Richard Dawkins, bestselling author and the world’s most celebrated evolutionary biologist, has spent his career elucidating the many wonders of science. Here, he takes a broader approach and uses his unrivaled explanatory powers to illuminate the ways in which the world really works. Filled with clever thought experiments and jaw-dropping facts, The Magic of Reality explains a stunningly wide range of natural phenomena: How old is the universe? Why do the continents look like disconnected pieces of a jigsaw puzzle? What causes tsunamis? Why are there so many kinds of plants and animals? Who was the first man, or woman? Starting with the magical, mythical explanations for the wonders of nature, Dawkins reveals the exhilarating scientific truths behind these occurrences. This is a page-turning detective story that not only mines all the sciences for its clues but primes the reader to think like a scientist as well.

Topics: Illustrated, Evolution, Popular Science, Mythology, Spirituality , Philosophical, Informative, Natural Disasters, First Person Narration, British Author, Male Author, and 21st Century

Published: Free Press on
ISBN: 9781451690132
List price: $13.99
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This book had beautiful, absolutely amazing illustrations and good explanations for a variety of scientific and natural phenomena. I loved reading it.more
Richard Dawkins is a biologist, but he also loves writing books about evolution, science and atheism. In this case, he's writing in a lighter style, obviously targetted at a younger audience. He gives religion equal treatment to other myths and legends and, while this might be upsetting to some people, I think he does a good job at not being too pushy. He takes popular myths, gives a bit of background about them, especially rationalizing why people tended to believe in them and then explains the phenomena and why they are just myths and not reality. The science is good, although sometimes his explanations are a bit convoluted (especially because he's trying to keep it simple and not use too many complicated terms or notions) - which is ok for me as a grown-up. I have a feeling certain parts of the book would bore a young reader or confuse them, but this book is ideally read by a parent together with the kids so that things can be explained when they get too confusing.Overall a great read and highly recommended for those wanting a "lighter" Dawkins experience. (I'm still slowly working through his [The Selfish Gene] book on genetics).more
Lots of big color pictures and graphs. I'm not sure who the target audience is.more
Overall a fascinating read on a fascinating subject. The book is formatted in like a coffee table book fashion with colorful graphics on each page. After reading the book I was a bit surprised that the book was recommended as a good read to introduce young people to science. Not being a young person myself I still got the message, the science is explained in generally simplistic terms.The point of the book is to try an enlighten on how superstition and oops, religious myth has shaped beliefs on matters to this day that science can and does explain readily. Blasphemous to true believers of course. As is all too apparent belief systems trump reality in many instances. So the book reinforces those who choose to see reality for what it is and believers in myth and fantasy to continue to do so despite the evidence. And life goes on.more
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Reviews

This book had beautiful, absolutely amazing illustrations and good explanations for a variety of scientific and natural phenomena. I loved reading it.more
Richard Dawkins is a biologist, but he also loves writing books about evolution, science and atheism. In this case, he's writing in a lighter style, obviously targetted at a younger audience. He gives religion equal treatment to other myths and legends and, while this might be upsetting to some people, I think he does a good job at not being too pushy. He takes popular myths, gives a bit of background about them, especially rationalizing why people tended to believe in them and then explains the phenomena and why they are just myths and not reality. The science is good, although sometimes his explanations are a bit convoluted (especially because he's trying to keep it simple and not use too many complicated terms or notions) - which is ok for me as a grown-up. I have a feeling certain parts of the book would bore a young reader or confuse them, but this book is ideally read by a parent together with the kids so that things can be explained when they get too confusing.Overall a great read and highly recommended for those wanting a "lighter" Dawkins experience. (I'm still slowly working through his [The Selfish Gene] book on genetics).more
Lots of big color pictures and graphs. I'm not sure who the target audience is.more
Overall a fascinating read on a fascinating subject. The book is formatted in like a coffee table book fashion with colorful graphics on each page. After reading the book I was a bit surprised that the book was recommended as a good read to introduce young people to science. Not being a young person myself I still got the message, the science is explained in generally simplistic terms.The point of the book is to try an enlighten on how superstition and oops, religious myth has shaped beliefs on matters to this day that science can and does explain readily. Blasphemous to true believers of course. As is all too apparent belief systems trump reality in many instances. So the book reinforces those who choose to see reality for what it is and believers in myth and fantasy to continue to do so despite the evidence. And life goes on.more
A different kind of Dawkins book.. This was popular science aimed at the younger person. I found it ok, It reminded me of Asimov's science popularization's which I've read widely. Dawkins describes our current understanding of the natural world in a rational way, while contrasting individual topics with their associated myths and mythologies from the past. In This I believe he hopes to convey the value of rational thought and the scientific method over unsupported beliefs.more
This book may have its flaws, but it breaks new ground. It is written for mature children and addresses the question of why to believe the scientific facts that we have been taught. There are interesting thought experiments, like the one where we put the photographs of our ancestors on an enormous bookshelf.It is overt in its anti-religiosity. This makes it fit very well with Richard Dawins' previous efforts and I appreciate that he has chosen to reach out to children in this way. I believe that I would have found even greater value in this book as a child than I have as an adult.In some places it is very English as in the discussions of Christmas pantomime or the play "Where the Rainbow Ends". I enjoy cultural differences and enjoyed them as a child, so this statement is not a criticism.The reading by Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward is quite pleasant.more
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