Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life
tangents and almost incomprehensibly dense passages. I watched an entire college science class misunderstand this for two excruciating weeks of debate and left thoroughly disappointed in Dennett's prose. It's simply too long and stuffy for its own good; and worse, for a 600-page monolith, it insists on simplifying things to "God did it by miracle" or "natural selection did it mindlessly." Thi ...more
The answer is that this book is so dense and well written that it deserves to be savored and thought about. For an evolutionary neophyte like myself (both in evolutionary time, and in terms of how much I know about the concept of evolution) the book has some fairly difficult and complex sections ...more
For those of you Darwin fans, George R. R. Martin is like the Daniel Dennett of Dungeons & Dragons.
For those of you Dungeons & Dragons fans, you're probably already familiar with both George R. R. Martin and Daniel Dennett, so I guess you guys (probably not girls, but maybe) are the intended audience of this review.
Before going any further did you ever notice how Daniel Dennett and George R. R. Mar ...more
— Daniel C. Dennett, Breaking the Spell
"Is this Tree of Life* a God one could worship? Pray to? ...more
Darwin's Dangerous Idea is the first book I have ever read twice in a row. Dennett is a master of clear thinking and builds his case through logic, but he surveys a very large territory and I felt upon finishing my first read, that I hadn't grasped all he had to say. The second read ...more
"Here, then, is Darwin's dangerous idea: the algorithmic level is the level that best accounts for the speed of the antelope, the wing of the eagle, the shape of the orchid, the diversity of species, and the other occasions for wonder in the world of nature."
He also refers to Darwin's dangerous idea as a universal acid, able to ...more
However, the more I read, the more of a chore it became just to pick up the book. I don't want to give the wrong impression - ...more
This book is not "yet another pop-sci book on evolution." It does not set out to convince the reader with a series of well-known arguments that evolution is true. Instead, it assumes you've accepted the idea and explores it as an abstract framework for understanding the world. It is the first and only book I've encountered that takes evolution as a worldview and not just a biological explanation of speciation.
I drew far too many wonderful ideas and frameworks from ...more
The vast majority of the book is devoted to this topic; considerably fewer pages are allocated to describing how morali ...more
A book about the philosophical implications of Darwinism. Written with humor and keen insight, this book has many good references for further reading.
I read this book with great interest because one of its topics -- the effect the theory of evolution has on ideas in non-biological settings like religion and culture -- has fascinated me for some time. Although many people do not find any conflict (or even relationship) between evolution and religion, I have found it difficult to see evolution as...more
The meat of the book is devastating criticism of attempts by philosophers and scientists to find attributes that are beyond evolutionary analysis. In particular, he does a thorough job of exposing the shortcomings of t ...more
While I do agree with Dennett on most points he doesn't understand human behavior fully in 1995. Today we know a lot more. We ...more
Dennet’s idea seems to be to counter challenges to the idea that the variety of life on earth could have been created entirely by natural selection acting on naturally occurring processes. He poses as one of the underlying objection ...more
The author beautifully uses various streams of science - from biology to critical reasoning to AI to physics and chemistry - and adds philosophy with brilliant examples and analogies and metaphors, t ...more
Dennett explains how Darwinian logic applies to human nature, culture, morality, economics ...more
Part 2: A very dense and interesting section on the origins of life, marcos, sky-hooks and design-space.
Part 3: A lengthy essay about why Steven J. Gould is wrong about everything ever
Part 4: A discussion of Godel, the possibility of strong AI, and a gorgeous section on Ethical Naturalism
|Digesting - Daniel Dennett Darwin's Dangerous Idea||1||9||Jul 05, 2016 02:20AM|
—Daniel Dennett, Darwin's Dangerous Idea, 1995”