The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True, By Richard Dawkins

The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really TrueThe Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True by Richard Dawkins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

According to my 9 year old “everyone HAS to have a religion!!”. I’m not going to argue with him – we live in a country where we hear the call to prayer on average 5 times a day. It’s not so easy to compete with a reminder like that. Enter: Richard Dawkins for kids. Correction, “Richard Dawkins For Kids Who Always Ask Those Damned Difficult Questions”.

It’s definitely biased (would you have expected anything less?), presenting religion as just another fairy-tale or cutesy legend passed on down through the generations. I don’t think it needed to be quite so patronising in tone; there was a lot of scope to explore the reasons WHY different cultures may have used different stories to explain various phenomena of the physical world, which would have been incredibly interesting in and of itself – but that opportunity goes begging. However I doubt Dawkins would make any apology for that. The sole focus of this book is “reality”, science and the quest to explain human evolution in a manner that kids (and adults for that matter) can actually understand. The chapter “Who Was The First Man” is brilliant in this regard, and the practical mental exercise which prompts children to visualise the measurement of time going back hundreds of thousands of years is simple but incredibly effective.

In summary, I highly recommend this book be given equal shelf space in your kids’ home library, alongside any and all holy books that may also dwell in your house.

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