American Christians are an "uncultured, ignorant almost majority" who are holding back scientific progress, Richard Dawkins said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal published yesterday.
Dawkins, an evolutionary biologist and author of The Selfish Gene and The God Delusion, said it was a wonder "that America is the leading scientific nation despite having this incubus around its neck of an uncultured ignorant almost majority."
He suggested that if "the fundamentalist-not-quite-majority" were not hindering America, science might have advanced further. "You have to wonder what it could be like if it didn't have that burden," he said.
Dawkins added that he does not interact with Christians when in America, but rather he "tend[s] to interact mostly with university people."
He noted that he is often best received in the Deep South of America, otherwise known as the 'Bible Belt'.
"I give talks in the Deep South. I get my best reception in the so-called Bible Belt for reasons you can guess. The people that come are the beleaguered minority and they show rather touching gratitude when people like me go to them," he said.
When asked about his interaction with Christians, Dawkins responded: "I get a lot of hostile mail, but they don't come to my lectures, I wish they would. They stand outside handing out leaflets, they don't actually come in."