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The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution

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Charles Darwin’s masterpiece, On the Origin of Species, shook society to its core on publication in 1859. Darwin was only too aware of the storm his theory of evolution would provoke but he would surely have raised an incredulous eyebrow at the controversy still raging a century and a half later. Evolution is accepted as scientific fact by all reputable scientists and inde Charles Darwin’s masterpiece, On the Origin of Species, shook society to its core on publication in 1859. Darwin was only too aware of the storm his theory of evolution would provoke but he would surely have raised an incredulous eyebrow at the controversy still raging a century and a half later. Evolution is accepted as scientific fact by all reputable scientists and indeed theologians, yet millions of people continue to question its veracity. In The Greatest Show on Earth Richard Dawkins takes on creationists, including followers of ‘Intelligent Design’ and all those who question the fact of evolution through natural selection. Like a detective arriving on the scene of a crime, he sifts through fascinating layers of scientific facts and disciplines to build a cast-iron case: from the living examples of natural selection in birds and insects; the ‘time clocks’ of trees and radioactive dating that calibrate a timescale for evolution; the fossil record and the traces of our earliest ancestors; to confirmation from molecular biology and genetics. All of this, and much more, bears witness to the truth of evolution. The Greatest Show on Earth comes at a critical time: systematic opposition to the fact of evolution is now flourishing as never before, especially in America. In Britain and elsewhere in the world, teachers witness insidious attempts to undermine the status of science in their classrooms. Richard Dawkins provides unequivocal evidence that boldly and comprehensively rebuts such nonsense. At the same time he shares with us his palpable love of the natural world and the essential role that science plays in its interpretation. Written with elegance, wit and passion, it is hard-hitting, absorbing and totally convincing.


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Charles Darwin’s masterpiece, On the Origin of Species, shook society to its core on publication in 1859. Darwin was only too aware of the storm his theory of evolution would provoke but he would surely have raised an incredulous eyebrow at the controversy still raging a century and a half later. Evolution is accepted as scientific fact by all reputable scientists and inde Charles Darwin’s masterpiece, On the Origin of Species, shook society to its core on publication in 1859. Darwin was only too aware of the storm his theory of evolution would provoke but he would surely have raised an incredulous eyebrow at the controversy still raging a century and a half later. Evolution is accepted as scientific fact by all reputable scientists and indeed theologians, yet millions of people continue to question its veracity. In The Greatest Show on Earth Richard Dawkins takes on creationists, including followers of ‘Intelligent Design’ and all those who question the fact of evolution through natural selection. Like a detective arriving on the scene of a crime, he sifts through fascinating layers of scientific facts and disciplines to build a cast-iron case: from the living examples of natural selection in birds and insects; the ‘time clocks’ of trees and radioactive dating that calibrate a timescale for evolution; the fossil record and the traces of our earliest ancestors; to confirmation from molecular biology and genetics. All of this, and much more, bears witness to the truth of evolution. The Greatest Show on Earth comes at a critical time: systematic opposition to the fact of evolution is now flourishing as never before, especially in America. In Britain and elsewhere in the world, teachers witness insidious attempts to undermine the status of science in their classrooms. Richard Dawkins provides unequivocal evidence that boldly and comprehensively rebuts such nonsense. At the same time he shares with us his palpable love of the natural world and the essential role that science plays in its interpretation. Written with elegance, wit and passion, it is hard-hitting, absorbing and totally convincing.

30 review for The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution

  1. 5 out of 5

    Manny

    To any Young Earth Creationist who happens to be reading this review First, thank you for getting this far. It's to your credit: you're willing to find out something about what the other side has to say. You're probably expecting I'll tell you to read Dawkins's latest book. In fact, I'm not going to do that. Don't read this book. Dawkins is disrespectful and arrogant about Young Earth Creationism, and he will only annoy you. Instead, I suggest that you might want to look at Charles Darwin's On th To any Young Earth Creationist who happens to be reading this review First, thank you for getting this far. It's to your credit: you're willing to find out something about what the other side has to say. You're probably expecting I'll tell you to read Dawkins's latest book. In fact, I'm not going to do that. Don't read this book. Dawkins is disrespectful and arrogant about Young Earth Creationism, and he will only annoy you. Instead, I suggest that you might want to look at Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species. When Darwin wrote it, pretty much everyone in the world was a Young Earth Creationist. Darwin had a great deal of sympathy for the Creationist position, and one of his own favorite books, which influenced him deeply, was the Creationist classic Natural Theology, by William Paley. Despite all this, Darwin found arguments which soon convinced a large part of his audience that their ideas about Young Earth Creationism were wrong. Dawkins continually quotes Darwin. He shows that even though Darwin didn't understand how evolution works - no one knew about DNA yet, or even the basics of genetic theory - the evidence at his disposal produced an overwhelming case that evolution must be the the root cause of the huge diversity of observed species. The clearest and most unanswerable part of the argument is the geographical distribution of the different kinds of animals. Just stop and think for a moment about the single fact that sloths are only to be found in South America. If the story of the Biblical Flood were true, then those slow-moving, tree-dwelling sloths would somehow have had to migrate from Mount Ararat to Brazil in a few thousand years, leaving no colonies anywhere en route. Darwin's Victorian audience thought carefully about the sloths, and could not find a sensible answer. It was even more impossible for them to explain, not just that kangaroos only exist in Australia, but that many similar species - wallabies, koalas, wombats and other marsupials - also only exist in Australia. There were a thousand more pieces of evidence, and they gave up. Darwin did not try to humiliate them, and he honestly admitted that there were important parts of the story he did not yet understand. Even with those provisos, the case was unanswerable. Since Darwin's time, nearly all of the missing parts of his argument have been filled in, as Dawkins explains here. But that's less important. As I said, start with Darwin. He's writing politely and respectfully for people like you, who are skeptical about evolution and want to be shown good reasons to believe it, and he is remarkably convincing.

  2. 4 out of 5

    A.J.

    There's a general feeling out there about Richard Dawkins that he's a little too shrill, a little too hard on people, and perhaps a tad too full of himself. I've had a couple of these thoughts from time to time, though not the last one, and would almost catch myself nodding in agreement until I put myself in the man's shoes. Professor Dawkins is brilliant with a capital B. He is fanatically devoted to science and his particular subject, evolutionary biology. He has spent his life researching and There's a general feeling out there about Richard Dawkins that he's a little too shrill, a little too hard on people, and perhaps a tad too full of himself. I've had a couple of these thoughts from time to time, though not the last one, and would almost catch myself nodding in agreement until I put myself in the man's shoes. Professor Dawkins is brilliant with a capital B. He is fanatically devoted to science and his particular subject, evolutionary biology. He has spent his life researching and exploring the elegant mysteries and pathways of life on our lonely blue world. And what does he get in return? 44% of Americans––granted he's British––think that the earth and everything in it was specially created about ten thousand years ago, that man roamed the earth with dinosaurs, and that the whole of biology and evolutionary history are to be supplanted by a fairy tale about a couple of teenagers who were convinced by a talking snake to eat an enchanted apple. This state of affairs would be repugnant enough if it was a privately held fantasy; instead what Dawkins gets is constant bombardment from imbeciles who want creation 'science' 'theory' taught alongside evolution in schools, as if there was some competition between the two. By air, land, sea, or Trojan Horse (Intelligent Design, so called), biologists are incessantly having to deal with misrepresentation and ignorance on a profound and disturbing scale. I personally, however, can't be too harsh. Not only was I once a creationist; I was the worst kind of creationist, a young earth creationist. Not only was I a young earth creationist; I was the worst sort of young earth creationist, a Kent Hovindiite. I was to science was the Philistines were to the Hebrews, what the Empire was to the Rebellion, what that kid with down syndrome is to Einstein. What I can do, though, is say with complete certainty is that education, not argument, is the antidote to creationism. Ignorance isn't a crime, and usually people aren't ignorant on purpose. For your average layman, it's not his fault that science education standards are so poor, or that lying snake oil salesmen like Ken Ham successfully peddle bullshit for a living. Having considered all that, I'm fairly convinced that your typical creationist response to this book will be a glassy stare and a trickle of drool. Part of this will be the enormous amount of nonsense, misrepresentations, misunderstandings, outdated arguments, falsehoods, and outright lies that have until now occupied the six inches of space between their ears. Trying to explain the complexities of biology to someone who thinks that Big Bang Cosmology is 'darwinism' is a higher mountain than Dawkins book is likely able to climb. A lot of bad wiring had to be completely redone even for me to follow the major themes of this book, and I've put a lot of effort into it. The second drawback is a personal weakness of Dawkins' writing. It's unfocussed, not particularly well organized, and it lacks the ferocious punch of amateur youtubers like Thunderf00t and Aronra (whose video series 'The Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism' is balls-out awesome). Granted, the history of life on our planet and all the myriad means that we have of understanding it is not a topic suited to one book. I still maintain that the chapters could have been better ordered and more centered around a particular point, as opposed to the more conversational sprawl that is Dawkins' style. I find him a better speaker-communicator than writer-communicator, but a better writer than orator, if that makes any sense. Despite that, I appreciate the effort, passion, and the expertise that Professor Dawkins brings to this book. It is in its way a powerful examination of this subject, and riddled with amazing discoveries and evidences that while they only manage to show a fragment of the deluge that is the evidence for evolution, still enriches the mind and helps non-scientists to explore the wonders of the natural world. "Evolution is a fact. Beyond reasonable doubt, beyond serious doubt, beyond sane, informed, intelligent doubt, beyond doubt evolution is a fact...That didn't have to be true. It is not self-evidently, tautologically, obviously true, and there was a time when most people, even educated people, thought it wasn't. It didn't have to be true, but it is....Evolution is the only game in town, the greatest show on earth."

  3. 5 out of 5

    diana

    Two disclaimers before I begin my review: 1. I am an atheist. 2. I am a molecular biologist. So, I am clearly not the target audience. That being said, I really wanted to like this book. I am so happy that there are people out there who are speaking out in defense of evolution and (although not in this book) atheism, and as such I want to support Richard Dawkins. However, the best way I can sum up my feelings about the book is to say that it resembles a very long version of an undergraduate's final Two disclaimers before I begin my review: 1. I am an atheist. 2. I am a molecular biologist. So, I am clearly not the target audience. That being said, I really wanted to like this book. I am so happy that there are people out there who are speaking out in defense of evolution and (although not in this book) atheism, and as such I want to support Richard Dawkins. However, the best way I can sum up my feelings about the book is to say that it resembles a very long version of an undergraduate's final paper on evolution. Many arguments are not at all clear or well made, the diagram labeling is irregular or completely non-existent, and he does not seem to grasp how to effectively use figures to add to the text. He contradicts himself at least once (but pretty majorly), but it seems that this is due more to a faulty simplification of the scientific explanation that to a lack of knowledge. Ultimately, that's what it comes down to for me: all of the faults I found in the book should not have been there, because I KNOW that HE KNOWS BETTER. Not to mention that his goal would have been better served had he saved all of his half-assed, baseless speculations for beers with the fellas and used the space in the book to include more evidence for evolution. For example, one thing he did not address at all is morality/altruism, which would have been very relevant for creationists (who ARE his target audience) and for which there are some really interesting theories. Finally, while I understand the frustration, condescending anger is not generally a great tool for convincing people, regardless of how wrong they are.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    With the help of drawings, photos, cartoons, tables, diagrams & notes, an emphasis on extremely lucid step-by-step explanations, examples, iteration & reiteration & plenty of humor, R Dawkins shows that we are indeed so lucky to be witness to the Greatest Show on Earth -- this wonderful book is addressed not only to those interested in our natural world (and who'll maybe wish they'd majored in biology) but more particularly to the creationists and proponents of "intelligent design" - With the help of drawings, photos, cartoons, tables, diagrams & notes, an emphasis on extremely lucid step-by-step explanations, examples, iteration & reiteration & plenty of humor, R Dawkins shows that we are indeed so lucky to be witness to the Greatest Show on Earth -- this wonderful book is addressed not only to those interested in our natural world (and who'll maybe wish they'd majored in biology) but more particularly to the creationists and proponents of "intelligent design" -- as evidence for evolution it's one of the most fascinating books I've ever read. It's a beautifully detailed and concisely written effort (albeit a bit repetitious at times) that's full of extraordinary facts both serious and silly, a real experience. It's TERRIBLY witty. It filled me with joy. It should be read by everyone everywhere.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    What a stunning read. I have read several books by Dawkins, mostly concerning evolution, and I think this was the easiest to understand. This is partly because I skipped the most difficult bits! For instance I am never going to know how carbon dating is done - but I can live with that. For the most part the book was hugely readable and deeply fascinating. The one thing that marred my pleasure slightly was the stress throughout on proving the theory of evolution to creationists, but then he would What a stunning read. I have read several books by Dawkins, mostly concerning evolution, and I think this was the easiest to understand. This is partly because I skipped the most difficult bits! For instance I am never going to know how carbon dating is done - but I can live with that. For the most part the book was hugely readable and deeply fascinating. The one thing that marred my pleasure slightly was the stress throughout on proving the theory of evolution to creationists, but then he would give us the statistics about how many creationists there are in the world......and his preoccupation became understandable. I will end with some notes of the delights I found in the book - most of them taken verbatim from the book. (view spoiler)[ *GENES These don't mix like paint (which would create a middling average half way between our two parents....and if it did, all variation would rapidly disappear.) Instead genes passing on is like the shuffling and re-shuffling of a card pack. Genes don't blend, they shuffle. You could say they are shuffled badly, with groups of cards sticking together for several generations of shuffling, before chance happens to split them. Any one of your eggs (or sperms if you are male) contains either your father's version of a particular gene or your mother's version, not a blend of the two. And that particular gene came from one (& only one) of your four grandparents, and from one (& only one) of your eight grandparents. * GENE POOLS These are created in environments of all different shapes, sizes and outlook. Islands, valleys surrounded by mountains which animals can't cross, areas of a certain climate etc. Gene pools are sculpted when humans interfere, eg when dog breeders breed bulldogs to encourage certain attributes. * HYBRIDS This involves a deliberate violation of the gene pool....eg the Labradoodle is a hybrid between a standard poodle and a Labrador retriever. Some people are trying to breed labradoodles directly with other labradoodles, and to get them to breed true. At present second generation labradoodles recombine to produce more variety than pre-bred dogs are supposed to show. This is how many 'pure' breeds started - they went through an intermediate stage of high variation, subsequently trimmed down through generations of careful breeding, so that a proper purebreed began to regularly appear. *A SINGLE MAJOR MUTATION Sometimes new breeds of dogs get their start with the adoption of a single major mutation. In nature large mutations seldom survive eg basset hounds and dachshunds with very short legs acquired them in a singe step with the genetic mutation called achondroplasia, a classic example of a large mutation unlikely to survive in the wild. *BREEDING FOR SPECIFIC ATTRIBUTES AND TALENTS For instance dogs that can herd sheep, race, or pull sledges, or even 'point'. We could do the same for human beings too - though ethically this could pose a problem. .......................................................................... WAYS OF MEASURING TIME........ *DENDROCHRONOLOGY - THE STUDY OF TREE RINGS. Tree rings show whether it was a good lush year or a year of drought. These form into recognisable patterns eg a bunch of trees living between 1950 - 1970 will share the same patterns of drought and plenty for that period. You can overlap tree rings this way, and create a library of tree rings going back through history eg. Tree 1 1950 - 2016 Tree 2 1930 - 1990 With tree 2, you have as a reference the patterns laid down with tree 1, from 1950 - 1990, so you can work out that the earlier rings in tree 2 make a pattern for 1930-1950. You can do the same thing with trees 3 and 4.....steadily going further back through history with each tree. This way dendrochronoligists can date trees back over thousands of years, (theoretically it should work back over millions of years. You don't have to cut a tree down to measure its rings, you can just take a plug from the tree. *THE SEDIMENT IN GLACIAL LAKES (VARVES) This lays down strata from season to season, and year to year. *CORAL REEFS This has annual growth rings, like trees. *RADIOACTIVE CLOCKS 1) There are a lot of them to choose from 2) They cover time from centuries to thousands of millions of years. 3) They have a margin of error of 1% 4) Layers or strata of rock get their names from the fossils we find in them. Cumbrian Ordovician Silurian Devonian Carboniferous Permian Triassic Jurassic Cretaceous Etc. and you get sub-categories eg Upper Jurassic, Middle Jurassic and Lower Jurassic. 5) You can use radioactive dating of rocks to place a date on them. Carbon is the element most indispensable to life - it enters the food web via photosynthesis in plants and from then on to living creatures. Carbon dating is the most common form of dating. It was invented in the 1940s. It tells us that the earth is 4.6 billions years old. .................................................................... *CONSERVAPEDIA The notoriously misleading imitation of Wikipedia, It has a creationist editor - a lawyer called Andrew Schlafly. *SPEED OF EVOLUTION This can be slow or fast. The former is illustrated by Limulus (the horseshoe crab), which is sometimes called a living fossil. The latter is illustrated by bacterial strains, which have with great speed evolved a resistance to antibiotics. *THE MISSING LINK This has several meanings. 1) Gaps in the fossil record - eras shown in rock strata where there were no fossils. This is because the animals around then were not good fossil material, for instance they didn't have hard, mineralized skeletons. 2) The Piltdown Hoax Many people were seeking a link between man and other primates. Eventually someone 'found' Piltdown Man - but it was a hoax. In the intervening time since the hoax we have found numerous fossils that link modern humans to the common ancestor we share with chimpanzees. Interestingly there are as yet no fossils - as yet - linking that ancestor (which was neither chimpanzee nor human) to modern chimpanzees....but there are other ways of proving our connection to chimps. * OUT OF THE SEA All animals originated in the sea, and some, like whales, manatees and dugongs went back into the water. They never developed gills, and still breathe air. Others like seals and sea lions went part way back to the sea. Hippos are quite closely related to whales, or at least to the ancestor of whales who walked on the land. Pigs are related to them too. The most recent ancestor of all fish is shared by many non-fish too. Humans and other land vertebrates are descended from lobe-finned fish. We share an ancestor with coelacanthus and lungfish. *THE WAY WE BUILD OUR BODIES FROM EMBRYOS We do not do this from a blueprint or some sort of instructions from an architectural design. We do it more organically, like the dance of a flock of starlings, swooping beautifully together, but without a leader. There are thousands of birds but they never collide. They behave as a single individual - wheeling and turning as one. The edges of the flocks are sharply defined. The density is the same throughout the flick, but the starlings have no choreographer and no leader. This is how embryology works. It is all done by local rules. It is done at various levels, but especially the level of a single cell. Influences that go on within the developing cells..... Genes on proteins Genes on genes Proteins on the expression of genes Proteins on proteins Membranes Chemical gradients Physical and chemical guide rails in embryos. Hormones (& other mediators of action at a distance.) Labelled cells seeking other with identical or complementary labels. (Nobody understand the whole picture, and nobody needs to....) * HOMOLOGY The study of how bones in mammals correspond across the species - however different they are eg comparing a human hand with a bat wing, or horse's hoof. * SAMENESS AND DIFFERENCE The vertebrate skeleton is invariant across all vertebrates - while individual bones differ. The crustaceans exoskeleton is invariant across all crustaceans while the individual 'tubes' vary. The DNA code is invariant across all living creatures, while the individual genes themselves vary. Not just the genetic code itself, but the whole gene/protein system for running life is the same in animals, plants, fungi, bacteria, archaea and viruses. What varies is what is written in the code....not the code itself. .......................................................... WAYS OF TESTING RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN MAMMALS...... *TESTING THE CLOSENESS/DISTANCE OF RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN MAMMALS BY INJECTING RABBITS WITH PROTEINS AND INSPECTING THE STRENGTH OF THE ANTIBODIES PRODUCED IN RESPONSE. The idea of this upsets me so I am not going to describe it more than this, but I feel it must be mentioned as it is of importance...not least because it showed how closely humans are related to chimpanzees. DNA HYBRIDIZATION Another bit of the book I skipped. It is how scientists worked out there there is 98% genetic similarity between humans and chimpanzees. The technique involves heat and melting points. READING THE SEQUENCE OF LETTERS IN THE GENES THEMSELVES This is a more recent method, and more expensive. You measure the similarity between a pair of matching genes from difference species. ................................................................ *THE HUMAN BODY IS A SERIES OF MODIFIED IMPERFECTIONS This is a clear sign of the fact that we evolved. Improvements could only come about by making ad hoc modifications to what is already there. We are burdened with all sorts of historical relics, anomalies and inperfections. Interestingly, an improvement is quite likely to evolve not from the old organ which previously did a job, but from something completely different, which performed a completely different function....eg when our fish ancestors took to breathing air they didn't modify their gills to make a lung - instead they modified a pouch in the gut. *MANKIND HAS ONLY RECENTLY BECOME UPRIGHT. We have been land animals for about 400 million years. We have walked on our hind legs for only about 1% of that time. Habitually walking on two legs as we do, had far-reaching ramifications all over the body, which entailed lots of compensatory adjustments. the reason that so many of us get back pain is because we weren't originally designed to walk upright. *WHEN WE SEE THE OUTSIDE OF ANIMALS WE SEE ELEGANT DESIGN, WHEN WE SEE THEM DISSECTED WE SEE A MESS. This is because of the history of how our bodies have adapted to our changing shapes, lifestyles and postures. *THE ARMS RACE The fastest animals in the world are cheetahs, lions and several species of antelope ie predators and their prey. They have both evolved to run very fast in relations to one another, one to pursue, one to escape. But nature knows when to stop. Increased speed creates thin, vulnerable legs....so there has been a cut off point, where further speed has been penalised. (Faster animals have not survived/bred.) Antelopes would not run as fast as they do were they not chased by fast predators, instead they would shunt more energy into making babies, or laying down more fat for the winter. *NATURAL SELECTION (To me this seems to contradict the paragraph above...) This will favour the most competitive individuals, right up to the moment when the last one dies. It can drive a population to extinction, whilst constantly favouring, to the bitter end, those competitive genes that are destined to be the last to go extinct. *NATURAL SELECTION AND GENE SURVIVAL This is all about the survival of self-replicating DNA, be it in an elephant, or in the virus that is making you sneeze with the common cold. The ultimate message is "duplicate me". (hide spoiler)] Like the many other thousands who have read this, I enjoyed it enormously.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jaya

    3.75 stars. Felt a bit too technical for an un-science-y person like I. Nevertheless, 'twas bloody brilliant. Have a few unresolved queries, guess I have to find answers, somewhere else...

  7. 4 out of 5

    Marvin

    Richard Dawkins has taken his seat along with Stephen Hawking and Carl Sagan as a great populist of science. In all of his science books and especially in The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence For Evolution, He has taken a complex subject and presented it with clarity to a population that usually gets lost in the seemingly foreign language of most scientists. Yet he does not "dumb down" neither. He has a gift for beautifully explaining difficult topics in a way a layman can understand. He sav Richard Dawkins has taken his seat along with Stephen Hawking and Carl Sagan as a great populist of science. In all of his science books and especially in The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence For Evolution, He has taken a complex subject and presented it with clarity to a population that usually gets lost in the seemingly foreign language of most scientists. Yet he does not "dumb down" neither. He has a gift for beautifully explaining difficult topics in a way a layman can understand. He saves his famous disdain, which was in abundant display in The God Delusion, for only when it is deserved. Much is made of Dawkins' supposed arrogance yet when he writes something that can be seen as arrogance, it is more of a sense of amazement that his fellow man can totally dismiss the evidence of evolution. There is a hilarious transcript of this in the book where Dawkins patiently sets out the evidence of intermediate fossils, and where this evidence can be seen, to a Creationist and the Creationist totally ignores it saying "Show me the evidence" like a mantra. Dawkins states he is aiming this book at the people who believe in creationism, which according to recent polls is 40 percent of the American population. I doubt that those people will give this book the time of day. Yet I also think that the 40 percent number includes a good number of people who on "on the fence" so to speak, those who simply haven't seen the evidence for evolution presented in such a clear and understandable manner. I think that is a reasonable audience for this book along with the ones, like me, who have a reasonable knowledge of evolution but wish to learn more.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kris Madaus

    Wow! This is definitely one of those books that makes you look at the world a little differently after reading. Richard Dawkins writes so well on the subject. He is extremely thorough in his description of the fact of evolution, but he doesn't dumb down his explanations either. If you are interested in a particular subject, he often references places you can go to continue the story. He paints a beautiful picture of how evolution really works and why that helps you appreciate this amazing world Wow! This is definitely one of those books that makes you look at the world a little differently after reading. Richard Dawkins writes so well on the subject. He is extremely thorough in his description of the fact of evolution, but he doesn't dumb down his explanations either. If you are interested in a particular subject, he often references places you can go to continue the story. He paints a beautiful picture of how evolution really works and why that helps you appreciate this amazing world we live in just a little more. I won't get into some of the details he shares, but based on the facts that Dawkins reveals in his appendix about the exceedingly high percentage of people that believe in a creationist view, I thing every high school student should have to read this book. But it doesn't matter what you believe. The evidence shared in this book is fascinating. Long term lab experiments that shows us evolution before our very eyes, sea turtles that evolved from the sea to land to sea to land to sea again, our distant ancestor named the lungfish, how DNA and mitochondria are used to trace ancestors, the evidence for evolution across all branches of science - it is all simply intriguing. I appreciate people like Dawkins that can share such amazing things. I especially appreciate how he is more than willing to face creationists head on. If you don't believe in evolution, look at the evidence and then see if you feel the same way afterward - that is, if you are truly interested in answers to the big questions of life. You can say that Dawkins seems a bit aggressive in his books at times, but think about it this way. If you had a group of people constantly questioning questioning that the earth revolves around the sun, and you collected layers and layers of evidence to answer the question beyond reasonable doubt, but they still believe the sun revolved around the earth after all of the years of research, wouldn't you be a bit frustrated too? Dawkins is not only confronting creationists. He is confronting irrationality. Irrationality affects our quality of life. I commend Dawkins for saying enough is enough. He doesn't sugar coat the issue. He says is like it is. Excellent book!

  9. 4 out of 5

    ☙ percy ❧

    *sharp inhale* i'm religious. i'm a Catholic. and i'm not a creationist and i believe in evolution and i want to read this book because evolution is really interesting to me and i, too, want to take on Young Earth Creationists. however, dawkins has a Most terrible habit of dissing not only creationists, but anyone who believes in God, and tarring us all with the same brush and just generally being that One Specific Sort of Atheist who is very arrogant and thinks that all religious people are stup *sharp inhale* i'm religious. i'm a Catholic. and i'm not a creationist and i believe in evolution and i want to read this book because evolution is really interesting to me and i, too, want to take on Young Earth Creationists. however, dawkins has a Most terrible habit of dissing not only creationists, but anyone who believes in God, and tarring us all with the same brush and just generally being that One Specific Sort of Atheist who is very arrogant and thinks that all religious people are stupid. also, i'm not entirely sure why you would write a book that claims to want to convince creationists that they're wrong with such a strident tone, but i suppose dawkins just can't resist being annoying, can he. i'm going to read it, though, because evolution. and also, because even though dawkins can be terribly obnoxious, he is definitely a genius and very good at his field. oh, sweet Knowledge, look what i put up with in search of you. anyways to lighten the mood here's my favourite cover+article combo ever:

  10. 5 out of 5

    Catie

    Dawkins arguments for evolution are elegant and, in some cases, simply breath-taking. As a psychology professor myself, and as one who has had to contend with "history deniers" for years, I especially liked his description of Lenski's research on the evolution of bacteria. Although facts have always been denied by those who claim Intelligent Design as a valid explanation for all nature, Dawkins painstakingly and elegantly lays out unassailable facts in support of the theory of evolution. He stak Dawkins arguments for evolution are elegant and, in some cases, simply breath-taking. As a psychology professor myself, and as one who has had to contend with "history deniers" for years, I especially liked his description of Lenski's research on the evolution of bacteria. Although facts have always been denied by those who claim Intelligent Design as a valid explanation for all nature, Dawkins painstakingly and elegantly lays out unassailable facts in support of the theory of evolution. He stakes his claim early in the book ("...evolution is a fact. Beyond reasonable doubt, beyond serious doubt, beyond sane, informed, intelligent doubt.... That said, I doubt seriouly that his book will challenge those who view evolution as only a theory, precisely because they would never open their minds to such a text as this!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kat Kennedy

    A really well written, interesting, logical discussion on evolution. I quite enjoyed this book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tag Riggs

    After reading this book, I quickly realized that it was targeted for a particular audience--the choir complete with holy robes and clapping hands shouting, "...Preach it brother Dawkins, preach it my brother, Evolution AMEN!, Hallelujah!" I honestly think that it is required that you be a Dawkinite and part of the Dawkins Tabernacle Choir in order for you to take this book seriously. I was fully expecting some kind of scientific treatise yet it ended up being like a bunch of guys on the dock lau After reading this book, I quickly realized that it was targeted for a particular audience--the choir complete with holy robes and clapping hands shouting, "...Preach it brother Dawkins, preach it my brother, Evolution AMEN!, Hallelujah!" I honestly think that it is required that you be a Dawkinite and part of the Dawkins Tabernacle Choir in order for you to take this book seriously. I was fully expecting some kind of scientific treatise yet it ended up being like a bunch of guys on the dock laughing and drinking beer talking about how the big one got away. It is amazing how he comes forth in every chapter in bold declarative sentences without justifications or support (support other than being anomalous tautologies) to conclude in mealy mouthed suppositions and suggestions. I have done a chapter by chapter review on my Facebook page so if interested, you may look for my opinions over there. For a guy who claimed many books on evolution under his belt yet forgot to give evidence to all his previous ones until TGSOE (He even admits this), I am amazed at what people are willing to believe simply because someone says it to be thus. Dumbing down has reached a new low on this one. I cannot see how anyone who approaches the subject from a scholarly viewpoint can take this book seriously.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Des

    Most of what Dawkins explains in this book was not yet known when I went to school. My jaw was dropping several times during this most pleasurable trip through the physical evidence of evolution. In 4 billion years we went from a single cell to a fully developed human, and now each of us has repreated it in the 9 months we are in the womb of our mother. The wonder of epigenisis without a blueprint! But the funniest part in it was his quote of Monty Pythons 'All things dull and ugly': All things dul Most of what Dawkins explains in this book was not yet known when I went to school. My jaw was dropping several times during this most pleasurable trip through the physical evidence of evolution. In 4 billion years we went from a single cell to a fully developed human, and now each of us has repreated it in the 9 months we are in the womb of our mother. The wonder of epigenisis without a blueprint! But the funniest part in it was his quote of Monty Pythons 'All things dull and ugly': All things dull and ugly All creatures short and squat All things rude and nasty The Lord God made the lot Each little snake that poisons Each little wasp that stings He made their brutish venom He made their horrid wings All things sick and cancerous All evil great and small All things foul and dangerous The Lord God made them all Each nasty little hornet Each beastly little squid Who made the spiky urchin? Who made the sharks? He did All things scabbed and cancerous All pox great and small Putrid, foul and gangrenous The Lord God made them all. And if you ever want to marvel at nature, look at this virus, that looks like a lunar lander. http://www.armageddononline.org/image... And this is just a single cell? https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/im... I did not know that the skeleton of all mammals is identical in the structure and sequence of bones. Just the size and shape differs. What an eye-opening book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Cherie

    Richard Dawkins has crafted a masterpiece dedicated to explaining evolution in a way that the layman can understand, providing excellent examples of evidence from fossil evidence to observable evidence, genetic evidence, and so on. My personal favorite chapter was on the geographic distribution of animals and speciation. It is really like an extraordinary puzzle that fits together so beautifully. Richard Dawkins uses the detective analogy to describe the study of evolution. And I can't think of Richard Dawkins has crafted a masterpiece dedicated to explaining evolution in a way that the layman can understand, providing excellent examples of evidence from fossil evidence to observable evidence, genetic evidence, and so on. My personal favorite chapter was on the geographic distribution of animals and speciation. It is really like an extraordinary puzzle that fits together so beautifully. Richard Dawkins uses the detective analogy to describe the study of evolution. And I can't think of anything more fitting. Because of course we weren't there and we can't see macro evolution in action, but we can see the clues (evidence) left behind and see that evolution is indeed a fact of nature. I thought it was excellently paced. Richard Dawkins takes it slow at first, leading up from artificial and sexual selection to get the reader accustomed to the idea of natural selection. Then before he talks about fossil evidence he first makes sure the reader understands how dating methods work and how accurate they are. It's just fantastic, I learned so much and it was very interesting. Richard Dawkins writes with a passion and devotion that is difficult to understand for creationists. They ask how an atheist can be filled with awe and wonder with life if they believe it was all an accident. The answer is because nature in its entirety is chaotic and unusual... It's cruel and harsh, and very uncaring... But it's also beautiful and magnificent and completely fascinating. To say it all was created by a god is a mockery of the complexity that is shown in life. This should honestly be required reading. So many people lack a basic understanding of evolution or even a respect of science in general. I have already recommended this book to several friends and some creationists that I've debated, but I encourage everybody to read this at some point in their life.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    I wish I'd had engaging and interesting texts like this to read when I had to take science classes in high school. I always wanted to like science so much, but I always got bogged down in minutae, in questions the text or teachers didn't address, and in the boredom of rote memorization. This book really made me like biology. Not only does it explain concepts in an intelligent and cohesive way, it has pictures! Color pictures, even. Much like the ones I stared at in biology or earth science inste I wish I'd had engaging and interesting texts like this to read when I had to take science classes in high school. I always wanted to like science so much, but I always got bogged down in minutae, in questions the text or teachers didn't address, and in the boredom of rote memorization. This book really made me like biology. Not only does it explain concepts in an intelligent and cohesive way, it has pictures! Color pictures, even. Much like the ones I stared at in biology or earth science instead of paragraphs of text. It absolutely engaged my visual approach to learning. I really enjoyed the way various bits of evidence for evolution were put forth, and weaved into other parts. This book has so much information beyond just the fossil record, it's awesome. Many disciplines of science, from paleontology to astronomy to genetics, are pulled in to all establish evidence for the evolutionary theory. And Richard Dawkins writes in such an engaging manner. I really enjoyed this one.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ana

    Oh, Dawkins. Tell me more of evolution, please. Speak to me of genes and their ways. Teach me things about the world. I could read this stuff for hours. I am endlessly fascinated and the more I understand of evolution, the more I am aware of how unbelievably lucky I am that I exist, that anything exists, that I can learn about it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Shaun

    So, I admire Dawkins as both a scientist and a writer. His passion for science and the endless search for truth is infectious and his talent for writing magnificent prose is noteable. I had the pleasure to go see him speak at the Center for Inquiry in D.C., and also got to mingle with him before the show (a fun story for sure). Needless to say, he was amazing. I know some people think he is an angry atheist, but I think they are missing the point, and he does a great job of making his point at th So, I admire Dawkins as both a scientist and a writer. His passion for science and the endless search for truth is infectious and his talent for writing magnificent prose is noteable. I had the pleasure to go see him speak at the Center for Inquiry in D.C., and also got to mingle with him before the show (a fun story for sure). Needless to say, he was amazing. I know some people think he is an angry atheist, but I think they are missing the point, and he does a great job of making his point at the beginning of this book. A very worthwhile read for anyone curious about evolution. So much information yet very readable.

  18. 4 out of 5

    David S. T.

    This isn't the best introductory book I've read on evolution, Dawkins loves to insult the people who don't hold his views, goes way to far sometimes to get his point across and has a tendency to ramble on and mention interesting but irrelevant stuff. Once you get past the flaws this actually is a pretty good book, oddly by the end some of those qualities I hated about the book in the beginning, I started to appreciate more in the end (I kind of enjoy the almost pointless side stories and facts). This isn't the best introductory book I've read on evolution, Dawkins loves to insult the people who don't hold his views, goes way to far sometimes to get his point across and has a tendency to ramble on and mention interesting but irrelevant stuff. Once you get past the flaws this actually is a pretty good book, oddly by the end some of those qualities I hated about the book in the beginning, I started to appreciate more in the end (I kind of enjoy the almost pointless side stories and facts). When I started reading this book, I put it down for a while because I got tired of the creationist rants, which apparently the high number of people who deny evolution is why this book is written. Dawkins even goes as far as comparing an evolution denier as the equivalent of someone denying the existence of the roman civilization or even worse a holocaust denier. I'm sorry but lacking the understanding or denying evolution is nothing like denying the holocaust. For one thing we've never really witnessed one animal evolving into another completely different species, meaning one "kind" into another "kind", in our lifetime (which is far too short of a time scale) or even more a bacteria evolving into a mammal, this doesn't mean evolution is false (its not), but it is far different than denying the holocaust. Anyways eventually I picked the book back up and it was far better as I got further into it. Also expect to hear the word “history-deniers” every few pages, I guess he wants us to remember just how terrible the evolution deniers are. Since this book is written to convince the 40% of American who deny evolution, Dawkins should realize by now that insulting your target audience isn't the best way to get them to listen to you. If anything his books do more help to the young earth creationist movement and intelligent design. The subtitle of this book is “The Evidence for Evolution”, which is kind of an unfitting title, I found that Coyne's Why Evolution is True contains far more evidence in far fewer pages and is overall a better introduction to evolution. You see Dawkins often goes off on rants which do not to move the evidence along. For example in a chapter he discusses the age of the earth, he spends several pages discussing getting the age from tree rings. You see you can match the width of tree rings with others and go back to earlier dates, but then he says that the chain of tree rings goes back 11,000 years only, well the pages he spent on this argument do nothing to convince a young earth creationist of the age of the earth, in fact the argument works in their favor. The book is full of these little side notes and stories which causes the page numbers to go up, but the relevant information doesn't follow. Also expect tons of foot notes with mostly rants about TV shows he wants to be on, his childhood, or why we should call the Beijing Man, the Peking fossil, ect. I know I've complained some but don't get me wrong, this book, once you look past the flaws, is still very interesting and worth reading (assuming that you're not a creationist). Many of the side stories which I complained about are actually interesting if you don’t mind frequent diversions and he goes into DNA a little more than the other non DNA specific evolution books I've read. So in the end I do think its pretty good, just not as a first book on evolution.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nikki

    Richard Dawkins is, from my point of view, a fairly unpleasant man even when I agree with him. He sets out to make this book an explanation of how evolution works (but for that, I would go with Coyne’s Why Evolution is True), and why it is the correct explanation for various phenomena we can observe around us. It’s not as bad as The God Delusion for anti-theist statements, though there are a few speckled in there, and he makes a fairly good line of argument. Of course, since I think evolution is Richard Dawkins is, from my point of view, a fairly unpleasant man even when I agree with him. He sets out to make this book an explanation of how evolution works (but for that, I would go with Coyne’s Why Evolution is True), and why it is the correct explanation for various phenomena we can observe around us. It’s not as bad as The God Delusion for anti-theist statements, though there are a few speckled in there, and he makes a fairly good line of argument. Of course, since I think evolution is an obvious conclusion, so I’m not exactly the audience he was hoping to convince — and it’s likely I didn’t notice instances of his usual arrogant attitude that would bother someone who doesn’t already believe in the same things. I think you’re probably safer with Coyne’s book. Or this set of logical steps: 1. There are creatures who are better adapted to their environment than others of the same species. Because they are better adapted, they will be more successful in survival and, consequently, breeding. 2. These traits, when heritable, can be passed on the creature’s offspring — and they can have many offspring. 3. These offspring will be better adapted, and will meet others who are also well adapted to breed with. 4. Good adaptations accumulate over the course of generations. 5. The environment is not stable and changes over time. Adaptation is necessary to allow a species to survive in the same area, and species do survive in the same area. 6. Over a long period of time, enough changes will accumulate that individuals of that species would not be able to breed with the original species, or with a branch of the species that adapted differently. 7. Evolution via natural selection has necessarily occurred. Plus extra evidence like shared DNA, the fact that we can artificially (and in a very short space of time) cause a species to evolve by selecting traits we want (e.g. high milk yield in cows), and the fossil record which contains plenty of examples of transitional fossils… You don’t need Dawkins; go back to Darwin. Even without the evidence we have now, he saw the necessary chain of events, and he was much more sympathetic to other views, and meticulous about his evidence. Nonetheless, Dawkins’ book is clear and pretty well-written; I just don’t like his attitude, and I don’t think he will reach the desired audience. Originally posted here.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mohamed al-Jamri

    For those looking for evidence supporting evolution, either because they themselves doubt it or want more evidences to argue for it, these two books can do the job extremely well. I bet the vast majority if not all of those who read "The Greatest Show on Earth" & "Why Evolution is True" with an open mind and understand them, will regard evolution as true and be able to argue in its favor strongly. Both authors maintain that evolution is compatible with #religion although they do not elaborate For those looking for evidence supporting evolution, either because they themselves doubt it or want more evidences to argue for it, these two books can do the job extremely well. I bet the vast majority if not all of those who read "The Greatest Show on Earth" & "Why Evolution is True" with an open mind and understand them, will regard evolution as true and be able to argue in its favor strongly. Both authors maintain that evolution is compatible with #religion although they do not elaborate on that. In fact, Dawkins -who is notorious for his criticism of religion- goes on and lists a number of British #bishops and public figures who call for teaching of evolution in publicly-funded schools. I recommend reading Dawkins book first since he explains what is evolution and natural selection in detail before moving to the evidence while Coyne presents a lot of evidences and details. For books that try to reconcile between religion and evolution, I hear that "Finding Darwin's God" & "The Language of God" are good, although I haven't read them yet.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Shawn

    Another great book by Richard Dawkins. This is a wonderful book that richly describes, in immense details, the wonder that is evolution. Here is a book that really shows the awe of science, and nature and how the world has become the great cornucopia of life that it has become.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Arvind

    "We are surrounded by endless forms, most beautiful and most wonderful, and it is no accident, but the direct consequence of evolution by non-random natural selection – the only game in town, the greatest show on Earth." I remember reading about Richard Dawkins a few years ago and (mistakenly) he seemed arrogant and cynical. I kept delaying reading his books and the loss was mine. For beneath that thin veneer or cynicism, lies a man deeply in love with science and fellow human-beings. BTW, this w "We are surrounded by endless forms, most beautiful and most wonderful, and it is no accident, but the direct consequence of evolution by non-random natural selection – the only game in town, the greatest show on Earth." I remember reading about Richard Dawkins a few years ago and (mistakenly) he seemed arrogant and cynical. I kept delaying reading his books and the loss was mine. For beneath that thin veneer or cynicism, lies a man deeply in love with science and fellow human-beings. BTW, this was my 4th book by him. In this book, Dawkins first explains the problem - almost 40% of Americans and a comparable number of developed-world Europeans believe in creationism and reject evolution. And then step-by-step, he takes the major arguments against evolution and sets out to dismantle them with detailed examples and explanations. Infact, as I already think evolution is true and was trying to understand it better, it sometimes felt as though he was being too detailed. But, perhaps this approach suited his primary audience of creationists. In particular would mention Chapter 4 - that describes the Lenski experiment on evolution in detail and it was truly mind-blowing to read about evolution in action.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Marius Masalar

    This is a challenging book to assess. My first question, upon finishing it, is "who is this for?" The science is too involved for a scientifically illiterate fundamentalist creationist audience, the sardonic tone likewise off-putting to them, and the atheists like me who share his broad perspective hardly need a hand-held walk through the garden of nature's wonders and weirdnesses. Then again, maybe we do: it should be emphasised that this book makes for a fantastic full spectrum look at the subje This is a challenging book to assess. My first question, upon finishing it, is "who is this for?" The science is too involved for a scientifically illiterate fundamentalist creationist audience, the sardonic tone likewise off-putting to them, and the atheists like me who share his broad perspective hardly need a hand-held walk through the garden of nature's wonders and weirdnesses. Then again, maybe we do: it should be emphasised that this book makes for a fantastic full spectrum look at the subject of evolutionary theory, one complete with some excellent analogies, stunning facts, and wise correlations. Anyone with a high school level understanding of biology will be more than equipped to follow along and learn. Unfortunately, Dawkins' extensive expertise in the subject matter often falls prey to his fairly direct sense of humour, expressed via a mocking tone that does more to further the stereotype of him as a shrill British ponce than to reveal his truer nature as a passionate humanist. Inevitably, I am drawn to wonder what the inimitable Christopher Hitchens would have done with a similar task, equipped with Dawkins' subject expertise. I suspect his subtler wit, fantastically evocative writing, and sophisticated understanding of debate would have produced a finer work. Nevertheless, I would not hesitate to recommend The Greatest Show On Earth to anyone who seeks a peerless introduction to the current state of evolutionary theory, or to a thicker-skinned creationist seeking to inform themselves about the opposing side in the debate about the origins of life.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Charbel

    Evolution is one of my favourite subjects, and it saddens me how many people refuse to see the beauty of it, let alone give it a chance. I've never been one to push my opinions on others, and I consider myself an open minded person, but I feel that people don't believe in evolution, simply because they don't want to believe in it. However, I am happy to say that once again Richard Dawkins has presented the unifying theory of evolution convincingly. Unfortunately, the only people that would be Evolution is one of my favourite subjects, and it saddens me how many people refuse to see the beauty of it, let alone give it a chance. I've never been one to push my opinions on others, and I consider myself an open minded person, but I feel that people don't believe in evolution, simply because they don't want to believe in it. However, I am happy to say that once again Richard Dawkins has presented the unifying theory of evolution convincingly. Unfortunately, the only people that would be willing to read this with an open mind are evolution enthusiasts, like myself. This book is charismatic, scientific and a brilliant read. I would definitely recommend this to those interested in evolutionary bioligy. And on a personal note, I look forward to reading my next Dawkins book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    M.G. Mason

    Dawkins latest book finally tackles creationism in a not-so-head-on collision. Always vowing to never answer a challenge directly, Dawkins does it in the best way he possibly could, by demonstrating why evolution is true. He seemingly leaves no stone uncovered in the challenge, often tackling direct claims made by creationists and demonstrating why they are false. He also covers how speciation has been observed and the whole "show me your transitional fossils" non-argument is handled masterfully. Dawkins latest book finally tackles creationism in a not-so-head-on collision. Always vowing to never answer a challenge directly, Dawkins does it in the best way he possibly could, by demonstrating why evolution is true. He seemingly leaves no stone uncovered in the challenge, often tackling direct claims made by creationists and demonstrating why they are false. He also covers how speciation has been observed and the whole "show me your transitional fossils" non-argument is handled masterfully. By demonstrating selective breeding of plants and animals by humans, he shows how easily and quickly humans have created new species within a couple of generations. Illustrated with images, colour plates and excellent description, Dawkins knows how to hold the reader's attention and to explain even the most complex scientific terms in easy to understand language. I'm not sure why this book was written though. In 2009, Jerry Coyne released "Why Evolution is True" which though I have not yet read, I imagine covers many similar themes and evidences. The other issue is of course that this book is NOT going to be read by the very people it is directed at. Creationists, despite their protests of "teaching the controversy" and "academic freedom", are not interested in understanding what evolution is. Those who are going to buy it and read it are those already convinced by the evidence for an old earth, natural selection and evolution by common descent, so the question must be asked in the words of Daniel Dennett... cui bono? See more book reviews at my blog

  26. 4 out of 5

    Steven Peterson

    Bookmarks begins its review of this book by saying: "'Like a detective reconstructing a crime' (San Francisco Chronicle), Dawkins amasses a mountain of evidence in this richly illustrated, enormously readable explanation of the theory of evolution." This book is Dawkins' effort to lay out the evidence for evolution. His target is the "intelligent design" approach to explaining why species end up as they are--explicitly rejecting Darwinian evolutionary theory. The book features many fascinating ex Bookmarks begins its review of this book by saying: "'Like a detective reconstructing a crime' (San Francisco Chronicle), Dawkins amasses a mountain of evidence in this richly illustrated, enormously readable explanation of the theory of evolution." This book is Dawkins' effort to lay out the evidence for evolution. His target is the "intelligent design" approach to explaining why species end up as they are--explicitly rejecting Darwinian evolutionary theory. The book features many fascinating examples of evolution in action--including demonstrating that many species do NOT exhibit anything like intelligent design. His description of the wacky nerve structure of giraffes shows the willy nilly nature of evolution--and is certainly not consistent with the concept of intelligent design. Anyone familiar with other of Dawkins' works will not be surprised at what a nice read this book is. The author does write well and is persuasive throughout the book. However, those who believe in intelligent design are not apt to accept his arguments. For those who wish to get a sense of the logic of and evidence for evolution, this is a good starting point.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Saleh MoonWalker

    در این اثر عالی از داوکینز، ایشون ابتدا از افرادی که طراحی هوشمندانه رو قبول دارن و خلقت گرا هستن راجع به فرگشت و شواهد اون سوال می پرسه و بعد از اینکه اونها از دادن جواب به ایشون باز موندن، حقایق علمی رو بازگو میکنه و نشون میده که فرگشت به عنوان یک حقیقت علمی توسط دانشمندان و افراد هوشمند پذیرفته شده اما متاسفانه همچنان افرادی هستن که فرگشت رو تئوری میدونن. با بررسی فسیل های بدست اومده از پرندگان و همچنین اجداد ما، بررسی زمانی مربوط به اونها، و شواهد فرگشت اونها که توسط بیولوژی مولکولی و ژنتیک در این اثر عالی از داوکینز، ایشون ابتدا از افرادی که طراحی هوشمندانه رو قبول دارن و خلقت گرا هستن راجع به فرگشت و شواهد اون سوال می پرسه و بعد از اینکه اونها از دادن جواب به ایشون باز موندن، حقایق علمی رو بازگو میکنه و نشون میده که فرگشت به عنوان یک حقیقت علمی توسط دانشمندان و افراد هوشمند پذیرفته شده اما متاسفانه همچنان افرادی هستن که فرگشت رو تئوری میدونن. با بررسی فسیل های بدست اومده از پرندگان و همچنین اجداد ما، بررسی زمانی مربوط به اونها، و شواهد فرگشت اونها که توسط بیولوژی مولکولی و ژنتیک تایید شده، مهر تایید محکمی بر فرگشت میزنه. توی زمانی که در مدرسه های آمریکا و انگلیس همچنان سیستم خلقت گرایی تدریس می شد، داوکینز این کتاب رو نوشت که کمک فوق العاده ای بود به تغییر این سیستم و مسلما پیشرفت ذهنی انسان ها. خوندنش پیشنهاد میشه. “Evolution could so easily be disproved if just a single fossil turned up in the wrong date order. Evolution has passed this test with flying colours.”

  28. 4 out of 5

    Merilee

    I am almost sad to finish this excellent book, my fifth of Dawkins'. It ranks right up there with Climbing Mount Improbable and River out of Eden. Dawkins writes beautifully, especially for a scientist, with a combination of erudition and wit. I have a fairly strong background in science, but I don't think that this book would be too much of a slog for the intelligent humanities-based reader. The book's subtitle is The Evidence for Evolution, and the case he makes is cogent and convincing (altho I am almost sad to finish this excellent book, my fifth of Dawkins'. It ranks right up there with Climbing Mount Improbable and River out of Eden. Dawkins writes beautifully, especially for a scientist, with a combination of erudition and wit. I have a fairly strong background in science, but I don't think that this book would be too much of a slog for the intelligent humanities-based reader. The book's subtitle is The Evidence for Evolution, and the case he makes is cogent and convincing (although he's definitely preaching to the choir with this reader.)

  29. 5 out of 5

    emile

    Evolution : The only game in town, the greatest show on earth.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Book

    The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins The Greatest Show on Earth is another solid book in a series of books by Richard Dawkins. This book has to do with the evidence in support of evolution. The book is composed of the following thirteen chapters: 1.Only a theory? 2. Dogs, cows and cabbages, 3.The primrose path to macro-evolution, 4.Silence and slow time, 5.Before our very eyes, 6.Missing link? What do you mean `missing'? 7. Missing persons? Missing no longer, 8. You did it yourself in n The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins The Greatest Show on Earth is another solid book in a series of books by Richard Dawkins. This book has to do with the evidence in support of evolution. The book is composed of the following thirteen chapters: 1.Only a theory? 2. Dogs, cows and cabbages, 3.The primrose path to macro-evolution, 4.Silence and slow time, 5.Before our very eyes, 6.Missing link? What do you mean `missing'? 7. Missing persons? Missing no longer, 8. You did it yourself in nine months, 9.The ark of the continents, 10.The tree of cousinship, 11.History written all over us, 12. Arms race and `evolutionary theodicy', and 13.There is grandeur in this view of life. Positives: 1. When Mr. Dawkins speaks, people listen. He has a solid track record that mirrors science. 2. Absolutely love the author's conviction, backed by scientific evidence. There is passion behind his words. 3. No one better at combining evolutionary biology knowledge and communication than Dawkins. 4. Great illustrations. 5. Co-evolution explained. 6. The principles of determining the age of things explained and how recent technology has revolutionized archaeological dating. 7. Fascinating facts involving bacteria. 8. Best explanation for intermediates. 9. Molecular evidence for evolution! 10. So how do we know how to estimate how long ago ancestors split apart? You will know after reading this book. 11. Vestiges as evidence for evolution. 12. The evolution of eyes, I see... 13. Evidence against the concept of a designer. 14. RNA world theory. 15. Excellent appendix on history-deniers. 16. A bibliography worthy of the author. Negatives: 1. I get the sense this book was a bit rushed because it doesn't have the same eloquence as previous books. 2. Not as concise as it should have been. In summary, this is a very solid book. It's not the best book on evolution for the masses that distinction goes to Mr. Coyne, "Why Evolution Is True" but excellent nonetheless. Recommendations include: "Your Inner Fish..." by Neil Shubin, "The Making of the Fittest" by Sean B. Carroll, and "Relics of Eden..." by Daniel J. Fairbanks.

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