September 6th, 2012
09:52 AM ET

Dawkins: Evolution is 'not a controversial issue'

Atheist. Biologist. Writer. Thinker. Richard Dawkins has developed an international reputation of spreading the word that evolution happened and that there is no "intelligent design" or higher being, as you might gather from the title of his book "The God Delusion."

But no matter what you think about his convictions, his ideas have gone viral - including the word "meme."

CNN caught up with Dawkins while he was passing through Atlanta earlier this year. His next U.S. tour is in October.

Here is an edited transcript of part of the conversation. Watch the video above for a more focused look at Dawkins' ideas about evolution vs. intelligent design.

Today, a lot of people think a "meme" is a LOLcat or a photo that's gone viral. How do you feel about that?
In the last chapter of "The Selfish Gene," I coined the word "meme" as a sort of analog of "gene." My purpose of this was to say that although I'd just written a whole book about how the gene is the unit of natural selection, and that evolution is changes in gene frequencies, the Darwinian process is potentially wider than that.

You could go to other planets in the universe and find life, and if you do find life, then it will have evolved by some kind of evolutionary process, probably Darwinian. And therefore there must be something equivalent to a gene, although it may be very, very different from the DNA genes that we know.

I wanted to drive that point home. And rather than speculate about life on other planets, I thought maybe we could look at life on this planet and find an analog of the gene staring us in the face right here. And that was the meme. It's a unit of cultural inheritance, the idea that an idea might propagate itself in a similar way to a gene propagating itself. It might be like catchy tune, or a clothes fashion. A verbal convention, a word that becomes fashionable, like "awesome," which no longer means what it should mean.

That would be an example of something that spread like an epidemic. And the word "basically," which is now used just to mean "uhh." That's another one that's spread throughout the English speaking world.

These are potentially analogous to genes in the sense that they spread and are copied from brain to brain throughout the world, or throughout a particular subset of people. The interesting question would be whether there's a Darwinian process, a kind of selection process whereby some memes are more likely to spread than others, because people like them, because they're popular, because they're catchy or whatever it might be.

My original purpose was to say: It's not necessarily all about genes. But the word has taken off.

There are people who use meme theory as a serious contribution to the theory of human culture and I’m glad to say that the idea of things going viral has also gone viral.

How do you think evolution should be taught to children?
You can't even begin to understand biology, you can't understand life, unless you understand what it's all there for, how it arose - and that means evolution. So I would teach evolution very early in childhood. I don't think it's all that difficult to do. It's a very simple idea. One could do it with the aid of computer games and things like that.

I think it needs serious attention, that children should be taught where they come from, what life is all about, how it started, why it's there, why there's such diversity of it, why it looks designed. These are all things that can easily be explained to a pretty young child. I'd start at the age of about 7 or 8.

There’s only one game in town as far as serious science is concerned. It’s not that there are two different theories. No serious scientist doubts that we are cousins of gorillas, we are cousins of monkeys, we are cousins of snails, we are cousins of earthworms. We have shared ancestors with all animals and all plants. There is no serious scientist who doubts that evolution is a fact.

Why do people cling to these beliefs of creationism and intelligent design?
There are many very educated people who are religious but they’re not creationists. There’s a world of difference between a serious religious person and a creationist, and especially a Young Earth Creationist, who thinks the world is only 10,000 years old.

If we wonder why there are still serious people including some scientists who are religious, that’s a complicated psychological question. They certainly won’t believe that God created all species, or something like that. They might believe there is some sort of intelligent spirit that lies behind the universe as a whole and perhaps designed the laws of physics and everything else took off from there.

But there's a huge difference between believing that and believing that this God created all species. And also, by the way, in believing that Jesus is your lord and savior who died for your sins. That you may believe, but that doesn't follow from the scientific or perhaps pseudoscientific that there's some kind of intelligence that underlies the laws of physics.

What you cannot really logically do is to say, well I believe that there's some kind of intelligence, some kind of divine physicist who designed the laws of physics, therefore Jesus is my lord and savior who died for my sins. That's an impermissible illogicality that unfortunately many people resort to.

Why do you enjoy speaking in the Bible Belt?
I’ve been lots of places, all of which claim to be the buckle of the Bible Belt. They can’t all be, I suppose. I enjoy doing that. I get very big audiences, very enthusiastic audiences. It’s not difficult to see why.

These people are beleaguered, they feel threatened, they feel surrounded by a sort of alien culture of the highly religious, and so when somebody like me comes to town…they turn out in very large numbers, and they give us a very enthusiastic welcome, and they thank us profusely and very movingly for coming and giving them a reason to turn out and see each other.

They stand up together and notice how numerous they actually are. I think it may be a bit of a myth that America is quite such a religious country as it’s portrayed as, and particularly that the Bible Belt isn’t quite so insanely religious as it’s portrayed as.

In situations such as the death of a loved one, people often turn to faith. What do you turn to?
Bereavement is terrible, of course. And when somebody you love dies, it’s a time for reflection, a time for memory, a time for regret. I absolutely don’t ever, under such circumstances, feel tempted to take up religion. Of course not. But I attend memorial services, I’ve organized memorial events or memorial services, I’ve spoken eulogies, I’ve taken a lot of trouble to put together a program of poetry, of music, of eulogies, of memories, to try to celebrate the life of the dead person.

What’s going to happen when you die?
What’s going to happen when I die? I may be buried, or I may be cremated, I may give my body to science. I haven’t decided yet.

It just ends?
Of course it just ends. What else could it do? My thoughts, my beliefs, my feelings are all in my brain. My brain is going to rot. So no, there’s no question about that.

If there were a God that met you after death, what would you say?
If I met God, in the unlikely event, after I died? The first thing I would say is, well, which one are you? Are you Zeus? Are you Thor? Are you Baal? Are you Mithras? Are you Yahweh? Which God are you, and why did you take such great pains to conceal yourself and to hide away from us?

Where did morality come from? Evolution?
We have very big and complicated brains, and all sorts of things come from those brains, which are loosely and indirectly associated with our biological past. And morality is among them, together with things like philosophy and music and mathematics. Morality, I think, does have roots in our evolutionary past. There are good reasons, Darwinian reasons, why we are good to, altruistic towards, cooperative with, moral in our behavior toward our fellow species members, and indeed toward other species as well, perhaps.

There are evolutionary roots to morality, but they’ve been refined and perfected through thousands of years of human culture. I certainly do not think that we ought to get our morals from religion because if we do that, then we either get them through Scripture – people who think you should get your morals from the Old Testament haven’t read the Old Testament – so we shouldn’t get our morals from there.

Nor should we get our morals from a kind of fear that if we don’t please God he’ll punish us, or a kind of desire to apple polish (to suck up to) a God. There are much more noble reasons for being moral than constantly looking over your shoulder to see whether God approves of what you do.

Where do we get our morals from? We get our morals from a very complicated process of discussion, of law-making, writing, moral philosophy, it’s a complicated cultural process which changes – not just over the centuries, but over the decades. Our moral attitudes today in 2012 are very different form what they would have been 50 or 100 years ago. And even more different from what they would have been 300 years ago or 500 years ago. We don’t believe in slavery now. We treat women as equal to men. All sorts of things have changed in our moral attitudes.

It’s to do with a very complicated more zeitgeist. Steven Pinker’s latest book “The Better Angels of Our Nature” traces this improvement over long centuries of history. He makes an extremely persuasive case for the fact that we are getting more moral, we are getting better as time goes on, and religion perhaps has a part to play in that, but it’s by no means an important part.

I don’t think there’s a simple source of morality to which we turn.

What might come after humans in evolution?
Nobody knows. It’s an unwise, a rash biologist who ever forecasts what’s going to happen next. Most species go extinct. The first question we should ask is: Is there any reason to think we will be exceptional?

I think there is a reason to think we possibly might be exceptional because we do have a uniquely develop technology which might enable us to not go extinct. So if ever there was a species that one might make a tentative forecast that it’s not going to go extinct, it might be ours.

Others have come to the opposite conclusion: That we might drive ourselves extinct by some horrible catastrophe involving human weapons. But assuming that doesn’t happen, maybe we will go for hundreds of thousands, even million years.

Will they evolve? Will they change? In order for that to happen, it’s necessary that a reproductive advantage should apply to certain genetic types rather than other genetic types. If you look back 3 million years, one of the most dramatic changes has been in the increase in brain size. Our probable ancestor 3 million years ago of the genus Australopithecus walked on its hind legs but had a brain about the size of a chimpanzee’s.

Will that trend continue? Only if the bigger brained individuals are the most likely to have children. Is there any tendency if you look around the world today to say that the brainiest individuals are the ones most likely to reproduce? I don’t think so. Is there any reason to think that might happen in the future? Not obviously. You can’t just look back 3 million years and extrapolate into the future. You have to ask the question: What kinds of genetically distinct individuals are most likely to reproduce during the next hundreds of thousands of years? It’s extremely difficult to forecast that.

What are you working on next?
I’m thinking of working on another book and it might be some sort of autobiography, but it’s very much in the planning stage.

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Filed under: CNN Ideas • Human ancestors • On Earth
soundoff (3,789 Responses)
  1. T

    I don't really care who believes in God and who doesn't. I believe in God, I believe in creationism, I believe in evolution, I believe in heaven and hell. The bible says God created everything in six days, but doesn't say how long a day is, I was taught that a million years may only be a second to God, so six days, biblically speaking, could be billions of years. A lot of you may think that I am silly or stupid for my beliefs. I don't care – when I die, if there is no heaven or hell = no loss. If there is and I make it to heaven = excellent. If there is a hell – enjoy it for etenity non-believers.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • austin lada

      I agree 100%

      September 6, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • bff

      "when I die, if there is no heaven or hell = no loss. If there is and I make it to heaven = excellent. If there is a hell – enjoy it for etenity non-believers."

      T, If you god exists, don't you think he is "super" enough to see through your "pascal's wager" argument? He knows you are only placing a bet on his existance. YOU ARE NOW DOOMED!

      September 6, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • J

      Ah, yes, but what if you are worshipping the wrong god? Then you're in a pickle. Thor will not be happy with your false idol worship. You may laugh, but there is no more evidence for any god than for Thor, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Why pick your one god and assume you have no risk. If there are 100 potential gods you have only reduced your risk by 1 %.

      Read about pascal's wager.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • DandyStryker

      Saying that you believe in creationism and evolution is like saying you believe in theistic gravity, where angels carry planets around the sun. If you knew the first thing about evolution, you'd know it's a "natural" theory. It doesn't posit god because god is unnecessary. Once you toss god into evolution, it stops being a scientific theory and becomes another form of religion – untestable and thus useless.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • J

      You forgot another possibility: you believed in the wrong God. now what?😀

      September 6, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Jimbo

      "If there is a hell enjoy it non-believers"

      Well, isn't that nice and christian like. Are non-believers automatically evil and deserve to burn in this so called hell? What if the non-believers are unalbe to believe becuase of the evidence that is in front of them? People can't just shut their brains off and all of the sudden believe, that is ridiculous. So someone could volunteer everyday feeding the hunger, picking up litter on the streets, smiling and loving everyone but still be unable to believe in a God and still go to hell? That is a crazy religion you all have.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
      • Ramazanoglu

        I agree that someone should totally use their brain to the fullest. There is one book that amazingly captures the power of the human brain. One book that many scientists start believing in after reading and "comprehending", as it encloses the secrets of the universe and of creationism. This book is the Qur'An, don't listen to what others say about it...for you may only get the truth by reading it!

        September 7, 2012 at 1:33 am |
      • LetsThink123

        @Ramazanoglu
        THe quran is worse than the bible. I've read it and it is highly moronic.
        For instance, Quran sura 4:34 -> "... a man must not be asked why he beat his wife." What is enlightening about such a stupid statement by muham_mad? He also calls women inferior to men in the quran. Not a very enlightening book.
        Muham_mad also married Aisha when she was 6 and consummated the marriage when she was 9. This is a fact. Look it up on wiki! To me, a book written by a certified pedophile is not 'enlightening' at all

        September 19, 2012 at 8:40 am |
      • Mear Stone

        But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.

        September 19, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
      • tifischer

        Then Jesus came and said "43 And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell,h to the unquenchable fire.i 45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell" Mark 9:43

        September 19, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • Taylor

      Well said.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • erikc

      You don't specify which version of creationism you subscribe to. If you are one of many who believe that the billions of years of evolution were triggered by a deity, then I have no argument with except to say, why does there need to be a god? But if you simultaneously believe the literal translation of Genesis and all the works of science, then you must suffer from some pretty powerful cognitive dissonance.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • End of Line

      I love how atheists cling to science as their backbone for explaining something so complex. Science can explain some things, but so very little in the scheme of things. It doesn't say in the bible that if you don't believe in jesus you automatically go to hell. You discard something, yet know very little about it. That also goes for believers, wishing something so horrible like that on someone is wrong, and you should be ashamed of yourself. Not to mention read the bible a little more! Intolerance is portrayed in many forms, one of them is telling someone they are stupid for believing in something. We call that verbal abuse, unless you do have all the answers in which case i apologise.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
      • erikc

        The mere fact that science cannot explain everything does not mean the bible explains anything. If you want to assert the truth of something in the bible, use evidence, or at least a cogent argument. Simply saying "you don't know everything, therefore I'm right about this" is faulty reasoning.

        September 6, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • adrifter

      This idea of redefining a 'day" in Genesis is typical religious nonsense in light of scientific evidence that shows the universe wasn't created in six days. Genesis specifically describes a day as a day in the common understanding of the word. Of course, some believers will still argue a day is not a day. In other words, they don't believe the written word of God. They believe what they want, redefine what does not make sense and ignore the ridiculous.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Azeazel

      Damn it T!! Now God knows the plan!!

      September 6, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Word Heez

      Well, science seems to say the day was shorter in the past, like 4 hours long.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • Maxine

      Another thought: Have you read any of Marcus Borg's book? He is professor at Oregon State University. He speaks of panentheism (not pantheism) – the belief that God is the universe, and not only the universe – but everything beyond the universe and also, all around us and present in us. I think he might also say that God's creation was accomplished thru evolution. Just something else to think about. I think the reason so many atheists make fun of people of belief, is that some Christian's believe that everything in the Bible is to be taken literally. To say that Christianity does no one any good – you have to be delusional – or you do not know very many Christians. I think you could say this of many other religions, also. Don't be so arrogant, atheists! Have you ever hear the word "Tolerance for people who believe differently than you" That can also go for people who are not atheists.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • TAK

      That's a stupid old argument ("who can say how long a day was for god"). Well, ironically, your very own book defines it quite clearly, "And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day." So one day equals one rotation of the Earth. 24 hours. Of course we know that due to the Moon's tidal forces the Earth's rotation is slowing. So it was faster in the past. Ergo, a day was shorter in the past, not longer. So the invisible bearded man in the sky was under even greater time constraints back then to wish the universe into existence. Darn! Foiled by science again!

      September 6, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • nojinx

      What if you picked the wrong one? There are an infinite number of possibilities if there are gods, so your odds of picking the right one are virtually impossible.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • LEA

      "If there turns out to be no God = no loss" That is incorrect. Living the Christian lifestyle leads people to make poor decisions about marriages, children, jobs (i'm going to pray and look for a sign!), politics, climate changes, etc. So basing your life on a God that does not exist DOES do harm.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Moiphy

      You are a christian because you are afraid. That's what the church wants. Control by fear.

      September 6, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • LetsThink123

      @T
      "The bible says God created everything in six days, but doesn't say how long a day is". Sure you can make an excuse for why the men who made up the mythical genesis creation story got the time line wrong by saying 'well u know, we dont know how long a day is in genesis'. I've heard this excuse many times by bible thumpers.
      But, i would like to bring to ur attention that this excuse does NOT work because genesis also has got the order of creation wrong. For example, science has shown that plants needs the sun to grow (aka photosynthesis). THis is a fact and common knowledge. But if u read genesis, on the 3rd day god created grass/plants, and on the 4th day he created the sun and the stars. THis is wrong! The order of creation is wrong and ur 'we dont know how long a day is in genesis' excuse doesnt work.
      Here is another fact: Science has shown us that the sun formed first, and then the planets including earth. That is the reason why earth revolves around the sun, cause the sun was here first to keep the earth in orbit. The earth formed about 30 million years after the sun. But again if u read genesis, on the 1st day god created the earth and on the 4th day he created the sun and the stars. Wrong again! Genesis has got the order of creation wrong again.
      These obvious flaws in the bible's creation story should cause u to raise red flags on whether god wrote this story, or did bronze age nomads make up this story. It is very obvious that genesis was made up by men who had little knowledge of how the world came to be and hence made up stories whose basis is 'god did it'.
      These stories are shown to be wrong by science and common sense facts like i showed u above. Hence genesis is false and u have been believing in fairy tales. I hope u use ur rational brain and critical thinking skills so u can discern what is true and what is not.

      September 19, 2012 at 8:51 am |
      • tifischer

        What is a day without the sun? What is a day to you vs a mouse vs God? Time and space are relative. For instance some of my posts are posted before others but show up after wards because we are of different time zones. If you consider our time and space relative to the third dimension that is not the exact same for the first, second, third or fourth. So, if you understand heaven as a higher dimensions, you see that a day may not be what you think because you are limited to your perspective of time.

        September 19, 2012 at 10:37 am |
      • LetsThink123

        @tifischer
        Your 'explanation' as to why genesis has the order reversed is basically 'magic'. Magic is the only answer a believer has, because the only other option is admitting that genesis is wrong. And if u admit that genesis is wrong, what u have believed all your life is destroyed.
        Lets break down what u said.
        "What is a day without the sun? What is a day to you vs a mouse vs God? Time and space are relative."
        A day to god (i will assume he exists and speak about him) is literally a day to humans (and also a mouse by the way as mice have the same day/night bodily cycle as other mammals). CHeck out what god did on the 1st day Genesis 1:5 -> 'And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.' It clearly says evening and morning made up the first day. There is no doubt that a day is a literal day in genesis. I can think of a comeback for u and im guessing u would reply with 'but evening and morning to god is not the literal evening/morning to us etc...'. This causes the conversation to again move to 'magic' where u r not answering my question rationally and making up stuff as u go along.
        The last part of ur sentence which says 'Time and space are relative.' does NOT explain why genesis has the order of creation backwards. Time and space are relative does NOT mean that time goes backwards. You r still at square one and not explained anything rationally.
        you said -> "So, if you understand heaven as a higher dimensions" lets not talk about heaven (which is imaginary), lets talk about what u cant explain, i.e., god had plants growing before there was the sun on the 4th day, and he created the earth on the 1st day before there was a sun and stars on the 4th day. There r a lot of facts such as:
        – Sun is dated to be older than the earth by 30 million yrs
        – The reason the earth and the other planets revolve around the sun is cause the sun was here first
        – Plants need the sun to survive (everyone knows this)
        – Many stars we see r older than our sun, which implies that they were here BEFORE the earth formed. But genesis again has the order wrong
        etc...
        All u have done to explain these errors in genesis is magic, not one shred of rationality exists in your argument.

        September 20, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
      • tifischer

        I never said that time goes backwards but that your definition of time revolves around the sun : ) when in fact time is relative meaning without the sun would you still have a day? You could keep time of day but how? You would make it relative to the galaxy but a year would no longer be a "day" by definition.

        September 20, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Maya

      If God is so vain that he would torture people for eternity for not kissing his ***, he isn't worth worshipping.

      September 20, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
      • WhoIsTellingTheTruth

        @Maya – god may appear vain to be making those claims, but do you really want to spend "eternity" without being separate from those who hurt you, killed childrens, etc? i can't wait for heaven, to be in a place of moral righteousness, peace, love and joy. for eternity, there must be eternal separation of good from evil; all religion teaches that. well, if there was no eternity, or beginning, no god, such separation is not really required. and we do not need to live today with any moral framework, any courtesy, any truth, any commitment, right? and don't we make any rules ourselves?

        September 20, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
  2. imsickofitall

    Religion at it's very essence is a celebration of ignorance; I don't understand the world around me so I resort to religion/mythology. I know how some will react to that statement but it is not meant to be critical; merely an observation about reality. I recognize there are many very dark places on this earth as well as the potential for a person to experiences very dark times over the course of their life that can only be dealt with, or survived, through hope and having something or someone to believe in when there is nothing else to hold on to.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Jim

      A "celebration" of ignorance? LOL! While I certainly agree there's a lot of ignorance in religions, you use the word "celebrate" simply because it's one of the stupid words that's out there (like saying "awesome" for the tiniest thing that happens, even though if you know the meaning of "awesome" you wouldn't say such stupid things) in popular culture. So if you're trying to write something that makes people think you're cool and well-educated, don't belittle other so much with this "celebration of ignorance" junk. While I'm not very religious myself, what makes you know it all?

      September 6, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
      • cleareye1

        A celebration of ignorance is a very accurate description.. You are the blowhard!

        September 6, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
      • Jeff

        Celebrate – "To observe (a day or event) with ceremonies of respect, festivity, or rejoicing" THATS EXACTLY, what a religious ceremony is.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  3. Yawn

    This guy has no more knowledge about how the universe works than anyone else. All of this babble is pointless. We'll all find out what happens in the end won't we? Either we're all food for the worms or there's something else. No amount of mindless oration will change it. Until then just relax and enjoy the ride.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Derek

      that's an easy but lazy approach. consider what politicians believe in this nonsense, and the power they have over your life. that's the scary thing

      September 6, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
      • Yawn

        You may call it whatever you like yet no amount of ignorance or disbelief makes it any less accurate.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Chum Joely

      Wrong. He does know a lot more about how evolution works than just about anyone else. Read his "The Greatest Show On Earth" and you'll see what I mean.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • J

      He was a professor of biology at Oxford. I daresay he knows more about biology than most.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • Yawn

      Does he know how...or why the consituents involved in the chemical reactions involved in evolution became animated? Why can't anyone else in a lab spontaneously animate matter? He, like most great scientists, suffers from chronological provincialism. The fact is....we don't know it all. There are many, many things we do not understand yet. To take one's knowledge, no matter how deep – and extrapolate that to mean something broader than it really is – is foolish, regardless of how many degrees one has.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
      • Chum Joely

        There are theories about the origin of life (abiogenesis), and Dawkins briefly addresses those at the end of the book I mentioned. But that's not really in the domain of evolution, which is about how life developed once it did exist.

        Besides, last I checked the big arguments for and against "creationism" referred to the Biblical idea that humans and all other known animals, plants etc. were created simultaneously out of nothing. If creationists are now willing to acknowledge that evolution by natural selection is correct for everything AFTER the appearance of the first living cell, then at least we're moving in the right direction.

        September 6, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
      • Wes

        Yawn, your question (or statement rather) was that he doesn't know more than anyone else about the universe. The response was that he does know MORE than the average person about the universe, which is ENTIRELY accurate. He knows MORE, no one ever said he knows ALL like you're trying to insinuate.

        September 6, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • nojinx

      I know he has more knowledge of biology than I have, so your statement is patently false.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Maya

      Sounds to me like you're just jealous of people more intelligent than you are.

      September 20, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
  4. treblemaker

    Hey, Dawkins-look in the mirror and try to convince yourself there is no God. You only see the material evolution, but you don't see the spiritual evolution. God is the unseen spirit of the universe. He is not meant to be seen, but to be believed in. The Holy Bible, the Koran, and other holy books are the feeble attempt of human beings to explain the meaning of God's purpose for all of us. Inside our bodies is the eternal spirit that God Himself provides us with when we are born, with all the personality characteristics that define each individual spirit. He wants our spirit that he provides us to love him like He loves us-not by command, but by by free will choice. We have a lifetime to try and figure that out. If there is no God, we would all have the same personality, like animals. That's why we were given dominion over them, to subdue those we needed for food, and to take care of the rest. Animals do not have free will-we do. However, we bear the responsibility of our choices in life. Sometimes we have to admit to God that we were WRONG!! What is so terrible about that? You know, I could write a book on this subject, so I've said enough for now. However, my final thought is this–evolution AND God go hand in hand. You can't have one without the other.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      "Hey, Dawkins-look in the mirror and try to convince yourself there is no God."

      Done!

      September 6, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
      • Moiphy

        And just what was proven by that comment?

        September 6, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • okstate

      "If there is no God, we would all have the same personality, like animals. That's why we were given dominion over them, to subdue those we needed for food, and to take care of the rest. Animals do not have free will-we do."

      Last time I checked, "animals" have distinct personalities and free will.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Pointless

      These arguments are futile; each side has their own convictions and movement from one side to the other is rare. As far as your statement, "we would all have the same personality, like animals" do some research Treblemaker. Selective breeding of animals, specifically working animals like horses and dogs occurs to isolate specific PERSONALITY or BEHAVIORAL traits inherent to a specific requirement of man.

      I am not saying that anyone is wrong or right, but if you are going to make a statement outright, please know what your are talking about before opening your mouth or typing on a keyboard. This argument and the points made within it is stupid. What does it matter if one wants to believe in evolution, God or a retarded monkey squirrel frog? The most frustrating part in all of this is everybody’s lack of tolerance with each other; Christians and non-Christians alike. What happened to loving your neighbor? By the way, this is a tenant of both humanity and religion.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • ibelieveinnothingandeverything

      "If there is no God, we would all have the same personality, like animals." Really? Have you never been in the presence of two animals of the same species? Animals absolutely have different personalities.

      And no free will? Tell that to my dog who NEVER, NOT ONE TIME, from the age of 6 weeks when we got her had an accident in the house, left a duece in the middle of my bed when I and the rest of the family left her alone one night even after I had taken her out to do her thing before I left? Who then wouldn't come upstairs when I called her even though I used the sweetest voice in the world? She knew exactly what she had done and had made the decision to do it. That is animal free will and personality all wrapped up in one fell swoop, my friend. Try another argument.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
      • ibelieveinnothingandeverything

        Not to change the subject or anything.

        September 6, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Jon

      Treblemaker – wow, absolutely nothing that you say has any sort of evidence to it.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • JLS639

      Actually, we know a bit about free will and personality development. Part of it involves GABA neurons in the prefrontal cortex and cingulate gyrus that inhibit courses of actions we deem inappropriate. If you inhibit those inhibitory GABA pathways (inhibiting the inhibitors – pretty common), you start acting in ways you would normally deem inappropriate and acting more impulsively and randomly. To see this in action, go to a bar and watch people drinking. No God is required to explain it.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Maya

      Prove it. Oh, that's right you can't.

      If you can't provide a logical argument and objective evidence for your beliefs, your beliefs are worthless. You contribute nothing to the discourse and serve only to denigrate humanity with your trembling worship of shadows. Your kind brought on the Dark Ages. Your kind needs to fade into history.

      September 20, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
  5. Ptolemey

    What exactly makes Dawkins an expert on anything?

    Has he established any ground-breaking theories in science? No.

    He's just a hack trying to make a name for himself by taking on religion with the same tired nonsense that much smarter aetheists than he have been talking about for centuries. They didn't kill religion then, and they won't kill it now.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Did you read the article? He's the guy behind the concept of the meme, which is absolutely ground-breaking in the area of information theory.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
      • Yawn

        He's ground-breaking because he re-labeled the concept of the "idea"? Ok. I think that's a bit gratuitous but whatever.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
      • Jim

        Some interesting stuff, no doubt, but "ground breaking"? Oh, please!

        September 6, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • Nat Q

      Well, there are his decades-long academic credentials for one thing...

      Look, you don't like him, I get it, but to pretend he doesn't have the credentials to be considered an expert in "anything," is just laughably ludicrous and only serves to make you look overly biased and ignorant. He graduated Oxford with a zoology degree and then got his MA and Doctorate under Nikolaas Tinbergen (a Nobel winning zoologist), who was his tutor and doctoral advisor. He was an assistant professor at UC Berkeley and lecturer and fellow at Oxford since 1970. He was granted the Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science chair at Oxford in 1995, a position basically created for him with the expressed goal by its benefactor of going to one who is "expected to make important contributions to the public understanding of some scientific field." He has served as the president of the Biological Sciences section of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, and in 2004, his alma mater Balliol College, Oxford created the Dawkins Prize, awarded for "outstanding research into the ecology and behaviour of animals whose welfare and survival may be endangered by human activities." he has written a large number of peer reviewed academic papers (adding a lot to the idea of the gene-centered view of evolution), hosted science programs for both children and adults for decades, and written nearly a dozen (well-respected) books on the subject of genes, biology, and evolution.

      And you have the gall to sit on your anonymous little internet forum and question "what exactly makes Dawkins an expert on anything?"

      Your pathetic attack is pathetic.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • nojinx

      His studies and research make him an expert, though this qualification generally comes from his peers.
      He is significant in that he is working (among other things) to keep education of our children focused on science and devoid of non-science. For many, even theists, it is a worthy goal.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Earthling

      His book, The Selfish Gene, established a gene-centric view of evolution. That it isn't organisms, per se, that compete for survival but genes that compete. He is one of the brightest minds in science of biology. You should read his books.

      September 6, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
  6. Jim in PA

    This guy used to rock on Family Feud, but now he's such a Debbie Downer. Do you think he kissed the interviewer's wife when he walked into the room?

    September 6, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • DuchessFeathers

      Jimmy – that was RICHARD DAWSON. Not the same person. wow. Family Feud about sums you up.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
      • Whoosh

        Whoosh...

        September 6, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • Survey Says

      I seriously doubt that the now deceased, Richard DAWSON, former host of Family Feud, kissed the interviewer's wife.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • starkey

      Umm... that would have been Richard Dawson:)

      September 6, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • RML

      I think you are thinking of Richard DAWSON, who was host of Family Feud – he is now deceased

      September 6, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Chum Joely

      Not totally sure but I think Jim In PA might have been kidding, folks.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Earthling

      Sarcasm is often hard to detect without the benefit of spoken words. And its no fun making it obvious with a smiley. But the sarcasm in a comment as ridiculous as this one should have been obvious to most people.

      September 6, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
  7. shwmin

    Still trying to figure out WHAT MAKES THIS person RELEVENT ???

    September 6, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • shwmin

      Now that was mature.....rofl......

      September 6, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • shwmin

      Now try answering the Question...What makes this him relevent?

      September 6, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      What makes Dawkins relevant? Well, first off, the fact that he's about the diametric opposite of a moron. Second, the dozen or so books he's written. Third, the fact that he's amazingly articulate. Fourth, the contrast with folk like you.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
      • LeftyCoaster

        That's arguably just one point stated four different ways, but yeah.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • Jamie

      He's a best selling author who has done a lot to bring atheists out of the closet.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • Maya

      For one thing, he knows how to spell, an ability you clearly lack.

      September 20, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
  8. GeeWhiz

    Sad comments from an intelligent but hollow, bitter man.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • bff

      I didn't find anything sad there. Can you tell us what comments were sad to you?

      September 6, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • J

      he has no real answer because he doesnt know Jesus.

      Jesus transforms lives, ive seen it , as well as in my own life. I wish i could go into it but maybe another time. Gotta get back to work. Please have an open heart, True Christianity DOESN'T hate, it loves. if someone is HATING & calling themselves a Christian, they are NOT of God.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
      • Jesse

        Jesus is the object of your affection, much like a lucky charm. But, its not Jesus that changes lives. WE change our lives, and over 1,000s of year have been guilted into thinking that we cannot influence our path. Re-connect with yourself.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
      • Hated

        I've had more hate, more criticism, more judgment from "Christians" who berate me than from all other groups combined. For the last 15 years, if I wanted to feel ostracized, unloved, and judged, I go to a 'Christian' church. Someplace where people refuse to use clear thinking, who refuse to ask any questions (yep, the Bible has sure helped me with my wireless contract, with my intermittent internet service, and ignorant drivers). We have these extraordinary brains to USE, not to just follow what ancient civilizations said to interpret THEIR much different world 1500-6000 years ago.
        So, God loves me? Maybe, but doubtful. Do I love myself? You betcha. And if I"m made in *ahem* God's image then that is good enough for ANYONE.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
      • cleareye1

        Try making your point at the end of a sermon. Just stand up and say you have something to say in disagreement with what you have just heard. You would be placing your life at risk.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
      • Maya

        Oh please. Jesus hasn't even taught you how to type properly.

        You are wasting space.

        September 20, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • Maya

      Hollow? You're the one spending your time trolling people on the internet.

      September 20, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
  9. David

    While I respect Mr. Dawkins' right to, and grasp on, his beliefs about the origin of life, I disagree with his assertion that evolution is a fact. Scientific truths must be demonstrable and reproducible. Until someone here can take a catfish and return a bunny rabbit in its place, it's still just a theory, regardless of the degree one fervently believes it to be true.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Tim

      You should at least know what the theory of evolution is before attempting to refute it. It just reveals your extreme ignorance. Don't get all your info from your pastor.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
      • J

        why aren't we still evolving ? why aren't new species of humans just popping up AGAIN? Its been long enough. perhaps its Because everything has a SOURCE , a maker, a creator and that is GOD.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
      • J

        The pastor should be getting his info from the bible the word of GOD. You are getting your word from Scientists...and they are getting it from theory. The same ones who thought the world was flat. think with an open heart...pls.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
      • Jamie

        @J, you realize that evolution takes a LONG time, right? The human species IS still evolving, but it's just too slow for us to perceive well. Human skulls from Jesus' time were larger than the average skull now. It's a slight change, but it's change nonetheless. If humans hadn't developed advanced means to travel and were still largely land locked, we might have begun to see greater genetic differences between populations of humans in Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia...those populations were separate long enough for different races to emerge, but with all the travel these days there's little chance of seeing a population of humans evolve into a separate species.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
      • Lee

        J – We are still evolving. New species have been observed both in a lab and in nature. Try learning how something actually works before closing your mind and shouting MAGIC MAN DUNNIT!

        September 6, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Jim in PA

      Individual creatures don't evolve; populations do. For example, if you give someone antibiotics but don't finish the treatment, most of the bacteria in them will be killed but there will be a small surviving population with a genetic resistance to the antibiotic. These surviving organisms now make up the entire bacteria population, they reproduce, and WHAM you now have an entire strain of antibiotic resistant bacteria. In other words... the population evolved. Understand now?

      September 6, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • M.E.

      That's not how it works. Yes, catfish and rabbits have a common ancestor waaaaaay back on their respective family trees, but that doesn't mean you can turn a catfish into a rabbit. You can only trace back to where family A produced a mutation that sprouted family B.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      It's unfortunate that the phrase "the theory of evolution" is the one that became popular. It's better called "A theory ABOUT evolution", which recognizes that evolution is a rock-solid observable FACT, and that it's best explained by natural selection (the ACTUAL theory) causing divergent descent from common ancestors. There are other theories to explain the FACT of evolution as well (check out Lysenkoism, for example), but none as successful as natural selection, which is why it's UNIVERSALLY ACCEPTED by biologists (that is, people actually in a position to know).

      September 6, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • kent

      david: you display your ignorance beautifully.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
      • David

        Thank you. I used the outlandish bunny rabbit example to encourage all of you to make my point for me. So-called "experts" can't even agree amongst themselves on one definition of "evolution" and its implications on our origins, be they natural or by divine intervention. There are more tangent theories than flavors of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and that's OK. There's nothing wrong with theories. But they are what they are. The bottom line is, and STILL IS, we don't know for certain how we got here, regardless of how many scientists "accept" one theory or another.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Jamie

      Evolution is a fact, the theory that everyone keeps referring to is actually "The theory of evolution through natural selection." There is no question that things evolve. But, like you said, science isn't really about "proof". Proofs are what you get in mathematics. Biology isn't really mathematical, so the closest thing you're going to get to "proof" is scientific theory.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Chum Joely

      David, please read Dawkins' "The Greatest Show On Earth" with an open mind. The book reviews the huge amount of convergent evidence for evolution via natural selection, from many many different fields

      Among other things, there have been many actual experiments where fast-reproducing populations (bacteria, guppies etc.) were allowed to reproduce for many generations in carefully controlled environments. The populations evolved exactly according to the predictions of evolutionary theory, e.g. the guppies who lived in an environment with a spotted pattern on the ground quickly developed spots of similar colors, but ONLY if there were predators present to provide the evolutionary pressure to evolve a method of camouflage.

      There are hundreds of experiments and findings like this that build up the theory of evolution from all different angles. When you see it all in one place, it's really not possible to deny it (without denying the validity of the scientific method as a whole, which many evolution deniers end up having to do).

      September 6, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Jerry

      Taking a catfish and making a bunny would actually disprove evolution.

      A theory in science is the highest standard an idea can be. Gravity is a theory.

      October 9, 2012 at 8:24 am |
      • vincastar

        No Jerry, David is onto something here...we are intelligent beings so according to evolution we could create an environment that selects for a catfish to evolve into a bunny or however we see fit.

        October 9, 2012 at 10:57 am |
      • Jerry

        No that is not what evolution says. Catfish do not have the genetic components for their offspring to be bunnies. Evolution does NOT say that one species evolves into another.

        October 9, 2012 at 11:46 am |
      • vincastar

        That's the point...nothing does.

        October 9, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
      • Jerry

        @vincastar
        I misspoke evolution does not say one species changes into a completely other species.

        What it does say is small changes over time will cause the descendants of a population to no longer be able to mate with other descendants of the same population. Small changes eventually become large changes.

        October 9, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
      • vincastar

        There either is a speciation event or there is not. At some point there is or is not a new species created. So, once again you say that evolution does not explain speciation... what I hope is that you then consider that your concept of evolution is actually adaptation and the creation of a new species is something different and unique. The problem is that people take the concept of adaptation and extrapolate it to fill in the blanks. But if you consider the why a lone or if your not adept to philosophical or psychological analysis then there is the statistical component that you are still overlooking. I've already posted about this, please review those topics for more understanding.

        October 10, 2012 at 10:39 am |
      • Jerry

        Wrong new species are created.

        A typical creationist argument i that dogs eventually turn into birds which is not what happens.

        October 10, 2012 at 11:15 am |
  10. John Smith

    We as humans like see,touch,hear,calculate and formulate. I am all for it,but there are things bigger than we are and you just have to trust and believe.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
  11. solowd

    As an atheist, if I died and met god, I'd tell him it was an innocent mistake. What, he's going to send me to hell for not believing in him? Then he's a dick.

    Really though, none of that crap is real. If you take a moment to think critically about religion, and you still believe in god, you are not very intelligent.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • xmxm

      If there is a god he is a dick anyways given what all goes on this world.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • blawo

      an innocent mistake in your case, maybe. but there were atheists who send pamphlets to the world, started movements, and after couple of years, tens of millions died in humiliating conditions. gulags and lagers were just materialization of materialism, the idea that soul and consciousness is mere movement in material brain. just emergence, illusion, without any higher meaning, and killing a human being is merely stopping that uncomfortable movement.

      i do not believe that any idea, which can lead to such crimes, is innocent, nor pure, nor attractive. and i find that any moderately intelligent and conscious man should be able to recognize that, or makes guilty himself for all those deeds!

      September 6, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  12. RichardSRussell

    I see people call Dawkins arrogant, or smug, or pretentious. For a moment, let's grant that you're 100% correct about his att¡tude. Does that somehow or other invalidate the accuracy of what he's saying? No, not at all. Those critics are desperately trying to change the subject from the CONTENT of WHAT he says to their own ATT¡TUDE about HOW he says it. Frankly, that's because they can't refute his facts or his logic, so they're reduced to attacking his personality.
     
    Frankly, I think he just sounds British, which may come across as smug to unsophisticated ears.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
  13. J

    ATHESISTS like dawkins want to believe in evolution because it is their excuse to CONTINUE SINNING.
    The belief in God/Jesus would have them be accountable to GOD. Without God, no LOVE exists. He is the "I" in "I AM" – he IS love. If we all define what is right then Child abusers can say their ways are correct. There has to be one ROOT, and ROOT defines all, we cannot define, as everyone has their own defenition of what they think is good and evil. That is GOD. Aren't you glad it's God? It could be a NON LOVING GOD, & that would not be good.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Michael

      Comments like yours are all kinds of silly. Dawkins isn't exactly renowned for being a hedonist. He's a boring old academic type. Also, your comment screams of insecurity, and of desperately reaching for a reason as to why someone would DARE to have beliefs that differ from your own.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • M.E.

      if love can't exist without god, how come my atheist husband is the most loving and devoted man on the planet?

      September 6, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
      • J

        IM SURE HE DOES love YOU, NO DOUBT. But that LOVE comes from somewhere. However, his love would be even greater if his LOVE for CHRIST was first, like it is with my husband. Thank God.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
      • J

        when you put GOD first, the selfish desires one would normally have are out aside. So if your husband (for example) wanted to cheat, he'd be thinking of himself. However when you're in CHRIST, you want to pleae Christ FIRST, not yourself. So in doing that your desires change. Im not saying we as Christians cant fall, but with GOD as strength – our armor is MUCH, MUCH greater. Hope you can understand . Again, im not trying to insult, just trying to explain what I mean. Yes there is LOVE, but its not the same LOVE that you feel when GOD is in your life. I know, Ive had love before Christ in my life, but this time, its a totally different love.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
      • FAITH HOPE AND CHARITY

        YOU MIGHT RETHINK HOW DEVOTED YOUR HUBBY REALLY IS. I HOPE YOU ARE RIGHT,HOWEVER THE STATS
        WOULD NOT SUPPORT IT. I WISH YOU WELL. MEN ARE MEN AND WOMEN ARE WOMEN. THINGS CHANGE AS LIFE MOVES ON. THE BLESSED WILL OVER COME IN ANY CASE.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
      • Chum Joely

        "FAITH HOPE AND CHARITY", can you point me to a web page with the statistics you are talking about? Maybe a book or something? I'd be interested to see a study that demonstrably relates religious belief to marital fidelity.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
      • SC

        M.E. – I'm am so glad that your husband loves you. That is how it's supposed to be. However, just because he does not believe in something does not mean that thing does not exist. I have met people who do not believe in black magic, but that does not mean people aren't practicing it. So, your husband not believing in God does not negate the existence of God and that He's the source of love. God loves you and your husband.

        September 6, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
      • cleareye1

        But her husband will share the same fate as you and any other believer. No one knows what that is. That is why agnosticism is the only rationale guide line until things change.

        September 6, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Bob

      If you look deep into a mirror and say "Jesus" 8 times, he will appear and drink all your blood. If you dont believe me, try it.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Olaf Big

      Hmm... According to one, certainly unscientific but often quoted survey, 90% of americans believe that God loves them. This would then include lots of murderers, child molesters, rapists, drug dealers and the likes. Now, all scientific and philosophical arguments aside, why would anybody in his right mind want to do anything with God who extends his love to such creatures?

      September 6, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • JLS639

      We know something about the neurological pathways that produce love. You can read a layman's summary of much of what is currently known in "Biological basis of love" on Wikipedia, if you like. No god is required to explain it. Curious that people believe a god is required for love, but not selfishness, or for philosophy, but not hunger.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
  14. Way Out There

    I do not see where one can not believe both in God and evolution. I was taught in high school by a social sciences teacher that there is no God. I believed that, but in many of my searches to prove to others there was no God, many answers did not add up by science. Think creationism, if God did not create the universe, how was the universe created? Where did the materials come from, the organization of the universe, etc. evolve from? God is just as good of an answer as "science has not figured it out yet." I believe we as humans have evolved, I do not believe we evolved from Apes, as because if we did....why do we still have apes? Do human and apes have a common ancestor? Probably. So looks like there is common ground to believe in creationism and evolution at the same time–it just does not fit into the Bible's teachings. My faith actually teaches that religion should not ignore science, but in fact science enhances God's presence in our lives. (No, I am not a Scientologist). I have just found that searching for scientific answers leads me to appreciate God, and God exposes so many scientific wonders for me. But, it probably all comes down to if you believe in the Soul. If you don't, then none of any of this makes any difference.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • Madtown

      Beyond that, where did the space/volume/"box" that the universe was created into, where did that come from? Lot's of questions, few answers.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
      • Primewonk

        The universe (singularity) was not created into space. The singularity IS space. There is no "outside" the universe.

        September 6, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
      • Athy

        "lots", not "lot's. Your lack of writing skills reflects your intelligence level.

        September 7, 2012 at 12:37 am |
    • Michael

      So... "I don't know the answer, therefore God"? You're basically admitting to pretending there's a God because you find it unsettling that you don't know the answer to these questions?

      September 6, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
      • Way Out There

        No, it is "none of us know the answer, therefore an answer of 'God' or an answer of 'science has not determined how yet' have equal footing, and to insult and belittle someone of the other opinion is, frankly, just a means to find personal validation by distracting from the fact that you are threatened by the opposite view.

        September 6, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • rafael

      God is a lousy answer. Who created God?

      September 6, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • Laura

      I had a high school Science teacher that called evolution 'crap'. Just goes to show you the low standards that public education sets. There is no hope of anyone actually being educated. Which explains why there are so many people that cling to religion like it's a life preserver, against all reasonable cognitive thought.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
      • Athy

        Actually, Laura, he was just telling you the truth. Why didn't you listen?

        September 7, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • J

      You say " God is just as good of an answer as "science has not figured it out yet." "

      but, one is acknowledging lack of understanding and intent to study, the other is making up a fantasy answer supported by no evidence and asserting knowledge. It is no different than saying a fairy did it, that santa claus did it, that spiderman did it, that the flying spaghetti monster did it. Is that just as good of an answer?

      September 6, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
      • Way Out There

        I never said I stopped studying. I continue to read books on the origins of the universe and find them fascinating and mind blowing. If science can evolve to the point that it can create its own universes, then obviously you are proven right. I am not trying to prove there is a God, only that it is OK to believe in both faith and science. However I assume you have already made your own mind up about NO GOD and will never allow any further research to threaten your personal truth for whatever reason. Have fun with that, but stop being angry and insulting at people that do not believe the same things you do, especially since you have no open mind to even accept that there may be different approaches to life.

        September 6, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  15. mac101

    Most of the comments about this article pit science and religion as opposites, implying one can only believe in one or the other, and I think that's because most Americans are from a Judeo-Christian background. I think one can be a serious scientist and use the scientific method while simultaneously believing that there is an un-quantifiable something that connects us to the universe and each other. That 'something' may well be an evolutionary advantage for our survival over the long haul.

    Different peoples have called it different things: the holy spirit, chi, prana, mana, even Steven Spielberg had 'the force.' Others may see it as the laws of physics, and still others as love. But one can be a serious scientist and still believe in that 'something.'

    So while traditional religions and science may be at odds, spirituality and science don't have to be.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • jdoe

      I agree. Even the evolutionary drive can be thought of a force for good. There is somehow this impetus for some matter, for life forms to become more intelligent over time, when the natural tendency of most matter is to decay. If some people personalize this "force" and call it "God" or "consciousness" or whatever, that's fine.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Kyahne

      Beautifully said!

      September 6, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      "Different peoples have called it different things: the holy spirit, chi, prana, mana, even Steven Spielberg had 'the force.' "
       
      Dude, that was George Lucas, and you are just as uninformed about the "virtues" of spirituality (the modern, politically correct term for superst¡tion) as you are about science-fiction movies.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Tom

      George Lucas had The Force. Spielberg was not involved in Star Wars.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
  16. SS

    You can't argue with the truth and Dawkins brings the truth every time.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • SkepticalOne

      Sure you can SS. You don't have to be right to argue.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
  17. Jonathan

    God is written into the design of man whether He exists or not. Dawkins is not only fighting a losing battle but he's missing out on the psychological significance of an unconscious hard-wired belief in a transcendental reality. I can't tell you from an evidentiary point of view that God as we know Him from popular accounts, exists, but I do have evidence of a transcendental reality - a hidden infrastructue to life. There is much that exists that lies beyond our five senses and physics will one day bare this out.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Madtown

      I agree. This also means there's no need for religion, as no religion has the "answers", because the answers in general are not knowable.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • Chutzpah

      Which god? Thor? Zeus?

      September 6, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Jesse

      You can theorize this thought, but you will never have evidence to this point. So, why suggest it. That allows you to theorize (without evidence) on too much of our being, and too much of our daily life. Because there is no evidence to support your stance, in order to live harmoniously and with a pragmatic and civil soul, we much not assume things beyond our evidential support. We thing lend to this propoganda, and affect our functional society. Its not to say that you are wrong (although I disagree), but rather to say that there is no place in assuming this without evidence.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
      • SkepticalOne

        Spot on. Anyone can claim anything without evidence but they shouldn't expect thinking people to believe them.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
  18. George

    Thou shall not cast thy pearls amongst swine? Why would you argue with anyone that doesn’t believe? Pray for them fine, but this idea that you are going to force them to convert by talking to them is wrong. Better to leave the word where they can find it, but to freely cast it out so that it may be spat upon is not right.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • CJ

      Pitiful.

      Do people like you realize how much humanists like us do for the community, for people of all creeds and types, how much time we spend thinking about goodness and working for compassion and mercy?

      All without prayer, sitting in church, hating gays, racist mindsets, and a desire to keep ones own money?

      Do you?

      September 6, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
      • SDCinNS

        Tell us all the wonderful things you do CJ. Oh... and if everything is a random accident and morality is nothing but personal preference – why do them?

        September 6, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
      • George

        I care nothing for this world. It was corrupted long ago to the point of its demise.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
      • Chutzpah

        To SDCinNS...

        Why do them? Because there are many, many benefits to me and to my family in being a caring, cooperating, altruistic human.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
      • Chum Joely

        Believing in evolution does not mean "everything was a random accident" as far as life on Earth. Even the appearance of the first living cell (which by the way is not relevant to evolution– which is how life developed after that first cell or cells) was not "random", but heavily constrained by the physical and chemical state of a specific environment at a specific time. All the more so for evolution. They call it "selection" for a reason– genes may vary randomly but the vast majority of mutations will not be advantageous and therefore will not persist and evolve further.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
      • Chum Joely

        As to why morality and altruism exist if we believe in "evolution without God", there has been a lot of scientific work on that too. Basically, for certain species, including our branch of the primate family tree, certain aspects of the environments they evolved in were favorable to a social/group dynamic rather than individualism. So our instincts evolved with an orientation towards helping and protecting others in the group. Plus, as Dawkins says in the article, our morality doesn't come straight out of our biological wiring either. It's something that we learn from the culture around us, which has also changed and developed over cultural time (a much smaller timescale than biological evolution).

        September 6, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Chutzpah

      Then why do YOU go on? Just die...

      September 6, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
      • George

        Yes I will, when it is time.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Curious

      Then why post here George? You are defeating your own logic.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
      • George

        I stated a law of verse; and, I didn’t imply it to anyone that didn’t need it. That being how did I preach to those that shouldn’t hear? It seems I defied your logic, but to me it seems to fall well within the word.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  19. crappygovernment

    Man = fallible, Atheism = Pretentions for the soulless

    September 6, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • Curious

      Religion = Death, God = Man. See I can do that too.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  20. ViperGuy

    I can see why many atheists are frustrated with religion. Religion has mislead most of the world since after the first century Christians passed away. In fact, God himself showed John a vision that He would put an end to all false religions in the world during the last days. It's apparent we are living in the last days. False Religion is ready to fail, and will be crushed and devoured very soon. But it doesn't invalidate the Bible, it affirms it. The atheist said that a large population of the US still believes the earth is less than 10,000 years old. The Bible doesn't indicate such a thing, in fact it later explains in 2 Peter 3:8 that a "day for God is as a thousand years", meaning the earth was created in six "creation" days. We don't know how long a creation day is. It could be a billion years, but the Bible indicates that time with God is must different than time with us. The next verse makes it clear why God has allowed this wicked world to continue for what seems a long time to us. In 2 Peter 3:9 it reads: "God is not slow respecting his promise as some people consider slowness, but he is patient with you , because He does not desire any to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance." This is why he seemingly is taking His time. But very soon he will literally step in and put an end to all the wickedness in the world. The atheist said in the video that if he ever met God he would ask him which God he was. There can be only one true God and he has a name. When the God's due time comes, as some translations of the Bible convey it in the book of Ezekiel over sixty times, "Then they will have to know that I am Jehovah."

    September 6, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • bff

      Everything affirms the bible, right? Yawn.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
      • ViperGuy

        A true Bible reader knows that science supports the Bible. Archaeology supports the Bible. The Bible is not a scientific book, but the Bible does not contradict true science. Religion contradicts science and that's where the confusion is.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
      • Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quanti-ty Surveying

        @ viper – the Bible doesn't contradict science? Like the bit about the talking snake?

        September 6, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
      • bff

        Can you define a "true bible reader" to us ignorant ones?

        September 6, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
      • ViperGuy

        A ventriloquist throws his voice to deceive and pretend the puppet is doing the talking. Satan deceived Eve by pretending to make the snake talk. This was very clear.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
      • bff

        ViperGuy, you are a total loon. Get some help before the next David Koresh finds you, brainwashes you and you go off and suicide bomb some children's orphanage.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
      • ViperGuy

        A true Bible reader is a discerning one who does not read superficially and take a verse for what seems to be face value. He studies and researches and uses other scriptures to determine the meaning of a verse that may be difficult to understand. A simple example is when a person reads the first chapter in Genesis. A discerning one will realize that the earth could not have been created in six literal days. He then checks for other scriptures, such as 2Peter 3:8,9 and finds out that a Day has different time-frame in creation. He looks for even more scriptures to reaffirm his reasoning, such as in Daniel where a "day" was actually a year. He finds other scriptures that clearly indicate the the Israelites knew the earth has been around for eons of time. Therefore, he concludes his study by logically reasoning that the Creation day must not be a literal 24 hour earth day, but an undetermined timetable set by God.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
      • LetsThink123

        @ViperGuy
        In genesis, god created plants on the 3rd day and the sun on the 4th. Science, and more importantly, COMMON SENSE should tell u that plants require the sun to survive via photosynthesis. So the Bible is wrong here. What's your excuse as to why god had plants growing without a sun?

        September 19, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quanti-ty Surveying

      BS

      September 6, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
      • J

        have any OF YOU mocking the bible ever even been to church? ever actually listened to an entire sermon or two or 3 on the bible? Meaning a pastor actually describing what it is your reading...because often what you think it means isnt what it means. Before i didnt understand the bible, but now God has opened my eyes and ears to understand it, its amazing how much more i understand NOW. You should try and not continue to put down. the reason you dont understand is because you;ve already knocked it. Try really listening with an open heart.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
      • skeptic56

        Yes, I've been to church. I was forced to go every Sunday for 17 years, my father was a Chaplian. I am happy to report it is all total crap, all of it, utter nonsense and a complete travesty to the brainwashing of children and the pathetic vision of the 'flock' and all that means. You are the lost ones, lost in a storyland of impossible claims. You are the ones who stole my childhood and have the arrogance to assume privileged knowledge that I am incapable of finding without your blessed intervention. To hell with you, only well, you know. No hell to go to, except the living noise of unfortunates like you. I am completely atheist, and so very happy about that and intelligent humans like Dawkins. Go back to your cave and await the rapture. I'm actually living now, no thanks to people like you, and my father. He was a fraud.

        September 7, 2012 at 1:14 am |
    • J

      ALSO the bible says – only a few will enter the gates of heaven, so its not surprising what is happening today.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
      • Chutzpah

        True... zero IS a very few.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
      • Curious

        Actually J, yes. For many years, even in ministry.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
      • RichardSRussell

        Yup, that's what it says. But lets quantify here, shall we? By "a few" it specifically means 144,000 — 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel. (You could look it up.) So what are chances YOU'LL make the cut? I figure the 144,000 will consist entirely of innocent newborn babies who died tragically in infancy.

        See you in hell, buddy, courtesy of your "loving" God.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • Primal 4 Life

      We are not living in the end days, they have been saying that for thousands of years. It is simply not true. There is no end of days.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Curious

      Yes, and Mitt and the Mormons will triumphantly reign and all false Christians and other do-good religions will be destroyed!

      September 6, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
  21. J

    DAWKINS could possibly be the anti Christ....

    September 6, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quanti-ty Surveying

      What about the Uncle Christ?

      September 6, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
      • J

        ANTI CHRIST

        September 6, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
      • Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quanti-ty Surveying

        Oh crap – capital letters – I'm in trouble now. Hew – I have an idea: UNCLE CHRIST!

        September 6, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
      • Mr Noname

        Bahahahah

        September 6, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Derek

      Considering all the crap that has come along with Christianity ( wars, ignorance, hatred ), I'm actually ok with the thought of an anti-christ

      September 6, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
      • J

        Sad to hear you say that.....if only you KNEW, you'd never say that. Sorry to hear, And you accusing Christianity of this & that? So, non Christians are perfect they never fight wars, never kill?? Christians arent perfect, NO ONE IS. Its clear in the bible. We make mistakes. Difference though is Christians must repent to God when mistakes are made. God loves you.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
      • jim86

        Your right J we make lots of mistakes. We sure made a big one when we cobbled the bible together from a bunch of stories .

        September 7, 2012 at 8:37 am |
  22. Stick it up in you

    'Gods' are merely aliens visiting our ancient cultures.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Dawkinists vs. BibleHuggers

      what a profound thought!
      I've always suspected that too.

      who else on earth would have superpowers, virgin birth, resurrection, compassion, half animal half beast & similar qualities? seriously

      September 7, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
  23. Fish

    Never understood why people can't just let people believe in something. Atheists hate when people try to convert them, but yet they always try to convert christians? Just let people believe what they want to believe and stop trying to convert people one way or another.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quanti-ty Surveying

      having religious beliefs is like having a pe-nis. Nice to have one; nothing wrong with being proud of it. But please don't take it out in public, or try to jam it down other people's throats

      September 6, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • jdoe

      I've yet to meet an atheist who actively go out and try to convert people. Some are vocal, yes. But I've met many, many "missionaries" from various religious groups who actively try to convert others.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
      • Jim

        Mmm. no. I think these days atheists DO try to convert others. I've not had anyone from most religions, like Catholicism, Islam, knock on my door, as you say (and geez, could you say something even MORE simplistic than that?), yet I've seen billboards from atheists.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
      • Jkhur

        Jim – Then consider yourself lucky. I used to get a copy of the Watchtower at least once a week in college. And I have had completely strangers come up to me and tell me to accept Jesus. Many relgious faiths place a duty on their congregations to evanglize and spread the word of their god. I have yet to have an atheist come up to me and tell me not to accept Jesus.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • CJ

      how many atheists have knocked on your door to convert you???

      If I had a dollar for every christnut at my door while I'm trying to eat my kids...

      Come on!!!!!!!!!!!!

      September 6, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
      • RB

        Why would you eat your kids?

        September 6, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • VEW2012

      I have never met an atheist who tries to covert people, but I've met many so-called Christians who think it is their only holier than thou job in life.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • jim86

      Most Atheist were/are quite content leaving people believe what ever they want. The problem is that things have been going backwards the last 10 years. You are trying to rewind us back to the dark ages. When you try and push your particular beliefs into the classroom or the government you are now trying to make our kids as stupid as yours. We can't let you do that.

      September 7, 2012 at 8:43 am |
      • can't we all just get along???

        teach whatever science you want it schools, but you are mean. I sure hope my kids don't learn that.

        September 7, 2012 at 9:06 am |
  24. Doug Karan

    Just one comment: "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death".

    September 6, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
  25. jdoe

    Unlike some atheists, I don't think the existence of life is necessarily a fluke, a minuscule chance occurrence in the universe. The tendency is for matter to increasingly go from order to disorder. Things decay. All the stars in the universe will eventually die out. Entropy death, if you will.

    And yet within the universe there is a counter process, evolution, where things become increasingly ordered. Matter becomes increasingly more "intelligent". Who knows where this trend will lead to millions or billions of years from now, and whether this increasing "intelligence" can change the course of the universe itself.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • MrHanson

      A purposeless accident is a purposeless accident.

      September 6, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
  26. austin lada

    Notice in this article where he is asked, "If there was a God that you met after death, what would you say?" Dawkins responds by saying, "If I met God, in the UNLIKELY event..." That's all I need to see to know that even he is not 100% sold on atheism. He says unlikely. Why would he say that? The rest of what he says makes sense to the question that's asked, but the fact that he says unlikely says it all.
    There is not a person in the world who has not wondered if there was or was not a God. That's because nobody knows for sure. Nobody knows anything for sure. I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt there is a God, but that doesn't mean that I know for sure there is one. Just as an atheist believes there is no God, that doesn't mean they know for sure that there isn't a God. But the fact is, you can't get something from nothing. Do the math.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quanti-ty Surveying

      If you can't get something from nothing, then where did god come from?

      September 6, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
      • SDCinNS

        Something has to be eternal – either God or the material universe (Einstein proved it wasn't matter, by the way). If the universe was eternal, all the available hydrogen would have been converted to helium – and we'd have nothing but uniformly disbursed random energy throughout the universe.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
      • Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quanti-ty Surveying

        Argument from ignorance – I don't know, so the answer must be god. doesn't follow.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
      • austin lada

        Who made God? Unfortunately you'll never know.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
      • buddychrist

        god-papa and god-mama met, then fell in love....

        September 6, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
      • Chutzpah

        Quantum mechnaics has proved that you can, indeed, get something from nothing, and it's still happening all around you.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      "he is not 100% sold on atheism. He says unlikely. Why would he say that?"

      Intellectual honesty. He acknowledges the POSSIBILITY but offers up an honest assessment of its probability. That's what scientists do, you know.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
      • austin lada

        Then atheism is not true in itself. Nor is theism. It's all a matter of belief and disbelief based on what we can possibly process in our brain. In the end, I would rather die believing in God than die not believing. Atheism believes nothing after death. Theism believes in wonderful things after death, if you live by the morals and principles of the most popular book in the history of the world forever. Just because we ignore atheism, doesn't mean evolution won't continue. We could live another million years and will never know how we got here. But after we die? Well nobody has ever died and come back except for one person. That's all the proof I need.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
      • FaithIsNotAVirtue

        Where is the proof that happened? There is absolutely no proof of the 'so-called' resurrection, it is just part of the many stories that were made up many years after the date a man supposedly called Jesus had died supposedly on a cross. A story that had been used before too!

        September 6, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • JLS639

      "That's all I need to see to know that even he is not 100% sold on atheism. He says unlikely."

      Nonsense. Suppose someone asked what you would do if you found yourself in the place of a character in a movie? By your logic, answering it would mean you think the movie might be real. Intellectually dishonest, malicious misrepresenters like you are part of the reason religions are bad. Get someone to answer a hypothetical, and claim it shows doubt... There is a reason I tell religious proselytizers to shove off. They are all liars. I have met no exceptions.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
  27. CJ

    The man is a god. Ironically.

    Listen and learn. If you were brought up Jesusy or Mohammedy, fine, do some good deeds, but please; learn...learn...

    September 6, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
  28. Ellen

    Soon some rabid muzzies will go after him and kill him for offending their phony cult. Islam; what a joke it is.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • matt

      as opposed to the rabid chrissies who are going after him in this thread? get a grip on reality please. are you one of 40% who think the earth is less than 10K years old? i believe you are. therefore, you must be since i believe it.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  29. Gwen

    I read one of his books, The God Delusion, I think, and in chapter 5 he shows himself to be a very damaged person with substantial baggage from his childhood. I do not think he is a good source to judge about the existence of God.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • bff

      What dis he say that gave you this impression?

      September 6, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • CJ

      And all the nuts who've led or who follow religions didn't have baggage? You, I, we all have baggage. And cite your example...

      September 6, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quanti-ty Surveying

      Gwen: could you please elucidate how that "baggage" from his childhood lessens the validity of the points he makes? I've had a damaged childhood, but I still say the earth revolves around the sun, and not vice versa.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • ReasonableXX

      That's weird because Chapter 5 doesn't make a single reference to anything about his childhood.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • mike

      Granted, I have obviously not met every atheist, so I can't say this is universally applicable to all atheists... however, every atheist I have ever met had some sort of baggage that poisoned them against religion (and, more often than not, against Christianity specifically). I think it's a very rare individual indeed who spends a large portion of his life attempting to disprove another person's beliefs unless they blame those beliefs for some measure of personal suffering.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
      • Chutzpah

        Vice is just as certainly versa.

        How many people turn to religion because they're told it will fix all of the problems they've suffered as a result of not having religion? Quite a few. I don't think this works as an argument either way.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
      • Karla

        I told my parents at the age of 9 that the nuns at CCD were lying to me, that a man couldn't be born from a virgin and that the world was billions of years old and wasn't made by god in 7 days. I didn't have any baggage, just brains and the balls to realize I understood science and the world better than my teachers.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
      • Timmy

        The baggage I carry is that having gone to church and religious schools all of my life it became quite clear that the bible is complete hogwash.

        September 7, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • geckopelli

      And I read the bible- ALL of it- and it's a bunch of crap only a fool would believe.

      Try reading some science instead of having second hand opinions.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
  30. ReasonableXX

    To all those that say Dawkins comes off as pompus and smug...he does and with good reason.

    He has spent decades debating ignorant people that repeat the same questions and the same logically weak arguements over and over and over again. It's like beating your head against the wall. Of course he is frustrated. It's like 2 people standing outside and one says the sky is blue. The other simply says no it's not. They are both standing under the exact same sky and staring at it, yet one refuses to accept the facts before him.

    Just about every arguement or challenge against evolution and/or atheism that I see commenters posting has been done to death and thoroughly debunked many, many times. You can look them up yourself all over the internet. Your comments aren't original and your conclusions as bad as ever. Just because you refuse to accept the answers that are based in fact doesn't make the question/challenge any more valid than it was the first time it was presented and debunked.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • MasterWooten

      The problem with his argument against faith and yours is that there is NO WAY that you can possibly debunk the existence of an almighty creator other than to say, "since I don't see Him", He does not exist which is an equally weak and fallacious argument, the likes of which would never be accepted by a fact finding tribunal.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
      • Jambi

        Everything you believe in your faith is a lie.... churches and organized religion are nothing more than businesses designed to profit on peoples feelings of hopelessness and insecurity! You are a clown and so is your ridiculous god... you detest me, you blind sheep

        September 6, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
      • kosherkow

        That argument can be applied to anything...

        there's no evidence disproving the FSM, so it must be real...right?

        September 6, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Marvin K.

      Oh dear. You really need to read more. Dawkins himself quakes in the presence of the best Christian apologists (i.e. William Lane Craig) in part because he has no answers for them. Not saying he's wrong or they are right, but to dismiss believers because you think they have no arguments? Well, you are either ignorant of the rich body of Christian apologetics, or you aren't very honest with yourself.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
      • Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quanti-ty Surveying

        Oh, Marvin – that is rich! Quaking in the presence of Christian Apologists? Quaking with laughter, maybe! Like that great apologist Ray Comfort, who claimed that because a banana fits the human hand, can be opened easily, and is a good food source, god exists!! Quake, quake, quake!

        September 6, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
      • Galen

        Really?! Let the apologist who has beaten Dawkins, Dennet, Harris OR Hitchens please step forward! There ARE none and NEVER will be! You cannot prove that which has absolutely NO proof!

        September 7, 2012 at 6:03 am |
    • ReasonableXX

      To both of you...

      All arguements for religion start with the assumption that there is a creator in the first place. Where does that original assumption come from? There is no basis for it. You can't just make that claim that there might be a creator with no evidence to suggest it in first place. That fact alone makes all other religious arguements flawed. Christian apologists assume that if there is a creator, it is their god. That is even a bigger logical leap than saying there is a creator in the first place.

      I never said that there were no arguements for the christian god. There are plenty, they are just all deeply and fundamentally flawed in their initial assumptions.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
  31. ryantorgeson

    In as soon as 100 years this desperate clinging to theology will get chuckles in the classroom.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Daydreamer

      Wouldn't that be nice? But the opposite is more likely. Evolution can be very slow and religion's evolution has a long way to go, primarily because fear so dominates humanity. Fear is why religion persists.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Carlin123

      That is if we don't kill ourselves over it first.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
  32. Josh

    "You can’t just look back 3 million years and extrapolate into the future"

    That's pretty pathetic. Modeling & Simulation 101 Bro. We do it everyday, in meteorology, engineering, astrophysics – so why is it so difficult with this thing called biology when you have an exponentially larger data set to build your predicitive model? And don't play the "random" card either.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • CJ

      and since when did meteorologists get it right for this afternoon's weather? Let alone 'the future.'

      September 6, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • rafael

      I'm sure he is aware of modeling. The issue is one of scale. Meteorologists have a hard time predicting weather 5 days out but have some success predicting climate into the future. Same with biology–one can predict, given a series of known forces, the likely evolutionary trajectory of a population a decade into the future, but the question was about what will come after humans and when. How is your modeling 101 going to tackle that one?

      September 6, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
  33. Brian

    Religion is all about control. A group of people convinces you that TERRIBLE PAINFUL THINGS WILL HAPPEN TO YOU unless you do as they say some invisible being wants you to do; and then when you do as they say, you will feel good warm feelings inside. And then you imagine that these good warm feelings come from some invisible being, and you see coincidences and interpret them as messages from this invisible being, and that only reinforces your belief in this invisible being. And then the people in control can tell you that this OTHER group of people is wrong and bad and that you should ignore them because anything they say is motivated by a desire to hurt you. Every time you follow along with what you're told, you give people more power over you.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • Anniem

      Well said.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Marvin K.

      That is a very astute condensation of religion...if you are in fact a 3rd grader.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
      • Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quanti-ty Surveying

        ooh, snap! the "third grader" insult. why not try Na! Na! next time? Even more cogent a reply.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
      • DAT

        OR someone who can think.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
      • mk

        You're right. They teach this fairytale stuff in third grade and the kids naively believe it. And they keep on believing it.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • kenchandammit

      How nice for them, also, that god made it a rule for everyone to give them 10% of their money... Awesome!

      September 6, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • mk

      Ditto, well said.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • MasterWooten

      Control is about who has the power. You can't blame the ideology or philosophy of the the person or power doing the controlling, but the person or power themselves. Do you really think that religion has control or power in a Marxist state?

      September 6, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • Tim

      It's a classic case of giving you the poison and then selling you the cure. Christianity has perfected this scam and keeps infecting the next generation.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
      • WhoIsTellingTheTruth

        tim : i disagree, religion explains the poison and proposes the cure for why we are here, where we go when we die, morality & mostly no-science stuffs. religion is not against science.
        religion is taught (revealed) to the followers by a guru "with higher consciousness", science is taught to us by those with "greater knowledge". like reapairing a car or tv, we need help cause we don't have the expertise, same with religion. dawkins is a great scientist, and he can explain many things, but don't go to him for moral or religion – his "meme" is just a theory.

        September 7, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  34. Marvin K.

    The beauty of Dawkins' arguments is that they are self-defeating. If the universe, and thus all that is in that universe, is simply the result of random, meaningless, non-directional happenings, then his thoughts themselves have no meaning, and thus no value. Indeed, his thoughts, much like religion (in his view), are nothing more than empty and meaningless constructs based on what are, ultimately, simple chemical reactions in the brain. In the end, his worldview can only reach the conclusion that his own thoughts and beliefs are no less or no more valuable than the beliefs he seeks to ridicule.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      That's a very mistaken assumption to make: that there must be a purpose for life. Do you expect the same unique and special purpose for a housefly or a housecat? Life needs not follow a fictional narrative to be important and wondrous.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
      • Marvin K.

        Good reply, thank you. However, I've often wondered how anything can be "important and wondrous" if everything is meaningless. There is no "direction" if everything is meaningless...no good, no bad, no beauty, no ugly. Everything just IS, it exists without value. Any designation of value ("important and wondrous") then becomes nothing more than a comforting construct. This is why I consider atheism to be self-defeating...if it's true, then the argument itself means nothing.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
      • Brian

        Marvin – The extent to which an idea makes you feel good has, unfortunately, no bearing on whether that idea is true. The truth is that we are born, we live, we die, and generations after us will carry on. You may wish that there were some superbeing out there who loves you personally and gives your live meaning, but wishing does not make it so. Therefore it's up to you to find meaning in your life, to find your own set of values by which to experience the world. Think of it this way: if you can't find any meaning to life unless you imagine some superbeing giving it to you, then what does that say about you?

        September 6, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Your logic flaw

      He's not saying that the universe is meaningless. You're simply putting words in his mouth so that you can twist your argument to refute him. If you disagree with him, fine - but at least do so with some integrity.

      Thought is one of the attributes that we humans evolved to possess. Free will is not a product or an accident of the universe, nor is it a gift granted us by an even more intelligent, more powerful being. We humans simply have more evolved brains than other animal species. That fact does not support the argument that some greater being created us.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
      • Marvin K.

        I appreciate your reply. However, I wasn't trying to put words in his mouth, I was attempting to follow the basic atheistic premise to its logical conclusion. IF the universe is un-created, and IF all that exists is simply the result of random physical phenomena...then how could anything of VALUE ever be produced? The logical conclusion to atheism, as I read it, is that nothing has meaning...how could it? A long series of meaningless acts and occurrences can never produce meaning...meaning doesn't exist. Therefore, any argument promoting atheism seems destined to be self-defeating, in my opinion.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Godding

      The problem with this argument is simply that atheists do not need to include a construct such as God in any equation or notion of the universe and life. Atheists by definition are able to explain the universe and life without including God. But theists cannot, for whatever reason. They need God. Atheists do not.

      When somebody proposes a theory or says that something exists, it is on them to prove it, not on their critics to disprove it.

      I'm also not sure how not needing to use a construct such as God in one's life makes that person's life (and whatever they do or say) meaningless. Please explain why you need God to have meaning. Are you unable to find meaning elsewhere?

      September 6, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  35. Joxer the Mighty

    While I find it hard to believe, who's to say that another theory won't take the place of evolution as an explanation of where we come from some day? I think it's kind of arrogant for scientists to say evolution is a fact. As for religious people who only trust their scripture, that's about as arrogant as you can get.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Any new theory that comes along has to not only explain observations the current theory cannot, it must also explain all the observations the current theory HAS covered. Thus Einstein's Theory of Relativity improved upon Newton's picture of a mechanical universe, but we still use Newton's Laws of Motion for speeds well below c and gravities well below black holes (in other words, for all practical purposes).
       
      One other thing we can be sure of: If a new theory DOES come along to supplant evolution, it'll be discovered by scientists, not theologians.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • jim

      Well, I suppose someone might come up with an alternative theory about the earth being round. And I guess you can say that its pretty arrogant to state flatly that it is round. I mean, look around you- its obviuosly flat.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Eric

      He does not say that evolution cannot be refuted, he merely says that it thus far has not. No scientist will claim a monopoly on truth. There might very well be a theory that one day supplants evolution as an explanation for biological life, but it will come from discovery of evidence, not religion,

      September 6, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
  36. jdoe

    We might become extinct by our own creation: Artificial Intelligence machines that one day can store and process information and "think" in ways that human cannot. Some people say that AI can never be like humans. That misses the point, because they don't need to be like humans. If AI machines can get to the point where they want replicate and continually improve themselves, then humans are no longer needed. The pace of evolution of AI is measured in years, not thousands of millions of years for biological life forms. This evolution will continue to where humans will be like ants in comparison. And then... watch out.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • jdoe

      Correction: ...thousands OR millions of years...

      September 6, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
  37. brussell

    Well when you do see God you won't get a word in edgewise. You will get an express ride to hell though! Enjoy the ride!!

    September 6, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • veritas

      Well that is a loving god....like me or I will destroy you?

      September 6, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
      • Brian

        It's not "like me or I will destroy you." It's "worship me only or you will be turtured forever in hell."

        September 6, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • mk

      He sounds very loving.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • angryersmell

      Derp! Eva budddy tht dont gree wit me goin ta hell!!! BERP!!! HERRRRRRP!!!!

      September 6, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
  38. SDCinNS

    Michael Ruse, Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University, has stated, "The God Delusion makes me embarrassed to be an atheist." It's loaded with tons of non-science and personal venom. I'd like to read his biography however, because something has happened in Dawkins' life to make him this angry.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
  39. Mike

    Mr. Dawkins, when you die you will not meet God. You will however meet His enemy and will immediately understand what you do not understand now. There is still time to avoid that experience.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Timmy

      Who is in charge of Hell? If Satan is in charge of it why would he punish you?

      September 6, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      Unsubstantiated dogma.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • norm

      You really just don't understand anything, do you?

      September 6, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quanti-ty Surveying

      Wouldn't Satan welcome Dawkins there? Give him a cushy job? Your religion makes no sense. Not surprisingly.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • David

      Mike,
      I understand your point, but I think you misspeak. He WILL meet God but will then, upon judgement, relenquish him to the adversary.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • mk

      Why would god's enemy (I assume you are talking about satan) punish you for NOT worshipping god? Aren't they enemies??

      September 6, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • Alfonzo Bolla

      So let me see if I understand this. A person who leads a virtuous life, but who doesn't believe in your god, would deserve to be punished forever, with no chance of forgiveness? Yet a person who murders and steals but then shows remorse before they die, they would deserve eternal paradise?

      September 6, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • scott

      there is no fiery hell, why would God send you to be tormented forever when the bible clearly states that death is the debt that is payed for being sinners? Think about it, HE would be punishing you TWICE.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
  40. OEM

    Can anyone explain to me that if we got here by evolution and evolution never stops then why aren't there still monkeys evolving into men? I would sure have liked to be a fly on the wall as it came down to last monkey evolving into a man and saying good bye to all his monkey friends. From what I've seen monkeys have more monkeys and they grow old and die as monkeys just the way they were born. Been to a lot of zoo's and never once have seen a 1/2 monkey 1/2 man working his way through evolution. Why did evolution stick it to them and leave them as just monkeys?

    September 6, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • SDCinNS

      True enough – the monkey didn't lose out in any evolutionary battle... since he's still here!

      September 6, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • Timmy

      The above post can be read as: "I don't understand evolution, so it must not be true."

      September 6, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • jimbo

      OEM you have no understanding of how evolution works. You really should learn about it and then you will realize why your question is very dumb.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • robert

      we didn't evolve from moneys.. we have a common ancestor with monkeys. you can easily find the answer to your question by searching for 'human evolution'.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Ira

      You clearly have no idea how evolution works. Perhaps you should have been taught it as a child.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • E

      Yes. There is a man by the name of Richard Dawkins, a biologist, that writes books that would answer your questions. You should check it out. He explains it quite understandably.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Worried Christian Mother

      I cannot agree more with this...if evolution is true (which it is not) we should be more worried about 1/2 monkey 1/2 humans rising up and taking over as the dominate species.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Adam

      Timmy is exactly correct. I don't understand Quantum Mechanics, but you don't see me trying to tear apart the theory simply because I am uneducated about it.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Ben

      That's because zoo's haven't been around for millions of years and I'm pretty sure you haven't spent millions of years in a zoo. And because "evolution" is about "evolving" from one thing to another, well, wherever we humans spun out of, it was, I guess, the same principle for the various types of monkeys. Our DNA is 99% the DNA of an Orang-Untan (or Chimpanzee, one or the other, don't remember)...

      September 6, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Jimbo

      No wonder America is ranked 27th in the world in terms of mathematics and sceince. Evolution takes millions and millions of years, and in the process, millions and millions of species extincted.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Chuck Messenger

      Sigh. OK, here's my attempt to explain it to you.

      Let's go back, say, 5 million years. At that time, there were a host of primate species, including many which you would probably call "apes", even tho they wouldn't really look like any apes which exist now. Now, let's watch what happens to a particular lineage of one of those apes, generation-by-generation. Keep in mind that the great majority of lineages die off eventually. We're looking at a lineage which turned out to survive until today. Let's say there were 300,000 generations during that 5 million year period. We're looking at pictures of each of those 300,000 animals/individuals. The very last picture is of yourself.

      Shocked, you ask "But which of my ancestors was the first human?!" You flip thru the pictures, one by one. At no point does it seem there is any significant difference between any nearby relatives – say, within 100 generations. And yet... and yet... it is undeniable that there are huge changes which have taken place over the 300,000 pictures! You find that it is impossible to say which was the first human! You're certainly human now, and your 300,000'th ancestor was certainly an ape of some type.

      Follow another lineage, from that same 300,000'th ancestor of yours. This time, the final image is of a chimpanzee. Again, it looks very different than its ancestor of 5 million years earlier. Which one was the first chimpanzee? It's impossible to say.

      (This mind game is from Dawkins' "The Magic Of Reality" – which I highly recommend – especially for children)

      September 6, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  41. Scrape

    Agreed.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
  42. golubchik

    We need the 10 Commandments but NOT the intolerence and hatred that some believers in God show

    September 6, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • YoozYerBrain

      Dud, you ever read the 10 Commandments? Only 3 have to do with human-human ethical choices. The rest is about the protection of the priest class' privileges. Oops, I mean, the rest have to do with the priests of a jealous ADAD- The Sumerian GOD OF THUNDER jealously protecting his territory. One of those priests was Abraham, by the way.

      If it was omnipotent, what difference would all that stuff matter anyway? Why does it need us to obey its rules of worshipping it? How is that moral or ethical teaching? If it wants us to become enlightened, show us the way like Buddha did. It's all inside you if you want it. Otherwise, remember it doesn't objectively exist.

      Again, check yourself before you wreck US selves. You

      September 6, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
      • KanneM

        I'm no religion-ist, however, having actually read the Decalogue, I only find one that could be (wildly) construed as an attempt to enforce priestly power: remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. More reasonable assessment finds it is an admonition of mindfulness, as is the one regarding graven images, rather than an insistence on obedience to other persons.

        There are two that refer to (this) god specifically: thou shalt have no other gods before me (an ironic acknowledgement of polytheism) and thou shalt not take (His) name in vain.

        Which leaves six of them that are intended to instruct humans in ethics: Honor thy father and thy mother; thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not commit adultery; thou shalt not steal; thou shalt not bear false witness; and thou shalt not covet.

        The true source of the words certainly is not a/the one and only god, but there is wisdom to be found in them. People who incorporate these values into their thinking and endeavor to fulfill them in their daily lives will, it seems to me, have less to regret regarding their journey when it comes to an end. In fact, I'm counting on it.

        September 7, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • Zelazny7

      Punishment for disobeying 7 of the 10 commandments is death... seems reasonable to me!

      September 6, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • mk

      We don't need a list of 10 rules to tell us how to behave. It's innate common sense. As ALL great masters and your own mother has stated: Would you want someone doing that to you?

      September 6, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
  43. Richard

    Some people just have to wait unitl they end up in Hell to finally admit they were wrong.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      Have you spoken to any dead people who have gone to Hell who have supposedly learned this truth?

      September 6, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
      • HM8432

        I have. In 1997, one of my Marines died for 40 minutes after being electrocuted, and when he was successfully revived, he was babbling about scary demons, blackness, and the cold. Interesting, because before he was a hard-core atheist, but after his mishap, he was in church every Sunday, and attended every Bible study he could. He made it clear he didn't want to go back to whatever place that was, so he changed his ways. Could it have been a trick of his mind? Sure. However, the experience totally changed his views on religion and the after life!

        September 6, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
      • FaithIsNotAVirtue

        So this guy died and was brought back to life! I thought that only happened to one other guy in history... and many more that crawled out of their graves according to some fairy tale! I have no doubt he had some sort of weird experience that was far from pleasant and wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy but it hardly proves anything 'godly'.

        September 6, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • richunix

      As those who will die, only to find out they were wrong. For there is no heaven nor hell, nor will you care. Therefore the fear of death is needless. In short Richard, don't fear death, but enjoy life, it is yours to enjoy.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Data1000

      And people like you must fantacize about looking down at those being tortured without any end, saying "I told you so on a internet message board!".

      September 6, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • John

      If this guy can actually look into a mirror and say " yep I came from a monkey" Then his brain is not fully developed. Maybe he is mildly retarded. Poor fellow.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
      • jimbo

        John, the sperm in his testicles are smarter than you will ever be.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
      • John

        Take a look around you bud, then tell me YOU look like god. Make sure you pick carefully. Wouldn't want to be surprised when you find out he actually looks like a muslim.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Wayne

      Why would a good person go to hell just because they don't believe in God? I love my children even when they don't listen and disobey me. Why wouldn't someone who has unlimited patience and caring feel the same way?

      September 6, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
      • LinSea

        I think He does feel that way. You would be there for your kids when they need you, and He's always there, ready for us to turn to Him. But what if your child chooses to sever all ties with you, walk away from you, and mock or hate you? You still love that child, but that child is refusing the love and blessings you could offer. I think it's similar for God. When we decide walk away from Him, or mock or hate Him, we take ourselves away from good things He wants to give. At some point we will have to face the consequences of our choice to walk away and realize what potential was lost. Coming to that realization is my idea of hell.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
      • Timmy

        If my child turned thier back on me I wouldn't come back later and torture them for eternity.

        September 7, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Madtown

      And, it's a darn good thing for those people that there's no such place as "hell". At least, not the place described by christians.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • mk

      The hell of which god and are you SURE you're worshipping the RIGHT one??

      September 6, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Ricky

      Religious people actually won't ever admit they are wrong, because they die and that is it. They don't get the opportunity to realize they were wrong.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  44. Mike

    I feel sorry for this guy. He sounds like a miserable fellow.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      I feel sorry for you for thinking that, but of course, you meant it as an insult to him for not liking your Bible stories.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • mk

      I feel sorry for anyone who allows a man-made religion do their thinking for them.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
  45. SDCinNS

    This article made me chuckle (And feel sorry for him). Especially when he says, "you can't understand life, unless you understand what it's all there for" – he's right of course. But his answer to "what's it all there for?" is..... "nothing".

    September 6, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      That is a narrow view. Not being there because of God does not mean that life has no purpose. It is saying that it is up to us to decide what to do with it. Try doing something positive instead of attacking those who do not cling to draconian views.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
      • SDCinNS

        Accidents have no purpose – randomness doesn't have meaning.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
      • The Jackdaw

        It is there if you chose to put it there. I find tons of meaning in life without having to staple that meaning to a god. I love, laugh, cry and do all the other wonderful things that life brings us, but I do not require myth to help me out with it. The universe is more mind-blowing than any myth. I'm quite content and at piece with that.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
      • SDCinNS

        But.. you are a cosmic accident – quickly going at of existence. You are meaningless and purposeless ultimately. (By the way – you spelled "peace" wrong).

        September 6, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
      • The Jackdaw

        I am a crummy speller. Should I blame god or the universe?

        September 6, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
      • FaithIsNotAVirtue

        By the way SDCinNS you typed 'at' instead of 'out', does that mean you can't spell 'out' or that you made a typing mistake! When trying to be clever... make sure you are!

        September 6, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  46. FAITH HOPE AND CHARITY

    DAWSON HAS NO FAITH AND WILL TO BEILEVE IN ANYONE BUT HIMSELF. HE HAS NO HOPES OF A LIFE OF
    ETERNAL LOVE. AS FOR CHARITY I AM SURE HE IS LOOKING FOR ALL HE CAN GET FROM WHO WILL SHELL
    IT OUT TO HIM. A REAL JOB WOULD BE BELOW HIS IMAGINED STATIS IN THIS LIFE.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      Taking what you can from those who are willing to shell it out is the role of the church. He is offering something in exchange for money; reason and perspective. The church cannot make that claim.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quanti-ty Surveying

      AND I DON'T KNOW HOW TO TURN OFF THE CAPS LOCK!!!!!!

      September 6, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
      • VEW2012

        Mercy, but there seems to be a lot of people with that problem. It's called "Look at me shouting in all caps".

        September 6, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • ReasonableXX

      Typing in all caps doesn't emphasize your point. If anything, it makes it look like you don't have one.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • Righton

      Dawson, the game show host? He recently died. This is Dawkins.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Dan, TX

      I mean no offense. I think you are great. But I don't share your view.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • sleepytime

      Richard Dawson? The game show host? What does he have to do with anything?

      September 6, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      " I AM SURE HE IS LOOKING FOR ALL HE CAN GET FROM WHO WILL SHELL IT OUT TO HIM" Why are you sure of that? He doesn't go to church, and therefore he's a criminal. See, it's that kind of insulting meanness that shows religion has done nothing for you. I bet you went to church all your life, and here you are calling someone names. Why the lies? Why the insults? And why do you think old dead god would approve of the way you honor Him?

      September 6, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
  47. Jack M.

    "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." Prove him wrong!!!

    September 6, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      You are the one making the outrageous claim. The burden of proof is on you.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
      • drwn45

        Exactly! Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
      • Faith

        The burden of proof is not us. Its been said and I have had to live a life of Faith if it wasnt for the Grace of God I would nt be here not to submit this post. It takes a truly convicted person to have faith in something or some one they cannot see. Better I have seen Him and I meet him everyday Face to Face. No I am not a religious fanatic believing only what I have been told. Its about a relatinship. As far as this guy goes he is actually irrelevant he is going around trying to disprove creationist and God and Prove Evolution. If you want to believe you evlove basically from an animal state continue on.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
      • The Jackdaw

        Evolution is not a belief, it is a fact of the universe. To state otherwise is to deny what others know to be true. Logic and reason before myth.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
      • LetsThink123

        @Faith
        the burden of proof is on u. What if the law changed from 'innocent until proven guilty' to 'guilty until proven innocent'?? a lot of innocent people would be in jail then because of lack of proof. If a prosecutor makes the claim that someone committed murder, the BURDEN OF PROOF lies on the prosecutor. Otherwise if it was the other way around, everyone, even u, would protest against it, and rightfully so!
        So the burden of proof is on u for claiming that there is a god for which there is no evidence.You say 'look around u' as proof of gods existence. this doesnt prove anything. Just because u dont understand how this world came to be doesnt mean that u can say 'god did it'.

        September 19, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
      • WhoIsTellingTheTruth

        Someone got killed, so human systems are for deciding between human situations. But then you would ask – why do we humans kill? Why do we die? Why is there death? Where do we go after we die? Where did we come from before we were born? Our first ancestors were monkeys? Where did monkey come from? If we trace back, did we really come from nothing? So how did nothing come from something?

        So in this trial, there are people of faith and they are providing their arguments for Creator God. Who are you then, lawyer for "there" is no God? Or you are the almighty judge that says “there is no god until he proves to be true?”

        As almighty judge, have you really considered the counsel for "there is no God theory"? Yes, it is a theory; you will have to really bias if you do not give both sides a good hearing. As much as God is on trial, we humans are also on trial.

        You can also have a position "God exists, show me God you exist!" There needs to some humility here. God by definition is "all knowing". Have you tried convincing another "all knowing" person your point, isn't it irritating? Even though you are all knowing, you cannot really get a word through to the other all knowing friend! So someone needs to concede the "all knowing" position and start listening.

        I believe a loving God has conceded that position. He came to be limited by time, space and human body to communicate to us in a way that we can understand. Will you concede your "all knowing" position and consider carefully, as any respectful appeal judge will do, differentiating the messages of (1) real "Christian lawyers" (2) "bogus Christian lawyers" and (3) anti-god lawyers. It is a tough job! Good luck and God bless you!

        September 19, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
      • LetsThink123

        @WhoIsTellingTheTruth
        u said, "Our first ancestors were monkeys" No. Monkeys and us came from a common ancestor that neither resembled us nor monkeys.
        u said, "If we trace back, did we really come from nothing? So how did nothing come from something?" Yes we really came from nothing. I think u meant to ask how did something come from nothing. This question is not sensible. In Stephen Hawkings brief history of time, he says that asking this question is like asking 'if u kept walking on the earth in a straight line, when would u get to the edge?' As u can see, this question is meaningless as the earth is 3 dimensional and round. This also works the same way for 4 dimensions where the 4th is time. U see, when there was nothing, there was no time either. So the question 'how did something come from nothing' is irrelevant.
        "So in this trial, there are people of faith and they are providing their arguments for Creator God. Who are you then, lawyer for "there" is no God? Or you are the almighty judge that says “there is no god until he proves to be true?”" I will be the judge. So u come to court claiming that there is a god. What evidence do u have of such a god? THe onus is on u to show me, hearsay and books written 2000 yrs ago do not prove god as those books r factually wrong. u would need to have hard evidence.
        "God by definition is "all knowing"" Oh so then this would be a contradiction as we dont have free will. If god is all knowing, then he has a plan as he knows what is going to happen in the end. Then why do people pray? pray to survive cancer, pray for some material things, etc... If god is all knowing and has a plan, y bother praying. His plan is already set, so y pray for something that is not part of his plan.
        "I believe a loving God has conceded that position." the god of the old testament is not loving. He ordered moses to kill every first born male of another tribe, including babies. He decided to kill every1 on the planet via noahs flood (another made up story). How is he loving?

        September 20, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Michael B

      How about "Prove it happened" as the more appropriate request.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
      • Faith

        None of us are here to prove anything. If you feel that is your cause, continue on my child. God can proven but He cannot be Made. Think about what I have said. Step outside your door right now pray and think. Otherwise, you will remain miserable I sense it in your words. Your have nothing higher than yoursel fto believe. That whats evolution and atheist beleive. Nothing higher than themselves they go around saying prove it prove it. We dont have to prove anything like you dont. One thing about it when tragedy hits the Christian we have someone to turn to. Thats how we can actually believe in Someone and Something the unbeliever dont. God Bless You My Frient.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Erik

      You prove Him right. You just don't know any god did this. It's faith in the unproven and seemingly illogical – only religion can get away with such unsupported assertions of "truth."

      September 6, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Jeff

      Prove that Harry Potter isn't a real wizard and that J.K. Rowling is under strict orders to lie about his true existence under penalty of some terrible curse. ... What? You can't. Look out for the demented ... oh, dementors (sorry).

      September 6, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • jack

      The bible also said God created Adam and Eve, who had sons, Cain and Able. It ends there. Where did all the other people come from?

      September 6, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
      • Allen

        You have just demonstrated how much of the Bible you've read. (Or haven't)

        September 6, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
      • Dawkinists vs. BibleHuggers

        i guess the same way the UK royal family reproduced. lol

        September 8, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      In the beginning, Fiddle-Dee-Dee created the universe. Prove me wrong.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • mk

      The only reason you believe in a god is because some human TOLD you he existed.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • LetsThink123

      @Jack M.
      you said, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." Prove him wrong!!!
      Even though the burden of proof lies on u for making that claim, I will take a stab at your challenge and can still prove ur god wrong! All u have to do is read genesis a few more lines further.
      We all know that plants need the sun to grow and survive. Science has shown us this as plants work via photosynthesis. Besides being scientific fact, its also common sense that plants need the sun.
      But in genesis, on the 3rd day god created grass/plants. And on the 4th day, he created the sun. This is wrong! WHY is this wrong?? Can u explain? If genesis was written by god as u claim, how come he got such a trivial detail wrong?
      Hence i have proven ur god wrong.
      When it comes to evolutionary timelines, apologists like to trump the excuse that 'a day in genesis is not a literal day, etc...'. But there is absolutely no excuses when the order of creation is also wrong.
      But in the end, the bible thumpers will never admit that genesis (hence their god) was wrong. Cause if they do, they religion crumbles. Even after pointing out such blatant errors in the bible, people who want to believe nonsense will continue to believe cause it gives them that warm fuzzy feeling inside. At least thats my take on it.

      September 19, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  48. jroos

    Very nice article. If only more in the world thought like this. It would go a long way to solving our problems.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
  49. KeninTexas

    Typical pompous, self righteous fool who thinks he knows all.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • Jeff

      Unlike yourself.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • Phil

      Except in this case, he pretty much does.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • DarkBronzePlant

      You shouldn't put yourself down like that, KeninTexas.

      Seriously, with which points do you disagree? Do you think Dawkins is wrong about certain things? Or is it just painful to hear someone challenge your beliefs?

      September 6, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      That's too bad, Ken. Try going to a shrink for those problems of yours.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • frkelsey

      An amazing irony- actually he doesnt claim to know it all, in fact he emphasizes that no one knows it all. It is the religious, god believers who make that claim. They constantly throw out a god as a creator all from a book that was written by men. Please..... scientist are the one's who investigate and readily admit that they do not have all the answers. Any person claiming to know that there is a god and that life is eternal- in reality whatever your destination after death, according to the god believers, life goes on. It is simply man's fear of the unknown that allows for man's creation of a god and eternal life.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
  50. going76

    "I'd just written a whole book about ..." Well, I'm pleased that it wasn't a half a book! This guy doesn' think well at all. Even as an atheist one must agree that all things in the Universe are organized, created by whatever force, to move in perfect synchronization. Some force is at work to attempt to keep it that way. It is that force believers call God. No big deal. But if some day some act of coincidence saves his life, or some amazing act occurs in his life, he will be heard to say, "Oh, thank..... uh.... err.... uh....."

    September 6, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • jroos

      You believe that everything in the universe moves in "perfect synchronization"? What about when stars collide? What "force" keeps your god going?

      September 6, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • Lokust

      /facepalm

      A whole book about X topic, as opposed to a book that is half about X topic and half about Y topic.

      It's sad that I have to explain this.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Jeff

      "move in perfect synchronization ..." You mean the way asteroids, meteors, and comets have hit our planet and will continue to do so. You mean the way massive super nova destroy entire solar systems. You mean the way entire galaxies smash into each other ... you have an odd notion of "perfect synchronization."

      September 6, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • nick

      thank math perhaps, miracles are nothing more then unlikely probabillities occuring, nothing more nothing less

      September 6, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      Actually nothing in the universe moves in perfect order. Stars eat each other, planets collide, gases ignite. Nothing moves in perfect order in evolution as well. We have genetic dead ends, useless vestigial organs, and rampant genetic diseases. There's no wizard behind the curtain, but if there was he'd be a pretty inept one. In reality, it's chaos that reigns, not order.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      "Even as an atheist one must agree that all things in the Universe are organized, created by whatever force, to move in perfect synchronization."
       
      Or, as Bill O'Reilly phrased it, "Tide goes in. Tide goes out. Never a missed connection. Therefore God exists."
       
      You and he both espouse the logical fallacy known as argumentum ad ignorantiam, which basically comes down to "I'm too ignorant, stupid, or unimaginative to understand this, therefore it must be wrong."

      September 6, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      "one must agree that all things in the Universe are organized, created by whatever force, to move in perfect synchronization."
      I wouldn't agree with a stupid statement like that unless you held a gun to my head, and even then I'd probably giggle. You just make stuff up! How can you not see that someone invented Eden and the talking snake the way you just pulled that "everyone agrees everything is synchronized" out of your fanny?

      September 6, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
  51. Bog Kenny

    To an evolutionist...biological evolution most likely began in Africa. Can you tell me where ethical evolution began? Where did the concept of right and wrong come from. If someone murders another or rapes another, does that mean they somehow evolved less than you did?

    September 6, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • JSL

      YES.........

      September 6, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • horvath

      Come on Bog, you know they don't have an answer for that. Even the article lacks an definitive answer. it probably evolved over thousands of years of evolution...

      Evidence? Zero.

      So, they will respond with, 'science doesn't know that yet, we'll find out later."

      That is to say, they'll fill in the "gap" with "science" and fail to see their inconsistency.

      That entire article is laughable. We are becoming more moral, we are becoming nicer to each other, more civil...

      Um, that goes completely AGAINST natural selection. So, he's implying that we are evolving OUT of survival of the fittest and into something else more civil? Whoops. His very words contradict the very worldview he argues for.

      The ironic aspect of all of this is, the values and morals that HE is using is borrowed from the values of.................religions.

      That's right. Think about it. If evolution ruled the day and it's all natural selection, then it is cut throat, to the death survival. Then these religious freaks come in a few thousand years ago saying, 'hey we should be nice to other people, not steal from them, not lie to each other, don't murder innocent people.'

      Um, that sounds familiar too. Those morals he speaks of, HAD to have come from something, because they were NOT in evolution and natural selection-and it's certainly not even close to being provable that morality evolved.

      To go from survival of the fittest to, 'let's start being nice to people' contradicts.

      meantcnn @ gmail com

      September 6, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
      • Joel

        Fail. Evolution works at the population level, NEVER at the individual level. Take Bio 101 and you would understand that. A population that is selfish would likely be less productive than a cooperative one and therefore be at a disadvantage.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
      • Bible Clown©

        It's natural selection. If your tribe keeps stealing my tribe's women, one night we will come down on you and kill you off. Then my tribe, with its 'don't steal women' rule, increases while your genes are discarded. This is so basic kindergarten teachers know it: learn to share or go in time-out.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Jeff

      Ethical "evolution" as you put it is a function of our biological survival. We are pack animals. We are not strong compared to other animals. We are not fast compared to other animals. We are social pack animals (yes, like dogs, like chimp troops, like bees, like ants) We need to work together to survive. Why do you think the harshest punishment of a person in prison (other than death) is solitary confinement. To be alone for a human is terrible. Now imagine you're in a small tribe and you kill a member of your own tribe .. you weaken it, there by making it susceptible to attack from a competing tribe. The 10 commandments are not unique. Every society on earth has rules against anti-social behaviour that harms the stability and safety of its culture. Even stupid rules such as not eating pork have a real origin. Improperly preparing pork for consumption will kill you via bacterial infection. Now we know better ... and you can have bacon!

      September 6, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
  52. Stuart

    If I disassemble my watch, put all the pieces in a box and wait a billion years will the watch reassemble itself into a functional useful timepiece? No reasonable person would ever expect that to occur. And in this scenario all the components necessary are already present.

    But I am supposed to believe that this planet and all unique lifeforms on it simply occurred without an intelligent creator?
    That makes no logical sense. Everything comes from something, even the most minute building blocks. Believing in Science does not incompatible with faith in an intelligent creator.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • Stuart

      Belief in Science is not incompatible with faith in an intelligent creator. – Sorry

      September 6, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Prytanis

      Stuart:
      For god's sake, please google 'abiogenesis' or visit: http://www.talkorigins.org

      You can be a person of faith and still gain an understanding of science. If you want to see your god's invisible hand behind everything, that's fine. But stop pretending that known, well understood phenomena such as evolution don't exist.

      Educate yourself, please.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • Brandon

      Nice cut-and-paste watchmaker analogy that has been debunked since the late 19th century. You clearly don't understand evolution and I suggest educating yourself on it.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • SDCinNS

      Good points. And what about self-awareness. If we waited a trillion years, would the table I am sitting at ever think "gee.. I'm a table!" How can personhood and self-awareness come from non-living matter? (And of course... where did the matter come from?)

      September 6, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Timmy

      If you are going to make an argument against Evolution you should at least know what it is. You are talking about how life began, which is not evolution. Evolution only describes how life changed after it started.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • RF

      Evolution of a watch? lol, what a moron.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
      • Stuart

        RF – Did you read the entire article? He was not just speaking about the theory of evolution. He makes a case that there is no God. And evoloution starts SOMEWHERE. I am saying that the complexity of life argues for an intelligent creator.

        As regard the copy and pasted watch analogy...you could use ANYTHING here. A car a house a pencil! Thought and planning goes into things we accept this as fact.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Bill

      If complex things can only be created by more complex creators (a baseless assertion to begin with) then asserting that a great creator created us all is not a useful explaination. It only begs the larger question of what super-creator created the creator and so on and so on.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • Joseph

      Wow that has to be the stupidest analogy ive ever seen. How about a hurricane blowing through a junk yard and leaving a Cadillac behind? All the components are there?........ Watch pieces? Million years? wow! I just dont understand some peoples thought process. Thing is this joker probably graduated college somehow. Watch pieces. GTFO here.....

      September 6, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
      • Stuart

        Joseph. If you can't communicate with class and decorum please don't try to educate me.
        And yes I did graduate college. But I guess according to you hurricanes are in the car manufacturing business?

        September 6, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • norm

      "Everything comes from something."?????? Where did God come from?

      September 6, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
      • Stuart

        Sweden...God is from Sweden.

        Haha. Seriously though, that (like the missing link) is one piece of information we do not have.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
      • Heimlick

        "Where did God come from?"

        Eternity. Wrap your head around that!

        September 7, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • RedskinsFan

      The problem Stuart, is that I can look at science and evolution and reason through it. No, I do not think that something made sure that we can eat this or that. I can look at it saying that our ancestors, needing to eat, developed the ability to digest certain compounds and use them to fuel our metabolic processes. Take milk for example. A large number of people have a hard time breaking down lactose, a sugar in milk. Others come from societies where cows, goats, etc., were more prevalently domesticated for the milk they produced than the meat they were made of. A cow is far more useful alive if you can derive nourishment or value from other byproducts. Ergo, they developed an extremely unique adaptation: the ability to break down lactose as an adult. Baby mammals can all do this, but few species retain that ability past the first few years of life. Our gut evolved to allow us to store the necessary bacteria for a lifetime.

      I don't believe that, if there is a god, he is spending his time driving this, assuming you even believe that we do evolve... jury is still out there. I believe if there is an god behind the scenes, all he did was set up the dominoes and get the ball rolling, maybe starting a Big Bang and walking away. And if you played with domino sets like I did as a child, you can set them up, but you have no real control once they start to collide and tip over. Evolution, the need to gain a biological advantage by adapting to your environment, has driven the engine of life for about a billion years... maybe longer elsewhere in this vast universe. Mordin in Mass Effect 2 said it best: Life has thrived by adapting. Can't reach food... walk upright. Can't catch food... make spear. Currently on this world, and there may be many others, we are the pinnacle of evolution, driven this way by countless adaptations written into our genetics and most recently our technology. To think otherwise is to deny reason and rationality.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
      • Stuart

        RedSkinsFan.

        Would you be surprised to know that I agree with a lot of what you said?
        I also do not believe the the Earth is a mere 10,000 years or so old.

        I think all would agree that we are at the top of the food chain for a reason. We are self aware, have a conscience and posess problem solving skills that exceed those of any other species. (especially when we work together).

        So the human race fact grown or "evolved" and adapted. There are many abilities unique to humans that we sometimes take for granted. But evolution, the process of one life form becoming another over the course of time lacks the definitive proof I need.

        Humans needed a way to fly for example, to travel accross vast spans of land and water...we invented the airplane. As much as I would love the gift of flight we will never grow wings.

        Anyway, I like the discussion as long as it is civil and respectful.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
      • karlotious

        stuart constructing a plane is evolution. Technology has been our evolution. We came from the sea, we walked on land, and now have landed throughout space. Space was the next lofgical step after land. We evolved to fly, boat, etc.

        September 7, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • Michael

      Bravo Stuart!
      It is amazing how self proclaimed intelligent people are not able to present 1 intelligent point of view.
      They ridicule persons of Faith and at the same time present unproven theories as fact and expect one to accept and to approve the thoughts of their polluted minds. On top of it all, inspite of the fact that they are not at any level of intelligenge or understanding, they want to teach their opinions to others.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
      • Stuart

        Thanks Michael.

        It is a bit amusing to me how eager some of those who do not believe in God are to condemn those who do as ignorant.

        September 7, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • Bruce

      Dawkins wrote a book on the watchmaker thing too. Read "The Blind Watchmaker."

      September 6, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
  53. Seriously?

    "Nobody knows. It’s an unwise, a rash biologist who ever forecasts what’s going to happen next."

    Prediction is a necessary component of scientific method. If a scientist isn't predicting future results, then he or she is only a history student, not a scientist.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • AG

      Evolution is a complicated process of genetic selection, and therefore, extremely hard to predict what will happen in the future. But atleast science admits that it is not able to predict the future. Can't say that about creationists who make up a story just because they cannot understand everything thats going on. Its ok to say "i don't know", rather than make up a story and expect everyone to believe it.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
      • Seriously?

        I didn't say that to make a "science vs religion" point. Other people are welcome to beat that to death elsewhere. I'm upset that a man who bases his life around science would discard science BECAUSE he "doesn't know" something. I'd love to see what biologists think might happen to humans. The entire point of science is to understand things so that we can predict and innovate. Quit wasting everyone's time trying to prove that there is no God and get busy changing the world with science!

        September 6, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  54. eurekadog

    Oh, wait! Mr. Dawkins must not be aware of this: http://lightyears.blogs.cnn.com/2012/09/05/sweet-stars-hint-at-building-blocks-of-life/?hpt=hp_t3 Could it truly be, Mr. Dawkins, that life could have arisen somewhere else? Could it possibly be that such life could have evolved to a dramatically greater extent than Earth-based humanity? Could it be that such life-forms could have "seeded" Earth with various life forms? Oh. no! That can't be correct, because you, Mr. Dawkins, know that such events in the history of the universe have NEVER occurred. Right, Mr. Dawkins?

    Sheesh, talk about a know-it-all that doesn't...

    September 6, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Jeff

      Obviously you don't understand the difference between evolution and abiogenesis. Evolution is the adaptation of an existing organism based on all environmental factors (inclusive of species behavioural conditions) into new species. Your little rant is about the "origins of life" ... not the "origins of species" Those questions are different.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
      • eurekadog

        There has to be an initial life-form in order for evolution to begin. The initial life-form came from "building blocks". Mr. Dawkins seems dubious (if not in denial) that such events have ever happened anywhere other than Earth and that those events could have produced a life-form so advanced that they could have created, seeded, etc. life here on Earth..

        September 6, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
      • hubaloo

        evolution is not strictly concerned with how life (or evolution itself) began. Only with how it unfolds. You don't need to have a defined and understood "beginning" to state (correctly) that evolution is a fact.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
      • DawkinsHimself

        Gosh you are another idiot putting words into Dawkins' mouth. He has said it before in other interviews that he does not reject the possibility that life on earth could have been seeded by other life that arose someonhow on another planet, but he also stated that the life that seeded us must have then also arise either by being seeded or by natural means. Why go in circles and have to assume that life on earth had to be planted here by some other beings from other planets? Are we going to say the same about them? Evolution is a fact and it tells us that all life on earth has a common ancestor, case closed. Are you one of those who proposes that humans are different ? That only humans came to earth from somewhere else? Well you are wrong, the DNA evidence shows that all life on earth including US share a common ancestor and we have fossils to prove it.

        September 6, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • jdf

      "Could it truly be, Mr. Dawkins, that life could have arisen somewhere else? Could it possibly be that such life could have evolved to a dramatically greater extent than Earth-based humanity? Could it be that such life-forms could have "seeded" Earth with various life forms?"

      This is a well-used trope in science fiction, of course, and a cool idea. But where's the specific evidence that life on Earth came from somewhere else? Until you have some evidence, it's speculation, albeit entertaining speculation.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
      • eurekadog

        Doesn't pure science demand that an open mind be kept about areas that are not understood?

        September 6, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
      • Joseph

        Im pretty sure he is open minded he just requires the same burden we place on creationists, an ounce of proof not written or created by man. AKA fossils or relics.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
      • jdf

        "Doesn't pure science demand that an open mind be kept about areas that are not understood?"

        Science is a systematic method for developing testable explanations of observed phenomena. As I said, the idea of life having an extraterrestrial origin is pretty cool. It can't be definitively ruled out. For it to be science, there needs to be a testable hypothesis related to it. Do you have one?

        September 6, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
      • AG

        Fossils and relics are evidences of the past on basis of which scientific judgements are made. What do creationists have in terms of physical evidence about the past. All that there is are manuscripts written by other men, no physical evidence to speak of.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
  55. WIlly

    "You can't even begin to understand biology, you can't understand life, unless you understand what it's all there for, how it arose – and that means evolution." I find it amazing they were able to formulate the theory of evolution without the theory of evolution sense science cannot advance without it.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • paperbottoms

      Yeah I cant believe some caveman invented the wheel....are you serious? Are you trying to present a counter argument? Fail.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • WIlly

      I am not the one who said science cannot advance without the theory of evolution.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • WIlly

      Clearly, knowing how something got here is not really relevant to learning how it works and what it can do. Not believing in evolution stops people from learning how things work and what they can do? Fail.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
      • hubaloo

        taking what Dawkins said out of context doesn't help your case. reading comprehension fail.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
      • WIlly

        Ok hub. Out of context or not maybe you can explain "how not believing in evolution stops people from learning how things work and what things can do. To say a belief in one theory or another stops people from understanding science? That I admit makes little or no sense to me.

        September 6, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • Zebula

      My aren't you a clever little chimpanzee!

      September 6, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • WIlly

      Don't you mean "Austrolopithecus" Zeb?

      September 6, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
  56. Brian

    Pray for this man...he is inaccurate and misleading others. You can't say that we have randomly come to where we are by chance over millions of years. In fact, I am a scientist (a 'serious scientist')...and I believe in the triune God. So he can't say "There is no serious scientist who doubts that evolution is a fact", as I am a serious scientist who does not believe in evolution, but rather I believe that God is the Creator.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Anon

      You are NOT a serious scientist if you believe those myths. GO BACK TO SCHOOL!

      September 6, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
      • HM8432

        So people like the monk Gregor Mendel, Thomas Edison (who held Bible studies at his lab), Robert Oppenheimer (hard-core Hindu), Frank Borman (who read the Bible from the moon), and Neil Amstrong (who held Christian communion on the moon), and many other respected scientists were not serious because they were devoutly religious? It sounds like YOU need to go back to school!

        September 6, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quanti-ty Surveying

      If you do not believe in evolution you are NOT – by definition – a serious scientist. full stop.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • capnmike

      You believe in FAIRYTALES, Brian. "God" is something invented by humans. It (he, she, whatever you prefer) DOESN'T EXIST. Religion is a huge lie, and you are one of its victims.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • Dan

      So you're saying you're a scientist...a "serious one"...and that Dawkins is wrong because of your unverifiable faith? Please. You may work in a science oriented field but you sir are no scientist. You can work in a hospital but it doesn't automatically make you a doctor.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Lokust

      If you do not believe in evolution – which can be observed easily in the short generations of simpler life forms – you are not a scientist, any more than are the people that work at Apple stores actually geniuses.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
      • SDCinNS

        Please give some examples of this "easily observed evolution".

        September 6, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
      • Lokust

        since google is hard.

        http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14094-bacteria-make-major-evolutionary-shift-in-the-lab.html

        September 6, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      which god are you talking about? there are thousands of them that have been worshipped, so it's easy to get confused.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • embee

      Can we stop with the "random" already? It is not random... it is natural selection. Survival of the fittest. This is the method behind it.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • John

      By your use of the word "chance," you show that you do not understand Evolution and therefore are not a serious scientist.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • Tim

      You revealed that you are a lier and don't even know what science is by saying "believe" in evolution as if it were some kind of religion. A free thinking child who takes a basic Science class knows more than you....you fraud.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
  57. JL

    Creationists say "Not me, but you Lord." "You are the great I am!"
    Darwin and Dawkin's followers say "meme" or "ME ME!"

    September 6, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • ReasonableXX

      Clever

      September 6, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Righton

      Not even clever. Stupid.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
  58. Mitz Rommel

    This guy, is now MY god!! He rocks!

    And to religious folks who I may have offended on other posts on CNN stories: Calling you things like r3tarded h!llb!llies is not nice and certainly does not help my cause.. of wanting the GOP/religious folks to see the REAL light: You are being controlled.. and bent to the will of your clergy and political leaders. They are all counting on you to do, and more importantly, to THINK, what THEY say, and to not think for yourself. From the Pope on down... and from Limbaugh on down. It is all about control. You see, that is the biggest difference between conservatives and liberals. You are told by your leaders what to think, and our leaders say "what do you think?... give us your ideas.. we are all in this together.. we want your input"... please start thinking for yourself.. and start by thinking about what I just said.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
  59. polemicist

    Dawkins: "God, why didn't you reveal yourself to me?"
    God: "Why did you ignore me? You think the cosmos 'just happened?'"

    September 6, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • Anon

      another moron

      September 6, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
      • polemicist

        personal insults, and you expect people to think your way of thinking is "the best" for humanity? lol

        September 6, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
      • HM8432

        Small people with small minds struggling to express themselves! Explain the human soul and it's nature, and prove that something other than an intelligent God caused the Big Bang (the cause will ALWAYS be unknown, because if using scientific method correctly, atheists would have to include God as a possible variable, to validate their theory...and no self-respecting atheist scientist will ever take that chance, lest they prove themselves wrong.) and maybe we'll believe people like Dawkins. At least the Bible attempts to answer the Big Questions that people actually care about; the biological evolution he's talking about is the equivalent of taking someone outside and telling them the sky is blue, everyone already knows that (even Christians).

        September 6, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
      • Greg

        Typical. When you loose an argument all that is left is slander!

        September 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Dan

      My first question to God would be to ask why so many of his followers were so bloody cruel and judgmental to others and perhaps suggest he revisit his marketing strategy.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
      • polemicist

        to which God would reply "I told my followers to love your neighbors as yourselves. If they did not do that, were they really following me? And why are you focusing on the bad apples when there are plenty of followers who help the poor and needy every day? Sounds like you are picking and choosing what you want to believe and suiting your views to support that belief, rather than being completely objective."

        September 6, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
      • Madtown

        polemicist
        to which God would reply
        -----
        You have no clue how God would reply.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • nick

      its better then your religon's endorsment of slavery, wife beating, and daughter selling

      September 6, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
      • polemicist

        and which religion am I?

        September 6, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • SDCinNS

      I actually doubt Dawkins will be given any time to quiz the Almighty.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • sbstr

      This just makes god look petty.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • smfree

      Spot on. So much is missed in life when we see only through our own eyes. "God" reveals himself daily, and this is often taken for granted. I respect Dawkins' views; however, his arrogance is bothersome.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
      • smfree

        Polemist, the "spot on" applied to your first post. You make good points.

        September 6, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • cigarlover

      And poly... who created god before the big bang?
      Simple question. Please think before answering.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
  60. Cranston Lamont

    We all need something that explains the universe and helps us make sense of it. And we all need to feel that there's something bigger than ourselves that we're part of.

    Some people get these things from religion. Others get it from science.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Rodrigo

      Atheism is a religion. Agnosticism is not. Those who "believe" in Science are missing the point completely.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
      • Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quanti-ty Surveying

        Atheism is not a religion – it is simply the lack of belief in a specific god. I don't believe in the Loch Ness Monster. Are you claiming that lack of belief is a religion?

        September 6, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
      • Paul42

        all,
        Science can be a religion, too. Just look at Dawkins traveling the world evangelizing his belief in science and evolution.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
      • cigarlover

        paul42 type folks couldn't be more ignorant, just read their ignorance in writing (even if its innocent).
        Paul, your kind denying science while blissfully enjoying the fruits of science (e.g. a modern comfortable life, medicines, military gear, internet, etc.) are the reason that would cause fall of human species. really, you using the scientific invention like internet to easily spew your non-sense feel proud in doing it?
        What has religion done to advance the life of Humans, other than produce ignorant like you to deny logic and facts?

        September 7, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
  61. Paul

    "If there were a God that met you after death, what would you say?
    If I met God, in the unlikely event, after I died? The first thing I would say is, well, which one are you? Are you Zeus? Are you Thor? Are you Baal? Are you Mithras? Are you Yahweh? Which God are you, and why did you take such great pains to conceal yourself and to hide away from us?"

    He will have a hard time jusitifying to God all the different was God has been speaking to hime when he stands before him upon his death. You can find God every day if you are truley and deeply willing to seek truth. His foot prints are every where from creation to all aspects of life. On day we will all meet our Creator and answer to him.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Godfrey

      If everything is God, then nothing is.

      Epistemologically speaking, your statement is ridiculous.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quanti-ty Surveying

      Paul, you sound rather arrogant to claim to know the characteristics of God. So you, a lowly worm of a human, know the mind of an infinite being? Wow! Delusional much?

      September 6, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Anon

      yet another clueless moron GO BACK TO SCHOOL!! But not in Texas.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      You develop conclusions and then look for evidence that supports it instead of looking at the evidence and drawing conclusions from that. Finding "evidence of God everywhere" is like looking at clouds and seeing images. Comparing science and religion is like comparing apples and Orangutans.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
      • bnutz

        Those two things are living. It's like comparing apples to bicycles.

        September 22, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • mk

      But Paul, you still haven't answered the question: Which god?

      September 6, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
  62. John

    religious people scare me. anybody who puts their faith and path in life in the hands of a "thing" they have never met, saw, talked to, or heard is beyond ridiculous. how about they put faith in THEMSELVES over anything else FIRST? that's like people passing down a story through time saying a guy on a farm in Idaho is the person you answer to when you die – so live your life according to how he wants it to be lived. nobody with common sense would do that today in these times, because science says otherwise and because the human race is smarter than we were 500 years ago. if more people had common sense, this world would be a much better place. instead, people kill for their "gods". very scary stuff.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • unevolved

      According to your premise, Dawkins might scare you as he's putting a lot of "faith" in Darwin and his conclusions on evolution....

      September 6, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
      • Godfrey

        You handle "unevolved" is a hilarious double entendre. I know how you intended it... but I doubt you meant to illustrate it so well.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
      • nick

        evolution is proven, look at MRSA and Influenza, mammalian evolution is a longer process and as far as life springing up from nothing, scientists have been able to show that given the right conditions, amino acids can pop into existance, and an amino acid is all it takes for life to begin

        September 6, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
  63. BobZemko

    Religion has taught the world a lot: hatred, bigotry, misogyny,intolerance . . . .

    September 6, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • jduff

      Here, here! Any woman who is of any religion is an idiot too because religion has been used for centuries to control and defile my gender. If the STORY of of Eve never existed think of where women would be today.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
      • Godfrey

        Sadly, they would probably be in the same place. Religion is merely an expression of what is already inside us.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • Godfrey

      Religion hasn't taught the world anything. Religion is merely man's attempt to codify what he has taught himself.

      The problem with religion isn't its past: it was our first attempt to explain the universe, and it worked for a while. The problem with religion is its future, because by definition it cannot change.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
  64. Matthew

    His comment about if God was real was kind of sad. Why didn't God reveal himself to me? Yet he tends to know about Jesus and God's plans in his comments. I feel bad for the guy.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • Matt

      you might want to think before you talk.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • paperbottoms

      Dont pity him. He is intelligent and comfortable in his position.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
      • Brian

        ...But Who gave him his intelligence?

        September 6, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
      • Glenn

        I do feel sorry for him. Wasting his life like this.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Anon

      You should feel bad for being a clueless moron. GO BACK TO SCHOOL!! But not in texas.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
      • mvac

        You sound like a broken record Anon.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Derek

      yeah, knowledge sucks... darkness and ignorance is so much easier

      September 6, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • ThaGerm

      I find it a bit funny and quite sad how many people that either don't understand someone else's point of view or don't agree with it say that they "feel sorry" for them. It's an ignorant statement that says that you lack the ability to understand that even thought someone doesn't believe what you do that they are every bit as happy and live rich and fulfilling lives.

      In your particular case you think your road is the only road to happiness, you believe your path is the only correct one. I would say that is sad, but really it's just childish and naive. Grow up, wake up and learn something.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
  65. Jeff s

    If this scientist doesn't think he can learn anything from something then he is not much of a scientist. Science is about learning from everything around you.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • jduff

      Yes the observable things around you

      September 6, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • Jimbo

      Should it be the other way that Bible believers listen and learn from scientists like Darkins. Religion is ok if it comforts, encurages, and helps you to live a happy life. Those who have doubt or simply do not believe in evolution and the scientific explanation of the creation of uninverse are simply cheating themselsves because they cannot accept the flaw of their believing system. If Jesus or early Jews had learned about the eixstence of molecules and the changing of earth, universe, species, we may not have the kind of religious beliefs as we see today.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
  66. Seyedibar

    Does Dawins seem pompous and uncaring? Of course he does! Why should anyone have patience with religious nuts? Would you treat an adult with contempt if they thought Santa Claus was real? Belief in the words of the bible is just as silly and laughable. These adherents are definitely worthy of being mocked.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Jim Lahey

      Agreed Seyedibar.. If I know someone is religious I immedialty know the type of idiot I'm dealing with and treat them accordingly. I have no time for their delusions. I don't hate religious people... I feel sad they have such polluted minds.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
      • LinSea

        " If I know someone is religious I immedialty know the type of idiot I'm dealing with and treat them accordingly." So you automatically judge, label, and stereotype people, and now you are openly bragging about your bigotry.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Scott

      So, you have no ethical stance to be nice to these nuts huh? Think on this. If there is no ultimate "God given" morality, what is wrong (and why) for them or anyone else to just walk and blow your brains out, after all, morality is really just a myth if there's no God. Oh, you find yourself "morally" repulsed to that. You find it incomprehensible for someone to think that? Hmm, maybe there's a reason that people raised differently (country, belief system, etc) will say it is categorically immoral or wrong to say that. Just a thought.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
      • Timmy

        Human morals have changed greatly over time, for example it used to be ok to own other humans, but now that is not considered moral. So did god just change his mind at some point?

        September 7, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Voicenithedesert/Troubledgoodangel

      Richard Dawkins only speaks of things that he knows. He speaks nonsense because he knows nothing! In order to speak of God, one has to know God. This occurs in the heart,where God makes His dwelling. Dawkins never welcomed God into his heart, so he can no nothing about Him! Speaking of the Creation, what matters is not "in how many days", but "in how many epochs." For the biblical "days" are epochs of unknown length. Which is why we must accept that the Creation has happened over a long period.

      September 6, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
      • nojinx

        Do you have to know all the gods to speak about a particular one, or do you just have to know about the god you want to speak about?

        September 6, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
  67. Donald

    Dawkins asks why God "hid himself". If we had concrete proof of God, we would be slaves to God. There would be no free will. We would not be choosing goodness - or anything for that matter - because we would KNOW that God is watching, rather than believing that there is something greater than satisfying our bodily desires.

    Just because evidence isn't direct (although some will tell you the existence of the universe is), it does not foreclose the possibility, or even probability that something created us that is far beyond our meager brains' understanding.

    Only a fool would discount the possibility of God (that's from Carl Sagan, who is often wrongly championed as a devout atheist).

    Creationists account for like 4% of all people that believe in a higher power. Trying to attribute silly beliefs to all those who believe in a God is childish.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • ReasonableXX

      If you knew anything about Dawkins, you would also know that he doesn't characterize himself as an absolute athiest. He acknowledges that if proof of god were presented, he would re-evalute his position like any scientist. No religious, people can make the same claim. They would not alter their opinion for anything.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • Donald

      Interesting stereotype regarding religious people (according to you, all religious people stay religious). Incorrect. (Citation: See humans on Earth).

      I know he sweats Hitch and they are (were) of the same ilk. Wait, can I stereotype too?

      The point, which he fails to realize, is that direct proof of God (which he needs to believe) destroys the notion of God. We would be forced to be good. Dawkins, like all scientists, wants all evidence neatly dropped in his lap before making conclusions. Maybe he doesn't foreclose the possibility, but many atheists consider the idea of God ridiculous (making fun of an imaginary guy in the sky). To discount possibility of God is childish. To mock others who believe is worse.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • Godfrey

      It's interesting that you equate "belief in spite of no evidence" with "choosing goodness".

      Don't you think your God will be angry that you didn't use the intellect he supposedly gave you?

      Where religion is concerned, slavery is a mental state. And it's a choice.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
  68. revbates

    "It just ends?
    Of course it just ends. What else could it do? My thoughts, my beliefs, my feelings are all in my brain. My brain is going to rot. So no, there’s no question about that."
    Sad, that someone who is so intelligent can be so ignorant about the Spirit. Our thoughts, our beliefs, our feelings are not in our brain. There is a Higher Intelligence beyond religion and science that Jesus spoke about, that neither the scientist nor the religious can fully realize in this human experience.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      meaningless drivel. There is no such thing as a higher spiritual truth. And a short study of world history should be enough to prove to anyone that Jesus and his disciples did not exist in the biblical framework. A short study of comparative religions is enough to show anyone that christianity stole it's stories and themes from many other much older religions. Your god Yahweh is no different than the other thousand gods humans have worshipped. He is no more real than Thor or Zeus or Krishna or Horus or Ishtar. Gods never existed outside the minds of mankind.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
  69. WDinDallas

    ...and if by "Chance" (pun intended) there is a God....where would that leave Dawkins.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quanti-ty Surveying

      What are the characteristics of this God? Perhaps its a God who will reward him for using his brain to question and reason and analyze and question that God's existence. Perhaps this God has plans to send the puddin' head creationists and those who refuse to use their brains to Hell. In that case, Dawkins will be sitting pretty. And this scenario is just as likely as any other of an infinite number of god scenarios.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
      • Dan, TX

        I agree. Only an evil God would give people the ability to reason and then punish them for a sincere and honest effort to use reason to understand the world based on their understanding of it.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • KeninTexas

      In a real bad way.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
  70. Loki

    " I’ve taken a lot of trouble to put together a program of poetry, of music, of eulogies, of memories, to try to celebrate the life of the dead person. " .... since nothing matters and we just disintegrate into dust .... why does he bother ? There is no morality, things just are what they are and do what you want. That's why the democrats are a bunch of idiots. They talk about what's right and doing what's right but there is no right or wrong if there is no God. I'm content to make lots of money and NOT share it with the losers on the bottom. Make your own way and provide for your own lowlife larval offspring.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • PaddingtonPoohBear

      "I'm content to make lots of money and NOT share it with the losers on the bottom."

      Wow, is that what Jesus would do? What a bunch of hypocrites... You people make me sick, if you really cared about your fellow man you would be Democrats. Why? Because they at least TRY to make people's lives better. You know, Civil Rights, Women's Rights, etc etc.

      The Republicans have suckered you religious folks into siding with them and in doing so you all have sold your souls to the corporations and the rich – congratulations! They don't care about your God, your family, or even this country – it's all about MONEY with them. Fools...

      September 6, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Loki

      I've met the poor. They stink and lie and cheat. I prefer the money. With enough money you can shape your own world. Since there is no God...HA. There is nothing but money and the now.

      September 6, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
      • mark hockmeyer

        well said loki, but, i'm broke and poor, and i don't lie and cheat. so you are full of s...

        September 6, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
  71. eurekadog

    Why would a scientist state that it is impossible that a higher (more advanced) being (or beings) "seeded" this planet with life? Couldn't there, possibly, exist a group of beings that have evolved to a far greater degree than the humans on Earth? Why are so many scientists opposed to this possibility when new galaxies, planets, etc. are continually being discovered? Why do they dare to say (thus, implying) that they know everything about every planet in the universe? This would mean that those same scientists know for a fact that there are no more galaxies, planets, etc. to be discovered, therefore, we should cease to look for anymore. This stance and belief cannot be reconciled with science!

    September 6, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • Dan, TX

      The simplest explanation by far that we have evidence for is that biological molecules can form readily (amino acids, sugars) and these can form in space and from simple molecules by electrical and chemical energized processes on planets. So it is easy to generate the building blocks of life in the universe. Amazingly, life can begin from this, but it isn't really that hard to imagine. We have no evidence for space aliens. So, space aliens are not as strong a model from a scientific point of view. In addition, we still would have to ask where the space aliens came from. So it doesn't even address the question of the origin of life anyway. It just puts it off to another place and time.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • did you read it?

      He didn't say what you are suggesting is impossible. He said that evolution is true, and that god didn't create each and every species like creationist suggest.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
  72. polemicist

    For as much as atheists despise religion as a money-making scheme, atheism and atheists do their own version extremely well and without any moral scruples to the obvious hypocrisy.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • Dan, TX

      I don't really think it is a fair comparison you are making. Atheists don't promise you eternal life or anything for that matter. So they aren't really selling anything that is being promised by religions. I do agree that atheists should not impose their will on those who believe any more than those who believe should impose their will on those who don't believe. Those who do believe in God, however, can not just deny facts. Denial of Evolution that should draw strong criticism from thoughtful atheists. However, belief in God, on its own, does not deserve criticism at all. Unless harming others is induced by that religious belief.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
      • polemicist

        Atheists aren't trying to sell "heaven" or "God," but guys like Dawkins are making tons of money selling books by preaching a "feel good" message to their flock: there is no heaven or hell, buy my book and read about how you can live your life without guilt and no fear of judgment.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
      • LinSea

        No hope, either, polemicist.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
      • LetsThink123

        @polemicist
        exactly why do i have to live my life by fear of being judged for what i have done? I do feel guilty for doing bad things, but i dont need a god to tell me what is good and what is bad.
        Apparently u need one. I dont. Everyone is not the same. U need to fear a god. THe same god who in genesis built the earth on the first day and the sun on the 4th day (WRONG. We all know that the sun was here first and then the earth formed.). The same god who created plants/grass on the 3rd day when the sun was created on the 4th (again WRONG. We all know that plants need the sun to live and grow). Why is the biblical god so oblivious of simple facts? Have fun living in fear of such a 'god'.

        September 20, 2012 at 7:16 am |
      • WhoIsTellingTheTruth

        Sun on 4th day... hmmm. I can think of a reason so – so that people do not worship the "Sun"; life exists before there was Sun.

        Was there not light on the first day of creation? And the in the New Heaven and a New Earth, described in the Book of Revelation 21:23 " The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp." There is a God who not only creates life, but gives life as well.

        If I believe God created, I sure can believe the plants can live before the sun was being created. Is it really easier to believe there is no God and things just happened?

        September 20, 2012 at 8:34 am |
      • LetsThink123

        @WhoIsTellingTheTruth
        "so that people do not worship the "Sun"; life exists before there was Sun." Wow really? Look up wikipedia please if u havent already learnt these facts in school. Think about it rationally. Here r some facts for u:
        – Sun is dated to be older than the earth by 30 million yrs
        – The reason the earth and the other planets revolve around the sun is cause the sun was here first
        – Plants need the sun to survive (everyone knows this)
        – Many stars we see r older than our sun, which implies that they were here BEFORE the earth formed. But genesis again has the order wrong
        "Was there not light on the first day of creation?" Yes but from where? Since the sun and stars were created on the 4th day, the light came from where? Again 'magic' is the only answer u have. And magic or 'god did it' doesnt answer anything. It is actually a non-answer.
        " The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp." This quote again is magic. There is no sensibility (nonsense) or rationality in what this says. It is more akin to fairy tales.
        "If I believe God created, I sure can believe the plants can live before the sun was being created." Yeah if u believe in magic then u will believe in anything. If genesis happened to say that in the beginning the sun and moon were rolling on the earth like little balls and then god soccer kicked them up into the 'heavens' and they stayed there, u would believe that too. And when thinking people ask questions to the validity of such a statement, u can easily say 'magic' or 'god is all powerful and can do anything'. But u have to realize that it explains nothing, absolutely nothing. And if answers like that satisfy u, then there is no point in thinking at all. And there is no point in coming on the forums to try to have a sensible convo with someone with differing views as u cannot provide magic as an answer.
        "Is it really easier to believe there is no God and things just happened?" Yes. Several good reasons to believe so. u would have to read some books to get into the details.

        September 20, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
      • WhoIsTellingTheTruth

        @LetsThink123 – Faith = Magic, Really? If those who believe in "magic" cannot really explain anything to the unbelieving; then i must say those of "no god" theory are weaving magical stories and fairy tales of how things happend to be. using wikipedia as reference, sure, but as authority to live your life?

        let's use the same standard as burden of proof. are there really so many questions that the creationist & those God believers have NOT thought of? and Dawkins have found new theories to debunk God? Dawkins is just recycling age old anti-faith materials. yes, some scientist now says there's a god particle theory... in the beginning there was a god-particle; faith not requiredt?

        at the end of the day, it is not the miracle of creation that is important to me, it is the miracle of a transformed life, having your life, family and friends living in love and hope that matters. if your life is holding up well by what you you believe, good for you – you too have found some magic!

        September 20, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
  73. Ken

    Don't get more down to earth than this. Thanks Dawkins.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
  74. Citizen

    Neither Creationists nor Dawkins has anything to teach us.

    They are narcissist blowhards.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • maxmaxwell

      best statement yet........

      September 6, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Truthbetold

      Couldn't have said it better. Arrogance is disgusting regardless of whether it is a religious fanatic or an atheist fanatic.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Jim Lahey

      lol, good joke brah! Wait... you were joking right? You people are idiots. Go hump a bible somewhere.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
  75. Religion is the problem

    The only true purpose for religion is to offer an explanation for that which our current levels of technology can not (i.e. we now understand weather patterns, climate, etc. – no need to pray to the god of rain or sun). Determining what actually happens to body at the time of death is the one issue that science will have the most trouble deciphering. Until that time (if ever), religion will continue to cause problems. Look at global conflicts around the world. Territorial expansion is no longer the motivating factor for war. The only remaining issues are oil and religion. Solve the oil problem and the only motivating factor for war will be religion.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • ObiWanWotan

      Scientist here, with your explanation. Your brain IS a CPU/OS ... AND ... a DataBase. The CPU and OS stops operating upon your death – the DataBase (your thoughts and memories, unconcious ones too) are uploaded to the Galactic Internet and stored in a File-Folder (with your name on it). At some point, your file is opened, analyzed, and judged, and then YOU are downloaded into a new DataBase in a new Brain in a new Body. So by these means YOU will be alive again, and, you will be living where and how you were judged to deserve. God is a scientist who knows how to do these things. When the time comes, rest in peace – while you are waiting to be judged, oh, and sweet dreams as well. – This is written. I Am That I Am.

      September 6, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
  76. David DC4JC4ever

    Proverbs 26:12
    Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

    Isaiah 5:21
    Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight!

    1 Corinthians 3:18-20

    Avoid Worldly Wisdom
    18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness”; [a] 20 and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.”[b]

    God seemed to know that people like Dawkins would be around....pray for him

    September 6, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • ReasonableXX

      Of course the writers of the bible suspected doubters because they knew they were laying down mountains of BS.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Timmy

      Yeah, god wants everyone to be in ididot. It seems much more likely that those verses were added to the bible becuase the people who wrote it needed to keep people dumb in order for them to belive most of what is in the Bible.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Reason Rules

      You are quoting scripture written by men you nincompoop. Most likely men with mental problems (claiming they hear gods word). Try writing some scripture now and see what happens. You will likely be dotting the i's and crossing the t's in a straight jacket. The mythical manifesto that you hold so holy was not dropped from the sky by god. The bible and religion and the notion of god are all a crock. Live in this world and enjoy it because there is only one life and one reality.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Matt

      Oh, goody for you.. you found scriptures in the bible that apply to someone. Must have been really time consuming, thanks for the input.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • kenchandammit

      Funny that those passages were written by people who thought the moon was a god (or at the least, didn't know what it was, nor the sun for that matter!) They also thought the earth was flat and that it rested on top of a strong man who stood on a big turtle. Here's what young earthers believe: They believe the earth was created 200 grandpas ago. They believe there is an invisible man in the sky who knows EVERYthing, and that he loves people so much he will make them burn for eternity if they look at their neighbor's boobs, which he created. They are certain it's all true because someone told them when they were little kids.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
      • Doug

        I can't stop laughing at this one. It is funny because it is true.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Data1000

      Wow, quoting versus from the bronze age. That ought to do the trick.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • mk

      Yes, pray for the poor man who does his own thinking.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Zeus

      God didn't know, the people whor wrote the Bible did. You are merely proving Dawkins' point.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Zeus

      God didn't know guys like him would be around, but the people who wrote the Bible did. You kind of prove Dawkin's point.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
  77. Andrew

    American Evangelicals are the Teabaggers of Christianity. A hollow sham and a hate group. I support pulling their tax status.

    September 6, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • k

      Churches tend to feed, clothe and help the poor. If you pull their tax exempt status, they will be less likely to be able to help communities.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
      • Jim Lahey

        Oh well. The Nazis helped people also.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
      • kenchandammit

        The also have HUGE real estate holdings. That is obvious to anyone who drives down the street and can see. Not to mention the many phony churches that are created in order to dodge taxes. I say tax them like any other organization because that's all they are, an organization. The 'tax the church' crowd is growing.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
      • PJT

        Some churches are chairtable to a degree, most are not, they spend more money upon theirselves or to push their views. I live in Florida and the Morman Church owns a lorge part of Osceola County SW of Orlando that they use as a cattle ranch, no taxes paid, not sure what the employes pay, supplied housing, no accounting of anything, I suppose the poor kids thay send around the world as missionerys are chairatble deductions sent out to get more money 10% per beliver, have to keep up the priestly class.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
      • Tim

        Churches that run soup kitchens, etc, are doing it mainly to proselytize and con those they are "helping" into joing their cult and win souls for jeeeeezus. They get a little gold start in heaven. Besides, all us tax payers are having to step up and pay the taxes on their behalf so they are sticking it to us all.

        September 7, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • dm

      if you are not like those haters, why are you posting this hateful message:) ?

      September 6, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  78. Diablo

    An autobiography and a tour?!?!? This guy thinks he's the Sinatra of Atheists?

    September 6, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quanti-ty Surveying

      It's called educating and enlightening – and if he uses his "celebrity" status to get more people out, isn't that a good thing?

      September 6, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
      • revbates

        Get more people "out" of what? If you take a person's faith away you damn well better have something better to offer him or her in its place? Dawkins doesn't have anything better to offer only the tired re-tread argument of an atheist. To believe that the human mind, no matter how advanced, can fully comprehend that which is infinite is foolishness.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
      • Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quanti-ty Surveying

        revbats: Out, and it get more people to come out to learn. Now, could you please enlighten us on the immense psychic trauma you suffered when you learned that there was no Santa Claus and Easter Bunny? It's called freeing people's minds from indoctrination and control – I think that's a good thing!

        September 6, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
      • kenchandammit

        @revbates And yet, your religion was created by men.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • Sam

      Luck be a Lady Tonight!!

      September 6, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • Mad Dog Murdock

      Sinatra was Awesome. How dare you compare!!

      September 6, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
  79. Farhad Hussain

    Truth cannot be spelled clearer than this.

    September 6, 2012 at 11:57 am |
  80. Carl Weathers

    I think its perpetually amusing how a person(and group) who relentlessly condescends and insults people for being rigid fundementalists, judgemental, etc-are very much the same. Whats the science behind conceit and irony? Or a total lack of self awareness? Oh yeah narcissism.

    September 6, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • wolfpackbob

      You nailed it, Carl. Pride is a killer.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • Valerie

      Narcissism was all I was thinking about reading this article as well....and other narcissists won't see it....hahaha!

      September 6, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Matt

      human beings are narcissists. you're all narcissists posting your attention seeking comments, and so am i.

      but yeah, that tired old rebuttal "you're the same as us" is also pretty amusing. I mean, we really ARE the same.. the main difference is we hold fast to truth and facts and you hold fast to ignorance and easy answers.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
  81. wolfpackbob

    No problem with evolution, Richard. But evidently a much smarter man than you, Stephen Hawkings, cannot explain the creation of gravity. Evolution is not incompatible with a Creator. They are not mutually exclusive no matter how much you wish they were. But they are only your wishes, Richard. Nothing more.

    September 6, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quanti-ty Surveying

      The fact that evolution is not incompatible with a creator is not evidence that said creator exists. Evolution is also not incompatible with leprechauns from the Planet Kolob – but that doesn't mean they exist.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:59 am |
      • wolfpackbob

        You just proved the point that you and Richard are not really concerned about evolution. It is about your intolerance for the other side of the issue which you cannot disprove. And it speaks volumes about your pride in "knowing" what you cannot prove. You cling to your pride and I will cling to my faith.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
      • Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quanti-ty Surveying

        cling away, wolf – continue to be willfully blind to the world. by the way, you are the one claiming a god exists – the onus is on you to prove it does, not on me to disprove it. Very basic.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • Matt

      creation of gravity – look into the higgs discovery and what it means. it requires a lot of reading, but you're wrong.

      and also, just because things worked out on this planet doesn't mean it was handed to us on a silver platter by the flying spaghetti monster.

      creationism is an easy way to no have to think about things.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • ReasonableXX

      It is common knowledge that more is known about evolution than gravity. That is why it is so confounding that people doubt evolution. While evolution may be compatible with a creator, as the other commenter said, that isn't proof. What evolution is definitely not compatible with is any man made religion or man made concept of god.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • bigdumbdinosaur

      Dawkins never said that evolution and a creator were incompatible. His position is creationism is BS.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Rynomite

      Wolfpackbob – You are correct in stating that evolution is not necessarily incompatible with a diety.

      However, evolution is incompatible with the most common intrepretation of the Xtian bible and the Xtian diety. Evolution requires death to proceed. As a species evolves into something else, what it used to be dies out. This means if a creator is guiding evolution that death has existed even before the fall of man at the garden of eden. And the implications of that? Well, why did Jesus die again? Evolution kind of puts a kink into the whole progression of the story...

      September 6, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • kenchandammit

      Just do us all a favor and keep your creation out of our schools. We will keep our evolution out of your church. By the way, it's a good thing god made Jesus Chinese, don't you think. He was able to save so many more people that way than had he made Jesus middle-eastern.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
  82. Yessss

    I get that same feeling from him as 'I'm the Best' does. I too am atheist, and agree with most of his sayings. But he does come across as pompous, and I cant exactly put my finger on why either. I think perhaps its because you get the feeling that he thinks 'wow I am so smart to have come up with this stuff' and so many others who dont agree are just ignorant. I have had these same beliefs for as long as I can remember – as a young child. I have never felt the need to base my whole persona on it. I dunno, I just get a negative vibe from his writings.

    September 6, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • LuisWu

      I don't think he's being pompous. I think it's more like, he's comfortable in his beliefs and those beliefs come from science, not ancient mythology. So he may be a bit irritated that so many people question science but don't bother to question whatever ancient mythology they believe in. That's how I feel.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • Leah

      Me, too. I couldn't get through "The God Delusion" because of the pretentious tone. I may agree with most of his ideas but the way he conveys them is off-putting, I think, and doesn't encourage respectful discussion about these issues.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • E

      Would you enjoy reading a book with undertones of "I don't have a clue", "maybe this...maybe that", or just someone who isn't impassioned by what they want to share so much with others that they actually write a book (many books) about the topic which is the basis of their career.

      And he's English. Comes across as arrogant to Americans perhaps due to his dialect.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
  83. ArthurP

    A Creationist is someone that is so unsure of their Faith that they need to use bas.tardized and out of date science to shore it up.

    September 6, 2012 at 11:55 am |
  84. Charles Darwin

    What I've never understood is that with all of the diversity of life that has evolved on this planet, why only one species has evolved to the level of intelligence of humans. Seems that at least one other species would have.

    September 6, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • ArthurP

      Primates, dolphins, crows .... all exhibit intelligence.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:57 am |
      • Joe D.

        Yep, and some of them show a lot more of it than this guy. Not only does he see mankind as the ultimate authority, he sees himself as the ultimate example of mankind.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • ReasonableXX

      It makes perfect sense. Survival of the fittest. Species that might have evolved into something different that humans with equal intelligence went exinct because the species that led to modern humans were superior in some way that allowed them to advance.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Charles Darwin

      ArthurP – I get that answer a lot when I pose that question. But primates, dolphins and crows can't split the atom,haven't landed on the moon, don't create art, etc. Surely you have to recognize that there is a quantum leap in difference of intelligence between humans and the next most intelligent species. Humans are unique in their level of intelligence.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
      • ArthurP

        Yet. Give it time. Evolution takes time.

        Give it time. Did you know that crows uses tools and keep them in 'tool boxes' and when one is needed they will fly to their tool box get the tool use it then put it back. (not even most humans do that, the put it back part)

        September 6, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
      • Jim Lahey

        What you call a quantum leap isn't really a big difference. There isn't much that makes us different than most other living things. Ya real special.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
      • Charles Darwin

        Jim Lahey – I think people who try to stick to the claim that humans aren't that different are actually no different than the fundamentalists. They want to stick to a position in the face of overwhelming evidence otherwise. ArthurP – The point is, it has been given time. Maybe if we could come back in another million years or so, we will find other evolved intelligent species, but my point is that at least on has evolved in the time given. Why only one? Why not two? Is it really that rare of an occurance?

        September 6, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Charles Darwin

      ReasonableXX-But I dont' think there's evidence that happened. There would have been parts of the world unpopulated by human ancestors that could have evolved separately. But yours is the most plausible answer I've heard.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Matt

      maybe we ate them all

      September 6, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Earthling

      You're wrong. Neanderthals were a separate species then humans. They were very intelligent – used tools, fire, etc. Humans killed them all. Now we're top dog. What's so implausible about that?

      September 6, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • LuisWu

      If they had, we would have killed them off. That's what we do. We can't even get along with other races. We probably killed off the Neanderthals.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
  85. Ottis

    Wow, some commenters are sensitive! I don't see any sign of "smugness" here. This is a man consistently explaining his perspective. As part of that perspective, he thinks people who hold views that something happens to humans after they die are foolish, and the belief is foolish, and you can see that in his answer. So?

    September 6, 2012 at 11:54 am |
  86. JiminNM

    But, eventually the consequences of our bad choices and behaviors have something to teach us unless we continue to insist we can repeat the same behavior and expect a different result, all the while getting the same result or worse for the progression of bad choices.

    September 6, 2012 at 11:52 am |
  87. Frank

    De'nile isn't just a river in Africa.

    September 6, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • Matt

      de'nile isn't a river at all.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
  88. Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quanti-ty Surveying

    He's highly educated, and has given a great deal of deep thought to the subjects being discussed. Has this society become so trained to think only in terms of 10 second sound bites that the reaction to an intelligent, well-thought out response is that he thinks highly of himself? And if people are less educated than he is, why should the onus be on him to dumb down his comments? Why not have the listener undertake to educate him or her self instead?

    September 6, 2012 at 11:52 am |
  89. revo74

    I am absolutely shocked how Dawkins - an evolutionary biologist - and other highly educated atheists can say that living organisms are not designed, due to the fact of evolution. Evolution by random mutation and natural selection is the explanation of how life changes over duration of time, but the actual process that creates living organism is a design process. All living organisms are designed by genetic code. Within almost all living cells is a DNA molecule that store genetic code, which is digital information that provides the assembly and functionality instructions for living organisms. The way amino acids and proteins are constructed via this instruction IS a design process.

    You can also make a strong case for a deistic type designer who created all the governing rules/forces of nature that ultimately gives way to life.

    As for religion, it's completely man made.

    September 6, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • ArthurP

      Want to know how life got started. Go to night school and study chemistry. That is all life is. An ongoing chemical reaction that started, on this planet, a couple of billion years ago.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • Romulan

      When humans get so technologically behind and Romulans conquor planet earth, you can thank intelligent design for it.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • mostofa

      I am not surprised while I see people using "Intelligent Design" to give belief system a root. But unfortunately most of them do not see the world around them and does not know how it is working. Do some study with unbiased mind and prepare yourself that you will accept depending on the proof. Darwin's theory standing 2012-1859= 153 years depending on the proofs provided by different scientific evidence and was never able to prove wrong? On the other hand, look at the religious scripts, where you will find full of hatred and it can not be a divine plan.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
      • Paul42

        Obviously you have read "hateful" scripture with an unbiased mind.
        Only a fool would deny evolution completely. We can see the natural selection part of it occurring as we speak in the world around us. Only a fool would dismiss all the efforts of the scientists to date fossils and rock formations and throw out their explanations of how it all fits together. But evolution does not prove or disprove whether a God or an alien civilization had anything to do with how life came about or what path it took here. Even Dawkins, in an interview I saw, admitted the possiblity that alien civilizations might have been involved.
        Two examples of possible alien interference that I can recall off the top of my head are these:
        One. francis crick, the discoverer of dna, was surprised that all the dna found in this world was twisted in the same direction. He said that if life has come about on this planet by itself, there should be an even distribution of dna twisted clockwise and dna twisted counterclockwise.
        Two. about fifty thousand years ago their was what is called a brain big bang in which modern humans had a number of changes over a very short period of time to give us modern speech and the capacity for abstract thought. evolution as it is currently explained cannot explain this. http://www.hhmi.org/news/lahn3.html.
        I have read genesis. It says that God called each creative period a day, not that it is the same as what is currently a day for us on this planet. There are many worlds and suns in this universe that have days both longer and shorter than ours. In whatever place God lives, how long is a day there? For those that believe the earth is only a few thousand years old, they need to describe for the rest of us the mechanism of how this was accomplished. Does God or the Alien Civilization create worlds on an assembly line? Did G or the AC create life in a chemistry set before sprinkling it on our world with some kind of salt shaker? To just throw up your hands and say 'God did it' seems weak.
        If our technology and science ever get to the point where we can terraform worlds and create and guide life on it, then we can probably answer some of our own questions: like how to do this in decades or centuries rather than millions of years.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Dan, TX

      I'm sorry, but what you said is bizarre? Designer DNA? DNA is designed by selection. Selection is not random. The changes that happen to DNA are random, but the selection on that DNA is not. It is confusing when people call it "random selection". Selection is a very strong directional force, not random at all.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • LuisWu

      It's more like an "auto design" process. Evolution automatically responds to changes in the environment and adjusts the organism according through natural selection But it isn't an "intelligent" design and evolution doesn't always choose the best or most efficient solution. Ghekos for example, they don't have any eyelids and have to constantly lick their eyes to keep them moist. It works, but it isn't very efficient, it isn't the best solution. Evolution finds something that works and then stops until something else in the environment changes.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
  90. JeffO

    Pretty tame for Dawkins and well thought out...the Dawkins is smug and pompous meme is so played out.

    September 6, 2012 at 11:49 am |
  91. Heather

    CNN, that headline on the front page is misleading. Nowhere in the article did he say that religion has nothing to teach us. He said that's not where he believes we should derive our morals because there are even more noble reasons. And, atheist or not, it teaches us a great deal about who we are.

    September 6, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • elandau

      Hi Heather, that's true that this sentiment is not explicitly in the article, but Mr. Dawkins states in the video, "I don't think religion has anything useful to teach us."

      Thanks for joining the conversation!
      Elizabeth Landau, CNN

      September 6, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
  92. Jack 3

    I like most people hope there's something on the other side but i can't come up with anything that would make any kind of sense given I'm opersting on what god if there is one gave me. My common sense says based on what I can hear or see with my senses that this is immpossile. that being said there's a lot of things on earth and in the universe that man can't comprehend such as something without an end. Is there a wall at the end of the universe? does it go on forever and if it does how can that be? There's a lot that we just can't understand. Until something gives me a better clue i have to say I don't see any evidence of a God of any type. I could be wrong but I only have what he gave me such as common sense to make that call.

    September 6, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • LuisWu

      Albert Einstein was asked in an interview if the believed in God. He replied that he didn't believe in a "personal god" but something more along the lines of "Spinoza's God." (Pretty much pantheism). That the Universe has an underlying "life energy" that's in everything. It's not intelligent, just a from of energy that tends to organize things. There is a scientific principle – energy passing through a system, tends to organize that system. So if that's the case, then when we die, maybe our part of that energy goes back to the general pool of energy in the Universe. Just a thought...

      September 6, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
  93. ArthurP

    Debating evolution/abiogenisis with a Fundamentalist/Creationist is pointless because they do not have either the basic education nor the breathe of knowledge of the subject that is required to support their position.

    September 6, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • CesarP

      I highly disagree with you Mr. Arthur P. Just some food of thought, chemicals (non living things) cannot produce living things. What you believe is just a theory, and pride is your issue.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
      • ArthurP

        How Did Life Begin? RNA That Replicates Itself Indefinitely Developed For First Time

        http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090109173205.htm

        We are getting close.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • LuisWu

      CesarP – On the contrary, the right mix of chemicals, temperature, pressure, energy etc. would produce life. That's what happened on the early Earth. Scientists haven't been able to duplicate this process – yet. But they will eventually. They just have to come up with exactly the right conditions and parameters. (They have created molecules that can self-replicate and form cell-like structures.) It's just a matter of time before it happens.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
  94. jorge Vazquez

    I find it amazing that Dawkins is now mentioning the name of Jesus. Perhaps as he gets older and faces his own mortality he is questioning his own beliefs.

    September 6, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • David

      He always has. He mentions how he does not believe in him in his early writings. Nothing new.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
  95. MM

    Dawkins, Darwin – their lives (and deaths) are both controlled by the Bible.

    September 6, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quanti-ty Surveying

      Their lives and deaths are "controlled" by a book? Explain, please.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • santaclaus

      huh? How are their lives controlled by a book written by dozens of men centuries ago who's believe in myth is matched only by kids belief in Santa Claus?

      September 6, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Godfrey

      This must be a troll: it's hard to imagine any literate person saying this.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Owl96

      The Bible does not control anyone's life. The Bible is the Word of God. God has control of our lives. The Bible can guide us because it helps us lead a life lead by the messages in the Bible. A printed book has control over nothing.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
      • Jimmy Butterbean

        haha!! wrong again!! i control my life (& death).

        September 6, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
      • LuisWu

        Which god? Zeus? Manitou? Krishna? Jehova? The bible is just a book of ancient mythology like all the others. It was written by members of a bronze age culture. They were ignorant of science and reality and were trying to explain creation and to give people comfort in the face of their mortality. Just ancient myths and superst!tions, like thousands of others. Now that we have modern science and can understand the Universe and how it works, we don't need ancient myths to do that for us anymore.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
      • Godfrey

        And which messages? Numbers, Chapter 31? Or what about the bloody rules of Leviticus.

        Worshiping the ancient war god of the Hebrews in this day and age is just pathetic.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
  96. Robin Burns

    What religion has to teach us about evolution is that the information science has brought forth was known anciently! Read the first chapter of Genesis without thinking that the word "day" means a 24-hour cycle. The steps involved in bringing fort the world as we know it are the same evolutionary steps that science has 'discovered". What religion has to teach us that science cannot is how and why to be good, moral humans.

    September 6, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • ReasonableXX

      What?!?

      Even if that made sense, where do you get the right to make the determination about what the bible means by day?

      September 6, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Jack 3

      If it says day, it means a day like in 24 hrs. People changing the meanings to suit their beliefs is what causes different denominations. the different denominations interpit the bible different, then they fight about who's right.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quanti-ty Surveying

      Right – religion teaches us to be moral human beings. Just like those highly religious and moral fellows who hijacked 4 planes on 9/11, and prayed their way to the incineration of almost 3000 people. Or are you talking about the moral lessons of the bible – slavery, stoning unruly children to death, genocide? Those moral lessons? Please enlighten us.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:57 am |
      • Romulan

        What he really meant was that Christianity is the only true religion and the only thing in the world that will teach us to be good moral human being. That's why Crusaders went to take back Jerusalem.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
      • Paul42

        And scientists have always acted morally. Forced sterilization of undesirables in the US in the '20s and '30s? Dr Mengele? Henrik Schon? The objective,"moral", unbiased scientist is as mythical as a unicorn. BTW psychologists would classify anyone without emotion as a sociopath or a psychopath, so an objective, emotionless scientist would truly be mad.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • BermudaTriangle

      What you teach us is that even though the average American has an array of educational, factual resources at their disposal, people can still be ignorant enough to believe in the silliest crap imaginable.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • John in Oakland

      Yes, and by "slave" the Bible means "cherished friend." Oh, and all that "slaying" done by the Hebrews? Well, that really means "doing nice things for our neighbors." And "this generation shall not pass. . ." actually refers to the whole generation of mankind, or something like that. Easy game to play, huh?

      September 6, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • pat

      If you put every word of genisis in quotes the way you put the word "day" in quotes, then perhaps you could take the whole thing figuratively and find it doesn't contradict what is known scientifically as fact. The problem becomes that the scripture is taken so figuratively that it hardly makes any claim strongly enough to be considered informative or athoritative.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Secularosity

      Did you even read the article?

      September 6, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • pinostabaum

      biblical creation teaches us that on one day night and day are separated, and then on a later day the sun and moon and stars appear. but not before the earth appears. in what way is that supposed to be consistent with what science has "discovered"?

      September 6, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • jeru0455

      You don't need religion to teach you that. Being a good person is something that you do yourself.

      September 12, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
      • Slurp

        That's interesting... what do you consider a "good person" in terms of evolution? In any case, should "goodness" be considered an "higher state" of the evolutionary line? "Good" refers to which standard, which convention? Does it apply only to Earth or it's values are also universal? Which universal higher rule other than the "Ten Commandments" and Jesus Christ love example? Aren't you confusing "goodness" with "situational ethics"?

        September 13, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
  97. KyPerson

    Dear me. The man sure thinks highly of himself doesn't he.

    September 6, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • one2wonder

      Yes, he does, However, there will be a day when he falls from his high horse.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:43 am |
      • Bible Clown©

        "there will be a day when he falls from his high horse" Will you pay someone thirty pieces of silver to betray him, and then nail him to a cross? I hear that's what happens when you question the State Religion.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
      • Rev_Hellhorn

        As you will also soon enough. What's it like to live in fear of the boogeyman?

        September 6, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • BermudaTriangle

      An individual that is incapable of writing a grammatically correct sentence is acting like they know "better" than the scientific community. Is there any better representation of the average theist?

      September 6, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      Why wouldn't he? Are you as brave as he is, for example? You know some Christians will murder him eventually, because jihad is their way.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • Datacat

      Yes, he does. I also think he does protest too much. I don't have enough faith to believe in evolution and that this life is all we get. But if I did, I certainly wouldn't be wasting one precious second of it writing books about other people's beliefs and holding meetings to disprove what I believe doesn't exist. And if I were a follower of the religion of darwinism, I wouldn't be wasting my life posting comments either! I'd be out there living it up.

      Funny, I had seen the term "meme" quite a bit and wondered where it came from, I always thought it was a statement about this generation, sort of an "all about me" phrase. Me me.. what about ME? Turns out I was right.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  98. I'm The Best!

    I'm an atheist, and I've never read his books, but everything I've heard about dawkins, along with little articles like this, makes me think he's kind of a pompous ***. I wouldn't be surprised if he thinks he's the king of atheists or something. I appreciate what he's trying to do, but stop being so smug about it. Lighten up a bit.

    September 6, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • allglorytohypnotoad

      What makes him smug? I thought this article was rather tame for himself.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:10 am |
      • I'm The Best!

        This article isn't too bad, I'm saying in general. I don't know what it is, some of his quotes and writings (the ones I've read) to me just sound like he's talking down to everyone else.

        It may just be the way I'm reading it though.

        September 6, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • Carl Sagan

      Dawkins is THE man!

      September 6, 2012 at 11:39 am |
      • Neil DeGrasse Tyson

        Dude wassup Carl! Hows it going?

        September 6, 2012 at 11:49 am |
      • Kent Hovind

        Liars, both of you!

        September 6, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
      • Bertrand Russell

        What you kids up to?

        September 6, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • ReasonableXX

      Dawkins is often smug and condesending. However, athiests like him are necessary because the cause the topics to be discussed and it brings attention to issues.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:50 am |
      • LuisWu

        Christians are the most smug and condescending people on the planet.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Dave

      I'm not an atheist, so I tend to disagree with Dawkins in general, but I thought the interview reflected his firmly held belief. He is popular, in part, because of his demeanor, but I suppose there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:54 am |
      • GayAtheist

        It's not belief. Evolution requires no one's belief...like gravity, evolution begs no one's agreement..it just is.
        Your ignorance is frightening.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
      • JFCanton

        The mechanism of evolution should be obvious, but biology/archeology is unique among the sciences in that we only have a chance to see either tiny sequences of the mechanism at work, or widely spaced snapshots. The timescale is too long to see the development of a species. So there *is* faith involved in how one understands the total picture.
        Especially when it comes to new structures.

        September 6, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • Alison

      You yourself admit you are relying on the second hand opinion of others. If you conclude Dawkins is pompous even though you haven't read his books or speeches and this article is tame, maybe its time to look at how your own biases influence your opinion.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:56 am |
      • I'm The Best!

        I have read/listened to speeches, just haven't read his books.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Godfrey

      I think it's that snooty British accent. Dawkins is the Butler of Truth, and he serves it with white gloves on a sterling silver tray.

      But it's still Truth.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
      • LuisWu

        Good point.

        September 6, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
      • matthew

        According to "Dawkins" or whoever he might be, human being are the product of evolution which is from single cell to double cells, from double cells to ............monkey, .... to people when environment provides such condition to allow such change happen. If that is the case, it will take about 10^10000000000000000000000 years. How many years of the earth?
        If evolution is valid, then the earth is becoming old now, the environmental condition might change back to it used to me, then, the conclusion will be or very likely will be human being evolving back to ................... Monkey, ............. double cell, and single cell.
        Who will believe this? I think only Dawkins will believe.

        September 24, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Just Sayin'

      OK, you're killing me! You're proclaiming that Dawkins is pompous, but you've chosen, "I'm The Best!" as your epithet??? That completely contradicts what you've just said; besides – just because an individual is confident in their knowledge and is comfortable expressing their views – that doesn't mean they are pompous. Some people are just very eloquent, and if they are intelligent like Dawkins and have spent years conducting research, they can easily communicate their ideas. Besides, he travels frequently and makes a lot of presentations, so it's probably become quite effortless for him to describe complex theories. Meanwhile, the rest of us are left quoting lines from Taladega Nights...it's all relative I guess.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
      • I'm The Best!

        I've had this tag for a while so I didn't even notice, funny though...

        I'm not saying he doesn't know what he's talking about, because he does. I've met a good number of people who are very good in their fields, but most don't come off like he does. People are smart, and he has a way of saying things that makes it seem like he thinks he's much smarter than everyone else. I'm not saying he isn't smarter than me in biology, because he is, just don't talk to everyone else like they couldn't possibly understand. That's what makes him pompous.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        God is pompous ...

        September 6, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
      • because...

        Can someone remind me what exactly evolution has to do with the existence or non-existence of "God"?

        September 29, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Tim

      He's tired of having to pretend to respect flat Earthers, creationists and other kooks all the time These kooks should be ridiculed for the ignorant imbeciles they are and for trying to drag us back to the dark ages.

      September 7, 2012 at 8:26 am |
      • DJones

        That is ironic.. You call people who are open to believe that there is more than you can see as "flat earthers". The real flat earthers are the people who cling to the theory of evolution out of fear that there might be someone in the universe more advanced then us to who they might be accountable.

        September 12, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
      • atDissenter

        "DJones

        That is ironic.. You call people who are open to believe that there is more than you can see as "flat earthers". The real flat earthers are the people who cling to the theory of evolution out of fear that there might be someone in the universe more advanced then us to who they might be accountable."

        It's telling that you use the word "SOMEONE" to describe your god. Since when is "clinging" to reality all that fearful? There's no desperation in our reliance in Science just as there's no fear when I type these words on this keyboard built by scientific methods. More hiding in the gaps is all believers have to "support" their claims and their god simply becomes everything we don't YET know. For thousands of years, "god" has been quickly vanishing. Eventually...POOF! No more imaginative silliness.

        September 14, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
      • bacille

        Science will doubtlessly solve all of our problems!
        With the ATOMIC BOMB.

        September 29, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
      • atDissenter

        bacille said:"Science will doubtlessly solve all of our problems! With the ATOMIC BOMB."

        Perhaps. One can predict that it will probably be some religious zealot.

        September 30, 2012 at 9:52 am |
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