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Biologist and Atheist Richard Dawkins on Charles Darwin - Comments

drumdaddy's Avatar Comment 1 by drumdaddy

Steam hammers are called for.

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 15:29:00 UTC | #933355

hellosnackbar's Avatar Comment 2 by hellosnackbar

I watched a TV program on Charles Darwin by David Attenborough. It was splendid in the Attenborough way.

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 16:23:22 UTC | #933372

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 3 by Alan4discussion

It's good to see a bit of objective media reporting concentrating on passing information to readers.

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 17:51:38 UTC | #933391

CJHefford's Avatar Comment 4 by CJHefford

Comment 2 by hellosnackbar :

I watched a TV program on Charles Darwin by David Attenborough. It was splendid in the Attenborough way.

Would you happen to know the name of the program?

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 20:51:54 UTC | #933439

God fearing Atheist's Avatar Comment 5 by God fearing Atheist

Comment 4 by CJHefford :

Comment 2 by hellosnackbar :

I watched a TV program on Charles Darwin by David Attenborough. It was splendid in the Attenborough way.

Would you happen to know the name of the program?

It might be this one. I saw it recently. Not sure if I saw it on the BBC iPlayer or YouTube.

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 21:08:48 UTC | #933442

Anonymous's Avatar Comment 6 by Anonymous

Comment Removed by Moderator

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 23:49:16 UTC | #933476

Anonymous's Avatar Comment 7 by Anonymous

Comment Removed by Moderator

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 23:54:38 UTC | #933479

Ranting Socrates's Avatar Comment 8 by Ranting Socrates

I think Chomsky could probably surpass Dawkins in the academic popularity contest . . . whether two decades ago, or today. Just saying.

Tue, 10 Apr 2012 17:24:56 UTC | #933707

hellosnackbar's Avatar Comment 9 by hellosnackbar

@CJ Hetford, It should be featured on BBC iplayer. If you live abroad then one can acquire a bogus service provider from www.expatshield.com which allows one to watch it. It's really worth the effort. Lots of fun

Tue, 10 Apr 2012 19:25:22 UTC | #933728

hellosnackbar's Avatar Comment 10 by hellosnackbar

@CH Hetford, Yes that's the one you listed on your second comment.

Tue, 10 Apr 2012 19:29:47 UTC | #933729

bubbub's Avatar Comment 11 by bubbub

I listened yesterday to an earlier talk Richard gave on the 5 bridges (or 4 + 1 Darwin came close to crossing)

http://www.open.edu/openlearn/whats-on/ou-on-the-bbc-ou-lecture-2009-darwins-five-bridges-dawkins-lecture

Total length 45 mins, very interesting. You can listen in parts or scroll down for the full lecture.

Wed, 11 Apr 2012 16:08:03 UTC | #933909

Functional Atheist's Avatar Comment 12 by Functional Atheist

Comment 8 by Ranting Socrates :

I think Chomsky could probably surpass Dawkins in the academic popularity contest . . . whether two decades ago, or today. Just saying.

Chomsky is an interesting and worthy nominee in a hypothetical academic popularity contest, but I don't think his victory is assured. Linguistics doesn't have the popular appeal of disciplines like history, economics, physics, or biology. Chomsky is at least as well known for his political opinions as for his academic work, and there also, I doubt he'd outright win such a popularity contest since his views are so far to the Left--but he might.

A few names I'd toss into the ring, besides Richard and Chomsky: Paul Krugman, Niall Ferguson, Henry Louis Gates, E.O. Wilson, Jane Goodall, Steven Pinker, Brian Greene, Cornel West, Jared Diamond, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Richard Norton Smith, Lawrence Krauss. If Carl Sagan was still alive, I'd put my money on him.

Wed, 11 Apr 2012 19:21:06 UTC | #933972

Zeuglodon's Avatar Comment 13 by Zeuglodon

Comment 11 by bubbub

I listened yesterday to an earlier talk Richard gave on the 5 bridges (or 4 + 1 Darwin came close to crossing)

http://www.open.edu/openlearn/whats-on/ou-on-the-bbc-ou-lecture-2009-darwins-five-bridges-dawkins-lecture

Total length 45 mins, very interesting. You can listen in parts or scroll down for the full lecture.

Hey, thanks! This is great viewing. I just finished the first part, and I admit I didn't know about Blyth and Matthews independently converging on the natural selection explanation. I'm watching the rest.

Wed, 11 Apr 2012 23:50:03 UTC | #934032

Zeuglodon's Avatar Comment 14 by Zeuglodon

Comment 13 by Zeuglodon

Comment 11 by bubbub

I just finished watching the entire lecture. I quite liked the bridges metaphor, though bridge four ("Public appreciation") didn't seem very clear to me. Was this in contrast to Matthew's presumption that it was too obvious to need pointing out to a public audience?

Chomsky is an interesting and worthy nominee in a hypothetical academic popularity contest, but I don't think his victory is assured. Linguistics doesn't have the popular appeal of disciplines like history, economics, physics, or biology. Chomsky is at least as well known for his political opinions as for his academic work, and there also, I doubt he'd outright win such a popularity contest since his views are so far to the Left--but he might.

I don't give Chomsky much credit for what he said on New Atheism. He's usually fairly astute, but he missed the mark widely when he accused atheists of either preaching to the choir or preaching to people who won't listen. He clearly hadn't looked at Convert's Corner or paid attention to the closet culture.

Thu, 12 Apr 2012 13:26:49 UTC | #934132

bubbub's Avatar Comment 15 by bubbub

Comment 13 by Zeuglodon I just finished watching the entire lecture. I quite liked the bridges metaphor, though bridge four ("Public appreciation") didn't seem very clear to me. Was this in contrast to Matthew's presumption that it was too obvious to need pointing out to a public audience?

I'm glad you liked it :) Interesting question; I think that 4th bridge isn't so much about realising that it was worth bringing to a wider public attention but rather about actually achieving that attention (maybe that's a two-part bridge :)). That's something that Wallis's essay didn't do on its own when presented alongside Darwin's - it took a full and developed treatment by Darwin in his book to do so.

I also found the stuff about precise definitions of evolution and the gene pool near the end really interesting as I've only read small parts of Richards books, so that was new to me. The only whole one I've read so far is The Greatest Show On Earth and almost all of The God Delusion.

Thu, 12 Apr 2012 13:55:43 UTC | #934140

Zeuglodon's Avatar Comment 16 by Zeuglodon

Comment 15 by bubbub

I'm glad you liked it :) Interesting question; I think that 4th bridge isn't so much about realising that it was worth bringing to a wider public attention but rather about actually achieving that attention (maybe that's a two-part bridge :)). That's something that Wallis's essay didn't do on its own when presented alongside Darwin's - it took a full and developed treatment by Darwin in his book to do so.

I watched that part of the lecture again to make sure, and that makes more sense. Wallace didn't have his own On the Origin of Species to compare, so Darwin was chiefly responsible for transforming natural selection into a scientific idea worth public attention. I kinda see your point about it being a two-part bridge, since Wallace obviously grasped its significance, but arguably that "realizing the theory's significance" aspect seems more relevant to the third bridge.

Thu, 12 Apr 2012 14:31:29 UTC | #934147