It is always a pleasure to read Richard Dawkins. He always writes to convey fresh ideas and not just to show off his writing skills or the breath of his knowledge, which both are of course quite formidable. His newest book "The Greatest Show On Earth - The Evidence For Evolution" is again simply a real joy to read.
The sad thing about this book is the fact that it needed to be written in the first place. Don't get me wrong, but nobody writes books about how the theory of gravity is true. Richard Dawkins points out in his book how no scholar of Roman history has a need to prove that Rome really existed and that it was not invented by scholars later on.
I'm sure that Richard Dawkins would be the happiest man on this planet if he would not have had to write this book. This book would not be needed, if evolution would just be treated as the theory of gravity or the theory of photosynthesis are.
However, as things stand today, according to some studies, a whopping 40 per cent of Americans claim to prefer the myths of the creationists as the explanation for life on earth. This sad state of affairs has prompted professor Dawkins to pound the keyboard of his dear computer once more in earnest. He really comes off with all guns blazing.
Richard Dawkins spends 470 pages to explain why creationists are patently wrong. He does not do it the seriousness and somberness of a demagogue arguing black as white. He does it as a man who knows his way around with blindfolded eyes. He will throw in a joke there and a lighthearted story or anecdote here to make the journey more pleasurable for the reader.
Richard Dawkins is not a dumb man. There are not many men even among the staunchest supporters of creationism who would dare to suggest such a thing. He is not out to preach. He is just laying out the best parts of the evidence he does know. Believe me; he does know a lot about evolution.
The most important thing was that after reading this book there was a feeling that I had learned many new things even if the subject was quite familiar to me. I had gained new knowledge on such diverse things as molecular biology, physics or the history of science and many other branches of science.
This book is simply packed to the brim with usable and easy to understand knowledge. Hours spent with it do not go to waste even for those of us who like me are already quite comfortable with the idea of evolution. New information has always been the best entertainment for me. This book was really an entertaining reading experience for me.
Richard Dawkins has not written this book to achieve more fame and gain more money. He already has more of both than he can would ever have wished as a young scientist who was learning the ropes of the scientific profession.
He has written this book simply to educate and enlighten his readers on a branch of science that is constantly under an attack. Unfortunately, this attack is based solely on ideological needs of some proponents of more backward versions of certain religions.
(This review was refurbished on 23th of November, 2012)