The Chirping of the Acolytes

Despite the restrictions on critical questions, and questions that involve too much science, Dawkins’
fans continues to post some remarkably thought-provoking questions:

  • What are some of your favorite non-scientific (not unscientific) literary works? (Poems, novels, etc.) Why?
  • This is similar to (24), but I would like to add artists and musicians.
  • I hope to, but I will not, live long enough to see a statue for you erected in a city like Tehran.
    Do you also like that idea?
  • Was there any time growing up when you didn’t want to be a biologist? What might you have been otherwise?
    Which great thinkers have had the most influence on your career/life?
  • When Hollywood films his autobiography which actor does Richard prefer playing him?
  • Richard, who’s your favorite Beatle and why?As a follow up, what’s your favorite beetle?
  • When initially writing The Selfish Gene, were you aware that you were making a deep philosophical argument or simply talking science which, like all science, happens to carry with it philosophical baggage?
  • Might you please discuss how art and music might have developed without Religion – were the artists & music makers often secular but keeping that quiet, or, maybe, without religion would have created great works?
  • Will the interactive version of The Magic of Reality ever be released on a platform other than Apple?
  • How did you come to be interested in, and effective in, communicating science to the public?

To be fair, at least a couple fans have tried to sneak some science questions in.


Will Provine wrote:

Richard and I have been atheists for a long time, and his support is great for atheists. But he will not choose that as his greatest contribution to science or culture in general. Many evolutionists were devoted atheists earlier in the 19th century, including Charles Darwin. The best question asked in this series is “what would you choose for study now?” I would choose RNA, because it controls all proteins made in eukaryotes. They edit out the 5′ and 3′ ends, and truly edit the DNA on its way to being a protein. About 70% of the DNA codes for RNA of so many kinds. To understand evolutionary biology, we must understand RNA. Richard, do you agree with this statement?

Nice try,Will, but I don’t think The Dawk could answer that one. I suspect his reply would be something like this: “RNA, shmarna. What matters most is natural selection, not the material it works upon.”

Stevenjohnson:

As I understand it, the gene selection approach is supposed to have born fruit in explanations of animal sexuality, such as the work of John Maynard Smith. Would it be possible to comment on how gene selection sheds light on alternation of generations in plants and plasmogamy and karyogamy in fungi, as well as bacterial exchange of genes.

This isn’t very technical, in fact. Also, sex questions are never dry.

LOL. Steven, that’s way too technical for The Dawk. What makes you think he could even define plasmogamy and karyogamy? Just how much, for example, has Dawkins discussed lateral transfer in any of this evolution books?

Look, what science-loving Gnus want to know is not some mumble jumble about science, but who is going to play him when it comes time to lionize him with his own movie.

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4 Responses to The Chirping of the Acolytes

  1. Ilíon says:

    Many evolutionists were devoted atheists earlier in the 19th century, including Charles Darwin.

    Ever notice, when it suits their purpose, they both deny this and slander and demonize and “creationist” who is so gauche as to mention the fact?

  2. Ilíon says:

    oops … “[any] “creationist” who”

  3. The Deuce says:

    “Richard, could I… give you a backrub? It would be Platonic, I swear!”

  4. Mackerel says:

    “Might you please discuss how art and music might have developed without Religion – were the artists & music makers often secular but keeping that quiet, or, maybe, without religion would have created great works?”

    So being non-religious now grants you superior artistic abilities? I don’t understand how anyone could even ask this question, unless by “great works” they mean more Bibles suspended in jars of urine.

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