You Are What You Read

Reviews of books as I read them. This is basically a (web)log of books I've read.

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Location: Lawrenceville, Georgia, United States

I am a DBA/database analyst by day, full time father on evenings and weekends.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Greatest Show on Earth

Yet again Richard Dawkins has impressed me with his latest book The Greatest Show on Earth. This book goes beyond the interesting facets of evolution and shows the mountains of evidence for evolution. Throughout the book Dawkins addresses the critiques made by the deniers of evolution.

Dawkins spends a good amount of text covering the basics, the fundamentals that are the building blocks for biology. He uses one chapter to cover geology, including the evidence of the age of the Earth: 4.5 billion years. He talks about how the continents have moved and how the species on the continents match up with the separation of the continents. I enjoyed learning about how a single cell grows into a human being in nine months. Again, Dawkins ties the details into evolution via the development of other species.

I also enjoyed learning about the different hominid species that have evolved since the evolutionary split from chimpanzees six million years ago. The author shows ample evidence of so-called missing links that have been discovered. He also gives a fascinating discussion about turtles and tortoises. Some species of tortoise may have made a second venture from sea to land. There is a great section about the analogues of our skeletons among the mammals and other vertebrates, especially when he compares the human hand to the wing of a bat.

This is a good book which is only enhanced by listening to the audio edition, where Dawkins and his wife do the reading. I learned facts and concepts that support evolution, plus the arguments against the silly ideas of creationism. The illustrations--which I found on the Internet--are great additions to the text. Dawkins presents a great case for the truth and beauty of evolution. A

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