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!"