There's a number of podcast out there with excellent speeches and interviews with Richard Dawkins talking about his latest book "The God delusion".
- A twenty minute speech at TED talks
- An hour long interview on point of inquiry
He speeks eloquently on the dangers of blindly accepting religius dogma and explanations based on faith. Very refreshing.
I transcribed this snippet from his recent speech Poptech - which is not online yet:
Science has taught us many things against our intuition. Appearantly solid things like crystals and rocks are almost entirely empty space – the familiar illustration is a fly in the middle of a sports stadium. The nucleus is the fly in the middle of the sports stadium and the next nucleus is the next fly in the middle of the next sports stadium.
The hardest, densest rock is ”really” almost entirely empty space, broken only by tiny particles so widely spaced they shouldn’t count. Why then do rocks feel hard and solid and impenetrable. Well, as an evolutionary biologist I’d say something like this: Our brain has evolved to help us survive within the orders of magnitude of size and speed at which our body normally operates. We never evolved to navigate in the world of atoms – if we had, our brains would probably percieve rocks as full of empty space.
Rocks feel hard and impenetrable to our hands because our hands themselves can’t penetrate them. It’s therefore useful to our brians to construct notions like solidity and impenetrability.
Moving to the other end of the scale, our ancestors never had to move through the cosmos at anything like the speed of light, if they had our brains would be much better equipped to deal with Einsteins ideas of relativity.
I give the name middleworld to the medium scale environment, the things moving at medium speeds , in which we have evolved, in which our brains have evolved to understand and take action.