The Blind Watchmaker. Richard Dawkins. W.W. Norton and Company, New York, 1986. 332 pp., illus. $18.95.

Well-informed, imaginative and stylistically pleasing introductions to evolution and the theory of natural selection have hitherto been the special preserve of Stephen J. Gould. Hitherto—but not hereafter. Richard Dawkins' The Blind Watchmaker bids fair to become at least as influential a guide to controversies in evolutionary theory as the best of Gould's wonderful books. This is probably a good thing for the public's understanding of the subject, for on several of these controversies, Dawkins' views are quite different from Gould's. This book will improve the balance in non-specialists' perceptions of the issues.

But controverting the views of other evolutionary biologists is not Dawkins' aim at all. Instead, he wants to expound the theory of natural selection, and to show that it, and it alone, can explain the most puzzling facts about the incredibly sophisticated...

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