This lecture seemed very anti western in its tone, someone unfamiliar with history would infer that Europeans lived in caves before the Muslims came forth to lead them out of ignorance. The esteemed professor, takes discoveries from older cultures and spins it so they appear of ONLY Muslim origin, i.e Arabic Numbers, Universities, etc. He makes Christians appear intolerant compared to Muslims since they did not "force" their conquered subject to convert to Islam. But fails to mention that they often preferred that those same subjects retain their original faiths in order to extract the Jizya Tax! The course remains interesting and I still recommend it to anyone interested in Islamic history. But beware, learn something of European history before beginning this course or you will find yourself led astray!
If you ever wondered why men and women act the way we do this book will reveal the answers. From why men are aggresive by nature to why mothers and family always comment on why a baby looks like dad. This book is filled with facinating insights into human nature. Read by Simon Prebble who is my favorite narrator only adds to the book! yes its a science book so if your not into science you may not enjoy it. But if your a nerd you will love it!
I thought this was a very interesting book. However in my opinion there is one major flaw. There is a distinct lack of objectivity in his book to the point of distraction.
I wish Dr Pigliucci would have toned down his obvious loathing of Christianity. I'm a Christian but I'm not saying this because I disagree with him. In fact I agree with his views on evolution. But his acrimony against Creationists was just distracting. He seemed compelled to make snide remarks against them at every turn; even in areas having nothing to do with evolution.
He also seemed very convinced about the "truth" of so called Man made Global warming. But his evidence was no better than that of the Global warming Deniers. I found it particularly galling how he listed various denier claims and simply labeled them as Myths. As if that were enough to settle the issue? For example He claims that the warming effects of heat islands caused by cities are a myth. But just last month Jan 2013 the University of California, San Diego stated that urban heat island do in fact increase the heat of faraway rural places. What else may he be wrong about in this area?He also claims that the majority of scientists in general and climate scientists in particular feel there is no doubt about human caused Global Warming. The funny thing is that the deniers also claim that the majority of scientists, feel that the issue is not settled! so who do I believe?
But enough negatives. If you filter out the obviously politically nonsense on stilts that Dr Pigliucci puts forward. What you are left with is a fascinating look at what science is and what it is not. I was particularly intrigued by his discussion on Pseudoscience! All in all a very entertaining and educational work!
Let me start by saying I loved the series. However, I was seriously disappointed by Homeward Bound. Why does it take 28 hrs and 9 mins to not say nothing? I mean really, nothing happened throughout the book. Nothing was resolved, We don't really know what happened on earth, many of the characters from the series are briefly mentioned but what happened to them?Worst of all we're left hanging at the end. I wont say more as I don't want to give away the story for those who wish to listen to this book. But I feel like after 6 other books we should have gotten a BIG finish and what we get is a well, nada, zilch zero, the big goose egg. The details of Home are interesting though, and you get some very interesting thoughts about different systems of government and you even wonder of the "races" form of government has some merit, This is why I didn't give the story 2 stars. Harry Turtledove can still make the details interesting, even if the big picture disappointed me.
I guess what you pay for, the history was just a quick flight through Mexican history. The real issue I had was the unnecessary anti Catholic rhetoric that permeated throughout. But a quick check of the authors history reveals him him to possess of left leaning view of the world. He has written articles for leftist websites and publications. (How does he qualify to write a history of Mexico?)
So I guess I shouldn't be surprised the Catholic Church would not get its side of the story told. Whereas the Socialist leaning governments of Mexico do. But at least he does tell of how the Mexican people have always taken comfort in their faith, and always held it dear. If you want a good history of Mexico, this is not it. If you have some spare room on your MP3 player and have a road trip, and the radio is out and you have listened to all your other books. Then buy a another book. :-)
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