22 COMMENTS

  1. BBC Radio 2 is very popular among the young so a quite a lot of listeners who normally tune in for something quite different might have heard this man talk for the very first time; interesting!

    • In reply to #2 by Stafford Gordon:

      BBC Radio 2 is very popular among the young so a quite a lot of listeners who normally tune in for something quite different might have heard this man talk for the very first time; interesting!

      Er, I guess it depends how we define ‘young’, but I think it’s aimed primarily at ‘the twilight youth’ like me (early 40s)….certainly the music would mostly suggest that! It’s a lovely little essay by RD……and going to be published in the New Statesman next week, I believe.

  2. Dear Professor, educating interview – as usual. Hopefully you’ll read this. Apart from the genetics, pigments etc., is there, in your opinion any reason as to why there is such a variety and spectrum in human eye colour? Are different coloured eyes more suited to different environments? I ask because I think that nearly all other animals have the same eye colour of thier own species. Thank you

    • This gives some explanation, not sure if it’s correct, but it has references at the bottom that might be worth looking into to.

      http://cogweb.ucla.edu/ep/Frost_06.html

      In reply to #8 by wil128:

      Dear Professor, educating interview – as usual. Hopefully you’ll read this. Apart from the genetics, pigments etc., is there, in your opinion any reason as to why there is such a variety and spectrum in human eye colour? Are different coloured eyes more suited to different environments? I ask…

  3. What a missed opportunity. If only the BBC had put up someone a little less lightweight than the fuckwit Jeremy Vine to do this programme. I suppose Melvin Bragg has been bagged by Radio 4 but surely Radio 2 has someone available to ask Dr Dawkins questions who’s a bit more interesting or penetrating.

    I mean, Vine’s strategy for trying to appear as if he understands the subject was to put on this fake surprised tone, one that he hoped would make him appear to be an interviewer who probes his subject from a position of knowledge, as if he was indignant or something about what Dr Dawkins had previously written or said. I bet he’s never even read any of his books.

    The title of the programme promised so much. “What makes us human” seemed like a radio transmission worth listening to. Vine could have asked the Dawk about all sorts of things, maybe something like, “Your books show us how those human characteristics that we so much value in ourselves – altruism, say – are simply the product of the presence of certain genes. Does that not cheapen what we mean by ‘humane’?”

    Or how about, “Have your own findings, Dr Dawkins, ever troubled you yourself in the way that they have disturbed some readers of your books, in other words those people who have been through The God Delusion, perhaps, only to realise that human inclinations – for instance our humanity – are ultimately just the result of what appears in our chromosomes?”

    Meaty questions would have been great. Instead we got something else.

    I think I’m right in saying that Vine was the person who once presented a feature on Newsnight dressed as a cowboy. He was explaingin to viewers how George Bush was faring in the US election that was going on at the time. Vine kept slapping his knee while saying “Yee Ha”. How did this religious prick get a job in serious journalism?

  4. Science and religion suffer from the same moronic malady – transferable illusion-based knowledge. It seems that those who attend learning institutions that feature either of these disciplines are taught the illusion-based knowledge of their instructors. If you don’t have empirical evidence, then quote the evidence of your instructor. If it was good enough for your instructor then it certainly is good enough for you regardless of the apparent idiocy involved.
    A simple example in science is the concept of “time”. It doesn’t take an intellectual genius to realize that “time” is the rate of evolution and evolution is a one-way street. So if you look up at a globe-positioning satellite and it is meters ahead of where it should be then it’s safe to assume that evolution is faster in space and people returning from a long journey would be older instead of younger.
    A human in many ways can be compared to a computer. It has a two piece diagram that governs its shape and size, it has operating softwa (the soul) that regulates its life giving- attributes and it has a short-term memory storage system. Should the short term memories be engrained by constant use, parts of them are transferred to the operating software.
    Should you be a person that believes that nothing in this universe can be destroyed then you can accept that the souls of living entities are destined to be recycled? Can you imagine the recycling protocol?

  5. I had to laugh out loud at “Can you sum up what Darwin discovered, for those who have not read his book?” Which is a bit like saying “Can you sum up what Copernicus discovered, for those who haven’t read his book?”

    • In reply to #19 by fragments:

      I had to laugh out loud at “Can you sum up what Darwin discovered, for those who have not read his book?” Which is a bit like saying “Can you sum up what Copernicus discovered, for those who haven’t read his book?”

      Some years ago a lady (whose name I cannot now remember) an expert on the composer Wagner, was asked if she could sum up, in a few words, the story of Wagner’s epic 5-opera Ring Cycle. She replied, “In the beginning the Rhine Maidens lose some gold. After a while they get it back again.” Classic?

  6. Is there evolution if there is no time? How will evolutionary biologists meet new physical paradigms about time, space and so on? Will new conceptual changes deny evolution? Or on the contrary, will it become a more extraordinary and deep process, full of astonishing implications? But, will human being nature become different as science progresses? Can knowledge change human beings nature, can it change yours? Can it change love or hatred itself? Can it change infinite selfishness, the value of life? Or just can transform old-fashioned organical structures into powerfull and programmed biobots? Along these lines, a serious-funny b-book recommendation, where Dawkins has its place too, “Bioquestions and the mechanical answer”. Just another leisure or free-thinking suggestion, far away from dogmas or axiomas.

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