{Download Audible} The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for EvolutionAuthor Richard Dawkins – Kairafanan.co

There s a general feeling out there about Richard Dawkins that he s a little too shrill, a little too hard on people, and perhaps a tad too full of himself I ve had a couple of these thoughts from time to time, though not the last one, and would almost catch myself nodding in agreement until I put myself in the man s shoes Professor Dawkins is brilliant with a capital B He is fanatically devoted to science and his particular subject, evolutionary biology He has spent his life researching and exploring the elegant mysteries and pathways of life on our lonely blue world And what does he get in return 44% of Americans granted he s British think that the earth and everything in it was specially created about ten thousand years ago, that man roamed the earth with dinosaurs, and that the whole of biology and evolutionary history are to be supplanted by a fairy tale about a couple of teenagers who were convinced by a talking snake to eat an enchanted apple This state of affairs would be repugnant enough if it was a privately held fantasy instead what Dawkins gets is constant bombardment from imbeciles who want creation science theory taught alongside evolution in schools, as if there was some competition between the two By air, land, sea, or Trojan Horse Intelligent Design, so called , biologists are incessantly having to deal with misrepresentation and ignorance on a profound and disturbing scale.I personally, however, can t be too harsh Not only was I once a creationist I was the worst kind of creationist, a young earth creationist Not only was I a young earth creationist I was the worst sort of young earth creationist, a Kent Hovindiite I was to science was the Philistines were to the Hebrews, what the Empire was to the Rebellion, what that kid with down syndrome is to Einstein What I can do, though, is say with complete certainty is that education, not argument, is the antidote to creationism Ignorance isn t a crime, and usually people aren t ignorant on purpose For your average layman, it s not his fault that science education standards are so poor, or that lying snake oil salesmen like Ken Ham successfully peddle bullshit for a living.Having considered all that, I m fairly convinced that your typical creationist response to this book will be a glassy stare and a trickle of drool Part of this will be the enormous amount of nonsense, misrepresentations, misunderstandings, outdated arguments, falsehoods, and outright lies that have until now occupied the six inches of space between their ears Trying to explain the complexities of biology to someone who thinks that Big Bang Cosmology is darwinism is a higher mountain than Dawkins book is likely able to climb A lot of bad wiring had to be completely redone even for me to follow the major themes of this book, and I ve put a lot of effort into it The second drawback is a personal weakness of Dawkins writing It s unfocussed, not particularly well organized, and it lacks the ferocious punch of amateur youtubers like Thunderf00t and Aronra whose video series The Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism is balls out awesome Granted, the history of life on our planet and all the myriad means that we have of understanding it is not a topic suited to one book I still maintain that the chapters could have been better ordered and centered around a particular point, as opposed to the conversational sprawl that is Dawkins style I find him a better speaker communicator than writer communicator, but a better writer than orator, if that makes any sense Despite that, I appreciate the effort, passion, and the expertise that Professor Dawkins brings to this book It is in its way a powerful examination of this subject, and riddled with amazing discoveries and evidences that while they only manage to show a fragment of the deluge that is the evidence for evolution, still enriches the mind and helps non scientists to explore the wonders of the natural world Evolution is a fact Beyond reasonable doubt, beyond serious doubt, beyond sane, informed, intelligent doubt, beyond doubt evolution is a factThat didn t have to be true It is not self evidently, tautologically, obviously true, and there was a time when most people, even educated people, thought it wasn t It didn t have to be true, but it is.Evolution is the only game in town, the greatest show on earth. With the help of drawings, photos, cartoons, tables, diagrams notes, an emphasis on extremely lucid step by step explanations, examples, iteration reiteration plenty of humor, R Dawkins shows that we are indeed so lucky to be witness to the Greatest Show on Earth this wonderful book is addressed not only to those interested in our natural world and who ll maybe wish they d majored in biology but particularly to the creationists and proponents of intelligent design as evidence for evolution it s one of the most fascinating books I ve ever read It s a beautifully detailed and concisely written effort albeit a bit repetitious at times that s full of extraordinary facts both serious and silly, a real experience It s TERRIBLY witty It filled me with joy It should be read by everyone everywhere. Two disclaimers before I begin my review 1 I am an atheist.2 I am a molecular biologist.So, I am clearly not the target audience That being said, I really wanted to like this book I am so happy that there are people out there who are speaking out in defense of evolution and although not in this book atheism, and as such I want to support Richard Dawkins However, the best way I can sum up my feelings about the book is to say that it resembles a very long version of an undergraduate s final paper on evolution Many arguments are not at all clear or well made, the diagram labeling is irregular or completely non existent, and he does not seem to grasp how to effectively use figures to add to the text He contradicts himself at least once but pretty majorly , but it seems that this is due to a faulty simplification of the scientific explanation that to a lack of knowledge Ultimately, that s what it comes down to for me all of the faults I found in the book should not have been there, because I KNOW that HE KNOWS BETTER Not to mention that his goal would have been better served had he saved all of his half assed, baseless speculations for beers with the fellas and used the space in the book to include evidence for evolution For example, one thing he did not address at all is morality altruism, which would have been very relevant for creationists who ARE his target audience and for which there are some really interesting theories Finally, while I understand the frustration, condescending anger is not generally a great tool for convincing people, regardless of how wrong they are. 580 3.6 3 2.5 6 40 90 64.. 3.75 stars Felt a bit too technical for an un science y person like I Nevertheless, twas bloody brilliant.Have a few unresolved queries, guess I have to find answers, somewhere else What a stunning read I have read several books by Dawkins, mostly concerning evolution, and I think this was the easiest to understand This is partly because I skipped the most difficult bits For instance I am never going to know how carbon dating is done but I can live with that For the most part the book was hugely readable and deeply fascinating The one thing that marred my pleasure slightly was the stress throughout on proving the theory of evolution to creationists, but then he would give us the statistics about how many creationists there are in the worldand his preoccupation became understandable.I will end with some notes of the delights I found in the book most of them taken verbatim from the book view spoiler GENESThese don t mix like paint which would create a middling average half way between our two parents.and if it did, all variation would rapidly disappear Instead genes passing on is like the shuffling and re shuffling of a card pack Genes don t blend, they shuffle You could say they are shuffled badly, with groups of cards sticking together for several generations of shuffling, before chance happens to split them.Any one of your eggs or sperms if you are male contains either your father s version of a particular gene or your mother s version, not a blend of the two And that particular gene came from one only one of your four grandparents, and from one only one of your eight grandparents GENE POOLSThese are created in environments of all different shapes, sizes and outlook Islands, valleys surrounded by mountains which animals can t cross, areas of a certain climate etc Gene pools are sculpted when humans interfere, eg when dog breeders breed bulldogs to encourage certain attributes HYBRIDSThis involves a deliberate violation of the gene pool.eg the Labradoodle is a hybrid between a standard poodle and a Labrador retriever.Some people are trying to breed labradoodles directly with other labradoodles, and to get them to breed true At present second generation labradoodles recombine to produce variety than pre bred dogs are supposed to show This is how many pure breeds started they went through an intermediate stage of high variation, subsequently trimmed down through generations of careful breeding, so that a proper purebreed began to regularly appear A SINGLE MAJOR MUTATIONSometimes new breeds of dogs get their start with the adoption of a single major mutation In nature large mutations seldom survive eg basset hounds and dachshunds with very short legs acquired them in a singe step with the genetic mutation called achondroplasia, a classic example of a large mutation unlikely to survive in the wild BREEDING FOR SPECIFIC ATTRIBUTES AND TALENTSFor instance dogs that can herd sheep, race, or pull sledges, or even point We could do the same for human beings too though ethically this could pose a problemWAYS OF MEASURING TIME DENDROCHRONOLOGY THE STUDY OF TREE RINGS.Tree rings show whether it was a good lush year or a year of drought These form into recognisable patterns eg a bunch of trees living between 1950 1970 will share the same patterns of drought and plenty for that period You can overlap tree rings this way, and create a library of tree rings going back through history eg.Tree 1 1950 2016Tree 2 1930 1990 With tree 2, you have as a reference the patterns laid down with tree 1, from 1950 1990, so you can work out that the earlier rings in tree 2 make a pattern for 1930 1950 You can do the same thing with trees 3 and 4..steadily going further back through history with each tree This way dendrochronoligists can date trees back over thousands of years, theoretically it should work back over millions of years You don t have to cut a tree down to measure its rings, you can just take a plug from the tree THE SEDIMENT IN GLACIAL LAKES VARVES This lays down strata from season to season, and year to year CORAL REEFSThis has annual growth rings, like trees RADIOACTIVE CLOCKS 1 There are a lot of them to choose from2 They cover time from centuries to thousands of millions of years.3 They have a margin of error of 1%4 Layers or strata of rock get their names from the fossils we find in them.CumbrianOrdovicianSilurianDevonianCarboniferousPermianTriassicJurassicCretaceousEtc.and you get sub categories eg Upper Jurassic, Middle Jurassic and Lower Jurassic.5 You can use radioactive dating of rocks to place a date on them.Carbon is the element most indispensable to life it enters the food web via photosynthesis in plants and from then on to living creatures.Carbon dating is the most common form of dating It was invented in the 1940s It tells us that the earth is 4.6 billions years old CONSERVAPEDIAThe notoriously misleading imitation of Wikipedia, It has a creationist editor a lawyer called Andrew Schlafly SPEED OF EVOLUTIONThis can be slow or fast The former is illustrated by Limulus the horseshoe crab , which is sometimes called a living fossil The latter is illustrated by bacterial strains, which have with great speed evolved a resistance to antibiotics THE MISSING LINKThis has several meanings.1 Gaps in the fossil record eras shown in rock strata where there were no fossils This is because the animals around then were not good fossil material, for instance they didn t have hard, mineralized skeletons.2 The Piltdown HoaxMany people were seeking a link between man and other primates Eventually someone found Piltdown Man but it was a hoax In the intervening time since the hoax we have found numerous fossils that link modern humans to the common ancestor we share with chimpanzees Interestingly there are as yet no fossils as yet linking that ancestor which was neither chimpanzee nor human to modern chimpanzees.but there are other ways of proving our connection to chimps OUT OF THE SEAAll animals originated in the sea, and some, like whales, manatees and dugongs went back into the water They never developed gills, and still breathe air Others like seals and sea lions went part way back to the sea.Hippos are quite closely related to whales, or at least to the ancestor of whales who walked on the land Pigs are related to them too.The most recent ancestor of all fish is shared by many non fish too Humans and other land vertebrates are descended from lobe finned fish We share an ancestor with coelacanthus and lungfish THE WAY WE BUILD OUR BODIES FROM EMBRYOSWe do not do this from a blueprint or some sort of instructions from an architectural design We do it organically, like the dance of a flock of starlings, swooping beautifully together, but without a leader There are thousands of birds but they never collide They behave as a single individual wheeling and turning as one The edges of the flocks are sharply defined The density is the same throughout the flick, but the starlings have no choreographer and no leader This is how embryology works.It is all done by local rules.It is done at various levels, but especially the level of a single cell.Influences that go on within the developing cells..Genes on proteinsGenes on genesProteins on the expression of genesProteins on proteinsMembranesChemical gradientsPhysical and chemical guide rails in embryos.Hormones other mediators of action at a distance Labelled cells seeking other with identical or complementary labels Nobody understand the whole picture, and nobody needs to HOMOLOGYThe study of how bones in mammals correspond across the species however different they are eg comparing a human hand with a bat wing, or horse s hoof SAMENESS AND DIFFERENCEThe vertebrate skeleton is invariant across all vertebrates while individual bones differ.The crustaceans exoskeleton is invariant across all crustaceans while the individual tubes vary.The DNA code is invariant across all living creatures, while the individual genes themselves vary Not just the genetic code itself, but the whole gene protein system for running life is the same in animals, plants, fungi, bacteria, archaea and viruses What varies is what is written in the code.not the code itself..WAYS OF TESTING RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN MAMMALS TESTING THE CLOSENESS DISTANCE OF RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN MAMMALS BY INJECTING RABBITS WITH PROTEINS AND INSPECTING THE STRENGTH OF THE ANTIBODIES PRODUCED IN RESPONSE.The idea of this upsets me so I am not going to describe it than this, but I feel it must be mentioned as it is of importancenot least because it showed how closely humans are related to chimpanzees.DNA HYBRIDIZATIONAnother bit of the book I skipped It is how scientists worked out there there is 98% genetic similarity between humans and chimpanzees The technique involves heat and melting points.READING THE SEQUENCE OF LETTERS IN THE GENES THEMSELVESThis is a recent method, and expensive You measure the similarity between a pair of matching genes from difference species THE HUMAN BODY IS A SERIES OF MODIFIED IMPERFECTIONSThis is a clear sign of the fact that we evolved Improvements could only come about by making ad hoc modifications to what is already there We are burdened with all sorts of historical relics, anomalies and inperfections.Interestingly, an improvement is quite likely to evolve not from the old organ which previously did a job, but from something completely different, which performed a completely different function.eg when our fish ancestors took to breathing air they didn t modify their gills to make a lung instead they modified a pouch in the gut MANKIND HAS ONLY RECENTLY BECOME UPRIGHT.We have been land animals for about 400 million years We have walked on our hind legs for only about 1% of that time.Habitually walking on two legs as we do, had far reaching ramifications all over the body, which entailed lots of compensatory adjustments the reason that so many of us get back pain is because we weren t originally designed to walk upright WHEN WE SEE THE OUTSIDE OF ANIMALS WE SEE ELEGANT DESIGN, WHEN WE SEE THEM DISSECTED WE SEE A MESS.This is because of the history of how our bodies have adapted to our changing shapes, lifestyles and postures THE ARMS RACEThe fastest animals in the world are cheetahs, lions and several species of antelope ie predators and their prey They have both evolved to run very fast in relations to one another, one to pursue, one to escape But nature knows when to stop Increased speed creates thin, vulnerable legs.so there has been a cut off point, where further speed has been penalised Faster animals have not survived bred Antelopes would not run as fast as they do were they not chased by fast predators, instead they would shunt energy into making babies, or laying down fat for the winter NATURAL SELECTION To me this seems to contradict the paragraph above This will favour the most competitive individuals, right up to the moment when the last one dies It can drive a population to extinction, whilst constantly favouring, to the bitter end, those competitive genes that are destined to be the last to go extinct NATURAL SELECTION AND GENE SURVIVALThis is all about the survival of self replicating DNA, be it in an elephant, or in the virus that is making you sneeze with the common cold The ultimate message is duplicate me hide spoiler Richard Dawkins has taken his seat along with Stephen Hawking and Carl Sagan as a great populist of science In all of his science books and especially in The Greatest Show on Earth The Evidence For Evolution, He has taken a complex subject and presented it with clarity to a population that usually gets lost in the seemingly foreign language of most scientists Yet he does not dumb down neither He has a gift for beautifully explaining difficult topics in a way a layman can understand He saves his famous disdain, which was in abundant display in The God Delusion, for only when it is deserved Much is made of Dawkins supposed arrogance yet when he writes something that can be seen as arrogance, it is of a sense of amazement that his fellow man can totally dismiss the evidence of evolution There is a hilarious transcript of this in the book where Dawkins patiently sets out the evidence of intermediate fossils, and where this evidence can be seen, to a Creationist and the Creationist totally ignores it saying Show me the evidence like a mantra Dawkins states he is aiming this book at the people who believe in creationism, which according to recent polls is 40 percent of the American population I doubt that those people will give this book the time of day Yet I also think that the 40 percent number includes a good number of people who on on the fence so to speak, those who simply haven t seen the evidence for evolution presented in such a clear and understandable manner I think that is a reasonable audience for this book along with the ones, like me, who have a reasonable knowledge of evolution but wish to learn. Wow This is definitely one of those books that makes you look at the world a little differently after reading Richard Dawkins writes so well on the subject He is extremely thorough in his description of the fact of evolution, but he doesn t dumb down his explanations either If you are interested in a particular subject, he often references places you can go to continue the story He paints a beautiful picture of how evolution really works and why that helps you appreciate this amazing world we live in just a little.I won t get into some of the details he shares, but based on the facts that Dawkins reveals in his appendix about the exceedingly high percentage of people that believe in a creationist view, I thing every high school student should have to read this book But it doesn t matter what you believe The evidence shared in this book is fascinating Long term lab experiments that shows us evolution before our very eyes, sea turtles that evolved from the sea to land to sea to land to sea again, our distant ancestor named the lungfish, how DNA and mitochondria are used to trace ancestors, the evidence for evolution across all branches of science it is all simply intriguing.I appreciate people like Dawkins that can share such amazing things I especially appreciate how he is than willing to face creationists head on If you don t believe in evolution, look at the evidence and then see if you feel the same way afterward that is, if you are truly interested in answers to the big questions of life You can say that Dawkins seems a bit aggressive in his books at times, but think about it this way If you had a group of people constantly questioning questioning that the earth revolves around the sun, and you collected layers and layers of evidence to answer the question beyond reasonable doubt, but they still believe the sun revolved around the earth after all of the years of research, wouldn t you be a bit frustrated too Dawkins is not only confronting creationists He is confronting irrationality Irrationality affects our quality of life I commend Dawkins for saying enough is enough He doesn t sugar coat the issue He says is like it is.Excellent book Charles Darwin S Masterpiece, On The Origin Of Species, Shook Society To Its Core On Publication In 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 sharp inhale i m religious i m a Catholic and i m not a creationist and i believe in evolution and i want to read this book because evolution is really interesting to me and i, too, want to take on Young Earth Creationists.however, dawkins has a Most terrible habit of dissing not only creationists, but anyone who believes in God, and tarring us all with the same brush and just generally being that One Specific Sort of Atheist who is very arrogant and thinks that all religious people are stupid.also, i m not entirely sure why you would write a book that claims to want to convince creationists that they re wrong with such a strident tone, but i suppose dawkins just can t resist being annoying, can he.i m going to read it, though, because evolution and also, because even though dawkins can be terribly obnoxious, he is definitely a genius and very good at his field.oh, sweet Knowledge, look what i put up with in search of you.anyways to lighten the mood here s my favourite cover article combo ever