RE: virus: Vancouver Sun article

Jared Warren (
Tue, 23 Feb 1999 11:46:32 -0500

I was planning on lurking for a few more days, but I figured I'd briefly come out of hiding. I'll make a more formal introduction later. :)

>From: KingsXfan

>Am I wrong to suggest that Dawkins was the inspiration for this
>list? I'm a bit surprised that no one thus far came to his
>defense. The article I posted had quite a damaging critique.

I hope I speak for most of the group when I say that the article had too many ad hominem arguments to be worthy of a reply and was obviously written by someone who hasn't read much of Dawkins work (IIRC, moral implications were discussed rather early in The Selfish Gene). I'm just ashamed it came from my home province (which is actually somewhat surprising, BC being the least traditionally religious province*).

As for the article, I don't think any worrying about morality is going to halt scientific progress. The selfish gene and meme theories of human development give us a structured psychological framework we haven't had since Freud, [nearly?] everything humans do can be *easily* explained in terms of memetics. Conversly, religion is difficult to interpret (look at the vast number of different, and sometimes contradictory denominations in the Christian church) and teach correctly; a devoutly Christian (and not particularily science-minded) friend once told me she finds the explanations of the Bible harder to understand than those in scientific textbooks. We may not like the implications of memetics on our lives, but any attempts to censor science will ultimately fail.

Jared Warren