Queerer Than We Suppose

April 23, 2008 at 9:49 pm | Posted in Humor, Nature, Science | 1 Comment

In this 22 minute presentation at the famous TED ideas conference (July ’05), Richard Dawkins gives a talk called “Queerer Than We Suppose: The strangeness of science.” He asks if the universe is queerer that we suppose, or queerer than we can suppose. He speaks about how our perspective and story is an adaptation to our experience in what he calls the “middle-sized” world. He discusses how what we consider ‘real’ is completely based on how we perceive the world, through what we have supposed. A scientists view of ‘what is really?’ with many great examples.


It should be noted that Dawkins is known as “Darwin’s Rottweiler” for his advocacy for natural selection, against creationism. Personally, I don’t think its so black and white. The idea that intelligent life arose by accident and that evolution is by survival of the fittest is contrary to such physical laws as entropy. There is an obvious a priori intelligence that underlies our world. But equally that is not to say its all God’s fault. There is an intelligent underlying structure and a force of order in our world which evolves in recognizable patterns. Interestingly Darwin’s natural selection achieved some success, partly by beating Lamark’s concept that we can pass on some life experience and learning to our children. Turns out they’re both partly right.


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  1. […] a commenter notes, it also provides a mechanism for Lamarkian evolution – passing traits on to our offspring, after […]


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