BRING GREAT MINDS INTO YOUR CLASSROOM
Darwin's Dangerous Idea
Dennett stands as the sharpest, cleverest, most stylish prober of
issues of human consciousness (and) evolutionary theory.
-- Carlin Romano, The Philadelphia Enquirer
A single great idea: The Theory of Natural Selection. With it,
Charles Darwin shattered existing notions of the natural world by
demonstrating how complexity could arise as a result of a blind
and mechanistic sorting process, without an "intelligent designer".
Now, join Daniel Dennett as he illuminates the radical nature of
Darwin's Dangerous Idea.
Setting his stage, Dennett illustrates why skeptics insist that
beyond "gradual change" evolution must require something
supernatural to do the "heavy lifting" of design--miraculous
"lifters" which Dennett calls "skyhooks".
Instead, Dennett demonstrates that we don't need miracles or
"skyhooks" because evolution gives us "cranes": From sexual
reproduction, to multi-cellularity, to language, he illustrates how
cranes are new designs which themselves have evolutionary
explanations and which, once they exist, become the tools to
create previously impossible designs -from birds and humans, to
ideas and culture.
Next, Dennett turns to the "memetic revolution", and proposes
how memes (the cultural analog of genes) can explain the
extraordinary phenomenon of human culture. In surprising
fashion, he cites Toxoplasma Gondi and brain fluke parasites
(which cause suicidal behavior in their hosts) to suggest why we
don't need "skyhooks" to account for uniquely human attributes.
He demonstrates how morality, ethics, the appreciation of beauty,
or the willingness to die for an ideology are ideas (memes) which
have, like parasites hijacking the human brain, superceded the
strict imperative of reproductive success.
Daniel Dennett's provocative, and highly entertaining presentation
will inspire your students think about the natural world and the
nature of human beings in surprising new ways. Call now!
Seven-part DVD for
1. A Dangerous Idea
2. Darwin's Inversion
3. Cranes: Getting Here From There
4. Fruits of the Tree of Life
5. Humans Without Skyhooks
7. Memetic Revolution
Approx. 55 mins
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Darwin's Dangerous Idea or The
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