Saturday, April 01, 2006


"I believe natural selection represents a truly hideous sum total of misery...a process of misery that has given rise to immense beauty."--Richard Dawkins

I love this picture of Richard Dawkins (Darwinian evangelist). It just has that penetrating look of deconstruction. His eyes are similar to Midas' touch, only everything he looks at turns straight to shit.

In reality, I think Dawkins is awesome. I once despised the man, following the line of complainers about his uncompromising "faith" in stark naturalism. Once I pulled my head out of my sigmoid colon, I realized that Dawkins really wasn't all *that* bad. The fact is that Dawkins has a mountain of evidence and lots of semi-testable ideas which can be evaluated and make a butt-load of sense. The fact is that there is not one competing explanation for the origin of life and it's behaviors- not one single one that can be tested and evaluated. No wonder his opposition is so irate.

"Life results from the non-random survival of randomly varying replicators"
-Richard Dawkins
Immense Beauty
The more I've listened to debates concerning naturalistic evolution versus faith the more I've come to realize that there really are three different camps. One is 97% of biologists who study the stuff who are almost entirely in agreement with Dawkins' basic ideas. The second camp is tiny. It's maybe 3% of biologists, most of whom don't conduct serious research or serious work, who grasp onto ideas which are faith based and completely untestable. They generally have religious backgrounds like Michael Behe. The third camp- an astonishingly huge group of people, are people who have almost no idea of what the hell they are talking about, yet want to agree with the 3% crowd without bothering to learn about evolution. They remind me of the talk radio hosts who don't believe in global warming who fish around for some expert (usually a guy who was paid off by some conservative think-tank to do corporate PR and disguise it as scientific opinion) to come on their show to cleverly make reality dizzy. "But volcanoes millions of years ago spewed vastly more CO2 than cars do today" they might say. And you always feel like calling in to say that an asteroid obliterated 95% of all life on earth 65 million years ago and we all turned out just fine, so who gives a shit about giant asteroids either.

`Look how powerful a male I am, because I can afford to wear my balls outside my body, in the most vulnerable position. You'd better not mess with me because I am proving my strength and my ability as a fighter.'

Dawkins on balls

1 comment:

Charles said...

I reading up on this guy, Interesting stuff. Thanks Aaron.