Was vaguely aware of his name during the time my mum borrowed The God Delusion from a friend and left it lying around the house (2007/8?). At the time I was an agnostic, sympathetic to Christianity but regarding certainty about theology as being arrogant - and therefore considered Dawkins, from what I'd heard of him, likely as contemptible as a religious fundamentalist.
Then I read The God Delusion and became an atheist.
Then I watched every talk, interview, lecture and television programme by Dawkins I could find until, by early 2009 I should think, I was a full-blown anti-theist. I spent a good two years absorbing a lot of new philosophies and knowledge from him, during which time I was just incredibly glad he existed and that I'd come across him. As I came to have familiarity with all his views and found each new video of him to be repeating the same material I started to notice things I disliked about him, as with any human being I suppose, but the honeymoon period was over. Lately I've been very little impressed with his talks and actions, but I will forever be in debt to, and fond of, him.
By reading The Selfish Gene I came to fully understand the basis of evolution in a way I never had before, and can say with confidence that is the most elegant solution to the problem of life I can imagine existing. I naturally decided to read all of his books, but the second two did little to impress me, I'd already learned most of it through my attention to the debates online.
One thing I now don't understand about theists and creationists is how easy it was for me to learn everything I needed to to firmly believe their position to be wrong, how readily I gobbled it up and how satisfying and interesting it all was. My perspective on religiosity has certainly 'matured' alongside my ongoing grapple to understand my fellow humans.
I also pushed his shoulder once. CLAIM TO FAME. (it was at a BHA conference in London, with Emma. I didn't realise he was right there talking to someone until I'd gone past LAWL)
- The Selfish Gene - READ
- The Extended Phenotype - READ
- The Blind Watchmaker - READ
- River Out of Eden - READ
- Climbing Mount Improbable
- Unweaving the Rainbow
- A Devil's Chaplain
- The Ancestor's Tale
- The God Delusion - READ
- The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing (editor)
- The Greatest Show on Earth
- The Magic of Reality