~FREE DOWNLOAD ♔ A Devil's Chaplain: Reflections on Hope, Lies, Science, and Love ☦ PDF or E-pub free
~FREE DOWNLOAD ☩ A Devil's Chaplain: Reflections on Hope, Lies, Science, and Love ♾ The First Collection Of Essays From Renowned Scientist And Best Selling Author Richard DawkinsRichard Dawkins S Essays Are An Enthusiastic Testament To The Power Of Rigorous, Scientific Examination, And They Span Many Different Corners Of His Personal And Professional Life He Revisits The Meme, The Unit Of Cultural Information That He Named And Wrote About In His Groundbreaking Work The Selfish Gene He Makes Moving Tributes To Friends And Colleagues, Including A Eulogy For Novelist Douglas Adams He Shares Correspondence With The Evolutionary Biologist Stephen Jay Gould And He Visits With The Famed Paleoanthropologists Richard And Maeve Leakey At Their African Wildlife Preserve He Concludes The Essays With A Vivid Note To His Ten Year Old Daughter, Reminding Her To Remain Curious, To Ask Questions, And To Live The Examined Life
Okay, this review is going to be a little about the book as a whole and a lot about an irritation about one of Dawkins habits.First off, the good stuff My favorite essays were The Great Convergence, The Information Challenge , the eulogies for Douglas Adams and Hamilton and lastly Good and Bad Reasons for Believing A Prayer for My Daughter , which is how I found out about this book in the first place It was heart warming to see how Dawkins passion, which so often is expressed in a stern voice towards religion, creationists and apologists, translates into equally powerful warmth when speaking about people he respects.The format was nice, though the content is nothing new really if you ve read all of Dawkins books before, or even just a few Now for the other 95% of the review.It can be very disappointing when someone you respect opposes your own views It is even disappointing however, when your ideals and opinions are being portrayed a certain way not just unflattering, but simply falsely I m referring to the following fragment, which is the sole reference Dawkins uses to categorize feminism as a relativism in the chapter What is True Women s Studies students are now being taught that logic is a tool of domination the standard norms and methods of scientific inquiry are sexist because they are incompatible with women s ways of knowing These subjectivist women see the methods of logic, analysis and abstraction as alien territory belonging to men and value intuition as a safer and fruitful approach to truth Oh, come on now I don t doubt that are feminists who believe such things, same as that I don t doubt there are atheists who have irrational ideas about other things than religion, but to present a single quote with such thankfully rare an opinion, is just using a straw man and beneath someone I respect as much as Dawkins.The misrepresentation is not all of it The source used, at the time of publication of A Devil s Chaplain is at the time of publication already a nearly 35 year old book first published in 1970 , probably only used because of the religious term in the title Professing Feminism , which nota bene is a book written by feminist scholars who try to distantiate the academic feminism from the nonsense in women s studies they ve come across, which is totally admirable note also how the students referred to in the quote are not even called feminists.Another point of criticism of the choice of just this quote is that the quote isn t just not representable, but also against what many feminist scholars strive for Yes, there is in part the promoting of the female representation in history, which was up till recently largely absent, similar to accounts from poorer classes and other races, and there s also the earning respect for feminine not necessarily female qualities These goals are however prominent in older waves of feminism In modern times, you see the cutting loose of human qualities from their masculine and feminine labels, to make them accessible for everyone e.g to facilitate the acceptance of men very involved in the care of their children, the ambitious woman, the stay at home father, the female president I m sure that I am biased as I work in academia not women s studies by the way, is it even still called women s studies , but the feminism I am in contact with most does adopt empiricism and would never attach itself to a statement as the one above, because it s exactly the dichotomy it tries to get away from And as an atheist reading this book, retracting rationality from me is pretty much as grave an insult as they come.Sadly, I find Dawkins doing this another time in ADC Later in the book, there s another exotic quotation presented in a context where sure, it is just quoted from a feminist philosopher and mentioned in the company of other apparently feminist truths they were news to me such as Newton s Principia being a rape manual and E mc2 being a sexed equation The privileging of solid over fluid mechanics, and indeed the ability of science to deal with turbulent flow at all, she attributes to the association of fluidity with femininity Whereas men have sex organs that portrude and become rigid, women have openings that leak menstrual blood and vaginal fluids From this perspective it is no wonder that science has not been able to arrive at a successful model for turbulence The problem of turbulent flow cannot be solved because the conceptions of fluids and of women have been formulated so as necessarily to leave unarticulated remainders If you ve read the previous of my review on why such quotations are an issue carefully, I m sure you can pinpoint yourself what exactly is the issue with the quote above.This is not a matter of cutting off unpopular limbs to distantiate myself from those that are exposed to criticism, but basically what happened here is the equivalent of a Christian lumping all atheists together with Hitler, or using a church bulletin distributed within a village with 100 inhabitants in some edge of the world as a source for the definition of Christian beliefs Criticism against feminism, totally fine But do it in the same thorough way as you treat anything else you re looking at critically thorough, use representative sources, no cherry picking, and report transparently And really, there s no room for that in Dawkins work So either stick to atheism or write a book dedicated to criticizing feminist theory And I think we all agree we d prefer him to spend his precious time on his own fields, where he s of the greatest value. Knjiga je zbirka eseja pisanih kroz desetlje e i vi e i podijeljenih u nekoliko cjelina U niima se Dawkins, u svom beskompromisnom stilu doti e uobi ajenih i manje uobi ajenih tema biologije, znanosti, tradicije, odnosa s drugima i lucidno razja njava stvari Sapienti sat. The essay on Postmodernism is a delightful skewering of that pretentious twaddle dished out in so many social science departments. This collection of essays, written before Professor Dawkins succumbed to the pomposity that is sadly so often an accompaniment to fame, and started to confuse intellect with wisdom, is one of my favorites Most of the thirty or so essays in the book display the charm, erudition, and clarity of exposition that are characteristic of his earlier work, though some of the pieces dealing with religion prefigure his subsequent descent into shrillness and condescension The tone of the final essay, A Prayer for my Daughter Good and Bad Reasons for Believing is blessedly free of any hint of shrillness, however His eulogy to Douglas Adams is particularly affecting, but if I had to pick a favorite, it would probably be the hilarious skewering of the pomo set in Postmodernism Disrobed An easy target, granted, but Professor Dawkins s demolition job is masterful. A retired senior bureaucrat from the Kerala administrative service had once written a column about how people are being exploited in the name of their beliefs In his words, almost 60% of the population wakes up every day with this tinny little voice ringing at the back of their mindsSomebody please con meAnd so on television we have advertisements for seashells that can fix all problems, powders that help you seduce anyone you want, magicians who will bestow all the good things in life on you yada yada Voices like Richard Dawkins s are quite rare to come by in the oceans of such obvious nonsense and yet it is a relief to know that such thinkers are active in the public space The book is a collection of his essays that give us a glimpse into his mind which is tuned to the voices of science and reason and is quick to point out the illogical and idiotic things that one encounters in life.The essays in the book cover a lot of ground with genetics, evolution and general science making a lot of appearances Dawkins does not hold his fire when he deals with creationist theories, quacks and alternate medicine There is a scathing essay in which he makes mincemeat out of alternate medicine There are also reviews of books, eulogies and the occasional autobiographical piece in here Two of the articles are really outstanding The first is Dawkins s piece for The Guardian as a response to the death of famed novelist Douglas Adams This article is not well thought through, it is not elaborate and neither is it objective It is a knee jerk reaction from a man who has lost a dear friend and colleague and hence it is a very touching piece in an otherwise dispassionate book The second is Dawkins s letter to his daughter as she enters her teenage years It is a candid observation on the nature of beliefs and how much a rational mind can help you in understanding the world better He does not bash religion and beliefs all that brutally here but tells his daughter to make an informed choice when she feels equipped for it Unlike his other articles, he does not elucidate things to a great extent and sticks to a bare bones evaluation of thought processes that might help an adult live a no nonsense life.This is of a sneak peek at Dawkins s enormously productive oeuvre and ergo recommended. I prefer it when Dawkins sticks to the science and leaves out the philosophy, not because I think he s so incorrect, but because I think his arrogance distracts from his correctness. Some excellent essays A touch too close to being a bit racist here and there, but perhaps that was inaccuracy of language For the first time I think I actually understand something about evolution His point about the 98% figure of genetic similarity with chimps was well made He cited the fact that if you compare two books, there will be a lot of common letters and the figure would suggest similarity But if you were to compare them sentence by sentence, they would probably share only a tiny fraction of commonality.What I still don t understand about theorists on evolution is how they still discuss superiority or desirability for breeding in terms of strength, speed, size etc After many hundreds of thousands of years during which human cooperation in agriculture, shared civilisation and eventually technological change has transformed the success rate of the species, why are qualities of cooperation, constancy or intellect now not also included in the factors that influence natural selection Perhaps they are Maybe I should read late Darwin.The idea that atheists just go one God further was also a point well made Many of us would admit to being atheists when it comes to Mithras, Zeus, Thor, etc etc Of all the Gods, most people who claim not to be atheists probably only admit a belief in one and thus reject thousands of other It s a bit like claiming to be a vegetarian on the grounds that you don t eat duck, but do eat all the rest of the animal world.The point about cloning and identical twins was made a few too many times, I think, but then it was a collection of essays It is a point, however, that the non scientist would find it hard to relate to, since for someone from that starting position the twins are natural and the clone is not, despite the fact that genetically they represent identical concepts The position would be really interesting, however, if the twins, or triplets or quads etc arose as a result of in vitro fertilisation and then implantation, and hence were not natural. A Devil s Chaplain is an excellent collection of Dawkin s writing, ranging across the topics of genetics, memetics, pseudoscience, religion, terrorism and the nature of life itself This is a field trip through Dawkin s mind, including letters to the prime minister, introductions to the books of others, and pieces that have appeared in popular print His eulogy for his good friend Douglas Adams is particularly touching, and no less so is his treatment of his late rival, Stephen Jay Gould But the best is saved for last, with his incredible piece entitled A Prayer for my Daughter, in which he tries to prepare his young child for the world of deception that lies ahead, and arm her against it This is the quintessential introduction to Dawkins, and shows that he is than just an outspoken advocate of humanism and reason he is a loyal friend, an attentive father, a loving husband, and when the ocassion calls for it, a fierce champion for the truth If you have never read Dawkins before, I would highly recommend that this is where you start. As you would expect, this is a stimulating sets of essays, reviews and recollections from evolution s finest advocate As an introduction to the theory of evolution, its impact on the other sciences and the necessarily complications for dogmatic thinking in other fields it has created through the ages and still does it is first class His short shrift with Intelligent Design and Alternative Medicine is delightfully to the point.Many of the pieces, though, show a human side Dawkins as father, friend or pupil rather than scientist , and it these that make the collection much than a pop science anthology His eulogies, letters and forewords reveal that his ongoing fight to see Darwin Triumphant is not a matter of intellectual ego, academic oneupmanship or institution bashing The fight is about our freedom to choose a life for ourselves.