Tag Archives: Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin – Art & science

gruts+correspondenceThese videos are very interesting. They are the Darwin Special edition of Newsnight Review on BBC 2. It discusses the cultural and philosophical legacy of the seminal work On the Origin of Species.

But they have gone wider than science to include the arts, film, theatre and literature. The panel inclusive  scientist Richard Dawkins, Man Booker prize-winning author Margaret Atwood, Reverend Richard Coles, and poet and descendant of Charles Darwin Ruth Padel.

Richard Dawkins explains his need to make the case for Darwinian theories in his new book The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution. Margaret Atwood talks about on her new novel  The Year of the Flood which meshes together evolutionary and religious ideas about the foundations of the natural world. And Ruth Padel describes some of the family stories of Charles Darwin and his wife.

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Killing off Darwin?

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Book Review:

The End of Darwinism by Eugene G. Windchy
US$14.39
ISBN-10: 1436383684

Published May 12, 2009
Xlibris Corporation

logoiya

YoS2009 is an important year for science. It is the Year of Science, the International Year of Astronomy and the Darwin year. The latter because both the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth (February 12) and the 150th year of publication  of his major book The Origin of Species (November 24) occurs.

So there has been a whole host of events and publications devoted to Darwin, his life, his writings and his science. There has been discussion on how his ideas fit into society and philosophy, the affects on society, politics and religion, and their relevance to modern society. There are some great articles and videos accessible on the internet. And then there are the books on Darwin and evolutionary science which have been, or will be, published this year.

But, of course, there are also the naysayers. Those hostile to science in general or just evolutionary science in particular. Almost always religiously motivated, these people have also been mobilising this year. Although the results have been comparatively negligible.

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The purpose of purpose

dawkins lectureMy previous post on Purpose seems, from the discussion, to have hit a raw spot with some people. Just to add fuel to the fire, have a look at this video of Richard Dawkin’s’ recent presentation during his March USA tour. Entitled “Purpose of Purpose” he discusses how the word is often used inappropriately. Along the lies of the theological “why” questions. Quoting Peter Atkins he points out that often “why” questions are just silly.

However, Dawkins does point out that humans are obsessed with purpose, and discusses why that may be so. He describes how purpose has evolved and why the human brain can derive humanitarian and religious purposes which are not necessarily seen as evolutionary adaptions.

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