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The Michael Shermer Show

A series of conversations between Dr. Michael Shermer and leading scientists, philosophers, historians, scholars, writers and thinkers about the most important issues of our time.

Watch or listen here or on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, and TuneIn.

EPISODE # 89

Richard Dawkins — Outgrowing God: A Beginner’s Guide

In 12 fiercely funny, mind-expanding chapters, Richard Dawkins explains how the natural world arose without a designer — the improbability and beauty of the “bottom-up programming” that engineers an embryo or a flock of starlings — and challenges head-on some of the most basic assumptions made by the world’s religions.

In this wide-ranging conversation Shermer and Dawkins discuss:

  • how Outgrowing God encapsulates his life’s work in two broad areas: (1) science, reason, and evolution theory; (2) God, Religion, and Faith. A “Dawkins 101” book and a perfect gift to friends and family.
  • his commitment to the truth, as best explained by science.
  • Is the Bible a “Good Book”?
  • Is adhering to a religion necessary, or even likely, to make people good to one another?
  • why religion is over-determined
  • separating religion from God beliefs
  • Is religion and belief in God an evolutionary adaptation or a byproduct (or both)?
  • Why we don’t need God in order to be good
  • How do we decide what is good?
  • human nature: selfish/selfless, violent/peaceful, better angels/inner demons
  • breaching the Is-Ought barrier
  • the future of atheism
  • career advice for young scientists and scholars
  • getting courage from science
  • the multiverse: “You Cannot be Serious!”

Richard Dawkins is a fellow of the Royal Society and was the inaugural holder of the Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. He is the acclaimed author of many books, including The Selfish Gene, The God Delusion, The Magic of Reality, Climbing Mount Improbable, Unweaving the Rainbow, The Ancestor’s Tale, The Greatest Show on Earth, and Science in the Soul. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Royal Society of Literature Award, the Michael Faraday Prize of the Royal Society, the Kistler Prize, the Shakespeare Prize, the Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science, the Galaxy British Book Awards Author of the Year Award, and the International Cosmos Prize of Japan.

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This episode was released on October 29, 2019.

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