Biologist quotes

#12697 Richard Dawkins

Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence. It is often said, mainly by the 'no-contests', that although there is no positive evidence for the existence of God, nor is there evidence against his existence. So it is best to keep an open mind and be agnostic. At first sight that seems an unassailable position, at least in the weak sense of Pascal's wager. But on second thoughts it seems a cop-out, because the same could be said of Father Christmas and tooth fairies. There may be fairies at the bottom of the garden. There is no evidence for it, but you can't prove that there aren't any, so shouldn't we be agnostic with respect to fairies? .

Richard Dawkins Quotes about belief
#12698 Richard Dawkins

You see, if you say something positive like the whole of life – all living things – is descended from a single common ancestor which lived about 4,000 million years ago and that we are all cousins, well that is an exceedingly important and true thing to say and that is what I want to say. Somebody who is religious sees that as threatening and so I am represented as attacking religion, and I am forced into responding to their reaction. But you do not have to see my main purpose as attacking religion. Certainly I see the scientific view of the world as incompatible with religion, but that is not what is interesting about it. It is also incompatible with magic, but that also is not worth stressing. What is interesting about the scientificis that it is true, inspiring, remarkable and that it unites a whole lot of phenomena under a single heading. And that is what is so exciting for me. .

Richard Dawkins Quotes about life
#12699 Richard Dawkins

What worries me about religion is that it teaches people to be satisfied with not understanding. .

Richard Dawkins Quotes about religion
#12700 Richard Dawkins

Yetare required to back up their claims not with private feelings but with publicly checkable evidence. Their experiments must have rigorous controls to eliminate spurious effects. And statistical analysis eliminates the suspicion (or at least measures the likelihood) that the apparent effect might have happened by chance alone. Paranormal phenomena have a habit of going away whenever they are tested under rigorous conditions. This is why the .

Richard Dawkins Quotes about men
#12701 Richard Dawkins

It is fashionable to wax apocalyptic about the threat to humanity posed by the AIDS virus, "mad cow" disease, and many others, but I think a case can be made that faith is one of the world's great evils, comparable to the smallpox virus but harder to eradicate. .

Richard Dawkins Quotes about faith
#12702 Richard Dawkins

The feeling of awed wonder that science can give us is one of the highest experiences of which the human psyche is capable. It is a deep aesthetic passion to rank with the finest that music and poetry can deliver. It is truly one of the things that make life worth living and it does so, if anything, more effectively if it convinces us that the time we have for living is quite finite. .

Richard Dawkins Quotes about life
#12703 Richard Dawkins

We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Sahara. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats,greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively outnumbers the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here. We privileged few, who won the lottery of birth against all odds, how dare we whine at our inevitable return to that prior state from which the vast majority have never stirred? .

Richard Dawkins Quotes about people
#12704 Richard Dawkins

I don't withdraw a word of my initial statement. But I do now think it may have been incomplete. There is perhaps a fifth category, which may belong under "insane" but which can be more sympathetically characterized by a word like tormented, bullied, or brainwashed. Sincere people who are not ignorant, not stupid, and not wicked can be cruelly torn, almost in two, between the massive evidence of science on the one hand, and their understanding of what their holy book tells them on the other. I think this is one of the truly bad things religion can do to a human mind. There is wickedness here, but it is the wickedness of the institution and what it does to a believing victim, not wickedness on the part of the victim himself. .

Richard Dawkins Quotes about religion
#12705 Richard Dawkins

Many of us saw religion as harmless nonsense. Beliefs might lack all supporting evidence but, we thought, if people needed a crutch for consolation, where's the harm? September 11th changed all that. Revealed faith is not harmless nonsense, it can be lethally dangerous nonsense. Dangerous because it gives people unshakeable confidence in their own righteousness. Dangerous because it gives them false courage to kill themselves, which automatically removes normal barriers to killing others. Dangerous because it teaches enmity to others labelled only by a difference of inherited tradition. And dangerous because we have all bought into a weird respect, which uniquely protects religion from normal criticism. Let's now stop being so damned respectful! .

Richard Dawkins Quotes about faith
#12706 Richard Dawkins

We've reached a truly remarkable situation: a grotesque mismatch between the American intelligencia and the American electorate. A philosophical opinion about the nature of the universe which is held by the vast majority of top American , and probably the majority of the intelligencia generally, is so abhorrent to the American electorate that no candidate for popular election dare affirm it in public. If I'm right, this means that high office in the greatest country in the world is barred to the very people best qualified to hold it: the intelligencia, unless they are prepared to lie about their beliefs. To put it bluntly American political opportunities are heavily loaded against those who are simultaneously intelligent and honest. .

Richard Dawkins Quotes about nature
#12707 Richard Dawkins

An atheist is just somebody who feels about Yahweh the way any decent Christian feels about Thor or Baal or the golden calf. As has been said before, we are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further. .

Richard Dawkins Quotes about god
#12708 Richard Dawkins

The population of the US is nearly 300 million, including many of the best educated, most talented, most resourceful, humane people on earth. By almost any measure of civilised attainment, from Nobel prize-counts on down, the US leads the world by miles. You would think that a country with such resources, and such a field of talent, would be able to elect a leader of the highest quality. Yet, what has happened? At the end of all the primaries and party caucuses, the speeches and the televised debates, after a year or more of non-stop electioneering bustle, who, out of that entire population of 300 million, emerges at the top of the heap? George Bush. .

Richard Dawkins Quotes about art
#12709 Richard Dawkins

Bush and bin Laden are really on the same side: the side of faith and violence against the side of reason and discussion. Both have implacable faith that they are right and the other is evil. Each believes that when he dies he is going to heaven. Each believes that if he could kill the other, his path to paradise in the next world would be even swifter. The delusional "next world" is welcome to both of them. This world would be a much better place without either of them. .

Richard Dawkins Quotes about faith
#12710 Richard Dawkins

The fact that life evolved out of nearly nothing, some 10 billion years after the universe evolved out of literally nothing, is a fact so staggering that I would be mad to attempt words to do it justice. .

Richard Dawkins Quotes about life
#12711 Richard Dawkins

Just because science so far has failed to explain something, such as consciousness, to say it follows that the facile, pathetic explanations which religion has produced somehow by default must win the argument is really quite ridiculous. .

Richard Dawkins Quotes about religion
#12712 Richard Dawkins

If it's really true, that the museum athas dinosaur fossils which are labelled as being 3000 years old, then that is an educational disgrace. It is debauching the whole idea of a university, and I would strongly encourage any members of Liberty University who may be here... to leave and go to a proper university. .

Richard Dawkins Quotes about education
#12713 Richard Dawkins

It's obvious that in an intelligent educated audience such as , I stress this university. Who saw fit to give ? .

Richard Dawkins Quotes about stress
#12715 Richard Dawkins

Even sticking to the higher plane of love, is it so very obvious that you can't love more than one person? We seem to manage it with parental love (parents are reproached if they don't at least pretend to love all their children equally), love of books, of food, of wine (love of Chateau Margaux does not preclude love of a fine Hock, and we don't feel unfaithful to the red when we dally with the white), love of composers, poets, holiday beaches, friends . . . why is erotic love the one exception that everybody instantly acknowledges without even thinking about it? .

Richard Dawkins Quotes about love
#12716 Richard Dawkins

I'm not one of those who wants to stop Christian traditions. This is historically a Christian country. I'm a cultural Christian the same way as many of my friends call themselves cultural Jews or cultural Muslims. So, yes, I love singing carols along with everybody else. I'm not one of those who wants to purge our society of our Christian history. .

Richard Dawkins Quotes about love
#12717 Richard Dawkins

It would be deeply depressing if the only way children could get moral values was from religion. Either from scripture, and God knows we don't want them to get it from scripture, I mean, just look at scripture. Or, from being afraid of God, being intimidated by God. Anybody who is good for only those two reasons is not really being good at all. Why not teach children things like the Golden Rule, do as you would be done by, how would you like it if other children did that to you, so why do you do it to them... I think it's depressing that anybody should suggest that you actually need God in order to be moral. I would hope that our morals come from a better source than that, and therefore they are genuinely moral rather than based on outmoded scripture, or based on fear. .

Richard Dawkins Quotes about hope
#12720 Richard Dawkins

The absolute morality that the religious person might profess would include what, stoning people for adultery, death for apostasy, punishment for breaking the Sabbath; these are all things which are religiously based absolute moralities. I don’t think I want an absolute morality. I think I want a morality that is thought-out, reasoned, argued, discussed—based upon, almost say—intelligent design. Can we not design our society which has the sort of morality, the sort of society we want to live in? Dawkins on(8-3-2010), replying to a Muslim man who asked about 'absolute morality'. .

Richard Dawkins Quotes about death
#12722 Richard Dawkins

I am extremely pleased by Daniel Fincke's article, which says exactly what I SHOULD have said and, to my regret, didn't make sufficiently clear in my Reason Rally speech. The best way to summarise it would be to modify the quotation from Johann Hari. Johann said, "I respect you too much to respect your ridiculous beliefs". From now on, my version will be, "I respect you too much to accept that you really believe anything so ridiculous as you claim. Please either defend those beliefs and explain why they are not ridiculous, or else declare that you do not hold them and publicly disown the church to which you claim loyalty." .

Richard Dawkins Quotes about art
#12723 Richard Dawkins

I'm not clever enough to be a physicist. .

Richard Dawkins
#12725 Richard Dawkins

"Such delusions of grandeur to think that a God with a hundred billion galaxies on his mind would give a tuppenny damn who you sleep with, or indeed whether you believe in him." .

Richard Dawkins Quotes about mind
#12726 Richard Dawkins

We no longer have to resort to superstition when faced with the deep problems: Is there a meaning to life? What are we for? What is man? .

Richard Dawkins Quotes about life
#12727 Richard Dawkins

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

Richard Dawkins Quotes about faith
#12728 Richard Dawkins

Today the theory of evolution is about as much open to doubt as the theory that the earth goes round the sun. .

Richard Dawkins Quotes about art
#12729 Richard Dawkins

The argument of this book is that we, and all other animals, are machines created by our genes. .

Richard Dawkins Quotes about men
#12730 Richard Dawkins

We are survival machines – robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes. This is a truth which still fills me with astonishment. .

Richard Dawkins Quotes about truth
#12731 Richard Dawkins

I am not advocating a morality based on evolution. I am saying how things have evolved. I am not saying how we humans morally ought to behave. .

Richard Dawkins Quotes about morality
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