Certainly the tone of the book is not conciliatory or apologetic — such is not the way of an advocate that sincerely believes in his case — and I must pack all apology into the Preface.Some of the earlier chapters reply to criticisms of my previous book, which might recur in response to the present one.These paragraphs, which will be found in Chapters 4, 5, 6 and 14, are an integral part of the message of this book, and to omit them would be just as artificial as to make gratuitous changes in their wording.The opening sentence of Chapter 1 describes the book as a work of unabashed advocacy but, well, perhaps I am just a little bit abashed! 28–29) has rightly castigated the “advocacy method” in any search for scientific truth, and I have therefore devoted some of my first chapter to a plea of mitigation.I am sorry that this is necessary, and I am sorry if a note of exasperation creeps in from time to time.I trust, at least, that my exasperation remains good humoured.
On the other hand it is possible to enjoy a professional book as a spectator, even if not a participant in the profession.
Richard Dawkins is the first holder of Oxford's newly endowed Charles Simoeyi Professorship of Public Understanding of Science.
Born in Nairobi of British parents, Richard Dawkins was educated at Oxford and did his doctorate under the Nobel prize-winning ethologist Niko Tinbergen.
He has won many literary and scientific awards, including the 1987 Royal Society of Literature Award, the 1990 Michael Faraday Award of the Royal Society, the 1994 Nakayama Prize for Human Science, and the 1997 International Cosmos Prize. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the, prior permission in writing of Oxford University Press.
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