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

The Magic of Reality by Richard Dawkins
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Feb 11, 2012

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bookshelves: philosophy
Read from February 11 to May 05, 2012


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message 1: by Brittany B. (new) - added it

Brittany B. Hi Michael. Very interested in your review on this one. It's in my TBR shelf already. Sounds fascinating but I have been curious what GR friends though. :)

Michael I'm not gonna finish it for a while; it had to go back to the library when I was about 2/3 of the way through it. It is fascinating from what I've read so far, and I would definitely recommend it...I have the feeling Dawkins meant for it to be suitable for a young audience, and I could never quite figure out who the intended audience was. He would fluctuate between writing for people with small vocabularies, and then writing something really hard to follow that needed to be read a couple of times. However, that's one of the difficulties with trying to bring science to the masses! I would definitely recommend it, and right now it's sitting at 4 stars, although I'm not gonna rate it until I'm finished.

message 3: by Brittany B. (new) - added it

Brittany B. Hmmm... That's interesting. Is it Psychology/Physiology type science or more metaphysical/existential type theory ? The name is absolutely catchy. It fascinates me, but then I think of my philosophy 101 class in college (i.e. how do you know your desk exists).

Michael Actually, it's a combination of things we know from all of the hard sciences: biology, physics, chemistry, etc., and it all is focused around exploring concepts that science can now explain ("Where did we come from?" "How does a rainbow work?"). Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist, but he goes way beyond just biology here.

He doesn't explore any goofy, semantic questions like whether desks exist, although he does discuss myths we have used to explain things like stars, rainbows, outer space, etc. The main idea, though, is that the scientific answer is always more surprising and cool than the things we made up, and people should realize how awe-inspiring reality is.

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