Thursday, December 02, 2004


New Book From Richard Dawkins.

Tidy little article over at Slate about Richard Dawkins, evolutionary theorist and inventor of the "meme" concept.

I may find his lefty politics tediously misguided, but Dawkins knows his science. His new book, The Ancestor's Tale, sounds like it could be interesting:
Loosely based on the form of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Dawkins's Tale takes us modern humans back through four billion years of life on our planet. As the pilgrimage progresses, we join with other organisms at the forty "rendezvous points" where we find a common ancestor. The band of pilgrims swells into a vast crowd as we join first with other primates, then with other mammals, and so on back to the first primordial organism.

Nifty! I like Dawkins when he sticks to science and his wife is a favorite Doctor Who actress of mine. I'll have to check out his new book.

By the way, nice pic of Twiki!
I waded through Dawkins' River of Life. His writing is good, but his arguments were unpersuasive. Now, is this because I dismiss most of evolutionary theory out of hand, or because his logic was ineffective? Couldn't really answer objectively, but still, I didn't find his narrative convincing. After the Guardian-Ohio fiasco, now I know he's an asshat to boot.
I guess to each their own. Dawkins can be a little dense-- easy to read, but he assumes that most readers have already met him halfway on the fundamentals of the theory. If you still question some of the basics of evolution, he's certainly not the author to start with. Gould is probably a better one to digest-- hits the same arguments, but nowhere near as much of an arrogant prick.

As for Dawkins' Ohio stunt, you hit the nail on the head: major-league asshat.
What is this Ohio stunt of which you speak? Seriously, I missed it or have killed those brain cells, please enlighten me.
Joe-- click on the link in this post, "his lefty politics." I'll bring up my post back when this all happened.
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