Richard Dawkins: There are two sexes and that's all there is to it

Richard Dawkins says Piers Morgan's views on God are "weak"

Piers Morgan challenges biologist Richard Dawkins on free speech, evolution and whether God exists.

Universities, students and free speech

Piers: What do you make of people not wanting to hear opinions they don't like?

Richard: I think it's very sad. Universities are places where you should be free to speak your mind, listen, even to something that you don't like, and it's very tragic they have bought in to the idea that if you don't like what you think you're going to hear from someone, you should shut them up.

Piers: A lot of students feel they just don't want to hear it. They only want to hear stuff that validates their own opinion.

Richard: They want to feel safe and university is the one place you should not feel safe. You want to be physically safe but intellectually, you should be challenged.

Where did humans come from?

Piers: What do we know now about where we've come from and what don't we know?

Richard: We understand the four billion year history of what's given rise to us and all other living creatures. We don't know how it started. It may always be a mystery. DNA is a high-tech replicator, so there had to be a precursor to DNA.

Piers: I'm a Catholic, I was raised Catholic. My arguments with atheists come down to one thing, which is: what was there at the start?

Richard: We don't know.

Piers: But no human brain can actually comprehend nothingness.

Richard: But it's a fallacy to think that because I don't understand how it happened, therefore, God did it. That's just weak.

Is there a God?

Piers: You're certain there is not a God yet you admit you don't know?

Richard: I'm certain it doesn't help to postulate something very complicated at the outset. What we've got is primeval simplicity and science starts with simplicity, which develops into the whole universe and the whole of life. It doesn't help to start with complexity, and a creator has to be complex.

Piers: I need some scientists somewhere to explain to me what was there before four billion years ago?

Richard: Time began and the Big Bang is what some physicists will say.

Piers: So why is it not possible that there is a superior-being power?

Richard: It's possible there are fairies at the bottom of the garden - all sorts of things are possible, you can't deny that.

Piers: I've never seen fairies.

Richard: You've never seen God either.

Piers: No, but you don't know for sure that either doesn't exist.

Richard: No, I don't know that fairies don't exist, fairies may well exist and maybe leprechauns. A scientist may always be wrong and that's definitely something a scientist has to say.

Piers: What do you think happens when you die?

Richard: As Bertrand Russell said, I believe that when I die, I shall rot and nothing of my ego shall remain.

Piers: That's it?

Richard: You have an evolved brain, which works by nerve impulses. When that decays, what could possibly be left?


Piers: They want to de-gender and neutralise language, but they're doing it from a completely false pretext that you can somehow pretend biology doesn't exist, particularly when it comes to someone's sex. A small group of people have been successful in reshaping swathes of the way society talks and is allowed to talk.

Richard: It's bullying. We've seen the way JK Rowling has been bullied, Kathleen stock has been bullied. They've stood up to it, but it's very upsetting the way this tiny minority of people has managed to capture the discourse to talk errant nonsense.

Piers: What's the answer?

Richard: Science. There are two sexes. You could talk about gender, if you wish and that's a subjective.

Piers: But when people say there are 100 genders?

Richard: I'm not interested in that. As as a biologist, there are two sexes and that's all there is to it.

Piers: Why have we lost that ability to actually have an open and frank debate?

Richard: There are people for whom the word discuss doesn't mean discuss, it means you've taken a position.