Sunday, January 26, 2014

An Appetite For Wonder

I am a huge fan of the writings and thoughts of Richard Dawkins.
And so I attacked his eagerly anticipated memoir [which was a birthday gift to me] like a sabre-toothed tiger trying to hasten its way up the evolutionary chain!
And admittedly, it was a fairly savoury feast.
It was neat to learn so much about the child who became the man. He was born in Nairobi Kenya, and his father was an agricultural civil servant in the British Colonial Service. This led to a well-travelled lifestyle, and  even though Dawkins refers to it as a "normal Anglican upbringing" -- it seemed pretty exotic to me.
In his teenage years Dawkins latched on to the idea of Darwinian evolution and this would shape the course of the rest of his life as not only a world-renowned scientist, but [later on] an equally renowned atheist. If you want to spend some time on YouTube, you can watch an easy ten years worth of Dawkins lectures and interviews, and most of these will centre around the topic of God, or the lack thereof. But if you are looking for the same kind of thing in the memoir, it sticks more closely to its subtitle: The Making of a Scientist.
It focuses primarily on his groundbreaking biological experiments, his academic career, and the influence of his own mentors and heroes. And always laced with Dawkins' wit and eloquence. I was surprised to learn of his affection for and affinity towards poetry, of all things.
This is an engaging, worthwhile read for anyone who wants to know more about Dawkins. 

If you have the appetite, quit wondering. Sink your teeth.


Anonymous said...

Love his t-shirt. Wonder where I could get one?

Jeane said...

I never heard of this guy, but in my own small way share a similar journey- from a strong religious upbringing to atheism (at least, I'm leaning strongly that way now) so I might find this an interesting read.