The God Delusion

I’m a fan of Richard Dawkins, a prolific author and evolutionary biologist.  I first read his book “The Blind Watchmaker”, which explains why one might believe in evolution in the face of [mostly religious] critics.  The title comes from the argument that if one came across a watch lying in a field, that one would “know” that someone or something had “designed” the watch.  It is Dawkins’ contention that very unlikely events, when given billions of years to occur, become almost certain to occur, and that there is no need to hypothesize a deity to “design” us.  Dawkins is thorough, logical and articulate: his books are always worth reading.

His most recent book, “The God Delusion”, takes the issue of atheism head-on.  I bought it, even though he was preaching to the choir, but found that it was not exactly what I had thought it might be.  I expected a few hundred pages explaining why there is no god, but that subject was dispatched in the first  hundred or so.  The remainder of the book explores why religion is so prevalent if there is no god, whether morality is possible without religion, and the like.  The book is interesting, but Dawkins’ passion gets away from him frequently, and his style deviates from his calm and logical style found in his other books.  At times strident, but always thoughtful, I enjoyed the book.

To learn more about Dawkins, his foundation, and the book, you can go here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Dawkins
http://richarddawkins.net/
http://dir.salon.com/story/news/feature/2005/04/30/dawkins/index.html

While on the subject of genetics, here is a link to an interesting lecture that, even though almost two years old, points out how far biology and genetics have come even in the past decade.

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/6

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