Monday, June 4, 2012

Two Books

I just finished reading Richard Dawkins' The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution. I thought it was pretty good but I'm not a sciency guy. I'm going to have to re-read the parts on embryology and the whole RNA/DNA/Proteins part again to get a better handle on the ideas. I might not have found it the devastating case for evolution that Dawkins says it is because I'm already onside so there were no thunder-claps of revelation (well, perhaps the part about how there are no kangaroo fossils on the route between the Mount Ararat of Noah's Ark and the Australian continent, or the question of how else to explain the remnants of eyes on deep cave dwelling salamanders would count). Also the evidence of evolution we see before our eyes as in the famous Lenski experiment with E. coli was pretty good.

Interestingly, I told someone that I was reading it and she said that Buddhists don't believe in evolution. Other creatures might have evolved from more primitive ancestors but humans have always been humans. I said "So much the worse for Buddhism then." She told me that the Buddha knew everything so evolution was wrong and the Buddha was right. The loopiness of religion really hit home at that moment.

The other book (and I've just started it) is Omar Khadr, Oh Canada. I've only just finished the introduction but it already has me livid thinking about the sickening moral failure exhibited by my country. How depressing that values and ethics that should be completely obvious are apparently beyond our reach as a people.

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