The Magic of Reality, By Richard Dawkins (Illustrated by Dave McKean)
By BRANDON ROBSHAW - THE INDEPENDENT
Added: Sun, 09 Oct 2011 04:03:49 UTC
A world so odd, you couldn't make it up
Richard Dawkins's latest book covers some familiar ground, but for an unfamiliar audience.
It is his first book for children, or at least, for a family readership. His aim is to prove that scientific explanations are not only truer than myths, but more magical. He succeeds triumphantly.
Each chapter begins with examples of myths, followed by a lucid, impassioned explanation of the latest scientific knowledge in that area. Thus, the chapter "Who was the first man?" kicks off with a Tasmanian creation myth involving people with kangaroo tails and no knees, as well as the Genesis myth of Adam and Eve. The account that follows of the evolution by natural selection of homo sapiens is more detailed, more colourful, and much more fun. And, what's more, it's true. Dawkins dramatises the mind-boggling fact of evolution with the image of a three-mile-high pile of photographs; the top photo represents you, and each photo below it the previous generation. There would be no discernible difference between any two adjacent photos; but by the time you reached the bottom of the pile you'd be looking at a picture of a fish.
Dave MacKean's funky, graphic-novel style illustrations perfectly convey the weirdness of the myths, and the far more compelling weirdness of the scientific theories.
Stephen Cave - Financial Times Comments
What we really know about our evolutionary past – and what we don’t
Stacy L. Memering,Viviana A.... Comments
Magic at Every Age
A review of Richard Dawkins, The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True
Oliver Kamm - The Times Comments
Review of The Magic of Reality
John Gray - The Globe and Mail Comments
A review of The Future of Blasphemy Speaking of the Sacred in an Age of Human Rights
by Austin Dacey
Donald Prothero - eSkeptic Comments
How the Blind Watchmaker Made Eyes
Laura Paull - Tablet Comments
In a new memoir, Herb Silverman recounts his legal battle against a state ban on atheists seeking public office