Tag: Richard Dawkins

Lamarck, Inheritance, and Insinct

Something has always troubled me about Darwin’s theory and even modern revisions of his work – there is still no explanation for instinct. Ethologists call instincts innate releasing mechanisms or IRM, which in layman’s terms means “we’ll use big fancy words because we just don’t know.” The most common definition is, “The mechanism by which ...

Taboo Biology: Epigenetics

Throughout the twentieth century, one of the strongest taboos in biology was against the inheritance of acquired characteristics, sometimes called Lamarckian inheritance, after the pioneering evolutionary biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744-1829). Lamarck proposed that adaptations by plants and animals could be passed on to their offspring. In this respect, Charles Darwin was a convinced Lamarckian. He ...

My 41 Books for 2010

I just realized that I’ve gone an entire year without posting my reading list. Obviously I didn’t do a lot of writing this year but I did do a lot of reading. Here is the list in chronological order with the ones I’m still reading on top. [one_third] The Adventure of English: The Biography of ...

Evolutionary Theory Needs Revising

The story, still sometimes repeated in creationist circles, goes like this: it is the 1960s, at Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Centre in Maryland, and a team of astronomers is using cutting-edge computers to recreate the orbits of the planets, thousands of years in the past. Suddenly, an error message flashes up. There’s a problem: way ...

Black Tide of Occultism

I’ve been thinking about a conversation I had last summer. Some friends and I were discussing Richard Dawkin’s book, The God Delusion, with Rupert. As always, Rupert’s ideas are well thought out and always seem to come out of left field – at least to me. This got me thinking… There are people everywhere that ...