Richard Dawkins never disappoints in the pure readability (or in this case, listenability) of his works. Through that readability, you're able to learn immense amounts because he's so good at presenting science and facts. Additionally, he will always point out when a particular theory or idea is not part of the current consensus (even his own ideas) or has not been otherwise proven in some way.
As will probably be pointed out in other reviews, it's doubtful that this book will really "convert" anyone to evolution. But in the same way that God Delusion was able to give the final nudge to those on the fence about religion, I suspect this book will have that same effect for those that perhaps still see Intelligent Design as somehow viable. Die-hard Creationists aren't going to read this and certainly won't accept the evidence he presents.
All in all, very very enjoyable and read wonderfully by Dawkins himself and his wife.
I love listening to books when cycling, paddleboarding, etc but I press pause when I need to concentrate. Its safer & I don't lose the plot!
This book is quite comical. It’s written by a famous and brilliant author, a man who has contributed greatly to the body of knowledge in the field of biology (and, more controversially, in theology), and has greatly changed the way that many people, me included, think about life and existence.
In this book he concentrates great effort into summarising the evidence supporting evolution, and he does it in his usual immensely clear and interesting style. So why is it comical? Well, tragi-comical would probably be a better way to put it. The comedy is that he is trying to defend the theory of evolution as if he was debating with a creationist. To me this is comical. It doesn’t matter how much you reason with a creationist, you will never change their mind. It’s like banging your head against a brick wall: you won’t get through and it will make your brain hurt.
The tragedy is that creationists still exist in great numbers (40% of Americans, apparently) and continue to exert influence on the way biology is taught in schools. They fight tenaciously to prevent evolution being presented as being factual. I find it tragic, comical and mind-boggling that such a lot of people in an educated, modern country believe that the bible, written by bronze-age Middle Eastern tribesmen, is entirely, literally, factually true - and it is worrying that they are so militant in their opposition to evolution. It’s also ironic that Dawkins, who gave the world the word ‘meme’, is in this book up against people afflicted by a severe and irreversible meme infection. He won’t cure them, no matter how clear and logical are his arguments.
Anyway - rant over – this book is excellent and presents the evidence supporting evolution from many different angles. For me, please excuse the religious metaphor, he was preaching to the already converted, but I nevertheless learned a lot of new stuff which reinforced even further my ‘belief’ in evolution as being the best explanation of how living things came to be the way they are on this planet.
It’s narrated by Dawkins himself, and he alternates with a female narrator (as he did in The Blind Watchmaker audiobook). This alternating approach is a bit pointless and is sometimes distracting, but I don’t want to be too negative about this aspect because the book is a great listen.
l'enfer c'est les autres
The more I learn about the development of life and humans on earth the more spiritual I become because the more special it makes me feel. For all the events to have happened to have put us here after a 100 million centuries and to have awoken up in this special time and place it makes me feel blessed. Dawkins explains these probable events and processes better than anyone. Understanding the path that life had to take to bring us here makes me feel special. Usually, I don't like it when an author reads his own works but I like it when Dawkins does. I listen to all of Dawkins' books and he doesn't repeat his analogies in his explanations and manages to come up with new and better analogies and explanations. (I would recommend listening to "The Selfish Gene" before this one only because both books are so good that you'll end up listening to both and you might as well read them in that more logical order).
While I found the information in this book quite interesting, the writing style does not spark imagination as well as some other science writers, such as Hawking. In fact, the first part of the book was not great. The second half, however was really interesting. I mean, really interesting. I won't leak what each section is about, so as not to spoil this book for those who purchase. But for me, I give the first half 3 stars and the second half 5 stars. Overall, a good purchase.
The more I see of science, the more facinated I become. Dawkins has produced fantasict philosphical writing. This scientific writing is even more so.
This one is a winner! I have read several of Dawkins' books before, but listening to his voice (and the other reader, too) really helped me understand the ideas and examples he presented. We have done a poor job educating our student population on Evolution. This book explains everything in such simple and understandable detail! A must read for an educated person!
Dawkins always impressed me with his logic, clarity of thought, and simple, understandable presentation. This book is par for the course. Excellent introduction to evolution for those who don't have much background in biology but genuinely want to learn.
Dawkins lays out clearly and concisely the science behind evolution. Not only is the book interesting, Dawkins and his wife are also great readers as well. Excellent all-round.
Dawkins is unmatched as a narrator of the amazing world we inhabit. Although he suffers no fools, and is a bit single minded about religion, that is a tiny part of an otherwise excellent journey through the building blocks of our species, and life in general.
Hung's review, below, is not factual. Dawkins goes to considerable length to discus how fast evolution can occur, even including an entire chapter called "Before our very eyes," dedicated to examples of evolution in real time.
That Hung seems not to know this makes me suspect him of being a troll trying to sabotage sales of this book, which is, of course, the very best possible reason for you to buy it immediately.