Discover more from The Poetry of Reality with Richard Dawkins
Science is the Poetry of Reality.
Welcome to my Substack and Podcast
Rather than write a manifesto in the form of an essay, I have chosen to cast it as a series of propositions or questions, invariably followed by the word “Discuss”. It is not my intention to pose these discussion points to my guests. Rather I intend, by this repetition of “Discuss”, to convey the atmosphere that I hope will pervade both forums, podcast and Substack. It should be an atmosphere of continual questioning, recurrent uncertainty, and I hope stimulating dialogue. “Discuss” really means discuss.
“We humans are the only animals capable of knowing why we exist, where we exist, what we are made of and how we are assembled. We are the only animals capable of revelling in the joy that such knowledge can bring.” Discuss.
“There is a real world out there, and the only way to learn about it is objective evidence gathered by the scientific method.” Discuss.
“There is no such thing as your truth as distinct from my truth. “There is just the truth, and that means evidence-based scientific truth.” Discuss.
“Truth is not obtained by tradition, authority, holy books, faith or revelation. Truth is obtained by evidence and only evidence.” Discuss.
“Truth is not obtained by private feelings but by publicly testable evidence.” Discuss.
“Some teachers of ‘Women’s Studies’ have suggested that ‘women do not engage in abstract linear reasoning, that they do not treat ideas with scepticism or evaluate them through rigorous debate, that they do not argue from general moral principles’. This, as Steven Pinker has said, is an insult to women.” Discuss.
What the hell is postmodernism? Have you ever met a self-styled postmodernist who could give you a coherent answer? Discuss.
What is a woman? Discuss.
If you are an adult human being with a penis and a Y-chromosome, you are a man. Discuss.
What is cultural relativism? Discuss.
Experimental intervention is the only way to advance from correlation to causation. Discuss.
The double blind control trial is the only completely secure guard against self-deception in science. Discuss.
There once existed a single individual female who was the most recent ancestor shared by you and a baboon. That one individual female had two individual children, one of whom is your ancestor, the other is the baboon’s ancestor. Discuss.
If we look sufficiently far into the future of humanity, you will be either the ancestor of everybody or of nobody. There are no half measures. Discuss.
Every animal who ever lived belonged to the same species as its parents, yet you are descended from a fish. Discuss.
Genetics today is a branch of information technology. Genetics in Darwin’s time was a branch of cookery. Discuss.
Newton’s achievements seem more difficult than Darwin’s. Yet humanity had to wait nearly two centuries after Newton before Darwin came along. Discuss.
Language evolution is uncannily similar to biological evolution, yet the underlying mechanisms are very different. Discuss.
If there is extraterrestrial life, no matter how strange and alien it may be, there is one thing it will have in common with Earth life. It will be Darwinian. Discuss.
If there is extraterrestrial life, no matter how strange and alien it may be, there is one thing it will have in common with Earth life. It will have digital genetics. Discuss.
Science is the zenith of human achievement, the jewel in humanity’s crown. Discuss.
Thank you for reading The Poetry of Reality with Richard Dawkins! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support his work.