I have no doubt that in reality the future will be vastly more surprising than anything I can imagine. Now my own suspicion is that the Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.
—J.B.S. Haldane

I sometimes disagree quite strongly with Richard Dawkins—or, at least, don’t understand Richard Dawkins, brilliant as he is. For starters, I have very little desire to be an atheist. I probably have even less desire to be a sectarian religious person. I think Richard, in contrast, believes atheism is the only sane posture going (despite evolution on some level seeming to disagree—perhaps an evolutionary cul-de-sac).

And I have written Richard Dawkins an open letter begging him to speak out more against scientists and the science who continue to create the most immoral, life-destroying products/weapons/pollutants imaginable—or at least speak out in some sort of balance with his outrage against the curse that is much of religion. (Gosh, it would have been great to have heard from him—and imagine if he said, “Hey, you’ve got a couple of good points there, for a lay-person.”)

And get this: I also think, personally, Richard Dawkins may be more of a mystic than one might expect. I know, I know. His fans are yelling at me! And maybe I’m just saying that because I’d like to be myself and yet think he’d still, you know, want to be friends. Or maybe our definitions of the word are different. Anyway, what the heck do I have to offer? A few books, films, songs, essays, open letters. Hey, don’t get me wrong, I’m so grateful for that, when nights are long and I have no idea about the reasons for existence, let alone bad haircuts and bell-bottoms.

And having said all this, it’s easy to admit that Richard Dawkins is way smarter than I, obviously. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was true by a lot, like a keg filled and over-flowing with top-quality IQ points. Anyway, for that and other reasons, I say unequivocally that I really find this TED talk he gave just great—beautiful and wild and exhilarating. I’m pretty sure you will too. I think I might even have posted it before. My friends, what a universe we’re experiencing—including ourselves.

Here’s to lots of love on the wild ride of being. And don’t forget, smiling that also engages your eye muscles—so called laugh lines—actually produces dopamine (at least that’s what I’ve read), which lifts our spirit, evidently—and is much safer than heroin. You can fake that smile, too, and the body gets fooled and thinks you’re happy, and produces more dopamine anyway. Ah, evolution…you know, we can confuse it by smiling way too much, and directing those beautiful smiles towards strangers. Give it a shot. I dare you. And if you can’t find a smile, think of Richard Dawkins giving this wonderful talk with nothing but a pair of pants on his head. Ha ha, you smiled. You didn’t? Geezuz, tough audience.

Pete xox



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