For those who want to make a quick decision, just read the above headline. For those who would like to thoroughly research this book before committing, go to the FREE "Brain Science Podcast" and listen to episode # 82. (In fact, if you are at all interested in the Mind/Brain, I strongly suggest you subscribe to this Audible sponsored podcast. It led me to this wonderful world of audiobooks.)
For those in between, here is my take on it. Dr. Gazzaniga is the father of research into split brain patients (this procedure for epilepsy has been replaced by less damaging ones, so there will be little research in the future). His work seems to have heavily influenced our present understanding of the brain, and a lot of that understanding is presented in this work. While I thought I knew quite a bit for a layman, there was not one part of this book that I could skip through, all of it was engaging, even the familiar parts. While there are other books I could recommend that specialize in certain areas, "Who's In Charge" covers most of the current popular topics, such as Self, Consciousness, Free Will, and Morality and touches on Chaos Theory and Emergence. To me, there were no low points here. nor is anything too complicated for the unitiated. I cannot see anybody being disappointed in purchasing this book, and believe you could have saved time and effort, by just following the advice in the headline.
Warning! Those offended by “Evolution” in the title, will not appreciate this book. To everyone else, I highly recommend it. I found it a wonderful experience. Just the history of the Bible and Quran, of the politics of the eras of their writing, and the textual analysis of these books, would have easily been worth the investment of time and effort. But this history is seen through the eyes of an author well versed in the sciences (Psychology, Game Theory, and Natural Selection). He speaks of the evolution of humans through genes, and of cultures through memes. While Mr. Wright is a believer in the divine, this long time atheist felt right at home with his analysis. Any disagreement I had with his views was easily dismissed by me, as one of semantics, not of concepts. I dare say his take on anthropomorphizing the “Logos” into the “Lord”, would be palatable even to Richard (“Yes Virginia, there is a Selfish Gene”) Dawkins. Of course, the author does not dismiss this human failing, to personify unknown forces, as needless; he puts it into the perspective of a necessary step in the evolution of an emergent meme. (Not once does he use the term “Emergence”, but his analysis is like that of one familiar with Systems Theory.) A very worthwhile 18 hours of listening to this history of the concepts found in the Abrahamic religions.
The title aptly describes the content. I always like when a respected author narrates as well. I was quite unaware of much of the history recounted, and somewhat overwhelmed by the picture painted in this account of the evolution of the American military. I highly recommend.
Obviously aimed at public school or high school students. While the content was quite good, I found the attempts to engage the younger history enthusiast's imagination somewhat off putting. I recommend it for youths
Not my cup of tea. More of a dramatically narrated propaganda piece, with excessive use of charged words, such as 'Evil' and 'Cowardly' than a thoughtful historical account. Not to fault the narrator for reflecting the tone of the author.
Being of the same religious convictions as Hitchens, I appreciate the overwhelming evidence of abuse, and the irrationality passed off as truth, by many proponents of organized religion. While not even handed in his approach, Hitchens is justified in the harsh portrayal of the faithful, as our
(This is not a character driven book)
His arguements are based on historical facts, and rational reasoning. It was nice that the narrator is the author as well, leaving nothing to misplaced emphasis.
The Atheist's Advocate
Personally, I prefer to criticise
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