Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Selfish Gene

I started reading The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins.  I am planning on studying biology at the University Notre Dame this fall and thought this would be a great book to get me in the mood.  I love how Dawkins writes; it is like we are having a conversation together.  A very informative book detailing how our DNA, specifically our genes, drive our very existence.  Our genes have expertly evolved to produce massively complex machines that are competing with other machines for survival.  This book forces the reader to look at the gene as the basic unit for survival and evolution instead of the organism, which can explain seemingly altruistic behaviors in most species.  A great read as are all of Dawkins books.

In addition, I just got an email about an upcoming event at Michigan State University in Lansing where Richard Dawkins is giving a lecture as part of the Worldview Lecture Series.  I just bought some tickets and am so excited.  It is sure to be a great evening :)  For more information, go here.

One last note, my hubby and I finally got around to watching Ben Stein's movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.  Let me just say that I have heard about this movie from various venues and thought I would at least give it the benefit of a doubt.  To say the least, the movie was a huge joke.  It seems that those who made the movie did not even understand the basics of evolution themselves.  In addition, the makers of the movie tried in vain to link evolution and nazism, the oldest trick in the book.  Even though this movie was supposed to be supporting the intelligent design viewpoint, not one piece of evidence was discussed at all in the entire movie.  Sure there are some issues with evolution.  The difference between evolution and intelligent design is that there are mountains and mountains of evidence that support evolution.  On the other hand, there is no evidence for intelligent design.  The premise of the movie was this: because of this problem with evolution, intelligent design must be correct and should be equal to evolution.  That is not scientific and is very misleading especially to the general public who might not be familiar with evolution.  All I would say is do your own research instead of having some actor with no scientific background telling you what to think.  If you are looking for an insightful critique of the movie, check this out.  

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Whew! I am so happy that the lame holiday season is over.  What a waste of time and energy!  Basically two months out of the year where the focus is all on consuming.  Buy crap you don't need and eat way too much.  I say let's skip the entire holyday, I mean holiday, completely.  A religious holiday being a national holiday just makes me giggle.  Think of the traditions associated with xmas especially.  Buy lame crap for people using a plastic card.  Take the crap home and cover it with colorful paper.  Give the lame crap to a person and watch them take the colorful paper off.  Then they take the lame crap home and put it in the goodwill box.  That's pretty much how it goes, isn't it?  In addition to the sickening consumerism around this time of year, we have to deal with two huge fallacies also; santa and jesus.  Santa is all about following the rules.  If you submit and follow the rules, you will be rewarded with a plastic toy.  If you don't submit, you get nothing.  Again all about control and consuming.  Then you have jesus.  The story of jesus is about how lame you are and how great it is that jesus can rescue you from your lameness.  If you are good and submit to jesus he will save you.  If you are bad and don't follow jesus you will burn.  Both of these xmas stories are based on lies, control and a standard of good and evil.  It's really comforting to know that billions of people look to fake made-up characters for their moral guidance, especially those in charge.  Ah well, I'll step down from my holiday soapbox for this season.  2009 there is no line.