Book Review: The Greatest Show on Earth
By RYAN SUTTER - MINNESOTA ATHEISTS
Added: Tue, 08 Dec 2009 00:00:00 UTC
Thanks to PaulJ for the link.
I was raised as one of Jehovah's Witnesses, and therefore a creationist. I qualified as one of the âhistory-deniersâ that Professor Dawkins describes in his latest book The Greatest Show on Earth. I believed that human beings were created 6,000 years ago and that evolution was a lie. I had never looked deeply into the matter. I trusted my parents and my religion. The creationist literature they indoctrinated me with was very convincing to me when I was twelve.
When I was thirty, however, I had some doubts and I revisited the subject, I re-read the literature, and I was no longer convinced. In fact, I became convinced that creationism was nothing more than propaganda. This did not cause me to believe evolution was true, but it was enough to get me to read a book on evolution for the first time in my life. I chose Dawkins' book The Blind Watchmaker. I expected creationist-style propaganda but instead, thanks to Professor Dawkins' excellent and clear explanations of the fundamental concepts underlying evolutionary theory, I learned the truth. Evolution is a fact, a beautiful, powerful, incredible fact, described by an elegant, lovely theory.
I left creationism behind, left my religion behind, left my belief in God behind, and became an ardent fan of both biological science and Richard Dawkins. Dawkins wasn't entirely responsible for my deconversion, but he certainly played a pivotal role. Considering the fact that his new book seemed to be targeted at people like I used to be, I held out high hopes that this would be the sort of book that might make a difference, that could maybe convince some creationists to accept evolution. After reading it over, unfortunately, I don't feel this will be the case. This seems to be a book that predominately preaches to the choir.
It's not that it isn't a good book. It is. Itâs interesting, erudite, chock full of fascinating information, basically everything one would expect from a book written by Dawkins. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book, but I think it failed in its stated goal: spelling out the evidence for evolution as a response to the history-deniers.
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