Richard Dawkins quotes

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Since his Elevatorgate scandal. various embarrassing posts to Twitter and other embarrassing public statements, atheists are divided on whether the new atheist Richard Dawkins is an asset or a liability to the atheist movement.[1]

Below are a collection Richard Dawkins quotes.

Richard Dawkins' Dear Muslima post related to Elevatorgate

See also: Elevatorgate

Richard Dawkins initial Elevatorgate comment at PZ Myers blog Pharyngula on July 2, 2011:

Dear Muslima,

Stop whining, will you. Yes, yes, I know you had your genitals mutilated with a razor blade, and . . . yawn . . . don't tell me yet again, I know you aren't allowed to drive a car, and you can't leave the house without a male relative, and your husband is allowed to beat you, and you'll be stoned to death if you commit adultery. But stop whining, will you. Think of the suffering your poor American sisters have to put up with.

Only this week I heard of one, she calls herself Skep"chick", and do you know what happened to her? A man in a hotel elevator invited her back to his room for coffee. I am not exaggerating. He really did. He invited her back to his room for coffee. Of course she said no, and of course he didn't lay a finger on her, but even so . . .

And you, Muslima, think you have misogyny to complain about! For goodness sake grow up, or at least grow a thicker skin.


Dawkins stands by recent remarks. Says Rebecca Watson's elevator incident was rather trivial

On November 18, 2014, Richard Dawkins indicated that: he stands by his recent remarks about women/men relations, he feels muzzled by "thought police" and that Rebecca Watson's experience in the elevator was "rather trivial" compared to events some Muslim women experience.[4]

Specifically, the Washington Post reported on November 18, 2014:

“I don’t take back anything that I’ve said,” Dawkins said from a shady spot in the leafy backyard of one of his Bay Area supporters. “I would not say it again, however, because I am now accustomed to being misunderstood and so I will . “

He trailed off momentarily, gazing at his hands resting on a patio table.

“I feel muzzled, and a lot of other people do as well,” he continued. “There is a climate of bullying, a climate of intransigent thought police which is highly influential in the sense that it suppresses people like me.”

Recent criticism of Dawkins has come from women, many of them within the atheist movement, which has long drawn more men to its ranks. His online remarks, some women say, contribute to a climate they see as unwelcoming to female atheists.

Writing for Salon last month, atheist activist Amanda Marcotte said: “People like Dawkins . are the public face of atheism. And that public face is one that is defensively and irrationally sexist..."

Some atheist men, too, are unhappy with Dawkins’ most recent remarks.

“There’s no denying that Dawkins played a formative role in the atheist movement, but it’s grown beyond just him,” Adam Lee, a New York-based atheist, wrote in September in The Guardian. “Remarks like these make him a liability at best, a punchline at worst. He may have convinced himself that he’s the Most Rational Man Alive, but if his goal is to persuade everyone else that atheism is a welcoming and attractive option, Richard Dawkins is doing a terrible job.”

Dawkins, however, disagrees. He is, he said, not a misogynist, as some critics have called him, but “a passionate feminist.” The greatest threats to women, in his view, are Islamism and jihadism — and his concern over that sometimes leads him to speak off-the-cuff.

“I concentrate my attention on that menace and I confess I occasionally get a little impatient with American women who complain of being inappropriately touched by the water cooler or invited for coffee or something which I think is, by comparison, relatively trivial,” he said.[5]

Richard Dawkins and the Reason Rally incident

See also: Elevatorgate and Feminist quotes about Richard Dawkins

An article by Sarah posted at Skepchick about a conversation between Richard Dawkins and David Silverman who is the president of the American Atheists organization:

Richard was standing behind the podium, and he asked Dave something along the lines of, “What exactly is the Reason Rally?” Dave started explaining it, and as he did, someone who was waiting in the line outside opened the door to peek inside and we could all hear a lot of noise. I rushed up the aisle and made frantic “shut the door” gestures at the people peeking inside, and they did. As I walked the ten feet back, I couldn’t hear everything Dave was saying, but I heard the name “Rebecca Watson.” Richard suddenly had a very angry look on his face and I heard him almost shout, “No, absolutely not! If she’s going to be there, I won’t be there. I don’t want her speaking.” and then Dave immediately replied, “You’re absolutely right, we’ll take her off the roster. It’s done.” Richard huffed for a moment, Dave continued to placate him, and then he made the video.

I was crushed.[6]

Ben Stein Interview with the evolutionist Richard Dawkins

See also: Ben Stein Interview with Richard Dawkins

In the movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, Ben Stein demonstrated the folly of evolutionism in his interview with Richard Dawkins (A clip of the interview has been uploaded to YouTube ).

The Discovery Institute provides an transcript of part of the interview along with some commentary:

BEN STEIN: "What do you think is the possibility that Intelligent Design might turn out to be the answer to some issues in genetics or in evolution?"

DAWKINS: "Well, it could come about in the following way. It could be that at some earlier time, somewhere in the universe, a civilization evolved, probably by some kind of Darwinian means, probably to a very high level of technology, and designed a form of life that they seeded onto perhaps this planet. Now, um, now that is a possibility, and an intriguing possibility. And I suppose it's possible that you might find evidence for that if you look at the details of biochemistry, molecular biology, you might find a signature of some sort of designer."

Ho,ho! That is precisely what the Raelians say:

Years ago, everybody knew that the earth was flat. Everybody knew that the sun revolved around the earth. Today, everybody knows that life on earth is either the result of random evolution or the work of a supernatural God. Or is it? In "Message from the Designers", Rael presents us with a third option: that all life on earth was created by advanced scientists from another world.

Richard Dawkins and Rael; "clear thinking" kindred spirits! [7]

A Christian apologetics website provides some additional commentary on the Ben Stein/Richard Dawkins interview which focuses on Dawkins response to Ben Stein's questions about the likelihood of the existence of God:

In this interview there is the following exchange between Ben Stein and Richard Dawkins. Mr. Stein prefaces the exchange with this comment: “Professor Dawkins seemed so convinced that God doesn’t exist that I wondered if he would be willing to put a number on it.” Here is Professor Dawkins response, “Well, it’s hard to put a figure on it, but I’d put it at something like ninety-nine percent against or something like that.” Mr. Stein responded with this question. “Well, how do you know it’s ninety-nine percent (“I don’t,” Dr. Dawkins interjects.) and not, say, ninety-seven percent?” Dr. Dawkins continues, “You asked me to put a figure on it and I’m not comfortable putting a figure on it. I think it’s… I just think it’s very unlikely.” “But you couldn’t put a number on it?,” Mr. Stein clarifies. “No, of course not,” said Dr. Dawkins. “So it could be forty-nine percent?,” Mr. Stein asks. Dr. Dawkins replies, “Well, it would be… I mean I think it’s… it’s… it’s unlikely, but… but… I… and it’s quite far from fifty percent.” (He's very difficult to quote.) “How do you know?,” Mr. Stein asks. “I don’t know, I mean, I put an argument in the book,” Dr. Dawkins responds.[8]

Stein expressed surprise in the narration that Richard Dawkins "believe[d] in intelligent design."[9]

Richard Dawkins stumped by a creationist

The evolutionist and agnostic Richard Dawkins said in an interview: “What’s to prevent us from saying Hitler wasn’t right? I mean, that is a genuinely difficult question."[10]

Richard Dawkins on Adolf Hitler

See also: Richard Dawkins' commentary on Adolf Hitler and Essay: Richard Dawkins' comment concerning Adolf Hitler and Atheists and historical illiteracy

As noted earlier, when asked in an interview, "If we do not acknowledge some sort of external [standard], what is to prevent us from saying that the Muslim [extremists] aren’t right?", Dawkins replied, "What’s to prevent us from saying Hitler wasn’t right? I mean, that is a genuinely difficult question, but whatever [defines morality], it’s not the Bible. If it was, we’d be stoning people for breaking the Sabbath."[10]

The interviewer wrote in response, "I was stupefied. He had readily conceded that his own philosophical position did not offer a rational basis for moral judgments. His intellectual honesty was refreshing, if somewhat disturbing on this point."[10]

Richard Dawkins and Giles Fraser debate

See also: Richard Dawkins' debate with Giles Fraser

On February 19, 2012 The Daily Telegraph reported:

...some critics of Dawkins branded him "an embarrassment to atheism" after what many listeners considered a humiliation in a Radio 4 debate with Giles Fraser, formerly Canon Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral, in which the professor boasted he could recite the full title of Charles Darwin's "The Origin of Species", then when challenged, dithered and said: "Oh God."[11]

Below is the dialogue between Richard Dawkins and Giles Fraser:

Giles Fraser: Richard, if I said to you what is the full title of ‘The Origin Of Species’, I’m sure you could tell me that.

Richard Dawkins: Yes I could. Giles Fraser: Go on then.

Richard Dawkins: On The Origin Of Species.. Uh. With, Oh God. On The Origin Of Species. There is a sub title with respect to the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life.

Giles Fraser: You’re the high pope of Darwinism… If you asked people who believed in evolution that question and you came back and said 2% got it right, it would be terribly easy for me to go ‘they don’t believe it after all.’ It’s just not fair to ask people these questions. They self-identify as Christians and I think you should respect that.[12]

John Lennox's discussion with Richard Dawkins on whether Jesus existed

See also: Atheists and historical illiteracy

John Lennox pointed out to New Atheist Richard Dawkins that Dawkins claimed in his book The God Delusion that Jesus may have never existed and that Dawkins errantly claimed that ancient historians have some disagreement on whether Jesus existed or not. After some additional discussion with Dawkins, Dawkins conceded that Jesus existed and said, "I take that back. Jesus existed".[13]

Examples of intolerance from Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins
Richard Dawkins

See also: Atheism and intolerance

The New Atheist Richard Dawkins has stated that “we are cousins of chimpanzees, somewhat more distant cousins of monkeys, more distant cousins still of aardvarks and manatees, yet more distant cousins of bananas and turnips.” He states that scientists who “deny” this view of “evolution” are irreputable for doing so. He points out that, “The evidence for evolution is at least as strong as the evidence for the Holocaust, even allowing for eye witnesses to the Holocaust. It is the plain truth” and correlates holocaust deniers with evolution deniers and stated, “More than 40 per cent of Americans deny that humans evolved from other animals [and from bananas and turnips]…I shall be using the name ‘historydeniers’ for those people who deny evolution…I shall from time to time refer to the history-deniers as the ‘40percenters.’”[14]

Richard Dawkins told Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, “you shriek like Hitler…You shriek and yell and rant like Hitler…you periodically rise to climaxes of shrieking rant, and that is just like Hitler.”[15]

Dawkins refers to evolutionists who, he claims, are creationist appeasers, “the Neville Chamberlain school of evolutionists.”[16] Chamberlain (1869-1940) was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from May 27, 1937 to May 10, 1940 and is infamous for declaring “peace in our time” after signing the Munich Pact with Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany which resulted in Hitler taking Czechoslovakia and invading Poland.

As for Hitler himself, Dawkins said, “What's to prevent us from saying Hitler wasn't right? I mean, that is a genuinely difficult question.”[17]

Regarding parental rights, Richard Dawkins states: “How much do we regard children as being the property of their parents? It's one thing to say people should be free to believe whatever they like, but should they be free to impose their beliefs on their children? Is there something to be said for society stepping in? What about bringing up children to believe manifest falsehoods?”[18]

He also said, “Catholic child? Flinch. Protestant child? Squirm. Muslim child? Shudder. Everybody's consciousness should be raised to this level…I could well imagine that this linguistically coded freedom to choose might lead children to choose no religion at all.”[19]

Larry Taunton “What is the objective of your anti-religious campaign?” in his article, he wrote Dawkins’ reply like this, “‘I think my ultimate goal would be to convert people away from particular religions toward a rationalist skepticism, tinged with … no, that’s too weak,’ he said, correcting himself, ‘… glorying in the universe and in life. Yes, I would like people to be converted away from religion to skepticism.’” [ellipses in original][17]

See also


  1. Richard Dawkins comments directed at Rebecca Watkins posted at PZ Myers blog [[Pharyngula (blog|Pharyngula]
  2. Sharing a lift with Richard Dawkins by David Allen Green - New Statesman - 06 July 2011
  3. Richard Dawkins stands by remarks on sexism, pedophilia, Down syndrome, by Kimberly Winston | Religion News Service November 18, 2014
  4. Richard Dawkins stands by remarks on sexism, pedophilia, Down syndrome, by Kimberly Winston | Religion News Service November 18, 2014 and syndicated to the Washington Post
  5. My Time With Richard Dawkins (Or, Why You Should Never Meet Your Idols) by Sarah at Skepchick, September 5, 2013
  8. D'Souza, Dinesh. "Ben Stein Exposes Richard Dawkins." <>, April 21, 2008. Accessed April 21, 2008.
  9. 10.0 10.1 10.2
  10. Slaves at the root of the fortune that created Richard Dawkins' family estate, The Daily Telegragh, February 19, 2012
  11. ‘Oh God,’ atheist Richard Dawkins says when stumped in debate with Church of England priest
  12. Richard Dawkins admits Jesus existed
  13. Dawkins, Richard (August 24, 2009). "Extract from The Greatest Show on Earth: Creationists, now they're coming for your children". Times Online. Retrieved from on May 17, 2015.
  14. Ammi, Ken (2011 or bef.) “Hitler’s Rabbi”. TrueFreethinker website. Retrieved on May 17, 2015.
  15. Dawkins, Richard (2006). The God Delusion (Boston & New York: Houghton Mifflin Co.), p. 66.
  16. 17.0 17.1 Dawkins, Richard (December 1, 2007). "Richard Dawkins: The atheist evangelist [interview by Larry Taunton]. ByFaith Online. Retrieved on May 19, 2015.
  17. Wolf, Gary (November 2006). "The church of the non-believers". Wired magazine online, v. 14, no. 11. Retrieved on May 19, 2015.
  18. Dawkins, Richard (May 15, 2006). "Now here's a bright idea". Richard Dawkins Foundation. Retrieved from November 27, 2009 archive at Internet Archive on May 20, 2015.