Clinton Richard Dawkins (born March 26, 1941) is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and popular s...
Clinton Richard Dawkins (born March 26, 1941) is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and popular science writer. He holds the Charles Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford.
Dawkins first came to prominence with his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, which popularised the gene-centered view of evolution and introduced the term meme, helping found the field of memetics. In 1982, he made a widely cited contribution to the science of evolution with the theory, presented in his book The Extended Phenotype, that phenotypic effects are not limited to an organism's body but can stretch far into the environment, including into the bodies of other organisms. He has since written several best-selling popular books, and has appeared in a number of television and radio programmes concerning evolutionary biology, creationism, intelligent design, and religion.
In addition to his biological work, Dawkins is well-known for his views on religion. He is an outspoken antireligionist and atheist; a secular humanist, sceptic, scientific rationalist, and a supporter of the Brights movement. He is a prominent critic of creationism and intelligent design. In his 2006 book The God Delusion, Dawkins contends that a supernatural creator almost certainly does not exist and that religious faith qualifies as a delusion, which he defines as a persistent false belief held in the face of strong contradictory evidence. As of November 2007, the book had sold more than 1.5 million copies in English and had been translated into 31 other languages, making it his most popular to date.