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Richard Dawkins

Clinton Richard Dawkins is an English ethologist, evolutionary biologist and author. He is an emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford, and was the University of Oxford's Professor for Public Understanding of Science from 1995 until 2008.

Dawkins first came to prominence with his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, which popularised the gene-centred view of evolution and introduced the term meme. With his book The Extended Phenotype (1982), he introduced into evolutionary biology the influential concept that the phenotypic effects of a gene are not necessarily limited to an organism's body, but can stretch far into the environment. In 2006, he founded the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science.

Dawkins is an atheist, and is well known for his criticism of creationism and intelligent design. In The Blind Watchmaker (1986), he argues against the watchmaker analogy, an argument for the existence of a supernatural creator based upon the complexity of living organisms. Instead, he describes evolutionary processes as analogous to a blind watchmaker in that reproduction, mutation, and selection are unguided by any designer. In The God Delusion (2006), Dawkins contends that a supernatural creator almost certainly does not exist and that religious faith is a delusion. He opposes the teaching of creationism in schools.

Dawkins has been awarded many prestigious academic and writing awards and he makes regular television, radio and Internet appearances, predominantly discussing his books, his atheism, and his ideas and opinions as a public intellectual.
years of life: 26 March 1941 present

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George Kopilashvilihas quoted6 months ago
Finally, there is the argument of extreme flexibility. Humans can do many things for which there was no evolutionary pressure. For example, our brains did not evolve to program computers or make ice cream—both are recent inventions. The fact that we can do these things tells us that the brain relies on a general-purpose method of learning. To me, this last argument is the most compelling. Being able to learn practically anything requires the brain to work on a universal principle.
George Kopilashvilihas quoted5 months ago
According to linguists, one of the defining attributes of language is its nested structure. For example, sentences are composed of phrases, phrases are composed of words, and words are composed of letters. Recursion, the ability to repeatedly apply a rule, is another defining attribute. Recursion allows sentences to be constructed with almost unlimited complexity.
George Kopilashvilihas quoted5 months ago
It is worth emphasizing again that intelligence cannot be measured by how well a machine performs a single task, or even several tasks. Instead, intelligence is determined by how a machine learns and stores knowledge about the world. We are intelligent not because we can do one thing particularly well, but because we can learn to do practically anything.

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    Richard Dawkins
    Outgrowing God
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    The Blind Watchmaker
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