- Taschenbuch: 496 Seiten
- Verlag: Penguin (6. April 2006)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0141026162
- ISBN-13: 978-0141026169
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13,1 x 2,9 x 19,7 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 126 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 2.981 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
The Blind Watchmaker (Cover Bild kann abweichen) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 26. Mai 2016
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Richard Dawkins is not a shy man. Edward Larson's research shows that most scientists today are not formally religious, but Dawkins is an in-your-face atheist:
I want to persuade the reader, not just that the Darwinian world-view happens to be true, but that it is the only known theory that could, in principle, solve the mystery of our existence.
The title of this 1986 work, Dawkins's second book, refers to the Rev. William Paley's 1802 work, Natural Theology, which argued that just as finding a watch would lead you to conclude that a watchmaker must exist, the complexity of living organisms proves that a Creator exists.
Not so, says Dawkins: "All appearances to the contrary, the only watchmaker in nature is the blind forces of physics, albeit deployed in a very special way...it is the blind watchmaker".
Dawkins is a hard-core scientist: he doesn't just tell you what is so, he shows you how to find out for yourself. For this book, he wrote Biomorph, one of the first artificial life programs. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.
Richard Dawkins has updated evolution ... His subject is nothing less than the meaning of life, and he attacks it with the evangelical fervour of a clergyman and the mind of a scientist (The Times)
Beautiful ... he seizes happy analogies, bright metaphors and shining images to light up his passion and our darkness (Guardian)
Good writing, tight argument and unpulled punches ... a satisfying book (Economist)
One of the best science books - one of the best of any books - I have ever read (Los Angeles Times)
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If you want to know about Darwinian Evolution in more detail you should try the Selfish Gene, its his first one and much better. On the other hand if you want to know exactly why and on how many levels Creationism is a load of crap (don't be offended) and have a good laugh you should read The God Delusion.
His choice of Paley's 1802 publication "Natural Theology" to outline the roots of obstructionist attitudes is excellent. Although he wasn't challenging Darwin [who wasn't born yet!], Paley's logic and arguments are still used by those who resist being toppled from their divine pedestal. Dawkins begins his presentation by explaining "the watchmaker" is nature's blind forces of physics acting in an environment that could give rise to life. He spends time addressing the issue of complexity, its meaning and its application to the forces of life in contrast to inert matter such as rock.
Dawkins follows this analysis with examples of "design" [or lack of it] in nature compared with design by humans. From bats through bears to Boeings, Dawkins lucidly explains the differences between nature's "decisions" and those of engineers. Evolution, no matter how illogical it seems to the human witness, doesn't foresee the result of changes. Our brief existence demands answers within our lifetimes. Dawkins posits that we need patience, that nature works too slowly [with some exceptions - see Jonathan Weiner's The Beak of the Finch for an update] to provide quick, simple answers to how life works.
His chapter Accumulating Small Change addresses the issue of change in a novel fashion. It also counters the frequently raised challenge that "statistically, life can't evolve through random change". Here, Dawkins introduces a computer program which takes us through the evolutionary process in accelerated steps. He shows that while life is constantly changing, these changes occur within certain constraints. "Randomness" is hemmed in by such limits as weather, antecedents and valid physical structure. Giant pterodactyls and miniature bats appear vastly different to us, but their fundamental structures are nearly identical. Evolution, then, relies on tiny steps of cumulative selection. Little changes tested in life's cauldron. The survivors ultimately become polar bears, flatworms, kangaroos, us.
After a wonderful chapter, "Puncturing punctuationism" demolishing Stephen Gould's iconoclastic attempt to erode Darwin's thesis, Dawkins moves on to examine other, competitive ideas of how evolution operates. Since many of the ideas discussed in "Doomed Rivals" have been utilized by the obstructionists attempting to counter Darwin, this conclusion is one of the most valuable sections of the book. Starting with the premise that no-one conscious of life can deny evolution, he goes on to examine how various thinkers have addressed its mechanism. Lamarck, who understood life changed through time, still inspires adherents. It's an easier system to understand than Darwin's natural selection. Its premise of acquired characteristics remains wrong, however, no matter what new versions of the idea are forwarded. Dawkins carefully examines the ancient and modern proposals on acquired characteristics, respectfully disposing of them as good common sense, but bad science.
This book is vital to those wishing to develop a feeling for understanding our place in the universe. Our society is so imbued with the concept of divine origins that we've found it too easy to override the life around us. Dawkins book realigns humanity with the rest of life on this planet. If we read and understand him, perhaps we'll regain the respect for our surroundings we lost when we first conceived of gods. If we aren't the result of a spirit's whim, then perhaps we can address the future more realistically. Read this book and see for yourself. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]
Dawkins himself has had much to say on the question of whether science is "just another religion," and this "faith" business is just a way of rephrasing the accusation. It muddles Dawkins' point, which is this: if we can reasonably explain the origins of life given the laws we know to exist, such an explanation, even if impossible to definitively prove, is preferable to an explanation that relies on the supernatural, because the latter is (in Dawkin's words) simply rephrasing the problem. I think this is an excellent distinction; to say that, for instance, evolution and Special Creation both require "faith" because neither is 100% proved, is dangerous sophistry of the worst kind. Though neither is absolutely proved, one is a reasonable supposition, and the other is not.
Dawkins' point is to render God tautological -- at least with regard to biological questions (he bows out of cosmological discussions, claiming that is not his area of expertise). Whether Dawkins succeeds completely in his aim in "The Blind Watchmaker" can be debated -- I think he skirts a bit too quickly around some of the questions of probability, particularly the issue of whether, even allowing for accumulation of small change, the frequency of beneficial genetic mutations is sufficient to give natural selection the raw stuff it needs to work with.
"Blind Watchmaker" is a good introduction, both to the theory of evolution in general, and to Dawkins' refreshingly unapologetic, strident manner of writing. But much more reading must be done by anyone who wants to grasp all the issues encompassed by evolution.
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