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The FP Top 100 Global Thinkers,17

18. Richard Dawkins
for his unceasing advocacy on behalf of science.

If you believe the human body is the design of an omnipotent god rather than a result of the perfectly imperfect way living beings reproduce, Dawkins -- a retired Oxford University professor who pens cleanly worded but never dumbed-down explanations of evolutionary biology -- has no time for you. "Evolution is a fact, and this book will demonstrate it," he writes in The Greatest Show on Earth, released this year for the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth. "No reputable scientist disputes it and no unbiased reader will close the book doubting it."

With sharp prose and lucid thought, Dawkins demonstrates how the cudgels commonly taken up by the faithful to beat down evolution (gaps in the fossil record, for instance) are at best innocent misunderstandings and at worst willful attempts to mislead. Building upon arguments laid out in 2006's The God Delusion, he shows how religious argument sometimes perverts scientific truths -- making him the strongest, smartest advocate for Darwinism in our time.
Continue reading,17

There are also a few other interesting names on the list:
Christopher Hitchens #47
Ayaan Hirsi Ali #48
Tariz Ramadan #49
Freeman Dyson #69
Karen Armstron #87
Dick Cheney #13
Pope Benedict XVI #17



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