Reflections Upon the Dramatic Dawkins

August 19, 2008

While browsing the Encyclopaedia Dramatica – a site of questionable (but at times all too entertaining) content – for reasons which need not be elaborated for the sake of this argument, I came across an article upon the topic of Richard Dawkins.

Dawkins is, as most are aware of, a British ethologist and evolutionary biologist as well as the author of several successful books on popular science. I have read three of his works – The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker and The God Delusion.

They were all most enjoyable books, though I at times thought them a bit tiresome because some of the arguments presented are obvious to all gifted with a bit a lot of common sense. In other aspects the books were also labouring points already made clear. Dawkins’s reasons for this may of course be to ensure that all readers understand the key points fully, which is admireable, but for those of greater wits it may at times be a bit irksome.

However, the ideas presented by Dawkins in his works are most though-provoking, and I especially enjoyed The Selfish Gene because of the inspiration for understanding other abstract concepts it provided one with. Through that book I gained greater insight of a subject I myself would like to refer to as being closley associated with the ideas presented by the theories of evolutionary psychology; only that Dawkins’s writing explaines how it has come to be so, what evolutionary psychology elaborates further and explains why it indeed is so.

To again refer to the Encyclopaedia Dramatica – which I get the impression of it being authored by people of admireable satirical talent with all too much time on their hands – it failed to get its point across: to prove Dawkins a fraud. It is mostly because they employed little evidence when debunking his character.

What I was told by the satirically pompous article, whose language made me titter on more occassions that one, were facts about Dawkins’s person which are easily explained by anyone who has only the slightest knowledge of human behaviour, and especially so if one knows a little about evolutionary psychology. This, I may point out, is even when a person like myself who have only studied introductory works within that field is concerned.

The rest of the article painted Dawkins’s accomplishments with the most entertaining of words. However, inbetween those words of intended sarcasm, I found truths impossible to deny. – It is indeed so that here are no perfect people upon this earth. Though Dawkins’s has undertaken an admireable task of exposing the true face of religion, he may at times go a bit too far.

A quote taken from the article:

90% of militant atheists on the net are raving Dwakins fanboys. … To troll them, try politely suggesting Dwakins is maybe a little too forceful in his ideological crusade – instant rants and butthurts will follow.

Indeed, I do agree to above statement that Dawkins may be a bit too forceful on his quest, something I myself noticed while reading his books, and especially so The God Delusion. Dawkins does at times have obvious problems to maintain his objectivity. It is a human trait to react that way when under the influence of great passion and dedication to a mission and goal, but when one has the opportunity to speak through writing, such passion should be muted – no doubt – as the strongest of conviction’s voices are those which retain their calm.

Is is also so that atheists – and people in general – tend to become overly passionate and blind when elaborating topics of their convictions. It is so that athesists often find joy in pointing out the hilarious strength of religious’ convictions, but the truth is that such strength is more of a human trait than one related to religion as even the atheists are under its influence. I have many times been struck to the irony of this, and especially so upon the boards of Dawkins’s official web site.

Dawkins’s forum is supposed to be a “free-thinking oasis” and it was the allure of such a quote which inspired me to become a member of the site. I however soon realised that the waters of the oasis had been poisoned by the convictions explained above, and that the debated ideas were not coloured by the freedom I had hoped for, but by the passionate hatred I have learnt atheists and religious share alike. Thus, I have left the forum in the belief that there is no such thing as oasises whenever people are involved, no matter the nature of their convictions.

Fanatics come in all shapes and sizes, something I theorise is an effect of the religious gene(s).

Fanatics come in all shapes and sizes, something I theorise is an effect of the "religious gene(s)".

This, the above elaborated, was however the only thing I agreed to as the rest of the article, as previously mentioned, only consisted of sarcastic comments describing Dawkins’s achievements.

The following quote explains to me with obvious strength that (probably a majority of) the article has been written by people of religious beliefs, and especially so the last sentence:

Richard Dwakins plans to be the next L. Ron Hubbard of the atheist movement. The word ‘belief’ will be outlawed and the only things that people can think about without being emotionally abused or physically attacked are that things Ayn Rand says are the ultimate truth, and cannot be questioned. Ever. This is called ‘Free Thought’. He does not plan on being gang banged by demon niggers while burning in Hell, which is ironic because thats exactly what is going to happen.

The point which the author(s) have failed to understand, is that belief is more hurtful than science. I shall not question that some people find comfort in believing that there is a supreme being who watches over them, but I personally find it to be little more than a simple explaination of the world’s most extraordinary phenomenon and which serves as a candle in the dark for those of weak minds.

Science, on the other hand, does not hurt people. It is not somehting one believes in, it simply is. And that is because it has been proven. It is true that science never may defeat God, as such a being’s existance will be hard to disprove. Equally so are however extraterrestial beings’ existance – impossible to believe in, but very possible to suspect being real – to mention just one example, and that is the exact reason why people should not believe. Blind faith is nothing but blind as it based upon no evidence. In order for the human mind to remain unclouded, it must also remain objective. To believe is not to be objective, if I am allowed to point out the obvious.

What the above quote described as an infringement of the right of freedom is actually an act of liberation. Although an attempt destined to fail, it is done with humanity’s best in mind. For, a civilisation such as our own can not ever be expected to progress when people blinded by belief constantly pull the brakes and lower the rate at which new discoveries are made. The examples describing this are many, but I see stem-cell research as one, and creationism being taught in schools instead of evolution, as another.

I say that Dawkins’s mission is destined to fail because I do not believe that all people are disillusioned atheists. I read an article in a science magazine a few years go which theorised that there may be something such as a gene for belief, that a part of the human genome renders its possessors able to believe in what contradicts even the most obvious of truths corroborated by science. In the past this was of course an excellent trait, to believe and not to question. The human being has not evolved since then, but his societies have, and in the current age of man, belief is highly overrated.

Yet another section of the Dramatic Encyclopaedia states:

Dwakins invented a new way of looking at culture. His genius could pave the way for a new understanding of social phenomena! Trip on this bitches: have you ever thought of different cultural trends as being sort of like viruses? Like how if someone gets excited about a movie and then everyone is sort of ‘infected’ by the ‘craze’? You have? Oh.

Anyway, Dwakins’s amazing new theory is based on his idea of ‘just take a biological framework and slap it onto whatever the fuck you want’. He calls it memetics. He also invented the word meme, which no one on the internet uses.

What the satirically gifted writer of those above words has failed to understand is that humans indeed are biological beings and that all their actions thus may be contributed to their biological nature. The “biological framework” mentioned is what dictates the rules of all human actions and behaviours. For those in doubt, I would like to refer to a most enlightening book of great value in my eyes: “Why beautiful People Have More Daughters: Two Evolutionary Psychologists Explain Why We Do What We Do” by Alan S. Miller and Satoshi Kanazawa.

Man is in no way a creature positioned above the biological realm. He is a part of its intricate structure, as is any equine or any insect. Though people like to believe themselves sentient and more than simple animals, they are still nothing but sophisticated primates. It does not matter the subject – jealousy, culture, love – the actions are all described and motivated by the human being’s biological brain. Thus, Dawkins is right in his claims and the author of the sarcastic words has misunderstood their own situation in the world.

Fact is that the article writer’s dislike for Dawkins’s person may be explained by a biological framework as well as the evolutionary psychology which is its derivative as Dawkins questions the writer’s convictions and thus, the writer feels threatened. It is a most natural response and one which we all have experienced at one time or another.

So, to elaborate:

Dawkins’s memes are threatening the success of the writer’s genes. Their convictions are opposing and Dawkins is a dominant character in this play set upon the biological stage. If the writer’s convictions are not defended, his genes will lose out to Dawkins’s – the rival will be the victorious one. The writer’s only defence is to explain to the world that Dawkins is nothing but a – I quote – “tea-drinking Brit and ‘bitchy whiner'”, with hopes of that potential mates will see the writer as the possessor of the most successful genes.

This argument of mine may of course appear abstract, but what must be kept in mind is that there was no such thing as the Internet, online dramatic encyclopaedias or sarcastic articles in the ancestral environment. The purpose of such defamation – whether digital or not – is however always the same: to allow the defamer’s genes to appear as being the most superior ones. Ironically, this is what The Selfish Gene hints at – that a person is under the influence of their genes’ desire for survival as a person is nothing but a vehicle created by genes for genes.

Finally, the question is of course at libery to be asked why I have based this piece of writing upon an article seasoned with obvious lack of seriousness. I will try to explain my late-night act by simply telling you that the article amused me greatly as its intended purpose of proclaiming Dawkins a hoax ironically was carried out by actions determined by the biological units Dawkins has explained to the world through his written works.

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