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An elegant, text-only paperback edition of the New York Times bestseller that’s been hailed as the definitive authority on…everything.
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.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful.
Let's have some intellectual honesty
First, if you're just going to write a scathing review (not of the book but of Richard Dawkins) because you blindly follow B.S. artists like William Lane Craig, save it for you tube.
Second, to those complaining about (or defending the virtue of) the book's apparent simplicity, stop pretending you aren't a layman. Isn't everyone else as sick as me of the endless complaints of books which they claim "dumb down" scientific subjects, as if the average Amazon reader in the market for scientific broadening is a trolling world-class scientist? We all know REAL scientists don't have time to review books on Amazon! Quit trying in vain to show off here.
Just review the effing book...and keep it real!
Here's mine: This is one of my favorite Richard Dawkins books. He may be aiming for children in the way the information is presented. But, I think most people (the average adult-like me) is not scientifically brilliant. We can quote basic facts about science, which we are most likely regurgitating anyway-not truly understanding. Dawkins gives simple, yet clear explanations for many scientific truths that escape me. He brings me closer to a clearer understanding of the world around me.
Aiming for children or not, this book will educate anyone who's highest level of science education was in an American high school 20 years ago, despite their viewing of countless Attenborough narrated documentaries.
Many of us think we understand evolution. Nonsense. Most people who say they understand it, have nothing more than a confused idea of it. For those people (of which I am one) you will find the section entitled, "Who was the first person?" a really great place to start. Having a firm grasp of the basic idea of evolution is the first step. Get that before you move on to weightier concepts. Most people have HEARD of evolution, fewer people actually study it.
This book will inspire children to ask deeper and more profound questions about the things they don't yet understand. Parents will fill in some of the many gaps in their own scientific shortcomings...so hopefully they will be able to have discussions with their children about science. It's either that, or look ignorant in front of your children as their knowledge surpasses yours by age fifteen. In fact, this should be a great book to read WITH your child. I am really looking forward to sharing it with my four-year-old in a few years.
Or, you could skip this one and pick up another volume of "biblical stories for children" such as Noah's Ark, or The Garden of Eden. What kind of parent will you be?
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful.
Don't get the paperback - it does not have the pictures!
This is a fantastic book. 5 stars for the book in hard-cover form. But the paper back version loses a good part of it's readability for a young reader.
I borrowed the hard cover version from a local library, and it is fantastic. One of the good features about the hard cover version are the pictures. The paper back version I bought here has none of the pictures. My daughter (12 yo) liked the hard cover book, but only got half way through it. I bought the paperback to let her finish at her leisure. However, without the pictures the material is a much less interesting source of information. Don't bother trying to save money and shelf space. The paper back version is not the same as the hard cover in much more critical ways than those.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful.
If God sent this book instead of the Bible two thousand years ago, humanity would be exploring the stars today.
By Matt Winkler
Highly accessible and very broad in scope, Dawkins uses everyday terminology and thought experiments to make the most important scientific concepts relatable to the everyday person. I was personally a little disappointed by how little new or surprising information there was to me - but the book is nonetheless charming and educating, and I think everyone has something to learn from it.
This is an excellent introduction to scientific concepts and separation of superstition from fact for children and young teens, and I suspect it would do a lot of good in the world if the legions of adults who still do not understand these fundamental concepts were to read Dawkins' work for their own betterment and that of those around them as well.
TL:DR - The Magic of Reality is an easy read with high educational value that will add at least a little bit of wisdom to everyone who reads it.
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