The renowned biologist and thinker Richard Dawkins presents his most expansive work yet: a comprehensive look at evolution, ranging from the latest developments in the field to his own provocative views. Loosely based on the form of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Dawkins's Tale takes us modern humans back through four billion years of life on our planet. As the pilgrimage progresses, we join with other organisms at the forty "rendezvous points" where we find a common ancestor. The band of pilgrims swells into a vast crowd as we join first with other primates, then with other mammals, and so on back to the first primordial organism. Dawkins's brilliant, inventive approach allows us to view the connections between ourselves and all other life in a bracingly novel way. It also lets him shed bright new light on the most compelling aspects of evolutionary history and theory: sexual selection, speciation, convergent evolution, extinction, genetics, plate tectonics, geographical dispersal, and more. The Ancestor's Tale is at once a far-reaching survey of the latest, best thinking on biology and a fascinating history of life on Earth. Here Dawkins shows us how remarkable we are, how astonishing our history, and how intimate our relationship with the rest of the living world.
A Devil's Chaplain, Climbing Mount Improbable, River Out of Eden, the Ancestor's Tale, the Blind Watchmaker, Th
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Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. Commentary (books not included). Pages: 34. Chapters: A Devil's Chaplain, Climbing Mount Improbable, River Out of Eden, The Ancestor's Tale, The Blind Watchmaker, The Extended Phenotype, The God Delusion, The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution, The Magic of Reality, The Selfish Gene, Unweaving the Rainbow. Excerpt: The Ancestor's Tale (subtitled A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Life) is a 2004 popular science book by Richard Dawkins, with contributions from Dawkins' research assistant Yan Wong. It follows the path of humans backwards through evolutionary history, meeting humanity's cousins as they converge on common ancestors. The book was nominated for the 2005 Aventis Prize for Science Books. Cladogram showing relationship between mammalian species as recounted in the bookThe narrative is structured as a pilgrimage, with all modern animals following their own path through history to the origin of life. Humans meet their evolutionary cousins at rendezvous points along the way, the points at which the lineage diverged. At each point Dawkins attempts to infer, from molecular and fossil evidence, the probable form of the most recent common ancestor and describes the modern animals that join humanity's growing travelling party. This structure is inspired by Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. The pilgrimage visits a total of 40 "rendezvous points" from rendezvous zero, the most recent common ancestor of all of humanity, to rendezvous 39, eubacteria, the ancestor of all surviving organisms. Though Dawkins is confident of the essential shape of this phylogenetic taxonomy, he enters caveats on a small number of branch points where a compelling weight of evidence had not been assembled at the time of writing. At each rendezvous point, Dawkins recounts interesting tales concerning the cousin animals which are about to join the...
The story of James Randall Pratt (born 1855), his wife Rhoda Freelove Newth (born 1850), their son Alden, and their daughter-in-law Hazel Beeks Pratt, that traces their lineage both back and forward in time.
A renowned biologist provides a sweeping chronicle of more than four billion years of life on Earth, shedding new light on evolutionary theory and history, sexual selection, speciation, extinction, and genetics.
Essays on morality, mortality, and much more from the New York Times–bestselling author of The Selfish Gene and The God Delusion. This early collection of essays from renowned evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins is an enthusiastic declaration, a testament to the power of rigorous scientific examination to reveal the wonders of the world. In these essays, Dawkins revisits the meme, the unit of cultural information that he named and wrote about in his groundbreaking work, The Selfish Gene. Here also are moving tributes to friends and colleagues, including a eulogy for novelist Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; correspondence with fellow biologist Stephen Jay Gould; commentary on the events of 9/11; and visits with the famed paleoanthropologists Richard and Meave Leakey at their African wildlife preserve. Ending with a vivid note to Dawkins’s ten-year-old daughter, reminding her to remain curious, ask questions, and live the examined life, A Devil’s Chaplain is a fascinating read by “a man of firm opinions, which he expresses with clarity and punch” (Scientific American).
"A lushly written, dream-like modern gothic with as many dark turns and twists as the Montebianco family tree has branches. Welcome to the family." – Paul Tremblay, bestselling author of Survivor Song After a DNA test reveals that Alberta “Bert” Monte is the sole heir of a wealthy noble family in the Italian Alps, she leaves New York to visit the family estate: Montebianco Castle, a centuries-old compound isolated in the mountains. What appeared to be a fairy tale inheritance, however, soon turns into a nightmare as Bert begins to uncover the dark legacy of her family: the truth about the abandoned village at the base of the castle; the whispers of stolen children; and the rumors of a legendary monster in the mountains. As Bert unravels the truth, she learns that her true inheritance lies not in a noble title or ancestral treasures, but in her very genes, and now she must choose between preserving a secret centuries in the keeping or abandoning it forever. “Vivid and uncanny…makes the most of Trussoni’s signature blend of science, myth, and mystery.” —Deborah Harkness, bestselling author of A Discovery of Witches "Inventive and entertaining." — People “A Gothic Extravaganza.” —Kirkus
Charles Darwin's masterpiece, On the Origin of Species, shook society to its core on publication in 1859. Darwin was only too aware of the storm his theory of evolution would provoke but he would surely have raised an incredulous eyebrow at the controversy still raging a century and a half later. Evolution is accepted as scientific fact by all reputable scientists and indeed theologians, yet millions of people continue to question its veracity. In The Greatest Show on Earth Richard Dawkins takes on creationists, including followers of 'Intelligent Design' and all those who question the fact of evolution through natural selection. Like a detective arriving on the scene of a crime, he sifts through fascinating layers of scientific facts and disciplines to build a cast-iron case: from the living examples of natural selection in birds and insects; the 'time clocks' of trees and radioactive dating that calibrate a timescale for evolution; the fossil record and the traces of our earliest ancestors; to confirmation from molecular biology and genetics. All of this, and much more, bears witness to the truth of evolution. The Greatest Show on Earth comes at a critical time: systematic opposition to the fact of evolution is now flourishing as never before, especially in America. In Britain and elsewhere in the world, teachers witness insidious attempts to undermine the status of science in their classrooms. Richard Dawkins provides unequivocal evidence that boldly and comprehensively rebuts such nonsense. At the same time he shares with us his palpable love of the natural world and the essential role that science plays in its interpretation. Written with elegance, wit and passion, it is hard-hitting, absorbing and totally convincing.
Addresses key scientific questions previously explained by rich mythologies, from the evolution of the first humans and the life cycle of stars to the principles of a rainbow and the origins of the universe.
Richard Dawkins, bestselling author and the world’s most celebrated evolutionary biologist, has spent his career elucidating the many wonders of science. Here, he takes a broader approach and uses his unrivaled explanatory powers to illuminate the ways in which the world really works. Filled with clever thought experiments and jaw-dropping facts, The Magic of Reality explains a stunningly wide range of natural phenomena: How old is the universe? Why do the continents look like disconnected pieces of a jigsaw puzzle? What causes tsunamis? Why are there so many kinds of plants and animals? Who was the first man, or woman? Starting with the magical, mythical explanations for the wonders of nature, Dawkins reveals the exhilarating scientific truths behind these occurrences. This is a page-turning detective story that not only mines all the sciences for its clues but primes the reader to think like a scientist as well.
'Richard Dawkins is a thunderously gifted science writer.' Sunday Times Including conversations with Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Steven Pinker, Matt Ridley and more, this is an essential guide to the most exciting ideas of our time and their proponents from our most brilliant science communicator. Books Do Furnish a Life is divided by theme, including celebrating nature, exploring humanity, and interrogating faith. For the first time, it brings together Richard Dawkins' forewords, afterwords and introductions to the work of some of the leading thinkers of our age - Carl Sagan, Lawrence Krauss, Jacob Bronowski, Lewis Wolpert - with a selection of his reviews to provide an electrifying celebration of science writing, both fiction and non-fiction. It is also a sparkling addition to Dawkins' own remarkable canon of work. Plenty of other scientists write well, but no one writes like Dawkins... here is Dawkins the teacher, the scholar, the polemicist, the joker, the aesthete, the poet, the satirist, the man of compassion as well as indignation, the slayer of superstition and, above all, the scientist. - Areo Magazine
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Richard Dawkins - author of The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker, and The God Delusion - is one of science's greatest communicators. This anthology of more than forty pieces is a kaleidoscopic argument for the power and the glory of science. Breathtaking, brilliant and passionate, these essays, journalism, lectures and letters make an unanswerable case for the wonder of scientific discovery and its power to stir the imagination; for the practical necessity of scientific endeavour to society; and for the importance of the scientific way of thinking – particularly in today’s ‘post-truth’ world. With an introduction and new commentary by the author, subjects range from evolution and Darwinian natural selection to the role of scientist as prophet, whether science is itself a religion, the probability of alien life in other worlds, and the beauties, cruelties and oddities of earthly life in this one. Alongside the explications, the celebrations and the controversies are wonderfully funny ventures into satire and parody, and moving personal reflections in memory and honour of others. Science in the Soul is a sparkling showcase for Professor Dawkins' rapier wit, the clarity, precision and vigour he brings to an argument, the beauty of his prose, the depth of his feeling and his capacity for joy.
In The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins crystallized the gene's eye view of evolution developed by W.D. Hamilton and others. The book provoked widespread and heated debate. Written in part as a response, The Extended Phenotype gave a deeper clarification of the central concept of the gene as the unit of selection; but it did much more besides. In it, Dawkins extended the gene's eye view to argue that the genes that sit within an organism have an influence that reaches out beyond the visible traits in that body - the phenotype - to the wider environment, which can include other individuals. So, for instance, the genes of the beaver drive it to gather twigs to produce the substantial physical structure of a dam; and the genes of the cuckoo chick produce effects that manipulate the behaviour of the host bird, making it nurture the intruder as one of its own. This notion of the extended phenotype has proved to be highly influential in the way we understand evolution and the natural world. It represents a key scientific contribution to evolutionary biology, and it continues to play an important role in research in the life sciences. The Extended Phenotype is a conceptually deep book that forms important reading for biologists and students. But Dawkins' clear exposition is accessible to all who are prepared to put in a little effort. Oxford Landmark Science books are 'must-read' classics of modern science writing which have crystallized big ideas, and shaped the way we think.
The million copy international bestseller, critically acclaimed and translated into over 25 languages. As influential today as when it was first published, The Selfish Gene has become a classic exposition of evolutionary thought. Professor Dawkins articulates a gene's eye view of evolution - a view giving centre stage to these persistent units of information, and in which organisms can be seen as vehicles for their replication. This imaginative, powerful, and stylistically brilliant work not only brought the insights of Neo-Darwinism to a wide audience, but galvanized the biology community, generating much debate and stimulating whole new areas of research. Forty years later, its insights remain as relevant today as on the day it was published. This 40th anniversary edition includes a new epilogue from the author discussing the continuing relevance of these ideas in evolutionary biology today, as well as the original prefaces and foreword, and extracts from early reviews. Oxford Landmark Science books are 'must-read' classics of modern science writing which have crystallized big ideas, and shaped the way we think.
In this book, the true heritage of Slavic-Aryan people is introduced from different points of view. It is important for all to understand not only where they come from and who their Ancestors are, but also of what their Ancestors believed, what values they had and how honorable they were. The heritage of our people does not go back a few centuries, it flows back hundreds of thousand, if not millions of years. This book is but a small step towards the truth, which has been hidden from us for centuries.
From the New York Times–bestselling author of Science in the Soul. “If any recent writing about science is poetic, it is this” (The Wall Street Journal). Did Sir Isaac Newton “unweave the rainbow” by reducing it to its prismatic colors, as John Keats contended? Did he, in other words, diminish beauty? Far from it, says acclaimed scientist Richard Dawkins; Newton’s unweaving is the key too much of modern astronomy and to the breathtaking poetry of modern cosmology. Mysteries don’t lose their poetry because they are solved: the solution often is more beautiful than the puzzle, uncovering deeper mysteries. With the wit, insight, and spellbinding prose that have made him a bestselling author, Dawkins takes up the most important and compelling topics in modern science, from astronomy and genetics to language and virtual reality, combining them in a landmark statement of the human appetite for wonder. This is the book Dawkins was meant to write: A brilliant assessment of what science is (and isn’t), a tribute to science not because it is useful but because it is uplifting. “A love letter to science, an attempt to counter the perception that science is cold and devoid of aesthetic sensibility . . . Rich with metaphor, passionate arguments, wry humor, colorful examples, and unexpected connections, Dawkins’ prose can be mesmerizing.” —San Francisco Chronicle “Brilliance and wit.” —The New Yorker
The tales of folklore in this book will take you thousands of years into the past. You will be able to discover: how our Ancestors lived, how and why they migrated, who their heroes were, who their villains were and who they honored and praised. You will also learn, who our Ancestors were in friendship with, and who they battled on daily basis. These are folklore tales of endurance, honor, love and betrayal for those, who are seeking knowledge. These are not fairytales for children.
Should we believe in God? In this new book, written for a new generation, the brilliant science writer and author of The God Delusion, explains why we shouldn't. Should we believe in God? Do we need God in order to explain the existence of the universe? Do we need God in order to be good? In twelve chapters that address some of the most profound questions human beings confront, Dawkins marshals science, philosophy and comparative religion to interrogate the hypocrisies of all the religious systems and explain to readers of all ages how life emerged without a Creator, how evolution works and how our world came into being. For anyone hoping to grapple with the meaning of life and what to believe, Outgrowing God is a challenging, thrilling and revelatory read. --------------------------------
This book explores the truth behind our beliefs in God and the propensity of human beings to be religious. In an honest attempt to seek the answers to life's deepest questions, the author probes into how life began. It then progresses to investigate the nature of religions and writes that, because we refuse to accept our mortality, we delude ourselves and we coerce others, with the tyranny of our own beliefs.
Long has the topic of ancestor worship in modern Germanic Heathenry been largely overlooked. While many within Germanic Heathenry worship their ancestors, other than a few mentions in books, blog posts, web pages and small publications there has not been a work dedicated to the topic. This short book seeks to be a first of its kind and broach the topic. In many ways it is the tale of the path of Swain Wodening from dedicated worshiper of the Germanic gods to worshiper of the ancestors. Not much information exists on the topic so this book is full of personal experiences.