Richard Dawkins on the nature of science

Recently my favourite science blogger, Orac, provided links to a couple of videos that I think should be compulsory viewing for anyone interested in learning about critical thinking and the nature of science. So I’m going to give you the links through his website (because I’m pretty new to this blogging business and so far haven’t worked out how to link direct to the videos…)

Richard Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist, a prolific writer (I first encountered his work when I read The Selfish Gene in high school), and an Oxford University professor (he holds the Chair for the Public Understanding of Science). Recently he presented a TV series called The Enemies of Reason. I found them on Orac’s site and was hooked.

Part 1 (it’s a two-part series) sees Professor Dawkins looking at various forms of pseudoscience, such as astrology, and showing why they cannot be regarded as having any basis in science. And in Part 2 he turns to the British government’s support of homeopathic practices in its public health system, along with other examples of what he labels “irrational medicine”. (You might want to watch the programme before you read Orac’s commentary.) In both programmes, Dawkins explains how science operates, and what sets science apart from other ways of explaining how the world works.

So make yourselves comfortable (each programme is about 50 minutes long) & click on the links 🙂

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