Richard dawkins - the greatest show on eart

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Also by Richard Dawkins The Selfish Gene The Extended Phenotype The Blind Watchmaker River Out of Eden Climbing Mount Improbable Unweaving the Rainbow A Devil's Chaplain The Ancestor's Tale The God Delusion THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH THE EVIDENCE FOR EVOLUTION RICHARD DAWKINS

For Josh Timonen

FREE PRESS A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. 1230 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10020Copyright (c) 2009 by Richard Dawkins Originally published in Great Britain in 2009 by Bantam Press an imprint of Transworld Publishers All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever. For information address Free Press Subsidiary Rights Department, 1230 Avenue

of the Americas, New York, NY 10020 First Free Press hardcover editionSeptember 2009 FREE PRESS and colophon are trademarks of Simon & Schuster, Inc. For information about special discounts for bulk purchases, please contact Simon & Schuster Special Sales at 1-866-506-1949 or business@simonandschuster.com. The Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau can bring authors to your live event. For more information or to book an event, contact the Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau at1-866-248-3049 or visit our website at www.simonspeakers.com. Manufactured in the United States of America 1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2 Library of Congress Control Number: 2009025330 ISBN 978-1-4165-9478-9 ISBN 978-1-4165-9778-0 (ebook) CONTENTS PREFACE Chapter 1 Only a theory? Chapter 2 Dogs, cows and cabbages Chapter 3 The primrose path to macro-evolution Chapter 4 Silence and slow time Chapter 5 Before ourvery eyes Chapter 6 Missing link? What do you mean, 'missing'? Chapter 7 Missing persons? Missing no longer Chapter 8 You did it yourself in nine months Chapter 9 The ark of the continents Chapter 10 The tree of cousinship Chapter 11 History written all over us Chapter 12 Arms races and 'evolutionary theodicy' Chapter 13 There is grandeur in this view of life APPENDIX The history-deniers NOTESBIBLIOGRAPHY AND FURTHER READING PICTURE ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS INDEX PREFACE THE evidence for evolution grows by the day, and has never been stronger. At the same

time, paradoxically, ill-informed opposition is also stronger than I can remember. This book is my personal summary of the evidence that the 'theory' of evolution is actually a fact - as incontrovertible a fact as any in science. It is notthe first book I have written about evolution, and I need to explain what's different about it. It could be described as my missing link. The Selfish Gene and The Extended Phenotype offered an unfamiliar vision of the familiar theory of natural selection, but they didn't discuss the evidence for evolution itself. My next three books, in their different ways, sought to identify, and dissolve, themain barriers to understanding. These books, The Blind Watchmaker, River Out of Eden and (my favourite of the three) Climbing Mount Improbable, answered questions like, 'What is the use of half an eye?' 'What is the use of half a wing?' 'How can natural selection work, given that most mutations have negative effects?' Once again, however, these three books, although they cleared away stumblingblocks, did not present the actual evidence that evolution is a fact. My largest book, The Ancestor's Tale, laid out the full course of the history of life, as a sort of ancestorseeking Chaucerian pilgrimage going backwards in time, but it again assumed that evolution is true. Looking back on those books, I realized that the evidence for evolution itself was nowhere explicitly set out, and that thiswas a serious gap that I needed to close. The year 2009 seemed like a good time, it being the bicentennial year of Darwin's birth and the 150th anniversary of On the Origin of Species. Not surprisingly, the same thought occurred to others, and the year has seen some excellent volumes, most notably Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution is True. My highly favourable review of his book in the Times Literary...
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