Richard Dawkins was recently invited to speak at the University of Oklahoma’s Darwin 2009
series of lectures on March 6th, 2009. The speech to be entitled "The Purpose of Purpose"
quickly grew in popularity and even had to be moved to a larger venue to accommodate the quickly increasing crowd. Of course, word eventually reached Todd Thompson
. Friction ensues. [more inside]
posted by 5imian
on Apr 3, 2009 -
At the beginning was the noosphere.
The existence of a "sphere of ideas", beyond the "sphere of life" (biosphere) and the "sphere of matter" (geosphere) was apparently first postulated by the pioneering Russian-Ukrainian geochemist V.I. Vernadsky
. Vernadsky thought not only that the biosphere had entirely reshaped the geosphere, but that the burgeoning noosphere of interconnected thought would ultimately change the biosphere just as much.
French jesuit and paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
took the concept and ran with it
posted by Skeptic
on Nov 28, 2006 -
Before the class, Crocker had told me that she was going to teach "the strengths and weaknesses of evolution." Afterward, I asked her whether she was going to discuss the evidence for evolution in another class. She said no.
A "Biology 101" class turns into a gripe session for creationists
at a state school, the Northern Virginia Community College. The lecturer then whines about being discriminated against when she fails to teach the subject she's hired to teach.
posted by orthogonality
on Feb 5, 2006 -
Are evolution's advocates giving fire to creationists?
So says Michael Ruse
, "philosopher of biology (especially Darwinism)", who claims that outspoken evolutionists (e.g. Richard Dawkins
) should do more to make evolution compatible with religion, rather than touting it as a worldview of its own.
Tell that to Nosson Slifkin
(NYTimes, login required), an Orthodox rabbi whose books were banned by a number of eminent rabbis for "seek[ing] to reconcile, rather than to contrast, sacred texts with modern knowledge of the natural world."
That said, will those like Slifkin and Rev. Dr. Arthur Peacocke
be able to make a difference, or will they be ignored and scorned?
posted by greatgefilte
on May 3, 2005 -
argue that the complexity of the human eye
could not have arrisen by random Darwinian natural selection, since it "must be perfect to work at all". The Nilsson and Pelger
computer experiment refutes this with a method of awesome beauty, showing that a human-quality eye is not just possible under Darwinian evolution, but nigh-inevitable. This is from Do Good By Stealth
, chapter 3 of River Out of Eden
, which is maybe the greatest thing I've ever read.
posted by Pretty_Generic
on Dec 10, 2004 -
The Dawkins FAQ.
Interesting Q&A session about evolution, biology, genes, etc with an expert
. Dawkins claims no final answer on the "gay gene" or a Darwinian explanation of homosexuality.
posted by skallas
on Nov 27, 2004 -
Richard Dawkins discusses religion with a Darwinian outlook.
RD: Could religion be a recent phenomenon, sprung up since our genes underwent most of their natural selection? Its ubiquity argues against any simple version of this idea. Nevertheless, there is a version of it that I want to advocate. The propensity that was naturally selected in our ancestors was not religion per se. It had some other benefit, and it only incidentally manifests itself today as religious behavior.
posted by skallas
on Sep 3, 2004 -