Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Richard Dawkins

Last night I attended a book signing at venerable independent Kepler's Books by biologist Richard Dawkins for his new book, The Greatest Show on Earth, which makes the case for evolution.

I've been to many events at Kepler's (including my own sparsely attended affairs) and I have never seen more people packed into the store than there were last night. The staff had placed chairs in every available space, but many people were still left standing or sitting.

It seems a lot of folks in Northern California are concerned about evolution.

As a mystery writer, I don't have a lot to say about the topics Dawkins usually writes about, but for some reason, the two most widely (or should I say the only two things) quoted in various places on the Internet from my books have to do with evolution and fate or determinism.

From The Immortal Game, and quoted by iWise (the so-called "Wisdom on Demand" site):
Carbon atoms on a distant planet rearranged themselves into DNA, microorganisms formed, grew backbones, swam around the ocean, mutated into amphibians and crawled onto dry land—and finally a cab appeared at the mouth of the alley.
And from the same book with this iWise reference:
Einstein said that God does not play dice with the universe. He was right, but not in the way he meant. God doesn’t play dice with the universe because the universe doesn’t need him. The craps table is set up and running. Whether or not God put it there is besides the point.
There must be something to that business about the craps table because iWise "randomly" pasted Robert Crais' photo onto the pages with my quote. I'm not complaining--but Robert might!

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