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A preview of The Magic of Reality

NCSE is pleased to offer a free preview (PDF) of Richard Dawkins's book for children The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True (Free Press, 2011). The preview consists in the bulk of chapter 3 — "Why are there so many different kinds of animals?" — in which Dawkins, after discussing various answers to the titular question offered by myth, introduces the idea of speciation. Species, he writes, form "a family tree: a tree with many branches, each branch having sub-branches, and each sub-branch having sub-sub-branches. The tips of the twigs are species. The other groupings — class, order, family, genus — are the branches and sub-branches. The whole tree is all of life on Earth."

Lawrence Krauss writes, "I am often asked to recommend good books on science for young people. From now on, I will not have to hesitate. The Magic of Reality provides a beautiful, accessible and wide ranging volume that addresses the questions that all of us have about the universe, separating often too-little known facts from too-frequently believed fictions. For this reason, it should be a powerful resource for people of all ages, written with the masterful and eloquently literate style of perhaps the best popular expositor of science, Richard Dawkins, and delightfully illustrated by Dave McKean. What more could anyone ask for?"