Richard Dawkins on EVOLUTIONARY “SUBVERSION FODDER”: Are Father God religions, sexy fashion ads, and eating at McDonald’s REALLY like “a moose mounting a statue of a bison”?

Richard Dawkins gave a lecture at Michigan State University in early March, 2009, and Wesley Elsberry took notes and posted them on the Internet.

Here’s a part of his notes that I thought was interesting (in which Dawkins addressed the issue of how one evolutionary purpose that evolved in one context can be hijacked, in a different context, to serve a different purpose):

Dawkins named a number of archi-purposes that provided “subversion fodder”: hunger, sex, parental care, kinship, filial obedience, and others. We evolved under conditions where sugar and fat marked high-quality food sources, and poor food availability meant we tended to eat obsessively when food sources were available. But today for western culture, food is always available, and we do damage to our teeth and our health via over-indulgence. For the subversion of sex, Dawkins showed a photograph of a moose mounting a statue of a bison. Once the audience had gotten a laugh out of that, the next slide showed a scantily clad human female model, and Dawkins said, “At least the bison statue was in 3D.” Contraception forms a subversion of the archi-purpose of sex. Notes Steven Pinker’s quote, “My genes can go jump in the lake.” We adopt kittens and puppies.

Filial obedience is subverted as in “God the father”, and the elevation of other father-figures. 

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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3 Responses to Richard Dawkins on EVOLUTIONARY “SUBVERSION FODDER”: Are Father God religions, sexy fashion ads, and eating at McDonald’s REALLY like “a moose mounting a statue of a bison”?

  1. volubrjotr says:

    Dickie Dawkins is imploding under his own ideology. No modicum of science can possibly be validated tying together his conjectures with ‘gradualism’/defunct now, ‘punctuated equilibrium’/defunct now, or a combination of both/resurrected to save evolutionism from the brink of extinction.

    He is entertaining though, next time try to get Dickie to talk about Mother Murder or why the Arabs slammed into the Twin Towers!

    Poor guy, I’m almost embarrassed for him.

  2. aunty dawkins says:

    Mcdonalds et al are now part of our environment, those people who have stomachs unadapted to eat too much fat on a daily basis will by the law of natural selection survive and breed kods with similar traits . Therefore mcdonalds will disappear eventually. Isnt that evolution? Mooses that mount stone bison will similarly learn that it doesnt get them very far. seems a good way of Moose contraception to fool them like this for a while. Give the kids a plastic doll instead of sex education might serve same purpose LOL

  3. aunty dawkins says:

    *’kids’ not kods LOL

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