Last week, after the very excellent STIRR Sydney event, me old mate Brenton Perry (remember him from our free will cast?) drank beer and discussed how free will doesn’t exist, how we will save Shane from Christianity, why you shouldn’t take your position on global warming from Michael Crichton, and how damn insignificant humans are in the whole scheme of things and arrogant it is of those humans how think the whole universe was created just for them. And then I happened to stumble onto this six-month old post from Dick Hardt which puts our place in the Universe into some perspective. I highly recommend you check it out.

I’m currently reading Ideas: A Brief History by Peter Watson and it’s very enjoyable. Today I was learning about FOXP2 (“forkhead box P2”), a gene that is implicated in the development of language skills. Many scientists believe evolved in humans about 200,000 years ago and which, when mutated, gave early homo sapiens the ability to communicate which of course gave them an enormous survival advantage. The same genes appears in mice and chimps, with only a couple of molecules different from the version that we have.

And I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of Richard Dawkins’ new book “The God Delusion”. The preface is here to read in pdf format. Sounds like a brilliant book and I’m going to try to get him on the show. Father Bob should love that.