I Wanna be Literated #166

I Wanna be Literated #166

Monday, 16 October 2017

Science in the Soul: Selected Writings of a Passionate Rationalist
by Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins is someone who has been impressing me ever since I started reading him more than 10 years ago. It’s surprising the kind of shade that gets thrown his way, because if you read his books, they are quite enlightening and he comes across like a perfectly sane (albeit a bit arrogant) man.

Dawkins’ books vary between his major theses, autobiography, and short essay collection. This book falls in the latter category. Science in the Soul is organized into several sections which deal with topics as varied as Darwinism (of course), social causes, epistemology and the search for extraterrestrial life, politics, science (of course), education, religion, and finally (and strangely) eulogies. Most of these essays come across with Dawkins’ trademark clarity and wit. The man definitely knows how to go for the jugular and he makes his point very clear, even if you don’t’ agree with it.

A small setback in this book is in the curating, because some of these essays are a bit disappointing. Sometimes they are too personal (like the eulogies section which does doesn’t fit well with this book), and seem to be motivated by Dawkins’ desire to gain the moral high ground on some issues (or people) instead of more noble means. Other times, it seems like Dawkins just plain wants to show off (he insists that he could have predicted the internet 30-40 years ago, which then again, might be true). Not to mention the “humor” section of this book which is as annoying as a Rick and Morty fan.

So, not Dawkins’ strongest book, but the first half has some definite great moments and full of the stuff that makes us feel in awe of the universe we live in.

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