Dawkins’ God: Genes, Memes and the Meaning of Life by Alistair McGrath

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Dawkins God
Dawkins’ God at Library Thing.

I bought this book last week to read on the train back to Leicester. I thought to get it as I thought it would be nice to read some­thing neg­at­ive about memes. Most of the books I’ve read on memes are pro-memetics, but so far I haven’t been fully con­vinced. The front cover also prom­ised that it would be a chal­len­ging read:

In this remark­able book, Alistair McGrath chal­lenges Dawkins on the very ground he holds most sac­red – rational argu­ment – and dis­arms the master.

Francis Collins, Director of the Human Genome Project.

On the back cover are some other good quotes:

A tour de force
Simon Conway Morris, Cambridge University

A dev­ast­at­ing critique

David N. Livingstone, Queen’s University, Belfast

A won­der­ful book…This is schol­ar­ship as it should be – informed, feisty and ter­rific fun. I can­not wait to see Dawkins’ review of Alistair McGrath’s critique.

Michael Ruse, Florida State University

I wish I’d got that book. That book sounds like fun. The book between those cov­ers was rather limp in com­par­ison. McGrath closes his book by say­ing the dis­cus­sion barely scratches the sur­face of Dawkins’ claims and that much more work needs to be done. So it’s depress­ing when the final quote on the back from the Times Higher Education Supplement reads:

McGrath has writ­ten a bril­liant book, and it is dif­fi­cult to think that his expos­i­tion of Dawkin’s writ­ings and their reli­gious implic­a­tions will ever be bet­ter stated, explored and criticized.

It’s not an awful book but it’s patchy.
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