Top positive review
It has been life-changing
Reviewed in the United States on April 4, 2019
I picked this book up BY ACCIDENT as it was part of the list recommended by Ray Dalio and I wanted to finish the list. There are some ideas that you don't quite fully appreciate until they sit in the mind for a while. Darwinism is one of them. This was my introduction to Darwin (yes, I curse my high school for keeping me totally ignorant of what is the greatest idea anyone ever had, 'survival of the fittest' and 'man from apes' my foot). At first read (on a 14 hour flight), I found a sense of thrill at it's mechanism and the way Dawkins explains it. I was at that point already inclined towards naturalism although I didn't know that's what it was called. As I mulled over it the next few months, I started to realize it's mind-boggling implications. It really changes everything. A universal acid that dissolves every other philosophical speculation. I have probably read a dozen books on the subject since but this book sparked the initial thrill. I remember scribbling on the last page 'the theory is beautiful'. Some people start with the Selfish Gene but I find it too long when you're looking for an introduction. This delivers the poetry of Darwinism quickly.
PS - It doesn't address the idea of no progress in evolution which is a major theme. You have to read Gould for that.