e-book Darwinian Fairytales: Selfish Genes, Errors of Heredity and Other Fables of Evolution

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May 13, Matthew Hodge rated it really liked it. In this day and age of short opinionated articles that we share back and forth across the internet, it was nice to stop and read something that was making an argument at length, that requires time to spell out its ideas. And what an argument! David Stove was he died in an Australian philosopher, of no religion. In other words, not the kind of guy you would expect to suddenly decide to get stuck into Darwin and Richard Dawkins.

You would expect this sort of thing from a creationist or inte In this day and age of short opinionated articles that we share back and forth across the internet, it was nice to stop and read something that was making an argument at length, that requires time to spell out its ideas. You would expect this sort of thing from a creationist or intelligent design proponent, but an atheist?

They simply don't have a dog in the fight, you would think. Which is what makes this such a fresh and interesting read even 20 years after publication. After reading The Origin of the Species and The Selfish Gene, I was struck by the fact that neither book actually was able to present evidence for the big claim of evolution - the change between species not just within species.

Darwin made a great case for micro-evolution but could only postulate on a broader macro-evolution. Meanwhile, jump forward to the next century and Dawkins in The Selfish Gene assumes that evolution is completely proven as a done deal and then spends the entire book expounding the theory of evolution being driven by replicating genes, a theory for which he presented almost no proof.

I have no problem with theorising how things work, but I was actually rather staggered that a guy who has spent his life complaining about people believing in religions that aren't true has a scientific theory that is also largely speculative.

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Now, by this stage, my evolutionary readers may be thinking I haven't read enough of his books. Calm down. Dawkins' The Greatest Show On Earth is close to the top of the reading pile, so I'm still in my research phase on evolution. But back to David Stove. I thought he might cover my concerns above, but he takes a different and even more brutal tack. He's happy to believe that we evolved somehow he's not proposing creation or intelligent design. But he refuses to believe that explanations of survival of the fittest or nature weeding out characteristics that don't lead to the ongoing reproduction of a species is satisfying for the simple fact that it does not hold true for the human race.

Simply by observing the human race, you don't see everywhere ongoing struggle at the level required by the Darwinians.

You don't see selfishness at the level required. Meanwhile, in fact, there are lots of things that have developed in the human race that go completely the opposite way - that lead to lower populations and less reproduction. The book is split into separate essays that tackle different subjects at length, such as whether life evolved from ongoing struggle, does population really rise to the level of food available, and some brilliant stuff on the issue of altruism and selfish genes.

Anyway, there is no way I can do justice to a book this size in a small review, so I will stop there and say, whichever way you fall on the debate, and whether you agree with Stove or not, it's always worth rubbing shoulders with a contrary idea from time to time. It'll either reinforce why you're right or help you to ask useful questions about your own beliefs. For those wondering how technical this book gets, I would say that if you can cope with Dawkins, you'll be fine with Stove.


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  • Darwinian fairytales :!

And Stove is constructing more philosophical arguments rather than scientific ones so they're possibly easier to understand. The only drawback to this book is that Stove does tend to repeat himself a lot but I found this helped keep his ideas clear, especially if you're not used to following this sort of argument. Well worth a read. I found this review while looking into Nagel's Mind and Cosmos. It's interesting so far. Stove accepts evolution as the explanation for changes observed in the fossil record. But he demolishes the Darwinian formula borrowed from Thomas Malthus of survival of the fittest over limited resources and the need to procreate as explaining human evolution Along the way, he demolishes "The Selfish Gene" concept in the bargain.

And having finished the book, the only thing left to do was to see if he had any thoughts on how evolution works in humans.

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But he has none. Jul 27, Joseph Sverker added it Shelves: philosophy , science-stuff. This seems like an extremely interesting book in all the controversy of creationism and evolution. Stove is not at all a creationsit, yet he is criticising with great fervor and success the Darwinian theories about humanity. I just want to find time to really read and get in to this book!

How much fun it will be to have a non-religous critique on Darwin and Dawkins.

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Jun 21, Jess is currently reading it. Aug 26, Wally rated it really liked it. Written with great wit. Sep 11, Ailsa added it. David Stove is a philosopher, he's not religious but gives an excellent analysis of what is wrong logically with neo-darwinism Dec 31, Justin Andrusk rated it really liked it. This was an excellent exposition as to the erroneous inconsistencies from an objective worldview.

Hofeiz rated it did not like it Oct 24, Christopher Donut rated it really liked it May 25, Kevin Wall rated it liked it Sep 22, Jessica rated it liked it Dec 09, Nate Clarke rated it did not like it Feb 05, Jeff Breiwick rated it liked it Mar 22, Mohammad rated it liked it Jun 01, One of the easiest ways to increase public cynicism about elections is to change the One of the easiest ways to increase public cynicism about elections is to change the rule book to make the laws governing how we vote more vague and less rigorous.

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Darwinian Fairytales: Selfish Genes, Errors of Heredity and Other Fables of Evolution

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Darwin's fairytales

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