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The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True | [Richard Dawkins]

The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True

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?
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Publisher's Summary

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.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

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  •  
    tasson Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 11-26-11
    tasson Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 11-26-11 Member Since 2002

    tasson

    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
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    "Broken down so even a child can understand this."

    If you are a truly religious person you will find much to be critical of in this wonderful book. It breaks evolution down into truly basic information that can be understood by anyone, even a child. I am neither religious or scientific by nature and I have pondered many of the subjects Richard Dawkins covers, but without the education in any of the disciplines that cover this information I could not be satisfied with any kind of reasonable answer. Dawkins really makes his subject understandable and he is a very good reader. Both he and Lalla Ward are easy to listen to and they kept my interest to the very end. He starts each chapter with a simple question such as "Who was the first man?" and then tells you clearly and in interesting detail exactly the answer to that question. It is one of the best science books that I've listened to.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter Rockland, MA, United States 01-02-12
    Peter Rockland, MA, United States 01-02-12
    ratings
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    "Thoroughly obnoxious narrator and partner"
    What would have made The Magic of Reality better?

    Perhaps doing something other than belaboring the obvious...


    Has The Magic of Reality turned you off from other books in this genre?

    I would actively avoid ever choosing another title from this bore who must
    love the sound of his own hideous voice and Lalla Ward is a perfect match
    for this blowhard.


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

    I would rather stick needles in my eyes.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Magic of Reality?

    If the pretentious elocution of these two holdovers from the nineteenth
    century doesn't make you throw up in your mouth, playing editor is something
    these two boobs have somehow avoided in their careers; this material is
    far from magic, it's utter crap; but that's just my opinion.


    Any additional comments?

    Hopefully, the aforementioned is enough.

    0 of 7 people found this review helpful
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