of books by Richard Dawkins

RICHARD DAWKINS (1941) is an evolutionary biologist and emeritus fellow at Oxford University.

The Blind Watchmaker
by Richard Dawkins
  W.W. Norton & Co, 1996, 1986

Dawkins major work beside the Selfish Gene which put him clearly on the map as one of the most outspoken and well spoken defender of Darwin's theory of evolution and pushing back against creatinist arguments invoking God to explain the existence of complex designs such as living organisms. Putting living organisms and man made machines on par, arguing that both are evidence of life on a planet, he methodically establishes the argument how evolution through chance mutation and non-random cumulative natural selection is able to produce highly complex systems that have the appearance of preordained or planned design.

The subtitel of the book 'Why the evidence of evolution reveals a universal design' makes clear that Dawkins is presenting evidence and not afraid to use the word design. He makes the case over several chapters, that design in nature does not depend on a higher supernatural intelligence. He refutes the incorrect assumption or impression that evolution is based on random events only and show that while mutations in an organism's genes (DNA) are random, their selection by natural forces is not. Complexity in nature is the result of cumulative selection over many indivual random changes. But the changes that are kept are selected by non-random events because natural selection prefers changes that improve an organisms reproductive success. He often refers to physical mechanisms and forces - energy, power, flow and breaks - the are reminiscent of the Constructal Law as described by Adrian Bejan.  

July 5, 2018 /  © 2018 Lukas K. Buehler / go back to Book Review Home