Islands are natural workshops of evolution.
One of the things that is wrong with religion is that it teaches us to be satisfied with answers which are not really answers at all.
Why are we so obsessed with monogamous fidelity?
The very idea of supernatural magic - including miracles - is incoherent, devoid of sensible meaning.
There are many very educated people who are religious, but they're not creationists.
Religion is capable of driving people to such dangerous folly that faith seems to me to qualify as a kind of mental illness.
Einstein was adamant in rejecting all ideas of a personal god.
I live in a post-Christian world in Oxford; it is quite rare to meet somebody who is religious in academic life now, and there is absolutely no tendency for rioting and mayhem, and it is extremely civilised.
I certainly would absolutely never do what some of my American colleagues do and object to religious symbols being used, putting crosses up in the public square and things like that. I don't fret about that at all; I'm quite happy about that.
I suppose I'm a cultural Anglican, and I see evensong in a country church through much the same eyes as I see a village cricket match on the village green. I have a certain love for it.
I think there is a sort of box-ticking mentality. Not just in the teaching profession. You hear about it in medicine and nursing. It's a lawyer-driven insistence on meeting prescribed standards rather than just being a good doctor.
People say I'm shrill and strident.
Of course you can use the products of science to do bad things, but you can use them to do good things, too.
Far from being demeaning to human spiritual values, scientific rationalism is the crowning glory of the human spirit.
There's clearly a lot of Ludditism, and you see it in all the hysteria about every scientific story.
There's a mystical strain in every country, and eclipses are likely to bring that out.
When you make machines that are capable of obeying instructions slavishly, and among those instructions are 'duplicate me' instructions, then of course the system is wide open to exploitation by parasites.
I wouldn't want to have the thought police going to people's homes, dictating what they teach their children. I don't want to be Big Brotherish. I would hate that.
It's a difficult business, finding out what's true about the world, the universe.
As a liberal, I would hesitate to propose a blanket ban on any style of dress because of the implications for individual liberty and freedom of choice.
For me, the level at which natural selection causes the phenomenon of adaptation is the level of the replicator - the gene.
The very large brain that humans have, plus the things that go along with it - language, art, science - seemed to have evolved only once. The eye, by contrast, independently evolved 40 times. So, if you were to 'replay' evolution, the eye would almost certainly appear again, whereas the big brain probably wouldn't.
Why did humans lose their body hair? Why did they start walking on their hind legs? Why did they develop big brains? I think that the answer to all three questions is sexual selection.
What matters is not the facts but how you discover and think about them.
I want very much to communicate science to as wide an audience as possible, but not at a cost of dumbing down, and not at a cost in getting things right.
When the ancestors of the cheetah first began pursuing the ancestors of the gazelle, neither of them could run as fast as they can today.
I did not end up as broadly educated as my Cambridge colleagues, but I graduated probably better equipped to write a book on my chosen subject.
A universe with a creator would be a totally different kind of universe, scientifically speaking, than one without.
A native speaker of English who has never read a word of the King James Bible is verging on the barbarian.
If you think about it, 534 members of the U.S. Congress cannot all be religious. That's just statistical nonsense. Many of them are quite well-educated.
There are people who try to get atheists to form a sort of atheist church and have atheist community singsongs and things. I don't see the need for that, but if people want to do it, why shouldn't they?
I think that people in the Bible Belt are far less monolithically religious than many people imagine. There are lots and lots of people who are free-thinking, secularists, or atheists in the so-called Bible Belt.
Just as I wouldn't expect a gynecologist to have a debate with somebody who believes in the Stork-theory of reproduction, I won't do debates with Young Earth creationists.
A good theory explains a lot but postulates little.
The whole idea of creating saints, it's pure 'Monty Python.' They have to clock up two miracles.
We should not live by Darwinian principles. But Darwin explains how we got here.
To fill a world with religion, or religions of the Abrahamic kind, is like littering the streets with loaded guns. Do not be surprised if they are used.
If I say that I am more interested in preventing the slaughter of large whales than I am in improving housing conditions for people, I am likely to shock some of my friends.
I'm not a good observer. I'm not proud of it.
The world is well supplied with spiders whose male ancestors died after mating. The world is bereft of spiders whose would-be ancestors never mated in the first place.