[asa] Dawkins Bio...

From: John Walley <john_walley@yahoo.com>
Date: Sat Nov 28 2009 - 18:59:18 EST

Early life and education
Dawkins was born in Nairobi, Colony of Kenya, British Empire. His father, Clinton John Dawkins, was an agricultural civil servant in the British colonial service, in Nyasaland (now Malawi). His father was called up into the King's African Rifles during the second world war and was based in Kenya, returning to England in 1949, when Richard was eight. Both of his parents were interested in natural sciences, and they answered his questions in scientific terms. He describes his childhood as "a normal Anglican upbringing". Though he began having doubts about the existence of God when he was about nine years old, he was persuaded by the argument from design, an argument for the existence of God or a creator based on perceived evidence of order, purpose, or design in nature. He attended Oundle School from 1954 to 1959. By his mid-teens, he had instead concluded that the theory of evolution was a better explanation for life's complexity, and became
Dawkins studied zoology at Balliol College, Oxford, where he was tutored by Nobel Prize-winning ethologist Nikolaas Tinbergen, graduating in 1962. He continued as a research student under Tinbergen's supervision at the University of Oxford, receiving his M.A. and D.Phil. degrees in 1966, while staying as a research assistant for another year. Tinbergen was a pioneer in the study of animal behaviour, particularly the questions of instinct, learning and choice. His research in this period concerned models of animal decision making.[3

See also: Richard Dawkins on Wikiquote.

Biographical information
 (born March 26, 1941), better known as Richard Dawkins, is a British zoologist, born in Nairobi, in Kenya.

Dawkins comes from an upper-middle class family which can be found in the pages of Burke's Landed Gentry as "Dawkins of Over Norton". His father, John Clinton Dawkins, was a descendant of the Clinton family which held the Earldom of Lincoln. His mother was Jean Mary Vyvyan Dawkins (nee Ladner).

He received a B.A. degree in biology from Balliol College, Oxford in 1962, followed by an M.A. and D.Phil. in 1966.

He married Marian Stamp, August 19, 1967, but they divorced in 1984. In the same year, Dawkins married Eve Barham 1st June, and they had child(ren), but they also divorced. He married former actor Lalla Ward in 1992, after having been introduced to her by Douglas Adams (who was a colleague of hers on the production team of Dr Who). Dawkins and Adams quickly became friends after he had written a fan letter to Adams.


----- Original Message ----
From: John Walley <john_walley@yahoo.com>
To: gordon brown <Gordon.Brown@Colorado.EDU>; asa@calvin.edu
Sent: Sat, November 28, 2009 6:49:05 PM
Subject: Re: pendulum swings (was: Re: [asa] Gospel in the Stars WAS Star of Bethlehem presentation?)

I remember Dawkins saying he grew up in third world Africa I believe being the son of academic secular social workers. Apparently he didn't have any religious background at all.


----- Original Message ----
From: gordon brown <Gordon.Brown@Colorado.EDU>
To: asa@calvin.edu
Sent: Sat, November 28, 2009 1:21:00 PM
Subject: Re: pendulum swings (was: Re: [asa] Gospel in the Stars WAS Star of Bethlehem presentation?)

Cameron's comments remind me of a question that I have: What was the religious upbringing or exposure of the New Atheists (Dawkins, Harris, Dennett, Hitchens, etc.)? I recall reading in a book review (possibly in PSCF) that Vic Stenger's background was Catholic. Does anyone on this list know the answer to my question?

Gordon Brown (ASA member)

> Quoting Cameron Wybrow <wybrowc@sympatico.ca>:
>> If you look, on the other hand, at Catholics or Anglicans or Greek Orthodox
>> or mainstream Protestants who become atheists (with a few exceptions, such
>> as Catholics who have been badly burned by immoral priests or by the
>> hierarchy), they are rarely preoccupied with the religion in which they used
>> to believe.  They just drift away from it, going to church less and less
>> often, until churchgoing stops altogether (except for weddings and
>> funerals).  And they don't run to bookstores to snap up the latest tomes
>> which refute six-day literalism, and they don't join all kinds of internet
>> groups where they can denounce the teachers they used to respect, and trash
>> the beliefs they used to hold.  They don't read books by Richard Dawkins or
>> Sam Harris or Daniel Dennett, either.  They just live secular lives, not
>> thinking all that much about religion at all.  It no longer has a hold on
>> them.
>> This is actually a much healthier way to leave a religion, because it is
>> liberating.  The religion is no longer present in one's life, even as
>> something which must be consciously repudiated.  It's just forgotten, as
>> something outgrown, like one's teddy bear or one's first girlfriend or one's
>> first pair of sneakers.  This type of non-believer carries on without a bad
>> conscience, not concerned to repeatedly justify his choice of abandoning his
>> faith, to others or to himself.

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Received on Sat Nov 28 18:59:39 2009

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