New PDF release: A Devil's Chaplain: Reflections on Hope, Lies, Science, and

By Richard Dawkins

ISBN-10: 0618335404

ISBN-13: 9780618335404

Some of the most popular evolutionary biologists at paintings this day, Richard Dawkins has written passionately for years on matters that topic deeply to him - and topic urgently to we all. A Devil's Chaplain brings jointly the easiest and so much provocative of his essays, on topics starting from evolution to ethics, from commute to literature, from schooling to faith. the result's an exciting portrait of 1 of the best minds in science.

With eloquence and energy, those essays recommend Dawkins's such a lot basic axiom: search fact. He speaks out opposed to pseudoscience and deftly dissects faith and mysticism. In a strong letter to his ten-year-old daughter, he argues for the need of basing any trust on reliable facts. And he doesn't draw back from skewering the loftiest associations, even if judicial or academic. "To hell with . . . your fact-stuffed syllabuses and your never-ending roster of exams," he publicizes with fresh directness. He writes infectiously of his awe on the impressive complexity of the universe, can pay relocating tribute to pricey acquaintances and precious colleagues, and tenderly recollects his boyhood in Africa. Uncompromising, even ruthless as Dawkins famously is whilst protecting medical fact and cause, this assortment additionally exhibits a gentler, extra contemplative part which can shock his many readers.

Here we meet the fundamental Richard Dawkins: inspirational in either his loyal consciousness to rationalism and his abiding passions.

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Additional info for A Devil's Chaplain: Reflections on Hope, Lies, Science, and Love

Sample text

If the contingencies of survival and extinction had been different, the gap would be in a different place. Ethical principles that are based upon accidental caprice should not be respected as if cast in stone. 26 1. Science, Genetics and Ethics: Memo for Tony Blair Senior Ministers could be forgiven for seeing scientists as little more than alternate igniters and quenchers of public panic. If a scientist appears in a newspaper today, it will usually be to pronounce on the dangers of food additives, mobile phones, sunbathing or electricity pylons.

Would you bet on two independent juries reaching the same verdict in the Louise Woodward case? Could you imagine even one other jury reaching the same verdict in the O. J. Simpson case? Two judges, on the other hand, seem to me rather likely to score well on the concordance test. And should I be charged with a serious crime, here's how I want to be tried. If I know myself to be guilty, I'll go with the loose cannon of a jury, the more ignorant, prejudiced and capricious the better. But if I am innocent, and the ideal of multiple independent decision-takers is unavailable, please give me a judge.

Should all cases be tried by two separate juries? Or three? Or twelve? Too expensive, at least if each jury has twelve members. Two juries of six members, or three juries of four members, would probably be an improvement over the present system. But isn't there some way of 40 TRIAL BY JURY testing the relative merits of such alternative options, or of comparing the merits of trial by jury versus trial by judge? Yes, there is. I'll call it the Two Verdicts Concordance Test. It is based on the principle that, if a decision is valid, two independent shots at making it should yield the same result.

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A Devil's Chaplain: Reflections on Hope, Lies, Science, and Love by Richard Dawkins


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