Richard Dawkins Oct 2012 US Book Tour

Sep 25, 2012

I am about to launch a tour around the US, starting in Hawaii and ending in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It is an opportunity for me to meet those of you who are active in a movement who are fighting to return to the traditional secular values set forth by America’s founding fathers.


We currently face very powerful and excessively well funded organizations that have another vision of America, a theocratic America that prefers the laws of a 2,000 year old document to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

I am a guest in your land but, coming from a country that lacks a written constitution, I envy you yours as the first and noblest secular constitution in the world, and I would like to play my part in helping to preserve its ideals. Through the charitable foundation that I set up in America, the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science.

RDFRS US needs your help to do all we can to promote and protect the secular values that we all hold dear.

As I tour the US with our Director of Strategy and Policy, Sean Faircloth,  and our Executive Director Dr R Elisabeth Cornwell, we will unveil some exciting new directions for the RDFRS, US.   These new projects will be vitally important to Innovating for a Secular World — the new tagline of our foundation.

The RDFRS US websites reaches a broad audience around the world, and we receive about a million hits a month at  We intend to capitalize on this resource. You will continue to receive the interesting articles and speeches you’ve come to expect, but, in addition, we will become much more activist. 

Help us with The OUT Campaign, including our humanitarian efforts of Non-Believers Giving Aid 

You can help with our growing Clergy Project:

You can help us reframe secular policy issues to our advantage by marketing and “meme-ing” the Ten Point Vision of a Secular America:

You can get directly involved in a myriad of new activist projects described in speech by Sean Faircloth here:

This activism includes organizing statewide grassroots secular groups that focus on public policy:

Or maybe you’d like to help organize and support secular parents:

Or maybe you come from, and want to help lead, an under-served atheist community such as African-Americans, Latinos, ex-Muslims, or ex-Mormons:

Or maybe you have the connections, skills, or funds to help create our planned documentary exposing the religio-industrial complex:

These projects are all “Innovating for a Secular World.”   I will continue to speak in America and around the world as will my colleagues at the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science US.  (learn more here:, but our speaking tours, and all these projects, will also serve the larger purpose of Innovating for a Secular World. These projects require significant investment. I hope you will make an investment here:

I am asking you to help us raise funds to take us into 2013 and implement the many projects noted above.  We cannot do it without both your financial support and your activism. With your commitment, together we will be Innovating for a Secular World.

Richard Dawkins


Private receptions with an opportunity to meet Richard Dawkins

Oct 4 – Honolulu Hawaii

Full event listing for the October tour is available here

Written By: Richard Dawkins
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52 comments on “Richard Dawkins Oct 2012 US Book Tour

  • 2
    EnduranceSwimmer says:

     Brilliant. Would love to be there for this. I live in Australia and hope he comes and does another tour here soon. This whole push towards rational evidenced based views and critical thinking is quite exciting and one I feel we all need to help spread, particularly in education circles.

    For anyone who witnessed on NASA TV the entry descent and landing of the Mars Curiosity Rover, recently I’m sure they would agree that it’s very moving what our species can achieve with respect to problem solving using engineering and the scientific method. We can be quite ingenious in solving problems and the EDL team came up with some brilliant solutions. Such challenges, surely bring out the very best in us. It’s my sincere hope that if we can all try and adopt that mindset we might be well equipped to solve some of the world wide problems concerning global warming, pollution, over population and lack of resources that presently confront us. No doubt one of the most important things is learning to work together, shedding superstitious shackles of the past and encouraging everyone to become more literate in science. Richard and his colleagues are doing a fantastic job in encouraging critical thinking.

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  • 4
    whalley78 says:

    Please come to New Zealand. Christchurch is lovely at this time of year (apart from the earthquake damaged city centre). I’m sure you would love it and I’m sure you would receive a warm welcome.

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  • 6
    CdnMacAtheist says:

    Best wishes for great success on this RDFRS Tour.

    It would be nice to see you visit the Canadian bit of ‘America’ sometime, although I fully appreciate why you are needed much more in the USA bit, especially with the upcoming elections and their long-term implications for all Freethinkers….

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  • 7
    QuestioningKat says:

    Hi Richard, I hope you are taking a vacation in Hawaii as we speak. Yes, you’ve been there before, but it’s paradise and you only live once. Flights between islands are easy. Be sure to drive the road to Hana, Maui and remember the area gets more interesting after you pass Hana. Also, the Napali Coast on Kauai is enchanting. I couldn’t get enough of it. See it by boat, helicopter and even hike to the first beach along the Kalalau trail starting at Ke’e beach. Be sure to bring a hiking pole and great hiking boots – lots of roots along the path – not an easy hike but even going a short distance is worth the views. Be safe. Have a coconut on all of us here!

    (Hawaii, San Fransisco, Colorado, Portland, Austin, Ann Arbor. You sure know how to pick some great places to visit.  Sounds like one big vacation.)

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  • “As I tour the US with our Director of Strategy and Policy, Sean Faircloth, ¬†and our Executive Director Dr R Elisabeth Cornwell, we will unveil some exciting new directions for the RDFRS, US.¬†¬† These new projects will be vitally important to Innovating for a Secular World — the new tagline of our foundation.” Richard Dawkins

    In response to this announcement, may I suggest another exciting new direction? Isn’t it about time that the well-funded and vocal christian fundamentalists, with their devious revisionist views vis-√†-vis the United States Constitution and the true intentions of the founding fathers, be prosecuted for High Treason? Yes, PROSECUTED FOR HIGH TREASON. This initiative, with Sean Faircloth as witness for the prosecution, would generate lots of attention for the just atheist/secular cause and would spark a nationwide debate about the future of America. The outcome could only be in favour of the secular values that most Americans still hold dear and it would send a loud and clear message to all religious liars and cheats not to mess with historical facts. A message that would reverberate for decades to come!

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  • 9
    Katy Cordeth says:

    I dunno, first an interview at the Playboy Mansion, then a so-called book tour beginning in Hawaii. Does anyone else think that Richard is enjoying his retirement just a little too much?
    Hey, Professor, we atheists are supposed to be dour and life-hating; many of us get off on that reputation. A few photos of you and your entourage on jet skis or sipping pi√Īa coladas and the entire image goes up the swanee.

    By the way, saying…

    I am a guest in your land but, coming from a country that lacks a written constitution, I envy you yours as the first and noblest secular constitution in the world

    …just sounds like you want to take all their stuff in return for a handful or beads or something.

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  • 11
    bluebird says:

    Wow. ¬†Now this is how to herd cats ūüėÄ

    All the cities are west of the ole Mississip; maybe next tour will be east?

    Mr. McKean keeps cranking out new book covers.  I like this one best so far.

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  • 12
    bluebird says:

    Churches have separate play areas for small children. How about child care for atheist events?

    Maybe some do provide this; would sure help parents.

    I know, the wee ones could watch ‘Growing up in the Universe’!

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  • Consider visiting the midwest and the bible belt. We have vibrant atheist communities throughout these areas and your visit here would certainly reinforce our confidence that we can make a difference. We buy books too!

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  • 17
    SomeDude says:

    Richard Dawkins at the US Air Force Academy? ¬†Now that should be very interesting. ¬†I do think that the good Professor should hit more Red States, we need to educated the misinformed. ¬†Not sure how to do that, but it’s our only hope in the long run.

    Anyway, I can’t wait for the more activist Foundation.

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  • 18
    bluebird says:

    “Have a coconut…”

    *Put the lime in the coconut and drink them both up
    Put the lime in the coconut and call me in the morning*

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  • 19
    QuestioningKat says:

    Bluebird, Be sure to look up Ann Arbor on a map. Be sure to look EAST of the Mississippi – up in the Midwest. ( Cute, little , funky college town) If you have time Richard, be sure to search for fairy doors hidden around town. lol!

    By the way, I decided I will be visiting London next summer. If anyone has any travel advice…

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  • 21
    CarbonBeing says:

    I cannot wait
    to meet Professor Dawkins. I am so excited to personally thank him for
    relieving me of the burden of religious guilt. I was raised in a very religious
    family in Tennessee (under the long shadow of the “Monkey trials”). I
    believed Christian doctrine most of my life but began to have doubts when
    exposed to real science classes in college. In middle school and high school I
    was literally taught that evolution and Darwin were nonsense. Not knowing any
    better I believed this for most of my life.

    Three years ago
    I read The Greatest Show on Earth and it literally changed my life. I was
    compelled to read The God Delusion and The Selfish Gene. These books have
    opened my eyes to the truth. Prior to that I seriously believed there was a
    good chance I would spend eternity in hell because I could not make myself
    believe in Christ’s virgin birth, resurrection, and all the other nonsense.

    With all these
    ridiculous protests over a stupid YouTube video, the world needs to hear the
    RDF message more than ever.

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  • 23
    CdnMacAtheist says:

    Strange Pilgrim:¬† Since I’m in Richmond Hill, ON. can we compromise here – say . . . Mississauga? Plus we first have to make a workable Benefits Proposal to RDFRS, up to 12 months ahead.

    I don’t think we have as good a case as many places in the USA where science is on much shakier ground, and not just because Ontario is tectonically very stable…. ūüėé

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  • 24
    Topomountain says:

    Richard, please come back to Australia. We need your guidance. ‘ That’ Cardinal is¬†convincing¬†everyone we descended from Neanderthals.¬†

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  • 25
    JeffVader67 says:

    I think Richard needs to google the English Bill of Rights of 1689, part of which was the inspiration for the US bill of rights 100 years later. However I wish him all the best in exposing the sharlatans and crooked tele-evangelists, but these people don’t preach out of Hawaii and Oregon.¬†

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  • 26
    Ausland Atheist says:

    Jeff – Just a point in relation to your comment about Dawkins and the UK Bill of Rights;

    While I’d certainly agree that the UK Bill’s existence heavily influenced the construction of the US’ Bill of Rights (among many other factors), I would caution, however, that that fact doesn’t detract from the point that Dawkins was making regarding the UK lacking a written constitution and the US being all the better for having one. Both Constitutions and Human Rights Charters are extremely important in the function and preservation of secular societies, that much is irrefutable, but the UK despite their many credits in developing such a lasting and stable system government has lacked the motivation to develop the former.

    So, contrary to its typical role of being the ‘trendsetter’ for the western legal tradition, the UK has never formalised an all-inclusive document outlining the formation, structure and dissolution of their parliament, the role of the sovereign, the process for substantive reforms to government, the function, powers and capacity of the three separate arms of government (the executive, the judiciary and the legislative arcs) and the means by which elections for political offices take place. As mundane as these things sound, they are extremely important for the facilitation of due process and democracy at large.

    What the UK has relied upon in its system of governance in the stead of such a document is the body of statutes and common law doctrines it’s developed over the past 1000 years, a rather large mess of legal freedoms, government mandates and restrictions to the sovereign. These also include covenants extracted (often with the use of force) from the sovereigns themselves throughout various points in history, like the Magna Carta and to a lesser extent the Provisions of Oxford.

    England’s development of common law and its gradual accumulation of secularist values, legal maxims and philosophies has been an extremely haphazard, and somewhat, for want of a better term, ‘miraculous’ occurrence, one which tradition¬† and reluctance for reform alone protects- but not so in countries with constitutions you see, and for this reason alone the US has been fortunate to be one such country…

    (Ha.. Sorry for the ramble- My point of order for the day :))

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  • 27
    odalrich says:

    Dear Professor Dawkins, I have read your book, the Magic of reality, and I think it is a great introduction to science for people with little or no scientific knowledge. I think its reading should be mandatory  in schools because it teaches to use logic and mind, avoiding indoctrination. I wish you much success in your tour around the U.S. to promote a more rational world. I look forward to the news of your tour on your website.

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  • ¬†Would love to see Prof Dawkins come on a book tour in Canada as well. As another Ontario dweller living closer to Strange Pilgrim (Brantford) we really should consider a good location

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  • 32
    blue giant says:

    Dear Professor Dawkins
    I have read your books and seen and listened to a lot of your talks. The secular, rational thinking atheist visibility movement makes a lot of sense to rational people like myself. However, i strongly believe that we need to take the next step if you want to get the message to the majority of people. I mean the kinds of people who are non- believers but still go along with thinking that religions make the world a more moral place. Those people who dont know about or visit your website or will not because they believe the false hype about ‘militant’ secularism / atheism etc.
    You need to get a tv channel or at least a slot on one of the many cable and sattelite tv stations here in the uk such as… (their website say they can have you on air in less than a week on sky tv, cable or freeview) You say you get a million hits a month. You can show your own documentaries to millions of followers and reach millions of new people with the excellent videos of Sean Faircloth and Dr Elizabeth cornwall. You can allow other video producers or youtubers like, James randi,etc, etc, to get their shows broadcast to millions of people.
    On sky tv there are over 20 christian god channels constantly pertetuating the delusion, over 20 islam channels, phsychic tv channels, the caravan channel, controversial tv Read this:(… If they can get their own channel then surely it cant be that difficult?

    I believe that Just one rational tv station is all it will take to tip the scales and wake people up.
    You can publicise the plight of victims of religious laws.
    You can expose and debunk religious charlatans and fraudsters
    You can televise and broadcast your next tour.
    You can have atheist conventions from around the world televised and broadcast to millions
    You can help advertise camp quest and other secular and / or science organisations.
    You can broadcast your many excellent documentaries such as ‘the root of all evil’ and ‘faith school menace’ and any future ones in the making.
    You can broadcast your many atheist v theist debates and others by Sam Harris, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and the late Christopher Hitchens etc.
    You can publicise Maryam Namazie’s excellent ‘one law for all’ campaign.
    You can rent out hourly slots and make money for fundraising.
    You can advertise the station here on your website and include a program guide.

    What do you think?

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  • 33
    justwokeup says:

    Excellent Idea. Why not have a tv station? why has it not happened already? Can you imagine the vast numbers of people that could be reached, ME!!! for instance and people like me who deep down know that they are atheists but may find it hard to say it out loud, those inactive atheist. I attended the National Secular Society conference 22 September 2012 with my partner and it was brilliant! Now that could be televised.

    We are constantly bombarded with religion, on tv, the radio and people knocking on your door. At least 1 tv channel would go some way to creating a balance. The wealth of rational information out there could be condensed into one place. This would give those of us who get tongue tied and avoid the religious a voice and the knowledge to back up our reasons for disbelieving and enable us to point others who disbelieve to information, reason and rational thinkers. Can you imagine, “Launching in the New Year…. RATIONAL TV!!!!!”

    Well done blue giant, great idea I hope with all the information and links that you have provided that we see a tv channel very very soon.

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  • 34
    blue giant says:

    Thank you justwokeup. I can imagine ‘launching in NOVEMBER… RDTV!!!!
    Wow… now that that would be great to see…
    I was just looking at some of the channels on sky tv and came across these two. Unbelievable!!!

    And thats just 2 out of many similar stations on tv brainwashing and poisoning peoples minds

    These stations broadcast 24/7 on sky tv and online and hold packed church meetings every week!!!
    Gentlemen and women, this is what we are up against and its not a joke. Its about time we started fighting back with our own station based on reason and logic.

    If they can do it, SO CAN WE.
    And we need to act NOW before its too late and the UN implements an international blasphemy law forbidding the lawful criticism of religious beliefs and dogmas.

    We can start by showing pre recorded science videos from people like carl sagan, stephen hawkins, neil degrasse tyson, jim al-khalili, lawrence krauss, etc etc and the accasional atheistic debates and conferences.
    There is an overwhelming wealth of video material on utube that could also be broadcast to people who wouldn’t normally search for it.
    We could show movies every saturday night such as ‘The life of Brian’ or ‘ The invention of lying’ or ‘The ledge’ etc followed by an atheist comedy hour with George Carling or Dave Allen etc etc.
    There could be a sunday big debate show highlighting the plight of fellow freethinkers around the world who are suffering right now just for speaking the truth about their beliefs.
    Take a look at this report by humanrightsfirst. 

    The guys (and girl) over at were talking about it on their excellent latest podcast about blasphemy.

    Please add you thoughts and ideas about this.


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  • 38
    jimmmmmy says:

    There have been several neo-con/neo liberal ¬†articles lately using the term “economic and social darwinism” as well as attributing the phrase “survival of the fittest to him” [ actually Herbert Spencer did the spade work and coined the term] Is this a legitamate use of evolutionary theory in your view?

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  • 41
    MurkManifest says:

    The anticipation is killing me! I’m so glad I am finally getting the chance to see him in person!! Sighhh…the exclamation mark does not suffice…

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  • 44
    Enomis.Sidaigroegarak says:

    Hi, I’m new here. My name is Simone and I live in Germany with my husband and our 10 year old son. I would like to know if you can tell me if there is a German translation for the magic of reality yet? Can’t wait to buy it – not just for him. ūüėČ I was so impressed from : Der Gotteswahn and also from : die Sch√∂pfungsl√ľge..but he is definitely to young to read these 2 books ūüėČ thank you very much.. deeply respect to you Mr. Dawkins. I’m a big fan but I’m sad I discovered you so late. You are a very inspireing person. Could listen to you for hours..wish I would had a professor// teacher like you in my studytime. ūüėČ greetings from Germany Simone

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  • 45
    Alan4discussion says:

    There have been several neo-con/neo liberal ¬†articles lately using the term “economic and social darwinism” as well as attributing the phrase
    “survival of the fittest to him” [actually Herbert Spencer did the spade work and coined the term]

    Is this a legitamate use of evolutionary theory in your view?

    The short answer is no!!!!  

    It is a combination of a smear, and an attempt to associate evolution with the extreme right!… –¬†
    Social Darwinism is generally understood to use the concepts of struggle for existence and survival of the fittest to justify social policies which make no distinction between those able to support themselves and those unable to support themselves. 
    Many such views stress competition between individuals in laissez-faire capitalism; but the ideology has also motivated ideas of eugenics, scientific racism, imperialism,[4] fascism, Nazism and struggle between national or racial groups.[5][6]

    Opponents of evolution theory have often maintained that social Darwinism is a logical entailment of a belief in evolutionary theory, while biologists and historians maintain that it is rather a perversion of Charles Darwin’s ideas.

    While most scholars recognize historical links between Darwin’s theory and forms of social Darwinism, they also maintain that social Darwinism is not a necessary consequence of the principles of biological evolution[8] and that using biological evolution as a justification for policies of inequality amounts to committing the naturalistic fallacy.

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  • 46
    jimmmmmy says:

    Thank you , to para-phase Chomsky when you lose control of the the language the argument is lost. Both the so called left and right in Britain and the US seem to have accepted this bogus idea fostered¬† through redefinition of¬†¬†terms, and mis-¬†attributing quotes,¬†the notion¬†¬†that evolution¬† supports capitalism.¬†They¬†¬†become very hostile when it’s pointed out it isn’t so

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  • 47
    CdnMacAtheist says:

    I was just in my local Indigo bookstore – bought Shermers ‘The Believing Brain’ – and saw a bunch of hard & soft cover TMOR’s for the first time.¬† I’m about 50 years past the target age, but the illustrated hard cover looks very good, so I may buy it yet, thus completing my RD Set….. ūüėé

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  • 48
    DennisP says:

    That was an excellent event in Austin tonight, thank you for coming here! I enjoyed it very much.

    Here are a few pieces of information that would have helped me and other attendees:
    – Where to park.
    – Where to buy books to get signed (we were herded in rather quickly so many of us totally missed that).
    – Allow us to pay for books by credit card since it’s 2012 (I finally found the books but Richard’s was sold out and Sean’s cash only).
    – Tell people about the restaurant thing after the show before the event so we can plan for it and tell us the name and where it is.

    I still had a great time. ūüôā

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  • 49
    RobertSkeptic says:

    I enjoyed Professor Dawkins` speaking engagement in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I drove all the way from Illinois to see him. Someday i hope that Professor Dawkins will come to the Chicago area.

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  • 50
    craig B says:

    I suppose this has been pointed out. In The Magic of Reality you ask a rhetorical question that in fact has a real and significant answer: why in an Aztec myth, a goddess weeps for 52 years, and the myth specifies this, and not, as you joke, 51 or 53 years.

    But there’s a good reason: 52 years is the length of a calendar cycle, and after that the month and day names repeat. So it wasn’t a random number. It’s as if a European myth said a god had done something “for a century”. You wouldn’t ask: why specify one hundred years, why not 101 or 99? Because it’s a round number of calendric significance, just like the 52 year cycle in the Aztec calendar.

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  • 51
    hazarddl says:

    My name is Deniece Hazard and I had the honor and pleasure of meeting Dr. Dawkins in Austin on the south steps of the Capitol building (and he later autographed two of my books). As a former public school teacher and principal in Texas, I find him to be an exceptional and captivating teacher! I have greatly enjoyed learning from his books and I am making a special point to share “The Magic of Reality” with other teachers. What an engaging and instructive book for all ages! Thank you, Richard (if I may), for being so gracious. I wish we’d had more time to talk.

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