jueves, 10 de junio de 2010

The Greatest Show on Earth – Richard Dawkins

In Charles Darwin’s masterpiece The Origin of Species, he was the first person to propose natural selection as a mechanism for the process of evolution. Through ample studies and modern advancements such as DNA, we know that his theory is true in more ways than he could have fathomed. However, what we also know is that all of his ideas were not correct. In The Greatest Show on Earth, Richard Dawkins attempts to recreate an argument for evolution that uses modern examples, experiments, and data. The book was written on and in honor of the 150 year anniversary from the publication of The Origin, and it very nearly mirrors the original outline of domestication, variation, limited resources… In this book Richard Dawkins maintains the rather snarky attitude that he is known for when it comes to dealing with people who don’t believe in evolution. While he presents mountains of modern evidence toward the conclusion of evolution, he does not talk about many of the areas on which evolutionary biology is still relatively naïve. He addresses the arguments of creationists which is one area that Darwin did not have the chance to dwell upon as I doubt he foresaw this being such an issue over 150 years after his publication.
Overall, this is the book that you want to read if you are a non or budding scientist that wants the evidence for evolution presented to you in an easily comprehendible manner. Having some background on the subject is helpful but not by any means necessary. This book explores issues such as domesticated breeding, forced laboratory evolution, examination of differences in DNA between related species, examination of the fossil record, and much more. It is not all encompassing but is still a fairly comprehensive book towards the foundation in modern science’s acceptance of Charles Darwin’s original theory.


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