Atheist author and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins has said that while he believes Young-Earth Creationists are "ignorant," they can be "cured" if they "try reading a science book."
Dawkins often criticizes Creationism, or a literal interpretation of the Genesis story in the Bible. The God Delusion author has expressed a particular distaste for Young Earth Creationists, who believe the Earth is not billions, but only several thousands of years old.
On Monday, Dawkins took to Twitter to voice his opinion:"If you're a young earth creationist you may be not stupid but just ignorant. Fortunately ignorance is curable. Try reading a science book," he wrote.
The controversial professor has previously admitted that although in general he doesn't "despise individuals" and only their views, Young-Earth Creationists pass his "limits" on the issue.
"I said I'd never despise individuals, just their views. But there are limits, and YE Creationists who refuse to look at evidence pass mine," he argued in an earlier Twitter post. The Selfish Gene author also defended human evolution, writing, "We are African apes and we are descended (as are chimpanzees) from extinct African apes."
He added: "Modern monkeys are our cousins. We're not descended from them. But we're descended from ancestors which you could properly call monkeys."
Dawkins frequently uses his Twitter account to engage in controversial social issues, particularly those involving religion and science. However, his opinions--including the idea that babies with Down Syndrome should be aborted--haven't sat well with many Twitter users, who in March placed him on BlockBot's block list .
At the time, Dawkins responded to the move, explaining that he objects to being "libelled." "I have no objection to being blocked. Please block me if you wish. What I object to is being libelled, and linked with spammers and harassers," Dawkins wrote on Twitter. "People are confusing the act of blocking, with libelling those blocked. Blocking is fine. Block me and I won't miss you. Libelling is not," he added.
Dawkins' views have been condemned by many Conservative leaders, including former Alaska governor Sarah Palin and Creationists President Ken Ham.
Ham, who is the CEO of Answers in Genesis and the founder of the Creation Museum in Kentucky, said that Dawkins wants to impose his own "religion" of atheism at the exclusion of all others in response to Dawkins' assertion that religious parents indoctrinate their own children.
"Dawkins believes that children should be taught evolutionary naturalism as fact. He wants his religion of naturalism imposed on them. So children shouldn't be taught religion by their parents - they should be taught the religion of atheism by their teachers," Ham said in March.
"All Dawkins is advocating is replacing one religion with another religion."