- (Photo: Screenshot/CNN)
While promoting his new documentary "The Unbelievers" alongside theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss, atheist professor and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins addressed the recent Boston bombings, as well as some reports which claim that perhaps an extremist belief in Islam could have motivated bombing suspects Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in their recent terrorist attack.
When asked on "CNN Sunday Morning" what his response was to hearing that radicalized Islam may have played a role in the two bombings in Boston which took place on April 15 at the 117th Boston Marathon, Dawkins responded:
"It's very easy to blame radicalization, but radicalization is very easy, if people are brought up in the first place to believe that faith is a virtue, if you bring up your children and tell them that believing without evidence is what faith is, is a virtue, then only a tiny minority of them may become radicalized, but the ground has been fertilized for radicalization."
"It's easy to radicalize if people have been pre-adapted, and prepared with a view that faith is a virtue, that what your religion teaches you is absolutely right. In a way, no wonder they're so easily radicalized, because they're told, from babyhood onwards, that their religion is the only important thing and that's what they have to believe, even if there's no evidence," Dawkins, who is an emeritus fellow of New College in Oxford, added.
Just this week, Russian authorities told U.S. investigators that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the Boston bombing suspect who died in a firefight with police following the attack, had a 2011 telephone conversation with his mother in which the pair discussed jihad in the sense of a "Holy War."
News of this telephone conversation has led many to speculate that perhaps Islamic radicalization motivated the Tsasrnaev brothers, both from Chechnya, in their suspected attack at the Boston Marathon which killed three and injured over 170 people earlier this month.
Dawkins and Krauss touched on other topics relating to religion in their recent CNN interview, which took place live from Toronto, Canada, where their new documentary, "The Unbelievers" premiered on Monday evening at the Hot Docs festival.
The documentary involves cameras following Krauss and Dawkins, both well-known scientists and atheist activists, as they travel across the globe to discuss the importance of science and reason over religion.
The two atheist professors starring in the film argue that their documentary discusses several important questions relating to the age-old debate of atheism vs. religion, including if it is necessary to completely eradicate religion in order to fully obey science.
"The purpose of the movie is to really celebrate the wonder of the real universe, and Rich and I discussed that in the movie. The point is, that means not accepting myth and superstition, so for corollary of understanding the real universe is to get rid of myth and superstition, that also means, ultimately, destroying religion," Krauss, who is a professor of physics at Arizona State University, told CNN.
Dawkins added that the process of making the documentary proved rewarding as he, on many occasions, learned something new from his colleague, and he hopes the audience will be able to learn something new about science as well by watching the film.
"The Unbelievers," directed by Gus Holwerda, is set to be released to the public later on in 2013.