Monday, April 24, 2017
Section 8 - Installment 1 - Alyssa Davis
Final Report Installment 1
The God Delusion
Clinton Richard Dawkins, born March 26th 1941, is a man of many accomplishments. He’s an English ethologist, evolutionary biologist, and an author. He is also the first holder of the Charles Simonyi Chair of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. The holder of the seats main goal is to inform the public about science, without lessening the true understanding behind it, or dumbing it down for the general public. In 2006 he opened the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, with the purpose to promote teaching the value of science and advancing secularism on a global scale. Dawkins is often referred to as the world's most famous atheist, however when it was brought up in an interview, he replied that on a scale of 1 to 7, he would only scale himself at a 6.9, since he couldn’t be sure that God did not exist, nor could he prove it.
Dawkins was set about his interest in science through his parents during his early childhood. Both parents were interested in natural sciences, and made a point to answer his questions in a scientific way whenever possible. He grew up an Anglican christian like his parents up until his teenage years, when he first heard of Darwinism and concluded the theory of evolution made much more sense. Dawkins renounced his faith in god and hasn’t looked back since. He has since become a prominent speaker against religion, and has said he considers faith, blind devotion without any supporting facts, “one of the world’s greatest evils”. He furthered his views into the public eye on the matter during a TED Talk in 2002 encouraging ‘militant atheism’, urging all atheists to broadly state their position and to uphold their views, even against churches, sciences, and creationists. He states the importance of rocking the boat, and making people see views that are different from their own. If someone’s opinion is never challenged or questioned, then they can never really learn anything new. Whether it’s about their current views or something new entirely. Dawkins has no qualms voicing his displeasure with religion, which is how he gained the title of the world’s most well known atheist. He isn’t afraid to ask questions like “Who designed the divine creator?” and has openly speculated that one of the only reasons religion is still around is due to the gullible nature of young people and their ability to be easily influenced. While these views have brought him much criticism over the years, he has stood firm by them and continued to openly talk to those willing to listen. On October 2nd, 2006, Richard Dawkins published his bestselling book The God Delusion, which covers a wide array of grievances he has with religion and those who practice it, and goes into deeper details about grievances he has made public before. In part 2 of my analysis I will go into detail the views stated in the book, along with the overall message Dawkins is trying to get across.