I want to persuade the reader, not just that the Darwinian world-view happens to be true, but that it is the only known theory that could, in principle, solve the mystery of our existence.
The title of this 1986 work, Dawkins' second book, refers to the Rev. William Paley's 1802 work, Natural Theology, which argued that just as finding a watch would lead you to conclude that a watchmaker must exist, the complexity of living organisms proves that a Creator exists. Not so, says Dawkins: "All appearances to the contrary, the only watchmaker in nature is the blind forces of physics, albeit deployed in a very special way… it is the blind watchmaker."
Dawkins is a hard-core scientist: he doesn't just tell you what is so, he shows you how to find out for yourself. For this book, he wrote Biomorph, one of the first artificial life programs. You can check Dawkins's results on your own Mac or PC.
User Ratings and Reviews
3 Stars Intresting .
This book definetly doesn't show a Universe that is not desighned . Alot of young Earth creationist and atheist will love this book. Creationist will try to debunk it and atheist will try to prove it !
1 Star Muddled thinking
Dawkins begins chapter 2 thus: `Natural selection is the blind watchmaker, blind because it does not see ahead, does not plan consequences, has no purpose in view. Yet the living results of natural selection overwhelmingly impress us with the appearance of design as if by a master watchmaker, impress with the illusion of design and planning. The purpose of this book is to resolve this paradox to the satisfaction of the reader.' At the core of his argument is `cumulative change.' In his view, `every organ or apparatus that we actually see' (the ear and the eye in particular are mentioned) is the result of `tiny changes cumulated over many steps.' The paradox Dawkins identifies is not in nature but in his own thinking. Is not natural selection the process whereby organisms adapt to their environment for `survival and reproduction.' (Dawkins' words quoted, ch.4) Surely eyes have developed for the purpose seeing and ears in order to hear, and thus to better adapt. Darwin himself wrote, `I sometimes speak of natural selection as an intelligent power….I have, also, often personified the word Nature.' (The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication. 1875. p. 7) Dawkins has a muddled viewpoint.
1 Star Fatally Flawed!
Richard Dawkins makes a strange and unconvincing case for the theory of evolution!
We are lucky to be here; but we're not here by chance! Yes, Richard Dawkins feels strongly both ways!
The eternal Watchmaker can't exist because even though there is a great `illusion of design', a Designer would need an even greater Designer. This certainly is not my definition of a Designer. He might want to check out `There is a God' by Antony Flew, touted as the `world's most notorious atheist' turned theist, who came up with some great philosophical arguments for theism after a 20-year study.
Against `unimaginable odds', natural selection through a patient natural sieving he calls cumulative selection, working with time and environment, is our very creator! Life is so complex (particularly DNA), it simply could not have happened accidentally. I can finally agree with him on this.
He doesn't explain, however, how life began, including non-material things such as consciousness and self. While we're at it, where did reproduction come from?
If you saw the movie called `Expelled', Ben Stein directly asks Dawkins how life started and he said he didn't know. Stein pressed him and he got a bit miffed, which is unusual for the mild-mannered Dawkins. It also begs the question of how the original stuff of the universe even came to be. How does evolution explain something coming from nothing? Sounds like a pretty shaky foundation to me.
If this is not a fatal flaw for the theory of evolution, I don't know what one is.
1 Star Willful suspension of intelligence.
Disclaimer: I didn't read past page one because to do so would have been tantamount to willfully hurling myself down the rabbit hole.
Starting off with a bang by throwing credibility to the wind, on page one Dawkins redefines biology and physics, and then, merrily tripping down the lunacy trail, he proceeds to defend his absurd classifications (computers and cars are, for the sake of his argument, biological objects) by actually admitting that he uses words in different senses when it is convenient.
Now there's reliable science for you.
Good thing he's not a chemist, he'd blow himself up.
4 Stars It's SCIENCE Folks!
Forget the "Unintelligent Design" crowd, this is about what's real in terms of what we know about the universe we live in. I Mean, Really! Not that Noah had a Tyranosaurus Rex below decks (they actually claim that!)- I have always wondered which one of Noah's kids cleaned 'that particular' cage out. Nor do I think Hawkins here is all that egotistical, he's trying to point out 'his' way of viewing Darwinism and where he himself believes others have been misquoted or misunderstood (sometimes even by themselves). But the book is readable, funny; & down to earth (like Darwinism itself), and very understandable. For a science book it's up right up there in the league with Timothy Ferris' books on what we look up at; before our own gasses block those out. And there really is no need to debate online about, or with people who don't 'get it'. They have a right to their beliefs, as long as they don't try to shove them down our throats, or worse, the throats of school children (!) as "science"! They are like the members of the Scopps trial jury who after sending him off to prison (yes, movie aside;-he lost!), then went home to their farms in Tennessee, out back to breed their hunting dogs to get a 'better' coonhound; which is exactly the thing they denied mother nature or god the right to do! Like all extreme fundamentalists they take a sentence or phrase out of the bible or koran and 'bend it' to fit whatever they already believe, that's they way they work. So what if the stars & galaxies we see PROVE that the universe is billions & billions of years old (what did Einstein know!), it doesn't say so in 'their' book! Which is what happens when religion goes from a flexible oral tradition that can accommodate new information, to a Fixed Text with a last page! Anyway read Hawkins book, it's fascinating and the clearest thing you'll find on how we got to be who we are, and very, very readable! It took a very long time for our brains to get this big, Use them!