Richard Dawkins Essay

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Charles Darwin published his On Origin of Species in 1859. By 1870, Darwin’s theory of evolution was widely accepted as fact (van Wyhe, n.d.). This was no easy feat, Darwin was able to provide ample evidence from his voyage aboard the HMS Beagle, Darwin successfully implanted an idea. That idea took root and expanded into a profound science. The spread of ideas is at the very heart of civilization. Some ideas survive and thrive, while others wither and die on the vine. It was Richard Dawkins who pioneered the science behind the spread of ideas, and it is to him that those who count on the spread of their ideas, such as Jonathan Kozol, pay deference. Richard Dawkins is one of those men who people will be discussing for many years to come. A Google search for the fellow turns up countless results, with numerous postings created concerning Dawkins within the last thirty days. Of course, this is to be expected from a man with a Twitter account, who in an instant can relate his airport carry-on luggage woes (Mangan, 2013). Dawkins was born in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1941. After earning his doctorate at Berkeley in 1967, Dawkins was appointed an Assistant Professor of Zoology there. Dawkins’ tenure at Berkeley was brief though, as he ultimately returned to his alma mater of Oxford in 1970 as a fellow at New College (Richard Dawkins Biography, n.d.). Numerous scholars attempt to make the jump from academia to mainstream culture and fail; Dawkins was successful in that regard. In 1976 Dawkins published his first book, The Selfish Gene, which has been reprinted in subsequent editions. Dawkins has since published numerous books and speaks regularly across the world. According to Dawkins, one of his greatest influences was Charles D... ... middle of paper ... ...ill not die, though often proven to be a failure, is tried and tried again. With teachers so chained to a specified curriculum, their students can only suffer. Kozol notes that the mandates and recommended scripting of No Child Left Behind have led some teachers to use timers in their lessons. Kozol views No Child Left Behind as nothing more than an all out war on teaching (Mediamouse.org, 2007). The term survival of the fittest applies not only to species, but ideas. Good ideas have the ability to spread and infiltrate the minds of many, a trait that some ill-conceived ideas can themselves employ. Richard Dawkins identified a new replicator in the world, the meme, a replicator of culture. It is this replicator that men such as Jonathan Kozol rely on. For without the propagation of ideas, Kozol’s thoughts on education reform would only be known to himself.

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