The book – “The Blind Watchmaker” is a phenomenal read.
In this book, Richard Dawkins lays out the story of ‘life.’ How life, after starting from a single cell, flourished into the diverse flora and fauna we see today.
But the central argument of the book is this – Behind this life, there is no intelligent force at work. No divine power that cherry-picked the forms of life that we see today. Nobody decided that a man shall have two hands to work and two feet to walk. Nobody came and suggested that the humans will be at the top of the life of pyramid. No such superhuman power exists!
The belief in the existence of a God is one of the most sold Fiction in the history of mankind. Ever!
Every life form that we see today is a result of an invisible hand of nature – Laws of Physics and Chemistry. These lay down rules that govern and shape every life form that exists, has existed, and will ever exist in the future. This invisible hand of nature works tirelessly. Repeating over and over. For millions of years. Unknowingly, guiding the story of a life that we see around us today. From this viewpoint has come the title of the book. A watchmaker who is blind, having no foresight of what he’ll end up making.
So, there is no mystery behind human beings (and any other form of life.)
The natural selection process (environment) guides life towards survival. The various life forms are an outcome of this one rule. Various environment conditions act as a filter that forces life forms to adopt in order to survive. The copies that can make that little adjustment pass on to the next generation. The ones that can’t are left behind. That’s the truth about life.
So humans are also one variation of this life that survived environmental challenges. There is no intelligent design overlooking the workings on this planet. We don’t occupy a special status in the pyramid of life. We are just one of the many variations of the life that the evolution resulted into. We are a cosmic accident. Life is a cosmic accident. That’s it.
This is in stark contrast to what creationism (religions) proposes. Though our generation is not a blind follower of religion as compared to the ones gone by. And we don’t go to temples that often, or perform daily rituals that previous generations used to do. But in our hearts, even those educated in science, lay a belief in the existence of a Superhuman power. Someone which influences/has influenced our lives.
But it’s not like that. Get over it, says Richard Dawkins. Evolution is not a hypothesis, but a concrete science. Proved, done and dusted. And after reading second of his book, after The Selfish Gene, I totally stand by it.
Then what is our purpose!
The book reveals a fundamental secret about our lives, any kind of life in fact.
Generation after generation, from the single cell, that first came to life, to the wide array of multi-cellular life that we see today. Plant and animals. Birds and insects. Each and every being has only one theme in common.
We take birth, reproduce, and die for one objective. That is passing on a set of information that is encoded in the very fabric of our existence.
In each and every cell of our body resides a set of information. Set of genes copied on strands of chromosomes (proteins). From our grandparents to parents to us. And then to our children and their great-great-grandsons. The only thing that survives is this information – this set of Genes.
We and each of our ancestors have existed carrying out this evolutionary relay race where we keep on passing this baton of this information.
This is the underlying principle of life-forms – survival of genes that reside within each of the millions and millions of cells in our bodies.
Genes are nothing but coded information. Not much different to an mp3 file encoded on a Compact Disk or a hard drive.
In life forms, chromosomes act as the storing device. Genes the unit of information.
So our bodies, in the most crudest sense, and at an evolution scale, are nothing but carriers of this information. We get this information from our parents. Half of the genes from father, the other half from the mother. These two strands of genes then combine to create us. An embryo first, then a baby which grows into a man, until the age catches up and it dies. But all this while the genes remains the same. And we pass on these genes to our sons and daughters. Triggering yet another cycle of the same process.
This is a profound realization!
This means that …
Get the book at Amazon.