Do you consider Richard Dawkins a second rate scientist?

I'm an agnostic and while I admire him for his efforts in regards to greater dialogue between those with and without faith, I don't consider him to be particularly distinguished scientist. For someone who has a PhD and has held fellowships and worked as a professor, I simply can't find any formal published work in scientific journals, besides a three page article written forty years ago in Animal Behavior. All his popular books dealing with science are directed towards the general public, and anyone with a bachelor's degree or a rudimentary knowledge in genetics could have written them. I can't even find the name of his PhD thesis and his personal website is completely dedicated to his popular audience works. He is definitely a first rate atheist, but a second rate scientist.


haha, I knew cheap shots were coming...prove to me that he isn't

18 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Getting a PhD is HARD (believe me) so I have no doubt he's a very clever man. Whether he publishes papers or not depends on whether he still contributes to research or not. He may not be a research scientist now, but his PhD can't be taken from him, he's still a scientist and a science populariser.

  • tylor
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Richard Dawkins Publications

  • Well, he doesn't have an earned PhD, he has a D. Phil. (1966) and a D. Sc. (1989).

    He has honorary doctorates from the University of Durham, the University of Hull, Open University, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, and the University of Westminster. Dawkins also holds honorary doctorates at the University of St. Andrews and the Australian National University.

    He was elected as a Fellow to the Royal Society of Literature in 1997 and to the Royal Society in 2001. Dawkin's list of awards includes the Los Angeles Times Literary Award, the Royal Society of Literature award, the Michael Faraday Award, the Medal of the Presidency of the Italian Republic, and multiple others.

  • 5 years ago

    Dawkins is a credible scientist, however the scientific method proves one thing and then asks the next question which comes up as a result of ones research. Ir is an ongoing laborious process for the most part, occasionally there is a huge break through which changes the paradigm, Galileo, Pasteur, Darwin, etc. Religion claims to have all of the answers in one fell swoop. No need for proof, just believe. The difference between science and religion is critical thinking, or the lack thereof. Ben Stien is laughable in my opinion.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Here's a list of articles he's written.

    You can't get a job as a professor in a university unless you're researching and publishing papers.

    Oh and his thesis is the first published paper in the wikipedia article that Reverend Soleil posted: Dawkins, R. (1968). "The ontogeny of a pecking preference in domestic chicks". Z Tierpsychol 25 (2): 170–86.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site

    There is a book coming out soon by one of his students who was also a moderator on Dawkins' website which chews the professor up for shreds, well worth a read. By a fellow named Dann which spills the beans on his atheistic beginnings, read this.

  • 1 decade ago

    I am not in a position to judge. He has a Ph.D. from an accredited educational institution within the broader field of the natural sciences, which makes him a scientist. Whether he is a good or a bad one is really beyond me.

    But he is an excellent communicator, and valuable to the scientific community by virtue of that fact alone, in my opinion.

    If more people were able to so clearly articulate scientific ideas so that they could be understood by ordinary laymen (such as yours truly), science might not be quite so hard pushed by pseudoscience and (frankly) bull sh!t.

    Source(s): Just my opinion.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Well, considering that he believes that transpermia* is a credible theory, I'd have to say that second rate may be giving him too much credit.

    Since he has stated on video (See Expelled, by Ben Stein) that intelligent design is also credible, he's basically given away the farm as an atheist, so I don't think we can call him a first rate atheist, either.

    Really, he's just very noisy.

    Although, I do have to give him credit for being at least honest enough to admit that there is no way for life to have arisen by random processes, even if he won't follow that through to its obvious conclusion.

    * The idea that life on earth began as the result of space aliens "seeding" earth with the first life forms, and all the rest evolved from there.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    He is not even a second rate scientist. He is not even a 3rd rate scientist. He is a loud obnoxious thoughtless hate-spewing creep who uses the word "science" like Oral Roberts uses the word "God". There is not any science at all in his books. Just invective and opinionated babbling without understanding. He is a B-grade loud-mouth. That's about it. If you are going to be agnostic, that's fine. You are on your own journey. But if you seek truth, and wish to understand science or religion, then read science or religion. Don't listen to the phone-in radio shows to gain understanding. And don't listen to Richard Dawkins.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Lies make the baby Jesus cry, y'know.

    Or maybe you're just lazy -- here's what a Google search turned out in less than 2 minutes, just by typing "Richard Dawkins published papers":

    Feel free to admit you were mistaken any time now...

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