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Publisher's Summary

The legendary biologist, provocateur, and best-selling author mounts a timely and passionate defense of science and clear thinking with this career-spanning collection of essays, including 20 pieces published in the United States for the first time. 

For decades Richard Dawkins has been the world's most brilliant scientific communicator, consistently illuminating the wonders of nature and attacking faulty logic. Science in the Soul brings together 42 essays, polemics, and paeans - culled from personal papers, newspapers, lectures, and online salons - all written with Dawkins' characteristic erudition, remorseless wit, and unjaded awe of the natural world. 

Though it spans three decades, this book, dedicated to Christopher Hitchens, couldn't be more timely or more urgent. Elected officials have opened the floodgates to prejudices that have, for half a century, been unacceptable or at least undercover. In a passionate introduction, Dawkins calls on us to insist that reason take center stage and that gut feelings, even when they don't represent the stirred dark waters of xenophobia, misogyny, or other blind prejudice, should stay out of the voting booth. And in the essays themselves, newly annotated by the author, he investigates a number of issues, including the importance of empirical evidence, and decries bad science, religion in schools, and climate change deniers. 

Dawkins has equal ardor for "the sacred truth of nature" and renders here with typical virtuosity the glories and complexities of the natural world. Woven into an exploration of the vastness of geological time is the peculiar history of the giant tortoises and the sea turtles - whose journeys between water and land tell us a deeper story about evolution. At this moment, when so many highly placed people still question the fact of evolution, Dawkins asks what Darwin would make of his own legacy - "[a] mixture of exhilaration and exasperation" - and celebrates science as possessing many of religion's virtues - "explanation, consolation, and uplift" - without its detriments of superstition and prejudice. 

In a world grown irrational and hostile to facts, Science in the Soul is an essential collection by an indispensable author.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2017 Richard Dawkins (P)2017 Random House Audio

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Wide in scope - an engaging view into Dawkins

I've just finished listening for the first time. What a JOY!

Dawkins opens up a treasure-trove of thoughts, opinions and strong assertions as those of us who've followed Richard over the years have come to expect.

No one who has learned to love this man as I have during my own sojourney into the light of rationalism and science - not one such person will be disappointed by the intimacy herein warmly shared.

Richard. You have been one of my companions along with others we both know well. Your gift of your soul is received and this atheist blesses you - namasté.

Dennis A Robinson
Calgary, Alberta
Canada

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Erudite

Eye opening. Humane, intelligent reasoning. The complexity of evolution explained in a manner a toddler could understand. Science and humor , I didn't think it was possible. Dawkins delights.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Timothy
  • College Station, TX, United States
  • 04-03-18

Not Dawkins' best by far

My recommendation would be that you read just about anything by Richard Dawkins before reading this.

There are a few interesting bits scattered here and there, but it's mostly really dull.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Great writing; distracting reading

Would you consider the audio edition of Science in the Soul to be better than the print version?

No. This was the frustrating part: multiple readers with different voices bouncing back and forth was a major distraction from the substance of what the writer offered.

What did you like best about this story?

I like best Dawkins' use of language and inspiring appeal to science, evidence, and data.

What three words best describe the narrators’s voice?

Narrators. Any (particularly the author's) would have been fine. Jumping back and forth was not fine.

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

Less so than his other works.

Any additional comments?

I love Audible. I particularly love listening to a writer read his book, because you can always tell when a reader understands the material he is reading. The emphasis is usually just right. If Dawkins had read the whole thing himself, this recording would be a masterpiece. In fact, it would be worth just doing over.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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Truly feel like I got to know Richard Dawkins

Great varied collection of writings with commentary between each one. This book managed to give the feeling of a continuous story rather than an eclectic gathering of different writings. I really enjoyed the book and getting to see the fervent dedication but jovial personality and theories that make up the man.

Although I'm a devout atheist myself, hours of listening still brought occasional existential dread, but I would just take a break a remember the joy in almost all of Dawkins' writing.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Another Fine Collection of Dawkins' Essays

This is the second such collection of Richard's essays and speeches, some of them going back a couple decades. I listened to the audiobook which was narrated by Richard and his ex-wife Lalla Ward. The content is grouped by subject matter in to eight different sections in the book with each section introduced by editor Gillian Somerscales. Each chapter contains a separate essay / speech. Richard provides an afterword to a number of the chapters with updated information or a comment about how he could've written the essay / speech better originally.

I'm a Dawkins fan so this book spoke to me and I loved most of it. It is typical Dawkins: promoting science and rationalism through subjects such as evolution and biology, and taking down religion and supernaturalism. He is preaching to his atheist and science enthusiast choir.

One section didn't quite work for me: the humor section called "Laughing at live dragons". Dawkins is a witty chap and uses humor effectively within essays but when his humor didn't work so much for me when the whole essay is supposed to be comedy.

The sections I enjoyed the most included the following subjects: anti-religion, Galapagos Islands, animal rights, and the tributes to his father and Christopher Hitchens. The animal rights essays surprised me as I've never heard Richard talk about this subject. He used his knowledge of biology to illustrate how humans underestimate the intelligence, ability to feel pain, and ability to express emotions of animals. He predicted that 100 years from now humans will look back in shame at the way animals are currently treated, just as we now look back 100 years and are embarrassed at the way certain segments of the human population were treated.

I think this is a good introductory collection of essays / speeches for someone wanting to dip their toe in to Richard Dawkins' pool of work. He is often portrayed as a divisive character due to his unabashed criticism of religion but his knowledge of biological science is hard to top and his standing as a science communicator is matched by very few today. This is an excellent collection.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great book

Great book like all that Richard writes. First class rational thinking. One of the truly great minds!!!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Marvelous collection

What a wonderful collection os essays, and speaches. Covers a broad range of sunjects. All with the classic Dawkins wit

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Very good!

A great selection of writings, well written and performed, like all of Dawkins books it is entertaining and easy to follow

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collection which seem to be thrown together

At times I marveled at what I was hearing. At other times I wondered why I was wasting my time hearing it. Overall this is a collection of stories strewn together with a lack of glue and overall point to be summarized. It felt like Dawkings was flaunting his greatness while throwing together stories instead of writing what could be a very good book. The lack of conclusion which would pull everything together was very fraustrating, especially when this was replaced by a eulogy of two of his family members!