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The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's…

The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Richard Dawkins, Dave McKean (Illustrator)

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956219,073 (4.07)28

TitleThe Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True
AuthorRichard Dawkins
TagsNon-fiction, Science, Philosophy 
CollectionsYour library, To read
ReviewA year or so ago; right-wing nutjob Bill O'Reilly, amidst one of his bizarre tirades, pretty much admitted to being utterly clueless as to the state of science and assumed his followers were as clueless as he. And judging by the imbeciles his party has trotted forth since Bush Sr. became a one-termer; probably few of them have notice. Meanwhile, the rest of us got a great laugh at his expense. When he claimed that the tides were unknowable, even children who know better must have been rolling on the floor in laughter.

The Magic of Reality by Richard Dawkins seems like it was written for the likes of Bill O'Reilly. By and large, modern scientists have reacted to the rise of right-wing sponsored ignorance by ignoring it...and just ask NASA....that's not working too well for us. And us is a growing collective -- it's not just American anti-intellectual fundamentalists gaining ground, but to a lesser extent, those in Great Britain and Europe as well. Between growing fundamentalist influence and a corresponding lack of science education, millions are functionally illiterate when it comes to science. And that has grown to a dangerous number, jeopardizing the future of humanity in the process.

Dawkins suggests that scientifically vetted theories and truths are every bit as "magical" as mystical explanations offered by Creationists and other loony anti-intellectuals. He appeals to the romance of science, of the wonder of discovering truths, or at least viable theories that fit truths as we now know them. Sometimes he ventures beyond his particular areas of expertise -- admitting that he doesn't fully understand what he is about to relate. This is in the rarefied air that is quantum physics; few truly understand and even those who attempt to popularize it (such as Stephan Hawking) don't often succeed. Fortunately, such mea culpas are few and far between -- Dawkins speaks from a position of strength throughout most of the book.

Those familiar with Dawkins other work might not gain anything new from this book, but probably knows someone who ought to read it. And those of us inclined to take up the banner of science over fantasy might still find some persuasive arguments aimed at a more general audience (Dawkins last book on evolution was a little too intellectual to appeal to those who needed most to understand it, I think). For someone like myself who has been fighting the good fight, it's nice to have some weapons in the arsenal that are less polarizing from the get-go.
Other authors
Illustrator – McKean, Dave
Publication date2011
PublicationFree Press (2011), Hardcover, 272 pages
ISBN1439192812 / 9781439192818
Number of volumes1
Number of copies1
Dimensions9.8 x 7.5 x 1.1 inches
Weight2.05 pounds
LC ClassificationQ173.D255
Primary languageEnglish
SummaryThe Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True by Richard Dawkins (2011)
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Data sourceamazon.com
Citation MLA, APA, BibTeX, Chicago/Turabian, Wikipedia citation
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