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The Greatest Show on Earth: the Evidence for Evolution by Richard Dawkins: review - Comments

God fearing Atheist's Avatar Comment 1 by God fearing Atheist

"IDiot" = "pink blancmange" LOL!

It won't stick - "IDiot" is shorter.

Sat, 19 Sep 2009 12:27:00 UTC | #398931

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 2 by Stafford Gordon

One great science writer and communicator talking about another one such; bravo!

Sat, 19 Sep 2009 12:28:00 UTC | #398932

ggab7768's Avatar Comment 3 by ggab7768

Bravo indeed!
What a fun little review.

Sat, 19 Sep 2009 13:07:00 UTC | #398940

j.mills's Avatar Comment 4 by j.mills

Positive stuff, though Jones implies reservations about "the atheistical cage-rattling that marked The God Delusion".

Now, he's entitled to this view, but what kind of word is "atheistical"?! How does it differ in meaning from "atheistic"? Indeed, wouldn't "atheist cage-rattling" be perfectly intelligible? I trust this montrous linguistic mutant will immediately be extinguished by natural memetic selection.

More pertinently: the review's skim through TGSOE reminds me how much the book covers the same ground as Origin Of Species, systematically gathering evidence from embryology, biogeography, fossils, etc. It is of course bang up to date and thus suffused with confirmatory evidence unavailable to Darwin; but it's satisfying to see how well Darwin's arguments have held up; and disappointing that they need to be made again. Although Richard's book is inevitably more accessible and current, any reader persuaded by it ought equally to be persuaded by reading OOS in the first place; which only emphasises how closed to persuasion are the 'history-deniers'.

Still, well done Richard, on yet another splendid read!

Sat, 19 Sep 2009 13:08:00 UTC | #398941

mattincinci's Avatar Comment 5 by mattincinci

Sat, 19 Sep 2009 14:31:00 UTC | #398960

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 6 by Jos Gibbons

Comment #417081 by j.mills

Many people think verbosity is impressive, as RD showed in Postmodernism Disrobed, and suffices such as -ic, -al and -ical are fertile ground for this error. I would have hoped Steve Jones would rise above it, but it seems all opponents of "the New Atheism" (read: not shutting up) are the sort of person who focus on style more than they do on substance, both in how they judge others and in how they conduct themselves.

Sat, 19 Sep 2009 15:00:00 UTC | #398965

JackR's Avatar Comment 7 by JackR

I confess I'm unaware of Jones's position re "New Atheism" but I didn't detect any note of censure or disapproval in his "atheistical cage-rattling" aside. I took it merely as a statement of fact. There's no doubt that "The God Delusion" did rattle plenty of cages, and a good thing too.

Sat, 19 Sep 2009 15:31:00 UTC | #398967

Moq's Avatar Comment 8 by Moq

Nice commentary/review by Steve Jones from a viewpoint of knowledge. Reminds me to get "Almost like a whale" for my collection, which is an earlier evidence for evolution book based on the OOS template.

I'm disappointed by the lack of Monty Python reference when blancmanges where mentioned.

Sat, 19 Sep 2009 15:57:00 UTC | #398973

Mr DArcy's Avatar Comment 9 by Mr DArcy

Another good review for Richard's book! I couldn't help smiling at Steve Jones' view that evolution happens quickly; his example? Snails!

Don't fret about the "cage rattling" remark, TGD was written in part because of 9/11 and it needed writing. Jones is a 1st class scientist.

Sat, 19 Sep 2009 16:00:00 UTC | #398974

SaintStephen's Avatar Comment 10 by SaintStephen

4. Comment #417081 by j.mills on September 19, 2009 at 2:08 pm

I trust this montrous monstrous linguistic mutant will immediately be extinguished by natural memetic selection.
NOBODY expects the Persnickety Spell Checker ATTACK!

(Nice alliteration, though. And WHERE, exactly, is Mr. Guihen??? I'm beginning to think he's SINGLING ME OUT. Spell-exual Harrassment, maybe?)

Sat, 19 Sep 2009 16:47:00 UTC | #398987

mmmcheezy's Avatar Comment 11 by mmmcheezy

What a fantastic review! I especially loved this sentence

"Dawkins compares creationists to Holocaust deniers and spoons, with relish, an acid sauce of mockery onto that absurd confection of half-baked ideas."

I had to read it out loud to my husband and interrupt his video game, it seemed so appropriate. Although it almost seems like it's missing a comma...

Sat, 19 Sep 2009 17:26:00 UTC | #398997

j.mills's Avatar Comment 12 by j.mills

ainttephen: I'm o ahamed. I'm going out now to tick my head in a bucket of water. ("He jut phoned up to wah hi head at u.")

(Pardon me if my alluion are piralling into obcurity... I probably hould get out more...)

Sat, 19 Sep 2009 19:10:00 UTC | #399024

the4thNeutralNuclide's Avatar Comment 13 by the4thNeutralNuclide

Re Thomas' post 417131

Say 'Over..' when you want them to talk back
Say 'Out..' when you want them to stop talking


Never, ever say 'Over and out'. That's a
bastard hybrid, beloved of makers of bad war movies.

Makes my skin crawl...

Take for some meme destruction...

Sat, 19 Sep 2009 20:07:00 UTC | #399031

SaintStephen's Avatar Comment 14 by SaintStephen

13. Comment #417166 by j.mills on September 19, 2009 at 8:10 pm

Well if you're expecting forgiveness, may I direct you to the 9,456 churches in Texas alone, not including the ones in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, or Austin.

Yer welcome.

Sun, 20 Sep 2009 00:06:00 UTC | #399069

j.mills's Avatar Comment 15 by j.mills

9456 churches? Gee, Texas must be full of sweet, kind, merciful, humble, gentle christians!

Sun, 20 Sep 2009 00:25:00 UTC | #399073

SaintStephen's Avatar Comment 16 by SaintStephen

Now that j.mills has stopped pestering me, I had a chance to read this delicious review.

In short, I thought it was magnificent. Steve Jones is an exceptional writer.

Review ranked as Most Excellent.

Sun, 20 Sep 2009 00:58:00 UTC | #399082

NewEnglandBob's Avatar Comment 17 by NewEnglandBob

Nice review.

Sun, 20 Sep 2009 02:02:00 UTC | #399091

Duff's Avatar Comment 18 by Duff

Lets not bicker, boys. Over and out.

Sun, 20 Sep 2009 09:22:00 UTC | #399157

Mr DArcy's Avatar Comment 19 by Mr DArcy

9456 churches? Gee, Texas must be full of sweet, kind, merciful, humble, gentle christians!

Reminds me of that Clint Eastwood line : "There's just the three of us, me and Smith and Wesson".

Sun, 20 Sep 2009 17:42:00 UTC | #399297