The Greatest Show on Earth - Richard Dawkins

The Greatest Show on Earth

By Richard Dawkins

  • Release Date: 2009-09-22
  • Genre: Life Sciences
The Greatest Show on Earth book review score

4.5 Score: 4.5 (From 230 Ratings)

The Greatest Show on Earth Richard Dawkins Book Review Score: ★★★★★ 5/5 stars

Richard Dawkins transformed our view of God in his blockbuster, The God Delusion, which sold millions of copies in English alone. He revolutionized the way we see natural selection in the seminal bestseller The Selfish Gene. Now, he launches a fierce counterattack against proponents of "Intelligent Design" in his New York Times bestseller, The Greatest Show on Earth.

"Intelligent Design" is being taught in our schools; educators are being asked to "teach the controversy" behind evolutionary theory. There is no controversy. Dawkins sifts through rich layers of scientific evidence—from living examples of natural selection to clues in the fossil record; from natural clocks that mark the vast epochs wherein evolution ran its course to the intricacies of developing embryos; from plate tectonics to molecular genetics—to make the airtight case that "we find ourselves perched on one tiny twig in the midst of a blossoming and flourishing tree of life and it is no accident, but the direct consequence of evolution by non-random selection." His unjaded passion for the natural world turns what might have been a negative argument, exposing the absurdities of the creationist position, into a positive offering to the reader: nothing less than a master’s vision of life, in all its splendor.

The Greatest Show on Earth book review; book recommendations; Life Sciences books;.

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User reviews about this book

  • Monkeys R us.

    By What a hilarious app
    A delightful book. This is about evolution. Scientists now know that the monkey man idea is not just a theory, it is a fact. We came from monkeys. Jumping, screaming, howling, spitting, dancing, grabbing branches, pooping, peeing, flailing arms and legs in the treetops, showing teeth, grimacing, making noises, screeching, eating bananas and mating. And after millions of years, it happened! One day, 2 monkeys in a treetop in Africa were swinging, screaming and showing teeth. Then they mated. And out came.....a human baby! The mother monkey wrapped it in some leaves, fashioned a bonnet on its head, and fed it a banana. Evolutionists now affectionately refer to this creature as “Dawkins man”. A silly little baby with human features but having 2 additional features: a compound third eye in the middle of the forehead, and a huge, single ostrich like feather in place of a tail. Scientists do not yet know what this feather did. Dr. Buffon at the French Academy believes it may have served as a tickling tool to tickle away baby dinosaurs. This provided it with a survival advantage. All the descendants of this baby creature had very low IQs. It seems to have flourished in the British Isles up to a million years ago. The feather and compound eye disappeared along the way but the extremely low IQ remained. A few of the later cretin like descendants became science writers in London. One of them is actually named Dawkins, Richard Dawkins, the supreme dogmatic monkey man proponent. Dawkins thinks that if you don’t believe in evolution you are “evil”, despite what he writes that nobody has any free will in any case and therefore cannot help that they don’t believe in evolution. Their “memes” made them not believe. I don’t believe we came from monkeys but I can’t help it because I don’t have free will. The memes in my brain force me to believe Dawkins is an idiot. I can’t help that. The memes are now forcing me to laugh at the whole idea of monkey man theories. If I had free will I would like to be an actual monkey like Dawkins. I have to go now and read other books just like this one. I am now picking up the next in this series. It is called Alice in Wonderland
  • Too advanced for creationists

    By SanAntonioFBuser
    The book is well written and provides excellent rebuttals to silly creationists who will defend their baseless opinions to the grave. It is time to place all modern day religions into the same mythological category as every religion that came before them. This book puts those poisonous doctrines to rest.
  • Great science!

    By Benjalamelami
    I think the book explains very beautiful science. It really show how incredible our universe with easy to comprehend language as well as elegant writing. Alas, throughout the book he invests too much energy emphasizing why religion is wrong.
  • A Gem.

    By Barlowjd
    I'm a long time science lover, yet only recently have I become lustful enough of the actual knowledge to seek it out. In that quest for information this book has sparked my imagination like no other. It will not be the only Dawkins I read.
  • A Very Good Introduction to a Sometimes Difficult Subject

    By a_fassano
    For someone without a science background, this book can be a little difficult at times. However, Dawkins's anecdotes and wry tone make this an engaging read. He generally steers clear of creationist arguments, though he does mention and demolish some of them throughout the book. One caveat: I read parts of this book on my phone. There were a number of pictures (which were very good), and they were difficult to navigate at times. I didn't have this problem on my tablet, though, so if you're going to buy an electronic copy, I'd make sure that you had an iPad or it's equivalent, or just buy it in print.
  • Worth reading

    By DivProg
    This book is great for those who are looking for facts that support evolution. It's quite thorough and maybe a bit overwhelming for the average person out there. But if you have the time to pare, this book won't disappoint you. You will be well informed.
  • The greatest book on evolution.

    By 5-Spoons
    Dawkins keen intellect and rapier wit come through once again. His passion for facts and evolution make a compelling case for Darwinism. Young earth advocates will not like the information presented, though may understand his fervor for his beliefs. As a scientists, this book helped clarify my understanding of a topic I not well schooled in (till now!). If I taught college science of any discipline, this would be required reading.
  • Open minds?

    By Skydreamerydr25
    Really? Many of us that believe GOD created all also believe GOD gave us the ability to survive and therefor to evolve! It seems to me all the GOD bashers are the ones without an open mind! Personally I think believing that SOMETHING came out of absolute NOTHINGNESS and that a NONLIVING thing suddenly PRODUCES a LIVING thing is just as silly,crazy,dumb, and idiotic as many say, thinking GOD created all by saying "let there be.....", is!
  • Impressive!

    By Babaloo50
    I bought this book on CD to listen to on the way to see my sister in Denver (1000 mi trip for me). I was so impressed with the way the book was presented and the flow of the material that I had to buy the book outright. This is a fascinating read and a must for anyone interested in how the world we see evolved. All science fields support the information in this book. I was a little, shall we say, put off by Dawson's obvious frustration with religious dogma, but I can certainly understand his position. The case for evolution is unshakeable, and pretty obvious to anyone with an open mind. How one deals with the religious aspect of the concept is a personal decision for all. But to deny the process of evolution is just ridiculous. As for me, my faith is still strong and unshaken. The miracle of life is the only way to experience the universe. I recommend this book to all.
  • Title is the best description

    By m_distefano
    The title of this book is truly represents the main subject matter that it covers. I read this book as an atheist so in that regard he was preaching to the choir. I have read several of Dawkin's other books and have not been disappointed, however, this one clearly shows the wonderful worldview that awaits one upon abandoning the parochial shackles of one based on religious dogma. The truth is so much better than fiction when it comes to life on Earth and this book explains, in Dawkin's characteristic tone of wonderment, how exactly life came about and then evolved into conscious beings. It is well written, eloquent, and awe-inspiring. Filled with examples Dawkins takes us on a wonderful journey that shows the incredible history of life itself. To me there is no greater show on earth.

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