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Douglas Adams -- The Book that Changed Me

from The Salmon of Doubt
copyright 2002
Completely Unexpected Productions Ltd.

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.


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