Equating disbelievers of evolution to deniers of the Holocaust may be an extreme comparison for Richard Dawkins to undertake in his book, “The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution” (Free Press), but his thirst for controversy is also what drives this well-researched work to its unshakable conclusion. The Times praised Dawkins as “an awesome thinker, a superb writer whose explanatory skills I envy, who dismisses his opponents with the thoroughness of a top silk.” The work, however, is so much more than merely an encyclopedic summary of evolutionary biology as we know it today. Filled with interesting facts, like how some species of dinosaurs hosted an extra “brain” in their pelvis to make up for an otherwise small skull, “The Greatest Show on Earth” is in many ways a circus of life and death with Dawkins as the ringmaster. His fiery prose is as much a part of the show, as the overwhelming amount of information he throws at readers and critics alike. Neil Shubin, the author of “Your Inner Fish,” pinpointed successfully the essence of Dawkins’ lively manifesto:
To call this book a defense of evolution utterly misses the point: “The Greatest Show on Earth” is a celebration of one of the best ideas humans have ever produced. It is hard not to marvel at Richard Dawkins’ luminous telling of the story of evolution and the way that it has shaped our world. In reading Dawkins, one is left awed at the beauty of the theory and humbled by the power of science to understand some of the greatest mysteries in life.