Sunday, March 27, 2011

What Richard Dawkins Believes

This means that the next few pages are inevitably somewhat intricate -- not difficult, just intricately detailed. It would probably be best to not read this section of the book when tired, at the end of a long day.

The above is from page 117 of Richard Dawkins' book The Greatest Show On Earth: The Evidence For Evolution.
I followed his advice… I was not tired, and it was not the end of a long day.
But he never said anything about drinking beer!
Perhaps that was where I erred.
Because see, I just [burp!] read this section he is pre-warning us about, where he goes on to expertly delineate a multi-decade experiment that was conducted in order to fast-track the evolution of a certain strain of bacteria.
I read it as though my life depended on it.
And don't get me wrong, I very much love the way Dawkins writes. The book in the background here, The God Delusion -- is one of the best things I have ever read.
No, the fault cannot possibly be his. He is so clear in the way he explains things.

As a result of tonight's intense lager-induced experiment in reading I have come to the conclusion that there is a disparity -- yea, a great gulf, if you will -- between my interest in science, and my understanding of its methods.
I find that when it comes to my own limited and semi-evolved brain power, I tend to understand a general overall gist of a thing, but most often I could not put the book aside and clearly paraphrase what I have "learned".
Some would say that this means I have not learned anything at all.
That may indeed be the case.
All I can say is, this book is extremely….. convincing. And after I finish it, if someone asks me what I believe about evolution, I will give them a big Neanderthalic grin and say, "I believe what Richard Dawkins believes!"
-- Cip



Stefanie said...

You sure it didn't have anything to do with the beer? :)

Cipriano said...

Ahhhh, you could be very right, Stefanie!

BBB said...

According to a 2001 Gallup poll,[125] about 45% of Americans believe that "God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so." Another 37% believe that "human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided this process",[126] and 14% believe that "human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process".

Cipriano said...

BBB -- thanks for this statistical information.
It is startling to me that so many people can be so ignorant of the scientific fact of the process of evolution.
Having said that, I myself, because of religious indoctrination -- also spent many of my adult years as a non-believer.
I'm so glad that I MYSELF have evolved from that former state.