It is absolutely safe to say that, if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane. – Richard Dawkins
It’s amazing how much of a following Richard Dawkins gets, given that his theories are no less dogmatic than those of religious nuts. I find more truth in the cautious approach of Buckminister Fuller:
“If … we continued successively to inbreed generation after generation of champion Olympic gymnasts, we would soon come to super-inter-tree-jumping-and-swinging monkeys with no more intellectual talent and general-adaptability usefulness than that of the bright chimpanzees.
For this and other persuasive reasons my speculative prehistory has assumed Darwin’s evolution of life from the simple to the complex, accomplished through progressive agglomeration of single-cell amoebas, to be in reverse of the facts” – Buckminister Fuller
So what I really want to say, is that Richard Dawkins is a hypocritical bigot. That is not to say that I believe the theory of evolution is incorrect. What I mean, is that I believe the reality of the situation is more complex than any theory I have encountered.
Consider the difference between genes and memes. The difference between the two is rather small, but can be describe simply as, genes are codes that express into proteins. And with some sequences of genetic code it is possible to create a machine made of meat that can express memetic information.
“Textbooks describe DNA as a blueprint for a body. It’s better seen as a recipe for making a body, because it is irreversible. But today I want to present it as something different again, and even more intriguing. The DNA in you is a coded description of ancient worlds in which your ancestors lived. DNA is the wisdom out of the old days, and I mean very old days indeed.” – Richard Dawkins
Consider a computer. There are multiple levels of software, sitting on the bottom is a foundation created by the operating system, and userland application programs on top. Then there is the hardware, which was created in factories that interpret some codified machine script to place all the components onto a motherboard, each bit of the machine expressed by other machines running machine-making programs. The brain is much like a base-layer system, like an operating system or a bare machine that could run an operating system.
The difference between genes and memes is a byproduct of the hierarchy of machines — the ability for machines to host other machines, like a computer hosts an operating system, which hosts an application.
So it is entirely possible for humans today to actually be genetically “inferior” (in some sense of the word) to our ancestors, unless we also take into account our memetic evolution (the scientific knowledge & religions, societal order, etc) & external corpus (software, books, monuments, etc). Now do you still identify with the genes of your body, or do you perhaps identify more with your thoughts and system of values that were passed down through nurture & experience?
If the capability of an organism to host a “higher level” machine (like your body hosts your mind) might lead to “altruism” (because the mind empathizes with another mind), could that lead to a force of “de-evolution”? If so, wouldn’t that lead to strange and complex dynamics with no known equilibrium point?
Not so simple now, Sir Dawkins, is it?