Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Magic of Reality

Above are the UK and (terrible) American covers for The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True, a new basic science primer written by Richard Dawkins, and illustrated by Dave McKean. Each of the twelve chapters, on topics including rainbows, gravity, evolution, and atoms, starts with a whirlwind tour of various myths, before moving on to an explanation of the applicable science at a level I think a fifth grader could grasp (my six year old is a bit too young). The writing is uninspired, and needlessly insulting to religion - - I certainly have no interest in reading anything else by Dawkins.

But I bought the book because of Dave McKean, and I wasn't disappointed. Every one of the 265 pages features his illustrations. Below are a few samples:

The hardcover is $18 at at Amazon and a no-brainer for Dave McKean fans.


  1. Very fun illustrations, but I don't think even they would be enough to get me to buy the book.

  2. Religion is pretty needlessly insulting to science, for what it's worth. Dawkins can be acerbic, but at least he's right 90% of the time.

  3. I'd have to agree with Chris - Religion is insulting to any rational human being. It attacks women's rights, silences free speech and threatens 'eternal damnation' and in some cases, physical violence if people disagree with it. Look at the current candidates in the coming US election, attempting to move women's rights back a few decades or so by removing a woman's right to choose. Look at the way Orthodox Jew's behave when they have to live next to people who don't share their belief system in Israel - spitting on 8 year old girls because they are dressed "immodestly". One doesn't have to look too hard at Islam to find flaws either, I have a co-worker who admitted that if the Koran tells him to stone an adulterer, and if that adulterer happened to be one of his children, he would do it without hesitation because that is what his "Holy Book" tells him to do. I happen to be a fan of Dawkins because he has the minerals to say what a lot of people are afraid to say about religion.

  4. I have to agree with Chris. I'll be picking this book up.