Date finished: 2015-03-17
A collection of short pieces by Dawkins, including essays, forewords, obituaries, and reviews. I wasn't expecting much from this motley collection of subject matter, but as always Dawkins's writing is lucid and elegant. The high points were a surprise to me: the four obituaries, two for Douglas Adams and one each for W.D. Hamilton and John Diamond, are movingly written and memorialize their subjects well. Another section collects reviews of various books by Stephen Jay Gould, the other famous popularizer of evolutionary theory, and discusses their technical disagreements. The impassioned "Time to Stand Up", written soon after September 11th 2001, is a blast against religion that surely led to The God Delusion a few years later. The skeptical articles in the first section, where Dawkins makes fun of crystal-based pseudoscience and post-modernist appropriation of scientific ideas, are also fun.
%T A Devil's Chaplain %S Reflections on Hope, Lies, Science and Love %A Dawkins, Richard %K essays, science %G ISBN 0-618-48539-2 %I Mariner %P 255pp %D 2003 %@ 2015-03-17