THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH: The Evidence for Evolution

Editorial Review - Kirkus - Jane Doe

Look out, creationists. There's a new sheriff in town, and he talks like an Oxford don.In fact, Dawkins (The God Delusion, 2007, etc.) gave up the Oxford chair in the Public Understanding of Science in order to write full-time, and to spend more time agitating against antiscience and pseudoscience. The author opens with guns a-blazing, demanding what we might think of a Latin teacher's being ... Read full review

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I've tried a couple other of Dawkins books on evolution and put them all down without finishing them. This one a finished and enjoyed, most of it. He was much more engaging to the reader in this book and seemed to stay on topic much better, he has a tendency to get distracted. I learned a lot and even found myself eager to share some of the great things I learned with others.
Dawkins writes like he is sitting in a room having a conversation with you, which for the most part is a good thing, but he also has a tendancy to drift off subject and to insert jokes that probably won't be understood by all his readers. I'm sure there are a few I didn't get, as there was a lot of moments he made comments I admittedly didn't know what he was talking about.

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really, i like it ...

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Absolutely un put downable. Richard Dawkins is once again at his logical best.

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I found "On the Origin of Species" somewhat surprising, in that Darwin spent a remarkable amount of time outlining and detailing arguments that now, 150 years later, are widely accepted. Of
course, he was conducting what was in many aspects a thought experiment - nobody had any real idea of the mechanics of heredity, and his conclusions were often counterintuitive and unsupported, so he went to great lengths to help readers understand. Dawkins displays open contempt for creationists and Biblical literalists; sword unsheathed, he relies on science, often beautifully compelling, to eviscerate them with gusto. Maybe I couldn't use this book to convince a creationist of the validity of evolution, but I don't know how a creationist could remain a creationist after reading it. I still want to know more about how, in the face of insurmountable scientific evidence, people can claim to believe in the creation story as a matter of fact, not faith. 

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Very good book, but Dawkins keeps reverting to settling scores with creationists, which probably detracts for many.

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Simply a great book. Evolution doubters - read this book.

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Reading right now. I really enjoy it.
Dawkins writes in a way that is enjoyable to the layman.
He is funny and can't help continuous digs at ignorant people. I guess you would call him a hater.

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Despite the overwhelming evidence for evolution, Richard Dawkins’ The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution is
depressingly necessary. Even in rich countries with good educational systems, large numbers of people believe patently false things about themselves, life, and the universe: among them, that the planet is less than 10,000 years old, that all life forms emerged simultaneously in their present forms, and that humans and dinosaurs co-existed. Dawkins refutes all of these claims with logic and scrupulous evidence: considering the fossil record, embryology, molecular biology, artificial selection (such as plant and animal breeding), and other demonstrations of how life and our planet have changed together. While some of the content is technical, this is a strong book for many audiences, from those already well versed in evolutionary theory and the evidence for it to those wavering and looking for more information to develop their own understanding.
Having personally read almost all of Dawkins’ books, this one nonetheless contained a lot of new and interesting information (as demonstrated by the string of posts it prompted while I was reading it). As ever, Dawkins is skilled at using analogies and examples to illustrate complicated concepts – a talent he shares with the best of science writers. The subject matter of this book also gives him the solid grounding necessary to come across as justifiably passionate, rather than the somewhat abrasive persona he sometimes projects when discussing topics less closely married to empirical evidence. Along with The Selfish Gene and Unweaving the Rainbow, I think this is Dawkins’ best work.
The evidence for evolution is truly overwhelming. The truth of it is shouted out by the embryological development of animals, by the common elements in the developing biochemistry of nature, by the genetic linkages between all species, by fossil records and isotope ratios, and by observations of evolution across human timescales, such as when bacteria evolve to resist antibiotics. Dawkins touches on all of these, using illustrative and often unusual examples. Even those who have studied a lot of biology are likely to find many of them novel and engaging. All this makes it rather tragic that there are still educational institutions that shrink from teaching it, or insist on presenting it alongside theories for which there is not only no evidence, but excellent evidence contradicting key tenets, such as the fact that the Earth is about 4.6 billion years old. Quite simply, students learning biology in a way not infused with evolutionary theory are being an inferior education and needlessly blinded when it comes to the true character of the world. Hopefully, Dawkins’ continued advocacy will help play a role in resisting that insidious phenomenon.
My one complaint about the book is that the hardcover edition seems to have been cheaply printed, on rough and fast-yellowing paper. A book that goes to such lengths to be a celebration of the wonderful character of life on Earth ought to display it all in a somewhat more splendid way. That said, I can appreciate how the advocacy agenda of the text favours a $25 printing, rather than the $50 kind usually associated with slick glossy nature books.

Review: The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution

User Review  - Goodreads

Easily one of my favourite books ever. I can see myself reading this book over and over and using it for reference many a time. I grew up in a christian, creationist home-schooled world. I missed out ... Read full review

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