| 1. Title: The Blind Watchmaker
2. Author: Richard Dawkins
3. When did you first read it? Whenever it was published. About
1990, I think.
4. Why did it strike you so much? It's like throwing open the doors
and windows in a dark and stuffy room. You realize what a jumble of
half-digested ideas we normally live with, particularly those of us
with an arts education. We "sort of" understand evolution,
though we secretly think there's probably a bit more to it than that.
Some of us even think that there's some "sort of" god, which
takes care of the bits that sound a little bit improbable. Dawkins
brings a flood of light and fresh air, and shows us that there is
a dazzling clarity to the structure of evolution that is breathtaking
when we suddenly see it. And if we don't see it, then, quite literally,
we don't know the first thing about who we are and where we come from.
5. Have you reread it? If so, how many times? Yes, once or twice.
But I also dip into it a lot.
6. Does it feel the same as when you first read it? Yes. The workings
of evolution run so contrary to our normal intuitive assumptions about
the world that there's always a fresh shock of understanding.
7. Do you recommend it, or is it a private passion? I'd recommend
it to anybody and everybody.