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Thread: Richard Dawkins

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    Richard Dawkins

    I was thinking of getting into reading his books after watching and enjoying the shows and debates he's appeared on. What would your recommendations be? As of now, I thought of just starting with The God Delusion and The Selfish Gene. And as normally asked, what would your favorite books by his be, assuming that you're also a fan of his works?

    http://www.richarddawkins.net/

    https://twitter.com/RichardDawkins

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    http://www.richarddawkinsfoundation.org/
    Last edited by Halo Infinity; 05-22-2014 at 02:21 PM.

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    Selfish Gene is by far my favourite of his & to be honest I think every High School should teach it.

    God Delusion is fine but ultimately it's pretty limited. I'm not religious but I find the militant atheism thing a bit grating. Selfish Gene is concerned with the broader picture and is actually almost breathtaking in places. The second chapter (I think) tells the story of the earliest forms of life and how they developed, what cause them to turn from clouds of chemicals in the sea into actual living organisms. It's absolutely gripping.

    Later the book goes on to challenge popular contemporary assumptions about "human nature", arguing that by design we are inclined towards cooperation (prisoner dilemma type situations where cooperation pays off most occur and recur to such an extent), the subtle interplay of individual priorities causing this.

    Dawkins argues that the idea of life on earth being a species vs species struggle is not correct, and that rather it is various genes competing with each other & occasionally cooperating so that they can further propel themselves through time. The gene is the most stable element of the organism, everything else just exists to carry the gene forward another generation

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    Yeah... unfortunately The Selfish Gene will not be handed out to high school students any time soon, and the only reason for that is the association with the author of The God Delusion. It's a strange world we live in, but that's how it goes.

    Either way, if you want to read an entertaining book wherein Dawkins spells out why there almost certainly is no god, read The God Delusion. Still, the most important book he's written, even if it will always strangely live in the ominous shadow of The God Delusion, is The Selfish Gene. Also, his book The Greatest Show on Earth isn't bad either on the evolution topic, and it's a more "layman's" text.

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    Also don't forget the hilariously snooty "Enemies of Reason"


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    I was almost about to get The Selfish Gene, but The Blind Watchmaker seemed to jump at me more at the time. Perhaps I'll save up for The Selfish Gene and either The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution, or The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True. I know I'm going to have to go slow on this though, as I hardly read, but I've become very interested in what Richard Dawkins has to say ever since I caught up on his interviews and TV shows.

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    Just read his books about science, especially The Blind Watchmaker, The Selfish Gene, Unweaving the Rainbow, and River Out of Eden.

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    You know, i'm a christian but i have been meaning to read some of his work for a long time now.
    A couple of atheist books which really fascinated me were "the christ conspiracy" and "suns of gods" by a lady who uses the name Acaraya S.
    http://www.truthbeknown.com/ is her bad ass website. i spend a LOT of my free time studying religions, whether the work is pro or con...how my christianity works into that is a long story, but suffice it to say that i am and always will be open to anything, as long as it's not blatantly evil (like theistic satanism, or Fox News )

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    I finished The Selfish Gene last week. A good read for sure. I'll want to get around to The God Delusion at some point but i'm not desperate to read it.

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    Selfish Gene is hopelessly out of date with modern scientific findings on epigenetics (although, yes, it was a pretty eye-opening read for me in high school), and the snarky condescension of his more recent work is beyond my threshold for tolerance.

    I first found out about him through my obsession with Douglas Adams, whom I'm convinced did far more in his short life as a layman to increase public appreciation for science via his fiction writing than Dawkins and his infuriating acolytes could hope to do.
    Last edited by botley; 02-24-2014 at 09:44 AM.

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    i honestly don't see science and god as mutually exclusive. the idea of a creator is so simple to me, and "he" is not a "person."
    It's everything.
    Now, off to find out what the fuck "epigenetics" means.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elevenism View Post
    Now, off to find out what the fuck "epigenetics" means.
    Here's a good primer.


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    Some experts responded to the critique I linked above.

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    The only Richard Dawkins book I have is The God Delusion, which I purchased from a second-hand shop. I read it some time afterwards and found it fascinating and eye-opening. I should read it again and I definitely must aquire more of his books.

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    Quote Originally Posted by botley View Post
    Selfish Gene is hopelessly out of date with modern scientific findings on epigenetics (although, yes, it was a pretty eye-opening read for me in high school), and the snarky condescension of his more recent work is beyond my threshold for tolerance.

    I first found out about him through my obsession with Douglas Adams, whom I'm convinced did far more in his short life as a layman to increase public appreciation for science via his fiction writing than Dawkins and his infuriating acolytes could hope to do.
    Some of it is out of date, but the vast majority of it is still true - and it's a great foundation text for Kids. TBH any book on Psychology, anthropology or genetics is doomed to irrelevance within a few years of publishing, but they can still be worth taking in

    PS you ever heard Douglas Adams onstage with Pink Floyd? It was his birthday present one year

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    Yeah but I don't really care for Pink Floyd without Roger Waters. It's more amazing to me that he co-wrote for Monty Python's Flying Circus with Graham Chapman.
    Last edited by botley; 09-29-2014 at 10:35 PM.

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    also wrote/script edited some of the weirdest 70s doctor who

    lalla ward was the assistant at the time, and now she's Dawkins' wife, always wondered how that happened, guessing they met through Adams

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