Richard Dawkins, the world’s most famous evolutionary biologist, presents a gorgeously lucid, science book examining some of the nature’s most fundamental questions both from a mythical and scientific perspective.
Science is our most precise and powerful tool for making sense of the world. Before we developed the scientific method, we created rich mythologies to explain the unknown. The pressing questions that primitive men and women asked are the same ones we ask as children. Who was the first person? What is the sun? Why is there night and day? The myths that address these questions are beautiful, but in every case their beauty is exceeded by the scientific truth.
With characteristic clarity and verve, Dawkins answers these big questions. Looking first at some of the myths that arose to answer the question, he then, dazzles us with the facts. He looks at the building blocks of matter, the first humans, the sun - explaining the life and death of stars; why there’s a night and a day - ranging from our solar system to the inner workings of our planet; what a rainbow really is—going from the rainbow in your backyard to the age of the universe; and finally, he poses a question that still baffles scientists: When did everything begin?
©2011 Richard Dawkins, Ltd. (P)2011 Simon & Schuster, Inc.
"I wanted to write this book but I wasn't clever enough. Now I've read it, I am." (Ricky Gervais)
“Exhilarating. The clearest and most beautifully written introduction to science I've ever read. Again and again I found myself saying 'Oh! So that's how genes work!' (or stars, or tectonic plates, or all the other things he explains). Explanations I thought I knew were clarified; things I never understood were made clear for the first time. My favourite adjective of praise has always been "clear", and this book has clarity all the way through.” (Philip Pullman, author of The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ and the His Dark Materials trilogy)
I am often asked to recommend good books on science for young people. From now on, I will not have to hesitate. The Magic of Reality provides a beautiful, accessible and wide ranging volume that addresses the questions that all of us have about the universe, separating often too-little known facts from too-frequently believed fictions. For this reason it should be a powerful resource for people of all ages, written with the masterful and eloquently literate style of perhaps the best popular expositor of science, Richard Dawkins, and delightfully illustrated by Dave McKean. What more could anyone ask for?” (Lawrence Krauss is Foundation Professor and Director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University and the author most recently of Quantum Man, and A Universe from Nothing)
The author would like you to believe there must be an undirected explainable explanation of all phenomenon. The age of scientific enlightenment dispells this myth that something came from nothing as the author leaves it with the "big bang theory". This first cause must be from an "uncaused" entity that directed all intelligence, as is commonly called God, that exist trans temporallly beyond known dimensions. Why universal myths describing similar phenomenon? - I would prepose that God has obviously provided "General Revelation" in the "book of nature" - this is the "light of creation and consciousness" the God gives all persons of all time that none may be without excuse for believing in God. God also has given "special revelation" through the spiritually inspired scriptures backed up by manuscript evidence, archealogical evidence, prophecy and the science of statistical probability as well as countless eyewitness accounts. In addition, evolution is certainly a mechanism of change within species, but as the fossil record clearly reveals, does not change one species to another. A mechanism for adaption, intelligently guided.
Anyway it was an interesting account which, when all is said and done, comes down to faith - either in a fatalistic view of life on earth and eternity or faith in the only living God Jesus Christ who chose to die and be resurrected to forgive mankind, through faith in Him, of all sin, by giving believers the righteousness of Christ and eternal life with God, hallelujah. Go online for more information and a better explanation of all things involving origins, Christianity and other religions.
Another reviewer made this point "Dawkins..for children", and I would play this for my kids. But if you have kept in light touch with the world at all, you will learn very little from this book as an adult (the only thing I learned was a bit more about how stars produce energy). It is obviously aimed at religious people, to break them free from mythology. I doubt it would work on mystic adults, but it might have some chance with children in their formative years.
This is yet another of a series of books from Dawkins that are all the same. A slightly different facet of the same arguments. I'm a fan but I was bored.
This captures a lot of what I have always felt. People see magic behind the beauty and intricacy of everything around us. I just see the beauty of science as it helps us appreciate the existence of the universe and everything within it. Putting magic behind it can't possibly give people the same sense of appreciation as when you force the brain to think and have it come to strunning realizations. It's like living inside the matrix, which is just a smoke screen. But unlike the matrix, the world outside is much more amazing than inside. Come join me outside of the matrix :)
This is a book that adults and even early teenagers can really get into. It gives a great biology background and also delves into other sciences (although Dawkins discloses that biology is his real expertise). Instead of magical, you realize that the existence of the universe and everything within it is amazing and consistent with known sciences (without a need to resort to magic or pseudo-sciences).
This book is perfect for any young adult looking to understand why they are here.
The author, Dr. Richard Dawkins, reads the book.
I found the story of the rainbow, i.e. why we see colors and how the science behind it reveals the cosmic reality, the best part of the book.
More references to further reading and exploring of the contextual subjects.
No. Have never had a need (urge) to do so.
The quality of the cover image of the audiobooks are usually very low. This said, would there be any technological solution, which would able readers to see images, which are in the book, e.g. graphs etc?
No. There is nothing new in this book, it is very basic and simplistic. It is clearly intended for children, although I'm not sure how the patronizing narration would go over even by children. Maybe especially by children.
Didn't finish it.
A more adult style, even if the book is intended for children.
Perhaps a version for adults. I like the concept, but the material was just too simplistic.
I'm a great fan of Richard Dawkins. I think he's done some great stuff over the years. But this one is a miss.
This book gave clear explanations of a lot of things in science that I already knew about, but it was nice to have this refresher that explains things very clearly and shows the interconnectedness of everything. The myths that begin each chapter are great. It occurred to me that I'd like to get the printed (or Kindle) version of this and read it to my granddaughter some day when she's a little older. I didn't give it 5 stars because it is a bit on the simplistic side and didn't reveal anything that really amazed me. But I really enjoyed the listen (especially with Dawkins himself doing the reading along with his wife) so it's a solid 4 stars.
I didn't like the narration; a little too much lecture/professor. The ideas are interesting to consider. I am a believer unlike the author and therefore don't think that everything he said is fact. However, I enjoyed the explanations of scientific fact and his order of explanation was great.
I like to listen to books for the convience. I think this book would be equally good in print
The way he images things is very intriguing and enlightning
Both are very balanced and I enjoyed both equally
I found it simple enough for a younger person to understand and complex enough to be enjoyable to even the most advanced in their fields.
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