Saturday, December 16, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Richard Dawkins


Oxford zoologist, author, and media commentator, famous for his popular science books on evolution and his views on religion, atheism, and memetics, or "cultural evolution".
Richard Dawkins
Contrary to earlier prejudices, there is nothing inherently progressive about evolution.
Dawkins quotes
Evolution normally does not come to a halt, but constantly ‘tracks’ the changing environment.
Dawkins
Natural selection is all about the differential success of rival DNA in getting itself transmitted vertically in the species archives.




Dawkins Richard quotes
Your DNA may be destined to mingle with mine. Salutations!
Dawkins Richard
The world and the universe is an extremely beautiful place, and the more we understand about it the more beautiful does it appear. It is an immensely exciting experience to be born in the world, born in the universe, and look around you and realise that before you die you have the opportunity of understanding an immense amount about that world and about that universe and about life and about why we're here. We have the opportunity of understanding far, far more than any of our predecessors ever. That is such an exciting possibility, it would be such a shame to blow it and end your life not having understood what there is to understand.
Richard Dawkins quotes
If we want to postulate a deity capable of engineering all the organized complexity in the world, either instantaneously or by guiding evolution, that deity must have been vastly complex in the first place. The creationist, whether a naive Bible-thumper or an educated bishop, simply postulates an already existing being of prodigious intelligence and complexity. If we are going to allow ourselves the luxury of postulating organized complexity without offering an explanation, we might as well make a job of it and simply postulate the existence of life as we know it!
Richard Dawkins
Those people who think sexual abuse is a black-or-white, all-or-none category are incapable of clear, logical thought.
Dawkins Richard quotes
The world becomes full of organisms that have what it takes to become ancestors. That, in a sentence, is Darwinism.
Dawkins
You've just said a very revealing thing. Are you telling me that the only reason you don't steal and rape and murder is that you're frightened of God? (Part 2, 00:13:55)
Dawkins Richard
I do remember one formative influence in my undergraduate life. There was an elderly professor in my department who had been passionately keen on a particular theory for, oh, a number of years, and one day an American visiting researcher came and he completely and utterly disproved our old man's hypothesis. The old man strode to the front, shook his hand and said, "My dear fellow, I wish to thank you, I have been wrong these fifteen years". And we all clapped our hands raw. That was the scientific ideal, of somebody who had a lot invested, a lifetime almost invested in a theory, and he was rejoicing that he had been shown wrong and that scientific truth had been advanced. (Part 1, 00:13:32)
Richard Dawkins
This is where they come into their own, for there's money in hope: the more desperate the hope, the richer the pickings.




Richard Dawkins quotes
With so many mind-bytes to be downloaded, so many mental codons to be replicated, it is no wonder that child brains are gullible, open to almost any suggestion, vulnerable to subversion, easy prey to Moonies, Scientologists and nuns. Like immune-deficient patients, children are wide open to mental infections that adults might brush off without effort.
Richard Dawkins
If God wanted to forgive our sins, why not just forgive them? Who's God trying to impress? Presumably himself, since he is judge and jury, as well as execution victim. (Part 2, 00:29:56)
Dawkins quotes
Isn't Deepak Chopra just exploiting Quantum jargon as plausible-sounding hocus pocus?
Dawkins Richard
This not only misses the point, it is the precise antithesis of the point.
Dawkins Richard quotes
... the genetic code is in fact literally identical in all animals, plants and bacteria ... All earthly living things are certainly descended from a single ancestor.
Richard Dawkins
Don’t ever be lazy enough, defeatist enough, cowardly enough to say “I don't understand it so it must be a miracle - it must be supernatural - God did it”. Say instead, that it’s a puzzle, it’s strange, it’s a challenge that we should rise to. Whether we rise to the challenge by questioning the truth of the observation, or by expanding our science in new and exciting directions - the proper and brave response to any such challenge is to tackle it head-on. And until we've found a proper answer to the mystery, it's perfectly ok simply to say “this is something we don't yet understand - but we're working on it”. It's the only honest thing to do. Miracles, magic and myths, they can be fun. Everybody likes a good story. Myths are fun, as long as you don't confuse them with the truth. The real truth has a magic of its own. The truth is more magical, in the best and most exciting sense of the word, than any myth or made-up mystery or miracle. Science has its own magic - the magic of reality.
Richard Dawkins quotes
There is one particular property of living things, however, that I want to single out as explicable only by Darwinian selection. This property is the one that has been the recurring topic of this book: adaptive complexity.
Richard Dawkins
Natural selection builds child brains with a tendency to believe whatever their parents and tribal elders tell them. Such trusting obedience is valuable for survival: the analogue of steering by the moon for a moth. But the flip side of trusting obedience is slavish gullibility. The inevitable by-product is vulnerability to infection by mind viruses. (pg. 176)
Dawkins Richard
... a gene might be able to assist replicas of itself that are sitting in other bodies. If so, this would appear as individual altruism but it would be brought about by gene selfishness.


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