The Blind Watchmaker (Penguin Press Science)

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9780140291223: The Blind Watchmaker (Penguin Press Science)

A controversial book which demonstrates that evolution by natural selection, discovered by Darwin, is the only answer to the biggest question of all: why do we exist?

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Review:

Richard Dawkins is not a shy man. Edward Larson's research shows that most scientists today are not formally religious, but Dawkins is an in-your-face atheist:

I want to persuade the reader, not just that the Darwinian world-view happens to be true, but that it is the only known theory that could, in principle, solve the mystery of our existence.

The title of this 1986 work, Dawkins's second book, refers to the Rev. William Paley's 1802 work, Natural Theology, which argued that just as finding a watch would lead you to conclude that a watchmaker must exist, the complexity of living organisms proves that a Creator exists.

Not so, says Dawkins: "All appearances to the contrary, the only watchmaker in nature is the blind forces of physics, albeit deployed in a very special way...it is the blind watchmaker".

Dawkins is a hard-core scientist: he doesn't just tell you what is so, he shows you how to find out for yourself. For this book, he wrote Biomorph, one of the first artificial life programs.

Review:

Richard Dawkins has updated evolution ... His subject is nothing less than the meaning of life, and he attacks it with the evangelical fervour of a clergyman and the mind of a scientist (The Times)

Beautiful ... he seizes happy analogies, bright metaphors and shining images to light up his passion and our darkness (Guardian)

Good writing, tight argument and unpulled punches ... a satisfying book (Economist)

One of the best science books - one of the best of any books - I have ever read (Los Angeles Times)

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