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The Greatest Show On Earth, By Richard Dawkins

"This book is necessary," as its author argues, in part because 44 per cent of Americans think "God created human beings" within the last 10,000 years.

Though Darwin's modern bulldog aims here to set out the evidence for evolution via natural selection rather than bash believers again, his fire is undimmed.

He starts by equating creationists and Holocaust deniers. Dawkins gallops zestfully through the (as it were) sacred sites of Darwinian science, from domestication and island fauna to the newer lands of genetics.

His dash and wit seldom flag as he shows (say) how evolution tries to make up for dud backs and eyes only the dumbest deity could have planned: "the design of a complete idiot".