At the University of Texas at AustinMarch Dawkins is best known for his popularisation of the gene as the principal unit of selection in evolution ; this view is most clearly set out in his books: The Extended Phenotypein which he describes natural selection as "the process whereby replicators out-propagate each other". Dawkins regarded the extended phenotype as his single most important contribution to evolutionary biology and he considered niche construction to be a special case of extended phenotype.
An essay by Richard Dawkins: The argument, like a good recipe, needs to be built up gradually, with the ingredients mustered in advance.
First, the apparently oxymoronic title. In a society where the majority of theists are at least nominally Christian, the two words are treated as near synonyms. All Christians are theists, it seems to go without saying. Of course Jesus was a theist, but that is the least interesting thing about him.
He was a theist because, in his time, everybody was. Atheism was not an option, even for so radical a thinker as Jesus. At least in the teachings that are attributed to him, he publicly advocated niceness and was one of the first to do so.
To those steeped in the Sharia-like cruelties of Leviticus and Deuteronomy; to those brought up to fear the vindictive, Ayatollah-like God of Abraham and Isaac, a charismatic young preacher who advocated generous forgiveness must have seemed radical to the point of subversion.
No wonder they nailed him. But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.
Natural selection is a deeply nasty process.
The theory of natural selection itself seems calculated to foster selfishness at the expense of public good, violence, callous indifference to suffering, short term greed at the expense of long term foresight. If scientific theories could vote, evolution would surely vote Republican.
My paradox comes from the un-Darwinian fact, which any of us can observe in our own circle of acquaintances, that so many individual people are kind, generous, helpful, compassionate, nice: Darwinians can come up with explanations for human niceness: But the sort of super niceness I am talking about in humans goes too far.
It is a misfiring, even a perversion of the Darwinian take on niceness. Human super niceness is a perversion of Darwinism because, in a wild population, it would be removed by natural selection. From a rational choice point of view, or from a Darwinian point of view, human super niceness is just plain dumb.
And yes, it is the kind of dumb that should be encouraged - which is the purpose of my article. How can we do it? How shall we take the minority of super nice humans that we all know, and increase their number, perhaps until they even become a majority in the population?
Could super niceness be induced to spread like an epidemic?Atheists for Jesus - A Richard Dawkins Essay. Submitted by Tomcat on December 11, - pm. An essay by Richard Dawkins: There is no strong reason to choose Jesus as icon, rather than some other role model from the ranks of the super nice such as Mahatma Gandhi (not the odiously self-righteous Mother Teresa, heavens no).
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We would like to show you a description here but the site won’t allow us. Clinton Richard Dawkins FRS FRSL (born 26 March ) is an English ethologist, Similarly, Robert Trivers, thinking in terms of the gene-centred model, developed the theory of reciprocal altruism, A typical example of Dawkins's position is his scathing review of .