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Then in 2006, Dawkins transformed the world's cultural and intellectual landscape once again with The God Delusion, a takedown of religious faith, which has sold millions of copies around the world--nearly one million in the United States alone. He has since used his celebrity to further the cause of secular thought and provoke public debate.
In this, his first memoir, characterized by Dawkins' trademark vicious wit and dazzling eloquence, he tells the fascinating story of how this hugely influential man learned to think, to ask questions, and to forge great ideas. From his idyllic childhood in colonial Kenya to the raucous debates at Berkeley and Oxford, Dawkins shares here, for the first time, the details of his intellectual awakening and the thrilling path to the creation of The Selfish Gene.
An Appetite for Wonder is a fantastic book about the life of author Richard Dawkins. Told in his own words, the book shows us Dawkin from his early years, to his intellectual awakening at Oxford, to his path to writing The Selfish Gene. It is a very interesting book about a world famous atheist.
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Posted October 1, 2013
The revelations of a new age prophet
Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins is one of the leading atheists of our times, and he has provoked many conservatives since his publications, "The Selfish Gene," (1976), "Unweaving the Rainbow" (1998) and "The God Delusion" (2008). In this book, he devotes much of the narratives to his childhood and early career excluding many passionate arguments he put forwarded in his earlier books. He grew up in Africa, where his father was stationed during WWII, and later growing up in England, he had unswerving belief in New Testament and the teachings of Church of England. There is little in the first half of the book that is nourishing to the mind of a reader; some paragraphs are utterly dull and lacks fire and passion. Part of his narratives includes his views on the evils of ethics and theology.
Some of his comments are quite brazen and bold when he is trying to get his point across the discussion table. In one argument, visibly annoyed about the influence of religious fundamentalists and leading church leaders, he suggests that an educated person from Oxford (such as himself), a university that has produced so many Nobel laureates, is more believable than a religious leader who did not study at advanced institution; referring to advancing his own atheistic views. Dawkins's real life angel is none other than the father of evolutionary biology, Charles Darwin whose work inspired him to his current crusade and preaching his gospel that does not have God. Another biologist whose work encouraged young Dawkins was Biologist W.D. Hamilton who suggested that genes are the unit of natural selection that makes plants and animals good at caring for their offsprings. This offers species a social advantage in their cooperation among related species for survival and species evolution.
Richard Dawkins is a great thinker and crusader of our times, and he is one of the few intellectuals to openly criticize the established religions and the harm it has done to humans. But he also seems to have one-sided view of life and reality. A great deal of progress has been done in theoretical physics in the last 20 years in understanding the physical existence and reality we experience in this universe. The very existence of matter (and energy) in space-time fabric is an illusion according many physicists. In a multiverse concept (a parallel universes), physicists are still debating if there is a beginning or end to time. What is space and time at the most fundamental level? Physicists are not sure yet. Quantum physics that governs the behavior of fundamental and subatomic particles strongly ties consciousness with laws of physics, and existence is defined with a probability. Past and future are not real according to relativistic and quantum physics. Until we understand reality and physical existence, let us not be too hasty in eliminating God from the picture. This is the first book in a planned two-book memoir of the author; let us hope that the he has something interesting and new ideas in store for us.
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Posted September 26, 2013
It is really amazing to understand how Dawkins developed his wonder and curiosity about the world. Really interesting book that flows beautifully.
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Posted September 28, 2013
Wonder implies what? Answer: Design and by extension a Designer! Poor Richard is simply the product of lonely sceptics in ivory towers.
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Posted September 26, 2013