A Devil's Chaplain: Reflections on Hope, Lies, Science, and Love

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2004 - Science - 263 pages
27 Reviews

The first collection of essays from renowned scientist and best-selling author Richard Dawkins.

Richard Dawkins's essays are an enthusiastic testament to the power of rigorous, scientific examination, and they span many different corners of his personal and professional life. He revisits the meme, the unit of cultural information that he named and wrote about in his groundbreaking workThe Selfish Gene. He makes moving tributes to friends and colleagues, including a eulogy for novelist Douglas Adams; he shares correspondence with the evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould; and he visits with the famed paleoanthropologists Richard and Maeve Leakey at their African wildlife preserve. He concludes the essays with a vivid note to his ten-year-old daughter, reminding her to remain curious, to ask questions, and to live the examined life.

 

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User Review  - satyridae - LibraryThing

It would no doubt discomfit Dawkins to know that I revere the words he writes with an almost religious zeal. I love his belligerence, I love his conviction, I love his passion. And I believe he's ... Read full review

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User Review  - HadriantheBlind - LibraryThing

Delightfully stimulating essays about a good variety of topics. Some (justified!) distrust of relativism and pseudoscience, but also tender loving parts and waxing philosophical about science, his friends, and family. Read full review

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Contents

Introduction to the American Edition
1
Science and Sensibility
5
A Devils Chaplain
8
What is True?
14
Gaps in the Mind
20
Science Genetics and Ethics Memo for Tony Blair
27
Trial By Jury
38
Crystalline Truth and Crystal Balls
42
They Told Me Heraclitus
161
Lament for Douglas
163
Eulogy for Douglas Adams
166
Eulogy for W D Hamilton
169
Snake Oil
177
Even the Ranks of Tuscany
185
Rejoicing in Multifarious Nature
188
The Art of the Developable
192

Postmodernism Disrobed
47
The Joy of Living Dangerously Sanderson of Oundle
54
Light Will Be Thrown
59
Light Will Be Thrown
61
Darwin Triumphant
76
The Information Challenge
89
Genes Arent Us
102
Son of Moores Law
105
The Infected Mind
115
Chinese Junk and Chinese Whispers
117
Viruses of the Mind
126
The Great Convergence
144
Dolly and the Cloth Heads
150
Time to Stand Up
154
Hallucigenia Wiwaxia and Friends
201
Human Chauvinism and Evolutionary Progress
204
Unfinished Correspondence with a Darwinian Heavyweight
216
There is All Africa and her Prodigies in Us
221
Ecology of Genes
223
Out of the Soul of Africa
226
I Speak of Africa and Golden Joys
229
Heroes and Ancestors
232
A Prayer for My Daughter
239
Good and Bad Reasons for Believing
240
Endnotes
247
Index
254
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About the author (2004)

Richard Dawkins taught zoology at the University of California at Berkeley and at Oxford University and is now the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford, a position he has held since 1995. Among his previous books are The Ancestor's Tale, The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker, Climbing Mount Improbable, Unweaving the Rainbow, and A Devil's Chaplain. Dawkins lives in Oxford with his wife, the actress and artist Lalla Ward.

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