Friday, May 07, 2010

The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins

Dawkins at a signing for his book The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution in 2009.

Clinton Richard Dawkins, FRS, FRSL (born 26 March 1941) is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and popular science author. He was formerly Professor for Public Understanding of Science at Oxford and was a fellow of New College, Oxford.[1][2][3][4]
Dawkins came to prominence with his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, which popularised the gene-centred view of evolution and introduced the term meme. In 1982, he made a widely cited contribution to evolutionary biology with the concept, presented in his book The Extended Phenotype, that the phenotypic effects of a gene are not necessarily limited to an organism's body, but can stretch far into the environment, including the bodies of other organisms.
Dawkins is well known for his candid criticism of creationism and intelligent design. In his 1986 book The Blind Watchmaker, he argued against the watchmaker analogy, an argument for the existence of a supernatural creator based upon the complexity of living organisms. Instead, he described evolutionary processes as analogous to a blind watchmaker. He has since written several popular science books, and makes regular television and radio appearances, predominantly discussing these topics.
Dawkins is an atheist,[5][6][7] secular humanist, sceptic, rationalist[8] and supporter of the Brights movement.[9] He has been referred to in the media as "Darwin's Rottweiler",[10][11] by analogy with English biologist T. H. Huxley, who was known as "Darwin's Bulldog" for his advocacy of Charles Darwin's evolutionary ideas. In his 2006 book The God Delusion, Dawkins contends that a supernatural creator almost certainly does not exist and that faith qualifies as a delusion − as a fixed false belief.[12] As of November 2007, the English language version had sold more than 2 million copies [13] and had been translated into 31 other languages,[14] making it his most popular book to date.
Born Clinton Richard Dawkins
26 March 1941 (1941-03-26) (age 69)
Nairobi, Colony of Kenya
Residence Oxford, England
Nationality British
Fields Ethologist, evolutionary biologist
Institutions University of California, Berkeley
University of Oxford
New College, Oxford
Alma mater Balliol College, Oxford
Doctoral advisor Nikolaas Tinbergen
Doctoral students Alan Grafen
Mark Ridley
Known for Gene-centred view of evolution
Introduction of the concept of memes
Advocacy of atheism and rationalism
Criticism of religion
Influences Charles Darwin, Ronald Fisher, George C. Williams, W. D. Hamilton, Daniel Dennett
Notable awards Zoological Society Silver Medal (1989)
Faraday Award (1990)
Kistler Prize (2001)
Fellow of the Royal Society
Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature

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