Richard Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist and author from the United Kingdom.

He is an emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford, and was the University of Oxford’s Professor for Public Understanding of Science from 1995 to 2008.

He is a well-known atheist who has criticised creationism and intelligent design.

He rose to popularity as the author of “The Selfish Gene,” a seminal book in evolutionary biology, but he is also recognized for his outspoken atheism and the controversial bestseller “The God Delusion.”

We have curated a list of the best books by Richard Dawkins for you to read.

Best Richard Dawkins Books

1. The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution

Our schools are teaching “Intelligent Design,” and educators are being asked to “explain the debate” around evolutionary theory.

There is no disagreement. Dawkins sifts through a plethora of scientific evidence, from living examples of natural selection to clues in the fossil record; from natural clocks that mark vast epochs where evolution took its course to the intricacies of developing embryos; and from plate tectonics to molecular genetics, to make the compelling case that “we find ourselves perched on one tiny twig in the midst of a blossoming tree of life.”

His unwavering love for the natural world transforms what could have been a negative argument revealing the creationist position’s fallacies into a positive offering to the reader: nothing less than a master’s vision of life in all its glory.

2. The Selfish Gene: 40th Anniversary Edition

The Selfish Gene has become a classic exposition of evolutionary thinking, as influential now as it was when it was originally published.

Professor Dawkins articulates a gene’s eye perspective of evolution, in which these persistent units of information take centrestage and organisms are viewed as vehicles for their replication.

This creative, forceful, and aesthetically great work energized the biology community, sparking considerable discussion and encouraging whole new fields of inquiry.

Its ideas are still as important now as they were when it was first published, forty years later.

The original prefaces and introduction, as well as excerpts from early reviews, are included in this 40th anniversary edition, as well as a new epilogue from the author emphasizing the continued importance of these ideas in evolutionary biology today.

3. The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True

The Magic of Reality explores a shockingly wide variety of scientific phenomena, using ingenious thought exercises and jaw-dropping data. What is the age of the universe?

Why do the continents appear to be disconnected jigsaw puzzle pieces? What are the causes of tsunamis? Why is it that there are so many different kinds of plants and animals? Who was the first man, woman, or child?

Beginning with mystical, mythological explanations for natural phenomena, Dawkins unveils the thrilling scientific facts underlying them.

This is a page-turning detective story that not only mines all sciences for clues, but also trains the reader to think like one.

4. The God Delusion

From the Crusades to 9/11, a renowned scientist and the world’s most prominent atheist emphasizes the absurdity of religious belief and the grave harm religion has caused to society.

Dawkins analyses God in all of his incarnations, from the Old Testament’s sex-obsessed dictator to the more benign (but still irrational) Celestial Watchmaker preferred by certain Enlightenment philosophers, with thoroughness and wit.

He deconstructs the key religious arguments and proves the impossibility of a supreme god. He demonstrates how religion causes wars, promotes prejudice, and abuses children, backed up by historical and present facts.

The book “The God Delusion” presents a strong argument that believing in God is not only incorrect, but also dangerous.

It also provides thrilling insight into the benefits of atheism to individuals and society, including a clearer, deeper understanding of the universe’s wonders than any faith could possibly muster.

5. The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe without Design

The seminal text for understanding evolution today is “The Blind Watchmaker.” Theologian William Paley coined the metaphor of the skillful watchmaker to describe creationism in the eighteenth century.

Richard Dawkins’ brilliant riposte, “The Blind Watchmaker,” demonstrates that the intricate process of Darwinian natural selection is unconscious and mechanical. Natural selection, if it can be described as a watchmaker in nature, is a blind one with no foresight or aim.

Dawkins demonstrates how basic creatures progressively evolve over time to produce a world of immense complexity, diversity, and beauty in an elegant and singularly compelling exposition of natural selection.

6. Outgrowing God: A Beginner’s Guide to Atheism

Is it necessary to believe in God? Is it necessary for us to need God in order to explain the universe’s existence?

Is it necessary to have God in order to be good? Dawkins marshals science, philosophy, and comparative religion in twelve chapters that address some of the most profound questions human beings face, interrogating the hypocrisies of all religious systems and explaining to readers of all ages how life emerged without a Creator, how evolution works, and how our world came into being.

Outgrowing God is a hard, fascinating, and enlightening book for anybody interested in grappling with the meaning of life and what to believe.

7. Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder

Did Newton, as Keats claimed, “unweave the rainbow” by reducing it to prismatic colors?

In other words, did he diminish beauty? Newton’s unweaving is the key to much of current astronomy and the magnificent poetry of modern cosmology, according to famous scientist Richard Dawkins.

Because mysteries are solved, they do not lose their poetry: the answer is frequently more beautiful than the puzzle, revealing deeper secrets.

Dawkins takes on the most essential and intriguing issues in contemporary science, from astronomy and genetics to language and virtual reality, uniting them in a monumental declaration of the human thirst for wonder, with the humor, intelligence, and enthralling writing that have made him a best-selling book.

This is the book Richard Dawkins was born to write: a brilliant examination of what science is (and isn’t), a tribute to science not because it is useful but because it is inspiring.

8. The Ancestor’s Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution

The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution
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Richard Dawkins, the famous scientist and thinker, delivers his most comprehensive work to date: a thorough study into evolution, spanning from the most recent discoveries in the field to his own controversial viewpoints.

Dawkins’ Tale, loosely modelled on Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, brings us modern humans back four billion years in time on our planet.

At the forty “rendezvous spots,” where we identify a common ancestor, we unite with other creatures as the trip proceeds. As we unite with other primates, then mammals, and so on back to the earliest primordial creature, the band of pilgrims grows into a massive multitude.

Dawkins’ clever, innovative method helps us to see the links between ourselves and everything else in a refreshingly new light. It also allows him to throw fresh light on some of the most fascinating elements of evolutionary theory and history, such as sexual selection, speciation, convergent evolution, extinction, genetics, plate tectonics, and geographical spread.

“The Ancestor’s Tale” is a wide-ranging examination of the most cutting-edge biological research as well as a fascinating history of life on Earth. Here, Dawkins demonstrates how extraordinary we are, how amazing our history is, and how close we are to the rest of the living world.

9. Books do Furnish a Life: An electrifying celebration of science writing

For the first time, our greatest scientific writers provide comments on the finest of modern science writing, as well as unique new material from other great thinkers.

This important guide to the most intriguing concepts of our day and their proponents from our most talented scientific communicator includes talks with Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Steven Pinker, Matt Ridley, and others.

“Books Do Furnish a Life” is split into sections based on themes such as honouring nature, understanding mankind, and questioning faith.

For the first time, it combines Richard Dawkins’ forewords, afterwords, and introductions to the work of some of our generation’s most influential thinkers – Carl Sagan, Lawrence Krauss, Jacob Bronowski, Lewis Wolpert – with a selection of his reviews to create an enthralling celebration of science fiction and non-fiction writing.

It’s also a brilliant contribution to Dawkins’ impressive body of work.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on Richard Dawkins

Does Richard Dawkins believe in God?

Richard Dawkins is an atheist, a person who believes in the denial of metaphysical beliefs in God or spiritual creatures. Much of Dawkins’ work has sparked discussion about whether science or religion should be used to explain the world.

Which Dawkins book should I read first?

We would recommend you start with the “The Selfish Gene” book.

What books does Richard Dawkins recommend?

Some of the books recommended by Richard Dawkins are:

1. Uncle Fred in the Springtime by P.G. Wodehouse.
2. Pluto’s Republic by Peter Medawar.
3. Dark Universe by Daniel F. Galouye.
4. Red Strangers by Elspeth Huxley.
5. Sword of Honor by Evelyn Waugh.

What are the Richard Dawkins books in order?

1976 – The Selfish Gene
1982 – The Extended Phenotype
1986 – The Blind Watchmaker
1995 – River Out of Eden
1996 – Climbing Mount Improbable
1998 – Unweaving the Rainbow
2003 – A Devil’s Chaplain
2004 – The Ancestor’s Tale
2006 – The God Delusion
2009 – The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution
2011 – The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True
2013 – An Appetite for Wonder
2015 – Brief Candle in the Dark
2017 – Science in the Soul
2019 – Outgrowing God
2021 – Books Do Furnish a Life

Who invented meme?

Richard Dawkins, a British evolutionary scientist, coined the word meme in 1976.

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