31 May 2008

The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins

Review by PZ Myers

Science writers like Gould, Goodenough, Sagan, or Dawkins often aspire to communicate the wonder they feel at the beauty, complexity, and diversity of nature. It's a natural consequence of a career in science—perhaps even a prerequisite for one—to marvel at stars in the sky or strange creatures of the deep, or even the miracle of our own flesh. Great science writing tries to transmit that same sense of amazement to the reader. In return, all too often these writers are paid the backhanded compliment that they, who do not believe in spirits, are "spiritual;" that the joy they take in the universe is their "religion."

"But is religion the right word?" asks eminent Oxford scholar Richard Dawkins in his newest book, The God Delusion. Though the appropriation of the term may seem innocuous, in Dawkins's view it's part of a larger and more dangerous trend. His reply—"I don't think so"—sets the tone for the book. (click for full review)

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