Thursday, November 05, 2009

Transcript of the Interview of Richard Dawkins By Ben Stein in the Film Expelled

This is a partial text of the interview of Richard Dawkins by Ben Stein in the film Expelled. This is the key section in which Richard Dawkins acknowledges that it is possible to find evidence of design in biology, and that it could have been seeded here by a "higher intelligence" from elsewhere in the universe.


BEN STEIN: How did it get created?

DAWKINS: By a very slow process.

BEN STEIN: Well, how did it start?

DAWKINS: Nobody knows how it got started. We know the kind of event that it must have been. We know the sort of event that must have happened for the origin of life.

BEN STEIN: And what was that?

DAWKINS: It was the origin of the first self-replicating molecule.

BEN STEIN: Right, and how did that happen?

DAWKINS: I told you, we don’t know.

. . .

BEN STEIN: What do you think is the possibility that Intelligent Design might turn out to be the answer to some issues in genetics or in Darwinian evolution.

DAWKINS: Well, it could come about in the following way. It could be that at some earlier time, somewhere in the universe, a civilization evolved, probably by some kind of Darwinian means, probably to a very high level of technology, and designed a form of life that they seeded onto perhaps this planet. Um, now that is a possibility, and an intriguing possibility. And I suppose it’s possible that you might find evidence for that if you look at the details of biochemistry, molecular biology, you might find a signature of some sort of designer.

. . .

And that Designer could well be a higher intelligence from elsewhere in the universe. But that higher intelligence would itself have had to have come about by some explicable, or ultimately explicable process. It couldn't have just jumped into existence spontaneously. That's the point.


The interview can be found on YouTube here.

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At November 05, 2009 11:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way to take a statement out of context. Guess you don't care much for integrity if you're clutching at these tactics.
BTW the difference between "macro" and "micro" evolution is in your's as if a microbe, a mouse, a moose and a mountain were having an argument about the difference between big and small. Who'd win? Would the debate be scientific?
What you call macro evolution doesn't's micro all the way until the differences btw organisms get big enough. Simple, until dumdums like you come along and think they're two different scientific phenomena.

At November 06, 2009 10:04 AM, Anonymous Lawrence said...


Your comment is absurd.

I gave the full transcript of that part of the interview. How is that possibly "out of context." Please explain.

"Macroevolution" and "microevolution" are very well established scientific terms. Do some reading.

Condescension + ignorance is not very becoming.

At November 16, 2009 8:22 PM, Anonymous copy-cat said...


Thanks for some helpful comments and links.

"But that higher intelligence would itself have had to have come about by some explicable, or ultimately explicable process"

God says He's everlasting.

There's a new book with good reviews - see


You're right that macro evolution doesn't happen. Several thousand years ago Moses wrote the first books of the Bible. It seems Methuselah would have known both Adam and Noah.

At March 31, 2010 11:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lawrence, before you go dissing Anonymous, you really should figure out what macro-evolution is... It's made up of billions of micro-evolutions. It's no different from any other change in life. Big changes=lots of little changes combined.

At May 08, 2010 10:52 AM, Anonymous Bottomline said...

Dawkins defenders cannot obviously comprehend this clip. Dawkins is plainly stumped and desperately avoiding any kind of "logical" answer when pressed by Stein on molecular biology and the beginning of life. Evolution, while inarguable in terms of explaining change within species is desperately short of evidence and theory on explaining the emergence of new species. Slow and gradual transitions is not born out in the fossil record or in any demonstrated experiment or empirical observation. Dawkins didn't need any help to run into a brick wall faced with one simple question and it is hilarious watching such a pompous evangelist corner himself. There is no doubt that there is Intelligent design in our universe. The real question is are you willing to discover him?

At October 04, 2011 7:43 PM, Blogger EDROMAXIMUS said...

The fact that there is an argument or difference of opinion on these THEORIES, precludes that both should be taught, should they not?

At October 04, 2011 7:45 PM, Blogger EDROMAXIMUS said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At October 06, 2011 5:13 PM, Blogger SomeAndrian said...

No this is not the whole interview. At the end Richard Dawkins tells Stein "... and you can fuck off" quite appropriate I might add

At November 11, 2011 11:31 AM, Anonymous acebojangles said...

This blog post illustrates the dishonesty of intelligent design (ID). Intelligent design is supposed to be agnostic about who the supposed designer is. To illustrate this, ID proponents sometimes suggest that the designer could be intelligent aliens. Then when Richard Dawkins addresses that possibility, some creationist quotes him and uses it to suggest that Dawkins accepts the possibility that god (a "higher intelligence" [wink wink]) created life.

Lying for Jesus!

At December 05, 2012 10:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why the hell is the transcript PARTIAL?
Is making a full transcript more difficult than answering all those who wonder why you made a partial transcript?
Dont you care what your readers think?
Its not too late to correct that .

At April 09, 2013 4:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good post. I believe it would become all sides if the issue could stop being taken in such a personal frame. Disagreement should not become a personal attack. If we are looking for truth, which I hope we are, then we should follow the evidence where it leads us. If that leads us to intelligent design wonderful, if not, then just as wonderful. Get your heads straight here "Scientists"; truth and the search for it is the mission of science, and part of that quest is giving ideas a full chance to prove themselves or disprove themselves.

Dawkins is correct there is a lot about biochemistry and especially protein synthesis that is very interesting and does make one wonder about intelligent design. Now if that intelligent design is God or not...well that is a question that shouldn't concern us.

As far as micro and macro evolution goes anyone who argues they are one in the same must have dozed off during intro to biology. There is one definite gap between the two that has not yet been bridged. That gap is the evidence of one species transforming into another. We have zero evidence of that at the moment, and until we do we cannot fully prove the idea to be true. There is no evidence of micro resulting in macro only reasoned and well thought out assumptions. Before you throw your support behind either idea you must understand that simple fact.

At April 26, 2013 4:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ Bottom Line

I wouldn't have the temerity to call myself 'Bottom Line'. This connotes something similar to 'The Last Word' in my view.

Dawkins is not 'stumped'. He merely states the possibility that one alien species perhaps seeded another. I think this was a mistake on his part.

Why disbelieve in God ? More to the point why insist on a disbelief in God ?

Because medievel religion is in the ascendancy in the West. The insistence on a deity (for which there is ever diminishing proof)will give privilege and advantage to strident, old testament religionists who will hold back the cause of human progress and survival - science and freedom in other words.

I shall remain anonymous. That says a lot about my fear of the internet backlash I'd expect from 'tolerant' religious people.

At April 26, 2013 4:59 AM, Blogger Electro-Kevin said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

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At October 22, 2019 8:00 AM, Blogger austux said...

Anonymous, are you aware that the vast majority of pivotal scientists were “old testament religionists?”

Are you aware that if the universe were not intelligently constructed, Science would not be possible?

Are you aware that if Monist Materialism is an accurate model of reality, you would not be thinking, concluding or believing anything? Your ‘thoughts’ would be states of being (electro-chemical arrangements of molecules) which were predetermined by the initial conditions of the Determinist universe (and there is no explanation for how all of the information (structure, etc) in the universe came into existence at the start).

Are you aware that particular kinds of Physics experiments, run hundreds of different times in hundreds of different laboratories and universes world-wide, have consistently demonstrated that reality is Interactionist Substance Dualist?

Are you aware that solar panels and wind-power extractors take far more energy to construct than will be extracted during its working lifespan?

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