I’m reading a book by Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, which falls into the category of preaching to the converted. Still, it is interesting and disturbing.
I learned during my advertising years that one should never use religious references in advertising: someone is bound to be offended. Therefore, I will not mention the content of the book, because some passages could lead to stoning, imprisonment, and even execution in certain countries of this world. Religion has that effect on some people’s brains...which had to come from somewhere.
I recently saw a very interesting and enlightening program on the discovery of DNA and workings of the genetic code, which determines all living things. Of course, this contradicts some religious teachings, so there is bound to be controversies in certain circles whenever this topic is raised. Anyways, scientists teach that all traits of each living organism have evolved since their creation to their current state and that each trait served some purpose in the past.
I can imagine the need for most human traits in the past, when our ancestors lived in Africa’s jungle or savannah, but some remain a mystery to me. Perhaps scientists have an answer, but I don’t know any. One that I cannot figure out is gullibility. What purpose did this play for early man? Fear, anger, jealousy, group dynamics, sympathy, etc. are easy to imagine even among cave dwellers. But, gullibility: for heaven’s sake, what purpose could that have served? Perhaps it evolved later when people had joined into tighter groups and trust had developed.
Anyways, gullibility certainly serves the purposes of the self-serving members of the human race. Primitive man did not have face evangelical preachers demanding money, psychic healers peddling the future, marketers flogging endless products and services, or politicians lying about everything. Evolution has led to the ability for some humans to believe something for which there is no proof or even for which there exists proof of the opposite. I don’t get it...
I'm a fan of Richard Dawkins. He writes intelligently and understandably about complicated subjects. I have learned a lot from his books on science. I am a firm believer in evolution. I'm convinced by the facts presented by scientists and not concerned by the gaps in evidence.
Although I have bought his book, The God Delusion, I have not read it. It falls into the category of "preaching to the converted". I agree with what he writes, without having to spend the time reading his book. I heard enough counter-arguments through having attended a church secondary school.
Many people (all Evangelical Christians and most followers of all other religions) hate Richard Dawkins and all he stands for. If you believe in any kind of god, you can't help but dislike the guy, although he is personable and speaks rationally. After all, he proves in no uncertain terms and rather readable prose that a whole bunch of people have been, are, and will continue to be fools.
There's good interview in the online edition of Der Spiegel (the leading German news magazine), which might enlighten the unknowing about what Professor Dawkins thinks. He's very articulate.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.