Tony's Reviews > The Blind Watchmaker

The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins
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Feb 21, 10

bookshelves: science
Read in February, 2010

Dawkins, Richard. THE BLIND WATCHMAKER: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design. (1986). ****. If I had read this book by Dawkins when it was published, I’m sure that about 50% of it would have gone right over my head. When I read it now – twenty-four years later – only 40% of it goes over my head. This just shows what experience can do for you. Dawkins, obviously, is trying to debunk the claims of a ‘grand’ designer for the universe and bolster our knowledge and understanding of Darwin’s theory of evolution and natural selection and how it alone can explain life as we know it. To do this, he manages to come up with numerous examples to refute the Creationists and support the Darwinians, examples drawn from the fields of biochemistry, biophysics, mathematics (statistics, mainly), and taxonomy. He even delves in one chapter into cladistic taxonomy. He bases the arguments in his book to coincide with the arguments used by Rev. Paley in his book published years earlier, in which Paley refers to the creation and derivation of life as the result of the interaction of a blind watchmaker – divine intervention. Dawkins also refutes on a logical basis many other explanations for the results of evolution as we know it, including a chapter on the Lamarckian theory. It is interesting how the adherents of Lamarck hang on, and included, in the past, such luminaries and rabid supporters as George Bernard Shaw and Arthur Koestler. The book is extremely well written and adequately demonstrates the author’s erudition on this and related topics. I am constantly amazed at his depth of knowledge. So what if I missed some of it. Recommended.
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