The Houston area skeptics, along with a few hundred other guests, were treated to a lecture from renowned evolutionary biologist, Richard Dawkins, Tuesday night.
Dawkins spoke at the fabulous Wortham Center inÂ Houston’s Theater District, which is no small venue for a scientist. In fact, it’s quite an impressive place for anyone to speak. And being Dawkins’ first time to visit the Space City, the Bayou City, the Big Steamy, his presentation was equal to the setting.
Now, I have to admit to having been bored byÂ Dawkins’ speeches before. Not the ideas contained therein, but his manner of public address has perhaps caught me after lunch or when I have missed out on a full night sleep for some reason, because I have been perilously close to napping more than once. But on this occasion, there was no such danger. And I have to think it was me all along, because he spoke in the same manner as before, and spoke about the same ideas as before, and I thoroughly enjoyed the talk.
The Houston skeptics, and other followers ofÂ science and scientific issues,Â really found nothing new in the presentation, as Dawkins program was basically a high-level summary of his book, The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution. But even for those old hats, hearing the evidence for evolution laid out in such an eloquent fashion isÂ a value add,Â to employÂ a bit ofÂ tired corporate vernacular.
We get comfortable with the concept of evolution, and we know all the scientific and rationalÂ arguments to refute a denier, but often, unless weÂ work in the field, we don’t always consider the specific evidence for it, and just how powerful it is and the levels it covers. Dawkins’ book reminds us of that, and his talk reminds us of that.
So if he’s coming through your town with this program, get your local group together,Â have a nice dinner, and then enjoy an evening listening to a pretty bright guy discuss the evidence for one of the mostÂ amazing scientific ideas ever.