20 September 2005

Why the Blind Watchmaker?

Someone asked me the other day the rather sensible question, "Why the blind watchmaker?" I suppose it was a bit daft of me not to explain that in "My Very First Blog." Anyway, here is the reason.
I read a book in 1997 that amazed me. I can't say that it changed my life. The books of Carl Sagan had done that a couple of years earlier, but what it did was make me comfortable with the perspective I was slowly, and somewhat reluctantly coming to accept. That perspective is that we -the we here being earthings, and what ever other life the universe may hold- are all on our own. The book, now a classic of science writing I think, was the "The Blind Watchmaker" by Oxford biologist Richard Dawkins. The subtitle may drive home the take-home message of the book, if the play on Paley's divine watchmaker doesn't. Here it is: Why the evidence of evolution reveals a universe without design. The book isn't necessarily a polemic against religious belief. It is instead a book about evolution, that tends to notice the overlapping magisteria of religion and science. Its conclusion, and the only one you can really make, is that there is no sign of God in the minutia of evolution. And certainly no evidence is revealed of the God found in any of the world's dominant religions.
I suppose it was this book, more than Sagan's books, that allowed me to be a content atheist, which was a direction I was heading anyway. It articulated a phrase from Darwin's "Origin of Species", wherein his closing paragraph, he said "there is grandeur in this view of life.." Darwin's sense of grandeur was evoked by the fact that from one or but a few original forms the great diversity of life could be derived by mutation, the random part, and cummulative, non-random, natural selection. Dawkins expands on this theme of grandeur and, for me anyway, demonstrated how a person might actually live a fulfilled life with this understanding of life, and not be so troubled by the fact that it really doesn't admit much elbow room for interventionist gods, as appealing as these might be.
Once, well before I read Sagan, Dawkins, Wilson, or Pinker or Dennet, I suggested to a friend that it might make people value life, the one we live in now, and not the one for which we are sorely lacking evidence, if we didn't believe in God or heaven or God's intervention. If this is the only go around we get, maybe we might recognize life for the rare and precious thing it is. I retreated rather rapidly from this line of conversation because of the look of...was it horror? Maybe it was. Anyway her shocked look cued me into the her disaggreement. That and the fact that she said, "Uh..I don't agree."
Since then, I have given the matter much more thought, and of course studied evolution in much more detail. I've read tons of books, argued with alot of creationists (they call themselves "creation scientists" now), and talked with many, many more sensible religious believers. So I don't believe in God. Or Allah, or Shiva, though I must confess a fondness for Odin and Thor. And I am more or less comfortable with that. For a description of my uncomfortable moments see my blog "Athiesm and Death." The short version is this. Its hard to say comforting things to friends and loved ones when you are, unlike them, a non-believer.
The blind watchmaker part of my blogname is a little tribute to that Dawkins book that showed me that I could be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.
I am now in full agreement with Richard Dawkins, who once said in his book, "Unweaving the Rainbow", "...We as individuals are still hugely blessed. Priviliged, and not just priviliged to enjoy our planet. More, we are granted teh opportunity to understand why our eyes are open, and why they see what they do, in the short time before they close for ever."

11 Comments:

At 10:18 AM , Blogger lisaalexander75062186 said...

i thought your blog was cool and i think you may like this cool Website. now just Click Here

 
At 12:05 AM , Blogger mikey said...

why call yourself what the liars would call you- a nonbeliever? believing is something everyone does, and it's hard to fully analyze but it's rooted in reason and all. the only 'belief' that isn't reasonable is the monotheists' 'belief'- i say it in quotes because all belief operates according to reason, and they say they believe but they just want to make you feel like you can't understand how cool they are. that's it. no blind faith. just uncreative elitist liars.

 
At 12:26 AM , Blogger mikey said...

why does this bitch ass website allow such little commenting at a time? anyway, there are plenty of people who have genuine belief in jehovah which is as harmless as any other not necessarily completely rationally justifiable belief. the way to tell the difference: if you are in some annoying conversation about it with someone, they must care too much about it. noone cares what anyone else believes,
just what they say and do.

 
At 9:07 PM , Blogger oakleyses said...

louis vuitton, ray ban sunglasses, prada outlet, ugg boots, oakley sunglasses, nike free, longchamp outlet, nike outlet, louis vuitton outlet, uggs outlet, chanel handbags, kate spade outlet, prada handbags, oakley sunglasses wholesale, christian louboutin, gucci handbags, polo outlet, michael kors outlet, jordan shoes, oakley sunglasses, nike air max, longchamp outlet, louis vuitton outlet, uggs outlet, michael kors outlet online, polo ralph lauren outlet online, michael kors outlet, christian louboutin shoes, christian louboutin uk, oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet online, nike air max, replica watches, ugg boots, burberry handbags, ray ban sunglasses, tiffany jewelry, michael kors outlet online, longchamp outlet, cheap oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet online, louis vuitton, louis vuitton outlet, tory burch outlet, christian louboutin outlet

 
At 9:09 PM , Blogger oakleyses said...

true religion outlet, abercrombie and fitch uk, vans pas cher, hollister pas cher, nike air max uk, coach outlet, guess pas cher, true religion outlet, new balance, burberry pas cher, air max, nike air max, nike roshe run uk, nike air force, north face, polo lacoste, lululemon canada, sac hermes, michael kors outlet, michael kors pas cher, nike roshe, kate spade, coach outlet store online, converse pas cher, michael kors, sac vanessa bruno, hollister uk, replica handbags, ralph lauren uk, nike blazer pas cher, nike free run, coach purses, north face uk, true religion outlet, mulberry uk, hogan outlet, longchamp pas cher, timberland pas cher, jordan pas cher, nike air max uk, michael kors, polo ralph lauren, louboutin pas cher, nike tn, true religion jeans, nike free uk, ray ban pas cher, sac longchamp pas cher, ray ban uk, oakley pas cher

 
At 9:11 PM , Blogger oakleyses said...

giuseppe zanotti outlet, abercrombie and fitch, asics running shoes, ipad cases, iphone 6s cases, hermes belt, herve leger, mac cosmetics, hollister clothing, reebok outlet, hollister, wedding dresses, north face outlet, iphone 6 cases, babyliss, iphone 6s plus cases, nike air max, baseball bats, celine handbags, beats by dre, soccer shoes, ghd hair, nike roshe run, ferragamo shoes, iphone cases, longchamp uk, nike trainers uk, jimmy choo outlet, vans outlet, mont blanc pens, north face outlet, new balance shoes, iphone 6 plus cases, ralph lauren, lululemon, nike huaraches, mcm handbags, nfl jerseys, s6 case, chi flat iron, louboutin, insanity workout, valentino shoes, bottega veneta, timberland boots, iphone 5s cases, oakley, soccer jerseys, p90x workout, instyler

 
At 9:13 PM , Blogger oakleyses said...

pandora jewelry, doudoune moncler, moncler, juicy couture outlet, converse, moncler, montre pas cher, converse outlet, barbour uk, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, thomas sabo, karen millen uk, juicy couture outlet, louis vuitton, swarovski, toms shoes, swarovski crystal, ugg, nike air max, lancel, links of london, louis vuitton, louis vuitton, hollister, pandora uk, moncler uk, canada goose uk, canada goose, coach outlet, hollister, supra shoes, doke gabbana, ugg pas cher, gucci, canada goose outlet, moncler outlet, ray ban, moncler outlet, canada goose outlet, wedding dresses, barbour, pandora charms, vans, louis vuitton, replica watches, moncler, moncler, canada goose jackets, canada goose, ugg uk, louis vuitton, marc jacobs

 
At 5:32 PM , Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

ninest123 16.01
louboutin outlet, tiffany jewelry, louboutin shoes, louis vuitton outlet, tiffany and co, replica watches, ray ban sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, prada outlet, louis vuitton outlet, louis vuitton, ugg boots, ugg boots, ugg boots, ray ban sunglasses, christian louboutin outlet, nike air max, ugg boots, oakley sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, polo ralph lauren outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, oakley sunglasses, cheap oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet, oakley sunglasses, uggs on sale, nike free, replica watches, michael kors outlet, longchamp, michael kors outlet, tory burch outlet, louis vuitton, nike outlet, jordan shoes, michael kors outlet, longchamp outlet, nike air max, prada handbags, longchamp outlet, burberry, burberry outlet online, chanel handbags, michael kors outlet, gucci outlet, michael kors, louis vuitton, louboutin

 
At 5:34 PM , Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

nike air max, ralph lauren uk, michael kors, abercrombie and fitch, air force, new balance pas cher, hollister pas cher, true religion jeans, ralph lauren pas cher, longchamp pas cher, michael kors, sac guess, ray ban uk, timberland, tn pas cher, hogan, north face, mulberry, true religion jeans, michael kors, nike trainers, nike roshe, hollister, nike air max, nike huarache, lacoste pas cher, sac longchamp, air max, converse pas cher, louboutin pas cher, oakley pas cher, coach purses, true religion jeans, vans pas cher, longchamp, true religion outlet, michael kors, north face, coach outlet, nike blazer, lululemon, vanessa bruno, nike air max, nike roshe run, ray ban pas cher, replica handbags, burberry, nike free run uk, hermes, air jordan pas cher, nike free

 
At 5:37 PM , Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

beats by dre, abercrombie and fitch, new balance, lululemon, p90x workout, mac cosmetics, instyler, iphone cases, nike air max, ghd, iphone 6s plus cases, soccer shoes, insanity workout, reebok shoes, jimmy choo shoes, mcm handbags, timberland boots, chi flat iron, nike roshe, soccer jerseys, giuseppe zanotti, nike air max, nfl jerseys, herve leger, oakley, vans, hollister, iphone 5s cases, valentino shoes, bottega veneta, north face outlet, gucci, iphone 6s cases, babyliss, wedding dresses, hollister, s5 cases, ralph lauren, baseball bats, louboutin, iphone 6 cases, converse, mont blanc, asics running shoes, celine handbags, north face outlet, ipad cases, vans shoes, birkin bag, ferragamo shoes, ray ban, iphone 6 plus cases

 
At 5:40 PM , Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

replica watches, sac louis vuitton pas cher, toms shoes, canada goose outlet, louis vuitton, barbour, louis vuitton, canada goose, barbour jackets, bottes ugg, canada goose uk, louis vuitton, canada goose, moncler, pandora jewelry, ugg boots uk, moncler, louis vuitton, juicy couture outlet, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, thomas sabo, moncler, converse outlet, swarovski, supra shoes, swarovski crystal, montre pas cher, moncler outlet, coach outlet, doke gabbana outlet, canada goose outlet, canada goose, karen millen, canada goose, pandora charms, moncler, moncler, juicy couture outlet, pandora jewelry, marc jacobs, pandora charms, links of london, ugg pas cher, wedding dresses, lancel, doudoune canada goose, moncler, hollister, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, moncler
ninest123 16.01

 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home