Richard Dawkins makes case for evolution in new book

Mon Oct 5, 2009 12:42pm EDT
 
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By Ed Stoddard

DALLAS (Reuters Life!) - British scientist Richard Dawkins asks readers to imagine they are a teacher of Roman history whose attention is constantly distracted by a movement that claims the Roman Empire never existed.

"Instead of devoting your full attention to the noble vocation of classical scholar and teacher, you are forced to divert your time and energy to a rear-guard defense of the proposition that the Romans existed at all," he writes in "The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution."

His new book lays out the case for evolution, which most scientists regard as a fact, but which is rejected on religious grounds by many Christians especially in America.

Many Muslims also don't accept it.

Dawkins' book is the most recent to take aim at "creationism" and its latest incarnation, the "intelligent design" movement, which maintains that the complexity of life can only be explained by a designer.

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, the British naturalist who made the case for evolution by natural selection, and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his masterpiece "On the Origin of Species."

Dawkins presents the evidence for evolution: the fossil record and the geographical distribution of species. There are also many examples in nature of "unintelligent" design.

During a tour to promote the book Dawkins spoke to Reuters about evolution and its discontents.   Continued...

 
<p>The cover of British scientist Richard Dawkins' new book "The Greatest Show on Earth: the Evidence for Evolution" is shown in this undated handout. REUTERS/Josh Timonen/Handout</p>