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The birds' beauty belies their often menacing and destructive nature 

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.

The love that daren't squawk its name: When animals come out of the closet

Inside the science of same-sex animal pairings

DNA test reveals the origins of the species of Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin's ancient ancestors were among the first group of Homo sapiens to leave Africa, a DNA analysis has revealed.

DVD: Creation, For retail & rental (Icon)

Creation declares in an opening caption that it's going to tell the story of how Charles Darwin (Paul Bettany) came to write On the Origin of Species, but, in fact, for the bulk of the film, most of the book is already written.

Big Think: Richard Dawkins on morality in a world without faith

What would the world be like without faith? Many religious figures argue that it would become morally bankrupt. Richard Dawkins, world-famous evolutionary biologist and noted public champion of atheism, disagrees.

Richard Dawkins: 'Strident? Do they mean me?'

With his latest book, creationist-basher Richard Dawkins believes he has amassed all the evidence he could ever need to convince unbelievers that Darwin was right. Now he just has to get them to read it...

The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing, Edited by Richard Dawkins

Reviewing Dawkins's latest offering The Greatest Show on Earth in this paper, Marek Kohn noted how the academic bruiser was also "fired with the need to explain and inspire": "If Dawkins carries on in this way, he'll be hailed as a national treasure yet."

Fundamentalism will damage society, says top scientist

The existence of a supernatural being in the form of a god who can dish out punishment in the afterlife may have been an important force in the past that helped to keep societies together as co-operative entities – but not so in the future.

Brian Goodwin: Hugely influential and insightful biologist, philosopher and writer

Professor Brian Goodwin, the visionary biologist, mathematician, philosopher and teacher has died at the age of 78. Goodwin was a scientist of outstanding calibre who helped to articulate an intellectually coherent alternative to the neo-Darwinist notion that natural selection, acting on randomly mutating selfish replicators such as genes, is the fundamental process that drives evolution. As a philosopher and teacher, Goodwin in his later years urged us to combine a deeply intuitive approach to nature with an open-ended rationality in service of sustainable living.

Mystery of the toucan's beak solved

Charles Darwin thought the toucan's oversized beak was a sexual lure for attracting potential mates, while some modern-day biologists suggested it was either for peeling fruit or to warn off territorial rivals. A new study has found, though, that the outrageously big structure helps to keep the bird cool in the heat of the tropical day.

Mary Dejevsky: The future is warmer – and smaller

Survival, it seems, is no longer about being bigger. Hooray!

War, what is it good for? It made us less selfish

Scientists explain how altruism evolved over 200,000 years of conflict

Leading article: Camp Godless

The news that Britain will soon host an atheist summer camp conjures up bizarre visions of children sitting beneath a starry sky singing lyrical passages from Richard Dawkins, accompanied by the strum of a guitar.

Podium: Darwinism may hold the key to knowing what it is to be human

"Darwinism" is often associated with a quite narrowly defined scientific picture. Central to this are the view of evolution as change in the frequency of genes; evolution as overwhelmingly driven by competitive natural selection; and the assumption that living things can be arranged on a branching tree, the branches of which are genetically isolated from one another.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
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Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine