Includes bibliographical references (pages 419-427) and index.
Author's introduction -- I. The value(s) of science. The values of science and the science of values -- Speaking up for science : an open letter to Prince Charles -- Science and sensibility -- Dolittle and Darwin -- II. All its merciless glory. "More Darwinian than Darwin" : the Darwin-Wallace papers -- Universal Darwinism -- An ecology of replicators -- Twelve misunderstandings of kin selection -- III. Future conditional. Net gain -- Intelligent aliens -- Searching under the lamp-post -- Fifty years on : killing the soul? -- IV. Mind control, mischief and muddle. The 'Alabama insert' -- The guided missiles of 9/11 -- The theology of the tsunami -- Merry Christmas, Prime Minister! -- The science of religion -- Is science a religion? -- Atheists for Jesus -- V. Living in the real world. The dead hand of Plato -- 'Beyond reasonable doubt'? -- But can they suffer? -- I love fireworks, but... -- Who would rally against reason? -- In praise of subtitles; or, a drubbing for dubbing -- If I ruled the world... -- VI. The sacred truth of nature. About time -- The giant tortoise's tale : islands within islands -- The sea turtle's tale : there and back again (and again?) -- Farewell to a digerati dreamer -- VII. Laughing at live dragons. Fundraising for faith -- The Great Bus Mystery -- Jarvis and the Family Tree -- Gerin Oil -- Sage elder statesman of the dinosaur fancy -- Athorism : let's hope it's a lasting vogue -- Dawkins' laws -- VIII. No man is an island. Memories of a maestro -- O my beloved father : John Dawkins, 1915-2010 -- More than my uncle : A.F. 'Bill' Dawkins, 1916-2009 -- Honouring Hitch.
"In 1976 Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene caused a seismic shift in our understanding of biology by proffering the gene-centered view of evolution and was called 'The best work of popular science ever written" by the New York Review of Books. Then in 2006, Dawkins wrote The God Delusion, transforming the world's cultural and intellectual landscape once again with this takedown of religious faith. In this carefully curated collection of forty-two pieces of his shorter work, Dawkins focuses on what science is and how it is done, the inexhaustible wonders of nature, the importance of critical thinking, and the great minds who have changed his life--including Charles Darwin, Carl Sagan, and Christopher Hitchens."-- Provided by publisher.