Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins

British evolutionary biologist and author
26 March 1941 —

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We should not seek immortality in reproduction. But if you contribute to the world`s culture, if you have a good idea, compose a tune, invent a spark plug, write a poem, it may live on, intact, long after your genes have dissolved in the common pool.

It has become almost a cliché to remark that nobody boasts of ignorance of literature, but it is socially acceptable to boast ignorance of science and proudly claim incompetence in mathematics.

The genes are master programmers, and they are programming for their lives.

Living organisms had existed on earth, without ever knowing why, for over three thousand million years before the truth finally dawned on one of them. His name was Charles Darwin.

It is almost as if the human brain were specifically designed to misunderstand Darwinism, and to find it hard to believe.

Sometimes people have a strong inside feeling that somebody loves them when it is not based upon any evidence, and then they are likely to be completely wrong.

We are survival machines - robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes.

We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.

The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference.

If there is mercy in nature, it is accidental. Nature is neither kind nor cruel but indifferent.

Scientific beliefs are supported by evidence, and they get results. Myths and faiths are not and do not.

Sometimes in life it is a good idea to stop, sometimes it is a good idea to go on. The trick is to decide when to stop.

When you see a tiger, you had better not delay your prediction of its probable behaviour.

However many ways there may be of being alive, it is certain that there are vastly more ways of being dead, or rather not alive.

Evolution is something that happens, willy-nilly, in spite of all the efforts of the replicators (and nowadays of the genes) to prevent it happening.

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