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

The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins
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Jan 07, 2010

really liked it

A fine book. Dawkins has a wide and solid grasp of his subject, from molecular genetics to paleontology, and he's an engaging and witty writer. But this book should have been subtitled "The Argument for Evolution," rather than "The Evidence for Evolution." Not that there isn't plenty of evidence in this book, or that it's not convincing (or should be convincing, at any rate, to anyone whose frontal lobes haven't turned to talcum powder under the influence of creationism), it's just that Dawkins can't resist long exposition and deep argument--he's a born explainer. The result is that where another author might have marshaled a large number of examples, Dawkins offers deep disquisitions on computer simulations, nerve pathways in giraffes, and E. coli reproduction. Nothing wrong with that; the evidence is both fascinating and effective, but this book may not be exactly what every reader expects.

As a side note, it's too bad that Dawkins's naturally clever, smooth, and erudite prose is marred by a certain repetitiveness ("let me repeat again…", "at the risk of repeating myself…."); it's as though he's glancing over his shoulder as he writes, looking to see if any creationists are out there, ready to cherry-pick his words out of context. It's not Dawkins's fault, of course, and my preferred solution--sterilizing creationists after nailing their tongues to loose copies of The Watchtower--probably isn't practical.
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