Richard Dawkins

This article is from 2007.

Richard Dawkins

The evolution starts here

These are combative times to be a God-denier. It’s not only loopy Christians who are trying to make us believe the world was made in a week, now certain Muslims are jumping on the creationist bandwagon. Turkey’s Adnan Oktar, writing as Harun Yahya, has been distributing free copies of The Atlas of Creation, a glossy 800-page book that takes issue with evolution. Not surprisingly, Richard Dawkins is unimpressed. ‘The really curious thing about that book is who’s providing the money?’ he says. ‘There’s a gigantic amount of money behind it and a good investigative journalist should look into that.’

The fact that such a coffee-table book can exist is all the justification we need for Dawkins’ cogently argued The God Delusion, which picks apart the rationale behind religious belief, whether extremist or moderate. ‘People identify with their religion as though it was part of themselves and so to criticise their religion is a bit like saying they’ve got an ugly face,’ he says. ‘Whether religion is a good or a bad thing is of secondary importance to whether it’s true. Church of England vicars are probably on balance a good thing; madrasahs on balance are a bad thing. But either way, basing your beliefs on faith is a bad policy.’ (Mark Fisher)

Recommended Reading: The Selfish Gene made his name and popularised the term ‘memetics’.

19 Aug, 4.30pm, £7 (£5).

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