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The legendary biologist, provocateur, and bestselling author mounts a timely and passionate defence of science and clear thinking with this career-spanning collection of essays, lectures and letters.
For decades, Richard Dawkins has been the world’s most brilliant scientific communicator,
consistently illuminating the wonders of nature and attacking faulty logic. Science in the Soul brings together forty-two essays, polemics, and paeans—all written with Dawkins’s characteristic erudition, remorseless wit, and unjaded awe of the natural world.
Though it spans three decades, this book couldn’t be more timely or more urgent. In a passionate introduction, Dawkins calls on us to insist that reason take centre stage and that gut feelings, even when they don’t represent the stirred dark waters of xenophobia, misogyny, or other blind prejudice, should stay out of the voting booth. And in the essays themselves, newly annotated by the author, he investigates a number of issues, including the importance of empirical evidence, and decries bad science, religion in schools, and climate-change deniers.
Dawkins has equal ardour for ‘the sacred truth of nature’ and renders here with typical virtuosity the glories and complexities of the natural world. Woven into an exploration of the vastness of geological time, for instance, is the peculiar history of the giant tortoises and the sea turtles—whose journeys between water and land tell us a deeper story about evolution. At this moment, Dawkins asks what Darwin would make of his own legacy—‘a mixture of exhilaration and exasperation’—and celebrates science as possessing many of religion’s virtues—‘explanation, consolation, and uplift’ —without its detriments of superstition and prejudice.
In a world grown irrational and hostile to facts, Science in the Soul is an essential collection by an indispensable author.
RICHARD DAWKINS first catapulted to fame with his iconic work The Selfish Gene (1976) which he followed with a string of prestigious books including The Blind Watchmaker, Climbing Mount Improbable, The Ancestor’s Tale, The God Delusion, and two volumes of autobiography, An Appetite for Wonder (2013) and Brief Candle in the Dark (2015). He is a Fellow of both the Royal Society and the Royal Society of Literature and the recipient of numerous honours and awards. He remains a fellow of New College, Oxford. In 2013, Dawkins was voted the world’s top thinker in Prospect magazine’s poll of 10,000 readers from over 100 countries.