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Blind Watchmaker

4.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  19,361 Ratings  ·  598 Reviews
From the author of The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins' The Blind Watchmaker has been acclaimed as the most influential work on evolution in the last hundred years. In 1802 the Rev. William Paley's argued in Natural Theology that just as finding a watch would lead you to conclude that a watchmaker must exist, the complexity of living organisms proves that a Creator exists. N ...more
Published February 5th 1991 by Penguin UK (first published 1986)
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Paul Bryant
I should explain the point about the watchmaker.


If you’re walking along in the countryside and you come across a rock, you don’t say, well, where the hell did that come from and who made it? It’s a rock. No one cares. There’s no notices stuck on trees or printed in local free newspapers anywhere saying “have you seen this rock? Description – roughly three inches by four by three; last seen in the Dorchester area; undistinctive grey colouring; answers to the name of “rock”; reward –
Riku Sayuj
Nov 17, 2014 Riku Sayuj rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Riku by: Manjunath Muddaraju
It is a good thing that Dawkins himself takes the trouble to think about which chapters of his books will be of vanishing interest in the near future. Of course, he turned out to be more accurate than he must have wished for. This must be the most boring of all Dawkins’ books, but I do not want to give up on him till I read ‘The Extended Phenotype’ which just might prove to be the best (scientifically) of all his works. With whole chapters devoted to the driest taxonomy problems and to disprovin ...more
Mar 23, 2011 Manny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
Dawkins loves explaining evolutionary theory, and this is one of his best books. My favourite bit is the section on long-tailed birds (peacocks, etc). From the point of view of simple utility, they are rather baffling. What use could you possibly have for that long, stupid tail?

But, as Dawkins keeps reminding us, it's not about survival of the species, or even of the individual, but rather of the gene. Suppose there's a sex-linked male gene that disposes towards long tails, and a sex-linked fema
Oct 01, 2008 Mostephl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
wow and double wow. i read this through and turned back to p.1 to read it again.

blind watchmaker has been amazingly influential in the way i think about just about everything- the world, existence, life forms, physics- down to the micro, myself and my craft. it's sent chills down my spine, made me euphoric and angry. the first for finally addressing questions that have long been in my mind (but receive no echo in society as i've known it), the second for the willful repression of information an
Feb 08, 2008 Laura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
This book was okay, but since I already am convinced evolution occurs by natural selection, I felt like he was not preaching to the choir, but trying to convince the choir. Of course, I got tired of it after a while (but I had to keep going, because I had to read it for a class). He comes up with many different arguments/theories for how evolution/natural selection could occur, many of which are interesting, but I would just rather read a science book rather than a philosophical book on evolutio ...more
Nov 29, 2014 Lotz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two summers ago, I did myself the favor of reading The Selfish Gene. Well, I didn’t quite read it; rather, I listened to Dawkins and his wife, Lalla Ward, narrate the book, as I took long walks in the forest near my house. Incidentally, I think Dawkins (and, to a slightly lesser extent, Lalla) has a magnificent voice; it’s a pleasure to hear him speak.

But that’s a matter of taste; what is not a matter of taste is the quality of that book. Agree or disagree with Dawkins, one must admit that The
Simon_Cleveland_Ph.D. Simon_Cleveland_Ph.D.
Dawkins is one of my top picks for the most articulate, engaging and proficient scientists I've read to date. The Blind Watchmaker turned out to be a very prolific piece. I was baffled by his logical analogies, most excellent examples and extremely engaging vernacular.
In this work, one learns much about the evolutionary adaptations of numerous species, of which the sonar technology of baths, dolphins and other mammals seemed most shocking.
His reasoning of what constitutes miracles, probability
Seth Hanson
Feb 03, 2012 Seth Hanson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At the time, this was a tough book for me to read. Considering the way I was raised - in a heavily religious atmosphere - it was hard for me to accept the theory of evolution. However, Dawkins very clearly lays out the theory in a way that anyone can understand if they are willing to open their mind just a little and put in just a little effort. It might be hard to accept but its even harder to dispute. Reality is like that. I think everyone should be required to read this book.
Farid Ahmadian
Jun 29, 2013 Farid Ahmadian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
هنوزم در تعجبم که چنین کتابی چه طور اجازه نشر در ایرانو گرفته؟ گرچه ظاهرا تنها کتاب منتشر شده از آقای ریچارد داوکینز در ایران هست ولی بسیار خوشحالم که این کتاب ترجمه شده و من هم خوندمش.
بهر حال این کتاب رو یکی از دوستان در رد آفرینش بهم معرفی کرد و حقیقتا تسلط نویسنده بر روی مباحث فرگشت باعث شده تا به زبان ساده مفاهیم علمی به خواننده های عادی منتقل بشن.
در این کتاب با مفاهیم علمی بسیار زیادی آشنا شدم و از خوندنش بسیار لذت بردم و به همه ی دوستان هم توصیه میکنم حتما بخوننش، ولی برای من به هیچ عنوان
Mohamed  Abo-Elgheit
صانع الساعات الأعمى

كتاب جيد، وترجمة جيدة …
كاتب يتكلم كثيراً، مجادل أكثر منه عالم، يرهقك أحيانا من كثرة ما يخلط من أفكار بالفكرة الأساسية، غير أن حجته في النهاية وفي أغلب الأحوال تستحق التأمل.

الذي يريد أن يقوله دوكنز في هذا الكتاب هو أن التطور لا يمكن إلا أن يكون داروينياً. يرى دوكنز أن كل من يريد أن يفسر ظاهرة تطور الأنواع بطريقة أخرى غير الداروينية، إما أن يصل في النهاية إلى حارة مسدودة، أو لا يصل على الإطلاق.

والداروينية هي تفسير للتطور على مبدأ الانتخاب الطبيعي: الطبيعة تنتقي العناصر الأكثر
Oct 06, 2007 Charles rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Enchantingly beautiful fiction, 23 Mar 2007

Musings of a fideist (a materialistic fideist).

Richard Dawkins has a breathtaking gift for expressive, catchy writing. His handling of illustration and narrative flow like silk. Yet he reminds me of an eloquent 19th century clergyman. His persistent dedication to the high altar of gradualistic explanation, however incredibly improbable, stretches credulity to breaking point. Take for example his extraordinary leap on p.134, para 1, where self-replicat
Ergun Coruh
Aug 19, 2011 Ergun Coruh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Blind Watchmaker is probably one of the best introductory books on evolution.

Dawkins takes his time, explaining step by step how Darwinian evolution works.

Dawkins explains at great length, how species that look like a "complex design" evolve with accumulating small changes via natural selection, why natural selection is "blind"; ie. it lacks purpose, how random mutations combined with non-random natural selection is necessary for evolution to take place, and why a "complex design" does not n
Inanc Gumus
Apr 06, 2013 Inanc Gumus rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
This book was a real eye opener for me. I couldn't understood what the evolution was and was finding it non-sense. When they say: 'the nature designed this creature like this.', 'it gave them wings' etc. etc. I was thinking: 'how non-sense this is that the nature designed them, it is not possible, the nature is not a smart thing to do that'.

But, I was all wrong.

Because, the nature doesn't have to be smart to design such creatures. It even doesn't need to design. They don't emerges by luck or ch
Apr 28, 2011 Arjen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the third book by Richard Dawkins I read and another winner. The other two being The God Delusion and The Selfish Gene.

Whereas The God Delusion is an angry book and The Selfish Gene a book of insight, The Blind Watchmaker is a book of calm and lucid explanation. Dawkins explains Darwins theory of evolution in his trademark clear, witty and highly readable style. He has the talent to break down complex concepts in understandable bits and often uses enlightening analogies to clarify his re
Amir ali
Nov 03, 2013 Amir ali rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: فلسفه
کتاب «ساعتساز نابینا» نام تنها اثری است که از ریچارد داوکینز در داخل کشور ترجمه و چاپ شده است. چاپ کتابی از این اندیشمند که یکی از معروفترین آتئیستهای حال حاضر جهان میباشد در ایران علاوه بر اینکه مایه شگفتی است حرکتی بسیار قابل ستایش است، چرا که علاوه بر اینکه جوانان جویای علم را با زبانی ساده و قابل فهم با نظریات روز علم زیستشناسی آشنا میسازد، فرصتی را نیز فراهم میکند تا به دلایل این نویسنده برای رد آفرینش انسان و طبیعت آشنا شده و در مورد آن به تفکر پردازخته و حتی با پیشرفت نظری، امکان نقد و بح ...more
Aug 10, 2013 Paul rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2013
I have only ever read one other Dawkins book before, The God Delusion, and really didn't like the style or attitude of the writing, so was not completely looking forward to this one.

The primary aim of the book is to look at all the evidence and theories that make up the Darwinian theory of evolution and natural selection. He considers all the evidence from real life examples, in particular the eye, and buy using a computer program that he wrote, demonstrates how new variants of a species can evo
Aug 24, 2013 Tyauvinon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
There was a lot of interesting items in the book, but it became a bit tedious at times. I suppose since I did not need convincing on the validity of evolution, i was ready to move onto the next section, but Dawkins continued to expound the argument, way beyond what I felt was required. Also it was very dated, the computer analogies were so out of date. (Many people would have no idea about computer tape, or the reference to it lying on the floor). My feeling was that both genetics and computers ...more
Maar Naap
Apr 02, 2014 Maar Naap rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
على عكس الشائع عن دوكنز في الأوساط الإسلامية أنه غير منطقي و أطروحاته ربما ترقى إلى السخافة, لم أجده كذلك في المجمل. بل يطرح رؤية ثم يستدل عليها بأدلة علمية و عقلية منطقية (سواء اقتنعت بها أم لم تقتنع). و ربما يدعو هذا إلى النظر في باقي كتبه.

الكتاب يتحدث أساسا عن قضية التطور و أسسها من طفرات عشوائية و انتخاب طبيعي (غير عشوائي حسب وصفه) مع
إتاحة الزمن الكافي, و هو ما يقاس بملايين السنين. و عن أن هذا التطور قادر بذاته بلا توجيه من أحد (إله) على صنع كل ما يبدو في الكون على أنه تركيب زكي و تنظيم معق
"I don't agree with Dawkins much of the time (I find his atheism as fanatical as the religions he criticises), but find him an intelligent and entertaining read. He posits the other side of the coin to the argument for ""intelligent design"". Some very funny correspondence in the Guardian this month (October 2005), included one query that GWBush might be evidence against intelligent design."
Robert C.
May 14, 2015 Robert C. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: knowledge
I've got reviewers block.

To overcome this, I'm going to write a page of absolute garbage that may only be tangentially related to this book. In other words I'm going to do what I normally do anyway.

Here's the bit where I write about where I got the book and why: I picked this book up at a charity book stall for fifty pence. The cover was dull, but it had 'Dawkins' in big letters and I knew that I'd read a book by him before (The God Delusion) and that I'd almost enjoyed it and that he was famous
The reason I liked much of this book is because it's not (really) a science book. It is a book of philosophy. Sure, there are bits of science involved, and every now and then Dawkins gets too involved in the specifics of the radar systems of bats or the replication of crystals, but at its heart, this is a book of thought experiments and incisively constructed philosophical arguments. It called me back to so much of what I loved in my college philosophy classes, things I would ruminate over for h ...more
The last two chapters took this text from a 4 to a 3 for me. The initial chapters provided a very good overview of how evolution works with particular emphasis on cumulative selection and mutation. The chapter on sexual selection was also quite good, although not quite as good as "The Red Queen" by Matt Ridley. It all falls apart with a dreadful discussion on Taxonomy and continues to descend with a discussion about rival theories to evolution. Taxonomy involves how animals are grouped together ...more
Apr 19, 2014 Bernie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just finished. I'd already read "The Selfish Gene," so this covered some similar ground but in more depth. As an intelligent nonscientist, I found it a good introduction to a modern understanding of evolution, mostly accessible, though a bit dense in a few sections.

As a refutation of Creationism or "Intelligent Design", the book is pretty much overkill, since "Intelligent Design" is an inherently absurd argument that negates with its assumed premise the very thing it sets out to prove (that anyt
Russell Ince
Jul 20, 2011 Russell Ince rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Essential reading for anyone wanting to better understand how we got here. Dawkins does a wonderful job of explaining adaptive complexity and it becomes clear that Darwinian evolution is not only scientifically sound but also axiomatic: that which can survive does so, and that which cannot survive, does not! In the chapter entitled 'Doomed Rivals' Dawkins also discusses the scientific alternatives to Darwinian selection and demonstrates why they are flawed.

He also shows how punctuated equilibriu
Nov 16, 2013 Saby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the second Richard Dawkins book that I read. I'd read `The selfish gene' a few months prior and it had created much chaos in my otherwise peaceful religious life. I'd never given evolution or atheism too much of thought until then. I followed this up with `The blind watchmaker' just to see if the pattern of rational thought that was so evident in Dawkins' narrative was sustained. And it was. While `The Selfish Gene' will always be my favourite Dawkins (even though I eventually remained ...more
Jun 09, 2011 Kurtbg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To me this book provided the author a way to respond to what he most likely felt as an elegant and very moving argument against evolution by an 18th century theologian William Paley. That's how he derives the books title. But this book is not a tit for tat rebuttal to Paley's work. Instead the book is broken into chapters based on Dawkin's on reasoning behind why evolution is the best way to describe how we came to be here.

Unfortunately, Dawkin's has an edge. He has all the observation of the sc
Larry Cunningham
Better late than never, I suppose. I bought this book not long after it was published, and for some reason it was relegated to an obscure bookshelf until recently. Once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down. This has to be the best-written and most easily understood book I've seen on the complex subject of evolution. Though many of the facts are dated by now (the way he describes the computer he used for his simulations of evolution brought back memories of my far-off youth), the arguments he m ...more
Terry Grigg
Dawkins’comes up with some good ideas, concepts and examples of explaining evolution, like the development of the eye and bat sonar, and to his credit mentions speciesism and the arms race in nature. I like this line ‘Evolution continually became stuck up sterile blind alleys. Degeneration seemed to be the commonest outcome of even the most carefully guided evolution.’ Idiocracy for sure. He goes on about the sieve principle of selection, how things are arranged in nature as they are, the produc ...more
Mar 19, 2014 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A suburb explication of the mechanics of evolution, intended to show how complexity can arise through the "blind," but non-random process of evolution by natural selection. It serves as a sequel to his The Selfish Gene (1976) by extending and generalizing some of the material presented in that earlier work. The Blind Watchmaker (1986) is a classic in the field, and is still referenced by later works, even by the recently broadcast evolution episode of the 2014 TV series "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odys ...more
Mostafa azizi
Feb 25, 2010 Mostafa azizi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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Blind Watchmaker 7 91 Nov 13, 2013 12:27AM  
Science and Inquiry: September, 2011: The Blind Watchmaker 41 86 Oct 02, 2011 06:39PM  
  • Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life
  • Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo and the Making of the Animal Kingdom
  • Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes: Further Reflections in Natural History
  • Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution
  • Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design
  • Life: A Natural History of the First Four Billion Years of Life on Earth
  • Why Evolution Is True
  • The Origins of Virtue: Human Instincts and the Evolution of Cooperation
  • Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea
  • The Origins of Life: From the Birth of Life to the Origin of Language
  • Genesis: The Scientific Quest for Life's Origins
  • Voyage of the Beagle
  • The Meme Machine
  • The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution & Future of the Human Animal
  • Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters
  • Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors
  • The Counter-Creationism Handbook
  • God, the Devil, and Darwin: A Critique of Intelligent Design Theory

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“There is something infantile in the presumption that somebody else has a responsibility to give your life meaning and point… The truly adult view, by contrast, is that our life is as meaningful, as full and as wonderful as we choose to make it.” 53 likes
“The Bishop goes on to the human eye, asking rhetorically, and with the implication that there is no answer, 'How could an organ so complex evolve?' This is not an argument, it is simply an affirmation of incredulity.” 24 likes
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