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

← The Greatest Show on Earth, Review

The Greatest Show on Earth, Review - Comments

Rob Schneider's Avatar Comment 1 by Rob Schneider

Very nice review, for a change.

Sat, 02 Oct 2010 05:17:39 UTC | #527890

Anaximander's Avatar Comment 2 by Anaximander

Extraordinarily, 150 years after Charles Darwin’s seminal work, evolution is contested and science education disrupted on ideological grounds.

What is extraordinary in that?

Sat, 02 Oct 2010 07:35:26 UTC | #527905

kscally's Avatar Comment 3 by kscally

Extraordinarily, 150 years after Charles Darwin’s seminal work, evolution is contested

A contest is defined as a real test of strength between two individuals, groups, ideas etc. There is some starting notion of relative equality. Would the same writer seriously say: 'The idea that our Earth is a sphere is contested'?

Otherwise what we have to say is 'No contest'. It's over.

Sat, 02 Oct 2010 11:00:17 UTC | #527965

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 4 by Alan4discussion

What is extraordinary in that?

Not a lot really when we consider the prominence given in much of the media to the bigotted and ignorant, often affording them a wholly unjustified "informed" status.

It's good to see a review with an informed perspective on science.

Sat, 02 Oct 2010 11:03:10 UTC | #527967

Consciousmess's Avatar Comment 5 by Consciousmess

It is a wonderful book and I have got several of my naive students to read it!!

Jon

Sat, 02 Oct 2010 16:07:03 UTC | #528077

Marie Lauritzen's Avatar Comment 6 by Marie Lauritzen

Bought it today, looks really cool. :D

Sat, 02 Oct 2010 17:35:15 UTC | #528117

rationalcynic's Avatar Comment 7 by rationalcynic

I have to express surprise at this review from one of Murdoch's papers who aren't known for their balance. They have been one of the ringleaders in whipping up 'Christianity is under attack' and 'Stop being mean to the Pope' stories. Then there's Fox News and their pro-Creationism stance. That's the real extraordinary element here. Good review ;-)

Sun, 03 Oct 2010 00:16:36 UTC | #528284

rationalcynic's Avatar Comment 8 by rationalcynic

@kscally Agreed. Or 'The heliocentric theory that the Earth revolves around the Sun is contested' ;-)

Sun, 03 Oct 2010 00:20:18 UTC | #528287

vortexcz's Avatar Comment 9 by vortexcz

I have it on my table, brand new. Just waiting after i finish Selfish Gene and God Is Not Great from Christopher Hitchens.

Excellent books.

Mon, 04 Oct 2010 13:14:06 UTC | #528781

Carlsandman 's Avatar Comment 10 by Carlsandman

I,ll have it soon, just after I've read God is not great by Christopher Hitchens.

Tue, 05 Oct 2010 20:17:48 UTC | #529528

jez999's Avatar Comment 11 by jez999

Bought it.... months ago. ;-) Just getting round to finishing the last chapters now.

Wed, 06 Oct 2010 13:02:28 UTC | #529851

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 12 by Stevehill

Having bought it, less than amusing to learn it's £2.99 next Sunday at WH Smiths!!!

Thu, 07 Oct 2010 15:39:02 UTC | #530327

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 13 by Tyler Durden

Comment 12 by Stevehill :

Having bought it, less than amusing to learn it's £2.99 next Sunday at WH Smiths!!!

Christmas is fast approaching - presents :)

Thu, 07 Oct 2010 16:01:49 UTC | #530334

MossPiglet's Avatar Comment 14 by MossPiglet

Read this recently and also 'God Is Not Great' and 'The Selfish Gene' :D

Thu, 07 Oct 2010 18:55:16 UTC | #530395

davedotcom's Avatar Comment 15 by davedotcom

An absolute steal at £2.99. I'd encourage everyone to buy it (although I'm probably preaching to the converted), read it and enjoy it.

Excellent book. My favourite RD offering so far (based on the 3 I've read).

Fri, 08 Oct 2010 12:31:34 UTC | #530781

Mark Jones's Avatar Comment 16 by Mark Jones

Splendid mini-review. Oliver Kamm writes an excellent 'Pedant's Corner' column too, highlighting grammatical errors in the printed media, often including The Times. So a brass farthing* for anyone who can spot an error in this short piece.

*Not really.

Fri, 08 Oct 2010 13:10:53 UTC | #530800

Southpaw's Avatar Comment 17 by Southpaw

Personally I thought Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution Is True was a better book and achieved what it set out to do in much neater fashion than The Greatest Show On Earth.

The Blind Watchmaker is still my favourite.

Fri, 08 Oct 2010 21:31:16 UTC | #531084

Roedy's Avatar Comment 18 by Roedy

Evolution is not really contested. It is FUDed, much the way the oil industry pays shills to confuse people about global warming.

Those doing the arguing for creationism know perfectly well they are incorrect. They argue for creationism for reasons that have nothing to do with its truth.

They are trying to preserve the power of the church to control what people consider good behaviour. They are trying to preserve the power of the church to scare people into giving them money.

Mon, 11 Oct 2010 11:55:15 UTC | #532011

tboulay's Avatar Comment 19 by tboulay

Comment 17 by Southpaw :

Personally I thought Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution Is True was a better book and achieved what it set out to do in much neater fashion than The Greatest Show On Earth.

The Blind Watchmaker is still my favourite.

The Blind Watchmaker is next on my list, I just finished Unweaving The Rainbow and before that was Climbing Mount Improbable.

I've got about 50 pages of The Moral Landscape (awesome book btw) left before I break into the Blind Watchmaker.

Fri, 15 Oct 2010 13:23:35 UTC | #533945

Axeman33's Avatar Comment 20 by Axeman33

Comment 18 by Roedy :

Evolution is not really contested. It is FUDed, much the way the oil industry pays shills to confuse people about global warming. Those doing the arguing for creationism know perfectly well they are incorrect. They argue for creationism for reasons that have nothing to do with its truth.

They are trying to preserve the power of the church to control what people consider good behaviour. They are trying to preserve the power of the church to scare people into giving them money.

The conversations I've had "with many christians" tells me it's more about their fear of another piece of their religion dying and putting doubts into their own faith then about power or money. It seems they'd rather ignore the facts than to accept them. But I just mingle with the common folk so maybe that's not a good barometer of their true reasons.

Mon, 01 Nov 2010 15:41:54 UTC | #540965

luciyahelan's Avatar Comment 21 by luciyahelan

The above statement is seen to be contradictory. The situation is very critical and need an experience complainer to resolve it. Hat’s off. Well done, as we know that “hard work always pays off”, after a long struggle with sincere effort it’s done. This conversation is going no where. It’s lacking the place of a good leader to head the things to come out on conclusion

camper trailers Sydney

Thu, 11 Nov 2010 03:58:22 UTC | #545581

independent thought's Avatar Comment 22 by independent thought

I thoroughly enjoyed this fascinating book. However, on page 407 there is an error in a very elementary concept in psychology. Mr. Dawkins states "The analogy to natural selection is 'reinforcement', the system of rewards (positive reinforcement) and punishments (negative reinforcement)."

This is an incorrect statement as punishment and negative reinforcement are absolutely not the same thing. In fact both positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement are BOTH rewarding to the subject, increase the frequency of behavior and could be jointly listed in the first part of the comment. Punishment can be both positive and negative as well and are interchangeable with the very same term in the latter part of his sentence.

Wed, 09 Feb 2011 23:53:52 UTC | #590245