Tag: Animal

Anna Sewell – Black Beauty | Review

Title: Black Beauty

Author: Anna Sewell

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 230

Rating 3.5/5

 

 

I’m going to be honest, I didn’t exactly fall in love with this book, but that’s pretty much a personal preference thing rather than because there was anything wrong with the novel. I can actually put my finger on exactly what the problem was: I just don’t like it when stories are narrated by horses, which is why I wasn’t a particular fan of War Horse by Michael Morpurgo, either.

Still, this was the last book that I had to read in a box set of children’s classics that I own and so now that it’s done, at least I can tick it off. And actually, I enjoyed it a lot more than I was expecting to, and I can totally see why it’s considered a classic – even if being told a story by a horse made it difficult for me to suspend my disbelief.

I also thought it was interesting to read this from an animal rights perspective, although I’d argue that these days, we rarely “need” to use horses at all. Sewell did a great job of showing the different attitudes that different types of people have towards animals, including by showing that some people can be assholes. All in all, I guess it was pretty good.

 

 

Click here to buy Black Beauty.

 


Richard Dawkins – The Blind Watchmaker | Review

Title: The Blind Watchmaker

Author: Richard Dawkins

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 350

Rating: 3.5/5

 

Richard Dawkins - The Blind Watchmaker

Richard Dawkins – The Blind Watchmaker

 

This book has been on my TBR pile for a while, but I finally picked it up as my bedside book and quickly got hooked. Even though it’s a non-fiction science book about evolution, and even though it gets kind of dry times, it was a delight.

Of course, it felt a little outdated at times because Dawkins talked about some computer software he’d created which used a 1989 Apple Macintosh, but it was only the technology that was old. The concepts themselves still hold up today, and while it’s hard for me to pinpoint any specific part of the book that stood out to me, I do feel as though my understanding of evolution as a whole has been dramatically improved.

That’s because Dawkins basically takes all of the arguments against evolution and systematically debunks them, in the same way that he railed against religion in The God Delusion. The Blind Watchmaker is used as an analogy for the way that evolution can build complex physical mechanisms without requiring a designer. So in evolutionary terms, if a watch was a living animal then it could evolve piece by piece over time without requiring a watchmaker (such as an omnipotent god) to design it.

 

Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins

 

For example, some people will point to eyes and say that you can’t have half an eye and therefore they must have been designed. Dawkins points out that that’s not how eyes developed. It’s easy to see how just having the ability to tell the difference between light and darkness, for example, could make a big difference to an animal’s survival rates. And if the animal is more likely to survive then it’s more likely to pass its genes on.

It’s all fascinating stuff, but it’s not necessarily easy reading. It’s the kind of book that forces you to think, but I like books like that and I’m looking forward to continuing to read through Dawkins’ back catalogue. I always learn something new from his books.

 

Richard Dawkins - The God Delusion

Richard Dawkins – The God Delusion

 

Click here to buy The Blind Watchmaker.

 


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