(April 29th, 2008, UBC Chan Centre)
A preeminent scientist – and the world’s most prominent atheist – asserts the irrationality of belief in God and the grievous harm religion has inflicted on society, from the Crusades to 9/11.
With rigor and wit, Richard Dawkins examines God in all his forms, from the sex-obsessed tyrant of the Old Testament to the more benign (but still illogical) Celestial Watchmaker favored by some Enlightenment thinkers. He eviscerates the major arguments for religion and demonstrates the supreme improbability of a supreme being. He shows how religion fuels war, forments bigotry, and abuses children, buttressing his points with historical and contemporary evidence. The God Delusion makes a compelling case that belief in God is not just wrong, but potentially deadly. It also offers exhilarating insight into the advantages of atheism to the individual and society, not the least of which is a clearer, truer appreciation of the universe’s wonders than any faith could ever muster.
Richard Dawkins is the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford, a position he has held since 1995. The Wall Street Journal said his “passion is supported by an awe-inspiring literary craftsmanship.” The New York Times Book Review has hailed him as a writer who “understands the issues so clearly that he forces the reader to understand them too.” Among his previous books are The Ancestor’s Tale, The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker, Climbing Mount Improbable, Unweaving the Rainbow, and A Devil’s Chaplain.
Presented by the University of British Columbia, Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Science, the UBC Centre for Microbial Diversity and Evolution, and the UBC Terry Project.