The Telegraph gives an overwhelmingly positive review, and the reviewer is happy with how Dawkins
gives the fact-rejecters their just deserts. He sets out to polish off their flummery. Dawkins compares creationists to Holocaust deniers and spoons, with relish, an acid sauce of mockery onto that absurd confection of half-baked ideas.
Interestingly, the review by New Scientist is mostly negative, and for the same reasons.
Another “argument for evolution” book could only be justified by a great new angle on how to reach the unconverted masses.
Implying that your audience is stupid does not qualify as a great new angle. Yet this is precisely what Dawkins does. He opens the book by mentioning his two previous books about evolution, and then, with a nearly audible scoff, adds that back when he wrote those books (when people, apparently, were smarter?) he didn’t have to argue that evolution actually happened. “That didn’t seem to be necessary,” he says.
By the first chapter he is comparing his predicament to a history professor forced to teach “a baying pack of ignoramuses” and dealing with a “rearguard defence”. Today, he proclaims, “all but the woefully uninformed are forced to accept the fact of evolution”.
It’s really kind of comical. If “spot the condescensions” is a new drinking game, then bottoms up! There’s one in just about every chapter. Though Dawkins says from the outset, “This is not an anti-religious book”, he can’t help but knock religion throughout, For instance, he writes: “God, to repeat this point, which ought to be obvious, but isn’t, never made a tiny wing in his eternal life.” Young Earth creationists are, he writes, “deluded to the point of perversity”. You get the sense that Dawkins just can’t control it. It’s as if he suffers from an anti-religious form of Tourette’s syndrome.
Any thoughts or observations on this new book?