This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.


← Brief Scientific Autobiography

Bonzai's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by Bonzai

I am with Steve on this one. It is about his ideas, not the man.


You are of course entitled to be uninterested, Steve, but the same reasoning dismisses the entire genre of autobiography. Do you see nothing of importance in any memoir? Anne Frank? Confessions Of An Opium-Eater? Mein Kampf? We can learn about stuff from an autobiography just as we can from a science or history book, or a novel. No?

Well some people interest us because of their extraordinary life experience, some interest us because of their ideas. For the first group of people there is indeed a point in reading about their lives, but I think Dawkins firmly belongs in the second group.

For this reason I never read biographies of mathematicians and scientists. They tend to lead rather boring and uneventful lives (Galois was definitely a rare exception. I will probably read Andrew Hodge's biography for Alan Turing if I have some time to idle about, that does strike me as a bit more interesting. Feynman might be interesting, but from what I know probably not interesting enough for me to spend time reading his biography)

Sun, 13 Dec 2009 03:30:00 UTC | #422994