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Darwin's Five Bridges

Richard Dawkins
Bestselling author of The Selfish Gene, The Extended Phenotype, The Blind Watchmaker, The Ancestor's Tale, and many others

Dr. Richard Dawkins, bestselling author of The Selfish Gene, The Extended Phenotype, The Blind Watchmaker, The Ancestorís Tale, among other books, gives an intriguing talk about the 4 bridges that Darwin crossed with his theory of evolution. In addition, he proposes a new bridge that addresses what he thinks should be the following step to Darwinís theory. First, he starts by stating that Darwin dismantled the belief that a designer was essential to create functional things. Darwin claimed that natural selection gives rise to cumulative improvements, which is what gives birth to these things. Dr. Dawkins addressed that Darwinian evolution provides an alternative for the explanation that the creation and evolution of things happens by chance. Then, he gives examples of characteristics of animals that have evolved, such as a giraffeís long neck or the color of a butterfly, and explains that these changes took place because they increased the animalís likelihood of survival. Then, he mentions the four bridges: 1) natural selection as a force for weeding out the unfit, 2) natural selection can drive evolutionary change, 3) the imaginative grasp of the importance of natural selection in explaining all of life, in all its speciose richness, and especially to dispel the illusion of design, and 4) the bridge to public understanding and appreciation to natural selection. The fifth bridge, addresses neo-Darwinism, which he explains is a union between Darwinism evolution and Mendelian genetics. Finally, he addresses the fact that evolution is not only biological but cultural too, and challenges the audience to think how current evolution is taking place and how the evolution of ideas is a kind of natural selection.


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