Steve Paulson: It seems to me this is actually one of the key questions in the whole religion and science debate. What do you do with consciousness? I mean, do you really think the mind is totally reducible to neural networks and the electro-chemical surges in the brain? Or might there be something else that goes beyond the physical mechanics of the brain?

Richard Dawkins: […] Consciousness is the biggest puzzle facing biology, neurobiology, computational studies and evolutionary biology. It is a very, very big problem. I don’t know the answer. Nobody knows the answer. I think one day they probably will know the answer. But even if science doesn’t know the answer, I return to the question, what on earth makes you think that religion will? Just because science so far has failed to explain something, such as consciousness, to say it follows that the facile, pathetic explanations which religion has produced somehow by default must win the argument is really quite ridiculous.

From the Salon interview.