i just pre-ordered richard dawkins' the greatest show on earth, thanks to a gentle reminder by pz myers.
a nice little excerpt appeared on times online today... here are two snips from that snip:
'evolution is a fact. beyond reasonable doubt, beyond serious doubt, beyond sane, informed, intelligent doubt, beyond doubt evolution is a fact. the evidence for evolution is at least as strong as the evidence for the holocaust, even allowing for eye witnesses to the holocaust. it is the plain truth that we are cousins of chimpanzees, somewhat more distant cousins of monkeys, more distant cousins still of aardvarks and manatees, yet more distant cousins of bananas and turnips . . . continue the list as long as desired. that didn’t have to be true. it is not self-evidently, tautologically, obviously true, and there was a time when most people, even educated people, thought it wasn’t. it didn’t have to be true, but it is. we know this because a rising flood of evidence supports it. evolution is a fact, and [my] book will demonstrate it. no reputable scientist disputes it, and no unbiased reader will close the book doubting it.'
'evolution is an inescapable fact, and we should celebrate its astonishing power, simplicity and beauty. evolution is within us, around us, between us, and its workings are embedded in the rocks of aeons past. given that, in most cases, we don’t live long enough to watch evolution happening before our eyes, we shall revisit the metaphor of the detective coming upon the scene of a crime after the event and making inferences. the aids to inference that lead scientists to the fact of evolution are far more numerous, more convincing, more incontrovertible, than any eyewitness reports that have ever been used, in any court of law, in any century, to establish guilt in any crime. proof beyond reasonable doubt? reasonable doubt? that is the understatement of all time.'