Thursday, October 20, 2011

Richard Dawkins at Costco

Never have I paid any money for a book by Richard Dawkins.  Once someone lent me one of theirs but I only read several chapters.  Somehow he is not very readable; he drones on and on, though some of the information was essentially interesting to me.  I think there is a pedantic way of demonstrating that we are all pretty stupid, that somehow puts me to sleep.

Today, I looked a new book by Richard Dawkins at Costco. It pictured a man on the edge of a magnificent canyon, perhaps the Grand Canyon--quite breathtaking.  The title is, you have probably seen it, "The Magic of Reality.  How we know what's really true."  This, in spite of my limited reading of the man, seems to me to be vintage Richard Dawkins.  When we see a wonderful waterfall we don't have to fall down and worship a Creator, we can be just as awed at "Reality".   It's awesome, even without God, or something like that.  We have all heard him go on how stupid it is to believe in God, the spaghetti monster, blabla.  People must be cured of their idiotic mindset. The title is so very true to form.  Still we should be awestruck by the "magic" of reality.  Shouldn't he use a different word from "magic."

I opened the book and read two pages at random.  Often this random reading of some sentences indicates the overall quality of the book to me.  I generally know if I will like it or not.  What I found left me literally laughing out loud in the isle.  It took me some time to calm myself.  It was tremendous.

So I'll tell you what did I get:  "Was there a first human?  Well, no, there was no first human that we can say."  It is hard to explain says Dawkins but picture this:  "Take a photograph of yourself and then put one on top of your father and then on top of that of your grandfather and when you do this at length and your stack is about three miles long, you will have a picture of you ancestor of how ever many eons ago.  You can see this picture when you turn the page."  Well, of course, we have to turn the page to see our ancestor, the first human, though there is no such thing--it turns out it is a fish!!! Yikes!

Ok, we knew that Richard Dawkins thinks that somehow by some direct line of descend over a long period of time we turned from fishes into humans.  Even I can't say how God made fishes or humans, but we are supposed to get from this demonstration (for idiots) that there was no First human being.  Somehow, somewhere we became human, just like "a baby imperceptibly turns into a toddler".  You can't tell what day it ceased being a baby and what day it began being a toddler.

A FISH TURNING INTO A HUMAN BEING IS LIKE A BABY TURNING INTO A TODDLER!  Did I just read this?  This is the great famous, so very serious about his atheism, has to lecture the whole world about how stupid they are to believe in God, Richard Dawkins telling me this?

I could not contain myself.  You think we are fools but the most humble among us can see the ridiculousness of this.  It does not look good.  It reads like stand-up comedy to me.  But I know you are dead serious.  This makes it even more comic.

Thanks for the laugh.


Andrew said...

Yeah, that's pretty dumb. I started reading "The God Delusion" and I couldn't finish it. It was just dull. All I kept thinking was how this COULDN'T be the best he could do. Most of his arguments are just silly. The same goes for Sam Harris, the admittedly more erudite Christopher Hitchens, and all the others.

Steve Martin said...

Glad you at least got a good laugh from it (his book).

I don't think I'll ever bother to crack one of his efforts open.

But I am thankful for those like you who do so, and let us know that we aren't really missing much, but foolishness.