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Why the universe seems so strange | Richard Dawkins

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Why the universe seems so strange | Richard Dawkins

Biologist Richard Dawkins makes a case for thinking the improbable by looking at how the human frame of reference limits our understanding of the universe.

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, development and the arts. Closed captions and translated subtitles in a variety of languages are now available on TED.com, at

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Militant atheism | Richard Dawkins

Biologist Richard Dawkins launches into a full-on appeal for atheists to make public their beliefs and to aggressively fight the incursion of religion into politics and education. Dawkins' scornful tone drew strongly mixed reactions from the audience; some stood and applauded his courage. Others wondered whether his strident approach could do more harm than good. Dawkins went on to publish The God Delusion and become perhaps the world's best-known atheist.

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, development and the arts. Closed captions and translated subtitles in a variety of languages are now available on TED.com, at

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Richard Dawkins on scientific truth, outgrowing God and life beyond Earth

Richard Dawkins is one of the world's most famous atheists. An evolutionary biology at Oxford and best-selling author of The God Delusion - his new book 'Outgrowing God - A Beginner's Guide' aims to inform young people about religion and atheism. He talks to Krishnan about why he wrote it, his passion for scientific truth and whether he thinks there's life outside of Earth.

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Richard Dawkins: The Making of a Scientist | Talks at Google

Ray Kurzweil welcomes Richard Dawkins to the Talks at Google program.

With the 2006 publication of The God Delusion, the name Richard Dawkins became a byword for ruthless skepticism and brilliant, impassioned, articulate, impolite debate (San Francisco Chronicle). His first memoir offers a more personal view. His first book, The Selfish Gene, caused a seismic shift in the study of biology by proffering the gene-centered view of evolution. It was also in this book that Dawkins coined the term meme, a unit of cultural evolution, which has itself become a mainstay in contemporary culture.

In An Appetite for Wonder, Richard Dawkins shares a rare view into his early life, his intellectual awakening at Oxford, and his path to writing The Selfish Gene. He paints a vivid picture of his idyllic childhood in colonial Africa, peppered with sketches of his colorful ancestors, charming parents, and the peculiarities of colonial life right after World War II. At boarding school, despite a near-religious encounter with an Elvis record, he began his career as a skeptic by refusing to kneel for prayer in chapel. Despite some inspired teaching throughout primary and secondary school, it was only when he got to Oxford that his intellectual curiosity took full flight.
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Richard Dawkins - Applying Darwinian Evolution to Physics

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Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins weighs the possibilities of the anthropic principle as it applies to physics. He also presents the theory that universes are bound to Darwinian selection, passing on traits to daughter universes birthed from black holes.

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Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion created a storm of controversy over the question of God's existence. Now, in The Greatest Show on Earth, Dawkins presents a stunning counterattack against advocates of Intelligent Design that explains the evidence for evolution while keeping an eye trained on the absurdities of the creationist argument.

More than an argument of his own, it's a thrilling tour into our distant past and into the interstices of life on earth. Taking us through the case for evolution step-by-step, Dawkins looks at DNA, selective breeding, anatomical similarities, molecular family trees, geography, time, fossils, vestiges and imperfections, human evolution, and the formula for a strong scientific theory.

Dawkins' trademark wit and ferocity is joined by an infectious passion for the beauty and strangeness of the natural world, proving along the way that the mechanisms of the natural world are more miraculous -- a greater show -- than any creation story generated by any religion on earth. - Berkeley Arts and Letters

Richard Dawkins is a world-renowned evolutionary biologist and author. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and, until recently, held the Charles Simonyi Chair of Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. His first book, The Selfish Gene, was an instant international bestseller, and has become an established classic work of modern evolutionary biology.

He is also the author of The Blind Watchmaker, River Out of Eden, Climbing Mount Improbable, Unweaving the Rainbow, A Devil's Chaplain, The Ancestor's Tale The God Delusion, and most recently, The Greatsest Show on Earth.

Professor Dawkins's awards have included the Silver Medal of the Zoological Society of London (1989), the Royal Society's Michael Faraday Award (1990), the Nakayama Prize for Achievement in Human Science (1990), The International Cosmos Prize (1997) and the Kistler Prize (2001).

He has Honorary Doctorates in both literature and science, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Richard Dawkins: One Fact to Refute Creationism

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Biologist Richard Dawkins identifies what he views is the single most compelling fact to refute Creationism -- but states that the real problem lies in convincing Creationists to listen to the evidence. What they do is simply stick their fingers in their ears and say 'La la la,' says Dawkins. You cannot argue with a mind like that.

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Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion created a storm of controversy over the question of God's existence. Now, in The Greatest Show on Earth, Dawkins presents a stunning counterattack against advocates of Intelligent Design that explains the evidence for evolution while keeping an eye trained on the absurdities of the creationist argument.

More than an argument of his own, it's a thrilling tour into our distant past and into the interstices of life on earth. Taking us through the case for evolution step-by-step, Dawkins looks at DNA, selective breeding, anatomical similarities, molecular family trees, geography, time, fossils, vestiges and imperfections, human evolution, and the formula for a strong scientific theory.

Dawkins' trademark wit and ferocity is joined by an infectious passion for the beauty and strangeness of the natural world, proving along the way that the mechanisms of the natural world are more miraculous -- a greater show -- than any creation story generated by any religion on earth. - Berkeley Arts and Letters

Richard Dawkins is a world-renowned evolutionary biologist and author. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and, until recently, held the Charles Simonyi Chair of Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. His first book, The Selfish Gene, was an instant international bestseller, and has become an established classic work of modern evolutionary biology.

He is also the author of The Blind Watchmaker, River Out of Eden, Climbing Mount Improbable, Unweaving the Rainbow, A Devil's Chaplain, The Ancestor's Tale The God Delusion, and most recently, The Greatsest Show on Earth.

Professor Dawkins's awards have included the Silver Medal of the Zoological Society of London (1989), the Royal Society's Michael Faraday Award (1990), the Nakayama Prize for Achievement in Human Science (1990), The International Cosmos Prize (1997) and the Kistler Prize (2001).

He has Honorary Doctorates in both literature and science, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Richard Dawkins: Has Technology Changed Human Evolution?

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Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins toys with the idea that technology might be effecting human evolution. Using the example of poor eyesight mitigated by the invention of vision-correcting glasses, Dawkins points out the obvious survival value in being able to see an approaching saber tooth tiger.

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He's the King of All the Atheists, and now Richard Dawkins is hammering home what he sees as his key argument against the existence of God. In his book, The Greatest Show on Earth, Dawkins aims to put the theory of evolution in a factually unassailable position.

Here, at Adelaide Writers' Week in 2010, he goes through his book chapter by chapter, and in doing so attempts to convince his audience of the absolute veracity of Darwin's theories. - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Richard Dawkins is a world-renowned evolutionary biologist and author. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and, until recently, held the Charles Simonyi Chair of Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. His first book, The Selfish Gene, was an instant international bestseller, and has become an established classic work of modern evolutionary biology.

He is also the author of The Blind Watchmaker, River Out of Eden, Climbing Mount Improbable, Unweaving the Rainbow, A Devil's Chaplain, The Ancestor's Tale The God Delusion, and most recently, The Greatsest Show on Earth.

Professor Dawkins's awards have included the Silver Medal of the Zoological Society of London (1989), the Royal Society's Michael Faraday Award (1990), the Nakayama Prize for Achievement in Human Science (1990), The International Cosmos Prize (1997) and the Kistler Prize (2001).

He has Honorary Doctorates in both literature and science, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Richard Dawkins at the Edinburgh Book Festival 2009

Richard Dawkins talks about his latest book The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence For Evolution at the Edinburgh Book Festival 2009.

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Mirage TV

Richard Dawkins: Why the Universe Seems So Strange

Biologist Richard Dawkins makes a case for thinking the improbable by looking at how the human frame of reference limits our understanding of the universe.

Dawkins: Did Religion Have an Evolutionary Value?

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Richard Dawkins argues that humanity's historical predisposition towards religion and supernatural beliefs may have held an evolutionary utility. The rule of thumb: 'Believe whatever your parents tell you,' quite clearly could have survival value, says Dawkins.

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He's the King of All the Atheists, and now Richard Dawkins is hammering home what he sees as his key argument against the existence of God. In his book, The Greatest Show on Earth, Dawkins aims to put the theory of evolution in a factually unassailable position.

Here, at Adelaide Writers' Week in 2010, he goes through his book chapter by chapter, and in doing so attempts to convince his audience of the absolute veracity of Darwin's theories. - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Richard Dawkins is a world-renowned evolutionary biologist and author. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and, until recently, held the Charles Simonyi Chair of Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. His first book, The Selfish Gene, was an instant international bestseller, and has become an established classic work of modern evolutionary biology.

He is also the author of The Blind Watchmaker, River Out of Eden, Climbing Mount Improbable, Unweaving the Rainbow, A Devil's Chaplain, The Ancestor's Tale The God Delusion, and most recently, The Greatsest Show on Earth.

Professor Dawkins's awards have included the Silver Medal of the Zoological Society of London (1989), the Royal Society's Michael Faraday Award (1990), the Nakayama Prize for Achievement in Human Science (1990), The International Cosmos Prize (1997) and the Kistler Prize (2001).

He has Honorary Doctorates in both literature and science, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society.
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Satellite interview with Richard Dawkins - Royal Society of New Zealand

Richard Dawkins is interviewed via satellite and announces the Royal Society of New Zealand's Science Book Prize.

Richard Dawkins - www.azpbs.org/horizon

Horizon host Ted Simons introduces an interview with celebrated British evolutionary biologist, author and atheist, Richard Dawkins. Dawkins wrote the influential The Selfish Gene. His latest is called The God Delusion. Larry Lemmons talks with Dawkins about science and atheism. For more:

Ep5: The Genesis of Purpose - Growing Up in the Universe - Richard Dawkins



Oxford professor Richard Dawkins presents a series of lectures on life, the universe, and our place in it. With brilliance and clarity, Dawkins unravels an educational gem that will mesmerize young and old alike. Illuminating demonstrations, wildlife, virtual reality, and special guests (including Douglas Adams) all combine to make this collection a timeless classic.

The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures for Children were founded by Michael Faraday in 1825, with himself as the inaugural lecturer. The 1991 lecturer was Richard Dawkins whose five one-hour lectures, originally televised by the BBC, are now available free online, courtesy of The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. The entire 5-hour program is also available on a 2-DVD set through our online store.

The DVD includes subtitles in English, Spanish, French and Polish.

Read the transcript:


If you enjoy these free videos, please consider purchasing the DVD and/or making a donation to The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science to help us continue our work. Donate here:

Originally broadcast as The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures for Children, 1991.

Lawrence Krauss: Atheism and the Spirit of Science

The unmovable mover, the first cause, the Big Bang. For centuries, we have grappled with the moment of creation: How did something come from nothing? Physicist Lawrence Krauss says it just does. In fact, he says 70% of the energy in our universe is contained in the empty space between quarks, atoms, and galaxies. He sits down with Steve Paikin to discuss the notion of a creator-less universe, and how science can be spiritual.

Richard Dawkins addresses the American Atheists Convention

Sean Faircloth discusses his new book Attack of the Theocrats: How the Religious Right Harms Us All & What We Can Do About It. Richard Dawkins then delivers the keynote address at the American Atheists National Convention in Bethesda, Maryland, March 25, 2012.
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Richard Dawkins: Faith

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You can be committed to science, but as soon as you're committed to a hypothesis, you've walked off the trail of objective truth, says Richard Dawkins. For him, that is the mission of science and the purpose of the scientific method: these truths exist—they are the foundations of innovations like vaccinations, antibiotics, and space travel, because they are built on something solid: evidence. Einstein is known for highly valuing the role of imagination in science, and Dawkins agrees: imagination and intuition are the springboards scientific progress depends on—but when evidence refutes a hypothesis or a feeling, that's the end of the line. Dogged persistence doesn't get you any closer to the truth, says Dawkins, only critical thinking can do that. Richard Dawkins' latest book is Science In The Soul: Selected Writings of a Passionate Rationalist.

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RICHARD DAWKINS

Richard Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist and the former Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. He is the author of several of modern science's essential texts, including The Selfish Gene (1976) and The God Delusion (2006). Born in Nairobi, Kenya, Dawkins eventually graduated with a degree in zoology from Balliol College, Oxford, and then earned a masters degree and the doctorate from Oxford University. He has recently left his teaching duties to write and manage his foundation, The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, full-time. 

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TRANSCRIPT:

Richard Dawkins: The first chapter of 'Science in the Soul' is called 'The Values of Science and the Science of Values'. And it does, of course, give prominence to objective truth. There is a kind of whispering campaign—more than a whispering campaign, sometimes a yelling campaign—against the value of objective truth. Science, I think, is committed to objective truth; we’re committed to the view that truth is independent of the cultural background of the scientist, for example. So as I said in the book, an experiment done in a lab in New York can be replicated in a lab in New Delhi, and if it’s all done correctly in the same way they’ll get the same result. Science’s belief in objective truth works. Engineering technology based upon the science of objective through achieves results: it manages to build planes that get off the ground, it manages to send people to the moon and explore Mars with robots, and land robotic vehicles on comets. Science works. Science produces antibiotics, it produces vaccines that work. So anybody who chooses to say, “Oh, there’s no such thing as objective truth, it’s all subjective, it’s all socially constructed,” tell that to a doctor, tell that to a space scientist.


Manifestly, science works and the view that “there is no such thing as objective truth” doesn’t. Science proceeds, I believe, in the sort of Popperian view that science proceeds by intuitive leaps of the imagination, building an idea of what might be true and then testing it by experiment, by observation, in the second phase. It’s a kind of Darwinian selection of mutation, which is provided by the imagination.


So intuition is very important, but it is important that scientists should not be so wedded to their intuition that they omit the very important testing phase, and if their hypothesis is disproved they should regard that as a reason to reject the hypothesis or modify it, not a reason to just carry on doggedly sticking to the hypothesis because they are intuitively committed to it.

The phrase 'critical thinking' is quite a cliché but it is immensely important. And so I think that I really could sum it up by saying what we need is critical thinking; we need to respect evidence, we need to respect the fact that the only reason to believe anything about the real world is evidence. The evidence must be assessed critically, preferably statistically and logically. You cannot derive truths about the real world by intuition alone, by feelings alone, by what feels good.


People who say things like, “All opinions are equally valid,” or, “Well, it’s true for me, it may not be true for you.” Never tolerate that kind of thing. The only reason to believe anything is true is that there’s evidence, and everybody should either look at the evidence for themselves or they should trust that the person they’re talking to has looked at the evidence in a scientific, logical, rational,...

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Richard Dawkins on The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution

Richard Dawkins on The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution

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Richard Dawkins talks about why it's time for a book setting out the evidence for evolution, when calling someone ignorant isn't an insult, and how the media have made him into a militant atheist

Richard Dawkins: 'Somebody as intelligent as Jesus would have been an atheist'

Richard Dawkins: 'Somebody as intelligent as Jesus would have been an atheist'
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In the latest in John Harris's National Conversations series of interviews, Richard Dawkins is invited to defend his atheism. What about the comfort, community, and moral education offered by religion?

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The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution - Richard Dawkins #1 Bestseller Available Now

#1 Bestseller in Britain!
#1 Bestseller in Australia!
#1 Bestseller in Ireland!
#1 Bestseller in Canada!

Richard Dawkins gives an introduction to his new book The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution. He explains why this book was necessary, and what readers can expect from this highly-anticipated work. The book is available now in the UK, and will be released in the US on September 22nd!

Read the first chapter of The Greatest Show at

Also available as an unabridged audiobook on CD.

Richard Dawkins is the bestselling author of The God Delusion and The Selfish Gene.

Interview footage by
DJF Productions

Additional video & music by
Josh Timonen

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Charles Darwin's masterpiece, On the Origin of Species, shook society to its core on publication in 1859. Darwin was only too aware of the storm his theory of evolution would provoke but he would surely have raised an incredulous eyebrow at the controversy still raging a century and a half later. Evolution is accepted as scientific fact by all reputable scientists and indeed theologians, yet millions of people continue to question its veracity. In The Greatest Show on Earth, Richard Dawkins takes on creationists, including followers of 'Intelligent Design' and all those who question the fact of evolution through natural selection. Like a detective arriving on the scene of a crime, he sifts through fascinating layers of scientific facts and disciplines to build a cast-iron case: from the living examples of natural selection in birds and insects; the 'time clocks' of trees and radioactive dating that calibrate a timescale for evolution; the fossil record and the traces of our earliest ancestors; to confirmation from molecular biology and genetics. All of this, and much more, bears witness to the truth of evolution. The Greatest Show on Earth comes at a critical time: systematic opposition to the fact of evolution is now flourishing as never before, especially in America. In Britain and elsewhere in the world, teachers witness insidious attempts to undermine the status of science in their classrooms. Richard Dawkins provides unequivocal evidence that boldly and comprehensively rebuts such nonsense. At the same time he shares with us his palpable love of the natural world and the essential role that science plays in its interpretation. Written with elegance, wit and passion, it is hard-hitting, absorbing and totally convincing.

Lawrence Krauss Discussion (1/12) - Richard Dawkins

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Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss sat down for a public discussion at Stanford University on Sunday, March 9th 2008. The focus was on Science education, but the discussion also covered religion, physics, evolution and more. This video will be released on DVD soon at RichardDawkins.net , along with other unmoderated discussions with Richard Dawkins.

Produced by The Richard Dawkins Foundation and R. Elisabeth Cornwell
Filmed by Josh Timonen and Wayne Marsala
Edited by Josh Timonen

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