Tuesday, November 20, 2007

BBC Profile: Richard Dawkins - The Devil's Chaplain?

Richard Dawkins is the author of a number of internationally best-selling books about evolutionary biology including The Selfish Gene (1976; second edition, 1989), The Extended Phenotype (1982), The Blind Watchmaker (1986), River Out of Eden (1995), Climbing Mount Improbable (1996), and Unweaving the Rainbow (1998). And, of course, he represents a school of Darwinian orthodoxy that dominates all biological sciences.

Dawkins is best known for ‘the selfish gene.” Unfortunately, like other catch phrases, its very wording could have a negative connotation, does not itself impart any transparent meaning that is not easily subject to misinterpretation, or deliberate mischief by opponents. In this way, it shares equal billing with ‘survival of the fittest.’

Traditional Darwinism tended to look at entire organisms and to accept that a "survival of the fittest" organism (as a gatherer of food) took place. If the gene was now considered to be the focus of many most decisive struggles where the only "fittest" would survive then genes stood to replace organisms as the real unit in any evolutionary struggle.

Commentators in the documentary suggest that altruism seen in many species (including humans) may be a contradiction of the selfish gene theory and that contraception seems directly opposed to it.

Are they that opaque or just creating straw men that they hope the audience sees through?

Altruism ensures that offspring along with the social and culture ideas of individuals survive and are memed, another pet concept of Dawkins. Any sleepy student in Sociology 101 can see that contraception often means the children of birth control practicing parents have increased quality of life by the focusing of family resources, and thereby survive very well thank you.

There is some emphasis of Dawkins’ saint like devotion to his ideas and science that raises to a level of ‘spirituality’ as opposed to superstitious religion. Well, so be it but it does make this primer in evolution a little on the idolatrous side.

File Size: 108 MB


Monday, November 19, 2007

Root of All Evil? (2006)

It took a some time but at last I'm glad to share this thought-provoking, powerful and mind-opening document of Richard Dawkins. Not for just atheists, it's a red pill for the ones who are ready for facing with the deep holes of religion. Do you dare or you want to continue dreaming?..

In this two-part documentary, Oxford Professor Richard Dawkins examines how religious faith is gaining ground in the face of rational, scientific truth. The program takes you to some of the world's religious hot-spots, both in America and the Middle East. Dawkins meets with religious leaders and their followers, as well as scientists and skeptics to examine the power of religion. Interviews with former Pastor Ted Haggard, the novelist Ian McEwan, the former Bishop of Oxford, and others offer valuable insights into the global impact and consequences of faith in the 21st century.

Along with his million-copy bestseller The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins' Root of All Evil? has helped inspire people of reason worldwide to say "Enough is enough!" Our modern world is the product of a long march from ignorance and fear to the Enlightement and beyond, always guided by the power of science and reason. To now abandon our endeavour toward progress and knowledge for faith and superstition puts humanity in peril.

Related to: Enemies of Reason

Release Name: Root.of.All.Evil.1of2.The.God.Delusion.PDTV-NiX.avi
Release Name: Root.of.All.Evil.2of2.The.Virus.of.Faith.PDTV-NiX.avi
Total Size ....: 701 MB
Video Length CD1 .......: 00:47:12
Video Length CD2 .......: 00:47:23



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Friday, November 16, 2007

The Borderlands of Science: Where Sense Meets Nonsense - Michael Shermer (Audiobook)

Superstring theory is one of the latest inhabitants of what Shermer (Why People Believe Weird Things, etc.), editor of Skeptic magazine, calls the "borderlands" of science: that is, ideas that fall somewhere between established, likely explanations for reality (or some small part thereof) and pseudoscientific claims (e.g., remote viewing or alien abduction). A 10-point "boundary detection kit" helps readers determine the credibility of new scientific claims; for example, "Does this source often make similar claims?" (i.e., is he or she a publicity seeker or a crank) and "Has anyone... gone out of the way to disprove the claim, or has only confirmatory evidence been sought?" His treatment of Carl Sagan, fearless navigator of scientific borderlands, is stellar, as is his chapter on racial differences, where he debunks the prevalent notion that black people are better at sports than at managing. Other chapters are less successful. In attacking Freud's "blustering ego," Shermer disregards how Freud's theories in their heyday helped many people. And throughout, he portrays Darwin as the perfect scientist, succumbing to the heroizing syndrome that he criticizes in others. At times, Shermer seems like a determined gadfly buzzing at the clay feet of figures and ideas he wants to chisel down to size, but his wings end up looking pretty bruised. Still, in spite of occasional ultraviolet prose, the book provides grist for the mill of thought and debate. (July)Forecast: Shermer's Skeptic reputation should help this outsell the similar Quantum Leaps in the Wrong Direction, by Charles M. Wynn and Arthur W. Wiggins. Publishers Weekly

[E-book version]

File size: 182 MB
Format: MP3, 32 kbps/Unabridged


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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

National Geographic: Was Darwin Wrong? (2006)

Our planet Earth is teeming with life. To some, it's a miracle - but can science explain how it came into existence? Critics have attacked the theory of evolution for 150 years. They claim it is full of holes, and the gaps reveal the hand of an Intelligent Designer. Naked Science investigates this explosive science and asks, was Darwin wrong?

Related to: What Darwin Didn't Know

File Size: 1.09 GB

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