Frans de Waal is an authority in primate behaviour, with a long and productive academic career and lots of field work. The experiences he share in the book shed light in how many different aspects humans and non-human apes are similar, and how it is ever more convergent to frame those similarities as different grades in a continuum.
How de Waal explains why moral systems are bound to mammal biology aspects for us.
I am writing this review just to warn potential listeners: this is not a science title. By the start of the 2nd hour, I just could not get more bullshit. The author actually states that autism is caused by lack of affection. The narration, though, was really great, and was the reason why I kept listening until now.
Audible is really not doing a good job in classifying science titles. Tip: check if author have anything published in the main science journals, like Nature, Science, Proceedings of the Royal Academy of Science, PNAS, or alike. Otherwise, think it twice.
The whole book is a sequence of clouded arguments or author's personal opinion. He almost says that what's going on in your mind can change quantum-level reality, but manages to keep the argument obfuscated. One can never say that they read a book and learned nothing; it is not the case but David Grandy has been suspended from my reading list for the next 3 years and Indiana University Press is going to the corner.
I find it strange and scary finding the word "God" when reading a scientific text. Somehow, every time a scientist says "God", they acknowledge its existence, in some basic cognitive level that is socially shared. Theists need no more arguments to force creationism into schools, nor to convert religion-based opinions and preferences into law. I am not glad I read this book.
I loved this book: it is full of evidences and they are laid out in a beautifully consistent order. I will take from it better arguments to defend something I believe: evolution theory validity. But I must say: the bits where the author tries to convince the ID believers are annoying. All of the evidences presented are overkill -- if your faith is not directed at science. So, I guess the intellectual investment would be more fruitful if directed at empowering K12 biology teachers. They have a challenge on hands and need any help scientific community could provide.
Sometimes real life is more scary than fiction.
In this book, Gina Kolata describes the events around 1918 Influenza pandemic and the colossal effort scients delivered to trace back the possible origins of the virus, uncover its lethal genetic structure and prepare humanity for a probable come back.
The bit about the RNA world, a theory about how life could have emerged from simpler molecules that have a superior balance between self-replicating and catalystic capabilities than DNA and proteins have.
Dawkins' another book, The Blind Watchmaker
This couple is just wonderful. I heard the Blind Watchmaker as well, and that was a perfect performance as well. Engaging and humorous, hard to stop listening to.
Last chapter, when Dawkins reflects about the reverence to the wonderful universe we live in that only science can really bring us.
Every time I read or listen to Dawkins, my further reading increases 2 years long. There is much to be learned from this figure ;)
Discussions around the challenges in life sciences, like characterizing life, placebo effect and homeopathy.
The Next Fifty Years, edited by John Brockman.
No, I did not. But he was really great.
This book goes like 13 different movies ...
Nobel Prize worth.
This book revisits Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman works on Prospect Theory (not a romance narrative), and in several passages, Kahneman share with the reader what was like working with Amos and dozens of other big names in behavioral economics along these years. I would say that Kahneman is a real character ;)
No, I did not. Patrick Egan gave us a engaging perfomance. Hard to stop listening.
Yes. The subject is most interesting and the book is full of references to classical works in the area of risk perception. Great job in connecting ideas from Kannehman, Tvorsky, Slovic, and other researchers in a revealing and instructive narrative.
This specific passage: "...This isn't a failing of the media, so much as it is a reflection of the hardwiring of the human brain that was shaped by environments that bore little resemblance to the world we inhabit. We listen to iPods, read the newspaper, watch television, work on computers, and fly around the world with brains beautifully adapted to picking berries and stalking antilope. The wonder is not we sometimes make mistakes about risks. The wonder is that sometimes we get it right."
Yes, great performance.
Guts and Head: two different perspectives of life
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