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.  

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