Friday, May 16, 2008

Selfish Idiot

This morning's BBC thought for the day was particularly inspiring - of course I mean inspiring as in suggesting to me that I write something here, as opposed to being truly inspirational.

So today the speaker took off from the topical headline that crime rates for girls are increasing sharply. And the solution, justified with selected quotes from his sacred old book, was to make sure that the differences between the sexes are maintained. I notice that the quotes used to justify everything from physical assault to denial of voting rights were not used in this instance, though they would have been equally representative of his ridiculous book.

It's also funny how his special book does not even explain the fact that some people can be born with XXY chromosomes, that genes control the production of hormonal proteins and those proteins control the development of sexual characteristics, that neurological differences explain behavioural differences. But he still paraded his medieval nonsense as the source of unquestioned divine revelation.

But actually that wasn't the bit of his lecture that inspired me. It was his wilful and stupid misinterpretation of modern scientific thinking, blaming the apparent rise in individualism with the "selfish gene". Idiot. Only a nutcase could read Richard Dawkins and still not recognise that the selfish gene is precisely an explanation for co-operation and altruism.

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