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The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  37,572 ratings  ·  1,190 reviews
***30th Anniversary Edition***

Cover note: Each copy of the anniversary edition of The Blind Watchmaker features a unique biomorph. No two covers are exactly alike.

Acclaimed as the most influential work on evolution written in the last hundred years, The Blind Watchmaker offers an inspiring and accessible introduction to one of the most important scientific discoveries of
Paperback, 30th Anniversary Edition, 466 pages
Published April 6th 2006 by Penguin (first published January 1986)
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Travis Rebello The Greatest Show on Earth presents evidence we have to believe that evolution has happened and that Darwin's theory of how it happened—or rather the …moreThe Greatest Show on Earth presents evidence we have to believe that evolution has happened and that Darwin's theory of how it happened—or rather the neo-Darwinian synthesis—is correct. The focus is on the various sorts of empirical evidence supporting the theory. The Blind Watchmaker is concerned with more theoretical issues. The main argument of the book is that evolution by natural selection is the only known mechanism capable of explaining adaptive complexity—or the appearance of design in nature. It is an extended response to William Paley's argument that the appearance of design in nature is evidence of a divine designer. The book also tries to remove some obstacles to properly understanding the process of natural selection.(less)

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Ahmad Sharabiani
The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design, Richard Dawkins

The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe without Design is a 1986 book by Richard Dawkins, in which the author presents an explanation of, and argument for, the theory of evolution by means of natural selection.

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «ساعتساز نابینا»؛ «ساعتساز کور»؛ نویسنده: ریچارد داوکینز؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز نخست ماه دسامبر سال2014میلادی

عنوان: ساعتساز ناب
Paul Bryant
Jun 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: abandoned, godreads
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 –
Nov 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As the title's extension spells out, this is a definitive (as of '87) rebuttal against all comers in favor of Darwinism, but don't let my saying so prove it. Read it for yourself.

All his arguments are crystal clear, but he takes extra time to caricature the caricature of Darwinists, pointing out exactly how the ad absurdum argument really works while also elucidating the fine points of what Darwinism IS versus what it is NOT.

He steps us through the first third of the book showing us how Selectio
Riku Sayuj
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
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A rather well-written book. I like the writing style of Pr. Dawkins.
It was not as challenging as "Selfish gene". But I guess its complexity is pretty relevant to the level of articulation many have. However, it was a great read and made me think more about the topic.
Sep 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 25, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Sanjay Gautam
Jul 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I never really knew what evolution is till I read this book. Dawkins is great at explaining difficult concepts - making things as simple as possible, but no simpler. And his love and commitment for science is shown through his freely flowing, almost musical, prose. I loved this book. It has expanded my horizons.
Aug 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biology
Having thoroughly enjoyed Dawkins’ outstanding The Selfish Gene, my initial impression of The Blind Watchmaker was a bit of a letdown. Dawkins wrote the book to counter creationist thinking, but for a firm believer in Darwinian evolution, his lengthy arguments were unnecessary. However, if Dawkins converted any creationists, I would consider the book a great success. With that said, there were a number of things I did like. Below are some items that caught my attention.

Darwin’s concept of gradua
Orhan Pelinkovic
If you are interested in evolutionary biology I would highly recommend this book. The author is very aggressive in convincing the reader in evolution by means of cumulative natural selection compare to all the other beliefs (natural selection in one step, creationist, etc.)

I've read the Serbo-Croatian translation Slepi Časovničar autora Ričarda Dokinsa Heliks 2010 publishing / 496 pages / 133,407 words.
Roy Lotz
Jul 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 Th
L.G. Cullens
Feb 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
As per the synopsis:

The Blind Watchmaker is the seminal text for understanding evolution today. In the eighteenth century, theologian William Paley developed a famous metaphor for creationism: that of the skilled watchmaker. In The Blind Watchmaker, Richard Dawkins crafts an elegant riposte to show that the complex process of Darwinian natural selection is unconscious and automatic. If natural selection can be said to play the role of a watchmaker in nature, it is a blind one—working without for
Simon Cleveland, PhD, EdD
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 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
Jose Moa
Nov 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biology, science
This book is a more nail in the coffin of creationism.
It develops the darvinian theory of evolution,change and selection,but at a more deep level than the original Darwins theory,the deeper level of molecular biology and molecular genetics,subjects this unknown in the Darwins time as the quantum electrodinamics was unknown in the Maxwells time but explains at a deeper level the electromagnetic fenomenology.

The first chapters explains the incredible aparition of wonderful organs as the human eye
Jun 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition of my aims in the book is to convey something of the sheer wonder of biological complexity to those whose eyes have not been opened to it. But having built up the mystery, my other main aim is to remove it again by explaining the solution...

He managed the above, but I didn't enjoy this as much as The Selfish Gene or The God Delusion. It delves deeper & wanders around Darwinian Evolution & other theories more than I want or need. I hadn't planned to read this since I understood this from h
Ergun Coruh
Aug 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
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
Mario the lone bookwolf
One of the best and most understandable arguments for evolutionary theory and natural selection

Please note that I put the original German text at the end of this review. Just if you might be interested.

In the spirit of Darwin, Dawkins argues soundly, comprehensively, in this form of a non-fiction book rhetorically above average and merely correct. In contrast to his later work "The God Delusion," which is so full of polemics, he refrains from doing so. He endeavors to provide factual and scient
Oct 06, 2007 rated it it was ok
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-replica
Brit Cheung
Some parts of the book are quite intriguing while a few chapters carry some ponderousness, leaving me in a bewilderment of what Dawkins intends to convey .

Just put aside the evolutionary theory and natural selection and find something amusing. In the female birds' preference for a long tail section, it seems the female birds were in a dominant position in choosing what kind of male birds she likes, be they long tails or short tails. This reminds me of a hilarious essay of James Thurber which he
Analyzes all the various flavors of Darwinist evolution and some competing theories
Richard Dawkins is a very lucid and intelligent proponent of evolutionary theory and biology when he isn't getting into vitriolic debates with Creationists, which is an exercise in futility for both sides I'd say. I admire him for trying, but frankly trying to use logic and scientific reasoning with people who think the world is 6,000 years old, was created by an all-powerful being who somehow still tolerates Dona
David Rubenstein
Dec 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, biology
I enjoyed this book very much, despite the difficulty of reading the very small typeface. Dawkins' style is almost folksy, and not at all the arrogant, condescending style that some reviewers mention. The first chapter, about echolocation in bats, is fascinating. I also enjoyed reading about the different philosophies involved in taxonomy, the classification of species. Some reviewers mention that Dawkins' explanations are "old hat", and that the computer simulations are primitive; but they do n ...more
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science, favorites
Here are some key points I gathered from this wonderful wonderful book:

- According to Dawkins, Darwinism seems to be more in need of advocacy than other branches of science. For instance, many people have no grasp of quantum mechanics, but that doesn't make them oppose the theory as nonsense. This could have religious implications.

- One big problem with Darwinism is that everybody thinks he understands it.

- The main reason why most people disbelieve Darwinism is that our brains are built to deal
Terence M (Somewhat indisposed)
I read "The Blind Watchmaker" as a paperback probably 25 or more years ago, so my 3 Stars rating was given from memory when I loaded details of my books collection into Goodreads not long after I joined in October 2011. I think I was probably less than generous with my rating at the time and these days my thinking is that the rating should have been 4 Stars minimum. I don't intend to change the rating now, but I also own "The Blind Watchmaker" as an audiobook and it's possible I might read liste ...more
Aug 17, 2012 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
Manab Meem Arafat
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfic
While I enjoyed it, Mr Dawkins is probably the ultimate preacher for the choir. More people would be convinced watching an episode of Sagan's Cosmos than slugging through this book. I still remember how Cosmos changed the teenage me. Just remember the high-and-mighty all-smiles Sagan! This preacher, one Ricky Dawkins, with his pompous writing, repeating the same phrases, picking fight with other preachers of the same flock (like Reverend Steven J Gould) and offering the worldview that no other b ...more
May 15, 2014 rated it did not like it
what a dilettante. had to read this for class and it was the sloppiest writing i encountered all semester. Dawkins wants to make a claim for the defense of wonder in his Watchmaker analogy but wonder for him may only go so far as encountering a world consisting of only fact and artifact. This dogmatic assertion kind of puts a significant limiter on the line of questioning one may consider, much less wonder over.

What is apparent here is that William Paley's defense of design takes up the same so
Navid Asmari Saadabad
Apr 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
I suggest everyone interested in the origin of life and especially those who were born fundamentalist creationists, to read this book. I would like to quote a paragraph from the book:
“A physicist certainly doesn’t need Darwinism in order to do physics. He might think that biology is a trivial subject compared with physics. It would follow from this that, in his opinion, Darwinism is of trivial importance to science. But he could not sensibly conclude from this that it is therefore false!”
Inanc Gumus
Apr 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science
This book was a real eye-opener for me. I couldn't understand what the evolution was about and I was finding it non-sense. When they say: 'nature designed a creature like this and that.', 'it gave them wings' etc. I was thinking: 'What nonsense is this? It's not possible, nature isn't smart to design a complex creature'.

But, I was all wrong.

Nature doesn't have to be smart to design something. Living beings don't emerge by luck or chance but from necessity. Small and gradual steps make those cre
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Science and Inquiry: September, 2011: The Blind Watchmaker 47 151 Jun 21, 2018 05:08AM  
Blind Watchmaker 8 105 Mar 30, 2018 08:48PM  
SCIENCE IS WONDER...: Introduction to evolution 1 1 Oct 27, 2016 11:32PM  

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