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Eduardo

Aberdeen, SD, USA

64
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 17 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Sean B. Carroll
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (253)
    Performance
    (89)
    Story
    (89)

    DNA is the genetic material that defines us as individuals. Over the last two decades, it has emerged as a powerful tool for solving crimes and determining guilt and innocence. But, very recently, an important new aspect of DNA has been revealed: it contains a detailed record of evolution. That is, DNA is a living chronicle of how the marvelous creatures that inhabit our planet have adapted to its many environments, from the freezing waters of the Antarctic to the lush canopy of the rain forest.

    A User says: "Be prepared..."
    "No further clinching needed, really"
    Overall

    This is an outstanding book. The editorial review promises to "clinch" the case for evolution- as if it needed any further clinching. This piece of work does deliver. It indirectly points out the crucial need for strengthening science curricula in our schools.

    Unfortunately, I suspect more than one may dismiss the author's solid scientific arguments due to a lack of a basic understanding of biological sciences. Although the book may sometimes seem too basic to somebody with a background in biological disciplines, the opposite may be the case for a more general audience. The fact is, however, that science is not easy. It needs to be learned from basic principles, with progressive levels of complexity being laid on previous knowledge.

    Rather than spending so many resources trying to force the teaching of illogical, scientifically unsound, and plain nonsensical fairy tales in our schools, why not expand the teaching of the wondrous world of real science? As the author proposes, cultural and religious factors are responsible for this great disservice to future generations.

    Against the backdrop of compelling scientific facts, the conciliatory tone towards religion, at least non-fundamentalist religious views, assumed by the author in Chapter 9 is somewhat disconcerting. Still, this is a minor issue in the context of this excellent review of why stating that evolution is "just another theory", whose scientific stature is shared by relabeled Creationism (i.e., Intelligent Design), is simply not tenable, reflecting a major lack of scientific rigor.

    I agree with a previous reviewer that the narrator could refer us less often to the book's website. Also, there are a few mispronunciations of technical terms interspersed throughout the book. These are very minor details that do not substract from the content of this excellent work.

    18 of 23 people found this review helpful
  • The End of Faith

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Sam Harris
    • Narrated By Brian Emerson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (634)
    Performance
    (342)
    Story
    (333)

    Here is an impassioned plea for reason in a world divided by faith. This important and timely work delivers a startling analysis of the clash of faith and reason in today's world. Harris offers a vivid historical tour of mankind's willingness to suspend reason in favor of religious beliefs, even when those beliefs are used to justify harmful behavior and sometimes heinous crimes.

    William says: "Good book, bad narrator"
    "Almost a five-star work"
    Overall

    A rather enjoyable, lucid, and coherent discussion on how and why religious beliefs have created so much suffering in the history of humankind. From why it is untenable to argue in favor of religion as the basis for our morality, to very cohesive arguments supporting morality as unrelated to, and indeed murkied by, religious dogma.

    The narrator leads the listener through sometimes very complex reasoning in a clear and lively manner. I wish I could give this audiobook 4 and a half stars, but this rating is not available. The only reason for this is the somewhat oddly placed last chapter on meditation and spirituality. However, I must say the author recovers from this to some extent in the afterword, with his rationale for having included this topic in the book. His "Letter to a Christian Nation" further refines and clarifies many of the central arguments introduced in this book.

    Overall a great read/listen. It nicely complements Dawkins' work. However, I have enjoyed more the latter's more unapologetic style.

    14 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Nicholas Wade
    • Narrated By Alan Sklar
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (591)
    Performance
    (221)
    Story
    (218)

    Just in the last three years a flood of new scientific findings, driven by revelations discovered in the human genome, has provided compelling new answers to many long-standing mysteries about our most ancient ancestors, the people who first evolved in Africa and then went on to colonize the whole world. Nicholas Wade weaves this host of news-making findings together for the first time into an intriguing new history of the human story before the dawn of civilization.

    Albert says: "Amazing information"
    "A saga of epic proportions"
    Overall

    Stunning, a masterpiece. A very accessible account of vast breadth and not unappreciable depth. This riveting piece of work reads like a thriller. Wade succesfully summarizes a huge body of data from multiple scientific disciplines, honestly admitting when current knowlege is lacking or still incomplete. This book should be read by "non-believers" in the evolution of the human species.

    32 of 33 people found this review helpful

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