Top positive review
Science, the ever-advancing journey into the knowable unknown.
Reviewed in the United States on August 2, 2019
Dawkins does a masterful job of highlighting the ways in which science should and does inspire our innate sense of wonder, of mystery and of purpose. While not an atheist myself, I read Dawkins occasionally because of his enthusiastic passion for, and knowledge of, scientific theory and law. He brings a welcome attention to, and appreciation of, the world of our five senses.
The book presents a series of several interesting subjects that present ways of reconstructing the past, making comprehensible models of the present, and foreseeing possible futures. It may go without saying, but unless one has a love (or at least a curiosity) for science, this book may seem a bit tedious in the details that it presents on a multitude of topics. Of course, for the lover of science like myself, the great detail is very welcome.
Here is a summary of what I feel to be the spirit of this book. This universe is a fascinating wonder, and the earth itself a rare paradise in the midst of the known universe. Sometimes it is easy to become too accustomed, and even immune, to the beauty and wonder that we see around us every day: the immense complexities, the ingenious ways in which natural laws work together, the statistical improbabilities which we see nevertheless played out before our very eyes. Sometimes it takes the poet to paint the world anew so that we see it through fresh lenses. Science, Dawkins asserts, only fuels, rather than detracts from, the poetic beauty of our world. Science does answer many long-held mysteries, but rather than stealing away the mysterious and the wonder of the universe, every answer opens up new mysteries the likes of which we had never before thought to consider. And many times, the answers are so beautiful in their detail, in a sense overwhelming to consider such a vast and perfect order, that the answers themselves inspire in us a kind of ecstatic marveling that otherwise would have been, if not impossible, certainly less rewarding if we had only a superficial understanding. Dawkins demonstrates that rather than being a killjoy, science and rational analysis take us on a continual and ever-advancing journey into the unknown mysteries of which there are no end. One of the most admirable things about the scientific method when used properly and without a biased agenda (which is perhaps rare if not impossible) is that it keeps an open mind to change its accepted theory whenever presented with conflicting evidence to the established viewpoint. That is perhaps what makes it the most exciting. It presents a way of looking at the world and, through statistical analysis, searching for the most appropriate viewpoint that fits the current data set. It is a living, transforming, advancing knowledge base that has worked wonders in our past and will continue to drive the world forward to new heights. With this book, Dawkins has helped to inspire in others that same passion that burns deep within him for discovering and lucidly exploring the magnificent world around us.