Richard Dawkins on the Awe of Life & Science

Here’s some vintage Richard Dawkins. Back in 1991, the Oxford University biologist presented a series of lectures for the Royal Institution. In the very first lecture (presented above), Dawkins forces his audience to confront some big questions. (What’s the origin of life? Where do we fall in the scheme of life on planet Earth? What’s our role in the larger universe? etc.) And he reminds us that we’re extremely privileged to have the brains and tools (namely, reason and science) to make sense of the awesome wonders that surround us. We’ve evolved and grown up, he says. We don’t need superstition and the supernatural to explain it all. We just need ourselves and our faith in science and its methods. It’s classic Dawkins.

The 55-minute talk is now added to our YouTube favorites, and we’ve also added Dawkins’ YouTube Channel to our collection of Intelligent YouTube Channels.

via TED

by | Permalink | Comments (3) |

Support Open Culture

We’re hoping to rely on our loyal readers rather than erratic ads. To support Open Culture’s educational mission, please consider making a donation. We accept PayPal, Venmo (@openculture), Patreon and Crypto! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Comments (3)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
  • Hanoch says:

    Dawkins may contend that “[w]e don’t need superstition and the supernatural to explain it all.” But he also concedes — as he must — that science is also incapable of explaining it all. He apparently believes, however, that someday science will be able to do so. That seems as much an article of “faith” as those who believe in the “superstitions” Dawkins takes so much pleasure in deriding.

  • Vox says:

    Late to the party…
    Reflecting on the future may be “an article of faith” but it does NOT reflect upon the manner in which the sciences reveal the universe around us. A manner which is certainly not rooted in superstitions.
    So, Dawkin’s deriding is quite safe while his belief in the scientific method’s ability is based upon a stronger foundation than faith; it is based upon the advances in Human knowledge detailed in any history or science book.

  • Bret says:

    Believing a supposition (science will explain all mysteries) is believing what has not been proven and so is belief based on faith. If Dawkins or anyone asserts this, that is a statement of faith only. It is contrary to logic to state otherwise.

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.