Richard Dawkins, FRS, FRSL (born 26 March 1941) is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and popular science author. He is a professorial fellow of New College, Oxford.
Dawkins is an atheist, secular humanist, sceptic, scientific rationalist, and supporter of the Brights movement. He has widely been referred to in the media as “Darwin’s Rottweiler”, by analogy with English biologist T.H. Huxley, who was known as “Darwin’s Bulldog” for his advocacy of natural selection. 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.
Dawkins describes his childhood as “a normal Anglican upbringing”, but reveals that he began doubting the existence of God when he was about nine years old. He later reconverted because he was persuaded by the argument from design, an argument for the existence of God or a creator based on perceived evidence of order, purpose, design or direction – or some combination of these – in nature. However, he began to feel that the customs of the Church of England were absurd, and had more to do with dictating morals than with God. Later, when he better understood the process of evolution, his religious position again changed, because he felt that natural selection could account for the complexity of life in purely material terms, rendering a supernatural designer unnecessary.
On 19 August 1967, Dawkins married fellow ethologist Marian Stamp; they divorced in 1984. Later that year, Dawkins married Eve Barham – with whom he had a daughter, Juliet Emma Dawkins – but they too divorced, and Barham died of cancer on 28 February 1999. In 1992, he married actress Lalla Ward.
In September 2008, Dawkins retired from his post as Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science, announcing plans to “write a book aimed at youngsters in which he will warn them against believing in “anti-scientific” fairytales.”
Dr. David Berlinski who holds a Ph.D. from Princeton University and has taught mathematics and philosophy at universities in the United States and France; the author of such best sellers as “A tour of the Calculus”, “The Advent of the Algorithm”, “Newton’s Gift” and his most recent release “The Devil’s Delusion, Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions” has this to say about Richard Dawkins.
“It is a catastrophic mistake to have someone like Dawkins address himself to such profound issues as theology, the existence of God, or the origin of life. He has not committed himself to any discipline of study in any relevant areas. He’s a crummy philosopher, he doesn’t have the rudimentary skills to meticulously assess his own arguments.