Hello again everyone,
For those of you that were interested or recently started The Greatest Show on Earth, by Richard Dawkins, I figured we would start a discussion on it. Any one that wants to join in and start the read is more than welcome, as well as those who have already read it. (I'm sure Nelson will have some insight for us!)
Let me know what you think! Thanks everyone!
How and When will the discussion start?
After a long and busy holiday I finally managed to start the preface and chapter one discussion. It will be open for the next week and we can get started posting on it right away. I'm looking forward to all the responses. Here is the link to the first discussion page
Thank you to everyone that participated in the Preface and Chapter One discussion board. I think for next Sunday we can try to get chapters two and three in. I hope this isn't too fast for everyone. If you haven't finished the preface and chapter one that's fine. I will still be responding to that discussion board and you can catch up with us at your own pace.
I look forward to the next discussion with you all.
Hello again everyone,
I guess we had a little falling off, but feel free to jump right back in. I didn't post the link to the second discussion like I did with the first, so I guess better late than never. Here it is.
Looking forward to hearing some responses. The chapter three discussion will be up sometime Sunday night or Monday morning! Thanks again for the responses.
Just wanted to stop by and let everyone know that the next discussion for the book is up!
Check it out here - "The Greatest Show on Earth" Discussion 3
so, Chapter 4: Silence and Slow Time.
One of the most striking tidbits in this chapter comes near the end when Dawkins points out that "some 40% of the American population, and a somewhat smaller percentage of the British population, claim to believe that the Earth, far from being measured in billions of years, is less than 10,000 years. Lamentably, in America and over much of the Islamic world, some of these history-deniers wield power over schools and their syllabuses." That is truly grotesque, that the numbers are that high, I mean I can't stand the idea of ANYONE believing that crap, but 40%...
It's so hard to understand that mindset. I mean when I read this chapter and Dawkins clearly details how dating works: tree rings (dendrochronology), radioactive clocks (half-life), and the various layers that fossils are found in and how they correspond to certain time periods (Cambrian, Ordovician, Devonian, etc.); and how all these methods can be used to date fossils and rocks and the age of the earth: it just all seems to make perfect sense. 1+1=2. And yet, so many people just completely reject all this evidence to instead "uphold the origin myth of a particular set of Bronze Age desert tribesman." Sigh...
Allow me to post a sidebar. Candidly, I haven't read the book yet. I agree with you..."It's so hard to understand that mindset." My situation was somewhat unique. I studied the Bible under a non-denomination preacher/teacher in Houston. He was degreed in Hebrew, Koine Greek and Aramaic from the University of Arizona, a pre-dispensationalist, Church Age proponent, etc. He actually did teach that the earth was millions and millions of years old, distinguishing what he called a complete global ice age between Gen. 1:1 and 1:2.
The church had untold thousands of adherents across the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia including a VP of the US. He was so articulate and scholarly that we all 'accepted' this view. He published dozens of tracts and tapes and CD's. He refused to be televised or appeal to one's wallet. The man truly believed what he preached. But, later in my life, I woke up, grew up, studied and focused and came to believe that even a more rational form of religion was still untrue and based on mythology.
The point is, is that I can, in a way, understand the epistemology and ontological structure of their belief system...it's wrong, but I do to a degree comprehend it. Of course, I now know that 'faith', 'religion', a somewhat patriotic belief structure exists very, very deeply in this nation and it makes me sad. Irrationality usually trumps reason.