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.
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.
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.
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