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The Greatest Show on Earth The Evidence for Evolution PDF

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 veracityIn 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 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


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    To any Young Earth Creationist who happens to be reading this reviewFirst thank you for getting this far It's to your credit you're willing to find out something about what the other side has to say You're probably expecting I'll tell you to read Dawkins's latest book In fact I'm not going to do that Don't read this book Dawkins is disrespectful and arrogant about Young Earth Creationism and he will only annoy you Instead I suggest that you might want to look at Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species When Darwin wrote it pretty much everyone in the world was a Young Earth Creationist Darwin had a great deal of sympathy for the Creationist position and one of his own favorite books which influenced him deeply was the Creationist classic Natural Theology by William Paley Despite all this Darwin found arguments which soon convinced a large part of his audience that their ideas about Young Earth Creationism were wrongDawkins continually quotes Darwin He shows that even though Darwin didn't understand how evolution works no one knew about DNA yet or even the basics of genetic theory the evidence at his disposal produced an overwhelming case that evolution must be the the root cause of the huge diversity of observed species The clearest and most unanswerable part of the argument is the geographical distribution of the different kinds of animals Just stop and think for a moment about the single fact that sloths are only to be found in South America If the story of the Biblical Flood were true then those slow moving tree dwelling sloths would somehow have had to migrate from Mount Ararat to Brazil in a few thousand years leaving no colonies anywhere en route Darwin's Victorian audience thought carefully about the sloths and could not find a sensible answer It was even impossible for them to explain not just that kangaroos only exist in Australia but that many similar species wallabies koalas wombats and other marsupials also only exist in Australia There were a thousand pieces of evidence and they gave up Darwin did not try to humiliate them and he honestly admitted that there were important parts of the story he did not yet understand Even with those provisos the case was unanswerable Since Darwin's time nearly all of the missing parts of his argument have been filled in as Dawkins explains here But that's less important As I said start with Darwin He's writing politely and respectfully for people like you who are skeptical about evolution and want to be shown good reasons to believe it and he is remarkably convincing