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The View from Mount Improbable

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3.85  ·  Rating details ·  61 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Inspired by the intricate wonders of the natural world, leading science writer Richard Dawkins argues that evolution is the only known possible theory that could solve the mystery of our existence. In this extract from Climbing Mount Improbable, published by Penguin in 1997, Dawkins considers the human eye, revealing how the slow but remorseless process of natural selectio ...more
Paperback, Pocket Penguin 70s #6, 57 pages
Published 2005 by Penguin Books
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Daren
Nov 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is an excerpt from Dawkins Climbing Mount Improbable, specifically related to the evolution of the eye. It is published here as a Penguin 70.

I found this fascinating, and well presented. It discussed the varied types of eye, and the evolutionary developments happening side by side. It describes in detail the way the eye as a whole, and the various parts of the eye operate, and the differences in the eyes of lesser evolved animals and more evolved. At the end it veers briefly into genes and
...more
Steve Mitchell
Jul 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
If creationists want to attack Darwinian evolution, they always seem to turn to the eye as the example of “proof” that the theory is flawed and that there must be a designer and a creator: God. This extract from the Richard Dawkins book Climbing Mount Improbable looks at the forty different ways (possibly as high as sixty) that eyes have evolved. Creationists also cite Darwin’s own doubt about his theory explaining how the eye formed; which they always quote out of context. Darwin did indeed say ...more
Regina Cattus
Dec 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
It's only fifty pages long, but it goes into incredible detail. I've never thought about eyes so hard before. Dawkins not only goes into the biology of it, but the physics, and to a degree the philosophy. But putting it that way doesn't do it justice. For a book that's inevitably packed with niche terminology, it's impressively accessible to the casual reader (i.e. me), though I did have to re-read some pages to make sure I understood it completely, and it is almost certainly easier to read with ...more
Coenraad
Dec 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
The well-known apologist for evolution, Richard Dawkins, describes the possible way in which different eyes have evolved in the animal kingdom. He writes engagingly, drawing the reader into his argument. My favourite snippet in this excerpt of a book-length esssay on evolution is the way in which he criticises the nomenclature of geneticists when naming particular genes! Not light holiday reading, but an interesting demonstration of how evolution explains the world.

Richard Dawkins is bekend vir
...more
Ape
Mar 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Horay! Having just registered some of my TBRs in the hope of getting some of them read and off the mountain, I thought I would get on and read this slim little book I've had waiting for about a year.

It's an excerpt from Dawkin's book Climbing Mount Improbable (which I haven't read). This is looking at the evolution of the eye, and the different kinds of eyes that have evolved independantly - nature's many different responses to the same problems. Mind-boggling really, to be honest, to start con
...more
Roelof Kotvis
Feb 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
This little gem reads like an "Evolution Theory for Dummies". Dawkins takes the reader on a trip around the animal kingdom, explaining in great detail and with an inescapable logic, the ways in which animal eyes have developed. Several techniques of forming images, some simple, some complex, are described. The author points out the remarkable similarities between the eyes of completely different species and the distinctions between the eyes of animals that are clearly related, all of which help ...more
Andrew
Apr 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
Richard Dawkins is a man driven by a passionate love of nature, and it shows. I think he is also driven by hatred and intolerance (I think he might even hate me), but we'll leave that aside for now. I learned a lot about eyes from this short little chapter. Eyes are fascinating. I have been looking at pictures of eyes on the internet because of Richard Dawkins.
He writes in a clear conversational tone, but I didn't like the 'Mount Improbable' allegory - and he relies on this image far too heavily
...more
Marcus
Sep 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Nice explanation of evolution of the eyes but the style somewhat hampered by the brevity of the format.
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