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A Devil's Chaplain : Selected Writings - Richard Dawkins

A Devil's Chaplain : Selected Writings

Paperback

Published: October 2006
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Richard Dawkins is one of the finest minds in science, and in this superb collection of essays and letters, he demonstrates the depth of his knowledge and the rich variety of his interests. Whether he is examining postmodernism or the Human Genome Project, penning a letter to his daughter, or writing a moving eulogy to Douglas Adams and e-mailing Stephen Jay Gould, Dawkins writes with an intellectual vigour and grace that is second to none. This is a very human collection that shows not only the acuity of Dawkins' scientific mind, but also his sense of humour and the warmth of his relationships with friends and family.

Richard Dawkins has never been content to be 'merely' a scientist. His writing has always had a personal edge - often more philosophy than biology. It's no surprise then that this is no ordinary collection of academic essays and learned theses. Instead, what we are presented with is a selection of very intimate articles and critical commentaries written by Dawkins over a 25-year period. The title comes from a letter written by Charles Darwin, in which he debated how an omnipotent and just God could have designed such an intolerably cruel and violent process as natural selection. This is the type of subject which those familiar with Dawkins's previous works (The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker) will know is his meat and drink. Here, however, we have a chance to view a much broader selection of his writings. Dawkins is, as his fans will know, a man with an axe to grind, and in this selection he happily holds forth on a wide range of topics, from Douglas Adams to religion. Most of these essays are written for the non-scientist. Many are deeply personal. But all are written with Dawkins's unmistakable passion, irritation and humour. Of course, these essays are not new, but they have been selected so carefully and thoughtfully that together they form a highly readable retrospective of not just Dawkins's work but also his life. More importantly, what people may have missed in Dawkins's writing previously shines out here - namely, that while he subscribes to Darwinism as a scientist, he fiercely rejects it as a human being, demanding again and again that we aspire to greater things. (Kirkus UK)

ISBN: 9780753817506
ISBN-10: 0753817500
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: October 2006
Dimensions (cm): 19.7 x 12.9  x 2.1
Weight (kg): 0.22

Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist, author and outspoken atheist. He has established himself as a biological guru with the publication of books detailing and expanding upon Darwinian theory. Wired Magazine says this "Revolutionary Evolutionist" is the first true ethologist of the gene. Richard Dawkins has been concerned to convince the literate public that they must now take evolutionary theory seriously as the context within which to think about ourselves and the world and he strives to bring his theories to an audience of lay readers through comprehensible analogies and clear writing.The Wall Street Journal said his "passion is supported by an awe-inspiring literary craftsmanship." The New York Times Book Review has hailed him as a writer who "understands the issues so clearly that he forces his reader to understand them too." Among his books are The Ancestor's Tale, The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker, Climbing Mount Improbable, Unweaving the Rainbow, A Devil's Chaplain,The God Delusion, and The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution.

Personal
Born March 26, 1941, son of Clinton John (a farmer) and Jean Mary Vyvyan (Ladner) Dawkins; married author Marian Stamp, August 19, 1967 (divorced, 1984); married Eve Barham, June 1, 1984 (divorced); children-Juliet Emma; married actress Lalla Ward, 1992. Education: Balliol College, Oxford University, B.A., 1962, M.A., 1966, D.Phil., 1966.

Career
University of California, Berkeley, assistant professor of zoology, 1967-69; Oxford University, Oxford, England, lecturer in zoology and fellow of New College, 1970-90, reader in zoology, 1990-95; Evolutionary biologist and the Charles Simonyi Professor For The Understanding Of Science at Oxford University; Elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in May, 2001.The Galaxy British Book Awards named him Author of the Year in 2006 for The God Delusion, and in 2008 his TV program 'The Genius of Charles Darwin' won Best Documentary Series at the British Broadcast Awards. He was listed as one of TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in 2007.

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