Book's Reviews > The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True

The Magic of Reality by Richard Dawkins
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Oct 05, 11

bookshelves: science, evolution
Read in October, 2011

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The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True by Richard Dawkins

"The Magic of Reality" is the latest contribution by evolutionary-biologist icon Richard Dawkins. Professor Dawkins is on a mission of education and in this enlightening book he reaches a younger audience by introducing science like only he can. In one of the most beautifully illustrated science books, he takes the reader on a ride on a wide-range of topics of interest that masterfully navigates between myth and what is real. This mesmerizing 272-page book is composed of the following twelve chapters: 1. What is reality? What is magic? , 2. Who was the first person? , 3. Why are there so many different kinds of animals? , 4. What are things made of? , 5. Why do we have night and day, winter and summer? , 6. What is the sun? , 7. What is a rainbow? , 8. When and how did everything begin? , 9. Are we alone? , 10. What is an earthquake? , 11. Why do bad things happen? ,and 12. What is a miracle?

Positives:
1. A wonderful book on science that is accessible to a younger audience without compromising the science lovers in all of us. Bravo!
2. It's a book written by the great Richard Dawkins, so you know the quality goes in before the product goes out.
3. A true labor of love. The educator in Professor Dawkins comes out and now even our children will benefit from his prodigious knowledge.
4. One of the most beautifully illustrated books you will ever find. Great quality binding only matched by its substance.
5. Science knowledge conveyed in a brilliant, lucid manner.
6. Great format. In each chapter, Professor Dawkins illustrates clearly the difference between the wishful and what is "really" real.
7. What a wonderful way to learn about science. Great practical examples throughout this beautiful book. A ride of knowledge, hop on! Readers of all ages will enjoy this great book.
8. Even-handed and pleasant tone throughout.
9. A wide range of fascinating science topics in the hands of the master.
10. Great wisdom throughout, "We should always be open-minded, but the only good reason to believe that something exists is if there is real evidence that it does".
11. The book cleverly goes from myth to reality.
12. The concept of magic in three tiers: supernatural, stage and poetic.
13. Evolution in the hands of the master. Awesome.
14. Was there ever a first person? Insightful indeed. The best illustrated example I've ever read.
15. Great explanation on DNA.
16. Clever examples throughout, one of the many strengths of this book.
17. A wide range of fascinating science topic in the hands of a master.
18. The three common phases of matter.
19. The importance of the scientific meyhod.
20. The concept of empty space...I finally get it.
21. The importance of carbons, organic chemistry.
22. Telling that there are no myths to describe atoms...
23. So what causes the difference between winter and summer...find out.
24. The illusion of relative movement.
25. The great Isaac Newton. Gravity, lights...we are not worthy.
26. The difference between mass and weight.
27. A great illustration of how far stars are from us.
28. How coal is created.
29. Differences between stars and planets.
30. Energy and the sun.
31. What determines the size of a star? Find out.
32. The epic of Gilgamesh. Interesting.
33. Rainbow as an illusion and how they are formed.
34. Lights as vibrations...I see.
35. Steady state versus the Big Bang theory.
36. How we determine the distance between anything in the universe.
37. How we determine age.
38. Spectral barcoders...neat.
39. Methods for detecting planets.
40. The keys for life on other planets.
41. Plate tectonics illustrated, wonderful.
42. The speed of continents, sea-floor spreading...
43. Myths debunked.
44. Practical explanation for probability.
45. Great examples of evolution...parasites.
46. How the immune system works. Fascinating.
47. Miracles what they are.
48. David Hume's irrefutable logic regarding miracles and many great examples.
49. Absolutely kindles the fire of learning.
50. An excellent gift for all occasions.

Negatives:
1. The book is intended for a younger audience and covers briefly a lot of topics. If you are expecting an in-depth analysis. This is not the book for you.
2. No bibliography.

In summary, a fabulous book for all to enjoy. I usually limit my purchases to Kindle books because of the convenience but I'm glad I was "forced" to buy this book in hardcover binding. It's a beautiful book inside and out. Substance finally matches style and it's a science book for all to enjoy and for years to come. There is a sense of awe, a poetic magic for reality. For all his knowledge, Professor Dawkins is humbled by what little we do know and how much more we need to find out about the world. It's precisely this drive to know more and that hunger for knowledge that I always wanted to convey to my children. Finally, I have a book that expresses my sentiments and I have Richard Dawkins to thank!
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