The Problem with God: Interview with Richard Dawkins

The renowned biologist talks about intelligent design, dishonest Christians, and why God is no better than an imaginary friend.


British biologist Richard Dawkins has made a name for himself defending evolution and fighting what he sees as religiously motivated attacks on science. Dr. Dawkins sat down with Beliefnet at the World Congress of Secular Humanism, where his keynote address focused on intelligent design.

You're concerned about the state of education, especially science education. If you were able to teach every person, what would you want people to believe?

I would want them to believe whatever evidence leads them to; I would want them to look at the evidence, judge it on its merits, not accept things because of internal revelation or faith, but purely on the basis of evidence.

Not everybody can evaluate all evidence; we can't evaluate the evidence for quantum physics. So it does have to be a certain amount of taking things on trust. I have to take what physicists say on trust, for example, because I'm a biologist. But science [has] a system of appraisal, of peer review, so that I trust the physics community to get their act together in a way that I know from the inside. I wish people would put their trust in evidence, not in faith, revelation, tradition, or authority.

What do you wish people knew about evolution?

Dawkins on Design
Listen to clips from Dawkins' recent speech:

 The Flaws in the Argument from Design
 There Is an Alternative to Chance
 The Faulty Logic of 'Irreducible Complexity'
 Creationists Adore Gaps in the Fossil Record
 Evolution and Theism Are Incompatible

They need to understand what evolution is about. Many of them don't. I was truly shocked to be told by two separate religious leaders in this country [the U.S.] a few weeks ago--they both said something to the effect that, "I'll believe in evolution when I see a tailed monkey give birth to a human."
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Interview by Laura Sheahen
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Related Topics: News, Science Religion

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