The mirage of God.
In 1976, at the age of 35, the biologist Richard Dawkins wrote “The Selfish Gene”, a book that at the time sparked numerous controversies and that today continues to be a matter of debate.
“The selfish gene” posed a vision of evolution focused on the survival of genes, competing with each other to transcend from one generation to the next.
The metaphor of the selfish gene refers to a biochemical unit that acts “selfishly” to perpetuate itself, at an independent level and alien to that of the species or the individual.
“The Selfish Gene” is one of Dawkins’ best-known books, but it is not the only one. Without ever abandoning pure science, Dawkins has published many works aimed at the general public, with the purpose of disseminating scientific knowledge. “The extended phenotype”, “The blind watchmaker” or “The devil’s chaplain” are some of his most popular titles.
Dawkins, who was a student of the zoologist Niko Tinbergen, has also written numerous essays on society and religion, which have not escaped heated discussion either. Some of his skeptical articles such as “God’s Gift to Kansas” or “When Religion Treads the Grass of Science” can be read on the Internet.
The whole of Dawkins’ work, fully recommended for anyone interested in science, constitutes a plea in defense of skeptical thinking and a relentless (and impeccable) critique of pseudosciences and cultural relativism. According to Dawkins, religious beliefs intrude on scientific knowledge, talking about what exists or does not exist in the cosmos.
The publication, a few months ago, of the Spanish translation of his most recent work, “The mirage of God“He has returned the biologist to the center of the controversy between militant religionism and atheist activism.
In “The God Delusion”, Dawkins affirms that the belief in a supernatural creator can be described as a delusion, which he defines as the persistence in a false belief maintained in the face of strong contradictory evidence. Dawkins is sympathetic to Robert Pirsig’s observation that “when a person suffers from delirium we call it insanity. When many people suffer from the same delirium we call it religion”
On the occasion of this translation, the Asturian newspaper “Comercio digital” has published this week a biographical note on the author, who has been recognized, along with Pinker or Sagan, as one of the most important popularizers of science.
This same week (coincidence?), The same newspaper interviews Jose Luis Jorcano, responsible for the tissue engineering program of the Center for Energy, Environmental and Technological Research (CIEMAT), and general director of Genoma España.
In this other article, entitled “In the 21st century, religion and science should not mix”, Jorcano echoes some of Dawkins’ ideas,
Scientists are subject to many controls, on the other hand fair and necessary. We are not crazy confined in laboratories without any kind of responsibility or control. Scientists and the media should be able to inform society of the advances, the consequences, the advantages and disadvantages of research. It would be the only way to end the controversies and fears that are sometimes generated without foundation. We live in democratic countries where the population, once well informed, would be in charge of deciding what to do or what not to do, but they have to know the consequences of the decision they are taking.
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