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Publisher's Summary

The best-selling author of Free Radicals takes listeners on a whirlwind tour of the most controversial areas of modern science.

The atom, the big bang, DNA, natural selection - all are ideas that have revolutionized science; and all were dismissed out of hand when they first appeared. The surprises haven't stopped in recent years, and in At the Edge of Uncertainty, best-selling author Michael Brooks investigates the new wave of radical insights that are shaping the future of scientific discovery.

Brooks takes us to the extreme frontiers of what we understand about the world. He journeys from the observations that might rewrite our story of how the cosmos came to be, through the novel biology behind our will to live, and on to the physiological root of consciousness. Along the way, he examines how it's time to redress the gender imbalance in clinical trials, explores how merging humans with other species might provide a solution to the shortage of organ donors, and finds out whether the universe really is like a computer or if the flow of time is a mere illusion.

©2014 Michael Brooks (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

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  • Kenton
  • Highland Park, IL, United States
  • 07-25-15

All smoke, no fire

I get it. You're not going to have a ton of solid evidence if you're looking at things beyond the current understanding of science. But you should have a lot of evidence that has lead you to explore them and has given you a degree of certainty that we are on the verge of breakthroughs in them.

Unfortunately this book doesn't. It simply uses developing areas of science as a launchpad to go hog wild prurporting old crackpot ideas as plausible explanations. Most are not only junk science, but honestly not even very imaginative either.

There were so many ideas put forth as "new" thinking that were just plain tired old hypotheses that have all been more or less picked over for years.

And the narrator... Awe, GAWD. Think of Dick Cheney with braces. If I heard his Jim Carey tooth whistle one more more time, I'd have torn my ears off.

Tripe.

Run.

170 of 195 people found this review helpful

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  • Gary
  • Las Cruces, NM, United States
  • 03-22-16

Adequete but mostly rehash of other books

Zombies aren't real and they don't help in explaining consciousness, quantum computers and epigenetics are real (and cool), gender makes a difference in drug efficacy, entanglement is cool, time is not a part of physics, and the big bang theory doesn't explain everything and has some problems. All those concepts are explored in this book and probably are familiar to any regular listener of Audible's pop science books.

Science is not perfect and speculation beyond what we currently accept is worth while, but to make a book really worth my while tell me things I don't already know. This book fails at telling me things I haven't read elsewhere.

If you're not too familiar with pop science books, this book provides a good essay approach to a lot of interesting topics (with a little bit too much speculation, though), but for almost everyone else I would recommend skipping this book. (Except, the section on epigenetics did standout and the understanding about the importance of epigenetics needs to be more widely understood).

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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why do they hire these awful readers? i

i dom't understand how someone reading can be so dissociated from the material. they might as well just have it read by a computer program.

66 of 77 people found this review helpful

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Fascinating and Accessible

Any additional comments?

As an avid reader/listener with a limited science background, I appreciated the author's narrative, conversational style dealing with a number of daunting subjects including quantum physics and chimeras. I enjoyed the pleasant and warm tone of the narrator.

32 of 38 people found this review helpful

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Good stuff!

Cool!
Great narrative and description of today's greatest achievements! Well built up! Would recommend of you want a simple overview of complex world -changing discoveries

19 of 23 people found this review helpful

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It's interesting with out being rigorous

Those that have a scientific background will it over simplified. But its simplicity is part of its charm. It makes science "personable".

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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SO GOOD.

This book was awesome. I love learning about the edge of our understanding of the cosmos, the micro and the macro.

12 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Interesting book

This book really makes you think about the world we all live in and the reality we know good performance !

8 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Rambling and off focus

I read quite a few books about the frontiers of science and when I saw this one was available through a special deal I pounced on it. Unfortunately, it suffers from a number of serious flaws.

First and foremost, this book isn't about 11 discoveries, it's about discoveries in 11 broad areas. For instance, in one chapter they go from talking about quantum effects in photosynthesis to the idea that our universe is a hologram to the idea that our universe is a computer. Yes, these all involved research in quantum physics, but it's a huge stretch to say they are a single discovery.

This gives the book an overall feeling of flitting from topic to topic without ever really exhausting a single topic. It more like a road tour of science but the attractions are driven by too quickly to fully grasp and to slowly to provide a sense of excitement.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Surprised a good read

Very well presented as concepts described are at best impossible to understand. I was impressed with the level of detail. The reader will be amazed at facts about areas that I never knew had issues.

10 of 18 people found this review helpful