Which of Richard Dawkins' evolution or biology books are best to start with? 

I am self teaching myself the theory of evolution, so I understand it much better. I am half way through Charles Darwin's "On origin of the species", after that I will read Jerry Coyne's "Why Evolution is True".

I defiantly want to read some of Dawkins evolutionary texts, but uncertain which ones to start with. I currently own but have not yet read "The selfish gene" and "The greatest show on earth"

Which Dawkins texts would you suggest I start with when I'm finished with Darwin and Coyne's books?

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Hi Reasunach - Jerry Coyne's book "Why Evolution is True" is worth reading. Also Dawkins "Greatest Show on Earth". I would read those first and then Dawkins earlier books like The Selfish Gene.
If you can find the BBC series with Dr. Alice Roberts called "Incredible Human Journey" is very good - 5 x 1 hour episodes but I think the DVD can be purchased from the BBC shop.
It is difficult to comprehend vast time spans but that’s what Evolution takes (in general) and is one of the reasons people don’t “get it”. Also we did not descend form apes as many Theists believe. Rather we share a common ancestor. The TOE also does not try to explain how life began on Earth but rather what happened after it started. What I am getting at is that it is important to understand what the TOE is not – which is why it is so misunderstood. However once it is properly understood it is a beautiful concept and it is the Truth. All life on Earth is Evolved and all life on Earth is related to all other life.

Have a look at this video here.

Edit - sorry man just saw your Jerry Coyne mention. Good book.

No problem at all and thanks so much for your response, very helpful indeed


Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution is True is the best all-round book on evolution today. I've read it a number of times. After that, I'd recommend The Greatest Show on Earth by Dawkins for another good all-rounder. 

Good to see another Irishman on here :) 

Hey thanks Sean. Same to you man

As far as Dawkins goes, definitely start with "The Greatest Show on Earth". His other evolution/biology books are more focused on one aspect or another, where-as 'greatest' gives a very nice broad overview of evolution. You will also find it much easier to read than Darwin. I also read "On the Origin of Species" and "Decent of Man". Both are good, but very very dry. Dawkins, is a much more accessible read than Darwin.

Yes I agree even from read Dawkins' The God Delusion which covers "some" evolutionary issues you can tell that his literary style is much better than Darwin's. 

My favourite was The Blind Watchmaker, in which he lays waste to the fallacy of apparent design. But if I had to recommend one to start with it would be the Selfish Gene. Two really great books.

Blind Watchmaker is the most quote-mined book of Dawkins by Creationists. In particular, where Dawkins makes reference to the 'appearance of design'. They conveniently skip the part where Dawkins explains exactly why it there is zero design involved and why design is not required. 

It is a solid book, but there are better books available which focus on the evidence for validating the theory of evolution by natural selection. 

I'll certainly add The Blind Watchmaker to the list, thanks

   If what you're looking for is a clear cut exposition showing that evolution HAS to be true, try "The Ancestor's Tale."  It's not Dawkins' most interesting book, but if you can get all the way through "Origin of Species," you can make it though this book.  Like "Origin..." it provides an irrefutable picture of how evolution must and does occur.  It starts with stating the fact that your parents look a lot like you; their parents look a little less like you, and so on, all the way back, generation by generation, to the primordial ooze.


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