Richard Dawkins: an end to mythmaking? | Mark Vernon

Friday, August 3, 2012 - 08:01 in Paleontology & Archaeology

So Paxman can dub myths 'hogwash', but not religion. Surely all myths do a similar job – it's just scientific ones don't last as longRichard Dawkins is a master mythmaker. His best fiction is that of the selfish gene. His great book of that title, published 35 years ago, described human beings as lumbering robots driven by immortal genes. It even had a brilliant, final twist. Sometimes, the myth promised, we can overcome the tyranny of the biological imperative inside us. Inevitably – though perhaps more quickly than many anticipated – his myth is going the way of the world. It spoke powerfully of what was taken to be truth for a time. But subject to the inexorable shifts of human knowledge, the myth is now starting to look outdated.A crucial moment came in August 2010, when Martin Nowak, Corina Tarnita and Edward O Wilson published an article in Nature....

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