Really fascinating. It illustrates the high academic standard Darwin achieved prior to his Beagle journey. His excellent diary style, acute observations added to by easy reading skills make this much better than I would have hoped. Richard Dawkins makes an excellent narrator and his own scientific knowledge obviously assists in correct emphasis and pronouniciation. I had anticipated some dryness and that a bit of endurance might have been called for but nothing of the sort. Lots of human interest, adventure and exploration with the added threats of sail and risks of the time add considerably to the readabilty. Well recommended.
I must say that I am a confirmed sceptic. However I did have a religious period (Jehovah's Witness) in my life and reckon I had a reasonable and defensive knowledge of scripture. But I little realised the generational influences and past degree of Biblical intrusion in Western cultural development. The appeal to Biblical authority as Western thought processes and lifestyle evolved is more significant than I had realised.
Bragg's book develops the history of translational battles, church divisional arguments, language use and modern scholastic studies which are fascinatingly researched and developed. The multiple Biblical versions and their use in sectarian warfare is related with skill and interest. American development was strongly influenced by religious concept and no doubt accounts for the still strong religious belief (at least to my Australian comparison) which steers attitude and politics today.
I learned a lot and to some extent it fed my sceptical state of mind that, after all, the Bible is not the inerrant 'Word of God' that I used to 'witness' about in my youth. Bragg, (though an attitudinal sceptic himself) criticises Dawkins' attitude towards the Bible but I would support Dawkins on that issue. Anyone with an agenda can find a Bible passage that will support that agenda and Bragg illustrates examples with skill. Such Biblical 'authority' has given cause to violence and tragedy excused in the name of God.
Well read with a pleasing voice by Stephen Thorne and a fascinating book with interest levels for Christian or sceptic.
I have bought all Bart Ehrman's books that I know of. And continue to re read them (well listen anyway - plus one on kindle) As a former Jehovah's Witness (fulltime pioneer) I also had a 'no fault' belief in the scriptures and if there was a question raised it was my fault or the Watchtower society hadn't given me the answer yet! Barts methodological process of highlighting biblical errors and why they are there have been helpful. He hits items I also found (that star over a building to identify where Jesus was - can you identify a specific country a star hovers over never mind a town or building). Context and historical background is essential and justified. There has been scholarly justification for some errors and forgeries but these excuses are rejected and clear arguments for that decision given. Bart's academy and erudition gives all you want if you haven't had the formal training. All his arguments he justifies and yet its at a lay level but adds to your personal knowledge and can test at the edge of your own education making it an interesting, challenging but educative read. Very well recommended.
I was surprised how listenable this book was in audible. I did have to have a paleo chart on hand to get a better picture and follow the audio along but the book has taken me to a new place of understanding. Technical for me as an interested amateur I enjoyed the challenge. Well worth the price and exactly as described in the title.
I have been absolutely enamoured with this book since I download it. Listened more than twice and really enjoy the academic analysis of the 'holy' book. I am an ex Jehovahs Witness and reckoned I knew my (Watchtower) trained scriptures well. It's scary to think the volume of people who hang on the Bible as a truth as to where we are going and what we are. Well argued, intriguing and fascinating the Ehrman work is really on the ball when making its case. It should appeal to seekers of the real truth in all phases of life.
this is merely a bible reading and despite it being free is not worth the download space.
I think Philip has done a diservice with the title. It's not just about astronomy! Debunking commonly held misconceptions is intelligently performed and delightfully achieved. It's a great listen on my audible ipod when the family want to make television noises and I can't escape. One by one my urban myth misunderstandings were corrected and replanted. Well done for a geat listen and an academic approach that challenges. Being a recent convert from a religion to scepticism this book happily satisfied my itches for information in th real world
Michael Shermer lives up to his reputation as a communicator with an unscientific public such as me. His arguments are clear and specific. Necessarily this is not a debate but his singular demolition of anti Darwin arguments is effective. I used to be a creationist and gave public discourses on the creation arguments so know them well. As an ex Jehovah Witness I used to have the emotional appeals well rehearsed and it took time to let go of such head virus stuff. Michael and others have helped greatly. Really enjoyed this listen and recommended.
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