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The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution | [Richard Dawkins]

The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution

The Greatest Show on Earth is a stunning counterattack on advocates of "Intelligent Design," explaining the evidence for evolution while exposing the absurdities of the creationist "argument". Dawkins sifts through rich layers of scientific evidence: from living examples of natural selection to clues in the fossil record; from natural clocks that mark the vast epochs wherein evolution ran its course to the intricacies of developing embryos; from plate tectonics to molecular genetics.
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Publisher's Summary

In 2008, a Gallup poll showed that 44 percent of Americans believed God had created man in his present form within the last 10,000 years. In a Pew Forum poll in the same year, 42 percent believed that all life on earth has existed in its present form since the beginning of time.

In 1859 Charles Darwin's masterpiece, On the Origin of Species, shook society to its core. Darwin was only too aware of the storm his theory of evolution would provoke. But he surely would have raised an incredulous eyebrow at the controversy still raging a century and a half later.

Evolution is accepted as scientific fact by all reputable scientists and indeed theologians, yet millions of people continue to question its veracity. Now the author of the iconic work The God Delusion takes them to task.

The Greatest Show on Earth is a stunning counterattack on advocates of "Intelligent Design", explaining the evidence for evolution while exposing the absurdities of the creationist "argument". Dawkins sifts through rich layers of scientific evidence: from living examples of natural selection to clues in the fossil record; from plate tectonics to molecular genetics. Combining these elements and many more, he makes the airtight case that "we find ourselves perched on one tiny twig in the midst of a blossoming and flourishing tree of life and it is no accident, but the direct consequence of evolution by non-random selection."

The Greatest Show on Earth comes at a critical time: systematic opposition to the fact of evolution is menacing as never before. In American schools, and in schools around the world, insidious attempts are made to undermine the status of science in the classroom. Dawkins wields a devastating argument against this ignorance, but his unjaded passion for the natural world turns what might have been a negative argument into a positive offering to the reader: nothing less than a master's vision of life, in all its splendor.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2009 Richard Dawkins; (P)2009 Simon & Schuster

What the Critics Say

"If Charles Darwin walked into a 21st-century bookstore and wanted to know how his theory had fared, this is the book he should pick up. Dawkins remains a superb translator of complex scientific concepts....he has a way of making the drollest details feel like a revelation." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Wendy Roanoke, VA, United States 03-08-13
    Wendy Roanoke, VA, United States 03-08-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Should be mandatory high school reading!"

    Spectacular! I had so many "ah ha" moments during this book as fairly difficult to understand subjects were explained to me with such eloquence and simplicity by Richard Dawkins that I could scarcely understand why my teachers in high school didn't tell me these things. This book really should be required reading for every high school student in the U.S. Loved it, absolute loved it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 02-15-13 Member Since 2012
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    "a masterpeice"
    Where does The Greatest Show on Earth rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I'm extremely picky about which audio books I download so they are all really good or I return them. This one stands apart. I could easily rank it in my top 5


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Greatest Show on Earth?

    Richard Lenski's experiment


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

    The timbre of his voice and the refinement of the performance is "like wiping your ass with silk"


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Pleasant Hill, TN 10-29-12
    Amazon Customer Pleasant Hill, TN 10-29-12
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    "Fascinating Exposition"
    What did you love best about The Greatest Show on Earth?

    The degree of detail present in the narration was most interesting. This is one worth several listens due to the number of items worth remembering for future reference. I especially enjoyed hearing Dawkins and Ward doing the reading.


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

    I have not heard any of their other performances, but their involvement would clearly influence me in favor of future purchases.


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

    I wanted to hear it all at once, but it was too long for me to do so. Fortunately I finally had a long period of driving that enabled me to have more continuity. I did miss seeing the illustrations, but that is what happens with an audio book!


    Any additional comments?

    I am glad I added this one to my collection.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jams New York, NY United States 08-17-12
    Jams New York, NY United States 08-17-12 Member Since 2005

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    "Excellent Description of the Evidence"
    Would you listen to The Greatest Show on Earth again? Why?

    If you don't understand evolution then this explains in both great detail and at the same time simply how it works. There are so many that just deny what is in front of their eyes and replace it by various fairy stories. Remember even the Vatican accepts evolution!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caleb Dallas, TX United States 08-09-12
    Caleb Dallas, TX United States 08-09-12 Member Since 2014
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    "A fascinating look at how nature works."

    Before I read this, I already believed in Evolution. But this book helped me understand with 100% conviction that there is no need to simply "believe". Evolution is a fact, not a "theory" or belief. As an average non-scientific person, you don't realize the numerous branches of science that all come together to confirm this. This book provides numerous fascinating examples of each, explaining not only THAT evolution works, but HOW it works. It is a shame that so many of us make it through basic science education without a similarly complete and thorough education in the driving force that has lead to the existence of every living thing on this planet.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jay WICHITA, KS, United States 03-22-12
    Jay WICHITA, KS, United States 03-22-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Love it! Received great understanding of Evolution"

    Richard Dawkins does an excellent job of walking you through all the reasons why Evolution is no longer a theory, but actual fact. Evolution happened. There can be no other way to explain what is here on earth. If God does exist, then he is a programmer, not a sculptor or builder.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fredrick L. 03-16-12
    Fredrick L. 03-16-12
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    "A book that needs to be read, not heard"
    Would you try another book from Richard Dawkins and/or Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward ?

    Science was never my forte, and this book proves it. The subject matter is very interesting, but I found that I needed to continually backtrack to understand the message. This book would be far easier to understand if I read the words, instead of trying to understand the content while driving. The readers, too, were the authors, and their voices and presentation just aren't professional enough.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Nashville, TN, United States 03-05-12
    Stephen Nashville, TN, United States 03-05-12 Member Since 2013
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    "A...Ma...Zing!!!"

    I positively LOVED this book!! After reading it, so much made sense. I feel like I could take on a creationist and hold my own in a debate! Way to go Dawkins!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nathan Vancouver, BC, Canada 02-10-12
    Nathan Vancouver, BC, Canada 02-10-12
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    "Should be mandatory reading in science class"

    Before listening to this I had a very limited understanding of how natural selection works. I found this book fascinating and enlightening from start to end and now have a much better understanding of the basics of evolution and the evidence for it.

    After listening to this I can't help thinking about what a miserable job my high school did of teaching evolution. The fact that I didn't even believe in it until I was an adult should give you an idea. Like with any creationist, my doubt in evolution was purely out of ignorance of what evolution actually is. If all the doubters of evolution read this book there wouldn't be many left over still clinging to the nonsense of creationism.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Ellery BIRMINGHAM, AL, United States 01-17-12
    Ellery BIRMINGHAM, AL, United States 01-17-12 Member Since 2015
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    "evolution first timer"
    What did you love best about The Greatest Show on Earth?

    It was (as dawkins likes to put it) an


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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