The Blind Watchmaker

The Blind Watchmaker

Paperback

By (author) Richard Dawkins

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  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 368 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 194mm x 24mm | 281g
  • Publication date: 6 April 2006
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0141026162
  • ISBN 13: 9780141026169
  • Sales rank: 5,347

Product description

From the author of "The God Delusion", Richard Dawkins' "The Blind Watchmaker" has been acclaimed as the most influential work on evolution in the last hundred years. In 1802 the Rev. William Paleys argued in "Natural Theology" that just as finding a watch would lead you to conclude that a watchmaker must exist, the complexity of living organisms proves that a Creator exists. Not so, says Richard Dawkins, and in this brilliant and controversial book, the acclaimed evolutionary biologist sets out to demonstrate that the theory of evolution by natural selection - the unconscious, automatic, blind yet essentially non-random process discovered by Charles Darwin - is the only answer to the biggest question of all: why do we exist? 'I want to persuade the reader, not just that the Darwinian world-view happens to be true, but that it is the only known theory that could, in principle, solve the mystery of our existence'. To Dawkins, "The Blind Watchmaker" is nature itself, gradually forming order from the very building-blocks of life: DNA. "This might just be the most important evolution book since Darwin". (John Gribbin). "Richard Dawkins has updated evolution ...his subject is nothing less than the meaning of life". ("The Times"). "Enchantingly witty and persusive ...pleasurably intelligible to the scientifically illiterate". ("Observer"). Richard Dawkins is a Fellow of both the Royal Society and the Royal Society of Literature, and Vice President of the British Humanist Association. He was first catapulted to fame with The Selfish Gene, which he followed with a string of bestselling books: "The Extended Phenotype", "The Blind Watchmaker", "River Out of Eden", "Unweaving the Rainbow", and an impassioned defence of atheism, "The God Delusion".

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Author information

In 1995 Richard Dawkins became the first holder of the Charles Simonyi Chair of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. He is the bestselling author of THE SELFISH GENE, CLIMBING MOUNT IMPROBABLE (Penguin, 1996) and UNWEAVING THE RAINBOW (Penguin, 1998).

Back cover copy

The watchmaker belongs to the eighteenth-century theologian William Paley, who made one of the most famous creationist arguments: Just as a watch is too complicated and too functional to have sprung into existence by accident, so too must all living things, with their far greater complexity, be purposefully designed. It was Charles Darwin's brilliant discovery that put the lie to these arguments. But only Richard Dawkins could have written this eloquent riposte to the creationists. Natural selection - the unconscious, automatic, blind, yet essentially nonrandom process that Darwin discovered - has no purpose in mind. If it can be said to play the role of watchmaker in nature, it is the blind watchmaker. Acclaimed as perhaps the most influential work on evolution written in this century, The Blind Watchmaker offers an engaging and accessible introduction to one of the most important scientific discoveries of all time.