Richard Dawkins: By the Book [NYT 9/15/13] A Mind Map by The Brain with 156 Legs that lives at ht...

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Richard Dawkins: By the Book [NYT 9/15/13] A Mind Map by The Brain with 156 Legs that lives at by Mind Map: Richard Dawkins: By the Book [NYT 9/15/13] A Mind Map by The Brain with 156 Legs that lives at

1. "The Black Cloud" by Fred Hoyle

1.1. Plot: illustrates the way discoveries are made more than once in different ways.

1.1.1. A deplorable book.

1.1.2. deplorable: (adjective) deserving strong condemnation. Understood the difficulty of separating individuals from the group they are embedded in. arbitrary: (adjective) based on random choice rather than any reason. "The Black Cloud" was the first book that had pumped his intuition about information theory and the idea of the arbitrariness. Learned more science from it than anyone expects from a work of fiction.

2. Mission of the Richard Dawkins Foundation (US) "Our mission is to support scientific education, critical thinking and evidence-based understanding of the natural world in the quest to overcome religious fundamentalism, superstition, intolerance and human suffering. Our mission is to support scientific education, critical thinking and evidence-based understanding of the natural world in the quest to overcome religious fundamentalism, superstition, intolerance and human suffering."

3. Charles Darwin: world-renown naturalist and geologist. Biggest contributor to evolutionary theory

4. Scaling the Secular City: A Defense of Christianity by J.P. Moreland

4.1. Rated 4.6/5 stars in the area of secularism

5. Richard Dawkins supports Michael Gove's plan to put a King James Bible in every state school. Dawkins believes that the Bible is a world-class piece of literature that doesn't need to be read to live life, but just read as an example of beautiful early literature.

5.1. "The good book should be read as a great work of literature – but it is not a guide to morality, as the education secretary Michael Gove would have us believe."- Taken from this article about Michael Gove's plan to let students read Bibles in school, not just because they are religious.

6. King James version of bible:is an English translation of the Christian Bible for the Church of England begun in 1604 and completed in 1611

7. I found an online version of King James Bible here:

8. "Secularism is the principle of separation of government institutions, and the persons mandated to represent the State, from religious institutions and religious dignitaries."

8.1. Separation of Church & State

8.1.1. Decisions about the state (and Government) should be unbiased. No additional motivation from religious or personal influence.

8.1.2. Creates an Equal Playing Field: For those in and outside the role of the Church

9. "There's not one occurrence of the word God, or afterlife, or anything like that. It doesn't attack religion, it's a positive book, there's nothing negative in it. People may think it's against religion – but it isn't."

10. Ecclesiastes is more of a melancholy book. The book of Ecclesiastes provides a stark example of how relevant the Old Testament can be in today's world. The title of the book comes from the Greek word for "preacher" or "teacher." More on this book is located here…

11. Science and Secularism

11.1. Science


11.1.2. Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe From the Latin: scientia, which means "knowledge

11.2. Science and Secularism: The Collaboration

11.2.1. From a historical standpoint, Science has almost always fell under the jurisdiction of the church and when scientific advancement disagrees with church views things get tricky. Notable example- Darwin's Theory of Evolution. Or the works of Galileo Galilei, which stated that the Geocentric model, which was long-held by the church, was incorrect. Galileo stated that the Earth orbits around the sun. Geocentric: The stars revolve around the Earth and the Earth is the center of the universe. Galileo was excommunicated (or kicked out) of the Catholic church for his radical beliefs.



11.2.4. Science or Secularism Somewhat Interesting Article from a theistic perspective. Although not arguing from a Scientific and Secularist buddy standpoint. It offers interesting points on how scientific discovery doesn't always mean Science V. Church. Please keep in mind that this article is written from a theistic background. Just as the other articles are written from a secular background.

11.3. Secularism

11.3.1. Not an attack of personal beliefs or an infringement upon 1st Amendment Rights

11.3.2. Essentially separation of church and state.

12. In the bible, Songs of songs, also known as songs of Solomon, is a collection of love poetry. And much like Shakespeare's love sonnets, the poetry in Song of Songs doesn't go from point A to point Z. I know that Richard Dawkins would like to meet Shakespeare if he could, which make sense why he likes to read songs of Solomon. You can learn more about this book here….

13. Hugh Lofting (1889 - 1947):

13.1. Author and creator of Dr. Dolittle

13.1.1. Racism The novel itself was controversial and suspected of racism. (Ironic since in later film adaptations Eddie Murphy Portrays him) While fighting in WWI, he didn't want to tell his kids about the brutality of war, so instead he created the character of Dr. Dolittle. They began as creative letters, and set the foundations for his later novels. In the 1920's there was a strong sense of racism in fiction, many other authors were also considered to have hinted at racism in their writing. Agatha Christie H.C McNeile "Sapper" wrote Dawkins however did not see the aspects of racism in this novel as a bad thing; instead he appreciated the anti-speciesism. Anti-speciesism: n. Human intolerance or discrimination on the basis of species, especially as manifested by cruelty to or exploitation of animals.

14. "Avoid Boring People" by James Watson

14.1. His biography on the Nobel Prize website as well:

14.2. A summary from Amazon:

14.3. James D. Watson's Ted Talk on how we discovered DNA:

15. Disappointing, overrated, just not good: What book did you feel you were supposed to like, and didn’t?

15.1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

15.1.1. Other works by Jane Austen Northanger Abbey Sense and Sensibility

15.1.2. This book showes the values of time period. It might seen "not exciting" but if you take time and think back, society used to be like that. Women were valued on how well they were married. It also shows how people are quick to assume things about poeple. (not in a racial profiling or racism type of way) Patriarchal Society: A social system in which the father is the head of the family and men have authority over women and children.

15.2. A "modern" version/parody

15.3. "Not excited over who married who, or about how rich the characters are"

16. What is the best book you have read so far this year?

16.1. "The Kite Runner" by Khailed Hosseini

16.1.1. It is a novel that tells the truth through the setting and the characters You may go to Khailed Hosseini's Website to find out more about it here: Or go on my blog to read my literature analysis on it at: I have a literature analysis on this book too!

16.1.2. The follow up to this book is ^ Literary Analysis on this book on my blog-

16.2. The author responds that his favorite book read this year is Daniel Dennett’s “Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking. I searched it up and what really interested me was the 7 ideas...

16.2.1. Seven tools for thinking #1 Use your mistakes. #2 respect your opponenent

17. If you could meet any writer, dead or alive, who would it be? What would you want to know?

17.1. Shakespeare. He was impressed by his humbleness.

17.2. Shakespeare

17.2.1. Here is a link that leads to a Timeline of Shakespeare.

17.3. Shakespeare: I assume that Richard thinks Shakespeare's work may have been more impactful to society if he studied at Oxford or Cambridge, because they are known as excellent colleges

17.4. I think Richard was intrigued by Shakespeare because he invented a new style of writing as well as a new form of sonnets

17.5. Shakespeare inspired him, because he influenced the English language so greatly.

17.6. Here are links that will lead you to two of his famous pieces Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet. Romeo and Juliet Hamlet

17.6.1. More Shakespeare quotes for reference

18. Theism: The belief that God exists or that many gods exist, or the belief in the existence of one God viewed as the creative source of the human race and the world who transcends yet is immanent in the world. ""

18.1. atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist

18.1.1. not to be confused with agnosticism, which is currently the affiliation of tons of people. agnosticism is an intellectual doctrine or attitude affirming the uncertainty of all claims to ultimate knowledge.

19. Vocabulary

19.1. (1st Response) Obscurantist: n. one with a policy of holding information from the public; one with a style of deliberate vagueness obliqueness in literature

19.2. (2nd Response) Luminaries: n. people who are an inspiration to others; people who have achieved eminence in specific fields

19.3. (3rd Question) Secularism: n. religious skepticism or indifference; the view that religious considerations should be excluded from public education

19.4. (5th Response) Ubiquitous: adj. being or seeming to be everywhere at the same time; omnipresent

19.5. (6th Response) Deplorable: adj. worthy of severe condemnation or reproach; woeful; lamentable; wretched; bad

19.6. (7th Response) Vocation: n. a regular occupation; an inclination to undertake a certain kind of work, especially a religious career; a calling

19.7. (8th Response) Pantheon: n. a temple dedicated to all gods; all the gods of the people considered as a group; a public building commemorating and dedicated to the heroes of a nation; a group of persons most highly regarded for a field or endeavor

19.8. (10th Response) Salutary: adj. effecting or designed to effect an improvement; remedial; favorable to health; wholesome

19.9. (10th Response) Pseudoscience: n. a theory, methodology, or practice that is considered to be without scientific foundation

19.10. Sympathetic-adjective 1. feeling, showing, or expressing sympathy Metaphors - noun 1. a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable. Imagery - noun 1. visually descriptive or figurative language, esp. in a literary work Aficionado - noun 1. a person who is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about an activity, subject, or pastime.

20. Childhood influence

20.1. Red Strangers by Elspeth Huxley

20.1.1. Growing up in Kenya in the early twentieth century, the brothers Matu and Muthegi are raised according to customs that, they are told, have existed since the beginning of the world. But when the 'red' strangers come, sunburned Europeans who seek to colonize their homeland, the lives of the two Kikuyu tribesmen begin to change in dramatic new ways. Soon, their people are overwhelmed by unknown diseases that traditional magic seems powerless to control. And as the strangers move across the land, the tribe rapidly finds itself forced to obey foreign laws that seem at best bizarre, and that at worst entirely contradict the Kikuyu's own ancient ways, rituals and beliefs. ""

21. Childhood Literary Hero

21.1. Dr. Dolittle

21.1.1. "This gentle, kindly naturalist, who could talk to nonhuman animals and commanded godlike powers through their devotion to him." - Richard Dawkins.

21.1.2. Charles Darwin: Dawkins connected Dr. Dolittle to the works of Charles Darwin. The Voyage of the Beagle

22. Books to insist world leaders to read.

22.1. Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan

22.1.1. Audiobook:

22.1.2. Carl Sagan Portal:

22.1.3. Themes:

22.1.4. PDF of the Whole Book:

22.1.5. best antidote known for superstition and pseudoscience, Pseudoscience: includes beliefs, theories, or practices that have been or are considered scientific, but have no basis in scientific fact. This could mean they were disproved scientifically, can’t be tested or lack evidence to support them

22.1.6. Summary as a whole + separate chapters:

22.1.7. Quick Quotes:

22.2. Evolution of Cooperation by Robert Axelrod

22.2.1. Video About It (References Richard Dawkins):

22.2.2. PDF of the Whole Book:

22.2.3. All About It:

22.2.4. Robert Axelrod's University of Michigan Page:

22.2.5. A- F Lessons: A: The Prisoners' Dilemma: This basic problem occurs when the pursuit of self-interest by each leads to a poor outcome for all. This maybe illustrated with a game is called the Prisoner’s Dilemma because in its original form two prisoners face the choice of informing on each other (defecting) or remaining silent (cooperating). Each must make the choice without knowing what the other will do. B: Lessons from World War I: In the midst of this bitter conflict, the frontline soldiers often refrained from shooting to kill – provided their restraint was reciprocated by the soldiers on the other side. C: Conditions for stable cooperation: 1. The individuals involved do not have to be rational: The evolutionary process allows successful strategies to thrive. 2. Nor do they have to exchange messages or commitments: 3. There is no need to assume trust between the players. 4. Altruism is not needed. 5. No central authority is needed. 6. For cooperation to emerge, the interaction must extend over an indefinite (or at least an unknown) number of moves. For cooperation to prove stable, the future must have a sufficiently large shadow. 7. In order for cooperation to get started in the first place, there must be some clustering of individuals who use strategies with two properties: The strategy cooperates on the first move, and discriminates between those who respond to the cooperation and those who do not. D: How cooperation evolves: The foundation is not trust, but the durability of the relationship. E: The Value of Provocability: Better to respond quickly F: A Self-Reinforcing Ratchet Effect

23. In general, what kinds of stories are you drawn to?

23.1. appreciates "novels that pump scientific intuition"

23.1.1. Examples of novels/authors of scientific fiction A Space Odyssey by Sir Arthur C. Clarke about the "Dawn of Man" and how it comes back around to becoming "Man" Clarke was the best science fiction writer while Asimov claimed the title of the best science writer; this began the "Clarke-Asmiov Treaty" "The Dead Past" by Isaac Asimov concerns the government and the preservation of science "Dark Universe" by Daniel F. Galouye concerns mythology and the origin of religion "A people who, for reasons that emerge, lost light at some remote part of their history and now live in perpetual darkness, retain “light” in their language but only in mythic allusions to a lost paradise from which they have fallen. "

23.1.2. Definition of science fiction (if needed) : a form of fiction that draws imaginatively on scientific knowledge and speculation in its plot, setting, theme, etc. (

23.2. he also enjoys social satire that consists of observations of the way people are and how they talk

23.2.1. Examples Evelyn Waugh Aldous Huxley Kingsley Amis Michael Frayn

24. Favorite Contemporary Writers and Thinkers

24.1. Steven Pinker

24.1.1. His Twitter:

24.1.2. His Wikipedia page:

24.1.3. known for his advocacy of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind

24.2. Daniel Kahneman

24.2.1. His Wikipedia page:

24.2.2. His TED talk:

24.2.3. notable for his work on the psychology of judgment and decision-making, behavioral economics and hedonic psychology

24.3. Matt Ridley

24.3.1. His Twitter:

24.3.2. His Wikipedia page:

24.4. Lawrence Krauss

24.4.1. His Wikipedia page:

24.4.2. His Twitter:

24.5. Jared Diamond

24.5.1. His Wikipedia page:

24.5.2. His TED talk:

24.6. Martin Rees

24.6.1. His Wikipedia page:,_Baron_Rees_of_Ludlow

24.6.2. His TED talk:

24.7. Jerry Coyne

24.7.1. His Wikipedia page:

24.7.2. His Twitter:

24.8. A.C. Grayling

24.8.1. His Wikipedia page:

24.8.2. Him on The Colbert Report:

25. What books would you recommend to an aspiring scientist?

25.1. “Advice to a Young Scientist” by Peter Medawar

25.1.1. His biography on the Nobel Prize website:

25.1.2. Some quotes: A video of famous quotes by him:

25.1.3. A summary and some reviews:


27. Synopsis of Richard Dawkins Life.

27.1. The Early Years

27.1.1. Dawkins was born in Narobi Kenya Mother: Jean Mary Vyvyan (Photo Not Found) Father: Clinton John Dawkins 1915-2010 Agricultural Civil Servant Wartime soldier in Nyasaland

28. Richard Dawkins: Background Information


28.2. Kenyan born English Kenya-born English ethologist, evolutionary biologist, and author of several books including "The God Delusion" (for which he is probably best known as an author) and "The Selfish Gene". Also known for introducing the word "meme" into society

29. You have written several books on science and secularism. What other books on the subject would you recommend?

29.1. The Good Book: A Secular Bible by A.C. Grayling

29.1.1. Here's an article on the book:

30. What book are you going to read next?

30.1. War and Peace

30.1.1. Written by Russian author Leo Tolstoy

30.1.2. Book review and plot summary


30.2. Read War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

30.2.1. Biography of Leo Tolstory:

31. What books might we be surprised to find on your shelves?

32. What book has had the greatest impact on you?

32.1. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

32.1.1. Randy Pausch's talk on "achieving your childhood dreams" This coicides with his book

32.1.2. His official website

32.1.3. Find his talk on TED Talk's website

32.1.4. Wikipedia Profile:

32.1.5. ABC New's Report on Pausch's death:

32.1.6. Carnegie Mellon's Website:

33. What book have you always meant to read and haven’t gotten around to yet?

33.1. David Lodge's Humiliation game.

33.1.1. Lodge invented a literary parlour game called 'Humiliation' in Changing Places, which remains popular at dinner parties. Players name classics of literature that they have not read, the winner being the one who exhibits the most woeful literary lacuna.

33.2. David Lodge's wiki.

34. Anything you feel embarrassed not to have read?

34.1. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy.

34.1.1. Leo Tolstoy's wiki (Lived in the Russian empire). War and Peace was generally about the French Invasion of Russia.

34.1.2. The book was during the Napoleonic era. Russian culture of War and Peace.

35. You were born in Kenya and spent your early childhood there. What kinds of books did you read while growing up in Africa?

35.1. Okay so I deleted my own work. I have no idea how to get it back.. I'm just going to continue from Geraldine Elliot and we can all play back through to see it.

35.2. Geraldine Elliot was an African Folktale writer, popular for her book Where the Leopard Passes.

35.2.1. As folklore goes, the stories taught lessons and were personified animals including hyenas and rabbits and leopards. Dawkins mentions Chinyanja, a local language There are a total of 69 languages spoken in Africa, and they different dialects are considered mother tongues. Two main languages of Kenya are English and Swahili.