We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
The Blind Watchmaker Audiobook

The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design

The Blind Watchmaker, knowledgably narrated by author Richard Dawkins, is as prescient and timely a book as ever. The watchmaker belongs to the 18th-century theologian William Paley, who argued that just as a watch is too complicated and functional to have sprung into existence by accident, so too must all living things, with their far greater complexity, be purposefully designed. Charles Darwin's brilliant discovery challenged the creationist arguments; but only Richard Dawkins could have written this elegant riposte.
    • 1 audiobook per month
    • 180,000+ titles to choose from
    • $14.95 per month after free trial

Audible Editor Reviews

Richard Dawkins and his wife, actor Lalla Ward, give a highly entertaining read of Dawkins's 1986 critique of creationism, The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design. The audiobook follows an updated edition of the book from 2006 and provides intricate explanations, by way of witty examples, of why random, infinitesimal gene changes over millions of years have produced us and the world we live in. Dawkins's writing contains a self-deprecating, dry sense of humor that comes to life as he reads his best-selling book. Alternating voices between Dawkins and Lalla Ward provides nice listening contrast while also setting apart examples, clarifications, and segments of greater detail. Dawkins and his wife live in a world that is perhaps more scientific on a daily basis than ours so the book takes great care to vary the delivery of information for greater emphasis and easy understanding.

Dawkins's goal in The Blind Watchmaker is to "remove by explaining" any doubt that anything but scientific fact is behind the origin of the universe. Just because something — like human beings or the universe — is complex does not mean that it cannot be explained. Dawkins works hard to help listeners understand the smaller-than-microscopic changes that evolved through staggering amounts of time, changes humans have a hard time intuitively comprehending. To paraphrase the author, do not draw conclusions from your own inability to understand something. The truth of Darwinism comes in its acceptance of physics, probability, and the unending march of time. Dawkins helps listeners out by using examples that are easier to grasp: for example, the evolution from wolves to domesticated dogs. Or how echo location in bats clearly shows the evolution of a trait necessary for survival of a species.

The Blind Watchmaker, read by the author and by Lalla Ward, is an example of an audiobook best listened to while not driving or operating anything requiring devoted attention. Dawkins calls upon us to think about complex concepts that are not necessarily part of daily life. Led by the author, The Blind Watchmkaer is a lively, humorous explanation of the seemingly mystical yet ultimately understandable maze of evolution that is our world. Along the way it is nice to know that a scientist such as Dawkins can, like us, forget to save information on his computer. Re-creation of his data simply leads to another example of probability and complexity that makes, as Dawkins reiterates, the circumstances of any of us being here surprisingly unique, but scientifically not unusual. —Carole Chouinard

Publisher's Summary

The Blind Watchmaker, knowledgably narrated by author Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward, is as prescient and timely a book as ever. The watchmaker belongs to the 18th-century theologian William Paley, who argued that just as a watch is too complicated and functional to have sprung into existence by accident, so too must all living things, with their far greater complexity, be purposefully designed. Charles Darwin's brilliant discovery challenged the creationist arguments; but only Richard Dawkins could have written this elegant riposte. Natural selection - the unconscious, automatic, blind, yet essentially nonrandom process Darwin discovered - is the blind watchmaker in nature.

©1986, 1987, 1996 Richard Dawkins (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"As readable and vigorous a defense of Darwinism as has been published since 1859. (The Economist)

"The best general account of evolution I have read in recent years." (E. O. Wilson, Professor in Entomology, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University)

“Dawkins’s explanation of the evolutionary process continues to be timely and revelatory…This dual reading is an interesting model for a scientific text. It helps to clarify and emphasize points… this is a commendable production, and an excellent primer on how evolution works.” (AudoFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (1225 )
5 star
 (665)
4 star
 (385)
3 star
 (112)
2 star
 (38)
1 star
 (25)
Overall
4.3 (1018 )
5 star
 (583)
4 star
 (283)
3 star
 (97)
2 star
 (35)
1 star
 (20)
Story
4.4 (1035 )
5 star
 (647)
4 star
 (256)
3 star
 (87)
2 star
 (32)
1 star
 (13)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Ken 03-31-15
    Ken 03-31-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very good book, but.."

    This is a brilliant listen, however I very much wish it was only one speaker.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Atwell 03-24-15
    Eric Atwell 03-24-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "another slam dunk by dawkins"

    this is a great "plain English" explanation delivered with thought provoking examples. a must listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mitch 03-15-15
    mitch 03-15-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    34
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Always wonderful"

    Richard Dawkins is always wonderful with his explanation of evolution and his way with words it is a joy to read

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ms. H 10-24-14
    Ms. H 10-24-14 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Terrific Narration"
    Where does The Blind Watchmaker rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Excellent


    What other book might you compare The Blind Watchmaker to and why?

    Selfish Gene - same author - if you like the selfish gene you will like this too


    Which character – as performed by Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward – was your favorite?

    n/a


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Unsightly Ticking Away


    Any additional comments?

    yes - the narration is excellent. This makes a huge difference. I am a fan of audiobooks yet have found that in some cases the book needs to be read instead because the voices are unpleasing - this is definitely not the case here. The narrators are delightful to listen to. This is an excellent book and I reccomend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin Wyoming, Michigan, United States 09-07-14
    Kevin Wyoming, Michigan, United States 09-07-14 Member Since 2013

    Scientist, Atheist, Humanist, and Historian. I don't know everything, but I know enough to know if you're full of it!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    35
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dawkins Explains it All"
    Would you listen to The Blind Watchmaker again? Why?

    I have listened to The Blind Watchmaker six times and find something to take away each time!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Blind Watchmaker?

    "Have you ever seen a Frelephant?"


    What about Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward ’s performance did you like?

    I thought the switching back and forth worked really well.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I have found myself quoting this book numerous times.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven Bloomfield 07-08-14 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very good but some parts are hard to follow"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Blind Watchmaker to be better than the print version?

    Haven't read the print edition but I think the confusing parts (probabilities and punctuated equilibrium) may have been easier to digest in print form.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    Slightly difficult audiobook to listen to and actually retain. It lost me on the discussions of probabilities and also confused me until the very end of his discussion of punctuated equilibrium. Other than that it's still a good book for getting a grip on some of the more nuanced aspects of evolution by natural selection. But not for science beginners...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alessandro Blacktown, Australia 03-22-14
    Alessandro Blacktown, Australia 03-22-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    90
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Professor makes difficult easy!"
    If you could sum up The Blind Watchmaker in three words, what would they be?

    Enjoyable, illuminating, essential


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Not applicable


    What about Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward ’s performance did you like?

    The read very well and clearly and the text is beautifully written.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    A bit too thought provoking for one sitting, but I did not read anything else till it was finished.


    Any additional comments?

    Anyone unsure about the fact that IS evolution should definitely read it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Corey DOVER, DE, United States 02-10-14
    Corey DOVER, DE, United States 02-10-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Thought Provoking"
    What made the experience of listening to The Blind Watchmaker the most enjoyable?

    This book really challenged my worldview and caused me to re-evaluate some very closely held beliefs. Dawkins presents his arguments clearly and with easily understood examples.


    What other book might you compare The Blind Watchmaker to and why?

    This book shares the "how do things work?" attitude of the Freakonomics books.


    Which character – as performed by Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward – was your favorite?

    I liked how the two voices alternated to indicate when Dawkins was quoting other works and conducting debates with notional opponents.


    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend this book to anyone willing to challenge their own beliefs or wishing to understand how the amazing diversity of this world arose. However, Dawkins occasionally slips into a derisive attitude which might offend creationists or those who fail to believe exactly as he does.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mamodeo 02-06-14
    mamodeo 02-06-14

    remember books on paper?

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Everyone Should Know This."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Information everyone should know explained in a way anyone can understand.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Blind Watchmaker?

    Explanation of the eye as an example for evolution.


    What about Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward ’s performance did you like?

    Read by the writer is always better.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deb Hatch 02-06-14
    Deb Hatch 02-06-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great follow on to The Selfish Gene"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend the book. It is thought provoking and there were times I found myself talking back to Dawkins as I listened.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The 747 in a hurricane analogy has really stuck with me.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Matthew
    United Kingdom
    11/16/11
    Overall
    "Read the Selfish Gene instead"

    The Blind Watchmaker is an interesting listen. As with the Selfish Gene, the duo of Dawkins and Lalla Ward makes for excellent narration. It covers a great deal of interesting material, and if you haven't listened to the Selfish Gene, I recommend it.

    The premise of the book is a rebuttal of the Watchmaker argument for an intelligent designer. The theory of evolution itself is an excellent rebuttal of most of this argument, so I was hoping this book might concentrate on the principal weakness of arguments for life without design: the origin of life. Instead, this is covered in a part of one chapter, and in no great depth. I was left disappointed.

    The Selfish Gene is an excellent introduction to evolution, and mostly covers the same topics as Blind Watchmaker. The Blind Watchmaker has more examples, but they're really going over much the same ground.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Jeremy
    Malvern Wells, United Kingdom
    8/10/11
    Overall
    "Sparkling with life!"

    This is a wonderful audiobook, literary full of wonder at the ingenuity of nature. It brought back memories for me as a student of being similarly stunned reading "The Selfish Gene". Early on in this book, Dawkins declares that he prefers the miraculous wonderment of William Paley, to the atheist who cannot see that anything needs explanation about the origins of complex life.

    Yet, in "The Blind Watchmaker", he makes the case with brilliant clarity, that the process that has given rise to the creative diversity and seeming design in nature is as much a physical nonrandom process as the sifting of pebbles from sand on a beach. This book explains the principles of Evolution with sparkling clarity.

    The audiobook version is read alternately by Richard Dawkins and his wife, Lalla Ward, and initially I found this change odd. However, within a chapter, I came to enjoy the conterpoint of male and female reading voices. It was kind of soothing, and a great innovation. I look forward to other audiobooks being read in this way.. One effect of this was a feeling of familiarity with the author. I came to admire his quest for the Truth, and his contempt for those who would fudge the difficult questions and the evidence to preserve their old beliefs.

    And so, there is the unavoidable "G" question. Paley's God is clearly shown by Dawkins to be as redundant to the process of evolution, as to the apparent motions of the planets. Yet, given (possibly) infinite universes, with N dimensions of space and time, one might speculate on the evolution of some transcendent intelligence pulling on our strings in the present!

    Perhaps Paley's God too can still be glimpsed in the elegance and power of the principles of evolution itself? But then, as Darwin saw in the ichneumon wasp, there is then the problem of theodicy. After listening to this book, I was left with a vivid impression both of the sheer creative intelligence of Nature, and the cost in pain and death of previous generations.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    UK
    7/11/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Darwinian Evolution as a religion"
    What made the experience of listening to The Blind Watchmaker the most enjoyable?

    The narration by the author and Lalla Ward makes for a good combination.
    The chapters are mostly interesting - with a few over the top explanations.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Darwin - because he is right - only he is right - all the rest are wrong - according to Dawkins - Darwin's prophet.


    What about Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward ’s performance did you like?

    The split in reading the material.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, it requires digestion time - to comprehend the ideas presented.


    Any additional comments?

    While I am convinced by most arguments in the book, the zealous following of Darwin - and rebuttal of all other evolutionary views smacks a bit like religion - my god is the only god!.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Gustav
    London, United Kingdom
    8/18/12
    Overall
    "Dry but good overview of evolution"

    This is a very dry, slow and methodological overview of evolution. It takes its time to make its points, and it does so convincingly, but it isn't a fast and fun book. Neither does it have to be, if you have a bit of patience.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Rainer
    7/24/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Slow start (if you listened to the selfish gene)"

    I got this audio book after having listened to Dawkins' Selfish Gene. Admittedly I like the way him and Ward read his books, however in the beginning I thought that many of his arguments were already made in the Selfish Gene and only some more examples or different explanations are given. I kept listening though and after a while it started exceeding the spectrum of the Selfish Gene and became very interesting again. I guess that the early repetition of many of the Selfish Gene's arguments are necessary to make this a self-contained book, given that the aim of this book overlaps with the aim of the Selfish Gene.

    Much like the Selfish Gene, the Blind Watchmaker is very elaborate in the argumentation and gives many examples and explanations. Dawkins and Ward do a fantastic job at making this a very enjoyable 16 (or so) hours. The book is very comprehensible and all concepts that are not completely intuitive are very well explained.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Anders
    Denmark
    7/13/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Makes you think"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Some arguments but that is rather a silly thing, as I am not the author, and do not have the privilege to do so. So I would leave it and both enjoy to agree and disagree.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Blind Watchmaker?

    The general picture, in which arguments are presented.


    What does Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Firstly, the author's voice gives the correct connotations, which you might skip, miss or change in your own personal reading. Secondly, they have good reading voices that brings the book to a level, where you do not feel like falling asleep, which I find to be the strive of any good reader.


    Could you see The Blind Watchmaker being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

    No, but a documentary/debate program, though I find that there is a lot of these things around.


    Any additional comments?

    Even though I do not agree with all arguments I, as an Atheist, found it very useful and good for both mind and relaxation.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Balor of the Evil Eye
    Éire
    2/14/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Intelligent design my rear!"

    Yet another compelling presentation by Dawkins,The Blind Watchmaker tackles the idea, perhaps most prominently promoted by Creationists, that intelligent design has informed how humans gained much of the form with which we are all so familiar. As ever Dawkins rubbishes his detractors with his practiced aplomb, demanding that they recognise the obvious truth behind his theories, or admit that they just don't believe in a scientific approach to answering questions about human development.
    Perhaps the most popular organ for those espousing the intelligent design hypothesis, the eye, is singled out by Dawkins for treatment, treatment that could leave few listeners with the impression that his thesis lacks substance.

    As with his other titles, the narration by both himself and Lalla Ward is competently performed and easy to listen to. The fact that Dawkins gets so exercised about certain topics comes through in the narration, and is actually a bit of a bonus, especially if you are used to rather flat readers presenting scientific topics.

    A good book. Buy it after The Selfish Gene.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • M
    United Kingdom
    1/3/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very interesting book"

    The material is very in and is beyond what I learned at school, have learned a lot even though I'm not a fan of biology I found this fascinating

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • rachel merrell
    4/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Another fantastic Dawkins book"

    Great book, great narration. Richard Dawkins is such a brilliant writer and this book is definitely one of his best.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Martin Harland
    1/26/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent truth"

    All I expected from the most honest and brave champion of truth and reason in advancing the fact of evolution

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.