This particular Dawkins book does not address the existence of a god. The purpose, instead, is to lay out basic evidence for the truth of evolution. The performance is very good; It resembles a discussion rather than a reading. The evidence is laid out clearly and the book has a nice flow.
This book is a "must listen". Beautifully thought through, wonderfully read and deeply thought provoking for all atheists and theists alike.
Dawkins is a fantastic teacher of evolutionary science. He has a thorough understanding of what concepts need to be emphasized and what can be glossed over while still maintaining interest. I really enjoyed listening to him.
Science and philosophy buff
a really good walk through of the very compelling evidence for evolution. I have listened to it several times and enjoyed each pass.
DNA phylogenetic trees
It gives a comprehensive overview of all of the evidence for evolution. When I first started the book, I thought it was mostly aimed at people who are not very familiar with evolution. Not for people like me who already know about the evidence. However, I now have a much better understanding.
"The total amount of suffering per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation. During the minute that it takes me to compose this sentence, thousands of animals are being eaten alive, others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear, others are being slowly devoured from within by rasping parasites, thousands of all kinds
are dying of starvation, thirst and disease. It must be so. If there is ever a time of plenty, this very fact will automatically lead to an increase in population until the natural state of starvation and misery is restored."
I had never realized this before. How come people don't seem to care much about wild-animal suffering?
The part about the scientist who was describing his work to a man on an airplane, and the man was mesmirized. When the man asked the scientist what the theory behind his research was, the scientist replied "Darwin's Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection". The man's face "went red; abruptly, he turned away, refused to speak further". So sad. Creationism ruined that man's ability to learn about the amazingness of science.
The main problem is that in the first chapter he goes all anti-God, and he probably alienates the people who need to learn about the evidence for evolution.
The one drawback is the extent to which Dawkins goes into repetitious detail on things like taxonomy and embryology, but that's all.
What a great start for beginning a lesson in evolution. He covers everything from geology to alien microbes. A full arsenal for evolutionists and atheists alike. Makes you want to revert to college and switch to biology.
The message of the book is important and the information presented is excellent. However, I struggled with the audiobook format. I'm a voracious audiobook listener but this one didn't work for me and I believe it would have been better in Kindle/hardcopy form. Additionally, I especially disliked the switching back and forth in narration between Dawkins and Lalla Ward. I think either of them would have been good narrators but I don't think the amount of switching worked for this topic.
Yes - The message is important and Dawkins is an excellent thinker/author. I'm not sure I would listen to another audiobook but would probably read it instead.
Even if you don't listen to the audiobook consider the Kindle/hardcopy edition as the topic, information and points are important.
I rate as follows: 5-Best of the best, 4-LOVED it, 3-LIKED it, 2-Meh, 1-Didn't like it. Fav genres: sci-fi/fantasy, fiction, science
Even though I am a scientist (though not a biologist), I must admit that I had only a basic understanding of evolution before listening to this book. Not only do I now know the varied and mutually reinforcing evidence for evolution, but I have gained a much greater appreciation of the elegance and beauty of evolution. This book was an absolute joy to listen to, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to have their mind blown by learning about the astonishing miracle of life which we largely take for granted.
My only complaint is that Richard Dawkins has such a great voice, I don't understand why there is a second narrator. It seems like sometimes they switch at points where there might be something like a sidebar in the text (just guessing), but otherwise it seems like they just alternate passages for no particular reason. Laila Ward also has a nice voice, and does a very good job, but I, for one, would have preferred to have Dawkins narrate the whole thing.