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|Bringing together the best and brightest writers on science and nature, this year"s collection includes essays on such wide-ranging subjects as astronomy"s new stars, archaeology, the Bible, "terminal" ice, and memory faults.|
Richard Dawkins was born in Nairobi, Kenya in 1941, where his father was stationed while fighting with the Allied Forces in World War II. The family returned to England in 1949, where Dawkins was raised and educated, eventually earning his PhD in zoology from Oxford in 1966. His first teaching job was at the University of California at Berkeley in 1967, where he was an active participant in anti-Vietnam War rallies and protests. In 1970, he returned to Oxford as a professor, and has since held various prestigious positions at the university, including Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science. In 1976, Dawkins entered into the greater public's conscience with his first book, THE SELFISH GENE, which greatly enhanced awareness of how evolution works at the genetic level. He has remained at the forefront of the international scientific community, revolutionizing concepts of sociobiology and engaging in a playful public debate with his associate Stephen Jay Gould over the details of evolutionary development. Dawkins has also been a prominent critic of creationists and proponents of intelligent design, arguing that the abundance of conclusive evidence supporting the history of evolution marks opposing arguments as irrelevant and absurd. In his 2006 bestseller, THE GOD DELUSION, Dawkins publicly promoted the righteousness of atheism, citing the long history of atrocities performed in the name of various faiths.