We've all been brought up with the view that religion has some kind of special privileged status. You're not allowed to criticise it.
People really, really hate their religion being criticized. It's as though you've said they had an ugly face; they seem to identify personally with it.
Far from being demeaning to human spiritual values, scientific rationalism is the crowning glory of the human spirit.
You can legally lie about the real world to your heart's content, but until some human being is materially damaged, nobody will complain.
We frequently look into the future of mankind and see dangers. We see if we carry on doing what we are doing in 20 years' time there will be no rainforests left, just to use one example. Looking into the future may be one of the reasons that brains evolved in the first place.
We should not live by Darwinian principles. But Darwin explains how we got here.
As Darwin himself was at pains to point out, natural selection is all about differential survival within species, not between them.
I have often said that I am a passionate Darwinian when it comes to explaining why we exist.
There is no refutation of Darwinian evolution in existence. If a refutation ever were to come about, it would come from a scientist, and not an idiot.
Humans are just a very, very small part of the panoply of life, and it is arguable that in a certain sense, humans have emancipated themselves from Darwinian selection.
I don't do formal debates, because formal debates where you have two people up on a stage in equal status, and each of them is given 20 minutes to give their point of view, and then 10 minutes for a rebuttal, or whatever, that creates the illusion that you really do have here two equal points of view of equal scientific standing.
My decision to be a scientist was a bit of a drift really, more or less by default.
I am one of those scientists who feels that it is no longer enough just to get on and do science. We have to devote a significant proportion of our time and resources to defending it from deliberate attack from organised ignorance.
A delusion is something that people believe in despite a total lack of evidence.
The psychologist Elizabeth Loftus has shown great courage, in the face of spiteful vested interests, in demonstrating how easy it is for people to concoct memories that are entirely false but which seem, to the victim, every bit as real as true memories.
I don't feel depressed. I feel elated.
We have to find our own purposes in life, which are not derived directly from our scientific history.
Design can never be an ultimate explanation for anything. It can only be a proximate explanation. A plane or a car is explained by a designer but that's because the designer himself, the engineer, is explained by natural selection.
In the 1920s and 1930s, scientists from both the political left and right would not have found the idea of designer babies particularly dangerous - though, of course, they would not have used that phrase.
Let us understand what our own selfish genes are up to because we may then at least have the chance to upset their designs.