Errors of Richard Dawkins

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Richard Dawkins
Richard Dawkins at the 2012 global atheism convention.

The works of the new atheist and evolutionist Richard Dawkins contain many factual/scientific and logical errors. For example, Vox Day's book The Irrational atheist found multiple errors in reasoning and factual errors when it came to the work of Richrd Dawkins.[1]

Richard Dawkins and pseudoscience

See also: Richard Dawkins and pseudoscience

Richard Dawkins
Richard Dawkins speaking in Australia.

Richard Dawkins is a leading proponent of evolutionary pseudoscience.

The website True Free Thinker notes:

Moreover, note that with regards to “assertions without adequate evidence” evolutionary biologist and geneticist, Prof. Richard Lewontin, referenced Carl Sagan’s list of the “best contemporary science-popularizers” which includes Richard Dawkins. These authors have, as Lewontin puts it, “put unsubstantiated assertions or counterfactual claims at the very center of the stories they have retailed in the market.” Lewontin specifically mentions “Dawkins’s vulgarizations of Darwinism” (find details here and here).

Even renowned evolutionary biologists H. Allen Orr, David Sloan Wilson, and Massimo Pigliucci have called into question the power that Dawkins once had as an intellectual, since he has made elementary errors in The God Delusion.[2]

In the prestigious peer-reviewed journal Nature, Nathaniel Comfort gave a negative review of Richard Dawkins' contribution as a scientist.[3]

In 2010, a new discovery regarding the eye further discredited the evolutionary quackery of Richard Dawkins.[4] In addition, in 2010, the journal Nature featured an interview with the evolutionist, biologist, and atheist David Sloan Wilson who criticized Richard Dawkins for denying the evidence for the societal benefits of religion (see also: Atheism and Mental and Physical Health).[5][6]

As far as the origin of the universe, Dawkins wrote that the "universe literally evolved out of nothing".[7][8] See also: Atheism and the origin of the universe

Dawkins' poor knowledge of philosophy and religion

A frequent occurrence is that the works of Richard Dawkins and other new atheists often betray an amateurish knowledge of philosophy/religion.[9][10] For example, atheist philosopher Dr. Michael Ruse declared concerning new atheist Richard Dawkins' book The God Delusion: "The God Delusion makes me embarrassed to be an atheist."[10]

The philosopher Antony Flew, who was one of the most prominent atheist academics in the world before adopting deism, commented that “The fault of Dawkins as an academic…was his scandalous and apparently deliberate refusal to present the doctrine he appears to think he has refuted in its strongest form”.[11]

Richard Dawkins' use of logical fallacies

See also: Atheism and logical fallacies and Atheism and logic

Dr. Norman J. Lund points out twelve logical fallacies that Dawkins has committed in his various works.[12]

Richard Dawkins' poor historical analysis

See also: Atheists and historical illiteracy

John Lennox's discussion with New Atheist Richard Dawkins about the historicity of Jesus

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]

Richard Dawkins, atheist atrocities and historical revisionalism

See also: Atheism and communism and Atheism and mass murder and Atheism and historical revisionism and Richard Dawkins, atheist atrocities, and historical revisionism

Dinesh D'Souza took Richard Dawkins to task for engaging in historical revisionism when it comes to the atrocities of atheist regimes and declared Dawkins "reveals a complete ignorance of history".VIDEO

In a recent interview D'Souza declared:

Richard Dawkins argues that at least the atheist regimes didn't kill people in the name of atheism. Isn't it time for this biologist to get out of the lab and read a little history? Marxism and Communism were atheist ideologies. Stalin and Mao weren't dictators who happened to be atheist; atheism was part of their official doctrine.

It was no accident, as the Marxists liked to say, that they shut down the churches and persecuted the clergy...[14]

Dinesh D'Souza stated in another interview:

As one writer put it, “Leaders such as Stalin and Mao persecuted religious groups, not in a bid to expand atheism, but as a way of focusing people’s hatred on those groups to consolidate their own power.” Of course I agree that murderous regimes, whether Christian or atheist, are generally seeking to strengthen their position. But if Christian regimes are held responsible for their crimes committed in the name of Christianity, then atheist regimes should be held accountable for their crimes committed in the name of atheism. And who can deny that Stalin and Mao, not to mention Pol Pot and a host of others, all committed atrocities in the name of a Communist ideology that was explicitly atheistic? Who can dispute that they did their bloody deeds by claiming to be establishing a “new man” and a religion-free utopia? These were mass murders performed with atheism as a central part of their ideological inspiration, they were not mass murders done by people who simply happened to be atheist.[15]

Richard Dawkins lost a debate to a rabbi and then denied the debate ever took place

See also: Richard Dawkins and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

As briefly noted earlier Richard Dawkins had a debate with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. Rabbi Shmuley Boteach was named the London Times Preacher of the Year 2000 and is the author of 20 books.[16]

Recently Rabbi Shmuley Boteach wrote:

...Dawkins attacked me on his website and denied that he and I had ever debated. My office quickly posted the full footage of a two hour debate which took place on October 23, 1996, a debate which Dawkins actually lost after a vote taken by the students as to which side, science or religion, caused more students to change their minds. In my article on the subject responding to his attack I was extremely respectful of Dr. Dawkins and was therefore shocked to receive a letter in return in which he accused me of speaking like Hitler. Had the noted scientist lost his mind? Hitler? Was this for real?[16]

Dawkins has a reputation for avoiding his strongest opponents as far as debates and he has refused to debate Rabbi Boteach a second time (see: Richard Dawkins and debate).

In The Daily Telegraph article Richard Dawkins accused of cowardice for refusing to debate existence of God, Dr. Daniel Came, a member of the Faculty of Philosophy at Oxford University and atheist, was quoted as writing to Richard Dawkins concerning his refusal to debate Dr. William Lane Craig, "The absence of a debate with the foremost apologist for Christian theism is a glaring omission on your CV and is of course apt to be interpreted as cowardice on your part."[17]

Dawkins' invalid criticisms of theism

Richard Dawkins giving a lecture in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Below are two of the more well known invalid criticisms of religion by Richard Dawkins.

Eternal nature of God

Richard Dawkins offers the following criticism of Abrahamic monotheism (namely Christianity, Judaism and Islam): “If God created everything, then who created God?”.

A basic tenet of Abrahamic theism is the eternal nature of God. Furthermore, defenders of monotheism assert that God is a logically necessary being.[18][19] See also: Cosmological argument and Atheism and the origin of the universe

Origin of religious belief and its validity

Dawkins declared:

Well, what if I'm wrong, I mean — anybody could be wrong. We could all be wrong about the Flying Spaghetti Monster and the pink unicorn and the flying teapot. You happen to have been brought up, I would presume, in a Christian faith. You know what it's like to not believe in a particular faith because you're not a Muslim. You're not a Hindu. Why aren't you a Hindu? Because you happen to have been brought up in America, not in India. If you had been brought up in India, you'd be a Hindu. If you had been brought up in Denmark in the time of the Vikings, you'd be believing in Wotan and Thor. If you were brought up in classical Greece, you'd be believing in Zeus. If you were brought up in central Africa, you'd be believing in the great Juju up the mountain. There's no particular reason to pick on the Judeo-Christian god, in which by the sheerest accident you happen to have been brought up and ask me the question, "What if I'm wrong?" What if you're wrong about the great Juju at the bottom of the sea?".[20]

Dawkins is committing the logical fallacy called the genetic fallacy. The genetic fallacy is a logical fallacy wherein an argument is based on the circumstances of something's origin or history when that origin or history has nothing to do with the present value of that something.[21] The fallacy is thus a fallacy of relevance. See also: Atheist indoctrination

Furthermore, if theism having a variety of different variety necessary means that all forms of theism are necessarily invalid then this same criticism could be made of atheism and agnosticism since they both have various schools of thought (see: Schools of atheist thought and Atheist factions and Types of agnosticism).

Dawkins' decision to be publicly insensitive to a feminist

See also: Elevatorgate and Richard Dawkins and women and Abrasiveness of Richard Dawkins and Feminist quotes about Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins chose to be publicly insensitive to the atheist and feminist Rebecca Watson and the resulting controversy dubbed Elevatorgate caused Dawkins to suffer a large loss of public influence (see: Richard Dawkins' loss of influence). Dawkins minimized the discomfort Rebecca Watson felt due to her being propositioned by a man in an elevator around 4am in the morning. He compared it to the ill treatment many Muslim woman receive which enraged feminists.

Christianity teaches that if you are going to correct a fellow Christian, you should first do so privately before doing so publicly (Matthew 18:15-17). Dawkins decision to criticize a fellow skeptic publicly at first and do it in an abrasive manner cost him dearly in terms of his public support (see also: Abrasiveness of Richard Dawkins and Richard Dawkins' loss of influence).

Initial loss of web traffic to Richard Dawkins's website post Elevatorgate

According to the web traffic tracking company Quantcast, the web traffic of Richard Dawkins's website fell in 2012.[22] By October 2014, the web traffic for his website fell to a lower level according to Quantcast.[23]

In October 2012, Rebecca Watson published a story about Elevatorgate and its aftermath in Slate entitled, It Stands to Reason, Skeptics Can Be Sexist Too: I spoke out about sexual harassment among atheists and scientists. Then came the rape threats.[24]

The web traffic was measured via Quantcast which directly measured Dawkins' website traffic via embedded code on his website.[25]

Web traffic of Richard Dawkins' website has seen a dramatic drop

The above graph shows the monthly website traffic to Richard Dawkins' website as of June 22, 2015 in terms of unique monthly web visitors.[26] As you can see above, in 2012, Richard Dawkins saw a very large decrease in web traffic.

The website traffic is measured via Quantcast which directly measures Dawkins' website traffic via embedded code on his website.[25]

Richard Dawkins' book "The Selfish Gene"

        In his book "The Selfish Gene" (Dawkins, 1976) Dawkins argues that the gene is the unit of natural selection. 

This book was criticised by Rose, Lewontin and Kamin in their book "Not In Our Genes" for promoting genetic determinism. Edward Wilson, at one time a proponent of sociobiology, has now expressed skepticism about the selfish gene theory. In "The Selfish Gene", Dawkins talks about new replicators - memes - which are units of cultural evolution. This idea has been criticised by cultural anthropologists for taking too reductionistic a view of cultural evolution, they have argued that a more holistic view of how cultures change is needed. It has been pointed that memes are not copied (as the name, from the French for "same" implies) but recreated. It has also been noted that cultural transmission is tied up with development. Dawkins' writings on memes, which he calls "the new replicators" (after genes) shows a vast ignorance of developmental psychology. The view that the gene should be seen as the unit of natural selection has been criticised on the website This website says that modern science emphasises more holistic entities than the gene, such as complex systems or the environment. It also says that the idea that a gene can be selfish is absurd, and was merely meant by Dawkins as a metaphor.

Alexa ranking of Richard Dawkins' website

According to Alexa, Richard Dawkins website lost a large amount of its global market share during to period between 2010 and the beginning portion of 2012.
In 2016, Richard Dawkins' website lost a considerable amount of global market share according to the web traffic tracking company Alexa.
In 2015, Richard Dawkins' website fell in terms of its Alexa ranking.
In 2016 and the in the beginning portion of 2017, the global internet market share of Richard Dawkins' website has been falling according to the web traffic tracking company Alexa.

As of September 2020 the Alexa ranking of the website is roughly 200,000 out of global websites.[27]

Google trends: Searches for the term Richard Dawkins has seen a large decline

See: Google trends: Searches for the term Richard Dawkins has seen a marked decline

See also


  1. Excellent refutation of ‘new atheists’ flawed by heterodox open theism, A review of The Irrational Atheist: Dissecting the Unholy Trinity of Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens by Vox Day, Benbella Books, Dallas, TX, 2008, reviewed by Lita Cosner
  3. Dawkins's Contributions as a Scientist Are Already Past Their Sell-By Date, Says Nature Reviewer by David Klinghoffer September 10, 2015 12:33, Evolution News and Views
  7. Atheists Respond to my Challenge to Put Up or Shut Up! by Dr. Don Boys
  8. Richard Dawkins quote
  9. The Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Philosophy of Religion edited by Graham Oppy, Chapter 4, New Atheist Approaches to Religion by Trent Dougherty and Logan Paul Cage, page 52, see: Google books excerpt
  10. 10.0 10.1
  11. Ten years on from that book of atheistic faith, the God Delusion by Mike Taggart
  12. Dawkins Debunked: A Dozen Logical Fallacies in The God Delusion by Norman J. Lund, Ph.D.
  13. Richard Dawkins admits Jesus existed
  16. 16.0 16.1
  17. Richard Dawkins accused of cowardice for refusing to debate existence of God, The Daily Telegraph, May 14, 2011
  18. God's Necessity by William Lane Craig
  19. Who Made God? Crashing Richard Dawkins’ Boeing 747
  20. What if I am wrong by Richard Dawkins, Dawkins answering audience questions after a reading of The God Delusion[1], Randolph-Macon Woman's College, 2006-10-23, Posed question: "This is probably going to be the most simplest one for you to answer, but: What if you're wrong?"
  21. Fallacy Files: Genetic Fallacy
  22. 2012 has been a very BAD year for Richard Dawkins' website according to Quantcast
  23. Richard Dawkins' loss of influence
  24. It Stands to Reason, Skeptics Can Be Sexist Too: I spoke out about sexual harassment among atheists and scientists. Then came the rape threats by Rebecca Watson, Slate, October 2012
  25. 25.0 25.1 Quantcast - Quantcast Measure
  26. Web traffic of Richard Dawkins' main website
  27. Alexa Web Traffic Rank, retrieved September 12, 2020