River Out Of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more

Buy New

Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
Buy Used
Used - Very Good See details
Price: 2.79

More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Start reading River Out Of Eden on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

River Out Of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life (SCIENCE MASTERS) [Paperback]

Prof Richard Dawkins
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 6.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
You Save: 2.00 (22%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 4 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it tomorrow, 30 Aug.? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition 5.99  
Hardcover --  
Paperback 6.99  
Audio, Cassette, Abridged, Audiobook, Unabridged 9.99  
Unknown Binding --  

Book Description

The river of Dawkins's title is a river of DNA, flowing through time from the beginning of life on earth to the present - and onwards. Dawkins explains that DNA must be thought of as the most sophisticated information system imaginable: ¿Life is just bytes and bytes of information,' he writes. Using this perspective, he describes the mechanisms by which evolution has taken place, gradually but inexorably, over a period of three thousand million years. It is the story of how evolution happens, rather than a narrative of what has actually happened in evolution. He discusses current views on the process of human evolution, including the idea that we all trace back to a comparatively recent African ¿Eve', and speculates that the ¿information explosion' that was unleashed on Earth when DNA came into being has almost certainly happened in other places in the universe.

Frequently Bought Together

River Out Of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life (SCIENCE MASTERS) + Climbing Mount Improbable + The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Life
Price For All Three: 24.98

Buy the selected items together

Product details

  • Paperback: 196 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix; Reissued 2001 edition (20 May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857994051
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857994056
  • Product Dimensions: 1.6 x 12.7 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 96,787 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Richard Dawkins first catapulted to fame with his iconic work The Selfish Gene, which he followed with a string of bestselling books: The Extended Phenotype, The Blind Watchmaker, River Out of Eden, Climbing Mount Improbable, Unweaving the Rainbow, The Ancestor's Tale, The God Delusion, The Greatest Show on Earth, The Magic of Reality, and a collection of his shorter writings, A Devil's Chaplain.

Dawkins is a Fellow of both the Royal Society and the Royal Society of Literature. He is the recipient of numerous honours and awards, including the Royal Society of Literature Award (1987), the Michael Faraday Award of the Royal Society (1990), the International Cosmos Prize for Achievement in Human Science (1997), the Kistler Prize (2001), the Shakespeare Prize (2005), the Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science (2006), the Galaxy British Book Awards Author of the Year Award (2007), the Deschner Prize (2007) and the Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest (2009). He retired from his position as the Charles Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University in 2008 and remains a fellow of New College.

In 2012, scientists studying fish in Sri Lanka created Dawkinsia as a new genus name, in recognition of his contribution to the public understanding of evolutionary science. In the same year, Richard Dawkins appeared in the BBC Four television series Beautiful Minds, revealing how he came to write The Selfish Gene and speaking about some of the events covered in his latest book, An Appetite for Wonder. In 2013, Dawkins was voted the world's top thinker in Prospect magazine's poll of 10,000 readers from over 100 countries.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Nearly a century and a half after Charles Darwin formulated it, the theory of evolution is still the subject of considerable debate. Oxford scientist Richard Dawkins is among Darwin's chief defenders, and an able one indeed--witty, literate, capable of turning a beautiful phrase. In River Out of Eden he introduces general readers to some fairly abstract problems in evolutionary biology, gently guiding us through the tangles of mitochondrial DNA and the survival-of-the- fittest ethos. (Superheroes need not apply: Dawkins writes, "The genes that survive . . . will be the ones that are good at surviving in the average environment of the species.") Dawkins argues for the essential unity of humanity, noting that "we are much closer cousins of one another than we normally realise, and we have many fewer ancestors than simple calculations suggest." --Christine Buttery

Book Description

The Number One SUNDAY TIMES bestseller. A fascinating explanation of how evolution works, from bestselling author Richard Dawkins.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Explore More
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great Reductionist?? 5 Aug 2005
By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAME
In my Navy days, The Landing Force Manual was the guidebook for transforming sailors into combat soldiers. It was a catalogue of techniques teaching bivouacking, patrolling, land occupation and defense. Richard Dawkins has unabashedly given us a similar primer useful in learning to deal with those still resisting Darwin's concept of evolution by natural selection. Like The Landing Force Manual, "River Out of Eden" is an arsenal of topics that, once learned, may be applied in conversational combat with those still resisting the idea that evolution is the way life works. With thorough knowledge and captivating style, Dawkins gives us illuminating examples of how life has achieved what appear to be miracles.
Dawkins re-initiated the debate over evolution's mechanics with The Selfish Gene. For his lucid explanation of the gene as the foundation for life's workings, he was dubbed The Great Reductionist by those uncomfortable with the concept that genes tend to override the treasured idea of "free will" overriding Nature. With River Out of Eden, Dawkins proves his ability by presenting an even more comprehensible account of how DNA is the foundation for life's mechanics.
He begins with the idea that all life had ancestors - all of which succeeded in producing offspring. Their success at reproducing overshadows the fact that most life forms ultimately went extinct over the vast span of Earth's time. Extinction is due to failure to produce offspring that survived to further reproduce new generations. The reasons for this failure are uncountable and obscure, but the issue remains success or failure. Tracing the ancestral line allows us to envision rivers of life. The rivers aren't composed of water, but of DNA.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Richard Dawkins is a master at explaining the principles of evolution in a way that is accessible to readers, whether they are experts in the field or novices. His books are thought-provoking to readers of all backgrounds. River out of Eden continues the tradition he has set in his previous books. It is hugely enjoyable, full of ideas, metaphors and beautifully written English. The narrative builds in excitement and I could not put it down when I first read it, and now still dip in to marvel at the ideas. Richard Dawkins' view of gene-driven natural selection is not pessimistic but hugely enlightening and this book explains and develops the concept in a way that shows the excitement of modern biology. As a Biology teacher, I recommend this book to all my students (including non-biologists) as a thought-provoking way of looking at the wonder of theoretical life sciences. The world is seen through different eyes as a believer in Darwinism.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Dawkins again uses metaphors to try to explain and demystify the complexities of evolution. Once again he sheds more light on how evolution works, how long it takes and why his sceptics are wrong. This is perhaps one of the books best features; unlike his critics who so often simply deride him without trying to argue against the points he makes, Dawkins takes critisms made against his work and systematically disproves them. And therein lies his appeal, Dawkins has no blind faith, or fear of the unknown. He approachs the complexities of life as we find it from a rational view point and gradually applies the knowledge available to him from the biologists of the past two centuries to try and understand the underlying principles behind life. Another great book from Dawkins, but the Selfish Gene remains a more complete analysis of evolution.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational 15 Dec 2009
Having already read some Richard Dawkins's works and knowing that "River Out of Eden" is his shortest book and the least technical one, I was initially reluctant to reading it, but it turns out it was well worth it.

Subtitled "A Darwinian View of Life", it is just that, with a bonus philosophical tint. Feeding on the ideas of Professor Dawkins's previous books ("The Selfish Gene", "The Extended Phenotype" and "The Blind Watchmaker"), this is a short volume, albeit dense in themes and thought-provoking, unlikely to allow you to easily let go of it until you have finished reading.

The first chapter, "The Digital River", rests atop the river metaphor. Starting with the obvious remark that every living organism is sure to have had an unbroken line of successful ancestors (i.e. ancestors that did not die before having at least one offspring that survived them), the author proceeds to explain that "It is not success that makes good genes. It is good genes that make success, and nothing an individual does during its lifetime has any effect whatever upon its genes". Thus the river of the title is "a river of DNA" that "flows through time, not space. It is a river of information, not a river of bones and tissues: a river of abstract instructions for building bodies, not a river of solid bodies themselves". Admirably sticking to this metaphor, Dawkins explains descent, heredity and speciation in this easy to comprehend style, turning later on to the differences between analog and digital transmission and showing why the DNA code can be regarded as digital information that gets passed down the generations.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Could of been more easily explained to the laymen.
Published 2 days ago by Mustafa
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This will be really beneficial for my AS Boilogy next year.
Published 1 month ago by Louis Potts
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
A bit heavy going in places for someone like me who is not very technical, but interesting non-the-less. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Barry G. Gibbins
2.0 out of 5 stars I knew I shouldn't have bought this one
I am not a fan of Darwinian Theory but bought this to challenge my views and see if I could be persuaded. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Miss S. Brittlegill
5.0 out of 5 stars Exellently & clearly written!
As with all the other works I have read from Richard Dawkins, this book adds further clarity to the reality of evolution. Read more
Published on 1 July 2012 by Bob
3.0 out of 5 stars Popularised version of 'The Selfish Gene' which doesn't quite work
1995 book - about 20 years after 'The Selfish Gene' and a few years after his Royal Institution Christmas lectures. Read more
Published on 15 Jan 2012 by Rerevisionist
5.0 out of 5 stars Dawkins evolves
Having read all of Richard Dawkins and been a regular attender at his lectures, I came to this book through an audio version read by him; doing a lot of travelling at one time, I... Read more
Published on 6 Sep 2011 by RR Waller
5.0 out of 5 stars Our DNA through the history of life.
A well explained, if a little bleak, look at evolution as a metaphor of DNA flowing like a river through time. Read more
Published on 31 May 2011 by CkVega
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun read
'River Out of Eden' is another good read from Richard Dawkins. Everything you'd expect from Dawkins is here: clear explanations; smooth (and at times brilliant) prose;... Read more
Published on 27 Dec 2010 by GoatHorns
4.0 out of 5 stars River Out of Eden
Dawkins goes mad in paradise! At his usual flowing best; acerbic at times, .i.e. too opinionated! And what has God got to do with Eden? Secret: so you must read on yourself! Read more
Published on 3 Aug 2010 by Mr. Piotr J. Masiak
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
Science and humility 0 22 Sep 2010
See all discussions...  
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions

Look for similar items by category