Audio-book Review
 By Chet Yarbrough

Blog: awalkingdelight)
 Website: chetyarbrough.blog

River out of Eden

By: Richard Dawkins

Narrated by: Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward


As Dawkins’ clever title infers, “River out of Eden” is a scientist’s explanation of how life began and proliferates whether God exists or not. One can argue it is neither a refutation nor affirmation of God, only that God has nothing to do with life’s persistence. Dawkins’ explanation is based on Darwinian evolution and what he characterizes as the immortal gene. A human gene’s immortality is being tested by earth’s environmental degradation. On the other hand, immortal genes may adapt to earth’s degradation.

One cannot help but think of the potential of artificial intelligence and the future of human beings as they may evolve.

The discovery of DNA by Francis and Crick may change the course of human evolution. With the discovery of CRSPR, the medical community acquired tools that can modify genes. With those discoveries, it became possible to rid humanity of disease and hasten human evolution. Some argue these discoveries will improve human life; others suggest it will end it.

The discovery of the double helix. Erwin Chargaff (1951): Rule of Base pairing. Rosalind Franklin & Maurice Wilkins (1953): X-ray diffraction pattern of DNA. James Watson & Francis Crick (1953): Molecular structure of DNA.

Dawkins offers numerous examples of species that have evolved over millenniums of earth’s existence. He argues that survival is a result of an innate characteristic of genetic material that has the sole purpose of self-preservation. Genes are reproducing engines of life based on the environment in which they exist. Dawkins argues genetic materials’ ability to modify and replicate themselves are the essence of life’s continuation.

Evidence of Dawkins belief began with Darwin and is reinforced by numerous science experiments showing generations of birds, bees, and other forms of life that have inherited behaviors through generations of existence. His argument is that life is a matter of genetic predilection and preservation, more than learning.

The unexplored consequence of Dawkins’ belief is–what nature has provided to evolution, may soon be controlled by human beings. Genetic manipulation will no longer be determined by nature’s circumstances but by humankind’s limited knowledge. Considering human decisions that have murdered millions, earth’s ecological crisis, and human nature’s innate desire for money, power, and prestige, humanity should sense what Kierkegaard called fear and trembling.

Author: chet8757

Graduate Oregon State University and Northern Illinois University, Former City Manager, Corporate Vice President, General Contractor, Non-Profit Project Manager, occasional free lance writer and photographer for the Las Vegas Review Journal.

One thought on “FEAR AND TREMBLING”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: