Richard Dawkin's challenges to evolution and design

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Richard Dawkins
An evolutionary biologist
Until recently, he was the Professor for Public Understanding of Science at the University
of Oxford
A scientific rationalist/materialist , who believes it's only reasonable to believe in things
with sufficient empirical evidence behind them (like the philosopher David Hume).
A passionate advocate of scientism science is capable of explaining every aspect of reality
by itself, without need for the supernatural. He is an atheist.
The Selfish Gene ­ 1976
Dawkins argued that evolution is best understood as acting on genes
The fundamental unit of selection is not a species but rather a gene
The human gene is essentially selfish as its main aim is to become as numerous as possible
in the gene pool.
We are merely `survival suits' which are genes have created in order to maximise their
survival and therefore replication. Our genes preservation is the ultimate rationale for our
existence. There is no purpose beyond this to life. There is no inherent value of a person
and no unique identity.
NeoDarwinism interprets all aspects of our existence from the perspective of evolutionary
biology. This includes accounting for morality, spirituality and aesthetic sense through
the selective advantage they give us. This even includes Altruism, where organisms act
seemingly selflessly.
Rivers Out of Eden
In nature, only genes serve a function.
Life is without meaning or purpose except on the impersonal level of genes.
The Blind Watchmaker ­ 1986
The genecentred view of evolution can adequately account for the origin of the
complexity of life without the additional need for a creator God.
A deity capable of creating such complexity would also require an explanation, of which
there is none.
Evolution is selfexplanatory and selfcontained and therefore superior as an explanation
to life on earth.
Moreover, evolution should be seen as blind ­ it has no ultimate goal or aim in mind.
Contrary to the theistic belief that this world is an intentional creation by God who has an
ultimate purpose for it in mind.
We can even extend evolutionary biology to the spread of ideas and cultural
Memes are `a piece of thought from person to person', an idea transmitted like a gene.
Memes can even be understood to undergo natural selection ­ they vary and change and
compete in order to survive.
Religion is no more than a set of related thoughts and ideas that are passed from one
generation to the next by imitation.

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The God Delusion ­ 2006
Rejects that science and religion are nonoverlapping magesteria (NOMA)
The hypothesis of God is an empirical one and should be subjected to scientific
verification. As no evidence can exist in support of this hypothesis, it is a delusion.…read more


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