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"I don't think that religion has anything useful to teach us."
Creationism and evolution have been hot topics of late, following a viral, anti-creationism video that was put out by scientist Bill Nye. The initial clip sparked a response from the Creation Museum, in which two scientists argued that both theories should be taught to children. Now, prominent atheist leader and biologist Richard Dawkins is speaking out.
"I don't think that religion has anything useful to teach us," Dawkins proclaimed this week in an interview with CNN, going on to tout evolution as undeniable fact. "It's as certain as the fact that the earth and the other planets orbit the sun."
Of those Americans who believe that God created human beings and that the earth isn't millions of years old, as evolutionary science contends, Dawkins claims there is a "deep, profound ignorance." While he conceded that some smart people are, indeed, religious, he drew some important distinctions.
"There are many very educated people who are religious but they’re not creationists," he said. "There’s a world of difference between a serious religious person and a creationist, and especially a Young Earth Creationist, who thinks the world is only 10,000 years old."
Dawkins, like all atheists, believes that there's nothing remaining for him after death. When he perishes, he believes that there will be no pearly gates, no afterlife and certainly no almighty God to contend with. When asked by CNN if he believe life "just ends," he was candid.
"Of course it just ends. What else could it do?," Dawkins asked. "My thoughts, my beliefs, my feelings are all in my brain. My brain is going to rot. So no, there’s no question about that."
Watch some of Dawkins' comments, below:
As for the question of whether children are damaged by creationism -- a charge that Nye waged -- Dawkins also weighed in. Naturally, he shared similar views about the importance of teaching children the theory of evolution:
You can't even begin to understand biology, you can't understand life, unless you understand what it's all there for, how it arose - and that means evolution. So I would teach evolution very early in childhood. I don't think it's all that difficult to do. It's a very simple idea. One could do it with the aid of computer games and things like that.
I think it needs serious attention, that children should be taught where they come from, what life is all about, how it started, why it's there, why there's such diversity of it, why it looks designed. These are all things that can easily be explained to a pretty young child. I'd start at the age of about 7 or 8.
There’s only one game in town as far as serious science is concerned. It’s not that there are two different theories. No serious scientist doubts that we are cousins of gorillas, we are cousins of monkeys, we are cousins of snails, we are cousins of earthworms. We have shared ancestors with all animals and all plants. There is no serious scientist who doubts that evolution is a fact.
Read the entire interview here.
- This Is the Creationists‘ Response to Scientist Bill Nye’s Viral Pro-Evolution Video Claiming They Harm Children
- Scientist Bill Nye Hammers Creationists: Evolution-Deniers ‘Hold Everybody Back,‘ Harm Children’s Education & Hold Views That Will Eventually Be Extinct
- Nearly Half of Americans Believe in Creationism Over Evolution — Do You? (Poll)
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