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Archive for the ‘Recommended Reading’ Category

Another great quote by Francis Crick from his book The Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the Soul:

“The age of the earth is now established beyond any reasonable doubt as very great, yet in the United States millions of Fundamentalists still stoutly defend the naive view that it is relatively short, an opinion deduced from reading the Christian Bible too literally. They also usually deny that animals and plants have evolved and changed radically over such long periods, although this is equally well established. This gives one little confidence that what they have to say about the process of natural selection is likely to be unbiased, since their views are predetermined by a slavish adherence to religious dogmas.”

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Francis Crick the great molecular biologist, physicist, and neuroscientist who was one of the co-discoverers of the structure of the DNA molecule wrote in his book Life Itself: Its Origin and Nature :

“To me it is remarkable that this astonishing discovery, the vastness and emptiness of space, has not attracted the imaginative attention of poets and religious thinkers. People are happy to contemplate the limitless powers of God––a doubtful proposition at best––but quite unwilling to meditate creatively on the size of this extraordinary universe in which, through no virtue of their own, they find themselves.”

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Wow, just discovered Richard Dawkins’ The Selfish Gene online in the GoogleBooks library!

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I know from a couple of discussions I’ve recently read online and had with friends and acquaintances that there are a few people who have already read and enjoyed Richard Dawkins book The God Delusion so I thought I bring up that there is an excellent set of videos on YouTube that came out of a CSpan Book TV broadcast of a lecture Dawkins gave at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, Virginia back on October 23, 2006. In the first part he read some excerpts from the book and then in part 2 he takes questions from the audience which also happened to include a fair amount of students and faculty from nearby Liberty University.

YouTube – Dawkins in Lynchburg VA (part 1) The God Delusion

YouTube – Dawkins in Lynchburg VA (part 2) The God Delusion

While part one is interesting for anyone who hasn’t yet read The God Delusion I found the question and answer period to be most fascinating and revealing.

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Some great quotes from William Greider author of The Soul of Capitalism : Opening Paths to a Moral Economy and Who Will Tell The People? : The Betrayal Of American Democracy to inspire our thinking:

“If one benefits tangibly from the exploitation of others who are weak, is one morally implicated in their predicament? Or are basic rights of human existence confined to the civilized societies that are wealthy enough to afford them? Our values are defined by what we will tolerate when it is done to others.”

“The great, unreported story in globalization is about power, not ideology. It’s about how finance and business regularly, continuously insert their own self-interested deals and exceptions into rules and agreements that are then announced to the public as “free trade.”

“The US financial position is rapidly deteriorating, due mainly to America’s persistent and growing trade deficit. US ambitions to run the world, in other words, are heavily mortgaged. Like any debtor who borrows more year after year with no plausible way to reverse the trend, a nation sinking deeper into debt enters into an adverse power relationship with its creditors — greater and greater dependency.”

“The juggernaut — the best and biggest military force in the world — lumbers on, doing what it knows how to do best. It is unwilling to rethink its future, unable to let go of the past. Like the shark, it must keep feeding, only now it is feeding on itself.”

“Modern Americans are remarkably capable people, skillful and inventive in many ways, but they are not so good at talking to one another across their vast differences of social class and economic status.”

“Americans cannot teach democracy to the world until they restore their own.”

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