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The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe… (1986)

de Richard Dawkins

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

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5,632501,326 (4.14)87
From the author of The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins' The Blind Watchmaker has been acclaimed as the most influential work on evolution in the last hundred years. In 1802 the Rev. William Paley's argued in Natural Theology 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 Richard Dawkins, and in this brilliant and controversial book, the acclaimed evolutionary biologist sets out to demonstrate that the theory of evolution by natural selection - the unconscious, automatic, blind yet essentially non-random process discovered by Charles Darwin - is the only answer to the biggest question of all: why do we exist? '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' To Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker is nature itself, gradually forming order from the very building-blocks of life: DNA. 'This might just be the most important evolution book since Darwin'   John Gribbin 'Richard Dawkins has updated evolution ... his subject is nothing less than the meaning of life'   The Times 'Enchantingly witty and persusive ... pleasurably intelligible to the scientifically illiterate'   Observer Richard Dawkins is a Fellow of both the Royal Society and the Royal Society of Literature, and Vice President of the British Humanist Association. He was first catapulted to fame with The Selfish Gene, which he followed with a string of bestselling books: The Extended Phenotype, The Blind Watchmaker, River Out of Eden, Unweaving the Rainbow, and an impassioned defence of atheism, The God Delusion.… (més)
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Book. RLS library gives away lots of books for political education. This book is missing a description. Write a description of about 150 words and you can take it or a random book home. OR, you can exchange 2 books for 3 random books of ours. ( )
  Rosaluxhanoi | Nov 2, 2020 |
As the title's extension spells out, this is a definitive (as of '87) rebuttal against all comers in favor of Darwinism, but don't let my saying so prove it. Read it for yourself.

All his arguments are crystal clear, but he takes extra time to caricature the caricature of Darwinists, pointing out exactly how the ad absurdum argument really works while also elucidating the fine points of what Darwinism IS versus what it is NOT.

He steps us through the first third of the book showing us how Selection works: from an energy standpoint, a competition standpoint, and a sexual standpoint... from the basic building blocks of proteins to more and more complex forms of DNA and the combo cells that collect all the wonderful multicellular creations, including bacteria, that eventually wind up creating us. The descriptions are quite beautiful and clear and all the while, we've got all the foundations for life... without Intelligent Design.

The argument is simple, of course. If we can explain everything, and I mean everything that is life and physics, then what purpose does adding a superfluous layer to the explanation serve?

This is ten years worth of hate mail for the author, people. He has been beset on all sides with genuinely curious and well-meaning seekers of the god-fearing sort and inundated with screaming lunatics telling him he'll burn in hell for his first book, [b:The Selfish Gene|61535|The Selfish Gene|Richard Dawkins|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1366758096s/61535.jpg|1746717], which, by the way, didn't really give a rat's ass about creationism or the people who support it. It just laid out a very cogent theory that fit all the copious mountains of data in biology. And yet, after that point, a Mr. Dawkins who professes not to want or need a PR team or lawyers, decides to put his foot down and tackle the problem that has reared its muti-angled head in his direction and DEFEND Darwinism.

He does so beautifully, I might add.

Every step of the way, he defines the complaints with due diligence and proceeds to demolish them sonar-producing batlike grace, with light humor, sharp intellect, and sometimes he makes of his opponents an overzealous meal.

Can you blame him? Granted, by this point it's only been a decade of Creationist hate. Give it a decade or a decade and a half more before we see a truly flame worthy attack from Mr.Dawkins. I'm looking forward to seeing some of it in his books. I hope it's there and not just in his interviews which I still haven't seen. Alas.

Seriously, though, this book is pretty wonderful for its lucid and quoteworthy passages and vivid descriptions of how Darwinism works, from gene level to the kinds of time-spans that can only be described as geological when it comes to real changes in evolution. I particularly loved the fact that he used computer terminology to describe how our genes are nothing more than complex computers. I've heard this before, of course, but the way he laid it out was particularly enlightening.

This stuff is pretty damn great. Just from the science viewpoint, even leaving out the whole defense, it's well worth reading and not nearly as acerbic or rabid as certain other mass-produced troll-attacks make him appear. But then again, I've only read one of his later books, the [b:The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True|11256979|The Magic of Reality How We Know What's Really True|Richard Dawkins|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1327883246s/11256979.jpg|16183684], which was just a charming bi-modal description of science versus magical thinking which also happened to "gently" draw people away from having to add that extra layer of explanation to reality. :) I guess I'll see what the other books bring, no? ( )
1 vota bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
I have only ever read one other Dawkins book before, The God Delusion, and really didn't like the style or attitude of the writing, so was not completely looking forward to this one.

The primary aim of the book is to look at all the evidence and theories that make up the Darwinian theory of evolution and natural selection. He considers all the evidence from real life examples, in particular the eye, and buy using a computer program that he wrote, demonstrates how new variants of a species can evolve with very simple initial amendments.

Later on in the book he looks at how DNA works, the effects of positive feedback on evolution and the way that mutations works of evolution and selection. He also considers the complexity of trying to document the tree of life.

Overall I thought this book was a better read than the previous one I had read. Bearing in mind it was written originally in 1986 most of it is still valid, though we now understand far more than we did then. He can get on his high horse quite often, but thankfully not so much in this book. ( )
  PDCRead | Apr 6, 2020 |
Reading Dawkins seems somehow more relevant and refreshing in 2019 than it probably was in the 80's when The Blind Watchmaker & The Selfish Gene were written. In a world where vaccines cause autism, climate change is a hoax and the Earth is still somehow f'ing flat (!), reading the thoughts of a purely rational & smart person is the brains equivalent of taking a big gulp of cold, spring water when you're dying of thirst.

The Selfish Gene is one of my favorite books and this one is not straying far from it in terms of it being a "pillar of belief" for my own conceptions of science and critical thinking. ( )
  parzivalTheVirtual | Mar 22, 2020 |
An incredible work of great importance... ( )
1 vota scottcholstad | Dec 21, 2019 |
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Almost everything about this book – the instances, the writing, the passion, the lyrical imagery – confirms again and again that there is nothing dry about science, nothing heartless about research, and nothing unfeeling about the way a biologist looks at an animal.
 

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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Dawkins, Richardautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Groot, Frans deTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Olbinski, RafalAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Pyle, LizIl·lustradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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We animals are the most complicated things in the known Universe.
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The Argument from Personal Incredulity is an extremely weak argument, as Darwin himself noted. [...]

This should be translated:

I personally, off the top of my head sitting in my study, never having visited the Arctic, never having seen a polar bear in the wild, and having been educated in classical literature and theology, have not so far managed to think of a reason why polar bears might benefit from being white. (p.38)
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(Clica-hi per mostrar-ho. Compte: pot anticipar-te quin és el desenllaç de l'obra.)
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From the author of The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins' The Blind Watchmaker has been acclaimed as the most influential work on evolution in the last hundred years. In 1802 the Rev. William Paley's argued in Natural Theology 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 Richard Dawkins, and in this brilliant and controversial book, the acclaimed evolutionary biologist sets out to demonstrate that the theory of evolution by natural selection - the unconscious, automatic, blind yet essentially non-random process discovered by Charles Darwin - is the only answer to the biggest question of all: why do we exist? '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' To Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker is nature itself, gradually forming order from the very building-blocks of life: DNA. 'This might just be the most important evolution book since Darwin'   John Gribbin 'Richard Dawkins has updated evolution ... his subject is nothing less than the meaning of life'   The Times 'Enchantingly witty and persusive ... pleasurably intelligible to the scientifically illiterate'   Observer Richard Dawkins is a Fellow of both the Royal Society and the Royal Society of Literature, and Vice President of the British Humanist Association. He was first catapulted to fame with The Selfish Gene, which he followed with a string of bestselling books: The Extended Phenotype, The Blind Watchmaker, River Out of Eden, Unweaving the Rainbow, and an impassioned defence of atheism, The God Delusion.

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