This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

The Greatest Show on Earth, Review

Number 11 in our counting down to our paperback of the year is Dawkin’s assertive debunking of creationism. Read the first chapter here

his year, the UK’s only award exclusively for paperbacks is judged by a panel led by Ian Rankin. Over the coming weeks we will reveal our 12 shortlisted books, counting down to the winner on December 11. Richard Dawkins wrote this to close a gap in his output. This was to set out explicitly and in detail the evidence for evolution. Extraordinarily, 150 years after Charles Darwin’s seminal work, evolution is contested and science education disrupted on ideological grounds. Creationism and intelligent design are organised obscurantism. There is nothing left of them once Dawkins has finished. It is a magnificent book. To deploy science against risible ignorance may seem overwrought, but Darwin’s work on evolution, and its mechanism of natural selection and random mutation, has a fair claim to be the most important intellectual feat in history. His findings are widely misunderstood, and insufficiently appreciated for their scope and the extent to which they have been confirmed. Dawkins’ book is far from a narrow polemic. It is a sustained, elegant and learned account of the logic of scientific discovery. Dawkins has a talent for finding illuminating analogies while scrupulously advising also on their limits. His book is an impeccably constructed argument. He starts by disposing of the fatuous objection that evolution is “just a theory” and gently introduces the idea of natural selection by discussing artificial selection. Any thoughtful reader would be enthused by the clarity of Dawkins’ prose and the weight of evidence for evolution.

The Greatest Show on Earth (rrp £8.99) will be available for £2.99 from next week when you buy The Times or The Sunday Times at participating WHSmith stores.

Follow the Times WH Smith Paperback of the Year shortlist at




Does this set a record for smug...

Richard Dawkins - Comments

Does this set a record for smug nastiness?

Playboy Interview with Richard Dawkins

Chip Rowe - Playboy Comments

Playboy Interview with Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins gets it right. Sarah...

Eric MacDonald - Choice in Dying Comments

Richard Dawkins gets it right. Sarah Wollaston misunderstands.

[update to a previous article] Richard...

Hamish MacDonnell - The Independent Comments

Some church groups have expressed disappointment at the decision to invite leading atheist Richard Dawkins to speak at an island book festival.

Rats Manipulated to be Attracted to Cats

Richard Dawkins - Comments

Rats Manipulated to be Attracted to Cats


- - Ancestors Trail Walk Comments

WALK DARWIN’S TREE OF LIFE ~ 26 AUGUST 2012 - event begins on Saturday 25 August



The Magic of Reality by Richard Dawkins

Oliver Kamm - The Times Comments

Review of The Magic of Reality

Dawkins v God - stop the fight

Oliver Kamm 60 Comments



Comment RSS Feed

Please sign in or register to comment