I really enjoyed this book. I listened to it twice back-to-back. The content is highly engaging, the pacing is brisk, and the narration was very expressive. A great listen that is as informative as it is enjoyable to listen to. If you are interested in the big bang, the expanding universe, dark matter, dark energy, the cosmic microwave background radiation, cosmic structures and superstructures, then this book is a good fit. It explains those topics along with the people, groups, and collaborations that drove important research on those and more topics in the last 100 years.
There's a lot of clever philosophical points in his book. The authors deftly and handily point out errors in basic logic that many popular philosophies exhibit. As the authors do so they begin to make a compelling case for theism. However, the science material in this book is so deeply flawed that it is hard to listen to.
This book does a disservice to Christianity. It purports to be written to convince skeptics and atheists that theism is a serious hypothesis worth considering. And, when they are dealing with material on which they are qualified to write about, namely philosophy and theology, the authors do a good job of making a case for theism. But as soon as they begin to talk science, the book takes a steep nosedive. The authors are woefully ignorant and incorrect on a number of points, big and small. They ignore evidence, whether willfully or out of ignorance, that prove their claims incorrect. They obfuscate simple matters to make them seem more complex, and they continuously get little but important details incorrect.
I found this book deeply disappointing. If you are an atheist or agnostic looking for a fair explanation of the real good evidence for the theistic hypothesis don't listen to this book. Check out "The Language of God" by Francis Collins instead; he's actually a scientist, so he's actually qualified to talk about science.
The authors do make very good philosophical arguments, but the junk science in this book risks sinking the philosophical work just by guilt by association. "If their science is so bad, maybe their philosophy is too" one may think. I don't think so, I think the philosophy is generally good. However, the authors have a narrow interpretation of Christianity and willfully distort scientific evidence to fit that predetermined outlook, which is very sad. I can't recommend this book.
"The Case for Christ" is a very good book on Christian apologetics. Author Lee Strobel was an investigative journalist and an atheist. He decided to investigate the case for the divinity of Christ by applying his journalist skills to interview experts and gather information. Strobel interviews a wide range of scholars including historians, philosophers, theologians, and medical doctors. His conclusion at the end of the 2 year investigation is that Jesus was the unique Son of God.
While this book presents a sophisticated case for the existence and divinity of Christ it does have a nagging problem that makes the fair-minded listener hesitant. Strobel's choice of experts to interview are in remarkable lock-step on theological and ideological issues. Every single expert he interviewed was a conservative Christian and biblical literalist. Christian philosophy and theology are diverse fields but Strobel appears to have stacked the deck in favor of one particular idealogical outcome: conservative biblical literalism. This seems strange to me. If Strobel really began this quest looking for unbiased truth why didn't he interview professionals with a wide range of beliefs? Worse yet, Strobel and his subjects mention competing views and then summarily shut them down; however Strobel never interviews scholars who hold those competing views to see if their arguments would stand up, or if they could offer compelling counterpoint.
I like this book, and recommend it, but I also recommend that the listener supplement their reading of this book with views of scholars from across the spectrum of Christian academic thought.
The performance was quite good and a surprise to me. The reader uses different tones, accents, and speech patterns for the different interviewees. That may sound off-putting but it is really quite enjoyable. It really made it feel like I was listening to interviews of different people.
"The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" is a riveting account of the events leading up to and within the Third Reich. The detail and depth with which the history is treated is awe inspiring. One feels as though he or she is sitting there in the offices and beer halls where history shaping conversations were being held. The private accounts of events taken from journals and notes are used to great effect to recount every important meeting and conversation in these momentous times. The accounts of diplomatic intrigue and the struggles and personalities involved are transfixing and enthralling. I've seen nor heard no better account of the events surrounding Hitler's rise and fall and the World War he precipitated.
This book, as near perfect as it is, is not without its problems. William Shirer was stationed as a foreign correspondent in and around Germany during and before Hitler's reign and had a "front row seat" to much of what occurred in the Third Reich. This gives Shirer a personal and involved perspective on the events covered; this turns out to be a mixed blessing. Written less than 20 years after the end of World War 2 Shirer shows considerable biases and levies personal judgment against some of history's actors that sometimes, at their worst, come across as unprofessional personal attacks. Additionally Shirer occasionally makes anti-homosexual remarks and judgments that, though indicative of attitudes of the time, appear crude and distasteful to the modern reader. Still, foibles aside, "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" is a book that should not be passed up and is required reading for anyone who is interested to know the details of one of the most important chapters of the modern age.
Qutanum does a great job at describing the physics of the first third of the 20th century in the context of the lives of the scientists who made these amazing discoveries. This book strikes a wonderful balance between explaining the technical concepts at a high and approachable pop-sci level and exposing the very human drama of the men and women involved. I loved this book and was sad when it was over. I plan to listen again soon.
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