Seen in the light of evolution, biology is, perhaps, intellectually the most satisfying and inspiring science. Without that light it becomes a pile o
Seen in the light of evolution, biology is, perhaps, intellectually the most satisfying and inspiring science. Without that light it becomes a pile of sundry facts -- some of them interesting or curious but making no meaningful picture as a whole.
—Theodosius Dobzhansky, Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution
This book reminds me of Dobzhansky’s brilliant classic essay, Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution (1973)*. Dobzhansky clearly and beautifully stated that evolution is not only just a scientific theory that applied in biology field, but also a ‘light’ that give us new insights of our life meaning and its place in universe. It implied to not only scientific method but also philosophical method to understand our life’s meaning. You can interpret it as physical or spiritual perspective. No matter what your belief is, atheism or religion, evolution will give you an elegant way to look at life.
First of all, Evolution is not just a ‘theory’, but it’s a fact, an undeniable fact. Charles Darwin did not only showed us how evolution works, but also proved that evolution is the only possibility how nature and life works. Zillions of evidences have been proved that we, human, evolved as life itself evolved. Evolution also proved that we are just one of millions species as ‘product’ of evolution. We are not at the top of ‘ladder of evolution’; we are just like other animals or lichens. Humans are not special compared to flies or even bacteria.
The only real difference between human and other organisms is human able to think and reason. Thus, reason has to be what we have to use to evolve further. We have to use what sets us apart from other animals. What we have to do with other animals? What is our purpose in this life? And of course, the most challenging question since our ancestors saw sky at night for ‘first’ time millions years ago in Africa, who we are? The book tried to answer these questions in provoking way. There is no supernatural power that control and force the life; it’s simply just natural selection. What we are, where we come from, and where we are going to, are some of classic questions that are tried to answer in this book.
As I said before, evolution is the most elegant way to understand and to answer those questions. And I think that evolution perspective is a pure interpretation from scientific facts, it’s not based on your belief. Thus, acceptance this vision doesn’t mean we need to become an atheist or Christian or secularist. Dobzhansky, whose his quote I wrote above, was an Catholic although he was an evolutionist—perhaps the greatest evolutionist in our time. This issue seems failed to be caught by the author, I think. You can accept evolution and religion at the same time. For those people, religion is not a rigid and outdate thing. It can be changed and interpreted with times without lose its meaning.
Yes I know, we’re faced with the ceaseless stream of news about war, pogroms, crime, slavery, assassinations, gruesome punishments, child abuse, deadly quarrels, genocide, and terrorism, but blame all of them to religion is just too naive. The author doesn’t allow for variances in thought, beliefs, or practices. He seems to ignore the many positive aspects of religion.
Another point that I want to point out is the content of the book. For a book which is claimed as based on scientific facts (in this case evolution), this book is poor of facts, data, references, foot notes, or any related items so that we cannot crosscheck his arguments. Are they based on scientific facts or just pure his ideas/interpretations. To enjoy this book, you should understand, at least, evolution knowledge at basic level. You will not find (or a few) any descriptions or terms of evolution related. There is no ‘gene’, ‘mutation’, ‘gene-drifting’, ‘heredity’, or any terms in science meaning.
I mean, this book is good for you who familiar with evolution concept and idea. But, we also know, evolution is the most misunderstanding science all time. Many people (especially the fundamentalists) think that evolution is a fraud and blasphemy science. This wrong perception caused by many books of evolution was looked as atheism propaganda instead of science concept that can be applied in major aspects. For example, Richard Dawkins’s books are considered as good popular science books because he wrote his argument based on a solid science explanation. For people who have lack understanding of evolution, Quanology seems like only another atheism propaganda.
However, whoever you are, if you are open-minded person, you can enjoy this book very much like me. This book has a beautiful way for noticing and explaining of evolution to understand our existence and way of life. Khoury offers up a post-enlightenment vision of what an open-minded approach to evolution might look like; evolution (and science generally) is not just a bunch of experiment or observation data. It can offer, to its believers and humanity, how we understand our life and its existence.
Khoury writes confidently, intelligently, and well. His arguments are sound. Using evolution, the authors elucidate mechanisms by which human intra-and-inter-relationships—a form of competition and working together in which one individual benefits at the cost of another—arises through natural selection. It is a bit more philosophy than biology but I would recommend this book if you are interested in this stuff. Equally thought-provoking as it is informative. Maybe, you will see life in a new way!
And ah, Khoury is very funny guy! He has a great sense of humor. Have you ever imagined if Zach Galifianakis writes God Delusion? It must be Quanology. I have a lot of LOL-moments while reading the book.
The quest to understand the meaning of life has haunted humanity since the "first" human walked in Africa mThis book was really what I was expecting.
The quest to understand the meaning of life has haunted humanity since the "first" human walked in Africa million years ago.
The Meaning(s) of Life is a book which tries to answer the old age questions regarding what is the meaning(s) of life based on biological perspectives.
Who we are if 75% of our cells are bacteria and 3 million bacterial genes inhabiting us? Moreover, these bacteria have been implicated in the development of neurological and behavioral disorders. They can manipulate our brain, our decision, our consciousness. And you think you still can claim that you can control yourself? At the end, we are just bacteria with brain.
There are still many interesting (yet strange) biological facts that implies to our philosophical views on life. This book is a collection of essays based on those topics, there are some excellent points made to support the authors point of views and beliefs. However, some topics (such as evolution) need more elaboration. Overall, this book is almost like Sagan's Cosmos, enjoyable to read and great way to start to thinking about our existence and its meaning(s).
This is an entertaining, thoughtful, informative, and provocative book at the same time....more
Aduh, kayaknya ini bakal jadi buku terakhir yg dibaca ma saya dg tema "novel religi" -_-
Terjebak dalam pakem AACisme, novel ini sudah menjadi mimpi buAduh, kayaknya ini bakal jadi buku terakhir yg dibaca ma saya dg tema "novel religi" -_-
Terjebak dalam pakem AACisme, novel ini sudah menjadi mimpi buruk bahkan dr judul tiap babnya, "sayap-sayap cinta", "muhasabah cinta", dan cinta-cintaan yg lainnya.
Belum masalah penokohan. aduh, ada fahriesque dg versi lebih akut. Ada tokoh yg masih remaja, anak SMA kelas 2 yg soleh banget--satu2nya anak laki2 soleh di kampungnya-- tinggal di sebuah desa di Jawa yg amat-amat miskin. Saking miskinnya, mayoritas anak perempuannya jadi TKW. Semua anak laki2nya jd perantauan di kota.
Karena himpitan ekonomi yang menyesakkan, maka nilai religius agama di desa tsb hancur drastis, tinggal si anak muda (bernama Ibrahim) tadi dengan guru ngajinya. Ada juga sih kakak Ibrahim yg bernama Yusuf dan bunga desa kampung bernama Sarah yg masih setia ngaji. Ajaibnya, meski diceritakan "moral penduduk desa itu sudah rusak" di tiap dialog tokoh-tokohnya kita akan terkejut bahwa penduduk desa tsb berkata dg santun-santun. Bahkan perempuan yg mau bunuh diri saja tapi gagal karena diselamatkan Ibrahim, dalam waktu beberapa hari jadi seorang alim tanpa dijelaskan proses tobatnya. Okay, mungkin pengarang (yg soleh) memang tak bisa berkata kata2 kasar, tapi itu bukan berarti dia diberi tolerasi utk tdk menulis kata2 kasar kan yah?
Belum cerita. beuh. bayangin, di desa yg teramat miskin dan terpencil, masih ada anak SMA lugu yg tak tahu ttg cinta monyet, lalu ada perempuan yg mendekatinya, maka si anak itu, Ibrahim, menjadi gundah gulana sampai berhari2 tak bisa tidur. Bayangin, cinta monyet (ini bukan cinta ujung2 nikah kan? masih kelas 2 SMA gituh loh) seperti itu ditanggapi lebay oleh Ibrahim. Ibrahim menjadi sangat menderita, tak bisa tidur berhari2 sampai kepalanya pusing. Lebih buruk lagi, si penulis ngasih ceramah ttg kekuarangan tidur lebih berbahaya drpd kekurangan makanan. bahasan ini (Ibrahim yg gak bisa tidur berhari2) memakan 1 bab lebih cerita. aih...
Guru ngaji di kampung, yg kemungkinan seumur hidupnya tak pernah meninggalkan kampungnya, kemudian menceramahi Ibrahim dg kata2 bombastis, "sayap-sayap cinta mengepak.. remuk redam... blablablabla" yg bukannya bikin kagum malah bikin geli, bagaimana bisa si guru ngaji di kampung miskin-terpencil tsb menjadi seorang pujangga?
Premis awalnya yg emang udah klise (cinta segitga ala AAC) kemudian dibalut dg konflik yg tipis (nyaris musykil) dan penokohan yg seperti TV LCD: flatttttttttttttttt. Hasilnya, kita akan mendapati sebuah cerita yg begitu membosankan, melelahkan untuk dibaca, dengan semua karakter-setting yang tidak reliable.
Kontradiksi ekstrem yg digambarkan penulis, "desa amat miskin-terpencil" vs "remaja soleh lugu" benar-benar efektif bekerja: cerita di novel ini menjadi luar biasa ekstrem membosankan dan tak bisa dipercaya nalar.
Saya tahu, tujuan penulis bukan hanya penyampaian kisah cinta belaka, ada pesan moral (atau apapun itu) yg ingin disampaikan. Tapi ya wong jangan seperti ini gituh loh. Apa bedanya dg sinetron? "pesan moral" sinetron kan ada dan baik (kebaikan selalu menang di atas kejahatan), tapi dengan penggarapan yg extralebay, semua yg ingin disampaikan sinetron terkubur dlm kelebayannya, kan?
Selamatkan hidup anda. skip it!
PS: 1. oyah, ada bab yg judulnya "Cinta Bersayap Cinta"...
jadi inget sms jail ini:
"cinta ini, cinta adalah cinta, cinta caraku, cinta membuat cinta. cinta monyet. cinta bingung."
2. Ada bagian ceramah yg panjang lebar ttg nasib. Ujung-ujungnya diakhiri dengan kalimat, "nasib sudah menjadi bubur". Hayyyah... Jadi inget lomba cerdas cermat pas SD. Saking semangatnya ngejawab ttg peribasahasa yg artinya kondisi pura2 cuek tak acuh, saya malah menjawab "pura-pura dalam perahu", jadi disalahin ma dewan juri T_T.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more