The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins

The Greatest Show on Earth

Charles Darwin’s masterpiece, On the Origin of Species, shook society to its core on publication in 1859. Darwin was only too aware of the storm his theory of evolution would provoke but he would surely have raised an incredulous eyebrow at the controversy still raging a century and a half later. Evolution is accepted as scientific fact by all reputable scientists and indeed theologians, yet millions of people continue to question its veracity....


Details The Greatest Show on Earth

TitleThe Greatest Show on Earth
ISBN9780593061732
Author
Release DateSep 10th, 2009
PublisherBantam Press
LanguageEnglish
Number of pages470 pages
GenreScience, Nonfiction, Biology, Evolution, Religion, Popular Science, Atheism, Philosophy, History, Audiobook
Rating

Reviews The Greatest Show on Earth

  • Manny
    2013-10-09
    To any Young Earth Creationist who happens to be reading this reviewFirst, thank you for getting this far. It's to your credit: you're willing to find out something about what the other side has to say. You're probably expecting I'll tell you to read Dawkins's latest book. In fact, I'm not going to do that. Don't read this book. Dawkins is disrespectful and arrogant about Young Earth Creationism, and he will only annoy you. Instead, I suggest tha...
  • A.J.
    2010-04-06
    There's a general feeling out there about Richard Dawkins that he's a little too shrill, a little too hard on people, and perhaps a tad too full of himself. I've had a couple of these thoughts from time to time, though not the last one, and would almost catch myself nodding in agreement until I put myself in the man's shoes. Professor Dawkins is brilliant with a capital B. He is fanatically devoted to science and his particular subject, evolution...
  • diana
    2009-11-04
    Two disclaimers before I begin my review:1. I am an atheist.2. I am a molecular biologist.So, I am clearly not the target audience. That being said, I really wanted to like this book. I am so happy that there are people out there who are speaking out in defense of evolution and (although not in this book) atheism, and as such I want to support Richard Dawkins. However, the best way I can sum up my feelings about the book is to say that it resembl...
  • Maria
    2011-07-09
    With the help of drawings, photos, cartoons, tables, diagrams & notes, an emphasis on extremely lucid step-by-step explanations, examples, iteration & reiteration & plenty of humor, R Dawkins shows that we are indeed so lucky to be witness to the Greatest Show on Earth -- this wonderful book is addressed not only to those interested in our natural world (and who'll maybe wish they'd majored in biology) but more particularly to the creationists an...
  • Caroline
    2013-09-14
    What a stunning read. I have read several books by Dawkins, mostly concerning evolution, and I think this was the easiest to understand. This is partly because I skipped the most difficult bits! For instance I am never going to know how carbon dating is done - but I can live with that. For the most part the book was hugely readable and deeply fascinating. The one thing that marred my pleasure slightly was the stress throughout on proving the theo...
  • Marvin
    2009-08-11
    Richard Dawkins has taken his seat along with Stephen Hawking and Carl Sagan as a great populist of science. In all of his science books and especially in The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence For Evolution, He has taken a complex subject and presented it with clarity to a population that usually gets lost in the seemingly foreign language of most scientists. Yet he does not "dumb down" neither. He has a gift for beautifully explaining difficu...
  • Kris Madaus
    2010-01-05
    Wow! This is definitely one of those books that makes you look at the world a little differently after reading. Richard Dawkins writes so well on the subject. He is extremely thorough in his description of the fact of evolution, but he doesn't dumb down his explanations either. If you are interested in a particular subject, he often references places you can go to continue the story. He paints a beautiful picture of how evolution really works and...
  • Catie
    2010-01-13
    Dawkins arguments for evolution are elegant and, in some cases, simply breath-taking. As a psychology professor myself, and as one who has had to contend with "history deniers" for years, I especially liked his description of Lenski's research on the evolution of bacteria. Although facts have always been denied by those who claim Intelligent Design as a valid explanation for all nature, Dawkins painstakingly and elegantly lays out unassailable fa...
  • Tag Riggs
    2011-02-18
    After reading this book, I quickly realized that it was targeted for a particular audience--the choir complete with holy robes and clapping hands shouting, "...Preach it brother Dawkins, preach it my brother, Evolution AMEN!, Hallelujah!" I honestly think that it is required that you be a Dawkinite and part of the Dawkins Tabernacle Choir in order for you to take this book seriously. I was fully expecting some kind of scientific treatise yet it e...
  • Kat Kennedy
    2014-09-29
    A really well written, interesting, logical discussion on evolution. I quite enjoyed this book.
  • Tyler Franklin
    2012-02-08
    Clearly, this is a love story. Dawkin's passion for his subject is contagious. It is the locus of his expertise, the focus of his joy. He can't help himself at times, asking the reader's forgiveness and veering off-task to mention some obscure fact that blossoms into its own microchapter or multi-page footnote. And it is all really quite fascinating.Many despise Dawkins. He's one of those guys people love to hate. In my experience, religious pers...
  • Abdulrahman
    2014-12-09
    The greatest show on earth, indeed.Dawkins may be an annoying, islamphobic/religiophobic, sexist prick, but there's no denying that he's a brilliant scientist. Evolution is a scientific fact. The evidence supporting it is just so overwhelming for it to be otherwise. From fossils (we've got transitional fossils, like Tiktaalik roseae , and Homo erectus ), to evolutionary leftovers (in humans, for instance, there are the appendix, wisdom teeth, a...
  • Des
    2009-10-06
    Most of what Dawkins explains in this book was not yet known when I went to school.My jaw was dropping several times during this most pleasurable trip through the physical evidence of evolution. In 4 billion years we went from a single cell to a fully developed human, and now each of us has repreated it in the 9 months we are in the womb of our mother. The wonder of epigenisis without a blueprint!But the funniest part in it was his quote of Monty...
  • Megan
    2009-09-15
    I wish I'd had engaging and interesting texts like this to read when I had to take science classes in high school. I always wanted to like science so much, but I always got bogged down in minutae, in questions the text or teachers didn't address, and in the boredom of rote memorization. This book really made me like biology. Not only does it explain concepts in an intelligent and cohesive way, it has pictures! Color pictures, even. Much like the ...
  • David S. T.
    2011-04-14
    This isn't the best introductory book I've read on evolution, Dawkins loves to insult the people who don't hold his views, goes way to far sometimes to get his point across and has a tendency to ramble on and mention interesting but irrelevant stuff. Once you get past the flaws this actually is a pretty good book, oddly by the end some of those qualities I hated about the book in the beginning, I started to appreciate more in the end (I kind of e...
  • Nikki
    2012-03-06
    Richard Dawkins is, from my point of view, a fairly unpleasant man even when I agree with him. He sets out to make this book an explanation of how evolution works (but for that, I would go with Coyne’s Why Evolution is True), and why it is the correct explanation for various phenomena we can observe around us. It’s not as bad as The God Delusion for anti-theist statements, though there are a few speckled in there, and he makes a fairly good l...
  • Cherie
    2013-06-03
    Richard Dawkins has crafted a masterpiece dedicated to explaining evolution in a way that the layman can understand, providing excellent examples of evidence from fossil evidence to observable evidence, genetic evidence, and so on. My personal favorite chapter was on the geographic distribution of animals and speciation. It is really like an extraordinary puzzle that fits together so beautifully. Richard Dawkins uses the detective analogy to desc...
  • Ana Vlădescu
    2016-12-21
    Oh, Dawkins. Tell me more of evolution, please. Speak to me of genes and their ways. Teach me things about the world. I could read this stuff for hours. I am endlessly fascinated and the more I understand of evolution, the more I am aware of how unbelievably lucky I am that I exist, that anything exists, that I can learn about it.
  • Marius Masalar
    2012-09-03
    This is a challenging book to assess. My first question, upon finishing it, is "who is this for?"The science is too involved for a scientifically illiterate fundamentalist creationist audience, the sardonic tone likewise off-putting to them, and the atheists like me who share his broad perspective hardly need a hand-held walk through the garden of nature's wonders and weirdnesses.Then again, maybe we do: it should be emphasised that this book mak...
  • Charbel
    2013-10-01
    Evolution is one of my favourite subjects, and it saddens me how many people refuse to see the beauty of it, let alone give it a chance. I've never been one to push my opinions on others, and I consider myself an open minded person, but I feel that people don't believe in evolution, simply because they don't want to believe in it. However, I am happy to say that once again Richard Dawkins has presented the unifying theory of evolution convincing...
  • M.G. Mason
    2011-08-08
    Dawkins latest book finally tackles creationism in a not-so-head-on collision. Always vowing to never answer a challenge directly, Dawkins does it in the best way he possibly could, by demonstrating why evolution is true.He seemingly leaves no stone uncovered in the challenge, often tackling direct claims made by creationists and demonstrating why they are false. He also covers how speciation has been observed and the whole "show me your transiti...
  • Steven Peterson
    2011-12-04
    Bookmarks begins its review of this book by saying: "'Like a detective reconstructing a crime' (San Francisco Chronicle), Dawkins amasses a mountain of evidence in this richly illustrated, enormously readable explanation of the theory of evolution." This book is Dawkins' effort to lay out the evidence for evolution. His target is the "intelligent design" approach to explaining why species end up as they are--explicitly rejecting Darwinian evoluti...
  • Merilee
    2010-03-20
    I am almost sad to finish this excellent book, my fifth of Dawkins'. It ranks right up there with Climbing Mount Improbable and River out of Eden. Dawkins writes beautifully, especially for a scientist, with a combination of erudition and wit. I have a fairly strong background in science, but I don't think that this book would be too much of a slog for the intelligent humanities-based reader. The book's subtitle is The Evidence for Evolution, and...
  • emile
    2015-01-05
    Evolution : The only game in town, the greatest show on earth.
  • Book
    2011-06-24
    The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins The Greatest Show on Earth is another solid book in a series of books by Richard Dawkins. This book has to do with the evidence in support of evolution. The book is composed of the following thirteen chapters: 1.Only a theory? 2. Dogs, cows and cabbages, 3.The primrose path to macro-evolution, 4.Silence and slow time, 5.Before our very eyes, 6.Missing link? What do you mean `missing'? 7. Missing perso...
  • Scott
    2009-11-12
    This book does a decent job of explaning evolution, though I have two criticisms: First, the format suffers organizationally. The book is written as a rebuttal to creationist arguments, but Dawkins addresses those arguments by interspersing them, in no coherent order, within affirmative evidence for evolution. A bettter way to format the book would have been to model it after a good legal brief. Present the affirmative case for evolution first, t...
  • Terry
    2010-03-23
    Ironically a book on evolution would be a chimera of textbook, polemic, and panegyric it does none of those things particularly well. Too informal to be authoritative and too casual to be something one could refer someone to this book fits into the wide middle of Dawkins book which are summed up as "nice but someone else has done it better".Dawkins' books seem to grow out a nagging urge to yell something at the world and "the point" is poorly spr...
  • David
    2009-12-06
    What a wonderful book! I've enjoyed several other books by Richard Dawkins, and this is his best. The chapter named "History Written All Over Us" could have been called, "Unintelligent Design". It is just one of many arguments, why evolution is a proven theory. Dawkins makes a point that a good scientific theory must be falsibiable. That means, that if certain evidence were ever collected, or observations made, then one must conclude that the the...
  • Cassandra Kay Silva
    2010-10-21
    It hardly needs to be stated that I am a generous rater in the first place. I love Dawkins but sometimes his literary skills need to be checked a bit. I feel on occasion that he rushes to publish before fully forming some of his ideas. On the other hand great experiments in this book! The E-coli 20 year extraveganza blew my mind. I would not have likely stubled across this information without having read this book. So for at least that informatio...