Jhay Rocas's Reviews > The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution

The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins
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Aug 20, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: debunking, of, creationism, intelligent, design, biological, evolution, natural, selection, 2009, richard, dawkins, history, biology, science, non-fiction
Read 2 times. Last read March 20, 2010.

Reading this book is like going back through all my classes in biology, genetics, and evolution; all in one sitting. Well not literally because of my busy schedule, it took me two months to read the entire book.

Going back, Richard Dawkins presents the case for evolution and the evidences for it in a simple, witty, fun and realistic way. Even a friend of mine who had no formal science training and just a few units of biology was immersed with reading only a few pages of the book. By the time he gave the book back to me, you can see it in his eyes that he had a clearer understanding of evolution, well the significance of tree rings and how we use them to date fossils.

What I really enjoyed about this book is the way Dawkins took on the skeptics, deniers and critics of evolution with concrete evidences and how these have been blinded by their own beliefs and misconceptions.

He cleared up a lot of misconceptions about evolution. Once such misconception goes on like this:
"I'll believe in evolution when a monkey gives birth to a human baby."

To which Dawkins responds so straightforwardly in Chapter 6, page 155:

"Once again, humans are not descended from monkeys. We share a common ancestor with monkeys. As it happens, the common ancestor would have looked a lot like a monkey than a man, and we would indeed probably have called it a monkey if we had met it, some 25 million years ago. But even though humans evolved from an ancestor that we could sensibly call a monkey, no animal gives birth to an instant new species, or at least not one as different from itself as a man is from a monkey, or even from a chimpanzee. That isn't what evolution is about. Evolution not only is a gradual process as a matter of fact; it has to be gradual if it is to do any evolutionary work. Huge leaps in a single generation - which is what a monkey giving birth to a human would be - are almost as unlikely as divine creation, and are ruled of for the same reason: too statistically improbable. It would be so nice if those who oppose evolution would take a tiny bit of trouble to learn the merest rudiments of what it is that they are opposing."

And the book has plenty more cases to refute and debunk those who oppose and deny evolution. The same cases and examples are also the book's points of strength in explaining how evolution works to the lay man. The book has done one thing brilliantly, prove that evolution is a fact. An undeniable fact.
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