Saturday, March 31, 2007

australia in april

Looking forward to this science journalism conference in Australia in two weeks. They tell me Melbourne is a bit like Portland. Before then: a quick trip to San Fran for a couple of book-related interviews.

refreshing clarity

Richard Dawkins, speaking on Fresh Air the other day. Nice to hear someone spell this out with such force for a change.

“The understanding of life, and indeed of science generally – understanding of the universe generally – that we now have at the beginning of the 21st century, is an astoundingly rich, poetically valuable, truly wonderful achievement of our species – something that we have every right to be proud of. You could spend a lifetime imbibing and learning and understanding and increasing understanding of this view that we now have. It is incomparably richer than anything that our ancestors in past centuries could have. It is an enormous privilege to have it. No one individual could possibly comprehend it; it’s a lifetime’s worth just to understand bits of it. And I think it is demeaning to retreat from that to a medieval worldview which simply says: God done it. Which is so trite, so cheap, so over-simple, so parochial, and so impotent in the face of the huge phenomena which need to be explained and which now are being explained.”