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Sean

Sean BELVEDERE TIBURON, CA, United States Member Since 2009
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  • "A book about the history of DNA"

    Overall
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    Apparently, there was a violinist with a really strong thumb. It may or may not have had to do with his genes. That's the level of insight you can expect about "Lost Tales of Love, War and Genius."

    The book is an excellent history of the science and discovery of DNA. He also talks about the controversies surrounding the human genome project. However, I was expecting more information about how our genes shape our behavior in interesting ways. Something like "so-and-so discovered an argument gene prevalent in lawyers..."

    The performance is engaging and the history is complete but the book was not what I was expecting.

    More

    The Violinist's Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Sam Kean
    • Narrated By Henry Leyva
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (237)
    Performance
    (198)
    Story
    (200)

    From New York Times best-selling author Sam Kean come more incredible stories of science, history, language, and music, as told by our own DNA. There are genes to explain crazy cat ladies, why other people have no fingerprints, and why some people survive nuclear bombs. Genes illuminate everything from JFK's bronze skin (it wasn't a tan) to Einstein's genius. They prove that Neanderthals and humans bred thousands of years more recently than any of us would feel comfortable thinking.

    Traci says: "So much to think about!"
  • "Moby Dick meets Brothers Karamzov"

    Overall

    This book grabs you with a fast paced, exciting first chapter but never really delivers on that promise.

    In trying to describe the events of the attack and put them in context the author strays a little too far a little too often to hold the reader. Further, the big question introduced in the first chapter is never answered satisfactorily.

    I appreciated his description of post-perestroika Russia, which I was almost completely ignorant of before this book. But the background starts to feel like a history lesson and you keep asking "but what about the tiger?" This is even worse when he goes into the personal histories of the involved hunters and townspeople. I'm certain these people made a tremendous impression on the author, but the details of their lives do not really move the narrative along.

    The writing is excellent--having lived "up north" I really was transported by his descriptions and he re-creates the feel of village life quite well. I also enjoyed his narration. It is difficult for an author to read their own book, but he manages to inflect well enough to make you catch puns you might otherwise miss.

    With better editing this could have been another "Into Thin Air" but as is it requires some effort to get through.

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    The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By John Vaillant
    • Narrated By John Vaillant
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (233)
    Performance
    (116)
    Story
    (117)

    It’s December 1997, and a man-eating tiger is on the prowl outside a remote village in Russia’s Far East. The tiger isn’t just killing people, it’s annihilating them, and a team of men and their dogs must hunt it on foot through the forest in the brutal cold. As the trackers sift through the gruesome remains of the victims, they discover that these attacks aren’t random: the tiger is apparently engaged in a vendetta. Injured, starving, and extremely dangerous, the tiger must be found before it strikes again.

    Richard says: "Very well written and a must for Big Cat fans"
  • "Meandering but thought provoking"

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    I'm a big fan of the author and really enjoyed "Our Inner Ape." I enjoyed this book less. The writing is interesting but the book has an unstructured, unfinished feel to it.

    He draws on his vast primatology experience to address the question "how can we have morality without God?" Using many insightful stories about chimps, bonobos and other monkeys he demonstrates that evolution has given us an innate moral sense that only recently (in anthropologic time) has been transplanted to the institution of religion.

    He never clearly lays out this very delicate and complicated argument. His style is more throw everything at the wall and see what sticks. I never had a sense of what would be coming next and there was no systematic refutation of possible objections. As a student of philosophy I expect a clear premise and a well structured argument to back it up. I agree with most of what he says, but I honestly don't see how you could attack his argument if you didn't. There's no "If A, then B and if B then C. Now I'm going to prove A and B." Instead he gives us detailed analysis of several medieval paintings and anecdotes from his research.

    I did appreciate his bristling at Hitchens and Dawkins' confrontational atheism. I like(d) them, but both frequently get a pass because of their divine status in the atheist pantheon.

    In the end "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence," and he hasn't brought that.

    More

    The Bonobo and the Atheist

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Frans de Waal
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (52)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (46)

    In this lively and illuminating discussion of his landmark research, esteemed primatologist Frans de Waal argues that human morality is not imposed from above but instead comes from within. Moral behavior does not begin and end with religion but is in fact a product of evolution. For many years, de Waal has observed chimpanzees soothe distressed neighbors and bonobos share their food. Now he delivers fascinating fresh evidence for the seeds of ethical behavior in primate societies that further cements the case for the biological origins of human fairness.

    Gary says: "Masterful presentation of interesting topic"
  1. The Violinist's Thumb: An...
  2. The Tiger: A True Story o...
  3. The Bonobo and the Atheist
  4. .

A Peek at Lisa's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
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27 REVIEWS / 209 ratings Member Since 2007 14 Followers / Following 0
 
Lisa's greatest hits:
  • The Bonobo and the Atheist

    "Less science and more meditative"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I suspect I'm being a little generous with 4 stars. It isn't that I don't enjoy the writing of de Waal; I do. I read de Waal's Age of Empathy (2009), which is why I moved on to The Bonobo and the Atheist (2013). Age of Empathy contains a good many anecdotes from research about animal empathy, which are informative and entertaining. The Bonobo and the Atheist is more meditative. de Waal considers matters of atheism and religion intellectually, but with much less research. Jheronimus Bosch is his companion in these meditations time after time, using the paintings as a guide in his reflections. There are some research-based anecdotes, one of which was so surprising to me that I immediately sought out a companion with whom to share it. (Did you know a juvenile chimpanzee used a log for hours as a proxy baby chimp, cradling it and gently placing it in a night-time nest? Imagination is alive in other primates.) However, that doesn't alter the overall meditative tone on atheism and religion from the European secular perspective rather than harder science. I just happen to like the European secular perspective and de Waal's thoughts about those matters.

  • The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal

    "Diamond's books are wonderful"

    Overall
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    Story

    I love Jared Diamond's writing. Every time I read one of his books, it resonates so clearly that I can't help but enjoy his thoughts tremendously. In The Third Chimpanzee, Diamond ranges widely in his thoughts of this odd third chimpanzee (us) and sometimes goes in rather unexpected places.

    Some highlights include how testes correlate with number of partners in sex and how public/private sex is, and the arts are a social method of sexual selection.

    The migration of some of human kind can be studied by the transformation of proto-Indo-European language, but he includes a fervent discussion of the loss of human languages as the few powerful languages consolidate their power and their populations on the world.

    He includes wonderful comments on genocide in chimps and genocide in humans across time. How we have permission to kill "them," but we must attempt to refrain from killing "us."

    Most disjointed was his theories of life on other worlds, which covers a part of a chapter.

    What is most interesting is the echoes of his other writings you can hear in this book. Echoes in the sense that it doesn't matter if the book came before or after this 2006 publication. His themes have remained constant: Ecological collapse, success of an area and the people controlling that area based on resources, and domesticate-able plant and animal species.

  • The Moral Molecule: The Source of Love and Prosperity

    "Fun science read--but needed professional reader"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    An enjoyable science read. Just enough science to be intellectual, just enough anecdotal human interest to be fun. The basics are that oxytocin, the cuddle hormone, makes for pro-social behavior. The author examines what behavior releases oxytocin and how it effects behavior after it is released. In addition, he comments on how it interacts with testosterone, a rather anti-social hormone, and cortisol, the stress hormone. The author closes with how we can create a more oxytocin-filled, trusting, and happier world one oxytocin-inducing act after another. If you like a good pop-science read, you'll enjoy The Moral Molecule by Paul J. Zak. However, the author read the book himself and he is no professional reader. It's rather like if your not-so-into-reading-aloud spouse read the book to you. Rhythms are off, emphasis is little. It's just not pro-level, even for an author. For the sake of the enjoyable information, you can get through it, but they really should have hired a profession reader to showcase the information to best effect.

  • The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution

    "One of the great books about natural selection"

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    Story

    Surely one of the great books about why evolution is true, is a fact rather than some fuzzy conspiratorial belief system of those foolish, misguided scientists. The first half is the better than the second, providing beautiful examples of actual research that shows natural selection in practice. This segment shows that, while natural selection generally takes a while to see and is almost invisible, experiments can be created that show it functioning more than most people realize. The second half is more nuanced so doesn't provide the best examples in discussions of natural selection. However, I am wondering who Dawkins thinks he is writing it for? Nominally, it's for those "history deniers," but no history denier is going to come closer to this wonderful book than a matchstick.

Twang

Twang SCOTTSDALE, AZ, United States 01-23-08 Member Since 2007

Yet Reader

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5
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  • "A 'Must Listen'"

    8 of 9 helpful votes

    Superb. A grand overview meticulously illustrating connections that only intimate knowledge of many and disparate fields brings.

    More

    Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Neil Shubin
    • Narrated By Marc Cashman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (231)
    Performance
    (84)
    Story
    (85)

    To better understand the inner workings of our bodies and to trace the origins of many of today's most common diseases, we have to turn to unexpected sources: worms, flies, and even fish.

    Aryn says: "Be entertained and educated"

What's Trending in Biology:

  • 4.3 (3685 ratings)

    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Rebecca Skloot
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell, Bahni Turpin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3685)
    Performance
    (2266)
    Story
    (2291)

    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 (2253 ratings)

    A Short History of Nearly Everything

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    Overall
    (2253)
    Performance
    (341)
    Story
    (346)

    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 (1435 ratings)

    The Demon Under The Microscope

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Thomas Hager
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1435)
    Performance
    (755)
    Story
    (751)

    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"
  • 4.4 (1275 ratings)

    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
    (1275)
    Performance
    (508)
    Story
    (501)

    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."
  •  
  • 4.3 (754 ratings)

    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
    (754)
    Performance
    (611)
    Story
    (597)

    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 (635 ratings)

    Why Evolution Is True

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Jerry A. Coyne
    • Narrated By Victor Bevine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (635)
    Performance
    (301)
    Story
    (300)

    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."
  • 4.6 (433 ratings)

    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
    (433)
    Performance
    (394)
    Story
    (402)

    >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"
  • The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By James D. Watson
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner, Roger Clark
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (133)
    Performance
    (109)
    Story
    (110)

    By identifying the structure of DNA, the molecule of life, Francis Crick and James Watson revolutionized biochemistry and won themselves a Nobel Prize. At the time, Watson was only 24, a young scientist hungry to make his mark. His uncompromisingly honest account of the heady days of their thrilling sprint against other world-class researchers to solve one of science's greatest mysteries gives a dazzlingly clear picture of a world of brilliant scientists with great gifts, very human ambitions, and bitter rivalries.

    A. Lai says: "Fabulous book!"
  • Inheritance: How Our Genes Change Our Lives - and Our Lives Change Our Genes

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Sharon Moalem, MD, PhD
    • Narrated By Sharon Moalem, MD, PhD
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Conventional wisdom dictates that our genetic destiny is fixed at conception. But Dr. Moalem's groundbreaking book shows us that the human genome is far more fluid and fascinating than your ninth grade biology teacher ever imagined. By bringing us to the bedside of his unique and complex patients, he masterfully demonstrates what rare genetic conditions can teach us all about our own health and well-being. In the brave new world we're rapidly rocketing into, genetic knowledge has become absolutely crucial. Inheritance provides an indispensable roadmap for this journey.

    Joseph G. Weigel says: "Not science writing"
  • 12 Essential Scientific Concepts

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Indre Viskontas
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    Science is such a vast arena of knowledge that people looking for a better grasp of its secrets often wonder where to begin. The answer: with the essentials. Now, finally satisfy your desire for scientific inquiry in a way that makes this enormous field accessible, understandable, and undeniably captivating.

    Tanglebones says: "Excellent overview of major science concepts"
  • Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Mary Roach
    • Narrated By Emily Woo Zeller
    Overall
    (801)
    Performance
    (704)
    Story
    (708)

    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!"
  •  
  • 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
    (1468)
    Performance
    (965)
    Story
    (960)

    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"
  • 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
    (248)
    Performance
    (230)
    Story
    (227)

    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 Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Rebecca Skloot
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell, Bahni Turpin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3685)
    Performance
    (2266)
    Story
    (2291)

    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"
  • Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Neil Shubin
    • Narrated By Marc Cashman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (231)
    Performance
    (84)
    Story
    (85)

    To better understand the inner workings of our bodies and to trace the origins of many of today's most common diseases, we have to turn to unexpected sources: worms, flies, and even fish.

    Aryn says: "Be entertained and educated"
  •  
  • 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
    (85)
    Performance
    (78)
    Story
    (78)

    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"
  • The Selfish Gene

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Richard Dawkins
    • Narrated By Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
    Overall
    (1338)
    Performance
    (967)
    Story
    (949)

    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!"
  • Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By T. Colin Campbell, Howard Jacobson
    • Narrated By Don Hagen
    Overall
    (254)
    Performance
    (216)
    Story
    (207)

    In The China Study, T. Colin Campbell revolutionized the way we think about our food with the evidence that a whole food, plant-based diet is the healthiest way to eat. Now, in Whole, he explains the science behind that evidence, the ways our current scientific paradigm ignores the fascinating complexity of the human body, and why, if we have such overwhelming evidence that everything we think we know about nutrition is wrong, our eating habits haven’t changed.

    Jason Cox says: "Debunking the Science of Nutrition"
  • The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Richard Preston
    • Narrated By Richard M. Davidson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (299)
    Performance
    (265)
    Story
    (268)

    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..."
  • Buddhist Biology: Ancient Eastern Wisdom Meets Modern Western Science

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By David P. Barash
    • Narrated By Vikas Adam
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
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    (0)

    In this fascinating book, David Barash highlights an intriguing patch of common ground between scientific and religious thought, illuminating the many parallels between biology and Buddhism, allowing listeners to see both in a new way. Indeed, he shows that there are numerous places where the Buddhist and biological perspectives coincide. For instance, the cornerstone ecological concept - the interconnectedness and interdependence of all things - is remarkably similar to the fundamental insight of Buddhism.

  • Inheritance: How Our Genes Change Our Lives - and Our Lives Change Our Genes

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Sharon Moalem, MD, PhD
    • Narrated By Sharon Moalem, MD, PhD
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Conventional wisdom dictates that our genetic destiny is fixed at conception. But Dr. Moalem's groundbreaking book shows us that the human genome is far more fluid and fascinating than your ninth grade biology teacher ever imagined. By bringing us to the bedside of his unique and complex patients, he masterfully demonstrates what rare genetic conditions can teach us all about our own health and well-being. In the brave new world we're rapidly rocketing into, genetic knowledge has become absolutely crucial. Inheritance provides an indispensable roadmap for this journey.

    Joseph G. Weigel says: "Not science writing"
  • Lucky Planet: Why Earth Is Exceptional - and What That Means for Life in the Universe

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By David Waltham
    • Narrated By Richard Dadd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    We have long fantasized about finding life on planets other than our own. Yet even as we become aware of the vast expanses beyond our solar system, it remains clear that Earth is exceptional. The question is: Why? In Lucky Planet, astrobiologist David Waltham argues that Earth’s climate stability is what makes it uniquely able to support life, and it is nothing short of luck that made such conditions possible. The four-billion-year stretch of good weather that our planet has experienced is statistically so unlikely that chances are slim that we will ever encounter intelligent extraterrestrial others.

    Gary says: "Any fan of Science books will enjoy"
  • Are Dolphins Really Smart?: The Mammal Behind the Myth

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Justin Gregg
    • Narrated By Joel Richards
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    The Western world has had an enduring love affair with dolphins since the early 1960s, with fanciful claims of their 'healing powers' and 'super intelligence'. Myths and pseudoscience abound on the subject. Justin Gregg weighs up the claims made about dolphin intelligence and separates scientific fact from fiction. He puts our knowledge about dolphin behavior and intelligence into perspective, with comparisons to scientific studies of other animals, especially the crow family and great apes.

  •  
  • Feathers: The Evolution of a Natural Miracle

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Thor Hanson
    • Narrated By Andy Ingalls
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
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    Feathers are an evolutionary marvel: Aerodynamic, insulating, beguiling. They date back more than 100 million years. Yet their story has never been fully told. In Feathers, biologist Thor Hanson details a sweeping natural history, as feathers have been used to fly, protect, attract, and adorn through time and place. Applying the research of paleontologists, ornithologists, biologists, engineers, and even art historians, Hanson asks: What are feathers? How did they evolve? What do they mean to us?

  • Eden Evolution

    • UNABRIDGED (38 mins)
    • By Walter Parks
    • Narrated By Dave Wright
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    The Bible tells us that God created us in the Garden of Eden. Scientific evidence points to us evolving from lower animals. Eden Evolution analyzes the dichotomies between the two and suggests how both can be correct.

  • Charles Darwin: Destroyer of Myths

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Andrew Norman
    • Narrated By Allan Robertson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    Charles Darwin did not deliberately set out to be the destroyer of mythical beliefs,” some of which, in his early days as a young Christian, he had previously espoused. He was a modest man who liked to avoid controversy of any kind, yet paradoxically, he was to be the cause of the greatest controversy in the history of science and religion.When Darwin embarked on the HMS Beagle in late December 1831, bound for the southern hemisphere, he could not have imagined that the experience would lead him to formulate a theory that would totally revolutionize the way in which we viewed the natural world.