NationalityBritish (English)
FieldEvolutionary biology
InstitutionsUniversity of California, Berkeley
Oxford University
Academic advisor  Niko Tinbergen
Notable prizesZoological Society Silver Medal (1989)
Faraday Award (1990)
Kistler Prize (2001)
Fellow of the Royal Society.

Clinton Richard Dawkins (born March 26, 1941) is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and popular science writer who holds the Charles Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford.

Dawkins first came to prominence with his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, which popularised the gene-centered view of evolution and introduced the term meme, helping found the field of memetics. In 1982, he made a widely-cited contribution to the science of evolution with the theory, presented in his book The Extended Phenotype, that phenotypic effects are not limited to an organism's body but can stretch far into the environment, including into the bodies of other organisms. He has since written several best-selling popular books, and appeared in a number of television and radio programmes, concerning evolutionary biology, creationism, and religion.

In addition to his biological work, Dawkins is well known for his views on religion. He is an outspoken antireligionist, atheist, secular humanist and sceptic, and he is a supporter of the Brights movement,[1] a movement attempting to pursue a purely naturalistic worldview, in which – as a consequence – there is no god.


Personal life

Dawkins was born on March 26, 1941 in Nairobi, Kenya, and named Clinton Richard Dawkins.[2] His father, Clinton John Dawkins, was a farmer and former wartime soldier called up from colonial service in Nyasaland (now Malawi).[3] Dawkins' parents came from an affluent upper-middle class background – the Dawkins name was described in Burke's Landed Gentry as "Dawkins of Over Norton". His father is a descendant of the Clinton family which held the Earldom of Lincoln, and his mother is Jean Mary Vyvyan Dawkins, née Ladner. Both were interested in the natural sciences, and answered the young Dawkins' questions in scientific terms.[4]

Dawkins describes his childhood as "a normal Anglican upbringing",[5] but reveals that he began doubting the existence of God when he was about nine years old. He was later reconverted because he was persuaded by the argument from design, though he began to feel that the customs of the Church of England were absurd, and had more to do with dictating morals than with God. When he better understood evolution, at age sixteen, his religious position again changed because he felt that evolution could account for the complexity of life in purely material terms, and thus that a designer was not necessary.[5] He married Marian Stamp in 1967, and they divorced in 1984. Later that year, Dawkins married Eve Barham – with whom he had a daughter, Juliet Emma Dawkins, but they too divorced. He married actress Lalla Ward in 1992.[6] Dawkins had met her through their mutual friend Douglas Adams, who worked with Ward on the BBC TV science-fiction series Doctor Who. Ward has illustrated over half of Dawkins' books and co-narrated the audio versions of two of his books.


  Dawkins moved to England with his parents at the age of eight, and attended Oundle School. He then studied zoology at Balliol College, Oxford, where he was tutored by Nobel Prize-winning ethologist Nikolaas Tinbergen. He graduated in 1962, achieving MA and D.Phil. degrees in 1966, followed by a D.Sc. in 1989.[2]

From 1967 to 1969, Dawkins was an assistant professor of zoology in the University of California, Berkeley. In 1970 he was appointed a lecturer, and in 1990 a reader in zoology at the University of Oxford. In 1995, he was appointed Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford, a position endowed by Charles Simonyi with an express intention that Dawkins be its first holder.[7] He has been a fellow of New College, Oxford since 1970.[8] He has delivered a number of inaugural and other notable lectures, including the Henry Sidgwick Memorial Lecture (1989), first Erasmus Darwin Memorial Lecture (1990), Michael Faraday Lecture (1991), T.H. Huxley Memorial Lecture (1992), Irvine Memorial Lecture (1997), Sheldon Doyle Lecture (1999), Tinbergen Lecture (2004), and the Tanner Lectures (2003).[2] In 1991 he gave the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures for Children (recently released on DVD as Growing Up In The Universe).

In 1996, Charles Simonyi referred to Dawkins as "Darwin's rottweiler",[9] a description later adopted by Discover magazine,[10] and the Radio Times.[11] He has also been called "the nearest thing to a professional atheist we have had since Bertrand Russell"[12] and compared to Ernst Haeckel.[13]

Dawkins has edited a number of journals and has acted as editorial advisor for several publications, including Encarta Encyclopedia and the Encyclopedia of Evolution. He writes a column for the Council for Secular Humanism's Free Inquiry magazine and serves as a senior editor. He has also been president of the Biological Sciences section of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, is a Humanist Laureate of the International Academy of Humanism, a fellow of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal and serves as advisor for several other organisations. He has sat on numerous judging panels for awards as diverse as the Royal Society's Faraday Award and the British Academy Television Awards.[2] In 2004, the Dawkins Prize – awarded for "outstanding research into the ecology and behaviour of animals whose welfare and survival may be endangered by human activities"[14] – was initiated by Oxford's Balliol College.


Evolutionary biology

In his scientific works, Dawkins is best known for his popularisation of the gene-centered view of evolution – a view most clearly set out in his books The Selfish Gene (1976), where he notes that "all life evolves by the differential survival of replicating entities", and The Extended Phenotype (1982), in which he describes natural selection as "the process whereby replicators out-propagate each other". As an ethologist, interested in animal behaviour and its relation to natural selection, he advocates the idea that the gene is the principal unit of selection in evolution.

Dawkins has been consistently sceptical about non-adaptive processes in evolution (such as spandrels described by Gould and Lewontin) and about selection at levels "above" that of the gene. He is particularly sceptical about the practical possibility or importance of group selection.[15]

The gene-centred view also provides a basis for understanding altruism. Altruism appears at first to be a paradox, as helping others costs precious resources – possibly even one's own health and life – thus reducing one's own fitness. Previously this had been interpreted by many as an aspect of group selection, that is, individuals were doing what was best for the survival of the population or species. But W. D. Hamilton used the gene-centred view to explain altruism in terms of inclusive fitness and kin selection, that is, individuals behave altruistically towards their close relatives, who share many of their own genes.[16] (Hamilton's work features prominently in Dawkins' books, and the two became friends at Oxford; following Hamilton's death in 2000 Dawkins wrote his obituary and organised a secular memorial service).[17] Similarly, Robert Trivers, thinking in terms of the gene-centred model, developed the theory of reciprocal altruism, where one organism provides a benefit to another in the expectation of future reciprocation.[18]

Critics of Dawkins' approach suggest that taking the gene as the unit of selection — a single event in which an individual either succeeds or fails to reproduce – is misleading, but that the gene could be described as a unit of evolution – the long-term changes in allele frequencies in a population.[19] In The Selfish Gene, however, Dawkins explains that he is using George C. Williams' definition of gene as "that which segregates and recombines with appreciable frequency".[20] Another common objection is that genes cannot survive alone, but must cooperate to build an individual, and therefore can not be an independent "unit".[21] However, in The Extended Phenotype, Dawkins suggests that because of genetic recombination and sexual reproduction, from an individual gene's viewpoint, all other genes are part of the environment to which it is adapted. Recombination is a process that occurs during meiosis in which pairs of chromosomes cross over to swap segments of DNA. These sections are the "genes" to which Dawkins and Williams refer. Advocates for higher levels of selection such as Lewontin, Wilson and Sober also suggest that there are many instances of phenomena (including altruism) that gene-based selection cannot satisfactorily explain.

In a set of controversies over the mechanisms and interpretation of evolution (the so-called "Darwin Wars"),[22] one faction was often named after Dawkins and its rival after Stephen Jay Gould, reflecting the pre-eminence of each as a populariser of relevant ideas. In particular, Dawkins and Gould have been prominent commentators in the controversy over sociobiology and evolutionary psychology, with Dawkins generally approving and Gould critical.[23] A typical example of Dawkins' position is his scathing review of Not in Our Genes by Rose, Kamin and Lewontin.[24] Two other thinkers often considered to be in the same camp as Dawkins are Steven Pinker and Daniel Dennett, who has promoted a gene-centric view of evolution and defended reductionism in biology.[25] Dawkins and Gould, however did not have a hostile relationship, and Dawkins dedicated a large portion of his book A Devil's Chaplain to Gould.


See also: Mary Midgley#Midgley–Dawkins debate

Dawkins coined the term meme (analogous to the gene) to describe how Darwinian principles might be extended to explain the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena. This spawned the field of memetics. While originally floating the idea in The Selfish Gene, Dawkins has largely left the task of expanding upon it to other authors, such as Susan Blackmore.[26] Philosopher Mary Midgley, whom Dawkins has debated since the late 1970s, criticizes memetics, gene selection, and sociobiology as being excessively reductionist.[27] Midgley wrote in 1979 that she had previously "not attended to Dawkins, thinking it unnecessary to "break a butterfly upon a wheel,"[28] a comment Dawkins described as being "hard to match, in reputable journals, for its patronising condescension toward a fellow academic."[29]

Although Dawkins coined the term independently, he has never claimed that the idea of the meme was new – there had been similar terms for similar ideas in the past. John Laurent, in The Journal of Memetics, has suggested that the term "meme" itself may have been derived from the work of the little-known German biologist Richard Semon.[30] In 1904, Semon published Die Mneme (which was published in English, as The Mneme, in 1924). His book discussed the cultural transmission of experiences, with insights parallel to those of Dawkins. Laurent also found the use of the term "mneme" in The Life of the White Ant (1926), by Maurice Maeterlinck,[31] and highlighted its similarities to Dawkins' concept.


Dawkins is an ardent and outspoken atheist, an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society,[32] a vice-president of the British Humanist Association and a Distinguished Supporter of the Humanist Society of Scotland. In his essay "Viruses of the Mind" (from which the term "faith-sufferer" originated), he suggested that memetic theory might analyse and explain the phenomenon of religious belief and some of the common characteristics of organised religions, such as the belief that punishment awaits non-believers. In 2003, The Atheist Alliance International instituted the Richard Dawkins Award in his honour. Dawkins is well known for his contempt for religious extremism, from Islamist terrorism to Christian fundamentalism, but he has also argued with liberal believers and religious scientists,[5] from the biologist Kenneth Miller[10] to the theologian Alister McGrath and the former Bishop of Oxford, Richard Harries.[33]. However, he describes himself as a "cultural Christian" and in relation to Christmas traditions in the UK, says "I'm not one of those who wants to purge our society of our Christian history. If there's any threat [to] these sorts of things, I think you will find it comes from rival religions and not from atheists."[34]

Dawkins continues to be a prominent figure in contemporary public debate on issues relating to science and religion, especially since his 2006 book The God Delusion. He sees education and consciousness-raising as the primary tools in opposing what he considers to be religious dogma and indoctrination. These tools include the fight against certain stereotypes, and he has adopted the positive term "Bright", as a way of putting positive connotations on those with a naturalistic world view.[35] Dawkins notes that feminists have succeeded in making us feel embarrassed when we routinely employ "he" instead of "she"; similarly, he suggests, a phrase such as "Catholic child" or "Muslim child" should be seen to be just as improper as, say, "Marxist child": children should not be classified based on their parents' ideological beliefs.[36]

Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, when asked how the world might have changed, Dawkins responded:

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. Revealed faith is not harmless nonsense, it can be lethally dangerous nonsense. Dangerous because it gives people unshakeable confidence in their own righteousness. Dangerous because it gives them false courage to kill themselves, which automatically removes normal barriers to killing others. Dangerous because it teaches enmity to others labelled only by a difference of inherited tradition. And dangerous because we have all bought into a weird respect, which uniquely protects religion from normal criticism. Let's now stop being so damned respectful![37]

In January 2006, Dawkins presented a two-part television documentary entitled The Root of All Evil?, (a title in which Dawkins had no say and with which he has repeatedly expressed his dissatisfaction)[38] addressing what he sees as the malignant influence of organised religion in society. Critics said that the programme gave too much time to marginal figures and extremists, and that Dawkins' confrontational style did not help his cause;[39][40] Dawkins rejected these claims, citing the number of moderate religious broadcasts in everyday media as providing a suitable balance to the extremists in the programmes. He further remarked that someone who is deemed an "extremist" in a religiously moderate country, may well be considered "mainstream" in a religiously conservative one.[41] The unedited recordings of Dawkins' conversations with Professor McGrath and Bishop Harries, including material unused in the broadcast version, are available online.[42]

Oxford theologian Alister McGrath, author of Dawkins' God: Genes, Memes, and the Meaning of Life and The Dawkins Delusion?, claims that Dawkins is ignorant of Christian theology and thereby fails to engage religion and faith intelligently.[43] In reply, Dawkins asks, "Do you have to read up on leprechology before disbelieving in leprechauns?",[44] and in the paperback edition of The God Delusion he refers to PZ Myers, who has satirized this line of argument as "The Courtier's Reply".[45] Dawkins' position is that Christian theology is vacuous, and that the only area of theology which might command his attention would be the arguments to demonstrate God's existence. Dawkins also criticised McGrath for providing no argument to support his beliefs, other than the fact that they cannot be disproved.[46] Dawkins had an extended debate with McGrath at the Sunday Times Literary Festival in 2007.[47]

Another Christian philosopher, Keith Ward, explores similar themes in his book Is Religion Dangerous?, arguing against the view of Dawkins and others that religion is socially dangerous. Criticism of The God Delusion has also come from professional philosophers such as Professor John Cottingham of the University of Reading.[48] Other commentators, including Margaret Somerville,[49] have suggested that Dawkins "overstates the case against religion",[50] asserting that global conflict would continue without religion from factors such as economic pressures or land disputes. Dawkins' defenders, however, claim that the critics misunderstand Dawkins' point. During a debate on Radio 3 Hong Kong, David Nicholls, president of the Atheist Foundation of Australia, argued that Dawkins does not contend that religion is the source of all that is wrong in the world. Rather, it is an "unnecessary part of what is wrong."[51] Dawkins himself has said that his objection to religion is not solely that it causes wars and violence, but also because it gives people an excuse to hold beliefs that are not based on evidence.[52]

It has been argued that, as a public intellectual, Dawkins engages in "irresponsible and irrational dogmatism" about things that science does not claim to address, and that his denial of the meaningfulness of the cosmos arises from a simple dogmatic hostility to those who see purpose in the universe itself, or in other words from an "animus against religion".[53] Dawkins responds to such criticism by saying that "the existence of God is a scientific hypothesis like any other."[54] He disagrees with Stephen Jay Gould's idea of "non-overlapping magisteria" (NOMA) and with similar ideas proposed by Martin Rees regarding the coexistence of science and religion without conflict, calling the former "positively supine" and "a purely political ploy to win middle-of-the-road religious people to the science camp".[55]

Rees has also suggested that Dawkins' attack on mainstream religion is unhelpful,[56] and Robert Winston has said that Dawkins "brings science into disrepute".[57] Regarding Rees's claim in Our Cosmic Habitat that "Such questions lie beyond science", Dawkins replies "What expertise can theologians bring to deep cosmological questions that scientists cannot?".[58][59] Elsewhere, Dawkins has written, "There's all the difference in the world between a belief that one is prepared to defend by quoting evidence and logic and a belief that is supported by nothing more than tradition, authority, or revelation."[60] Of "good scientists who are sincerely religious", Dawkins names Arthur Peacocke, Russell Stannard, John Polkinghorne, and Francis Collins, but says "I remain baffled . . . by their belief in the details of the Christian religion".[61]


Dawkins is a prominent critic of creationism, describing it as a "preposterous, mind-shrinking falsehood".[62] His book The Blind Watchmaker contains a critique of the argument from design, and his other popular science works often touch on the topic. In 1986, Dawkins participated in the Oxford Union's Huxley Memorial Debate, in which he and John Maynard Smith debated A. E. Wilder-Smith and Edgar Andrews, president of the Biblical Creation Society.[63] But on the advice of his late colleague Stephen Jay Gould, Dawkins generally refuses to participate in formal debates with creationists because doing so would give them the "oxygen of respectability" that they want. He suggests that creationists "don't mind being beaten in an argument. What matters is that we give them recognition by bothering to argue with them in public."[64][65][66][67][68][69][70]

In a December 2004 interview with Bill Moyers, Dawkins stated that "among the things that science does know, evolution is about as certain as anything we know." When Moyers later asked, "Is evolution a theory, not a fact?", Dawkins replied, "Evolution has been observed. It's just that it hasn't been observed while it's happening." Dawkins went on to say, "It is rather like a detective coming on a murder after the scene. And you… the detective hasn't actually seen the murder take place, of course. But what you do see is a massive clue ...Circumstantial evidence, but masses of circumstantial evidence. Huge quantities of circumstantial evidence."[71]

Dawkins has ardently opposed teaching intelligent design in science lessons. He has described intelligent design as "not a scientific argument at all but a religious one"[72] and is a strong critic of the pro-Creationist organisation Truth in Science. Dawkins has said the publication of his September 2006 book, The God Delusion, is "probably the culmination" of his campaign against religion.[73] Dawkins was a featured speaker at the November 2006 Beyond Belief conference. [74][75][76][77][78][79][80][81][82]

The Richard Dawkins Foundation

Main article: Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science

In 2006, Dawkins created the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. It is currently in the development phase, but seeks to advance the causes of rationalism and humanism.[83] As of January 2008, the foundation had full charitable status in the United Kingdom and the United States.

Other fields

  In his role as professor of the public understanding of science, Dawkins has been a harsh critic of pseudoscience and alternative medicine. His popular work Unweaving the Rainbow takes John Keats' claim – that by explaining the rainbow, Isaac Newton had diminished its beauty – and argues for the opposite conclusion. Deep space, the billions of years of life's evolution, and the microscopic workings of biology and heredity, Dawkins suggests, contain more beauty and wonder than myths and pseudoscience.[84] Dawkins wrote a foreword to John Diamond's posthumously-published Snake Oil, a book devoted to debunking alternative medicine, in which he asserted that alternative medicine was harmful, if only because it distracted patients away from more successful conventional treatments, and gave people false hopes.[85] Dawkins states, "There is no alternative medicine. There is only medicine that works and medicine that doesn't work."[86]

Dawkins has expressed concern over the exponential growth of human population and the issue of overpopulation.[87] In The Selfish Gene, he briefly mentioned exponential population growth, with the example of Latin America which, at the time the book was written, had a population that doubled every forty years. He is critical of Roman Catholic attitudes to family planning and population control, stating that leaders who forbid contraception and "express a preference for 'natural' methods of population limitation" will get just such a method – starvation.[88]

As a supporter of the Great Ape Project – a movement to extend certain moral and legal rights to all great apes – Dawkins contributed an article entitled "Gaps In The Mind" to the Great Ape Project book edited by Paola Cavalieri and Peter Singer. In this essay, he criticises contemporary society's moral attitudes as being based on a "discontinuous, speciesist imperative".[89]

Dawkins also regularly comments in the newspapers and weblogs on contemporary political issues; opinions expressed include opposition to the 2003 invasion of Iraq,[90] the British nuclear deterrent,[91] and US President George W. Bush.[92] Several such articles were included in A Devil's Chaplain, an anthology of articles about science, religion and politics.

In the 2007 TV documentary The Enemies of Reason, Dawkins discusses what he sees as dangers when people abandon critical thought and ideas based on scientific evidence. He specifically talks about astrology, spiritualism, dowsing, alternative faiths, alternative medicine, and homeopathy. He also discusses how the Internet can be used to spread religious hatred and conspiracy theories with scant attention to evidence-based reasoning.

Awards and recognition

Dawkins holds honorary doctorates in science from the University of Westminster, the University of Durham[93] and University of Hull, and an honorary doctorate from the Open University and from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.[2] He also holds honorary doctorates of letters from the University of St Andrews and Australian National University, and was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1997 and Royal Society in 2001.[2] He is vice-president of the British Humanist Association.

Dawkins has won numerous awards, including a Royal Society of Literature award (1987), Los Angeles Times Literary Prize (1987), Zoological Society of London Silver Medal (1989), Michael Faraday Award (1990), Nakayama Prize (1994), Humanist of the Year Award (1996), the fifth International Cosmos Prize (1997), Kistler Prize (2001), Medal of the Presidency of the Italian Republic (2001), and the Bicentennial Kelvin Medal of The Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow (2002).[2] Dawkins topped Prospect magazine's 2004 list of the top 100 public British intellectuals, as decided by the readers, receiving twice as many votes as the runner-up.[94] In 2005, the Hamburg-based Alfred Toepfer Foundation awarded him their Shakespeare Prize in recognition of his "concise and accessible presentation of scientific knowledge".[95] He was the winner of the Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science for 2006 and the Galaxy British Book Awards Author of the Year for 2007;[96] in the same year he was listed in Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2007,[97] and was awarded the Deschner Prize, named after Karlheinz Deschner.[98]

Since 2003, the Atheist Alliance International has awarded a prize during their annual conferences, honouring an outstanding atheist whose work has done most to raise public awareness of atheism during that year. It is known as the "Richard Dawkins award", in honour of Dawkins' own work.[99]



  • The Selfish Gene (1976, 1989, 2006) ISBN 0-19-286092-5
  • The Extended Phenotype (1982, 1999) ISBN 0-19-288051-9
  • The Blind Watchmaker (1986, 1991, 2006) ISBN 0-393-31570-3
  • River Out of Eden (1995) ISBN 0-465-06990-8; Audio (2000) ISBN 0-7528-3985-3
  • Climbing Mount Improbable (1996) ISBN 0-393-31682-3
  • Unweaving the Rainbow (1998) ISBN 0-618-05673-4
  • A Devil's Chaplain (2003) ISBN 0-618-33540-4
  • The Ancestor's Tale (2004) ISBN 0-618-00583-8; Audio (2005) ISBN 0-7528-7321-0
  • The God Delusion (2006) ISBN 0-618-68000-4; Audio (2006) ISBN 1-84657-037-9

Selected essays

  • Viruses of the Mind (online) (1993) – Religion as a mental virus.
  • The Real Romance in the Stars (1995) – A critical view of astrology.
  • The Emptiness of Theology (1998) – A critical view of theology.
  • Snake Oil and Holy Water (1999) – Dawkins claims that there is no convergence occurring between science and theism.
  • Bin Laden's Victory (2003) – The Guardian editorial arguing Osama bin Laden was the real victor of the Iraq War.
  • What Use is Religion? (2004) – Suggests that religion may have no survival value other than to itself.
  • Race and Creation (2004) – On race, its usage and a theory of how it evolved.
  • The giant tortoise's tale, The turtle's tale and The lava lizard's tale (2005) – A series of three articles written after a visit to the Galápagos Islands.

See also Papers and commentary by Richard Dawkins (no longer maintained) and Dawkins' Huffington Post articles.

Documentaries and debates

  • Growing Up In The Universe (1991)
  • The Root of All Evil? (2006)

  • The Enemies of Reason (2007)

On September 30, 2007, Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens discussed their views on atheism and religion, amongst themselves. The talk was filmed and entitled The Four Horsemen: Episode One. [100]

Books about Dawkins and his ideas

  • Ed Sexton (2001) Dawkins and the Selfish Gene (ISBN 1-84046-238-8) – A short summary and defence of Dawkins' ideas.
  • Kim Sterelny (2001) Dawkins vs Gould: Survival of the Fittest (ISBN 1-84046-249-3) – Debates on evolutionary theory between Dawkins and Stephen Jay Gould.
  • Alister McGrath (2005) Dawkins' God: Genes, Memes, and the Meaning of Life (ISBN 1-4051-2538-1) – A critique of Dawkins' attack on theistic religion.
  • Alan Grafen & Mark Ridley (eds.) (2006) Richard Dawkins: How a Scientist Changed the Way We Think (ISBN 0-19-929116-0) – An anthology of 25 essays on Dawkins and his work.
  • Keith Ward (2006) Is Religion Dangerous? (ISBN 978-0745952628) – A critique of Dawkins' suggestion that religion does more harm than good.
  • Alister McGrath (2007) The Dawkins Delusion? (ISBN 978-0281059270) – A critical response to Dawkins' The God Delusion.
  • John Cornwell (2007) Darwin's Angel (ISBN 9781846680489) – "An angelic riposte to The God Delusion."
  • David Robertson (2007) The Dawkins Letters (ISBN 978-1845502614) – "Challenging atheist myths."
See also: List of books by and about Richard Dawkins and Richard Dawkins Bibliography at the Richard Dawkins official website.


  1. ^ Hitchens, Christopher. God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. Twelve, 5. ISBN 0-446-57980-7. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Richard Dawkins, 2006. Curriculum Vitae. (PDF).
  3. ^ John Catalano, 1995. Biography of Richard Dawkins. World of Dawkins. Accessed 2006-01-29.
  4. ^ BBC News Online, 2001-10-12. "Richard Dawkins: The foibles of faith." Accessed 2006-01-29.
  5. ^ a b c Jonathan Miller Richard Dawkins & Richard Denton (director), 2003. The Atheism Tapes: Richard Dawkins. BBC Four television. Unofficial transcript.
  6. ^ Robin McKie, 2004; "Doctor Zoo." The Guardian. Accessed 2006-04-07.
  7. ^ Aims of the Simonyi Professorship.
  8. ^ Simonyi Professorship, 2006. Prof. Richard Dawkins.
  9. ^ Downey, Robert (1996-12-11). Article in Eastsideweek (title unknown). Eastsideweek. Retrieved on 2006-11-14.
  10. ^ a b Stephen S. Hall, 2005. "Darwin's Rottweiler." Discover magazine.
  11. ^ Radio Times, . p. 27.
  12. ^ Terry Eagleton, 2006. "Lunging, Flailing, Mispunching." London Review of Books.
  13. ^ Abigail Lustig et al. Darwinian Heresies, Cambridge University Press, ISBN .
  14. ^ Balliol College News. The Dawkins Prize. Accessed .
  15. ^ Richard Dawkins, 2006. The God Delusion. Transworld Publishers, ISBN 0-5930-5548-9 pp169-172
  16. ^ W.D. Hamilton, 1964. "The genetical evolution of social behaviour I and II." Journal of Theoretical Biology 7: 1-16 and 17-52.
  17. ^ Richard Dawkins, 2000. "Obituary: Bill Hamilton." The Independent, 2000-03-10.
  18. ^ Robert Trivers, 1971. "The evolution of reciprocal altruism." Quarterly Review of Biology. 46: 35-57.
  19. ^ Gabriel Dover, 2000. Dear Mr Darwin. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, ISBN 0-7538-1127-8.
  20. ^ George C. Williams, 1966. Adaptation and Natural Selection. Princeton University Press, ISBN 0-691-02615-7.
  21. ^ Ernst Mayr, 2000. What Evolution Is. Basic Books, ISBN 0-465-04426-3.
  22. ^ se eg Andrew Brown, The Darwin Wars: How stupid genes became selfish genes London: Simon and Schuster (1999) ISBN 0-684-85144-X
  23. ^ Henry Morris, 2001. The Evolutionists. Henry Holt & Company, ISBN 0-7167-4094-X.
  24. ^ Richard Dawkins, 1985. "Sociobiology: the debate continues." New Scientist, 1985-01-24.
  25. ^ Daniel Dennett, 1995. Darwin's Dangerous Idea. Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0-684-80290-2.
  26. ^ Susan Blackmore, 1999. The Meme Machine. Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-286212-X.
  27. ^ Mary Midgley, 2000. Science and Poetry. Routledge.
  28. ^ Mary Midgley, 1979. "Gene Juggling." Philosophy 54, no. 210, pp. 439-458.
  29. ^ Richard Dawkins, 1981. "In Defence of Selfish Genes." Philosophy 56, pp. 556-573.
  30. ^ John Laurent, 1999. "A Note on the Origin of Memes/Mnemes." Journal of Memetics 3(1)
  31. ^ based on/plagiarised from The Soul of the White Ant, by Eugene Marais
  32. ^ Our Honorary Associates. National Secular Society (2005). Retrieved on April 21, 2007.
  33. ^ Richard Dawkins, 2006. The Root of All Evil?.
  34. ^ BBC News 10 December 2007 Dawkins: I'm a cultural Christian
  35. ^ Richard Dawkins, 2003. "The Future Looks Bright." The Guardian.
  36. ^ Smith, Alexandra (2006-11-27). "Dawkins campaigns to keep God out of classroom". The Guardian. Retrieved on 2007-01-15.
  37. ^ The Guardian, 2001-10-11 "Has the world changed?." The Guardian. Accessed 2006-01-29.
  38. ^ The Jeremy Vine Show, BBC Radio 2. January 5, 2006.
  39. ^ Howard Jacobson, 2006. "Nothing like an unimaginative scientist to get non-believers running back to God." The Independent. Retrieved March 27, 2007.
  40. ^ Ron Ferguson, 2006. "What a lazy way to argue against God." The Herald (requires payment).
  41. ^ Richard Dawkins, 2006. "Diary." New Statesman. Retrieved March 25, 2007.
  42. ^ Richard Dawkins and Alister McGrath Root of All Evil? Uncut Interviews and Richard Dawkins interviews the Bishop of Oxford accessed 2007-10-10
  43. ^ McGrath, Alister (2004). Dawkins' God: Genes, Memes, and the Meaning of Life. Oxford, England: Blackwell, 81. ISBN 1405125381. 
  44. ^ Dawkins, Richard (2007-09-17). Do you have to read up on leprechology before disbelieving in them?. Retrieved on 2007-11-14.
  45. ^ Myers, PZ (2006-12-24). The Courtier's Reply. Pharyngula (blog). Retrieved on 2007-11-14.
  46. ^ Alternatively, McGrath suggests that the science upon which Dawkins solely relies for answers, has limits in its ability to answer certain questions, such as "What is the meaning of life", or "How did life originate?". Marianna Krejci-Papa, 2005. "an excerpt from the STNews interview: 'Taking On Dawkins' God: An interview with Alister McGrath' (STNews site is no longer available)." Science & Theology News, 2005-04-25.
  47. ^ Times Online. Richard Dawkins at The Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival (podcast). 26 March 2007.
  48. ^ "Flawed case for the prosecution", 'The God Delusion' reviewed in 'The Tablet', 2006-10-19.
  49. ^ Aiming for knockout blow in god wars. The Sydney Morning Herald (2007-05-24). Retrieved on 2007-05-27.
  50. ^ Easterbrook, Gregg. Does God Believe in Richard Dawkins?. Beliefnet. Retrieved on 2007-05-26.
  51. ^ Is God a Delusion?. Radio 3, Hong Kong.
  52. ^ Richard Dawkins, 2006. The God Delusion. pp. 319-323.
  53. ^ The Public-Intellectual Menace: On Richard Dawkins’s irresponsible and irrational dogmatism. By Carson Holloway
  54. ^ Richard Dawkins, 2006. The God Delusion. p. 50.
  55. ^ David Van Biema. "God vs. Science." Time. November 13, 2006
  56. ^ Report in The Guardian of Martin Rees in discussion with Dawkins at the Hay on Wye Festival 29 May 2007
  57. ^ Royal Society Science in the News item citing item in The Independent August 2006. This brief article suggested that the reason was "by his unwillingness to embrace spirituality" but in a discussion with Dawkins on the Today programme, Winston stated that it was the patronising approach - interview here (uncorrected transcript here)
  58. ^ Richard Dawkins "When Religion Steps on Science's Turf: The Alleged Separation Between the Two Is Not So Tidy" Free Inquiry magazine, Volume 18, Number 2. Retrieved 24 March 2007.
  59. ^ Richard Dawkins, 2006. The God Delusion. pp. 55-56.
  60. ^ Richard Dawkins, Is science a religion?. The Humanist, Jan/Feb 1997.
  61. ^ Richard Dawkins, 2006. The God Delusion. p. 99.
  62. ^ Richard Dawkins, 2002. "A Scientist's View." The Guardian.
  63. ^ 1986 Oxford Union Debate: Richard Dawkins, John Maynard Smith. — The Official Richard Dawkins website. Retrieved on 2007-05-10.. Debate downloadable as mp3 files. The debate ended with the motion "That the doctrine of creation is more valid than the theory of evolution" being defeated by 198 votes to 115 or 150 votes (the voice of the teller of the vote is not clear enough to distinguish the two numbers). A report reproduced on the AAAS site says that the debate ended with the motion being defeated by 198 votes to 15, although it is clear that the figure in their online version of the published document is mistaken. See also John Durant, "A critical-historical perspective on the arguments about evolution and creation." From Evolution and Creation: A European perspective, Svend Anderson & Arthur Peacocke Eds. Aarhus, DK: Aarhus Univ. Press. pp. 12-26. Accessed 2007-05-09. See also George Cooper and Paul Humber, "Fraudulent report at AAAS".
  64. ^ Richard Dawkins, 2003. A Devil's Chaplain. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, p. 256.
  65. ^ "Darwin's dangerous disciple", interview with Frank Miele, Scepsis, 1995.
  66. ^ "Double-Dealing in Darwin", criticism of Dawkins' atheism and belief in evolution as a 'secular religion', Michael Ruse, Beliefnet, 2000.
  67. ^ "Darwin's child", profile by Simon Hattenstone, The Guardian, February 10, 2003.
  68. ^ Belief radio interview, transcript of a BBC radio interview for the Belief series, 2004.
  69. ^ "The Man Behind the Meme: An interview with Richard Dawkins", interview with Jim Holt, Slate, December 1, 2004.
  70. ^ "The Atheist", interview with Gordy Slack,, April 28, 2005.
  71. ^ Bill Moyers et al, 2004. "Now with Bill Moyers." PBS. Accessed 2006-01-29.
  72. ^ The Guardian, 2001-10-11 "One side can be wrong." The Guardian. Accessed 2006-12-21.
  73. ^ Heaven can wait Interview with Clive Cookson, FT Magazine December 16 2006. Retrieved March 25, 2007.
  74. ^ "Revolutionary Evolutionist", profile by Michael Schrage, Wired, July 1995.
  75. ^ "Richard Dawkins: Beyond belief", profile by John Crace, The Guardian, January 10, 2006.
  76. ^ "BBC Oxford interview", with Tim Bearder, March 24, 2006.
  77. ^ "The flying spaghetti monster", interview with Steve Paulson,, October 13, 2006.
  78. ^ "God vs. Science", discussion with Francis Collins, Time, November 13, 2006
  79. ^ Richard Dawkins interviewed by Laurie Taylor, New Humanist, January/February 2007
  80. ^ "The God Delusion", interview with George Stroumboulopoulos, The Hour, May 5, 2007
  81. ^ "God... in other words", interview with Ruth Gledhill, The Times, May 10, 2007
  82. ^ "The Homage of Reason", interview with Jay Davis, Real Detroit Weekly, 2007.
  83. ^ The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. Our Mission. Retrieved on 2006-11-17.
  84. ^ Richard Dawkins, 1998. Unweaving The Rainbow. Penguin.
  85. ^ John Diamond, Richard Dawkins (foreword) & Dominic Lawson (ed), 2001. Snake Oil and Other Preoccupations. Vintage.
  86. ^ Richard Dawkins, 2003. A Devil's Chaplain. Weidenfeld & Nicolson.
  87. ^ David A. Coutts, 2001. "Dawkins: An exponentialist view." Accessed 2006-03-31.
  88. ^ Richard Dawkins, 1989. The Selfish Gene, 2nd ed. Oxford University Press.
  89. ^ Richard Dawkins, 1993. "Gaps In The Mind." In The Great Ape Project, Paola Cavalieri & Peter Singer eds. London: Fourth Estate. (Web version retrieved 24 March 2007.)
  90. ^ Richard Dawkins, 2003. “Bin Laden's victory”, The Guardian, 2003-03-22. Retrieved March 25, 2007.
  91. ^ Richard Dawkins, 2007. “Trident is a dilemma with several prongs”, The Times, 2007-03-12. Retrieved 2007-03-25.
  92. ^ Richard Dawkins, 2003. “While we have your attention, Mr President...”, The Guardian 2003-11-18. Retrieved 5 April 2007.
  93. ^ Durham News & Events Service, 2006. "Durham salutes science, Shakespeare and social inclusion." Accessed 2006-04-11.
  94. ^ David Herman, 2004. "Public Intellectuals Poll." Prospect magazine. Retrieved March 25, 2007.
  95. ^ British Embassy in Berlin, 2005. "Shakespeare Prize for Richard Dawkins." Accessed 2006-01-29.
  96. ^ Galaxy British Book Awards - Winners & Shortlists 2007. Publishing News (2007). Retrieved on April 21, 2007.
  97. ^ Time Top 100, 2007
  98. ^ Deschner Prize, 2007
  99. ^ Slack, Gordy (2005-04-30). The atheist. Salon. Retrieved on 2007-08-03.
  100. ^,2025,THE-FOUR-HORSEMEN,Discussions-With-Richard-Dawkins-Episode-1-RDFRS

Interviews and feature articles

  • "Revolutionary Evolutionist", profile by Michael Schrage, Wired, July 1995.
  • "Darwin's dangerous disciple", interview with Frank Miele, Scepsis, 1995.
  • "Double-Dealing in Darwin", criticism of Dawkins' atheism and belief in evolution as a 'secular religion', Michael Ruse, Beliefnet, 2000.
  • "Darwin's child", profile by Simon Hattenstone, The Guardian, February 10, 2003.
  • The Atheism Tapes, program 4, transcript of an extended interview with Dawkins for the Jonathan Miller BBC TV series, 2004.
  • Belief radio interview, transcript of a BBC radio interview for the Belief series, 2004.
  • "The Man Behind the Meme: An interview with Richard Dawkins", interview with Jim Holt, Slate, December 1, 2004.
  • "The Atheist", interview with Gordy Slack,, April 28, 2005.
  • "Richard Dawkins: Beyond belief", profile by John Crace, The Guardian, January 10, 2006.
  • "The flying spaghetti monster", interview with Steve Paulson,, October 13, 2006.
  • "God vs. Science", discussion with Francis Collins, Time, November 13, 2006
  • "The God Delusion", interview with George Stroumboulopoulos, The Hour, May 5, 2007
  • "God . . . in other words", interview with Ruth Gledhill, The Times, May 10, 2007


  • Audio and video files featuring Dawkins. (Note: these links also contain media files not directly related to Dawkins personally)
  • Richard Dawkins Resource Page — links to videos which include Richard Dawkins with thumbnails and descriptions.


  • Richard Dawkins at the Internet Movie Database
  • Livejournal community dedicated to discussing Dawkins' ideas and activities
NAME Dawkins, Richard
ALTERNATIVE NAMES Dawkins, Clinton Richard
SHORT DESCRIPTION Evolutionary theorist, atheist, humanist, and sceptic
DATE OF BIRTH March 26, 1941
PLACE OF BIRTH Nairobi, Kenya
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Richard_Dawkins". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE