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Extended Audio Sample The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution Audiobook, by Richard Dawkins Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.00006445375443 out of 54.00006445375443 out of 54.00006445375443 out of 54.00006445375443 out of 54.00006445375443 out of 5 4.00 (15,515 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Richard Dawkins Narrator: Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2009 ISBN: 9780743579285
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Richard Dawkins transformed our view of God in his blockbuster, The God Delusion, which sold more than two million copies in English alone. He revolutionized the way we see natural selection in the seminal bestseller The Selfish Gene. Now he launches a fierce counterattack against proponents of “Intelligent Design” in his latest New York Times bestseller, The Greatest Show on Earth.

“Intelligent Design” is being taught in our schools; educators are being asked to “teach the controversy” behind evolutionary theory. There is no controversy. Dawkins sifts through rich layers of scientific evidence—from living examples of natural selection to clues in the fossil record; from natural clocks that mark the vast epochs wherein evolution ran its course to the intricacies of developing embryos; from plate tectonics to molecular genetics—to make the airtight case that “we find ourselves perched on one tiny twig in the midst of a blossoming and flourishing tree of life and it is no accident, but the direct consequence of evolution by non-random selection.”

His unjaded passion for the natural world turns what might have been a negative argument, exposing the absurdities of the creationist position, into a positive offering to the reader: nothing less than a master’s vision of life, in all its splendor.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This is a magnificent book of wonderstanding: Richard Dawkins combines an artists’s wonder at the virtuosity of nature with a scientist’s understanding of how it comes to be.”

    Matt Ridley, author of Nature via Nuture

  • “It is hard not to marvel at Richard Dawkins’ luminous retelling of the story of evolution and the way that it has shaped our world. In reading Dawkins, one is left awed at the beauty of the theory and humbled by the power of science to understand some of the greatest mysteries of life.” 

    Neil Shubin, author of Your Inner Fish

  • “This important book and timely book is a must-read for Darwin Year.”

    Jerry Coyne, author of Why Evolution Is True

  • “With characteristic flair and passion, Dawkins had put on a stunning exhibition of the evidence for evolution.” 

    Dr. Alice Roberts, biological anthropologist

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Melanie Rose | 2/13/2014

    " This book was disguised as a novel, when in fact it was a scientific journal. I waded my way through stuff I already knew and found myself irritated by Richard Dawkins self assurance that evolution and a Creator could not both be true. In my own book, Down to Earth (which IS a novel)I point out by way of my characters that the Creator is beyond our comprehension as mere mortals and that science actually proves - rather than disproves - how clever our varied and wondrous world actually is. Only 2 stars I'm afraid. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary Frances | 2/10/2014

    " I finally ran out of steam. On cd, this book is simply too dense and slow, and without the illustrations, it lacks pizazz. May try it again in print. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessamyn | 2/9/2014

    " The best parts are when he makes fun of creationists. Love. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dave Duquette | 2/7/2014

    " pretty convincing, not for creationists "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tommy | 2/4/2014

    " I liked it. This was an impulse buy for me, as it was in the clearance section and only a few bucks. That being said, I still enjoyed reading it. Dawkins' has a confrontational style he writes with and I felt that as someone who has a pretty good understanding of evolution, I wasn't the target audience of the book. I still enjoyed a lot of the different explanations and examples he uses to convey his message on how right he is. I'd recommend it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alaa Sabawi | 1/23/2014

    " Yes I know this book is a dumbing down of his previous masterpieces of books, but Dawkins did add some updates to the science and more colorful examples. He did not disappoint me on his magical style of writing and ability to hold you glued to the pages until you finish. I don't think he is targeting creationists like many reviewers said, I think he is targeting those who just do not have the time or the scientific background to reach a rational conclusion and are swamped by their religious surroundings to think straight. I recommend it for people who think 'The Selfish Gene' is for biologists. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sofie | 1/18/2014

    " my mind has been blown. the missing link to his other 2 books. a well detailed, informative and slightly humourous read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tony Corkery | 1/17/2014

    " The book delivers exactly what the title promises i.e the evidence for evolution. Dawkins starts by laying out his intention to dispel the 'evolution is only a theory' argument constantly trumpeted by the intelligent design proponents and worse (creationists). The book takes the reader through thorough and cogent arguments supporting evolution linked to a vast array of referenced evidence. If you don't agree that evolution is a 'fact' after reading then you really won't ever be convinced. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stewart | 1/13/2014

    " Preaching to the choir here. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marge | 1/4/2014

    " I agree with so much of what Dawkins had to say and also learned more about evolution and some of the fascinating results. However I almost skipped some chapters. The book seemed to long during those chapters. There were other portions that I read every word - they were so astonishing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Max Wilson | 12/27/2013

    " This could be a fairly good step-by-step guide to refuting intelligent design; but its better seen as an essay on natural selection. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dan Robertson | 12/24/2013

    " Read Dawkins for the best arguments for evolution "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Judith | 12/9/2013

    " Evolution and Richard Dawkins are both amazing. There were several moments where I breathlessly murmured, "Wow!" Highly recommended. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David Powell | 12/7/2013

    " I tend to be wordy in my reviews, but I will keep this one succinct for emphasis. I really like Dawkins and his books. I think this one is the best. If you really want to get an overall grasp of the emergence of life, in its amazing diversity, read the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kevin Hare | 12/4/2013

    " Good Overview of the concept just not in depth enough for my taste "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 ~robin~ | 11/27/2013

    " most enlightening book i've probably ever read! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erika | 10/8/2013

    " This is the best evolution book I've read. It presents the evidence supporting evolution from a wide range of fields, from paleontology to microbiology in an easily accessible way. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Graham Lutz | 8/18/2013

    " Some chapters were fantastic, others rambly. Yeah, rambly. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael Cowan | 3/25/2013

    " Wordy, a few mistakes, and not a good book to start with. You'll need to grasp the basics of biology before you'll be able to understand this book, but it is otherwise a fine introduction. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ok2av8 | 1/31/2013

    " Excellent case FOR evolution. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Daniel Calder | 10/18/2012

    " this book lays out how and why we know that evolution is true. authoratative and often funny, classic Dawkins. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda Pahdoco | 5/7/2012

    " While a few passages were a bit acerbic, overall a very good evolution primer. Gives clear, indisputable arguments for evolution. While I wouldn't expect an evolution denier to actually read the book, someone who is questioning what their church has fed them would learn something valuable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachael | 5/30/2011

    " I enjoyed this more than I expected. The predictions that evolution makes are far more extensive than I realized. Plus I learned some fun tidbits such as how scientists figure out how many genes are shared between species, the results of evolving E. coli in a lab for twenty years, etc. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lachlan | 5/2/2011

    " An amazing book, Richard Dawkins has a great command of the English language. If every creationist read this book, a lot more people would be open to the theory of evolution. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aabra | 4/28/2011

    " Excellent so far, just like all his other books. Dawkins is definitely a "superbrain"! And he knows how to turn complex concepts into everyday language. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katia | 3/28/2011

    " What a wonderful book about evolution made with a concise and supported argument. Loved it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sofie | 3/26/2011

    " my mind has been blown. the missing link to his other 2 books. a well detailed, informative and slightly humourous read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 AmerX | 3/21/2011

    " trying to understand this theory from the atheism side..or maybe I want to be convinced to clear the thoughts in my mind....
    it didn't reach my expectations.. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jack | 3/19/2011

    " Ultimately books are written for an antidote to ingorance.This does the job admirably.
    Support for and reinforcement of the Darwin theory of Evolution.
    Informative and humorous science reading.
    library loan. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 ~robin~ | 3/13/2011

    " most enlightening book i've probably ever read! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jarad | 3/9/2011

    " Excellent resource, illustrating the mountains of evidence for evolution. Recommended for all! "

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About the Author
Author Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins, an acclaimed biologist, is a fellow of the Royal Society and was the inaugural holder of the Charles Simonyi Chair of Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. He is the author of numerous books, including The Selfish Gene, Climbing Mount Improbable, Unweaving the Rainbow, The Ancestor’s Tale, The God Delusion, and The Greatest Show on Earth. He has received a number of honorary doctorates from colleges and universities around the world and has received many awards and honors throughout his career, most notably a Finlay Innovation Award, the Michael Faraday Award, the Nakayama Prize, the Kistler Prize, and the Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest.

About the Narrator

Lalla Ward is an actress and audiobook narrator who is best known for her role as Romana in Doctor Who, a popular BBC television series. She has also appeared in several other television shows, including The Protectors, Quiller, The Professionals, and Hazel. She is the former wife of actor and costar Tom Baker, who played the Fourth Doctor in Doctor Who.