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The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe without Design (Reissued in 2006 and 1996)
The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe without Design (Reissued in 2006 and 1996)
by Richard Dawkins
Edition: Paperback
216 used & new from $0.01

43 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Occam's Razor revisited, April 8, 2006
Occam's Razor states that entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity. All things being equal, one should go with the simplest solution (not "the most simplistic"--a telling slip!). So the universe exists: all but the most extreme solipsists will agree to that. It can be considered one "entity." So how did it get there? Oh, you see, some invisible, intangible, unverifiable being put it there. Now, that's two "entities" and one mystery "solved" by the introduction of another mystery. The next question must be: How did this invisible, intangible, unverifiable being come into existence? Oh, you see, She was "simply" there all along and has no origin. If that seems plausible, why not simplify matters further and imagine that the universe (or multiverse, if you prefer) "was there all along and has no origin"? (The Big Bang is not necessarily an absolute origin and does not imply "supernatural" intervention.) That's sticking with the verifiable and not multiplying one's entities beyond necessity. To summarize: Occam's Razor supports a monist (materialist) view of the universe, not a dualist (theist) view.

None of this, as anyone who has actually READ Dawkins's book will know, has much to do with _The Blind Watchmaker_. Dawkins is interested in showing how evolution--and more specifically Darwinian selection--is the only plausible explanation human beings have ever developed for the complexity and diversity of life. In the final chapter, "Doomed rivals," Dawkins clearly demonstrates how Lamarckism, creationism, and other pseudo-scientific and false views of biology do not and cannot offer such an explanation. If you want some of the latest thinking on cosmology, turn to Brian Greene's _The Fabric of the Cosmos_. Meanwhile, if you are interested in understanding the development of life on this planet, Dawkins's _The Blind Watchmaker_ remains indispensable.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 31, 2007 1:42 PM PDT

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