Logical, Rational, and Researched
Thoughtfully written, Dawkins presents in his usual form the evidence for evolution. It is filled with explanations and analogies, bringing light to evolution from almost every possible angle while maintaining a dialogue which can be followed by most intelligent readers / listeners.
He does come on a bit strong in attacking the idea of a creator- beyond what he really should in a book presenting itself in an otherwise scientific manner. Though very in keeping with Dawkins as a writer, in this book, it gets in the way of his thesis, and removes some of his motivation to petty quibbling. I am sure some like it; I don't. Just give me the science, and let me read The Blind Watchmaker or The God Delusion.
Overall, though, I was satisfied with The Greatest Show on Earth. Dawkins presentation, when topic, is strong and satisfying intellectually. I highly recommend this to everyone, believers in Evolution or ID alike, to help on becoming informed about what evolution is and what the evidence is which supports it as a scientific theory.
I have read this book when it was released and now I am listening to it. I am enjoying listening to it, just as much as I've enjoyed reading it. It could've been a classic and my all time favorite easily, but for the fact that he resorted to refuting ID/creationism. I guess in the current climate of rampant ignorance and he was compelled to do that. He didn't really need to dedicate any effort refuting the "evidence-deniers", simply for the fact that no amount of evidence could convince them. By excluding that <1% time he spent in the book refuting ID/ Creationism, this book could've been just as great as the "Selfish Gene". Prof. Dawkins is my all time favorite author. Ever since I discovered his writings a few years ago, I have been trying to read them all and so far not one of them disappointed me. This book is no exception. Great book. A must read for all students of science and for anyone interested in understanding the nature.
Very interesting read, and keeps your attention by switching between Dawkins and Ward. You do really have to focus on the subject matter, which is a bit in depth, or you will find yourself hitting the back button often. Now only if he would do "The Selfish Gene" on tape...
I was, as a biologist, generally pleased with the book However, since I have been through a Ph.D. program in Evolutionary Biology from a major university, I was familiar with the material so there was not much new that Dawkins presented. The organization was logical and the writing crisp.
But I have to object to Dawkins and Lalla Ward reading the book. Dawkins, maybe, but Ward, NO! The team reading approach is disconcerting is this kind of presentation as the switch from one to another displaces attention from the material to the speaker. Lalla's voice isn't the best, either. I found the same arrangement to be a problem with "The God Delusion." Lalla Ward was nice as an actress in "Dr. Who" but not as a reader of science or polemics.
My bottom line is get the book to read with your eyes OR, with luck, another narrator will do a new version. George Guidall, maybe? It's a real tragedy that we don't have Frank Muller anymore.
Dawkins does a wonderful job of describing the beauty and intricacies of the evolutionary process. However, he fails to provide any convincing evidence that proves natural selection is responsible for the diversity of species. This is a nice retrospective study, but in order to scientifically prove a theory, we need prospective, double blinded, randomized studies. He does not provide any examples of these kind of studies. He also contradicts one of the crucial points of modern evolutionary theory. The late Stephen Jay Gould would attest to the fact the evolution occurs in spurts. Dawkins proposes that evolution is a slow tedious almost imperceptible process like the movement of a clock. The fossil evidence supports Gould's observation. Also, he completely ignores the new discovery of epigenomes which are genetic code sequences in the DNA which get turned on and off in response to certain environmental conditions resulting in expression of certain phenotypes. Dawkins' agenda seems to be more towards taking jabs at the creationists rather than trying to give a truly scientific argument to support evolution theory.
I am not anti evolution nor trying to prove creationism but I rather listen to solid scientific debates not a political speech!some of these authors talk about evolution in the way you hear a priest talks about bible,by the way your reasoning is poor,I have heared much better speeches about evolution or read about it,they say the best you can defeat something is bad defense,by that example about dogs you actually are proving creationism because first nobody has taken cat out of dogs they breed new types of dogs but they are always dogs they dont evolve into new species and behind the scene of interbreeding dogs and making them fluffy or short or fat is human inteligence .dogs themselves dont interbreed like that in nature perhaps the main reason is the geographical distances and beside to get results like human does blind dog interbreeds doesnt seem sufficient . it is human that brings them to each other,in this exmaple a smart director which is human is directing the show so if you want to use getting new types of dogs by interbreeding among them as a proof for evolution then you have to have a director for it in nature which is ....god!see?you are a bad author and have even worse reasoning!i recommend author of this book learns more about scientific reasoning,scinece my friend not sentimental speeches!
The story was just not believable. Our hero is weak and I really didn't care for any of the characters. Boring.