The Magic of Reality

The Magic of Reality

How We Know What's Really True

Book - 2012
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An elegant, text-only paperback edition of the New York Times bestseller that's been hailed as the definitive authority on...everything.

Richard Dawkins, bestselling author and the world's most celebrated evolutionary biologist, has spent his career elucidating the many wonders of science. Here, he takes a broader approach and uses his unrivaled explanatory powers to illuminate the ways in which the world really works. Filled with clever thought experiments and jaw-dropping facts, The Magic of Reality explains a stunningly wide range of natural phenomena: How old is the universe? Why do the continents look like disconnected pieces of a jigsaw puzzle? What causes tsunamis? Why are there so many kinds of plants and animals? Who was the first man, or woman? Starting with the magical, mythical explanations for the wonders of nature, Dawkins reveals the exhilarating scientific truths behind these occurrences. This is a page-turning detective story that not only mines all the sciences for its clues but primes the reader to think like a scientist as well.
Publisher: New York : Free Press, 2012
Edition: 1st Free Press trade pbk. ed
ISBN: 9781451675047
1451675046
Branch Call Number: 501 DAWKINS
Characteristics: 327 p. : ill. ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: McKean, Dave - Illustrator

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black_wolf_1142
May 08, 2017

The Magic of Reality is a nonfiction book by Dr. Richard Dawkins. The book talks about how myths that explain natural phenomena can be replaced by provable, verifiable, scientific model. Dr. Dawkins classifies magic into three types: supernatural magic, stage magic, and poetic magic. Dr. Dawkins brings up questions that humans have puzzled over for thousands of years. He explains that when people from classical civilizations did not know the answer to a question, it automatically became a myth.
This book made me realize the fine line between the scientific and the supernatural. I know now know why models, the scientific method, and step-by-step, rational thinking triumph over ignorance, myths, and the supernatural; because myths cannot be held to be a good, provable, verifiable standard that has enough evidence to replace the latest advances in science.
The book made me stop and think about the world. I took some time to wrap my head around new concepts which made me look at my world differently, such as red shift, comet movement, and Pollyanna’s law. This book bent my mind and taught me more on subjects I already knew about.
I highly recommend this book to all science and mythology lovers as it is a book which covers a wide range of both myths and science.

Booksaregold Jun 18, 2014

Great explanation of each section of the chapter looking forward to read his other books .

w
wilbur2010
Jun 08, 2013

I'm in my 20s and this book still amazed me. Lovely illustrations, clear explanations, a little humor and a lot of humility throughout...I learned things I didn't know that I didn't know, and others that I just didn't understand! This is not going to be a good book for anyone threatened by the current scientific consensus but for anyone genuinely interested in science it's a lovely read!

c
Cannes
Apr 03, 2013

It's amazing in this day and age how most of society are still ruled by superstition and myth. Incredible. Great book.

n
naturalist
Dec 18, 2012

Beautifully writing makes large concepts accessible for the young and poetic for the not-so-young. The author clearly states that this book is primarily written for children, yet book suppliers and library cataloguers insist on putting it in the adult shelves. Do they want to keep it out of the hands of children?

s
stewstealth
Oct 17, 2012

Geared towards youth but suitable for all ages. An illustrated science book that is both easy and interesting. Recommended for everyone.

mas586 Sep 30, 2012

A wonderful book for people of all ages. However, this book would be best for a child to read so they can form their own thoughts as to how humans, animals, and our universe were really created. Any open minded parent, who will allow their child to believe what they want, regardless of what the parent believes in, should get this book for their child. The illustrations are great as well, and really make Dawkins' points easier to understand.

IngloriousBelcher Nov 26, 2011

school would be a much better place if textbooks were more like this. He has a way with making science really fascinating and actually fun to read.

f
Free_Thinker
Nov 05, 2011

I recently finished reading Richard Dawkins's latest book The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True. Simply, it is a page-turner. Unique among Dawkins's books, it was written to inspire and excite an interest in Science in a younger audience (in contrast to the more difficult concepts and material he discusses in his earlier books). The scope of the book is broad: it touches upon many ...facets of Science--not simply biology, as one may expect. The book, moreover, is not just a must-read for the young, it is intellectually-stimulating even for adults: it is brain-candy for all ages. It engenders an interest and passion for not only Science, but for Reality.

roaddogg09 Oct 27, 2011

Dawkins' books usually don't disappoint, and this is not an exception. I absolutely enjoyed reading, "The Magic of Reality." Even though it is geared towards children twelve and up, I still found myself enthralled by the way Dawkins was able to explain things. Not only were the explanations fun and interesting, but the artwork is beautiful.

Dawkins begins each chapter with a question, then it is followed by myths from around the world that claim to explain the phenomena. After describing these myths, Dawkins proceeds to give the scientific explanation, which as he says, is far more magical. My favorite chapter would have to be the one that describes why bad things happen. I have countless friends who take coincidences and blow them up into revelations. Dawkins gives an explanation of large numbers and how people focus on things they want to, while ignoring everything else.

The chapter on miracles was also very good. In this chapter, Dawkins explains why natural explanations are preferred over supernatural ones. He also details David Hume's argument against miracles.

The book is beautifully illustrated and was a joy to read. I plan on buying a copy for myself and my nieces and nephews.

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dragontongue
Jun 20, 2012

dragontongue thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

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