RICHARD DAWKINS by nyut545e2

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									      RICHARD DAWKINS
Professor of the
Public Understanding
of Science at Oxford
University. His books
about evolution and
science include The
Selfish Gene, The
Extended Phenotype,
The Blind
Watchmaker, River
Out of Eden, Climbing
Mount Improbable,
and most recently,
Unweaving the
Rainbow
• Dawkins rejects
  any concept of
  an immortal soul
• River Out of
  Eden, 1995, puts
  forward a case
  for biological
  materialism
“There is no
spirit-driven life
force, no
throbbing,
heaving,
pullulating,
protoplasmic,
mystic jelly. Life
is just bytes and
bytes and bytes
of digital
information.”
Dawkins
argument for a
biologically
materialist
system for life
concludes that
any evidence of
“divine activity”
is an illusion.
• Humans are
  merely carriers
  of DNA.
• Information flows
  through time, but
  bones and tissue
  do not.
• Evolution is the
  only rational
  theory.
• It is not our soul
  that guides us,
  but our genetic
  make-up.
• Over time the
  good genes
  survive; the bad
  genes die out.
• We are as we are
  because of our
  genetic makeup,
  not the efforts of
  our soul to guide
  us towards the
  realm of ideas.
• No soul continues,
  only DNA, the
  function of life.
• The belief,
  therefore, in an
  immortal soul is
  anachronistic and
  damaging to
  human endeavour.
• He argues that
  myths (such as
  Plato‟s Forms) and
  faiths are not
  supported by
  evidence.
• Scientific beliefs
  are supported by
  evidence.
• Life lacks
  purpose and is
  indifferent to
  suffering.
• There is no
  Creator-God.
• Our sense of self
  and individuality is
  based on digital
  information, not the
  soul.
• Our genes are a
  colony of information
  that wants to be
  replicated.
• It is easier for this to
  happen in a multi-
  cell organism.
• The genes are
  found in behaviour
  so the bodies
  acquire
  individuality.
• We feel like a
  single organism,
  not a colony, as
  selection has
  favoured genes
  that cooperate.
• Genes working
  together give us a
  sense of
  individuality, not
  the soul.
• The colony needs
  a central control.
• The genetic model
  becomes more
  complex . . .
• And thinks about
  itself as an
  individual and
  considers the
  consequences of
  its actions.
• This leads to
  human culture, a
  „replicator‟ or
  „meme‟
• Tunes,
  catchphrases,
  quotes, teachings
  which are heard
  and lodged in the
  brain and then
  imitated by it.
• At death, we leave
  behind genes and
  memes though the
  genes will quickly
  be dispersed.
• DNA survival
  brings about the
  body and
  individual
  consciousness
  creates culture.
• This is the soul.
• As Dawkins presents it,
  everything is developed
  through a natural
  process.
• There is no injection of
  self or soul from
  outside; no need (as
  Plato had thought) to
  suggest a pre-existence
  in order to explain our
  knowledge.
• Read pages 147 and
  148 from
 OCR Edition
  Jordan, Lockyer and
  Tate
• Answer in written form
  all 4 “Something to
  think about” from
  these pages for next
  lesson.

								
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