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Topic: Reading Dawkins

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Subject: Reading Dawkins
Date Posted: 5/18/2010 6:37 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 5,930
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I began reading Dawkins when The God Delusion first came out, which was an interesting, compelling read if at times a little (understandably) belligerent.  Then I dipped into The Blind Watchmaker, didn't read the whole thing, just skimmed chapters because it was the only thing on hand at the orthodontist's office. 

Now I've picked up The Greatest Show on Earth and it is just fantastic.  When Dawkins is more focused on teaching and science he's a brilliant writer.  I did my undergrad in Ecology & Evolutionary Bio, but I've been learning fascinating new things.  He's like that teacher you had in school at some point, the one who made his or her subject exciting and fun, and taught not through lecturing but through... for lack of a better word, storytelling.

I highly recommend The Greatest Show on Earth, and wondered if anyone had read any of Dawkins' other books and what you thought of him and his books.



Last Edited on: 6/18/10 6:06 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/18/2010 1:50 AM ET
Member Since: 4/27/2006
Posts: 11,045
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I read The God Delusion it wasn't bad might try the one you mentioned next!

Date Posted: 10/11/2010 11:33 AM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2007
Posts: 6,435
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I liked The God Delusion a lot.  He had me with everything except his contention that teaching your children about god and certain religious principles (like hell) is worse than if they were molested.  My mom had to go through both as a kid, and she gave up the southern baptist fire and brimstone a lot easier than she ever lost the trauma of being molested.  So that was really the one point he made in that book that I really disagreed with.

I was thinking of reading The Selfish Gene as well, as he kind of touches on that a bit in The God Delusion.  Anyone read that?

Date Posted: 10/12/2010 6:01 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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My hubby has gone through quite a metamorphosis. religiously speaking-----Lutheran parentage, nuclear physics career, U-U wife, and 'serious' reading in retirement, including The God Delusion.    All of which has brought him, now, to styling himself as "agnostic".   He was unsurprised by the results of a survey which discovered that scientists, in general, are heavily inclined  toward atheism or agnosticism.

We were both bemused by a recent survey reported in the media, in which a broad spectrum of Americans were queried as to their knowledge of "religion" and "Bible" lore, etc.    Who answered the most questions correctly?   The respondents who called themselves 'atheists' or 'agnostics'!    The poll takers thought about this finding, and ventured the theory that those were the people who had given more thought to the subject.   They postulated that those who could answer accurately questions about the  traditional teachings were the those who had thought about such teachings and become thoroughly dissatisfied with them.

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 2/16/2011 7:46 AM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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I read The God Delusion last year, and was impressed enough to try some of Dawkins' other books.  I am kind of working backwards, but I really liked The Greatest Show on Earth and I'm currently reading The Ancestor's Tale.  These books (and others, like Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne) are absolutely astounding to me.  I grew up being taught the literal biblical account of creation, and evolution was not covered, at least not to a serious degree, in high school biology.  I'm learning about this stuff for the first time on my own and never realized how clear and precise the evidence is.  It's exciting, and the same time I feel disgusted that ignorant and superstitious people (including most of my family members) can cow public schools into leaving certain facts out of a curriculum. 

Date Posted: 2/16/2011 10:00 PM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2011
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Matt-

I really liked The Ancestor's Tale. If you enjoy it, you might try The Blind Watchmaker or The Selfish Gene.

I just got a great deal on The Greatest Show on Earth at the bookstore, so that one is next on my reading list.

Date Posted: 1/27/2015 6:48 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2006
Posts: 9
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I read Greatest Show recently and except for a couple sections that made my eyes glaze over, I really liked it.  Loved The God DelusionA Devil's Chaplain is a miscellany so it's kind of hit and miss.

I plan on reading more.