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The Complete Idiot's Guide To Biology... - Comments

tgfcoder's Avatar Comment 1 by tgfcoder

Gross..

Thu, 13 Jan 2011 10:27:13 UTC | #577615

guyver_dio's Avatar Comment 2 by guyver_dio

I think you're set for your exams, go get em tiger lol

Thu, 13 Jan 2011 10:34:18 UTC | #577619

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 3 by AtheistEgbert

Well the guide is for 'idiots'.

Thu, 13 Jan 2011 10:54:14 UTC | #577628

DavidMcC's Avatar Comment 4 by DavidMcC

I checked nup on the publishers, MCTAVISH. They turned out to be called "Alpha" (which immediately raised my suspicions - (Alpha and Omega!) Link to Alpha.

Perhaps you should be more careful in future about who pulished what you buy! You've been had, mate.

Thu, 13 Jan 2011 11:12:02 UTC | #577635

DavidMcC's Avatar Comment 5 by DavidMcC

I checked nup on the publishers, MCTAVISH. They turned out to be called "Alpha" (which immediately raised my suspicions - (Alpha and Omega!) Link to Alpha.

Perhaps you should be more careful in future about who pulished what you buy! You've been had, mate.

Thu, 13 Jan 2011 11:12:50 UTC | #577637

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 6 by AtheistEgbert

Help the poor guy out. Perhaps some suggestions for good introductory books on biology? Obviously Professor Dawkins' books are a must read, but are there any good introductory books out there?

Thu, 13 Jan 2011 11:46:32 UTC | #577648

DavidMcC's Avatar Comment 7 by DavidMcC

AtheistEgbert, he didn't actually ask for help, he was only pointing out to the rest of us that this book was rubbish, for which we should thank him. Also, I am sure he is capable of finding a good publisher now that he has been "stung once", so to speak. Furthermore, my biology education was almost entirely outside of my school or university education, and is based on the scientific literature that I have and am studying as an adult, rather than on any particular text book, so I am not well placed to supply an alternative, only to advise checking on the publisher as much as the author.

Thu, 13 Jan 2011 12:08:13 UTC | #577657

Moderator's Avatar Comment 8 by Moderator

We originally removed the comment below because we judged it to have crossed the (occasionally fine) line between defence of religious beliefs and out-and-out preaching. However, on reflection, we have decided to put it back, as there may be people here who would like to engage with it.
The Moderator Team

Jump to comment 8 by Carl_G85 God created evolution and to evolution he gave free will, the will for all living organisms to spontaneously develop of their own accord.

The idea that this perfect world in which we live was created trillions of years ago by an exceptional set of wecircumstances is absurd. How could two atoms collide together and result in this?

God gave us humans free will and through evolution every single one of us has marvelled at his creation and relentlessly questioned how everything came to be, have developed an insatiable lust for answers which is a sign that people like Richard Dawkins subcontiously believe in God, appreciate and wonder at his creation, if we were so insignificant in the Universe and created by chance why does Dawkins chase an answer for it.

When Apollo 13 met trouble on its voyage to the moon, what did atheists do? They hoped! Hope is not a chemical change in the mind, its is not something that has evolved over time. Cavemen hoped in the same way beings of today do. Hope and love are emotions given to us by God just as the need to voyage and search for uderstanding is instilled in the Astronauts who searched for answers on the moon.

We have been given the gift of consciousness to marvel at his creation, to live and love, he created man in the image of himself and like god we have become creators, we have conquered the land, sea and air, we have advanced in so many ways and we are looking to the Universe which we are learning is so large, so complex and so spectacular that there must be a creator.

Thu, 13 Jan 2011 12:55:31 UTC | #577672

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 9 by Jos Gibbons

he gave the will for all living organisms to spontaneously develop of their own accord

That's not how evolution works. Evolution is a change in the genes (memes, etc.) of a population, including changes in the relative frequencies of genes. Individual organisms don't change their genes. All that is spontaneous in the process is occasional mutations. All else is the gradual process of natural selection, which eventually accumulates the effects of many mutations across time.

The idea that this perfect world in which we live was created trillions of years ago by exceptional set of circumstances is absurd. How could two atoms collide together and result in this?

Firstly, as long as there is interspecific and intraspecific competition and most of the universe kills life instantly, this world isn't perfect. Secondly, the age of the universe is in the billions. Thirdly, it was not exceptional, but instead in accord with all the same laws of physics as all events. Fourth, two atoms collide all the time to form diatomic molecules. I hate to break it to you, but atoms, molecules etc. stick together better than do pieces of a watch, thanks to how electromagnetism operates on short scales. Fifth, we have already explained in great detail the processes underlying the history of the various wonders of this universe. Read a science book.

God gave us humans free will

How do you know we have free will? What do you even mean by free will? Depending on your answer, it may be something science has already showed is impossible.

every single one of us has marvelled at his creation

Have you ever heard of atheists before?

relentlessly questioned how everything came to be, developed an insatiable lust for answers which is a sign that people like Richard Dawkins subconsciously believe in God

Au contraire; Richard Dawkins seeks real answers, which are natural, not supernatural.

if we were so insignificant in the Universe and created by chance why does Dawkins chase an answer for it

Firstly, we weren't created by chance. Stellar and primordial nucleosynthesis, planetary accretion, natural selection and various other natural processes are involved. Secondly, people like Dawkins or me seek answers because they exist, whether or not a god is in them. Thirdly, given how many details we already have, "chase" is disingenuous.

Cavemen hoped in the same way beings of today do.

How do you know that? Have you analysed their brains? No. Though you don't believe so, hope has a chemical basis. The neurochemistry involved differs from species to species. It has developed gradually in the part of our lineage which includes humans.

emotions given to us by God

Evidence?

We have been given the gift of consciousness to marvel at his creation, to live and love

What egocentric purposes the god you hypothesise had. But what evidence supports your claims? None.

he created man in the image of himself

So why aren't we invisible?

the Universe is so large, so complex and so spectacular that there must be a creator.

Why? Size has nothing to do with it; the universe expands. Complexity must be even greater in a designer; was God designed? "Spectacular", being a subjective term (until clarified), cannot objectively back up factual claims.

Thu, 13 Jan 2011 13:24:19 UTC | #577693

Sean_W's Avatar Comment 10 by Sean_W

Those who believe the world as we know it was created in six days are often called creationists. Their method of inquiry is based on the belief that the Bible is to be accepted as a completely accurate accounting of all about which it speaks. Scientists, on the other hand, utilize what they call the scientific method, which allows them to test hypotheses and theories and to develop concepts and ideas. However, there are many good scientists who also happen to be creationists. Even though the two are often compared and contrasted, the fact is that creationism is not a science, and therefore it is not dealt with in most biology books.

Biology: A Self-Teaching Guide, 2nd edition, Steven D. Garber

I can't recommend a biology book. I just thought this was great stuff, aside from the wimpy concession about good creationist scientists. I've never seen it said so plainly in a book like this before.

Thu, 13 Jan 2011 13:43:12 UTC | #577703

SaganTheCat's Avatar Comment 11 by SaganTheCat

he created man in the image of himself

For a species that has such low genetic diversity we sure look different. Darwin spoke of variation. I see people as varying. I don't see any god.

The word "image" is used but no image forthcoming. what colour is god? what's his hair like? at what stage of development is he in? does he suffer from back pain too? when did his wisdom teeth erupt?

We must back up assertions with reason.

God created evolution and to evolution he gave free will, the will for all living organisms to spontaneously develop of their own accord.

if god created evolution and created man in his sexist image, why the need for evolution? why the need for a system that is so brutal then expect thanks for it? why does he only ever communicate with humans in ways that can always be attributed to mental illness?

evolution does not have free will. evolution is modification through natural selection. evolution is driven by enviromental pressures not freewill. it is driven by nature. The term free will is a human construct and impossible to define let alone proove.

attempting to tie this to the thread, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Biology is clearly written by a complete idiot and aimed at complete idiots who wish to ensure their idiocy remains complete. A complete idiot is free from the constraints of reason and logic and can happily attach itself to someone else's viewpoint without having to consider why. Out of the billions of publications that have emerged since the invention of the printing press, a complete idiot is in danger of reading something other than the one book that they have decided to cling to so it's good that there are idiots out there giving them the feeling they are becoming educated without the burden of actually learning something new and, Mithras forbid, develop a sense of curiosity about their world.

As one who is prepared to repeat something you've been fed by others without any critical analysis, I must assume you have nothing to learn nor feel the need to even question the inconsistencies in your own post.

I hope you enjoy the book

Thu, 13 Jan 2011 13:50:38 UTC | #577704

crookedshoes's Avatar Comment 12 by crookedshoes

It does say "for idiots" right on the cover.

Thu, 13 Jan 2011 14:05:16 UTC | #577714

Carl_G85's Avatar Comment 13 by Carl_G85

Thankfully, the moderator went back on his/her decision to remove my post which I appreciate and I enjoy the analytical way in which you respond to my post however I find it slightly verbose.

Using your watch analogy, please answer me this:

If humans didn't physically make a wrist watch, would one naturally occur over billions or trillions of years by way of natural selection and process?

Thu, 13 Jan 2011 14:22:59 UTC | #577723

Mark Jones's Avatar Comment 14 by Mark Jones

Comment 14 by Carl_G85

If humans didn't physically make a wrist watch, would one naturally occur over billions or trillions of years by way of natural selection and process?

How would a wrist watch reproduce itself?

Teleology isn't even taken seriously by theist philosophers any longer, except in its vaguer (cosmological or consciousness) versions; Paley's Watch is no longer entertained as an argument for anything. So you won't find atheists giving it the time of day (see what I did there?!).

Thu, 13 Jan 2011 14:36:26 UTC | #577728

opposablethumbs's Avatar Comment 15 by opposablethumbs

Your watch is a chestnut so old it has practically fossilised, Carl_G85. Go away and read a basic, e.g. high-school level, introduction to natural selection (the non-random selection and accumulation of random variations. Did you notice the words "non-random" there? Just in case: non-random) or better still, why not have a read of "Climbing Mount Improbable". It's well-written, full of fascinating information and a really enjoyable book.

Thu, 13 Jan 2011 14:40:41 UTC | #577735

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 16 by AtheistEgbert

Comment 9 by Moderator :

We originally removed the comment below because we judged it to have crossed the (occasionally fine) line between defence of religious beliefs and out-and-out preaching. However, on reflection, we have decided to put it back, as there may be people here who would like to engage with it. The Moderator Team Jump to comment 8 by Carl_G85 God created evolution and to evolution he gave free will, the will for all living organisms to spontaneously develop of their own accord.

The idea that this perfect world in which we live was created trillions of years ago by an exceptional set of wecircumstances is absurd. How could two atoms collide together and result in this?

God gave us humans free will and through evolution every single one of us has marvelled at his creation and relentlessly questioned how everything came to be, have developed an insatiable lust for answers which is a sign that people like Richard Dawkins subcontiously believe in God, appreciate and wonder at his creation, if we were so insignificant in the Universe and created by chance why does Dawkins chase an answer for it.

When Apollo 13 met trouble on its voyage to the moon, what did atheists do? They hoped! Hope is not a chemical change in the mind, its is not something that has evolved over time. Cavemen hoped in the same way beings of today do. Hope and love are emotions given to us by God just as the need to voyage and search for uderstanding is instilled in the Astronauts who searched for answers on the moon.

We have been given the gift of consciousness to marvel at his creation, to live and love, he created man in the image of himself and like god we have become creators, we have conquered the land, sea and air, we have advanced in so many ways and we are looking to the Universe which we are learning is so large, so complex and so spectacular that there must be a creator.

This post must be a parody moderators?

Anyway:

  1. There is no evidence of a God, nor any evidence that God created evolution, so the claim is an opinion and not a fact.
  2. There is no evidence of free will, or at least it's incoherent. What is meant by free will? If free will is related to God and since there is no evidence of a God, the claim is once again an opinion and not a fact.
  3. The Earth is far from perfect. If it were perfect, then it would not conform to the second law of thermodynamics, in other words things fall apart.
  4. Scientists currently claim that the universe is 13.7 billion years old. The claim of trillions is made up by the poster.
  5. The big bang theory is not based on two atoms colliding.
  6. Free will claim again. (see point 2.)
  7. Lust is for sex, not for Richard Dawkins' books (although some may lust after Professor Dawkins).
  8. Professor Dawkins is not a subconscious Christian, but you may be a subconscious atheist troll.
  9. How can you possibly know the hopes of cavemen? There is evidence that Stone Age man certainly buried their dead, but burying dead is not the same as accepting Jesus as your saviour.
  10. What's the chance of rolling either a heads or a tails on a coin? The chance is 100%, that's the beauty of probability.
  11. Hoping is not connected to a supernatural realm, but it is connected to concern and wishful thinking.
  12. Hope is not an emotion. Almost all mammals and experience love, it's why they bring up their children rather than lay eggs.
  13. There is no evidence of a God, and no evidence God gave us emotions, which is your opinion. There is evidence for evolution, evolution gave us emotions, fact.
  14. We advance in spite of religious and irrational opinions, which only drag us back into ignorance and barbarity.

Thu, 13 Jan 2011 14:41:53 UTC | #577737

Carl_G85's Avatar Comment 17 by Carl_G85

An infinite number of monkeys using an infinite number of typewriters for an infinite amount of time, could not produce the complete work of Shakespeare, unless they have read it.

Thu, 13 Jan 2011 14:47:10 UTC | #577743

DocWebster's Avatar Comment 18 by DocWebster

Carl G_85, you have been duped into thinking absurdity is profound. It's a crime that clergymen are allowed to do this to people then set set them forth to make fools of themselves in public. You should track down the priest or whatever that put the silly argument about watches in your head and have a serious talk with them about their motives.

Thu, 13 Jan 2011 14:50:46 UTC | #577746

opposablethumbs's Avatar Comment 19 by opposablethumbs

Non-random. Look it up.

Thu, 13 Jan 2011 14:51:02 UTC | #577747

Roger J. Stanyard's Avatar Comment 20 by Roger J. Stanyard

by Carl_G85 "If humans didn't physically make a wrist watch, would one naturally occur over billions or trillions of years by way of natural selection and process?"

Don't assume that everyone in here is stupid and that you have a superior intellect and understanding of the world.

The theory of evolution by natural selection is purely an explanation of the differnces between species. It has nothing at ll to do with watches, railway locomotives or nose picks. Human artifacts don't reproduce.

Thu, 13 Jan 2011 15:08:32 UTC | #577752

JHJEFFERY's Avatar Comment 21 by JHJEFFERY

Comment 18 by Carl_G85

Carl, Your Paley's watchmaker argument is stale. We haven't seen it tried on this site in years.

Paley says, when walking along a beach you see a watch and intuitively know some being must have created it. The sand on the beach? Not so much.

Thu, 13 Jan 2011 15:14:50 UTC | #577758

Roger J. Stanyard's Avatar Comment 22 by Roger J. Stanyard

y Carl_G85 "An infinite number of monkeys using an infinite number of typewriters for an infinite amount of time, could not produce the complete work of Shakespeare, unless they have read it."

So? Shrug.

Thu, 13 Jan 2011 15:18:01 UTC | #577761

Roger J. Stanyard's Avatar Comment 23 by Roger J. Stanyard

General comments on cretinists:

This one is following standard cretinist boilerplate.

  1. Despite the cretists telling the court and the public for years, and under oath, that creationism stands and falls on science alone, without any recourse to religion, this one has:

a. Immediately felt it necessary to tell everyone he is religious.

b. Preach.

  1. Creationists generally know bugger all about religion. This one seems to think that the world is divided into two groups only, cretinists and atheists. He seems to have no comprehension that most religious believers accept evolutionary biology and the old age of the earth.

  2. Cretinists rarely understand their own cretinist "science". This one hasn't even hinted at any understanding of his own position.

  3. They are pig shit ignorant about even the simplest science, as this one has so visible and spectacularly demonstrated to us all.

  4. They never listen or check their facts.

  5. They ignore what everyone says.

  6. They avoid answering any questions.

  7. They endlessly repeat themselves.

  8. Their entire "knowledge" comes from cretinist pamphlets and web sites.

And that's before they start on the scams and deception, such as claiming that they only want to debate (they never do), unsubstantiated claims, deliberate misquotes, bait and switch, martyrdom claims, spurious and irrelevant qualifications and "expertise" and out and out lying.

Methinks we've got a bog standard and not very talented creationist here.

Thu, 13 Jan 2011 15:48:48 UTC | #577774

DavidMcC's Avatar Comment 24 by DavidMcC

Almost all mammals and experience love, it's why they bring up their children rather than lay eggs. <

Are you sure that makes sense. Birds lay eggs, but still have to care for the hatchlings. Also, if it was true, wouldn't it work the other way round - loving because we don't lay eggs, not not laying eggs because we love.

Thu, 13 Jan 2011 15:58:46 UTC | #577778

Carl_G85's Avatar Comment 25 by Carl_G85

Roger J. Stanyard

Im not assuming anyone in here is stupid, I have simply used two analogies which no one is prepared to answer so demonise it.

Science has played a massive part in civilisation and im not denying evolution, natural selection or any other scientific research. I am merely putting to you a belief system I have and welcome criticism. I have come across many nutters in the past who ram religious propaganda down the throats of vulnerable and influential people. I am not telling anyone to believe what I do.

I don’t have half the level of knowledge some people in here do about black holes, worm holes, string theories etc. But I do have a belief which has been developed by life experiences and the real material world I live in.

Why do I feel sorry for people in Australia who are experiencing the terrible floods, ive never met them before? Why do i feel the need to help by donating, why do i like to help people less fortunate than me? Because I have a soul that is not biological or can be drawn on a whiteboard in a classroom.

Thu, 13 Jan 2011 16:03:50 UTC | #577782

epeeist's Avatar Comment 26 by epeeist

Comment 26 by Carl_G85 :

Im not assuming anyone in here is stupid, I have simply used two analogies which no one is prepared to answer so demonise it.

But the watch analogy was trashed before it was made, try reading some David Hume. For what it is worth, here is my own take on the subject following Hume.

What you are saying is that there are multiple gods, given that there are multiple designers and makers of the average watch. Also, given the artificers who made the watch are made of the same materials as the watch, hence these gods are presumably made of the same material as the universe. Which raises the question of where the universe came from. Now given all the hassle that John Harrison had making an accurate watch one could also draw the inference that these gods are not particularly competent and definitely not omniscient or omnipotent. Finally, Harrison died after producing H5, so we can also assume that these gods are not immortal either.

Paley's watch is the most silly argument. We know that a watch is an artefact, having seen many of them before. Could we tell whether something we hadn't seen before was designed, compare this image with this image. Without looking at the titles can you tell whether one of them was designed by humans and the other not?

If you are going to use an argument from analogy then you should try to ensure that there are more similarities than dissimilarities between the two concepts. The watch argument is the fallacy of the weak analogy.

Thu, 13 Jan 2011 16:28:06 UTC | #577791

SaganTheCat's Avatar Comment 27 by SaganTheCat

im not denying evolution

Why do I feel sorry for people in Australia who are experiencing the terrible floods, ive never met them before? Why do i feel the need to help by donating, why do i like to help people less fortunate than me?

You've evolved empathy. why do you even question your empathy other than to frame it as some influence of an external agent?

non-human mammals have been known to show empathy too, sometimes to other species. Dolphins helping swimmers, monkeys adopting kittens. If you don't believe that evolution can create co-operative behaviour you don't understand evolution and I invite you to spend some time reading up on the subject. If things that you've been told to do in church actually go on in the real world and have been for millenia before the first church was built, you might discover a whole new interest in nature.

Thu, 13 Jan 2011 16:53:22 UTC | #577800

JHJEFFERY's Avatar Comment 28 by JHJEFFERY

Comment 26 by Carl_G85

Because I have a soul . . .

You do? How do you know? What's it made of? How does it survive your death and go somewhere else. How does it get there? How does it take your knowledge and personality with it if it leaves your neurons in your brain?

This is piffle.

And BTW, you are wrong about the monkeys and Shakespeare. With an infinite amount of time, the monkeys will not only produce Shakespeare, but will produce an infinite amount of exact duplicates.

Thu, 13 Jan 2011 16:54:27 UTC | #577803

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 29 by Alan4discussion

The Complete Idiot's Guide To Biology...

MCTAVISH - I suggest you go back to the shop and ask for your money back, as the book is clearly NOT a biology reference book.

The normal meaning of "IDIOT'S GUIDE" is that it is a reference guide book for beginners: not that it is a book written by an ignorant idiot, so only uninformed beginners could be conned into buying it!

Thu, 13 Jan 2011 17:10:28 UTC | #577811

crookedshoes's Avatar Comment 30 by crookedshoes

CarlG85

HO HUMMM,

Look, wristwatches are designed. Designed things must be manufactured.

Organic chemicals spontaneously self assemble from meager inorganic chemicals (Miller and Urey in the 1950's).
Organic molecules self assemble into protobionts. Protobionts envelope replicators.... LIFE!!!

The thing is, EVERY single living thing ever was ever will be, has self assembled. NO MANUFACTURE, NO DESIGN.

If you do not like the answer to your question go ask an idiot; I am sure they will tell you haw insightful and "smart" your question is. Or you could google and read.

You are the next in line in a litany of posters who have done and said the same exact things; so I guess it doesn't take an infinite amount of time and chimps to peck out non-gibberish. Oh, wait, I spoke too soon, this is all gibberish and could/should be answered by consulting any textbook on biology anywhere. ANd, here is what will be hard for you --- READING it with an open mind

Thu, 13 Jan 2011 17:12:49 UTC | #577812