W. W. Norton & Company, Paperback, 9780393315707, 496pp.
Publication Date: September 17, 1996
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Twenty years after its original publication, The Blind Watchmaker, framed with a new introduction by the author, is as prescient and timely a book as ever. The watchmaker belongs to the eighteenth-century theologian William Paley, who argued that just as a watch is too complicated and functional to have sprung into existence by accident, so too must all living things, with their far greater complexity, be purposefully designed. Charles Darwin's brilliant discovery challenged the creationist arguments; but only Richard Dawkins could have written this elegant riposte. Natural selection the unconscious, automatic, blind, yet essentially nonrandom process Darwin discovered has no purpose in mind. If it can be said to play the role of a watchmaker in nature, it is the blind watchmaker in nature.