Daniel C. Dennett's Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life PDF

By Daniel C. Dennett

In a booklet that's either groundbreaking and obtainable, Daniel C. Dennett, whom Chet Raymo of The Boston Globe calls "one of the main provocative thinkers at the planet," focuses his unerringly logical brain at the conception of average choice, displaying how Darwin's nice inspiration transforms and illuminates our conventional view of humanity's position within the universe. Dennett vividly describes the idea itself after which extends Darwin's imaginative and prescient with impeccable arguments to their frequently awesome conclusions, not easy the perspectives of a few of the main well-known scientists of our day.

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In a publication that's either groundbreaking and obtainable, Daniel C. Dennett, whom Chet Raymo of The Boston Globe calls "one of the main provocative thinkers at the planet," focuses his unerringly logical brain at the concept of average choice, displaying how Darwin's nice concept transforms and illuminates our conventional view of humanity's position within the universe. Dennett vividly describes the idea itself after which extends Darwin's imaginative and prescient with impeccable arguments to their usually outstanding conclusions, not easy the perspectives of a few of the main recognized scientists of our day.

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The various sources of the Design that went into Darwin's grand idea give us important insights into the idea itself, but do no more to diminish its value or threaten its objectivity than the humble origins of methane diminish its BTUs when it is put to use as a fuel. 4. THE TOOLS FOR R AND D: SKYHOOKS OR CRANES? The work of R and D is not like shoveling coal; it is somehow a sort of "intellectual" work, and this fact grounds the other family of metaphors that has both enticed and upset, enlightened and confused, the thinkers who have confronted Darwin's "strange inversion of reasoning": the apparent attribution of intelligence to the very process of natural selection that Darwin insisted was not intelligent.

Note, by the way, that it would not follow logically that the bird was related to other birds if we found that its DNA was almost identical in sequence to that of other birds! "Just a coincidence, not plagiarism," would be a logical possibility—but one that nobody would take seriously. The Tools for R and D: Skyhooks or Cranes? 73 hence has value at least in the sense that it is something that might be conserved (and then stolen or sold), finds robust expression in economic terms. Had Darwin not had the benefit of being born into a mercantile world that had already created its Adam Smith and its Thomas Malthus, he would not have been in position to find ready-made pieces he could put together into a new, value-added product.

Some would go so far as to say that we have recently learned that there really aren't any Mendelian genes! Having climbed Mendel's ladder, we must now throw it away. But of course no one wants to throw away such a valuable tool, still proving itself daily in hundreds of scientific and medical contexts. The solution is to bump Mendel up a level, and declare that he, like Darwin, captured an abstract truth about inheritance. We may, if we like, talk of virtual genes, considering them to have their reality distributed around in the concrete materials of the DNA.

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Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life by Daniel C. Dennett


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