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Clinton Richard Dawkins DSc, FRS, FRSL (known as Richard Dawkins; born March 261941) is an eminent British zoologist who holds the Charles Simonyi Chair in the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University.
Dawkins first came to prominence with his 1976 book The Selfish Gene which popularised the gene-centric view of evolution, and introduced the terms meme and memetics into the lexicon. In 1982, he made a major original contribution to the science of evolution with the theory, presented in his book The Extended Phenotype, that phenotypic effects are not limited to an organism's body but can stretch far into the environment, including the bodies of other organisms. He has since written several best-selling popular books on evolution and appeared in a number of television programmes on evolutionary biology, creationism, and religion.
Dawkins is an atheist, Humanist, sceptic, "Bright," and – as a commentator on science, religion and politics – is among the English-speaking world's best known atheists. In a play on Thomas Huxley's epithet "Darwin's bulldog," Dawkins' impassioned defence of Darwinian evolution has earned him the appellation "Darwin's rottweiler."
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