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Richard Dawkins Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Books

Oxford Surveys in Evolutionary Biology (1984) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
God's Utility Function (1995) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
River Out of Eden (1996) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Pocket Watchmaker (1996) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Extended Phenotype (1999) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Unweaving the Rainbow (2000) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Oxford Illustrated Science Encyclopedia (2001) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Best American Science and Nature Writing (2003) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Devil's Chaplain (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Growing Up in the Universe (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
() Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The New Yorker Festival (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
View from Mount Improbable (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Blind Watchmaker (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Climbing Mount Improbable (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The God Delusion (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Letter to a Christian Nation (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Selfish Gene (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
On the Origin of Species (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Greatest Show on Earth (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Magic of Reality (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
(2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
An Appetite for Wonder (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Brief Candle in the Dark (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Science in the Soul (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Outgrowing God (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Richard Dawkins is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and popular science author that is best known for emphasizing the gene as the being at the core of evolution. He has also generated much controversy with his unparalleled advocacy of atheism. Dawkins was born in Nairobi, Kenya in 1941 and spent much of his early childhood in Kenya, where his father was working during the Second World War. In 1949 the family relocated back to England and in 1959 Richard enrolled as a student at the University of Oxford, Balliol College where he got a bachelors in Zoology in 1962. He went on to get his Masters and Doctorate from Oxford, learning under Nikolaas Tinbergen the ethologist. He was an assistant for Tinbergen for a while until he relocated to the United States, where he became a professor of zoology at the University of California, Berkeley between 1967 and 1969. In 1970 he went back to Oxford and taught Zoology for several years. In 1995, Oxford appointed Dawkins to the position of Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science. Over the years, he has won several writing prestigious writing and academic awards and made regular Internet, radio, and television appearances where he discusses his opinions, ideas, his atheism and his books as a public intellectual.

Dawkins first name for himself in 1976 with the book “The Selfish Gene,” in which he introduced the term meme and made popular the gene-centered view of evolution. In 1982, he published “The Extended Phenotype” and delved into evolutionary biology. He was responsible for the introduction of the concept of phenotypic effects of a gene stretching into their environment rather than just being limited to the body of the organism. Dawkins would go on to found the Richard Dawkins Foundation of Reason and Science in 2006. He is one of the most outspoken atheists and is known for criticizing intelligent design and creationism. His 1986 book “The Blind Watchmaker” disputes the watchmaker analogy that asserts the existence of a supernatural creator due to the complexity of living organisms. Instead, he argues that evolution works in a process similar to that of a blind watchmaker. In 1987 The Blind Watchmaker was the winner of the Royal Society of Literature Award. For Dawkins, mutation, reproduction, and selection are unguided by any form of intelligent design.

His 1976 work “The Selfish Gene” was intended to expound the pervasive misunderstanding of Darwin’s theory of evolution. He asserted that natural selection is driven by the gene rather than the individual or species as most people believed it to be. He argues that genes use the bodies of species to further their own survival. It is in the book that he came up with the meme, which he called the equivalent of the gene. Concepts and ideas from music to fashion typically take a life of their own and mutate and propagate within society to affect human evolution and progress. He got inspiration for the meme from mimeme the Greek term meaning “imitate.” It would later spawn mimetics an entire field of study. Dawkins’ book was a game-changer not only for its content but also for his approachable style that made it easy for ordinary people to read. Later novels such as “River Out of Eden” and “Climbing Mount Improbable” addressed the general misconception of natural selection as proposed by Darwin. In the book, he emphasized how evolution was a natural and gradual response to pressure as he explained that sophisticated and intricate structures do not manifest randomly. For instance, the eye is the product of selective pressure to be better, which results in successive improvements in sophisticated. In “The God Delusion” one of his most popular works to date, he asserts that religious faith is a delusion and that a supernatural creator does not exist. His polemical discussions in The God Delusion generated more controversy than any other of his books. The 2006 book explains the logical fallacies inherent in religious thought and makes the conclusion that it is improbable that there exists an omnipotent creator.

Richard Dawkins’ “The God Delusion” asserts that the belief in God is irrational and that it has led to grievous harm from the events such as 9/11 all the way back to the Crusades of the second millennium. With wit and rigor, Dawkins examines God as a sex-obsessed tyrant who is introduced in the Old Testament and the still illogical but benign Celestial Watchmaker that is the favorite trope of enlightenment thinkers. He destroys the main arguments for religion by demonstrating how improbable it would be to have a supreme being. He then goes on to show how religion drives child abuse, foments bigotry, and fuels war using contemporary and historical evidence. “The God Delusion” is a compelling argument that belief in God is potentially deadly rather than just wrong. It provides some exhilarating insights into the advantages of atheism to society and the individual. Dawkins says that there is no truer or clearer appreciation of the wonders of the universe that could be explained by any religion.

In “The Selfish Gene” Dawkins takes the mantle of the likes of Darwin, Crick, and Watson to explain evolution. He takes a radical view of evolution by focusing on the gene as the unit of incremental change. He supposes that instead of the organism reproducing itself, it is the gene which maintains and builds the organism so as to foster the existence and propagation of itself. The simple reversal answered a lot of questions that scientists could not find an answer to for many years and completely changed the way we look at evolution. It explains issues such as why a bee would give up its life and chance to reproduce to help its brothers and sisters or why the body is full of unused DNA sequences. Dawkins is more of a prophet as he clearly explains evolution by using the competition model of molecules that fight for limited resources and space in which to produce more of themselves. He draws his examples from the fields of biology and paves the way for serious reassessment of the theory of evolution. He also came up with the concept of memes or self-reproducing ideas which humans use to propagate themselves. For example, he asserts that if we were puppets we would try to understand how our strings work.

Dawkins’ “The Blind Watchmaker” is an excellent introduction to how the Darwinian theory of evolution works. He takes a step by step approach to explain how complex design comes about through the accumulation of small changes by natural selection. For him, natural selection is a combination of non-random natural selection and random mutations and why the intricate design of an organism does not necessarily mean good design. He then explains how the genetic blueprint copies from cell to cell or from individual to individual, how mutations occur and how copy errors come about. Dawkins argues that natural selection explains the complex adaptations that organisms have though he is more concerned with explaining the difference between randomness combined with cumulative selection as compared to the complexity of pure randomness. He uses the Weasel program to illustrate this while also describing his experiences using a computer model of a program named “The Blind Watchmaker.”

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