Realm Of Randomness

June 1, 2008

The Blind Watchmaker

Filed under: Book,Evolution,Intelligent Design,Review,Science — Randomizer @ 3:55 pm

Yeah, I know it’s been a while since I last posted. Call it a combination of longer hours at work and more things to do when I come back home, but this year has so far been a lot more ‘outdoorsy’ than any of the past three and I’m quite happy about that. Unfortunately, my reading time has been drastically shortened, and so it’s no wonder that completing ‘The Blind Watchmaker’ took me close to 3 months, when it should have been more like 2 weeks!

I loved this book by Richard Dawkins and wished I had read the whole thing in a stretch, because by the time I reached the last chapter, I had close to forgotten what happened in the first. I totally recommend this book, and do hope that once you start, you read at least a chapter a day to maintain the flow.

Dawkins has come to be more of the ‘face of Atheism’ these days, and that is quite sad because that is really not his forte. Evolutionary biology is his area of expertise and Atheism is just a mere consequence of the realities he came to accept being so convinced about this theory and what it actually means. This book, in many ways helped me celebrate the completion of one year since coming to terms with life and the universe and it has made me a lot more confident about this topic.

What surprised me most while reading the book was that the author not only has decades worth of knowledge about biology, but is also very well versed in computer programming and mathematics. He frequently uses these to help make his point, and as a programmer, it was pretty great to see things explained your way.

The book talks about a lot of things:

  • What exactly evolution is, and isn’t
  • How our organs appear to be ‘designed’, but why they aren’t
  • The technicalities – DNA/RNA, genes, traits
  • Does evolution occur gradually or in spurts ?
  • Debunking alternate theories

You might be wondering – what’s with the weird title of the book? I did too. It is actually a reference to the Watchmaker argument that says that if you are walking on a beach one day and stumble upon a watch in the sand, would you assume that the watch ‘just happened’ or that someone ‘designed’ it and left it there? Obviously, you assume the latter – and if you do, can’t we also say that living things (which are FAR more complicated than mere watches) were also ‘designed’ or ‘created’ the same way by God / Creator / Intelligent Designer?

Read the book to find out!

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2 Comments »

  1. Added it to my To-Read list!

    my reading time has been drastically shortened, and so it’s no wonder that completing ‘The Blind Watchmaker’ took me close to 3 months, when it should have been more like 2 weeks!

    Ah, misery loves company. I have just been whining on and on about how I cannot get myself to go through a book the way I used to ‘once upon a time.’

    Oh, I was going through a friend’s blog and he had much to say about the Idol Worship prevalent in Christianity. Would love to know if you do have any take on it. Here it is: OMG!Christians and their Idols

    Comment by Purely_narcotic — June 3, 2008 @ 8:02 pm | Reply

  2. Hey there … first off, welcome back to the blogosphere ( I think I should be telling myself that! ); I hope you have a better time with blogging with a handle than with your real name…

    About Idolatry, sure it’s very prevalent in Christianity.. but actually (if you dig deeper) it’s more to do with Catholicism than other ‘varieties’ of this religion. But it sure is idolatry … for instance, I don’t see how different it is to kiss statues of Mother Mary / Jesus / etc in our Mangy churches vs. the Hindu poojas that venerate say the Ganesha idol. I don’t think the Hindus really believe that the statue IS God, the same way the Christians don’t … they both just choose it as a representation. So if you hear Catholics trying to one-up their Hindu comrades by saying they don’t practice idolatry, they’d better make sure they don’t bow towards their favourite Apostle in church, or touch the feet of any Jesus statue or whatever. If they do, I’d say it’s plain hypocrisy.

    Comment by Randomizer — June 4, 2008 @ 2:11 am | Reply


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