Superb panoramic view which opens many vistas of thought,
This review is from: The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Life (Paperback)
Another excellent book by Dawkins here, highly readable, easily accessible. His writings draw me to want to know more. I like that he gives various points of view. He gives some interesting history of science- how scientific opinion has changed over the centuries.
The ancestor's tale is the version of how life on earth came to be, which is supported by physical evidence. Eons of gradual change.
As with all Dawkins books there is an excellent word index making it easy to find exciting points again.
Page 564 talks about the bacterial flagellar motor which Michael Behe tried to claim as evidence of intelligent design. Certainly even the simplest organisms seem amazingly complex. In 'The Blind watchmaker ' Dawkins admits that sometimes he thinks it would have taken a miracle to make the jump between chemical molecules like amino acids and RNA on to self replicating organisms but he thinks if science studies hard enough then plausible steps will be found. Ken Miller showed 'The existence of the TTSS in a wide variety of bacteria demonstrates that a small portion of the 'irreducibly complex' flagellum can indeed carry out an important biological function.'
The flagellar motor actually gives a catch 22 for I.D. movement because if you claim that it had to be designed then in fact you say that 'god' deliberately created the bacteria which cause so much illness & death. Or does I.D. think that in the beginning all bacteria & viruses were good but then became bad? If you admit such a complex thing could have evolved then surely everything else could have evolved.
If you say that well 'god' formed the world by evolution then you admit that animals killing & eating other animals was an intrinsic part of life on earth from its very beginning.
Once you put a 4000BCE date on the Bible creation story it becomes clear it is just a guess/ myth. Could the bodies of animals have evolved carnivorous teeth or prey catching techniques like the peregrine etc between 4000BCE and the time of old testament writings in 700BCE? I don't think so. What are the oldest writings / pictures which record lions, cheeta, vultures? Do you think the crocodile was recently a vegan? Since animals fighting & killing other animals is obviously an unavoidable & necessary part of life on earth to stablise populations if nothing else then why would a god damn humans for doing similar things when they are driven to it by demand outstripping supply? By this I in no way remit breaking the laws of your country. Ideally everyone would work together to limit human population growth within sustainable limits. It could be theoretically possible but probably difficult to get everyone to agree to cooperate.
The human body doesn't have the design that it could ever have lived for ever- even much more than 100 years. There was never a magical time of perfection. If we had been intended to live millenia we'd have had teeth like beavers that keep growing. Adams teeth would have worn out or decayed & fallen out before he allegedly got to 100. Just look at all the ailments & frailty of our bodies, they were never going to last more than a few decades.