Sunday, February 12, 2006

So, how's Darwin Day going for you?

There's a bonanza over at Point of Inquiry. They certainly have a most gratifying line-up on this week's podcast. The piece de resistance of course is the interview with Richard Dawkins, focusing on his recent two-part program The Root of All Evil? Darwin's Rottweiler was pretty tame during the show, but certainly not in the snippet of Root of All Evil? which they aired. There's former Muslim Ibn Warraq with his comments on the now infamous caricatures of Prophet Mo. Adding spice to the podcast are Skepticality's Derek and Swoopy. And as if that wasn't enough to make my day Lauren Becker's back with yet another fine piece, this time on "defensive driving." I certainly wouldn't mind letting her do the driving; not at all.

It's the 197th birthday of Darwin. Were he around I don't know whether he'd be content or depressed. On the one hand, biology and associated sciences cannot be what they are today without the theory of evolution. Practically every scientist in the world acknowledges its explanatory power. There just isn't any theory around that even comes close. Evolution has been as revolutionary as Newton's or Einstein's theories. On the other hand, with the kind of beliefs that Brits and Americans still hold, I think he'd be on Prozac three times a day. Xanax too. Given the dismal and pathetic situation over a hundred years after evolution became the norm in science, I'd like to imagine that understanding how and why creationism has eluded extinction may pique his interest enough for him to spearhead something like the field of evolutionary psychology (an avenue which biologist Massimo Pigliucci tends to classify as being, at least for now, on the fringes of science, for good reasons).

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