Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on February 3, 2007
If you don't know Dawkins yet and want to familiarize yourself with his opinions and attitudes, this is the best place to start. It is a broad collection of his usual subjects, treated here in shorter texts. You will meet a convinced neo-Darwinist, an aggressive atheist, a clear, witty and sometimes arrogant writer on mostly scientific issues, a lot of them leaking into general society matters, ethical questions, political assessments, and starting bases for anti-religious tirades (which are usually completely to the point and right). If you know him from his longer books, read this collection of essays anyway, it doesn't do any damage.
I found nothing really new in it (after reading the God Delusion, the Selfish Gene, the Blind Watchmaker, and Climbing Mount Improbable before), but I was happy to find this principal statement: he is a scientific Darwinist, but politically an anti-Darwinist. That needed to be clarified, although it should also be obvious (and although in this short version it looks like a slight on Darwin, which is not intended). He uses the good analogy of the medical researcher who as a scientist understands cancer, and as a practitioner fights it. Or in other words: things are not becoming right by wanting them to be so, or in reverse, they don't become wrong because you don't like them.
I can not follow him everywhere though. His comments on "speciecism", as an equivalent of racism, go too far for me. Maybe once the Jurassic Park Authority has reconstructed Lucy, I may change my mind on this, but I am not sure that I will live long enough to witness that.
19 people found this helpful
Report abuse Permalink

Product Details

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
180 global ratings