- Hardcover: 480 pages
- Publisher: Bantam Press; 1st edition (10 Sept. 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 059306173X
- ISBN-13: 978-0593061732
- Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 4.2 x 24 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (282 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 124,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution Hardcover – 10 Sep 2009
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More About the Author
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.
"Richard Dawkins is so much more than just the world's most famous atheist, this smart and engaging "evidence for evolution" is required reading for those who want a grounding in the facts. It's as fascinating as it is challenging" (Independent)
"In the bicentennial year of Darwin's birth Mr Dawkins fills a gap in his oeuvre by setting out the evidence that the "theory" of evolution is a fact... And what a lot of evidence there is" (The Economist)
"With characteristic flair and passion, Dawkins has put on a stunning exhibition of the evidence for evolution. In his own words, 'Evolution is a fact... and no unbiased reader will close the book doubting it'" (Dr Alice Roberts, Biological anthropologist, author & broadcaster)
"Richard Dawkins writes about evolution science with unflagging enthusiasm, wit and lucidity. This book is a wonderful addition to his already distinguished ouevre" (Brian Eno)
"Dawkins's writing demonstrates once again his consummate skill as an explainer... the topics are all laid out with that combination of clarity and verve that is [his] hallmark" (Guardian) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Dawkins combines an artist's wonder at the virtuosity of nature with a scientist's understanding of how it comes to be. - Matt Ridley, author of Nature via Nurture.
This is the book Richard Dawkins needed to write and many need to read ... clear, absorbing and vivid. - Lord Harries of Pentregarth (formerly Bishop Richard Harries).
With characteristic flair and passion, Dawkins has put on a stunning exhibition of the evidence for evolution. - Dr Alice Roberts, Biological anthropologist, author & broadcaster
Whether it’s Lenski’s bacteria or our own ancestors, Richard Dawkins discusses the evidence for evolution with his usual charm, style, clarity and brilliance. - Simon Singh, author of Fermat’s Last Theorem
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Top Customer Reviews
In a logical fashion Dawkins steps through such topics as "what do we mean by a theory", dating methods for fossils, missing links (and if there are such things), plate tectonics and its influence on plant and animal distribution, embryology and molecular genetics and evolution. Each chapter adds another layer to the evidence for Evolution. Where other scientific understanding is required it is provided. For example, there is a short description of the classic atomic models needed to understand the dating methods used on geological samples. The best chapters are the final two, and this is not to say the ones before are not of an extremely high standard. The penultimate chapter addresses Evolutionary Arms races, with a clear emphasis on predator prey relationships, while the final chapter unpacks a paragraph from the original version of On the Origin of Species to show how far reaching and advanced Darwin's thinking was at the time of its publication.
Dawkins is clear, if possibly optimistic, in his aim to address this book at those who find evolution difficult, for I doubt they will read this book. He terms these people "the history-deniers" in a clear allusion to the controversies in the study of recent History, where despite incontrovertible evidence people still deny the occurrences of certain events.Read more ›
It doesn't quite make five stars as I found another Prof Dawkins tome, The Ancestor's Tale, covers the subject in greater depth and delves into more areas that are not so widely known. But if you haven't read The Ancestor's Tale and don't know much about evolution I would certainly recommend this as a starting point.
It seems rather sad that the people most likely to read this book are those, like myself, who already accept evolution as a fact. I wish that it, and other books like it, could become required reading in schools. Give the youngsters a chance to make up their own minds.
In the beginning of the book, Dawkins likens his quest to enlighten us to that of a Latin teacher having to try to explain that although Latin is a dead language, yes, at one time there were people who actually spoke it. I, personally, am very glad that he takes the time and energy to write these books. Not only do they give me great tales to share with my eight year old daughter, but they give me much needed ammunition when those eighteen year olds in suits and ties ring my doorbell!
One last thought: isn't it weird how the most bellicose and chauvinistic reviews come from people who obviously believe in creation! Aggression comes from fear, and some of the reviews here smell like fear. I would say Dawkins has some of the creationists on the run! Good job too!!!
Still, the book is not as tight as it could be, and at times I found myself struggling to stay focused while the book went on a digression of marginal relevance (for example, there's an entire chapter on embryology which only explains why it's relevant in the last couple of pages).
Anyway, this is still a good book, but a more patient reader than I am might find it more enjoyable.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
All the alleged evidence in this book has been soundly disproven by Jewish scientist Dr Jonathan Sarfati (unfortunately, although Jewish, he currently believes in the Christian... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Rabbi C L D
A very clear and convincing presentation, marred, in my view, by his dismissal of any complications e.g. epigenetics. One wonders whether he is bit stuck in his mindset.Published 1 month ago by D. H. Rees
I am an atheist who supports the fact of evolution, and as someone who holds this position, this book made for very pleasant reading. Read morePublished 1 month ago by O.J.S
This is a superb book, so powerful. I used my reading of it as the basis of a debate on Darwin, very useful indeed. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Bryan Augarde
One of the best books I've ever read! This book is great for anyone who is interested in evolution or is just looking to get a deeper understanding of it like I did! Read morePublished 4 months ago by helen gentry