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Overview[ edit ] In his choice of the title for this book, Dawkins refers to the watchmaker analogy made famous by William Paley in his book Natural Theology. Dawkins, in contrasting the differences between human design and its potential for planning with the workings of natural selection, therefore dubbed evolutionary processes as analogous to a blind watchmaker. To dispel the idea that complexity cannot arise without the intervention of a "creator", Dawkins uses the example of the eye.
Beginning with a simple organism, capable only of distinguishing between light and dark, in only the crudest fashion, he takes the reader through a series of minor modifications, which build in sophistication until we arrive at the elegant and complex mammalian eye. In making this journey, he points to several creatures whose various seeing apparatus are, whilst still useful, living examples of intermediate levels of complexity.
He demonstrates this by the example of the weasel program. Dawkins then describes his experiences with a more sophisticated computer model of artificial selection implemented in a program also called The Blind Watchmaker, which was sold separately as a teaching aid.
The program displayed a two-dimensional shape a "biomorph" made up of straight black lines, the length, position, and angle of which were defined by a simple set of rules and instructions analogous to a genome. Adding new lines or removing them based on these rules offered a discrete set of possible new shapes mutations , which were displayed on screen so that the user could choose between them. The chosen mutation would then be the basis for another generation of biomorph mutants to be chosen from, and so on.
Thus, the user, by selection, could steer the evolution of biomorphs. This process often produced images which were reminiscent of real organisms for instance beetles , bats , or trees. Dawkins speculated that the unnatural selection role played by the user in this program could be replaced by a more natural agent if, for example, colourful biomorphs could be selected by butterflies or other insects, via a touch-sensitive display set up in a garden.
The gene values are given as bars on the top. In an appendix to a later edition of the book , Dawkins explains how his experiences with computer models led him to a greater appreciation of the role of embryological constraints on natural selection. In particular, he recognised that certain patterns of embryological development could lead to the success of a related group of species in filling varied ecological niches, though he emphasised that this should not be confused with group selection.
He dubbed this insight the evolution of evolvability. After arguing that evolution is capable of explaining the origin of complexity, near the end of the book Dawkins uses this to argue against the existence of God: "a deity capable of engineering all the organized complexity in the world, either instantaneously or by guiding evolution Ghiselin , writing in The New York Times , comments that Dawkins "succeeds admirably in showing how natural selection allows biologists to dispense with such notions as purpose and design".
He notes that analogies with computer programs have their limitations, but are still useful. Ghiselin observes that Dawkins is "NOT content with rebutting creationists" but goes on to press home his arguments against alternative theories to neo-Darwinism. He thinks the book fills the need to know more about evolution "that others [creationists] would conceal from them. Willard argues that Chapter 6, "Origins and Miracles", attempts the "hard task" of making not just a blind watchmaker but "a blind watchmaker watchmaker", which he comments would have made an "honest" title for the book.
He notes that Dawkins demolishes several "weak" arguments, such as the argument from personal incredulity. Willard concludes by arguing that in writing this book, Dawkins is not functioning as a scientist "in the line of Darwin", but as "just a naturalist metaphysician".
Since he has been building kinetic sculptures , the Strandbeest , capable of walking when impelled by the wind.
The Guardian. Retrieved 18 November The New York Times. Asombrosas criaturas. PC Pro :
O Relojoeiro Cego – Richard Dawkins
O Relojoeiro Cego – Richard Dawkins
O relojoeiro cego