It's finally that time, thank you all for joining me. I can't wait to see what kind of intellectual conversation we can make of this. I want to start by letting everyone know that this is the first time I've tried to lead anything like this and that constructive criticism and suggestions are gladly welcome. My idea for running this is plain and simple, Open Forum Style. Open to any and all questions, stories, and comments related to the reading and keeping in mind that we all have a different reading/comprehension level and we all deserve to understand what Dawkins is trying to communicate to us. With that out of the way, let's get started!
Preface and Chapter 1 both give us a good idea of what to look forward to. The Preface contains our base information on the book and what is different between this book and two other books Dawkins has written. Chapter 1 however, is very precise about a few definitions, specifically the word 'theory' and the use of Sense 1 (Dawkins labels it as Theorum) and Sense 2 (Labeled as hypothesis). I think this is a good starting point as it was where my first question started to form. What do you think is the main difference in 'Theorum' and 'Hypothesis' as they are defined in this book, and where do you think such a drastic change in meaning came from?
I see the biggest difference being only one word that is found in the 'Theorum' section. CONFIRMED. This is what we seem to always look for when we state a conclusion right? We need a confirmation of a positive result in an experiment. This is what we learned as children when we were first introduced to the "Scientific Method" in the 4th grade, or whenever it was that we had our first set of science classes. As for why there is such pronounced difference in the two meanings for the same word, I am at a loss. I can see how they are related to each other, but to make a bold leap from defining something as a "hypothesis that has been confirmed" to "A hypothesis proposed as an explanation" just seems irrational to me. In the same style as Dawkins wrote his observations, lets look at the definitions to these two key words.
Confirmed - (a) - Marked by long continuance and likely to persist.
(b) - Fixed in habit and unlikely to change.
Proposed - To form or put forward a plan or intention.
I see here the idea of intending to prove something, like it's mission statement of a thesis project before you even attempt to perform an experiment, versus the conclusion to all of your hard work. These are VERY different words to me and I just don't understand how they could have come to these two being the candidates to represent the same thing. I guess our words can evolve as well, but this is like having the pen on my desk evolve into a new planet.
Well this sums up what I gathered was the main point, I wrote way more than I thought I would and I hope you are all as interested in this as me. Thanks again for participating and I can't wait to see the comments!
Sorry for the delay in posting the next discussion. Finals week has arrived and consumed me. The new discussion is up and I'm not really sure where to start. Anyone is welcome to start commenting and bring up a few points of interest to them! Thanks!
Oh, this is exciting! I wanted to say something in general about the book so I thought here in preface/chapter one would be a good place.
This book is different than the "Blink Watchmaker", for example, because it is personal and intelligent design is torn down. It is lighter reading than "The End of Faith" mostly because Dawkins, as always, is a genius that has the abilty to explain things to the rest of us.
I am half way through the book (audible) and will now try my best to come here and discuss each chapter.
The audible version is read by Richard Dawkins (I love his voice) and his wife Lella Ward.