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Science in the Soul: Selected Writings of a Passionate Rationalist
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The legendary biologist and bestselling author mounts a timely and passionate defense of science and clear thinking with this career-spanning collection of essays, including twenty pieces published in the United States for the first time. For decades, Richard Dawkins has been a brilliant scientific communicator, consistently illuminating the wonders of nature and attacking faulty logic. Science in the Soul brings together forty-two essays, polemics, and paeans—all written with Dawkins’s characteristic erudition, remorseless wit, and unjaded awe of the natural world. Though it spans three decades, this book couldn’t be more timely or more urgent. Elected officials have opened the floodgates to prejudices that have for half a century been unacceptable or at least undercover. In a passionate introduction, Dawkins calls on us to insist that reason take center stage and that gut feelings, even when they don’t represent the stirred dark waters of xenophobia, misogyny, or other blind prejudice, should stay out of the voting booth. And in the essays themselves, newly annotated by the author, he investigates a number of issues, including the importance of empirical evidence, and decries bad science, religion in the schools, and climate-change deniers. Dawkins has equal ardor for “the sacred truth of nature” and renders here with typical virtuosity the glories and complexities of the natural world. Woven into an exploration of the vastness of geological time, for instance, is the peculiar history of the giant tortoises and the sea turtles—whose journeys between water and land tell us a deeper story about evolution. At this moment, when so many highly placed people still question the fact of evolution, Dawkins asks what Darwin would make of his own legacy—“a mixture of exhilaration and exasperation”—and celebrates science as possessing many of religion’s virtues—“explanation, consolation, and uplift”—without its detriments of superstition and prejudice. In a world grown irrational and hostile to facts, Science in the Soul is an essential collection by an indispensable author.Praise for Science in the Soul“Compelling . . . rendered in gloriously spiky and opinionated prose . . . [Dawkins is] one of the great science popularizers of the last half-century.”The Christian Science Monitor “Dawkins is a ferocious polemicist, a defender of reason and enemy of superstition.”—John Horgan, Scientific American
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Street Date:
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Language:
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ISBN:
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APA Citation (style guide)

Richard Dawkins. (2017). Science in the Soul: Selected Writings of a Passionate Rationalist. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Richard Dawkins. 2017. Science in the Soul: Selected Writings of a Passionate Rationalist. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Richard Dawkins, Science in the Soul: Selected Writings of a Passionate Rationalist. Random House Publishing Group, 2017.

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Richard Dawkins. Science in the Soul: Selected Writings of a Passionate Rationalist. Random House Publishing Group, 2017. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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      • bioText: Richard Dawkins is a fellow of the Royal Society and was the inaugural holder of the Charles Simonyi Chair of Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. He is the acclaimed author of many books, including The Selfish Gene, The God Delusion, The Magic of Reality, Climbing Mount Improbable, Unweaving the Rainbow, The Ancestor's Tale, and The Greatest Show on Earth. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Royal Society of Literature Award, the Michael Faraday Prize of the Royal Society, the Kistler Prize, the Shakespeare Prize, the Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science, the Galaxy British Book Awards Author of the Year Award, and the International Cosmos Prize of Japan.
      • name: Richard Dawkins
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Science in the Soul
fullDescription
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The legendary biologist and bestselling author mounts a timely and passionate defense of science and clear thinking with this career-spanning collection of essays, including twenty pieces published in the United States for the first time.
For decades, Richard Dawkins has been a brilliant scientific communicator, consistently illuminating the wonders of nature and attacking faulty logic. Science in the Soul brings together forty-two essays, polemics, and paeans—all written with Dawkins’s characteristic erudition, remorseless wit, and unjaded awe of the natural world.
Though it spans three decades, this book couldn’t be more timely or more urgent. Elected officials have opened the floodgates to prejudices that have for half a century been unacceptable or at least undercover. In a passionate introduction, Dawkins calls on us to insist that reason take center stage and that gut feelings, even when they don’t represent the stirred dark waters of xenophobia, misogyny, or other blind prejudice, should stay out of the voting booth. And in the essays themselves, newly annotated by the author, he investigates a number of issues, including the importance of empirical evidence, and decries bad science, religion in the schools, and climate-change deniers.
Dawkins has equal ardor for “the sacred truth of nature” and renders here with typical virtuosity the glories and complexities of the natural world. Woven into an exploration of the vastness of geological time, for instance, is the peculiar history of the giant tortoises and the sea turtles—whose journeys between water and land tell us a deeper story about evolution. At this moment, when so many highly placed people still question the fact of evolution, Dawkins asks what Darwin would make of his own legacy—“a mixture of exhilaration and exasperation”—and celebrates science as possessing many of religion’s virtues—“explanation, consolation, and uplift”—without its detriments of superstition and prejudice.
In a world grown irrational and hostile to facts, Science in the Soul is an essential collection by an indispensable author.
Praise for Science in the Soul
“Compelling . . . rendered in gloriously spiky and opinionated prose . . . [Dawkins is] one of the great science popularizers of the last half-century.”The Christian Science Monitor 
“Dawkins is a ferocious polemicist, a defender of reason and enemy of superstition.”—John Horgan, Scientific American
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        June 12, 2017
        In this assemblage of assorted texts, British evolutionary biologist and polemicist Dawkins (Brief Candle in the Dark) mixes his personal delight that humans have discovered the truth about so much of nature with frustration that the rational search for truth remains a minority approach. Whether he’s administering a respectful rebuke to Prince Charles for a speech full of fashionable antiscience, praising Charles Darwin, or satirizing an article by former prime minister Tony Blair promoting his foundation aimed at encouraging religious faith, Dawkins never conceals his love of good explanations and his contempt for sloppy thinking. Unfortunately, that contempt for sloppy thinking doesn’t extend to the social realm, where Dawkins often comes across as being as confused by politics, culture, and society (for example, his failure to understand why Barack Obama might identify as black) as he is knowledgeable about genetics. Dawkins’s pedantic tone and notable blind spots notwithstanding, his writings on evolution are worth reading and make for a satisfying introduction to one of today’s most prominent scientific thinkers. Agent: John Brockman, Brockman Inc.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        June 1, 2017
        Combative, contrarian scientist Dawkins (Brief Candle in the Dark: My Life in Science, 2015, etc.) gathers work from across a range of scholarly and secular interests.Is there such a thing as objective truth? If there is, it will come through the vehicle of science, and, the author responds in an Oxford lecture, anyone who argues that we make our own truth is guilty of promulgating "fashionable prattlings." He adds that anti-scientific posturing is the gateway to a new Dark Ages, noting that even if Newtonian physics is only an approximation and Einstein's theory of relativity is subject to revision, that "does not lower them into the same league as medieval witchcraft or tribal superstition." There is a touch of the straw man, and perhaps of the ethnocentric, in the author's ill temper, but he backs his opinions on science and society with hard-edged research while he offers some interesting thought experiments on how science might be applied to life--not just in getting lights to turn on and planes to fly, but in improving the truth of the judicial system by operating jury proceedings as if they were replicable lab tests: "My guess is that if the two-jury experiment were run over by a large number of trials, the frequency with which the two groups would agree on a verdict would run at slightly higher than 50 percent." Dawkins does not disappoint on the religion front, in which he has become known as a leading light of intellectual atheism (or athorism, as he posits in a satirical note on the worship of Norse gods). He lampoons creationism, the 6,000-year-old Earth, and the "time-consuming, wealth-consuming, hostility-provoking, fecundity-forfeiting rituals of religion." Ever the Darwinist, he pauses along the way to ponder what possible adaptive purpose religion can have, questioning whether it might be a species of dominance hierarchy, a holier-than-thou pecking order, among other postulations. For Dawkins fans, a must-have collection of scattered speeches and writings; for foes, more grist for the mill.

        COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        February 1, 2017

        Nearly half of the 42 pieces here have never been published in North America, and the rest are not well known, so this collection celebrating rational, scientific thinking will be a treat for Dawkins fans and science readers generally.

        Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        June 15, 2017

        These 41 short pieces suitably capture evolutionary biologist Dawkins's (The Selfish Gene; The God Delusion) reputation as a fierce proponent of rationalism, who possesses an exacting and questioning scientific mind and an acerbic wit. Mostly speeches and published letters, these selections are presented with minimal editing: editor's notes introduce each topical section, and contextual footnotes have been added by Dawkins throughout. Readers will find concise arguments of how mutation plus natural selection provides the best explanation for the diversity of life we see today but also the hopeful recognition that human beings have evolved minds capable of long-term planning that may mediate the negative effects of genetic adaptations to an environment now changing much faster than evolutionary timescales. Dawkins's staunch defense of rationalism, especially against the antisocial outcomes he sees arising from religion, comes through in several often sarcastic pieces. But he writes as well of the transcendent awe that science can inspire and gives admiring tributes to mentors who have fostered such insight. VERDICT An excellent option for Dawkins fans and science lovers; those unfamiliar with the author's work may want to seek out his full-length books. [See Prepub Alert, 1/9/17.]--Wade M. Lee, Univ. of Toledo Lib.

        Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The legendary biologist and bestselling author mounts a timely and passionate defense of science and clear thinking with this career-spanning collection of essays, including twenty pieces published in the United States for the first time.
For decades, Richard Dawkins has been a brilliant scientific communicator, consistently illuminating the wonders of nature and attacking faulty logic. Science in the Soul brings together forty-two essays, polemics, and paeans—all written with Dawkins’s characteristic erudition, remorseless wit, and unjaded awe of the natural world.
Though it spans three decades, this book couldn’t be more timely or more urgent. Elected officials have opened the floodgates to prejudices that have for half a century been unacceptable or at least undercover. In a passionate introduction, Dawkins calls on us to insist that reason take center stage and that gut feelings, even when they...
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