Richard Dawkins at Stanford University- An Appetite for Wonder Fall US Tour


'An Appetite for Wonder' Fall 2013 Tour- Stanford University on  6 Oct. 2013.

Richard Dawkins is interviewed by Greg Stikeleather about his book "An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of Scientist", part one of his memoir, starting from his birth to the publication of "The Selfish Gene" in 1979.

How would you have answered this question from the audience on how consciousness works? Let us know in the comments below!

Brought to you by:

Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science

The Secular Coalition of America

The Humanist Connection


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  1. A good example of why interviews are so much better than debates – even the audience questions are worthwhile…. 😎

  2. A very enjoyable interview – perhaps the most relaxed and pleasant I have seen of Professor Dawkins. It was a comfort to hear him mention that he had at one time been taken in by Teilhard de Chardin and been disabused of spell cast by that palaeontologist Jesuit’s writings by reading Sir Peter Medawar’s review of his The Phenomenon of Man. I too was at one time enchanted by Teilhard de Chardin’s mysticoscientific prose and have long since been somewhat ashamed of it. This interview, being about Professor Dawkins’s new autobiography, brings up all kinds of interesting things about his earlier life and background, some of his tutors and colleagues at Oxford, and some of his thoughts concerning evolutionary biology, science in general and religion and atheism. He comes across in it as the good chap that he is.

  3. Consciousness has evolved because it has proved to be adaptive. An organism is more likely to survive if it has an accurate model of its immediate environment. However, there is a trade-off between consciousness and other adaptive faculties in terms of the metabolic opportunity cost. The result has been that the characteristics/degree of consciousness varies between species.
    But what exactly is consciousness? I suggest that consciousness can be described simply as the model of reality that emerges when individual senses – sight, hearing, smell etc – are integrated with each other and available cognition.

  4. I have just been entertained for approx one and a half hours by a sensible, reasoned man. I cannot imagine spending one and half minutes listening to any ‘man of god’. Also interesting that Richard originally believed in a form of intelligent design. I never had this delusion; to me, the idea of believing in an all knowing being just seemed bonkers!

  5. It would be interesting to hear Richard Dawkins’s comments on my explanation of consciousness. Any chance?

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