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on 29 August 1997
This book is, quite honestly, the finest book I've ever read, on any subject. I'm an economist by training, and economists have much in common with biologists and zoologists -- namely, an appreciation for how complex orders can emerge unplanned from the actions of individuals who do what they do with no thought of the larger patterns to which they contribute. Dawkins's work elevated greatly my understanding of natural-selection's ability to create order out of (seeming) chaos.
Dawkins's work also taught me something else: that obscure writing is never to be tolerated. This book, like all of Dawkins's work, conveys deep insight with remarkable clarity of expression.
Don Boudreaux
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on 26 April 1998
+AH4-Richard Dawkins well deserves his numerous accolades. Without doubt he is among the most imaginative, lucid and thought provoking science popularizers alive. In "The Blind Watchmaker" Dawkins elegantly and convincingly does away with popular misconceptions about evolution, most particularly the misconception that evolution is all about overcoming astronomically improbable odds in a single leap. If Dawkins can be faulted for anything it is for his overly+AH4-+AH4- gentlemanly handling of his less than gentlemanly (and, often, less than scholarly) attackers+AH4-
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on 17 May 2013
“Just because it’s called a theory of gravity, doesn’t mean that it’s just a guess.” Ditto the theory of evolution by natural selection. Dawkins provides a wonderfully eloquent exposition of our present understanding of evolution through to its validation by modern sciences such as genetics and molecular biology. Natural selection is our best explanation of the fact of evolution. Dawkins explains it all marvellously well.

I recommend this book to everyone, those who think they understand the theory of evolution by natural selection and those who don't, alike !
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on 5 February 1999
The first 3 chapters are tedious. They seem long and you don't get a lot out of them. It talks about the evolution simulation program he made and his experiments with them. Yet, on chapter 4 the reading material that makes Dawkins such a good author appears. It is simply a feast for the mind.
Also, read Unweaving the Rainbow by Richard Dawkins. This also is a very, very good book.
I would recommend you jot little notes when reading his books so that you can easily refer back to it. His books are intensely packed with valuable information.
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on 6 August 1999
Or in some cases, haven't even read.
The arguments in this book are unassailable. But if you haven't read it or didn't understand it, you wouldn't know this, would you? This is the best explanation of why we exist that has been written. Some people may dislike the truth that emerges in such a clear, logical step-by-step analysis of all the evidence available, but wanting something to be wrong doesn't make it untrue. The hallmark of rationality is being able to explain where you come from. Read this book.
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on 22 February 1999
The Blind Watchmaker is by far the best overview of evolution I have read, Darwin notwithstanding. Dawkins' analysis is sharp and his writing both clear and amusing. I'm not saying it's a perfect book; he spends too much time on his biomorphs, for instance. But overall, it's a remarkably consistent work and filled with fascinating examples, from bats to fish to insects. And it's gratifying to see that in the last chapter, Dawkins doesn't pull his punches when explaining why Lamarckism and creationism aren't adequate explanations of life as we know it.
I know "The Selfish Gene" made Dawkins' reputation, and he himself says "The Extended Phenotype" is his best book, but if you've never read any of Dawkins' books, this is the place to start.
Best line: " organisms exist for the benefit of DNA, not the other way around." From the "Power and the Archives" chapter.
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I greatly enjoyed this book, which is a splendid introduction and defence of neo-Darwinism. Like the best of SJ Gould, the book has real flavor because its author has a strong point of view; but just Dawkins' writing style - clear, bold, beautiful - should make it a classic of the popularization genre.

However, the strong view also points to bias, in Dawkins' case a combination of strict genetic determinism and an obsession with computer analogies. Frankly, computer simulations and pseudo-discovery stories, which over-rated magazines like WIRED promote and hype ad infinitum, are boring: so many of these books on "complexity" etc. just repeat the same stuff. Unfortunately, a lot of that seems to have originated with Dawkins, who at least does it better than most of his copiers.
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on 29 December 1998
Damning with faint praise is what they call it. The number of Creationists who've reviewed this, given it five stars, said things like "it's well written but....". You miss the point, you all miss the point by a mile. This is an excellent book, one of my top 10 of all time and this is because it's lucid, subversive, frightfully candid, stomps mightily on woolly-thinking and has the amazing distinction (like it's subject) of being probably entirely correct. Dawkins doesn't "step outside the bounds of science into religion" religion cannot justify it's bounds, it is not and cannot be immune to scientific thought. Yes, it doesn't offer the comfort that only a Creator can, but heroin does, or coke or any drug you care to name, any crutch you care to use whatever you call it to get through in life. Don't be an emotional cripple could be the message of this book. "This is coffee, smell it". And the notion of a Christian saying that the idea we are descended from rocks is absurd truly tickles me. What is rock but compact dust, dust you claim we are made from; which is not to say your wacky notions are correct. How many people could review this book and still miss the point of it is beyond me. The other answers are non-answers; cop-outs, flaky or just downright wrong. Dawkins assumes the theory of evolution is correct yes, but he answers the critics irrefutably, he provides evidence, he shows how advances in genetics, paleontology and computing not only don't disprove evolution they actually strengthen it's position. The theory has stood for over a century and it's getting stronger, more "correct" now than when Darwin thought of it. If you haven't read this book do so and be informed, if you have and still cling to your particular security blanket then there is no hope for you. Just don't say you read it and understood it, it's simple enough to understand you just don't want to.
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on 1 September 1999
Here, Richard Dawkins provides excellent insights into the physical processes of evolution, explaining in detail how DNA mutates, generates copies of itself, and explains how the laws of natural selection take over. Dawkins writes with passionate clarity and provides all the information anyone could ever wish for in order to understand the mechanisms of Charles Darwins' theory of evolution.
A previous reviewer made a valid point in saying that it requires faith to believe that natural selection alone will conduce the existence of human beings. Science has proved that evolution exists in the sense that finches' beaks have been observed to evolve over time, yet finches beaks and human beings and consciousness are obviously a different kettle of fish.
Can Richard Dawkins' theory of cumulative selection explain with affirmation that natural selection will conduce the existence of human beings? The answer is obviously no, and faith is required to believe that the watchmaker is blind. But that doesn't detract from the fact that 'The Blind Watchmaker' is an intoxicating, passionate, and at times witty affair written by a man who possesses as much vigor and focus as a religious evangelist.
A highly recommended book for anyone interested in an in-depth explanation of the processes of natural selection.
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on 14 July 1998
This book mightily challenges the Argument from Design - attacking the unexamined premise that design implies a Designer. Dawkins shows how exquisitely complex and fine-tuned biological structures arise from non-random moving about in genome space under the discipline of natural selection. Throughout, we have Dawkins fine, clear writing, although at times he does seem to be flogging a dead horse.
My favorite by Dawkins is still The Selfish Gene, but this is probably more accessible to the general reader.
Warning: if you believe in God because of the Argument from Design, then either your dogma or your intellectual integrity won't survive this book.
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