The point Dawkins missed

Just spent the last hour watching the second in the series by Richard Dawkins, entitled "The Genius of Charles Darwin". In it, Dawkins attempted to answer the question as to why human beings act altruistically, not just with kin but with complete strangers (e.g. giving to charity). He came up with the solution that human beings are so advanced evolutionarily that they are able to actively fight against the normally "selfish" behaviour of the gene.


I have two problems with this:

  • If the genes are "mis-firing" or we have evolved to a point where we can overcome the "selfish" tendency of genes, why are such trends not being bred out since in actuality they fail to advantage the individual’s genes for best propagation? For example, by giving money to charity I am not spending it on something that might advance my gene pool (i,e. liposuction to make myself more attractive to as many women as possible)
  • Dawkins completely side-stepped the issue of the morality of selfish human genes engaging in genocidal acts in order to prevent any opposition to their own gene pool. (i.e. he avoided answering the question as to what was wrong about the holocaust).

Of course, all this is immaterial as I don’t actually believe Richard Dawkins exists…


3 Comments on “The point Dawkins missed

  1. Off-topic again, but Jonathan, if you see this, sorry I walked away from such a good discussion on your blog (on the threads on the soul and the ‘fundamentalist atheist’ one). Can understand why you now want people to register with Blogger to be able to comment, but I’d rather not do so, so may not be back…
    all the best, in friendship, Blair

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