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This book does three things. It does two brilliantly, and it does one a little less so.
First, the book lays out the scientific evidence for evolution, and it does so in a way that any curious-minded reader regardless of scientific background can follow. The details build point by point to demonstrate what scientists ask and how they find their answers. This is the strongest feature of the book--demonstrating the precise evidence and the predictive and provable conclusions of evolution theory. Dawkins never reaches for a grand explanation until he has shown the precise scientific evidence used to prove that explanation.
Second, Dawkins answers criticisms of evolution theory as he goes along, showing for instance that it can be proven and tested by predictable experiments, and that ideas like irreducible complexity are invalid.
Third, he holds a running argument with believers of religions, and at times is almost taunting. While I understand that he has been attacked by some believers often enough to be defensive, I think this makes an otherwise scientific text personal, and is likely to repel rather than convince doubters. He weakens his logic, for instance arguing points like "no creator would do X instead of Y, thus proving that creation is wrong." (not actual quote). Who could say what a creator would do? It's a minor objection, not enough to cost a star because the evidence as laid out stands firm despite this issue, but it weakens his presentation.
Over all, this is a beautiful, intriguing, and engaging scientific summary that demonstrates the complexity of life and makes one see the universe differently. Evolution Theory does not try to understand the origins of life itself, only how species came to be differentiated, and for the life of me I can't understand how it can be so controversial. If doubters read this book, maybe they would feel less afraid of or threatened by the subject, and we could all put this debate behind us.
46 of 49 people found this review helpful
This book is amazing look into the world of evolution. Very easy to understand providing examples and studies after every scientific explanation and theory. Narration was wonderful, the dual narrators complement each other perfectly. How fascinating that evolution involves Geology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy. A full and enriching book, a must read.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful