Richard Dawkins:

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(Copyright © 2000 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

Written in plain english for a broad audience, this book is yet another defense of Darwin's theory of evolution in the face of the complexity of life. Living organisms are so complex (Dawkins explains in detail how spider webs, wings, eyes, and figs work) that it seems highly improbably that natural selection alone could produce them. The metaphor is that of a mountain that is so high and so steep that it looks impossible to climb. It turns out that there is a gentler slope on another side, that allows for a gradual ascent. This is Darwin's theory of variation and natural selection, spread over millions of years. Evolution occurs through a "chain of infinitesimally graded intermediates". The genome of an organism "is a massive database of ancestral wisdom...description of ancestral worlds and what it took to survive in them"
Dawkins points to rather trivial computer simulations that, despite their limited scope, seem to accomplish quite a bit within relatively few iterations.

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