Gary R. Beddingfield
Not one of my favorites by Richard Dawkins. Followed and understood almost all of the book fairly easy. To me, the book felt like I have heard it before, maybe, because of The Selfish Gene.
While I think this text may be mildly offensive to fundamentalist theologians, it was highly instructive and a pleasure to listen to. It's easy to understand and has numerous easily digestible examples that do not lose quality for lack of visual aid. As a teacher of intro biology I've used a number of the examples from this text to great effect. I will likely read this again.
The Blind Watchmaker is a very thorough explanation of the ideas behind evolution. Very clearly explained.
Having recently travelled to the Galápagos Islands, I downloaded this audio to hear more about the academic arguments concerning evolution. Performance by both the author and his wife was very good although the material itself was quite dense and would not be appropriate for the casual reader.
Dawkins dose an excellent job explaining some of the more complex ideas and arguments of evolution. This book gives modern answers to modern questions that did not exist in Darwin's time.
Darwin's explanation succeeds.
I liked the chapter on sexual selection and the Peacock's tail. (I think it was this book. I get Dawkins's books confused, because I have read so many of them!)
Dawkins sets up by taking about William Paley's metaphor for life as a watch, requiring a watchmaker. Dawkins then talks about many seemingly unrelated subjects, all related to the complexity of life. Sexual selection, abiogenesis, the green beard effect, ect. These all culminate with Dawkins's conclusion that evolution is a blind watchmaker, working through the mechanisms he describes in the book, and capable of making complexity which appears designed. Although the title talks about revealing a "universe without design", Dawkins doesn't talk much about God.
While I was listening to this book, I was reading a book for Honors Philosophy of God at school (I go to a catholic school and took an honors religion class, however I am an atheist). The book for the class was God: The Oldest Question, by William O'Malley. O'Malley is a catholic who believes in evolution, but also has room for intelligent design. O'Malley criticizes Carl Sagan's explanation of the evolution of eyes in Sagan's book, and mentions The Blind Watchmaker in a criticism of Dawkins. Reading O'Malley's book, I got the idea that he had not read Dawkins's book. The Blind Watchmaker eloquently explains the powerful explanatory process of evolution, and how inelegant a god who uses evolution with a few miracles interspersed is. I did read Dawkins's book, and I came away with a great reverence for the power of blind process of evolution to explain the staggering complexity of life on earth.