Exclusive - Richard Dawkins Extended Interview Pt. 3

  • Aired:  09/24/13
  •  | Views: 106,956

In this exclusive, unedited interview, Richard Dawkins speculates on the nature of pre- and post-life. (7:29)

>> Jon: DO YOU THINK IT'S MORELOGICAL THAT YOU BELIEVE AFTER

YOU DIE IT ALL ENDS OR THERE'SSOMETHING ELSE THERE.

DO YOU BELIEVE THAT MAYBE NOT APARTICULAR FAITH LIKE WE GET

WHITE WINGS AND WE MOVE TOWARDTHE LIGHT AND YOUR GRANDMOTHER

IS THERE WITH PIE.

NOT SPECIFIC FAITH BUT THE IDEAOF SOMETHING BEYOND OUR

UNDERSTANDING EXISTS FOR US ISALMOST A MORE LOGICAL CONCLUSION

THAN WE ARE CREMATED AND ROT.

>> SOMETHING BEYOND US.

THAT, I BELIEVE -- THERE'S MANYTHINGS WE DON'T UNDERSTAND.

THE PARTICULAR THING OFSURVIVING YOUR OWN DEATH,

PALPABLE WISHFUL THINKING GOESAGAINST EVERYTHING WE UNDERSTAND

ABOUT HOW THE NERVOUS SYSTEMWORKS.

WE'RE EVOLVED CREATURES, WE'REAPES.

WE'RE AFRICAN APES.

IF YOU WANT TO BELIEVE YOUSURVIVE DEATH OR HUMANS DO, WHEN

SDID IT START IN EVOLUTION, ALLNTHAT SORT OF QUESTION.

>> Jon: SURE.

>> IT REALLY DOESN'T MAKELOGICAL SENSE.

>> Jon: DOES IT BRING YOU BACKTO THAT IDEA OF WHEN DID LIFE

BEGIN AND DOES THAT MAKE LOGICALSENSE?

>> WELL, YOU DON'T HAVE TO DRAWDIVIDING LINES.

YOU CAN SAY THE ORIGIN OF LIFEWAS A GRADUAL PROCESS.

YOU CAN SAY THE ORIGIN OF LIFEIN THE WOMB IS A GRADUAL PROCESS

FOR THAT MATTER.

>> Jon: I MEANT MORE THEORIGIN OF LIFE AT THE BEGINNING

OF LIFE.

>> FOUR BILLION YEARS AGO OR SO,A LITTLE BIT LESS MAYBE, THE

FIRST SELF REPLICATING MOLECULEFCAME INTO EXISTENCE. YOU COULD

THINK OF IT AS THE FIRST GENE.

IT'S HARDLY LIFE BUT IT PROVIDESIT'STHE BEDROCK FOR NATURALVIDES

SELECTION TO GET GOING.

ONCE YOU HAVEGENES YOU HAVE THE POSSIBILITY

FOR NATURAL SELECTION. AND THENIT GRADUALLY BUILDS STRUCTURES

FOR ITSELF, WHICH TO BEGIN WITHARE RATHER SIMPLE LIKE BACTERIA.

AT SOME POINT THEY START GETTINGNERVOUS SYSTEMS, AND AT SOME

LATER POINT THEY GET A BRAIN.

>> Jon: THIS IS THE PART IREMEMBER FROM SCHOOL.

BACK THAT UP A LITTLE BIT.

THAT FIRST PART YOU SAID WHEREDID THAT COME FROM?

IS THERE EVIDENCE WHERE THATCAME FROM?

>> NOT EVIDENCE BECAUSE ITHAPPENED A LONG TIME AGO UNDER

DIFFERENT CONDITIONS.

>> Jon: IS IT JUST STATISTICS?

IS IT CHANCE?

>> YES, ACTUALLY IT PROBABLY IS.

IT COULD HAVE BEEN A VERYIMPROBABLE EVENT.

AND NOBODY KNOWS THAT.

CHEMISTS ARE WORKING ON IT.

BIOLOGISTS ARE WORKING ON IT.

TRYING TO THINK OF IDEAS. BUT IDOUBT IT WILL EVER PROVE

ANYTHING DEFINITE.

>> Jon: HAS ANYBODY COME CLOSETO RECREATING THAT MOMENT?

>> NO.

SORT OF BITS OF IT ARE BEINGRECREATED. IT PROBABLY WAS A

VERY IMPROBABLE EVENT.

ANOTHER WAY OF PUTTING THAT ISTO ASK THE QUESTION HOW LIKELY

IS IT THAT THERE'S LIFE ON OTHERPLANETS.

THERE ARE ABOUT 10 TO THE 22STARS.

>> Jon: THAT'S 19?

[ LAUGHTER ]TO SO THE 22 IS?

-- 10 TO THE 22 IS -- IF IT'S ASTATISTICAL ANOMALY CHANCES

ARE THAT HAS BEENREPLICATED.

>> IT'S HIGHLY LIKELY THAT THEREARE.

EVEN AS FEW AS A BILLION OTHERPLANETS MIGHT HAVE LIFE.

THAT'S VERY, VERY FEW INDEED.

>> Jon: A BILLION PLANETSMIGHT HAVE LIFE.

>> IT'S A TINY NUMBER.

A BILLION IS A TINY NUMBERCOMPARED TO 10 TO 22.

[ LAUGHTER ]>> Jon: YOU THINK I DON'T KNOW

THAT?

[LAUGHTER]THAT'S TOTALLY A TINY NUMBER

COMPARED TO THAT.

[LAUGHTER]>> SO WHAT I'M SAYING IF THERE

ARE A BILLION PLANETS WITH LIFETHEN THEY ARE PROBABLY SO SPACED

OUT, THEY ARE PROBABLY SO RARETHAT THE CHANCE THAT ANY ONE OF

THEM WILL BUMP INTO ANY OTHER ISVERY LOW.

THERE COULD BE MORE THAN ABILLION. IT COULD BE UNIQUE.

IT COULD BE THAT LIFE IS ONLYHERE AND IT WOULD FOLLOW FROM

THAT THAT THE ORIGIN OF LIFE ONTHIS PLANET WAS SUCH A

STUPIFYINGLY RAREEVENT WE'RE WASTING OUR TIME

WONDERING WHAT HAPPENED.

>> Jon: DON'T DO THAT TO ME.

IF I SAY TO YOU YOU HAVE FAITHTHAT OTHER LIFE IS OUT THERE YOU

ARE SAYING BASED ON THEEVIDENCE?

STATISTICAL EVIDENCE THAT THEREARE BILLIONS OF PLANETS.

AREBUT ISN'T IT A HYPOTHESISBECAUSE

WE DON'T KNOW HOW IT GOT HERE.

>> WE DON'T KNOW.

IT'S A STATISTICAL CALCULATION.A PLAUSIBILITY CALCULATION.

THIS IS SO COOL TO THINK ABOUT.

DO YOU WANT TO GET HIGHLATER? THINK ABOUT IT.

DO YOU WANT TO GET HIGH LATER?

[LAUGHTER]I DON'T HAVE ANTIPATHY TOWARDS

ITHE RELIGIOUS AND I'M GETTINGTHE

SENSE THAT YOU DON'T BUT I'VEREAD SOME THINGS THAT YOU MIGHT.

>> I THINK DO, CERTAINLY.

NOT TO EVERY RELIGIOUSINDIVIDUAL CERTAINLY NOT.

SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS ARERELIGIOUS.

[ LAUGHTER ]>> Jon: BUT YOU ARE SAYING

THAT IT'S -- AS A CONSTRUCT YOUDON'T CARE FOR IT?

>> NO, I THINK IT'S DESTRUCTIVEOF THE HUMAN INTELLECT.

>> Jon: BUT IT'S DONE SOMEGOOD?

>> NOT MUCH.

[ LAUGHTER ]>> Jon: DO YOU THINK OF NATION

STATES AS MORE DESTRUCTIVETHAN RELIGION.

>> PATRIOTISM IS DESTRUCTIVE.

>> Jon: SO THE ISMS.

WHAT ABOUT DYSTOPIAS LIKEBRAVE NEW WORLD TYPE STUFF?

ANY CONSTRUCT THAT LACKSMORALITY YOU WOULD HAVE

ANTIPATHY TOWARDS? I THINK WEHAVE TO CONSTRUCT OUR OWN

MORALITY. AS THE DECADES GO BYWE GET BETTER AT IT.

>> WE'RE A LOT MORE MORAL NOWTHAN WE WERE 500 YEARS AGO

OR EVEN 100 YEARS AGO.

>> Jon: NO I THINK THAT'S -- IDON'T KNOW THAT THAT IS -- OKAY.

I THINK THERE'S YOUTUBE SO NOWWE KNOW WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE

DOING TO EACH OTHER AND HOW CUTETHEIR CATS ARE.

[ LAUGHTER ]YOU SEE -- HERE IS WHAT IS

CRAZY.

YOU TALK ABOUT THIS STUFF EVERYDAY YOUR WHOLE LIFE SO IT'S NOT

THAT INTERESTING TO YOU.

BUT I FIND THIS STUFF TRULYFASCINATING.

>> OF COURSE IT'S FASCINATING.

>> Jon: I HAVE LONG BELIEVEDTHERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH

RELIGION AS LONG AS IT'S NOTCOERCIVE IN ANYWAY. I'VE ALWAYS

FELT THAT IT BRINGS A GREAT DEALOF POSITIVE INTO THE WORLD

AS LONG AS TO IT'S NOT VIEWED ASASTHE SOLE METHODOLOGY OF THATAS

POSITIVITY OR THAT MORALITY.

IT CAN'T BE THAT EITHER GOD WITHHIS FINGER SAID I WILL BRING

LIFE TO THIS BATHROOM MOLD ORTHAT WE JUST GOT LUCKIER THAN

OTHER BATHROOM MOLD.

THERE MUST BE SOMETHING BETWEENTTHOSE TWO THINGS, BETWEEN PURE

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