Thread: Dawkins Speaks
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Unread August 20th, 2007, 10:47 AM
James Brody James Brody is offline
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Default Dawkins Speaks

This morning's news: Dawkins, the world's most famous atheist, wants his clones out of the closet. "Egad!" and for several reasons:

1) Dawkins is a brilliant essayist, most known for his first book, The Selfish Gene, a popularization of research by William Donald Hamilton. Hamilton's research gave Dawkins the attention span that he ordinarily lacks. His last good book, The Extended Phenotype, appeared in 1982. It's been a long time, his spotlight dims, why not recharge it on the believers?

2) Genetics is an easier sell than evolution: you can prove the former and it's useful. Darwinism is harder because so much is conjecture and it grates against religious belief. Darwin himself alluded to similarities between his theory and committing a murder. Many thinkers have since agreed with him.

It also appears true that genes influence what you believe. A one-third rule may apply. That is, spiritualism has approximately a 0.33 contribution from heritability, one-third of the spirituality differences between individuals may be attributed to genetics and one-third to immediate environments. We all differ from each other and it is possible, even plausible, that one-third of us talks with God, one-third find the first third psychotic, and the middle third does whatever their neighbors do. Only the middle third can be argued into doing something different from what they already do. If one third of my neighbors---I am agnostic---are going to chat with invisible things, I much prefer a mature Christianity with its many sects to radical Islam or voodoo.

Finally, in regard to genes and conduct, believers tend to be fighters that attend church and defend this country. Agnostics and atheists, often urbanites and New Englanders, on average, fight to make money, for principal rather than principle. Believers also have children and teach them, non believers tend to have no kids and abort the ones they accidentally conceive. The females, oops, women who do have children, go to a job and tell their kids to figure things out for themselves.

3) My personal dilemma is that I'm a mosaic, a loner who thinks too much but also believes in shooting people for honor and principle. If, at age 65, I need be in a trench, then I want believers to either side of me. If prayer gives them better aim and more courage, I want them to pray and will join their devotions.

Dawkins, however, invites America to join Europe's mess. Europe, perhaps because the last great war killed nearly all their believers, switched their genetic middle third to relativism. Relativism advertises "sucker" to lots of fathers and mothers who name their many sons "Mohammed." If Richard misses the dopamine highs from his younger days, he gets one more ride at the top of Islam's list of people to kill and his call to atheists is one more datum in the case that higher intelligence predicts suicidality. Toynbee may have been right, at least about us...


Last edited by James Brody; August 20th, 2007 at 11:01 AM.
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