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A Devil's Chaplain: Selected Writings
A Devil's Chaplain: Selected Writings
by Prof Richard Dawkins
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

31 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dawkins is brilliant and has changes my entire outlook, 18 Mar. 2004
I was given this book as a gift sometime last year and from the moment I began reading it I felt more inteligent! Dawkins even convinced me to take Higher Philosophy, which I now plan to do at university. My point is that if this book can persude me what to take at uni it must be good. Hell, I carry it with me and read it whenever I get a spare moment. Im not going to write an evalutation of the book in full as you probably are looking for a breif overview.
I have no background knowledge of biology but Dawkins writes with such skill that I didnt need any to understand what he meant when talking about genetics, he has a way of putting ideas forward without the language getting in the way.
In his memo for Tony Blair he address the ethics of cloning and by the end of it I felt as though I'd been given a very good overview of the main issues. The next essay, Trial by Jury, at first seemed out of place to me but I must confess it has one of my favourite lines, "If I know myself to be guilty ill go witht he loose cannon of a jury, the more ignorant, predujiced and capricious the better."
To say this is the only worthy of mentioning would be a severe crime on my part, for as soon as hes done with tearing down the legal system he attacks a pet hate. Crytals, star signs and all that other new-age, postermodern junk. If you believe that "pseudoscientific drivel", that you can program crystals and they will help you then you need this book more than I. Dawkins will help you.
Dont think for a minute this help will ruin your illusion of beity inthe world around you, in fact Dawkins points out true beauty. I knew about energy and atoms etc from physics but id never seen the beauty in it before, now even expanding and contracting materials seems to have an appeal. Read it.
The following section is in support of Darwin, one essay aptly titled "Darwin triumphant". If youre new to Darwin, like I was, or think you know a bit about it this section has a lot to offer you. However in this section my favourite essay would have to be "Son of Moores Law". Here Dawkins forms a new 'law', based slightly upon Moores Law (speed of processors), to do with gentic research. I wouldnt even attempt to take the pleasure from Dawkins of telling you about it.
Where I work we all have the same sense of humour, manerisms and lexical choice. At least when on shift. After reading about memes which were introduced to me here I an understanding of why. While I could praise the "Chinese Junk and Chinese Whispers" I wont, as though it is excelent, instead I hold "Dolly and the Cloth Heads" to be perhaps the best in the whole book.
It may not teach me as much as the other essays or have the same passion as the next, "Time to stand up" (2nd fav), but I found myself laughing outloud during this more than any other. It would impossiable for me to agree more with Dawkins view on religion as he puts in forward within those pages.
Just as you are thinking theres none of those emotional parts you love so much I hit you with this: eulogy for Douglas Adams. I challenge anyone to read this without the hairs on their neck standing. Read this one with respect, people.
In short this is a fantastic book and one EVERYONE should have in their collection. Unless you are closed minded and prejuced against truth you will find this book one of your favourites. Excelent writter (excelent man) and an excelent book.


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