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: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design | [Richard Dawkins]

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.
Regular Price:$29.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

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 (985 )
5 star
 (519)
4 star
 (306)
3 star
 (103)
2 star
 (34)
1 star
 (23)
Overall
4.3 (799 )
5 star
 (450)
4 star
 (215)
3 star
 (85)
2 star
 (31)
1 star
 (18)
Story
4.4 (817 )
5 star
 (488)
4 star
 (209)
3 star
 (80)
2 star
 (28)
1 star
 (12)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Natasha 12-12-12
    Natasha 12-12-12 Member Since 2013

    Proudly African!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    47
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Repetitive Story & Fragmented Preformance"
    Would you try another book from Richard Dawkins and/or Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward ?

    Maybe Richard Dawkins but not Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward


    Has The Blind Watchmaker turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No


    What didn’t you like about Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward ’s performance?

    The story does not flow. There is poor timing regarding the inputs from Lalla Ward. The changes between the two are abrupt. A different combination of readers may have been better. The two voices and expressions do not compliment each other. It is just not the right combination.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It is a good topic and there are good points put forward but extremely repetitive. Maybe it is for people who understand less about the topic. It comes across as the author is being condescending or making things oversimplified. It appears as though the author is belittling the readers' intelligence/intellect.


    Any additional comments?

    Suggestions on higher order books in this genre?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bede 07-30-12
    Bede 07-30-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good book on evolution"
    Where does The Blind Watchmaker rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Near the top


    What did you like best about this story?

    (Not a story) A non fiction piece that was easy to listen to, and an excellent explanation of evolution,


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Schallitz Livermore, CA USA 08-19-11
    K. Schallitz Livermore, CA USA 08-19-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    54
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    "Not as impressive as some of Dawkins' other works"

    I've listened to a few books by Dawkins and feel that this is the weakest of them so far. I particularly enjoyed the Selfish Gene, however I didn't really learn anything "new" in this book and found it to drag on. I started listening at 2x speed just to get through it. Nonetheless, there were a few points where I stopped, slowed down and listened intently and very much enjoyed those segments. There just were not enough of them for me to give the book more than a two star rating. Others may well enjoy the book, especially if they have not read any other works by Dawkins.

    8 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    08-03-11
    08-03-11 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Yackity yack"

    The basic information is fine, but the author spends at least 50% of the time on distractions, tangents, superfluous information, and digressions.

    14 of 31 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark WESTPORT, WA, United States 12-03-11
    Mark WESTPORT, WA, United States 12-03-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Stands the Test of Time."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Blind Watchmaker to be better than the print version?

    If you have read Dawkins lastest works, you might question the point of reading one of his earlier works as I did. But Dawkins is writing in a freer less self critical way,and it makes it fun.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Natural Selection.


    Have you listened to any of Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have a mixed feeling about this.


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

    If you understand the subject yes. I tend to listen at 2x to 3x. This book is diffidently a 2x book.


    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Quinton, VA, United States 12-13-11
    Joseph Quinton, VA, United States 12-13-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Blind and difficult to Listen"
    What disappointed you about The Blind Watchmaker?

    Incredible number of analogies to explain a simple point. Dare I say arrogant attitude in the narrative. Haven't finished listening, don't know if I will return. I am a biologist, and an evolutionist and still don't understand why some people think God is an instant magician.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Richard Dawkins again?

    Probably not


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Did not finish the book, and may not. The book is not going to enlighten any Creationists, it may bore the h--l out of them.


    6 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS, United States 01-21-13
    Stephen PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS, United States 01-21-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An Incredible Bore"
    What disappointed you about The Blind Watchmaker?

    Extremely dated. Unnecessarily laborious in a-b-c logic. I have read more recent books by Dawkins and thought this would prove entertaining; it wasn't. I am a university professor in a surgical field. Although I personally am an atheist who marvels at those who refer to the "theory of evolution", I make no effort to convert others to my own philosophy of life and man's rather limited and transient role in the universe. Dawkin's dawdled on details of his arguments to the point I forgot what his original argument was. He became more entertaining and mercurial in his later years, but evidently started off slowly. I thought this would give me some historical context of Dawkins but instead gave me a nap.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    No further Dawkins or Hitchens. I'm comfortable with my beliefs and don't require further validation.


    How could the performance have been better?

    How could it have been worse?


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment.


    Any additional comments?

    Maybe a good book on membrane theory?

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PUA NY, NY 12-12-11
    PUA NY, NY 12-12-11

    PUA

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I learned nothing from the The Blind Watchmaker."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    5 graders may learn something, but anybody older would learn nothing from the book.


    Any additional comments?

    The book was 5 grader level. Apparently the author just want to write something to make money.

    5 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly Bauer Arizona, USA 03-15-13
    Kelly Bauer Arizona, USA 03-15-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not what you expected"
    Would you try another book from Richard Dawkins and/or Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward ?

    No way would I purchase another book from this author.


    What was most disappointing about Richard Dawkins’s story?

    I purchased this book to learn more about evolution. Unfortunately, Dawkins is so busy getting in his own way with his pseudo-intellectualism, and majorly exhaustive definitions that he puts you to sleep. If you are looking for a cure for insomnia or are obsessed with bat sonar this is the book for you. Otherwise...


    How could the performance have been better?

    The performance was fine. It was the material that lacked.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Blind Watchmaker?

    I would cut this thing down to the bone. Assume your audience has a brain and get the point already.


    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 31-39 of 39 results PREVIOUS134NEXT
Sort by:
  • 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.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • 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
  • 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
  • Y. Doza
    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!.

    1 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 0 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
  • Rosemary
    Dublin
    1/3/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Let down by very poor reading"
    What would have made The Blind Watchmaker better?

    A professional and quality narration would do justice to the book. Dawkins is not a good reader of his own work …and the book itself does not let itself easily to a reading.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward ’s performances?

    No


    0 of 0 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.

    0 of 0 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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Adrian
    Tralee, Ireland
    11/14/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Some good analysis but lacks vision"
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    The author is good at analyzing the work of other writers and is able to produce well though out arguments for or against each theory. However I found it frustrating that any of his own original concepts and examples were shallow and lacked imagination. In fact he falls into the traps he warns against. In many instances he extrapolates from what he sees on earth now and not from what all possibilities might produce. When he postulates on the existence of life on other planets he suggests that we should have received radio signals. This assumes that at some point in the evolution of life on another planet a human type brain is probable.
    I would recommend this book to people who are struggling with the concept of evolution. I would also recommend it to anyone who believes that life as we know it could only come about as a result of an all knowing entity.


    What will your next listen be?

    Not yet decided.


    What three words best describe Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward ’s voice?

    Work well together


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Blind Watchmaker?

    I would change the name. Even a blind watchmaker will act with intent and yet he goes to great length to point out that evolution does not.

    I would remove any section of the book where the author attempts to extrapolate from the work of others to give us his beliefs on a topic.

    I would remove any of the statements he makes which make assumptions for the ability of human beings to understand a particular concept and ask the author to replace with "I find it difficult to imagine, understand, picture" or " some people find it difficult to ".

    From his attempts to draw conclusions on certain concepts it appears he is expressing his struggle to visualize and assuming everyone else has the same difficulty.


    Any additional comments?

    I agree with his analysis of the work of other authors.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 10 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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.