In the midst of yet another round of Muslim-bashing, Richard Dawkins today tweeted something truly baffling to me:
Aliens knowledge. Same fundamental physical constants, but they may, unlike us, have worked out why they have the values they do.What perplexes me about this is that I believe we do understand why we have the values we do. Moreover, the reason we understand is largely due to Dawkins himself. Him and Robert Axelrod (and Dawkins obviously knows about Axelrod's work because he added a chapter about it to the 1989 edition of The Selfish Gene). We have the values we do because our values help the genes and memes that produce those values in order to help replicate themselves in a process of Darwinian evolution subject to the constraints of game theory. (And if you don't know what that means then you should read The Selfish Gene and The Evolution of Cooperation. And if you're feeling really ambitious, The Extended Phenotype.)
So what on earth could Dawkins have possibly meant by this?
[UPDATE: I misinterpreted Dawkins's tweet. See the comments and this post for more info.]