Richard Dawkins Quotes

Richard Dawkins Quotes

...when two opposite points of view are expressed with equal intensity, the truth does not necessarily lie exactly halfway between them. It is possible for one side to be simply wrong.

Human suffering has been caused because too many of us cannot grasp that words are only tools for our use.

The mere presence in the dictionary of a word like 'living' does not mean it necessarily has to refer to something definite in the real world.

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.

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.

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

When I am dying, I should like my life taken out under general anaesthetic, exactly as if it were a diseased appendix.

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.

Why would an all-powerful creator decide to plant his carefully crafted species on islands and continents in exactly the appropriate pattern to suggest, irresistibly, that they had evolved and dispersed from the site of their evolution?

Science is the poetry of reality.

Science replaces private prejudice with public, verifiable evidence.

Even those who do not, or cannot, avail themselves of a scientific education, choose to benefit from the technology that is made possible by the scientific education of others.

Even if it were true that evolution, or the teaching of evolution, encouraged immorality that would not imply that the theory of evolution was false.

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

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

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.

Do those people who hold up the Bible as an inspiration to
moral rectitude have the slightest notion of what is actually written
in it?

Real life seeks the gentle slopes at the back of Mount Improbable, while creationists are blind to all but the daunting precipice at the front.

Science is interesting, and if you don't agree you can fuck off.

Note: Dawkins was quoting a former editor of New Scientist Magazine, who is as yet unidentified (possibly Jeremy Webb)

It has become almost a cliché 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.

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.

The truth is more magical - in the best and most exciting sense of the word - than any myth or made-up mystery or miracle. Science has its own magic: the magic of reality.

A god who is capable of sending intelligible signals to millions of people simultaneously, and of receiving messages from all of them simultaneously, cannot be, whatever else he might be, simple. Such Bandwidth!

DNA neither cares nor knows. DNA just is. And we dance to its music.

If the history-deniers who doubt the fact of evolution are ignorant of biology, those who think the world began less than ten thousand years ago are worse than ignorant, they are deluded to the point of perversity. They are denying not only the facts of biology but those of physics, geology, cosmology, archaeology, history and chemistry as well.

Even if not a single fossil has ever been found, the evidence from surviving animals would still overwhelmingly force the conclusion that Darwin was right.

Presumably there is indeed no purpose in the ultimate fate of the cosmos, but do any of us really tie our life's hopes to the ultimate fate of the cosmos anyway? Of course we don't; not if we are sane. Our lives are ruled by all sorts of closer, warmer, human ambitions and perceptions.

We think we know that chimpanzees are higher animals and earthworms are lower, we think we've always known what that means, and we think evolution makes it even clearer. But it doesn't. It is by no means clear that it means anything at all. Or if it means anything, it means so many different things to be misleading, even pernicious.

Despite the Great Chain of Being's traditional ranking of humans between animals and angels, there is no evolutionary justification for the common assumption that evolution is somehow 'aimed' at humans, or that humans are 'evolution's last word'.

It is interesting to wonder whether taxonomists of the future may regret the way our generation messed around with genomes.

I know that not all my readers like my digressions, but the research that has been done on Caenorhabditis elegans is such a ringing triumph of science that you aren't going to stop me.

O darwinismo é uma teoria de processos cumulativos tão lentos que se desenrolam ao longo de milhares e milhões de anos. Todos os nossos juízos intuitivos sobre o que é provável mostram-se errados por larga margem.

I am passionate about the truth. Passion is very different from fundamentalism.

There was something built into the human brain by natural selection which was once useful, and which now manifests itself as religion.

Religion is a distraction from true education.

Faith can be very very dangerous, and deliberately to implant it into the vulnerable mind of an innocent child is a grievous wrong.

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

Why, I can't help wondering, is God thought to need such ferocious
defence? One might have supposed him amply capable of looking
after himself.

I believe that an orderly universe, one indifferent to human preoccupations, in which everything has an expla nation even if we still have a long way to go before we find it, is a more beautiful, more wonderful place than a universe tricked out with capricious, ad hoc magic.

The idea of a divine creator belittles the elegant reality of the universe.

It does not seem ever to have been satisfactorily answered why the two first operational atomic bombs were used - against the strongly voiced wishes of the leading physicists responsible for developing them - to destroy two cities instead of being deployed in the equivalent of spectacularly shooting out candles.

Do not indoctrinate your children. Teach them how to think for themselves, how to evaluate evidence, and how to disagree with you.

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