Friday, February 8, 2008

Why Darwin Matters, by Richard Dawkins (This is a must-read, folks)

2 posts in one day---that’s some yakking. At this rate this site will turn into a blog or something……Anyway, I just saw this piece in The Guardian and felt the need to alert my vast, non-existent readership instantly.

An excerpt:

If any reader knows of an idea that has a larger explanation ratio than Darwin's, let's hear it. Darwin's big idea explains all of life and its consequences, and that means everything that possesses more than minimal complexity. That's the numerator of the explanation ratio, and it is huge.

Yet the denominator in the explanatory equation is spectacularly small and simple: natural selection, the non-random survival of genes in gene pools (to put it in neo-Darwinian terms rather than Darwin's own).

You can pare Darwin's big idea down to a single sentence (again, this is a modern way of putting it, not quite Darwin's): "Given sufficient time, the non-random survival of hereditary entities (which occasionally miscopy) will generate complexity, diversity, beauty, and an illusion of design so persuasive that it is almost impossible to distinguish from deliberate intelligent design."

And here’s the foreword to the article:

Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species changed the world. Here Richard Dawkins introduces a 34-page celebration of the book and its author, available FREE with tomorrow's edition of the Guardian”.

I’m looking forward to reading that too.

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