Richard Dawkins is a Proven Pseudoscientist and Cult Leader

This man is a Zoologist, whose Selfish Gene, Memetic, and God As Delusion hypotheses are all pseudoscience.
This man is a Zoologist, whose Selfish Gene, Memetic, and God As Delusion hypotheses are all pseudoscience.
Richard Dawkins has managed to go through his life bamboozling scientists into thinking he’s a great philosopher, and everybody else into thinking he’s a great scientist. In reality, he is neither.

On Saturday night last week I was on one of my rare indulgences (margeritas) and got annoyed when I saw Sargon of Akkad, aka Carl Benjamin, send a fawning tweet to the fading pseudoscientist and cult leader. I got more irritated than I should have (which I apologize for). But as someone who was long bamboozled by Dawkins–back when I was an Atheist, I really thought he was at least a reputable scientist–I am sickened when I see a man who uses his science credentials to promote pseudoscience, and double irked when I see otherwise intelligent people still lionizing the sad old fraud.

To my delight, however, my being irked at Carl wound up giving me opportunity to help publicly educate people on one of the most thoroughly noxious pseudoscientists, pseudohistorians, and pseudophilosophers on Planet Earth. When I noted that Memetic Theory is clearly pseudoscience, I was presented by one of his followers with this hilarious paper:

Journal of Bioeconomics (2009): An empirical investigation of organizational memeticvariation. 11:135–164. DOI 10.1007/s10818-009-9061-1

“Peer reviewed papers” are so respected by Scientism fanatics they obviously don’t bother to read them. I, on the other hand, make a point of reading such papers before I trust them–after all, it’s an open secret these days that you can’t trust the peer review system anymore.

Anyway, I read it. The paper is 30 pages or so of handwaving and smoke-blowing that attempts–and admittedly fails–to provide some sort of empirical framework for Memetics. This is fascinating on multiple levels. Read it yourself if you don’t believe me.

But first, notice the publisher: Journal of Bioeconomics. That journal is an obscure publication that “Encourages creative dialogue between biologists and economists.” Change that to “biologists and feminist academics” and tell me how it would read to you.

Second, I happen to know that the only peer reviewed journal that ever tried to make the case for Memetics as a real science, known simply as “Journal of Memetics,” ceased publication in 2005 due to lack of interest or much in the way of results. These researchers had been working on trying to make something real of Memetics since 1976–that’s right, 1976. They eventually gave up having produced almost nothing coherent to back up the incoherent Memetic Theory.

So now fancy this: four years after the only journal to ever really take Memetics Theory seriously threw in the towel, some obscure Memetics advocates manage to get a tentative paper published in 2009. A paper where they admit clearly that Memetics is “empirically under-developed” and finally, after 30 pages of tergiversations and maths applied to nothing concrete, conclude with this devastating line:

Ours is a tentative first empirical move in organizational research toward the micro/macro resolution we see in biology.

That’s right kids. More than 40 years after Richard Dawkins first proposed Memetic Theory, two researchers published a “tentative first empirical move.” They don’t even claim they showed anything empirical, just that they may be close to having something that might be empirical someday. There’s no followup that I can find.

Memetic Theory is busted. So, by the way, is Selfish Gene Theory.

If you doubt Selfish Gene is busted, you should see the way Dawkins’s fellow Atheist and far more accomplished Evolutionary Biologist, Lynn Margulis, demolished him at Oxford University just a few years ago: Margulis-Dawkins Debate, 2012.

Margulis, an Atheist, an accomplished Evolutionary Biologist, and a member of both the American AND Russian Academy of Sciences (a rare honor and distinction) showed that most life on Earth doesn’t even use nuclear DNA and freely swaps what genetic material it has with other organisms–and the human body has more such organisms in it than it has cells. This leads to the obvious question of what cells and organisms really use DNA for, and what the limits of DNA might be. While admitting to “liking” Selfish Gene as a crude way to describe large animals, Margulis utterly demolished the NeoDarwinist paradigm that Selfish Gene is based on for an audience of some of the world’s foremost Evolutionary Biologists and other scholars.

This was a long time coming. Many biologists, especially young ones, knew it would happen because Margulis and quite a few others had been showing for decades already that NeoDarwinism (the basis of Selfish Gene) was bunk.

Even now, while there are some old grayhairs holding out for it, almost no one who studies evolution or genetics believes there’s anything to Selfish Gene or NeoDarwinism. As scientists say of incoherent gibberish, Selfish Gene is so bad it’s not even wrong. Only the dying remnants of Dawkins’s Celebrity Scientist cult still really hold out for it.

And by the way, Memetic Theory was specifically Dawkins’s effort to mesh Ideas and mental processes to Selfish Gene theory. In other words, Selfish Gene is the debunked “science” that Memetic Theory is based on.

You can’t get more pseudosciencey than one debunked theory on top of another debunked theory. Except maybe with “Feminist Theory” or “Social Justice Theory.”

Finally, the notion of God as a delusion, which Dawkins is fond of asserting, has no empirical basis in psychological or psychiatric research, either. God As Delusion is unscientific poppycock. See my Proof from Evolutionary Psychology for references on that.

What does all this mean? It means all the big things Richard Dawkins is known for–Selfish Gene, Memetic Theory, and the God Delusion–are all either pseudoscience, or not science at all. But it’s worse than that: They all run up against demonstrable science that proves them wrong.

Sorry Richard Dawkins fans, but there’s no more substance to Dawkins and his work than the average famous Astrologer.

In reality, Mr. Dawkins just doesn’t like God as an idea, even though countless perfectly sane non-delusional people know God is, at minimum, a perfectly rational and coherent concept based on evidence. (See Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy for a rational analysis of the idea.)

In closing, below is the tweet exchange which inspired me to get this all out. I couldn’t have had a better conversation with those caught up in The Dawkins Delusion if I’d wanted to. Dawkins is exposed as what he is: a cult leader and a pseudoscientist who has actively made people dumber on subjects such as evolution, religion, psychology, and sociology.

I continue to double, triple dare Sargon of Akkad and his followers to read The Last Superstition by the way. And I hope he and his circle one day have the guts to finally start talking to theists who are at least as smart as they are.

*Update*: A check on the principle author of the 2009 paper that attempted–and failed–to find a scientific basis for Meme theory was a Jill Shepherd, an obscure researcher with mostly a business management background, with a secondary author Bill McKelvey, whose background is also primarily business management.

That’s a real cutting-edge research team right there. And neither seems to have published anything since 2009 on this or other major topics besides business management. No surprise. There’s no “there” there when it comes to “Memetic theory.” Memetic Theory isn’t science and never has been.

*Update 2*: A former Dawkinsite flees the cult.

Atheism Cult’s Catalog of Anti-Theist Psychological Tactics

The nonexistent logo of the supposedly nonexistent Atheism cult.
The nonexistent logo of the supposedly nonexistent Atheism cult.

Inspired from a classic MRA document, the Catalog of Anti-Male Shaming tactics,”  this is the first draft of a hopefully growing list of rote-response Talking Points used by Atheism cultists routinely to shift the subject away from the dogmatic, unproven, pseudoscience and/or pseudohistory peddled by the modern Atheism cult.

To be clear, these are things that routinely come out of Atheist mouths these days. I am open to input for any I have missed. The list may also benefit from categorization–this is a first draft for public scrutiny. –DE

Scripted Robotic Atheist Comments – Draft One:

You’re simpleminded and childish.

I don’t believe in your particular Sky fairy I understand Science!

You have an Imaginary Friend you call God or whatever.

You’re in denial about reality.

You’re just afraid to die.

You can’t accept that Science has defeated your Bronze Age superstition.

No matter what you say, Evolution is still right!

Learn Science! Didn’t anyone tell you about the Big Bang?

You don’t want to give up your cherished beliefs

You’re bitter because Atheism is now popular and your religion is dying.

All religion is dying science has triumphed over it and that makes you afraid.

You just want people’s minds to be controlled.

You’re afraid to think for yourself.

You’re exaggerating the hatefulness of Atheism.

You’re paranoid about Atheists and see Atheists everywhere.

I’m not even an Atheist! I’m just agnostic/apatheist/Christian who agrees with all Atheism cult Talking Points.

You just want your religion in charge of everything.

You just hate that anyone is having sex without your permission.

You hate gays and want to control/convert/brainwash/imprison/kill them.

You hate women and want to control them.

You hate all Atheists.

You’re delusional/crazy.

Real men don’t kneel to anyone or anything!

Independent minds worship nothing!

You just want to force women/men to get married and have children.

Your religion is scary: [insert random Futrellized Bible verse here]


Witch hunts


Religion creates war.

You’re one of those right-wing wackos.

You’re a closet commie.

You’re an extremist.

You sound like the KKK. The KKK was Christian and responsible for all the lynchings and racism.

Stop generalizing! Not All Atheists Are Like That!

That’s an anti-Atheist stereotype!

Why do you hate women?

You are insensitive to the plight of your religion’s victims!

You are mean-spirited.

You want to roll back civil rights of women!

You’re being rude and that makes me think I should avoid your religion.

Shouldn’t you be nice to people? Isn’t that what Jesus said?

You’re unstable.

You have issues.

You need therapy.


You just want money for your religious scam.

How can you be so rude to someone who was abused by religious authority figures?

You were never really an Atheist.

You just don’t understand True Atheism.

NB: More suggestions are welcome! –DE

*Update: Thanks to Atheist “Smith” on Twitter who says “You make a claim that a god exists, an atheist says there isn’t evidence to support your claim.” This would translate to the typical robotic rote-response of “You have no evidence!”

Also almost forgot this one: “I just worship one less god than you!”

A chat about Modernism and Popes with @Naughty_Eskimo

Yes it's OK if you disagree with him, but you can chill out, Catholics aren't stupid and the Pope is still Catholic.
Yes it’s OK if you disagree with him, but you can chill out, Catholics aren’t stupid and the Pope is still Catholic.

An honest critic/skeptic of Pope Francis opens up a larger conversation to explain how better to understand when Popes are behaving oddly. I liked the exchange and I think it may help provide some perspective to those who worry too much when they hear Pope Francis has gone Commie, or off on some other crazy supposed Papist plot to undermine Western civilization.

Francis isn’t perfect by the way. Most Catholics love him but we all know he’s not perfect. So does he.