The Magic of Reality
Chapter One Study Questions, The Magic of Reality
1. 1. pages 12-15 What is reality, and how do we know? What do scientists use to find evidence?
2. 2. pages 15-19 How do models help scientists? What does Dawkins say about DNA and models?
3. 3. page 18 a) What are the three ways we come to know what is real?
b) What does Dawkins say about things like “jealousy and joy, happiness and love”?
4. 19-21 What are the three types of magic? (DO THIS QUESTION)
5. 21-23 Why is supernatural magic not reliable, according to Dawkins?
6. 23 What does Dawkins’ example of frogs and coaches illustrate?
7. 24-26 What do “the kit,” “the load of parts” and the cards prove about supernatural magic? Explain the middle paragraph on page 26 (“Princes . . . “).
8. 26-32 Dawkins says “And yet complex organisms exist. How did they arise? How does he answer this? What does the frogs example show?
9. 31-32 What is Dawkins’ purpose in writing the book, and what does he say about poetic magic?
Chapter 2 Questions–Due Monday at midnight
Study Questions, Chapter 2 “The Magic of Reality”
Answer these questions; make sure to number your responses and post them in list form (not like one long paragraph):
1. Read the chapter, then go back to the very first paragraph. What does he seem to say? What does he really mean?
2. What does the second paragraph imply about every nation’s explanation of itself? What is he saying about all “tribes”?
4. What myth does he explain next (page 35)? Read the last paragraph on page 36 (-37). What is he saying here?
5. He goes on to explain the Norse myth, and in the middle of page 37 wonders about the tree trunks. What does he say in the very next paragraph (second up from the bottom), and what does he mean?
6. What is his TONE and ATTITUDE in the paragraph at the very bottom of page 37? How does this lead to the point of his chapter on page 38?
7. In “Turned to Stone” beginning on page 43, he begins a discussion about fossils. Why does he do this, and what does he say about how fossils form? (43-46)
8. In “A ride back in time,” he takes us on another thought experiment. What does he ask us to imagine, and why? (46-50)
9. The section that begins on page 50, “DNA tells us we are all cousins,” explains DNA. Why does he talk about this, and what does he say about it? (50-54)
10. Look at the last paragraph (54). How does he end Chapter Two?
FINAL QUESTION: WRITE A ONE-TWO PARAGRAPH REACTION: You will be writing a paper about this book. Write a short reaction to what you have read and thought about so far.
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