Reading such intelligent thoughts, put so simply and clearly, and with profound originality, this book can't help but to elevate the reader to some inspired mental plane, unless the reader happens to possess that viral disease called Faith. Anyone who harbors that ugly mental disorder will find themselves vomiting objections to the very thing that just might cure them. Richard Dawkins serves as the doctor who has a cure; a treatment that the infected mind, by its very nature, will at first want to reject. However, if the brave believers can get past their infirmity's power of denial, they will have the inoculative tools to help rid themselves of unnecessary (and dangerous) beliefs.
A Devil's Chaplain, written by one of the most renowned evolutionary biologists, comes from his personal selections from past articles, lectures, book reviews, forewords, tributes and eulogies that he had published over 25 years. A few of you may notice that many of the chapters from Dawkins book had previously appeared on John Catalano's wonderful web site, The World of Richard Dawkins.
No doubt some of the Religious Right will believe that the title of this book describes Dawkins as a disciple of Satan, but actually the phrase comes from a letter by Darwin where he jokingly refers to a book by a Devil's Chaplain explaining the cruel works of nature (an idea that a religious mind who thinks their god has created perfect designs in 'His' image, might want to reconsider after reading this book).
The subjects in this book range from the latest views of evolutionary biology, Darwin, the methodology of science, memes (a lot on memes), ethics, religion (a lot on religion), and heros. Of his heros, Dawkins writes lovingly about the lives of Douglas Adams (of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy fame), W. D. Hamilton, John Diamond, Richard Leakey, and Stephen Jay Gould. (click for full review)
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