The Magic of Reality – How We Know What’s Really True

Rating: 3/5

The Magic of Reality attempts to give scientific answers to the questions we all have – How did the universe come into existence? Is there life on other planets? Dawkins’ motive is to demonstrate that the reality surrounding us is really magic in the truest form. The evolution of animals to deal with environmental circumstances, the nuances of atoms – those topics are just as mystifying and enthralling as an actual magic trick.

The book provided a decent high-level overview of certain ideas and aspects, but it lacked some of the in-depth discussion I would have enjoyed. I know the basics of evolution, for example. The book did nothing to expand on that topic for me. Some chapters were very interesting (What is the sun? & What is a rainbow?). Others (Are we alone?) I found lacking. For the “Are we alone?” chapter, for example, I thought this article on Wait But Why did a much better job of breaking down the probability around alien life.

A word of caution – if you hold strong religious beliefs, you may find the intros to specific chapters a bit off-putting. For example, Dawkins frequently addresses stories in the Bible and lumps them with myths and folklore. I didn’t find it offensive, but others might. If I were to read this again (I won’t), I would skip over the stories at the beginning of each chapter and look for the start of the hard science.