I actually read the book a year or so back and then gave it away. Personally, I can't remember what chapters 6 or 7 were specifically about or I would join in. I'm waiting for a group read of a book I haven' read yet. :D
The chapters are long so I think everyone (4 of us?) is trying to catch up. I think we might have to go out and get some "religious" perspective since we're all in such agreement on most of this stuff. I was pretty fascinated with Ch 5 on the roots of religion but Ch 6 is kind of sluggish in discussing the roots of morality - like I said, this is thoroughly chewed up and digested material. I do have some Facebook friends that are pretty hardcore believers so I might try and get their input on the next chapter - if they will agree to the abuse.
We're still waiting for your input here Sniz - I'm sure you have an opinion. You are reading the book, right?
I might suggest that we find the Cliff notes version of this book and send it to the other 160 members, it might be a little more readable - or not. This really is a great book so I would think there would be feedback if it were being read.
Doing a fast catch up on TGD now. just finished 6 and 7. The most interesting part for me was where he explained altruism and the four possible reasons why selection favours altruism.
"Natural selection favours genes that predispose individuals, in relationships of asymmetric need and opportunity, to give when they can, and to solicit giving when they can't. It also favours tendencies to remember obligations, bear grudges, police exchange relationships and punish cheats who take, but don't give when their turn comes."
Does this imply that children know right from wrong when they are born? Do they know that sharing is good and reneging on deals is bad without being told so by their parents? Is PZ wrong when he says "no genetic basis for a moral code except, perhaps, in the broadest sense of intrinsic rewards for social behavior"?
Is Dawkins saying rule of thumb moral laws are already proscribed by our genes, or is he saying that we are merely programmed to be receptive to social pressures.
Also many cognitive scientists today are saying that reason has deceptively little to do with our moral decisions and most of the time we act on emotional cues. Are these emotional cues indoctrinated into us by the environment? Or is it innate?
I think a new book would help rekindle interest and discussion. I imagine the problem with the God Delusion was that so many of us had read it before, and probably discussed it before, or else felt that the first few chapters left little to be discussed (my situation). I hesitate to call what I read of the book "simple", but I can't think of a different word, so that one stays for now.