There are few members of the atheist community who are more popular and more controversial than Professor Richard Dawkins.
His scientific expertise as an evolutionary biologist as been indispensable in combating creationism and its supporter’s repeated attempts at invalidating the settled science surrounding biological evolution. His 1986 book, “The Blind Watchmaker” (for which he received a Royal Society of Literature award and a Los Angeles Times Literary Prize) has become essential reading for anyone who finds themselves in the creationism vs evolution debate. While he is always ready to refute the claims made by creationists, Prof. Dawkins generally refuses to engage in a formal debate with them on principle. While some creationists have attempted to offer up his ardent reluctance as “proof” that he’s “afraid to be proven wrong”, all one has to do is watch his now infamous interview with creationism advocate Wendy Wright from part 3 of his 2008 documentary, “The Genius of Charles Darwin“, and they’ll quickly understand his reasoning behind this stance.
His 2006 book, “The God Delusion“, is arguably the most influential contribution he’s made to atheism and it has solidified his position as one of the most prominent voices among atheists who prefer to be openly critical of religion as opposed to being silent or indifferent on the issue (commonly referred to as “New Atheists”). He is widely recognized among the atheist community as one of the members of the “Four Horsemen of the Non-Apocalypse” (along with Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and the late Christopher Hitchens).
Prof. Dawkins is currently an emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford and a patron of the British Humanist Association. He is also the recipient of numerous awards and honors, such as the Zoological Society of London’s Silver Medal in 1989, the Michael Faraday Award in 1990, the American Humanist Association’s Humanist of the Year Award in 1996, and the Bicentennial Kelvin Medal of The Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow in 2002. He is also the founder of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science.
You can follow him on Twitter @RichardDawkins.