‘I can’t be sure God DOES NOT exist’:
World’s most notorious atheist Richard Dawkins admits he is in fact agnostic
By Suzannah Hills
Last updated at 2:45 PM on 24th February 2012
Professor Richard Dawkins today dismissed his hard-earned reputation as a militant atheist – admitting that he is actually agnostic as he can’t prove God doesn’t exist.
The country’s foremost champion of the Darwinist evolution, who wrote The God Delusion, stunned audience members when he made the confession during a lively debate on the origins of the universe with the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Professor Dawkins, the former Oxford Professor for the Public Understanding of Science, is a dedicated admirer of Charles Darwin, regarding the Victorian pioneer of evolution as the man who explained ‘everything we know about life’.
All smiles: Scholar Richard Dawkins, left, with the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, right, ahead of their debate at Oxford University
But when Archbishop Dr Rowan Williams suggested that Professor Darwin is often described as the world’s most famous atheist, the geneticist responded: ‘Not by me’.
He said: ‘On a scale of seven, where one means I know he exists, and seven I know he doesn’t, I call myself a six.’
Professor Dawkins went on to say he believed was a ‘6.9’, stating: ‘That doesn’t mean I’m absolutely confident, that I absolutely know, because I don’t.’
They were discussing ‘The Nature of Human Beings and the Question of their Ultimate Origin’ when Professor Dawkins admitted he was agnostic rather than an atheist
The two high-profile figures were debating whether Biblical writers ‘got it wrong’ by not saying that the universe is billions of years old.
The Archbishop said: ‘The writers of the Bible, inspired as I believe they were, were not inspired to do 21st century physics, they were inspired to pass on to their readers what God wanted them to know.
‘In the first book of the Bible is the basic information – the universe depends on God, humanity has a very distinctive role in that universe , and humanity has made rather a mess of it.’
But Professor Dawkins said he was ‘baffled’ by ‘the way sophisticated theologians who know Adam and Eve never existed still keep talking about it’.
This latest admission by Professor Dawkins comes after he was left lost for words name the full title of his scientific hero’s most famous work during a radio discussion last week in which he accused Christians of being ignorant of the Bible.
In his frustration, he resorted to a helpless: ‘Oh God.’