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Marci

Marci portland, OR, United States Member Since 2006
HELPFUL VOTES
879
ratings
REVIEWS
246
109
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FOLLOWING
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8
  • "I can't stop talking about this book"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have told a half dozen friends about this book. I can't stop talking about it. It was so interesting and fascinating and I'll go so far to say life changing.
    The genius of this book is the how fun it is to get to know Olga as a person while you learn a ton about the scientific reasons why some people age better than others.
    This book is dense with facts, studies, and scientific theories that are interesting. I learned a lot--facts and information that I can apply to my own life. But all that denseness is lightened by Olga.
    Olga is just fun to know. She's awe-inspiring as a person and it was truly entertaining to learn about all her feats.
    The narrator was great.
    I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

    More

    What Makes Olga Run?: The Mystery of the 90-Something Track Star and What She Can Teach Us about Living Longer, Happier Lives

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Bruce Grierson
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    In What Makes Olga Run? Bruce Grierson explores what the wild success of a 94-year-old track star can tell us about how our bodies and minds age. Olga Kotelko is not your average 94-year-old. She not only looks and acts like a much younger woman, she holds over 23 world records in track and field, 17 in her current 90 to 95 category. Convinced that this remarkable woman could help unlock many of the mysteries of aging, Grierson set out to uncover what it is that's driving Olga.

    Marci says: "I can't stop talking about this book"
  1. What Makes Olga Run?: The...
  2. .

A Peek at Ryan's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
1377
 
Somerville, MA, United States 262 REVIEWS / 327 ratings 387 Followers / Following 14
 
Ryan's greatest hits:
  • Weird Life: The Search for Life That Is Very, Very Different from Our Own

    "Life by different rules -- the knowns and unknowns"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Weird Life takes on the question, “what forms can life exist in besides the carbon-based, water-saturated, oxygen-metabolizing, DNA-encoded ones we’re most familiar with?” Which leads to other questions: did life evolve on Earth more than once? Is there a “shadow” evolutionary tree, whose organisms work differently, and perhaps are specially adapted to hostile environments like undersea hot vents? Could there be life elsewhere in the solar system, in the clouds of Jupiter, the methane seas of Titan, under the ice of Europa, or on the high mountain peaks of Venus (where the temperature is relatively cool)? Is hypothetical life elsewhere in the galaxy MORE likely to be on NON-Earthlike planets?

    My own take-away from this book was that much is still a mystery. The first few chapters, which discuss life that manages to survive in extreme environments on Earth and current theories about biogenesis, make clear that a lot of the knowledge science does have is both recent and somewhat speculative. Indeed, it’s difficult to define exactly what life IS, and what we’ve gotten used to thinking of as fundamental building blocks (cells, nuclei, etc.) might not necessarily be. And perhaps this chauvinism is blinding us as we begin to search other worlds for signs we’re not alone in the universe.

    Later chapters consider other planets and the SETI program, and I found these the most interesting. Toomey discusses the famous Drake Equation, and its current implications for the distribution of intelligent life in our galaxy. While there are still many unknowns, the Earth itself offers some important clues. For example, most scientists agree that life appeared almost as soon as it was possible. Then it took another billion years for multi-celled life to appear, and another two billion for intelligent life to appear. Unless our planet is a drastic edge case, the implication is that life could arise easily, but intelligent life, not so. Perhaps the last other sentient species in our neighborhood came and went before modern humans ever existed.

    The last chapters go into more unconventional territory, and consider possibilities like machine intelligence swiftly outpacing biological intelligence, becoming something beyond human comprehension (i.e. the “singularity” concept coined by science fiction writer Vernor Vinge and further popularized by Ray Kurzweil). There’s also some contemplation of what, in the fundamental rules of physics, makes life possible in our universe, and whether it could exist in other universes, operating under somewhat different rules. And might we even be living in some sort of a simulated reality, like The Matrix but more so? If so, what would be the clues?

    All in all, the topics discussed here represent only a skimming of a wide-ranging body of scientific research and speculation, and more knowledgeable readers might find it light fare, but Weird Life is still a tasty sampler platter.

  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

    "Many stories in one"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, like many compelling works of nonfiction, was written to tell one story, but, in its creation, uncovered several others. On the surface, Rebecca Skloot's book is about a line of cells, extracted from a single cancer patient in the 1950s, that went on to be the most widely studied human cell line in the world. On another level, it's about an evolving debate over the medical ethics of cell and DNA ownership. How much say should patients have in the use of their own genetic material? How does society balance the needs of medical research against concerns for privacy and individual autonomy?

    On still another level, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is about race relations in America, about uneven levels of white privilege and black privilege when it comes to access to information and advocacy. It's a story about casual exploitation by a scientific establishment that was trained to compartmentalize and not think of its work in personal terms. Finally, it's a story of a family struggling to find emotional and spiritual closure after the years following the death of their mother, who continues in a strange and somewhat mystifying afterlife.

    If the book had simply been about science and ethical questions pertaining to the cells of Henrietta Lacks, I might not have found it more than mildly interesting, but the human element gives the story many more dimensions. I think Skloot did an excellent and honest job of conveying how one poor, black family from the rural South perceives science and medicine. Of course, they understand and care about the basic things that most Americans do, but their views are colored by a history and identity that, I, a well-educated, middle-class white northerner, simply haven't lived in. It was a fascinating and ultimately hopeful exploration beyond stereotypes and into how human beings really relate to questions that can never be entirely viewed in clinical, medical terms. You get to know Henrietta's extended family, and to view her life and unintended contribution to science as they do.

    Overall, the book felt like an extended episode of This American Life, in that it didn’t explore (or resolve) any issue in great depth, but was engagingly put together and taught me a little about a lot of different subjects. Since it’s not a long read, I’d say it’s well-deserving of its awards and your time.

  • The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution

    "Powerfully convincing (the science part)"

    Overall

    It's hard to imagine that many books out there present a clearer, more logical, and more eloquent explanation of why scientists consider evolution a fact than this one does. As Dawkins explains from the beginning, the public often misunderstands the implications of the word "theory". In turn, he examines each component of evolutionary science, showing in straightforward language how each is logical, sound, supported by an enormous array of facts, and reinforced by other areas of understanding. If like me, you accepted Darwin's theory, but were fuzzy on some of its specifics, Dawkins provides a satisfying overview of natural selection, genetics, mutation, the fossil record, geology, and even some physics and math. The reader learns how evolution has been demonstrated in a laboratory (with bacteria), why the fossil record isn't even necessary to convince scientists of evolution's reality, and how the ideas have been tested with mathematical models.

    Dawkins' other goal is to debunk popular Creationist beliefs, and this he does with a certain amount of glee, pointing out the many factual inaccuracies and logical flaws they contain. He also corrects common misconceptions about the theory of evolution, that make Creationist arguments easier to swallow. By the time he's finished, he's made it very difficult for any Creationist to logically refute his framework of reasoning. That said, I think he sometimes strays too far from science into theological territory, attacking conceptions of God that are a little more simplistic than those many religious people actually hold. After all, many theists accept the reality of evolution, but believe that the will of God is still present in natural events.

    This is a very informative, well-argued, and substantial book, and I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys science and wants to understand how evolutionary science has gotten to where it is today.

  • Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors

    "Stimulating, but a little speculative"

    Overall
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    I decided to read this book as a counterpoint to Jarrod Diamond’s famous Guns, Germs, and Steel, which focused on geography and domestication of plants/animals as an explanation for the rise of human civilization. Wade argues that this point of view doesn’t take into account recent scientific evidence that human genes have continued to evolve over the past few thousand years, sometimes as an apparent result of civilizing forces.

    This is an area of political controversy for obvious reasons, but Wade respectfully and even-handedly explores the known facts, tracing the divergence of modern humans from a small founding population in Africa to the branches and subgroups that exist today. If you’re interested in learning more about where the state of the art in human population genetics stands (or stood in 2006), and how this field, archeology, and linguistics corroborate each other’s findings, there’s lots of information in Before the Dawn. I particularly enjoyed learning about the quirks of mitochondrial and Y chromosome DNA that make them useful tools in resolving questions of ancestry, and about techniques for tracing the roots of language back thousands of years. I also was interested in his thoughts on the origins of religion, which he argues emerged from behaviors needed to share resources.

    Wade, however, doesn’t make a very convincing case that Jarrod Diamond is wrong. In fact, he grudgingly acknowledges the “ingenuity” of Diamond’s thesis, then makes an unsupported argument that humans *might* have evolved a “settling down” gene before they learned to domesticate plants. I’m not saying that he’s necessarily incorrect, but I didn’t buy it. Diamond never claimed that ancient people instantly went from nomadic to settled, but that they probably lived a hybrid lifestyle for a while.

    Similarly, some of Wade’s other claims feel rather speculative. He attributes a decline in violent behavior to genes, but this may not be the primary explanation. Consider reading Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature for a more in-depth exploration of the topic. In the chapter that explores why Ashkenazi Jews have statistically higher IQs than people of other groups, the data *might* suggest that evolutionary pressures in medieval times were the cause, since Jews were forced into intellectual non-farming jobs and had a scholarly religious tradition that uplifted the brightest, but there could be other explanations for the phenomenon.

    As I said in my review of Guns, Germs, and Steel, I think that societies and cultures are a lot malleable than genes are, and more likely to change in response to environmental pressures. Still, when there is cultural stability in one place over long periods of time, then genes might be selected to fit that culture. More research is undoubtedly needed before it can be determined what we really owe to variations in our hardware versus variations in our “software”.

    If you’re interested in such questions, though, this is a stimulating read. Of course, I also recommend Guns, Germs, and Steel. Another fine book is Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature.

Saud

Saud United States 02-02-14 Member Since 2007

Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.

HELPFUL VOTES
509
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FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
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  • "Loved it"

    2 of 2 helpful votes

    This is one course that makes me want to listen to more courses by Professor Hazen. While I don't subscribe to some models he explains, it provided me with an alternative possibility of the history of the Earth.

    More

    The Origin and Evolution of Earth: From the Big Bang to the Future of Human Existence

    • ORIGINAL (25 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, Robert M. Hazen
    • Narrated By Professor Robert M. Hazen
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (46)

    This course chronicles the history of Earth and life on Earth from the point of view of the minerals that made it all happen. A major theme is how minerals and life coevolved, leading to the unprecedented mineral diversity on our world compared to the other planets in the solar system. Professor Hazen tells this epic story in 48 action-packed lectures that take you from the big bang to the formation of the solar system to the major milestones that marked the evolution of Earth and life.

    Blokoe_Geo says: "Utterly Fantastic"

What's Trending in Biology:

  • 4.8 (10 ratings)
    The Darwinian Revolution  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Frederick Gregory

    The Darwinian Revolution

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Frederick Gregory
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Published 150 years ago, Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species - the text that introduced the world to natural selection - is among a handful of books that have changed the world. But the route to that status has been surprisingly circuitous and uncertain. Now, in 24 absorbing lectures by an award-winning teacher, you'll learn the remarkable story of Darwin's ideas, how scientists and religious leaders reacted to them, and the sea change in human thought that resulted.

    wayne says: "very informative"
  • 4.3 (4019 ratings)
    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (






UNABRIDGED) by Rebecca Skloot Narrated by Cassandra Campbell, Bahni Turpin

    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Rebecca Skloot
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell, Bahni Turpin
    Overall
    (4019)
    Performance
    (2574)
    Story
    (2604)

    Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells, taken without her knowledge, became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first immortal human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than 60 years.

    Prisca says: "Amazing Story"
  • 4.3 (2313 ratings)
    A Short History of Nearly Everything (






ABRIDGED) by Bill Bryson Narrated by Bill Bryson

    A Short History of Nearly Everything

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    Overall
    (2313)
    Performance
    (393)
    Story
    (397)

    In A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson takes his ultimate journey - into the most intriguing and consequential questions that science seeks to answer. It's a dazzling quest, as this insatiably curious writer attempts to understand everything that has transpired from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization.

    Brent says: "This audio edition is abridged!"
  • 4.3 (1664 ratings)
    The Demon Under The Microscope (






UNABRIDGED) by Thomas Hager Narrated by Stephen Hoye

    The Demon Under The Microscope

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Thomas Hager
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1664)
    Performance
    (964)
    Story
    (958)

    The Nazis discovered it. The Allies won the war with it. It conquered diseases, changed laws, and single-handedly launched the era of antibiotics. This incredible discovery was sulfa, the first antibiotic medication. In The Demon Under the Microscope, Thomas Hager chronicles the dramatic history of the drug that shaped modern medicine.

    John Mertus says: "A pleasure in listening"
  •  
  • 4.5 (1366 ratings)
    The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution (






UNABRIDGED) by Richard Dawkins Narrated by Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward

    The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Richard Dawkins
    • Narrated By Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
    Overall
    (1366)
    Performance
    (595)
    Story
    (586)

    The Greatest Show on Earth is a stunning counterattack on advocates of "Intelligent Design," explaining the evidence for evolution while exposing the absurdities of the creationist "argument". Dawkins sifts through rich layers of scientific evidence: from living examples of natural selection to clues in the fossil record; from natural clocks that mark the vast epochs wherein evolution ran its course to the intricacies of developing embryos; from plate tectonics to molecular genetics.

    Joseph says: "Well read, well explained, scientific."
  • 4.6 (1153 ratings)
    The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild (






UNABRIDGED) by Lawrence Anthony, Graham Spence Narrated by Simon Vance

    The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Lawrence Anthony, Graham Spence
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1153)
    Performance
    (1054)
    Story
    (1065)

    >When South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony was asked to accept a herd of "rogue" wild elephants on his Thula Thula game reserve in Zululand, his common sense told him to refuse. But he was the herd's last chance of survival: they would be killed if he wouldn't take them. In order to save their lives, Anthony took them in. In the years that followed he became a part of their family. And as he battled to create a bond with the elephants, he came to realize that they had a great deal to teach him about life, loyalty, and freedom.

    Tango says: "Beautiful story, beautifully written"
  • 4.3 (862 ratings)
    The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design (






UNABRIDGED) by Richard Dawkins Narrated by Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward

    The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Richard Dawkins
    • Narrated By Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
    Overall
    (862)
    Performance
    (707)
    Story
    (692)

    The Blind Watchmaker, knowledgably narrated by author Richard Dawkins, is as prescient and timely a book as ever. The watchmaker belongs to the 18th-century theologian William Paley, who argued that just as a watch is too complicated and functional to have sprung into existence by accident, so too must all living things, with their far greater complexity, be purposefully designed. Charles Darwin's brilliant discovery challenged the creationist arguments; but only Richard Dawkins could have written this elegant riposte.

    Eric says: "Challenging textbook more than an enjoyable listen"
  • 4.3 (673 ratings)
    Why Evolution Is True (






UNABRIDGED) by Jerry A. Coyne Narrated by Victor Bevine

    Why Evolution Is True

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Jerry A. Coyne
    • Narrated By Victor Bevine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (673)
    Performance
    (331)
    Story
    (329)

    Why evolution is more than just a theory: it is a fact. In all the current highly publicized debates about creationism and its descendant "intelligent design", there is an element of the controversy that is rarely mentioned: the evidence, the empirical truth of evolution by natural selection.

    Ernest says: "Perfect !! Just what I was looking for."
  • Einstein's Cosmos: How Albert Einstein's Vision Transformed Our Understanding of Space and Time: Great Discoveries (






UNABRIDGED) by Michio Kaku Narrated by Ray Porter

    Einstein's Cosmos: How Albert Einstein's Vision Transformed Our Understanding of Space and Time: Great Discoveries

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Michio Kaku
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (446)
    Performance
    (410)
    Story
    (411)

    A dazzling tour of the universe as Einstein saw it. How did Albert Einstein come up with the theories that changed the way we look at the world? By thinking in pictures. Michio Kaku, leading theoretical physicist (a cofounder of string theory) and best-selling science storyteller, shows how Einstein used seemingly simple images to lead a revolution in science. With originality and expertise, Kaku uncovers the surprising beauty that lies at the heart of Einstein's cosmos

    david says: "Relatively Wonderful"
  • The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild (






UNABRIDGED) by Lawrence Anthony, Graham Spence Narrated by Simon Vance

    The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Lawrence Anthony, Graham Spence
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1153)
    Performance
    (1054)
    Story
    (1065)

    >When South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony was asked to accept a herd of "rogue" wild elephants on his Thula Thula game reserve in Zululand, his common sense told him to refuse. But he was the herd's last chance of survival: they would be killed if he wouldn't take them. In order to save their lives, Anthony took them in. In the years that followed he became a part of their family. And as he battled to create a bond with the elephants, he came to realize that they had a great deal to teach him about life, loyalty, and freedom.

    Tango says: "Beautiful story, beautifully written"
  • Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal (






UNABRIDGED) by Mary Roach Narrated by Emily Woo Zeller

    Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Mary Roach
    • Narrated By Emily Woo Zeller
    Overall
    (1252)
    Performance
    (1099)
    Story
    (1108)

    Best-selling author Mary Roach returns with a new adventure to the invisible realm we carry around inside. Roach takes us down the hatch on an unforgettable tour. The alimentary canal is classic Mary Roach terrain: The questions explored in Gulp are as taboo, in their way, as the cadavers in Stiff and every bit as surreal as the universe of zero gravity explored in Packing for Mars. Why is crunchy food so appealing? Why is it so hard to find words for flavors and smells? Why doesn’t the stomach digest itself? How much can you eat before your stomach bursts?

    Kirstin says: "Mary Roach Does Not Disappoint!"
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (






UNABRIDGED) by Rebecca Skloot Narrated by Cassandra Campbell, Bahni Turpin

    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Rebecca Skloot
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell, Bahni Turpin
    Overall
    (4019)
    Performance
    (2574)
    Story
    (2604)

    Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells, taken without her knowledge, became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first immortal human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than 60 years.

    Prisca says: "Amazing Story"
  •  
  • The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat, and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet (






UNABRIDGED) by Nina Teicholz Narrated by Erin Bennett

    The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat, and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Nina Teicholz
    • Narrated By Erin Bennett
    Overall
    (90)
    Performance
    (79)
    Story
    (82)

    Dish up the red meat, eggs, and whole milk! In this well-researched and captivating narrative, veteran food writer Nina Teicholz proves how everything we've been told about fat is wrong. For decades, Americans have cut back on red meat and dairy products full of "bad" saturated fats. We obediently complied with nutritional guidelines to eat "heart healthy" fats found in olive oil, fish, and nuts, and followed a Mediterranean diet heavy on fruits, vegetables, and grains. Yet the nation's health has declined. What is going on?

    Michael says: "A big fat lesson in corporate and scientific corru"
  • The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story (






UNABRIDGED) by Richard Preston Narrated by Richard M. Davidson

    The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Richard Preston
    • Narrated By Richard M. Davidson
    Overall
    (385)
    Performance
    (338)
    Story
    (342)

    A highly infectious, deadly virus from the central African rain forest suddenly appears in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. There is no cure. In a few days, 90 percent of its victims are dead. A secret military SWAT team of soldiers and scientists is mobilized to stop the outbreak of this exotic "hot" virus. The Hot Zone tells this dramatic story, giving a hair-raising account of the appearance of rare and lethal viruses and their "crashes" into the human race. Shocking, frightening, and impossible to ignore, The Hot Zone proves that truth really is scarier than fiction.

    aaron says: "If you love viruses and gore and non-fiction..."
  • The Selfish Gene (






UNABRIDGED) by Richard Dawkins Narrated by Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward

    The Selfish Gene

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Richard Dawkins
    • Narrated By Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
    Overall
    (1511)
    Performance
    (1117)
    Story
    (1099)

    Richard Dawkins' brilliant reformulation of the theory of natural selection has the rare distinction of having provoked as much excitement and interest outside the scientific community as within it. His theories have helped change the whole nature of the study of social biology, and have forced thousands to rethink their beliefs about life.

    J. D. May says: "Better than print!"
  • The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution (






UNABRIDGED) by Richard Dawkins Narrated by Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward

    The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Richard Dawkins
    • Narrated By Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
    Overall
    (1366)
    Performance
    (595)
    Story
    (586)

    The Greatest Show on Earth is a stunning counterattack on advocates of "Intelligent Design," explaining the evidence for evolution while exposing the absurdities of the creationist "argument". Dawkins sifts through rich layers of scientific evidence: from living examples of natural selection to clues in the fossil record; from natural clocks that mark the vast epochs wherein evolution ran its course to the intricacies of developing embryos; from plate tectonics to molecular genetics.

    Joseph says: "Well read, well explained, scientific."
  •  
  • Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Neil deGrasse Tyson, Donald Goldsmith
    • Narrated By Kevin Kenerly
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Origins explains the soul-stirring leaps in our understanding of the cosmos. From the first image of a galaxy birth to Spirit rover's exploration of Mars, to the discovery of water on one of Jupiter's moons, coauthors Neil deGrasse Tyson and Donald Goldsmith conduct a galvanizing tour of the cosmos with clarity and exuberance.

  • Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships (






UNABRIDGED) by Christopher Ryan, Cacilda Jetha Narrated by Allyson Johnson, Jonathan Davis, Christopher Ryan

    Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Christopher Ryan, Cacilda Jetha
    • Narrated By Allyson Johnson, Jonathan Davis, Christopher Ryan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1631)
    Performance
    (1109)
    Story
    (1106)

    Since Darwin's day, we've been told that sexual monogamy comes naturally to our species. Mainstream science - as well as religious and cultural institutions - has maintained that men and women evolved in families in which a man's possessions and protection were exchanged for a woman's fertility and fidelity. But this narrative is collapsing....

    Mark says: "too much focus on academic in-fighting"
  • The Demon Under The Microscope (






UNABRIDGED) by Thomas Hager Narrated by Stephen Hoye

    The Demon Under The Microscope

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Thomas Hager
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1664)
    Performance
    (964)
    Story
    (958)

    The Nazis discovered it. The Allies won the war with it. It conquered diseases, changed laws, and single-handedly launched the era of antibiotics. This incredible discovery was sulfa, the first antibiotic medication. In The Demon Under the Microscope, Thomas Hager chronicles the dramatic history of the drug that shaped modern medicine.

    John Mertus says: "A pleasure in listening"
  • Big History: The Big Bang, Life on Earth, and the Rise of Humanity  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor David Christian

    Big History: The Big Bang, Life on Earth, and the Rise of Humanity

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor David Christian
    Overall
    (159)
    Performance
    (146)
    Story
    (147)

    How is it possible for the disciplines of cosmology, geology, anthropology, biology, and history to fit together? These 48 lectures answer that question by weaving a single story from accounts of the past developed by a variety of scholarly disciplines. The result is a story stretching from the origins of the universe to the present day and beyond, in which human history is seen as part of the history of our Earth and biosphere, and the Earth's history, in turn, is seen as part of the history of the universe.

    John P. Gillespie says: "The Big Picture of Big History"
  • Never Turn Your Back on an Angus Cow: My Life As a Country Vet (






UNABRIDGED) by David Fisher, Dr. Jan Pol Narrated by Tom Perkins

    Never Turn Your Back on an Angus Cow: My Life As a Country Vet

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By David Fisher, Dr. Jan Pol
    • Narrated By Tom Perkins
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    Dr. Jan Pol is not your typical veterinarian. Born and raised on a dairy farm in the Netherlands, he is the star of Nat Geo Wild's hit show The Incredible Dr. Pol and has been treating animals in rural Michigan since the 1970s. Dr. Pol's 20,000-plus patients have ranged from white mice to 2,600-pound horses and everything in between.

  • Ions, Neurons and the Mind (






UNABRIDGED) by Alan Hall, PhD Narrated by David Winograd

    Ions, Neurons and the Mind

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 38 mins)
    • By Alan Hall, PhD
    • Narrated By David Winograd
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    How do we remember things? How does a low voltage current passing through the brain improve our ability to do math? How is brain size and shape related to intelligence? Do smart pills really work? This essay discusses these and other issues relating to brain function.

  • Saving Seeds, Preserving Taste: Heirloom Seed Savers in Appalachia (






UNABRIDGED) by Bill Best Narrated by Pete Ferrand

    Saving Seeds, Preserving Taste: Heirloom Seed Savers in Appalachia

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Bill Best
    • Narrated By Pete Ferrand
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    Saving Seeds, Preserving Taste will introduce listeners to the cultural traditions associated with seed saving, as well as the remarkable people who have used grafting practices and hand-by-hand trading to keep alive varieties that would otherwise have been lost. As local efforts to preserve heirloom seeds have become part of a growing national food movement.

  • Fire in the Cell: The Search for Eternal Youth (






UNABRIDGED) by Alan Hall PhD Narrated by Dave Wright

    Fire in the Cell: The Search for Eternal Youth

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 34 mins)
    • By Alan Hall PhD
    • Narrated By Dave Wright
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    Why do organisms grow old and die? What are the theories of aging? Does the Free Radical Theory of Aging still stack up? How do cells decide when to divide, differentiate or die? What factors accelerate the aging process? This essay takes a look at these issues and would thus be useful to students who want to know more about the processes that control cell death. The essay also documents the more extreme measures that some people have taken in the pursuit of eternal youth.

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  • The Cancer Chronicles: Unlocking Medicine's Deepest Mystery (






UNABRIDGED) by George Johnson Narrated by Arthur Morey

    The Cancer Chronicles: Unlocking Medicine's Deepest Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By George Johnson
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
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    When the woman he loved was diagnosed with a metastatic cancer, science-writer George Johnson embarked on a journey to learn everything he could about the disease and the people who dedicate their lives to understanding and combating it. What he discovered is that a revolution is now under way – an explosion of new ideas about what cancer really is and where it comes from. He combs through the realms of epidemiology, clinical trials, laboratory experiments and scientific hypotheses.

  • Free Radicals and Antioxidant Vitamins Explained (






UNABRIDGED) by Alan Hall, PhD Narrated by Susan Lee

    Free Radicals and Antioxidant Vitamins Explained

    • UNABRIDGED (36 mins)
    • By Alan Hall, PhD
    • Narrated By Susan Lee
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    Recently, some doubts have been expressed as to the notion of taking antioxidant vitamin supplements. Also, some recent studies have shone more light upon the Free Radical Theory of Aging and whether or not free radicals are a good or bad thing. This essay examines the effects of so-called antioxidant vitamins, and whether these supplements are beneficial or potentially harmful.

  • Darwin's

    Darwin's "On the Origin of Species": A Modern Rendition

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Daniel Duzdevich
    • Narrated By James Romick
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    For an era in which Darwin is more talked about than read, Daniel Duzdevich offers a clear, modern English rendering of Darwin's first edition. Neither an abridgement nor a summary, this version might best be described as a "translation" for contemporary English listeners. A monument to reasoned insight, the Origin illustrates the value of extensive reflection, carefully gathered evidence, and sound scientific reasoning.