An eclectic, inspiring collection exploring a broad range of scientific thought from best-selling author and celebrated skeptic Michael Shermer....
Michael Shermer’s most accomplished and ambitious book to date demonstrates how the scientific way of thinking has made people, and society as a whole, more moral....
These 24 rewarding lectures equip you with the knowledge and techniques you need to become a savvier, sharper critical thinker in your professional and personal life....
In this startling new book, the best-selling cognitive scientist Steven Pinker shows that the world of the past was much worse....
The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump describes the consensus view held by two dozen psychiatrists and psychologists that Donald Trump is dangerously mentally ill....
The world’s best known skeptic and critical thinker presents his comprehensive theory on how beliefs are born, formed, nourished, reinforced, challenged, changed, and extinguished....
This unique book provides an investigation into what may be the most unpleasant character in all fiction....
The follow-up to Pinker's groundbreaking The Better Angels of Our Nature presents the big picture of human progress: People are living longer, healthier, freer, and happier lives....
For decades Richard Dawkins has been the world's most brilliant scientific communicator, consistently illuminating the wonders of nature and attacking faulty logic....
Remarkable for the breadth and depth of its analysis, this dialogue between a famous atheist and a former radical is all the more startling for its decorum....
Here is an impassioned plea for reason in a world divided by faith....
Steven Pinker, one of the world's leading experts on language and the mind, explores the idea of human nature and its moral, emotional, and political colorings....
For centuries in Europe, innocent men and women were murdered for the imaginary crime of witchcraft....
Religious fundamentalists and biblical literalists present any number of arguments that attempt to disprove evolution....
In his college war course, Dr. Shermer mixes straight narrative history with science, philosophy, and theory as to the causes and solutions to war....
Recent polls report that 96-percent of Americans believe in God, and 73-percent believe that angels regularly visit Earth....
Michael Shermer argues that Intelligent Design proponents invoke a combination of ad science, political antipathy, and flawed theology in their new brand of creationism....
The line of thought is often interesting - but the low quality of the sound with whisperings and chairs ruminating in the background as well as inaudible questions makes it difficult to recommend. Also we listeners do not have at hand or on-line the many handout that are used ad referenced throughout. All-in-all its a lecture recording "on the cheap" that needs to be updated and applied for tape/digital to make real sense.
26 of 27 people found this review helpful
I was looking forward to this book, (as I thought), but it turned out to be a recording of lectures to a group of students and other academics, who made comments, often inaudible, in the background. Dr Shermer rattled on, losing his notes from time to time, making asides, stopping for a drink, adjusting the recording device, referring to what he had written on a board, to slides that he was showing, to printed handouts, and talking about the time of the next lecture etc. Essentially, I felt that he was wasting my time.
The material would have been much better if presented in a professionally edited book, and read from a book by a professional reader. I believe that I did not get what I expected - an audiobook, and am disappointed that Audible represented it as such.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful
Don't waste your time. Disorganized & frequently inaudible. True, Shermer's personality shines through--unfortunately, by his frequent sophomoric gaffaws. This is first book I've abandoned before finishing.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Wow, I am sorry that I wasted a credit on this. I thought I was buying a survey of the History of Science. Instead, half the lectures are ruminations on economic theory - cursory at best and academically dishonest at worst. Marx is dismissed as a literary hack and inept buffoon, while apparently the sun shines out of Ayn Rand's butt. Discussion of Hegel sounds like an undergraduate book report copied sloppily from the Wikipedia. Much time is devoted to the sound-poem made by Shermer's shifting papers to find the long dry and unconnected-to-lecture quote he would like to read you. Thoroughly avoids discussion of, say, empiricist experiments during the Enlightenment. Even discussion of Locke is more about Economics and social theory than science. Perhaps this product has been packaged incorrectly as History of Science? Judging from class participation (barely audible) he was performing these lectures at an old age home. Constant deference too, to his (graduate advisor's (?) opinion. Nice moment when he says hello to his mom and dad. I KNOW you can find better FREE downloadable lectures on the HoS from the Berkeley or MIT sites because I have downloaded them myself.
17 of 22 people found this review helpful
I was hoping for a somewhat concise history of science when I purchased this but was suprised to find that the author supports very little with dates and facts, rather this seems little more than a backyard philosophical conversation about science, full of opinions from the author and running conversations with his audience.
I agree with the other reviews that the title is deceptive and I did not get what I thought I was getting and feel that I wasted my credit as well.
9 of 12 people found this review helpful
This is not worth the time or money. Poorly organized, broken by many extraneous interruptions, read from out-of-date notes, and given by a "professor" who is no more an academic than a high school student. I was completely disappointed and unhappy with this book and amazed that the Audible description was so inaccurate. If I could get my money back, I would.
8 of 14 people found this review helpful
if it is optional why do I get to fill this thing out to get off this damn
What disappointed you about The History of Science?
It is not a History of Science. It is a loose survey of philosophy and history in the hopes of justifying Shermer's personal Cliodynamics.
What was most disappointing about Michael Shermer’s story?
It is false advertising at best. I enjoy Michael Shermer's discussions and books on science, but this is not that.
Any additional comments?
If you want to hear a convoluted philosophical diatribe with a pseudo intellectual bend then download and listen......or you could spend the $60 that this "course" costs and head to your local bar. You may not find what you're looking for there either, but at least you might have a good time.....plus, you may have something more interesting to talk about
This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?
Someone who truly hates people of faith and enjoys hearing people of faith ridiculed. If that's you, by all means get this one.
What do you think your next listen will be?
I know it will not be anything by this fellow.
How could the performance have been better?
It would be better if he spent more time on the history of science and less time riduculing faith. It would be even better if he got the science right! (At one point he refers to a light-year as a unit of time! Anyone as self-important as this dude ought to at least know that a light-year is a unit of distance.) Also, he laughs at his own jokes, and has endless verbal ticks, um, err, uhh. He is extremely impressed with himself and how witty he percieves himself to be.
If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The History of Science?
The whole deal is a bad scene.
Any additional comments?
This is truly one of the very worst things I have ever gotten from Audible. I am definitely returning it. It is just unbelievably bad.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful
What did you love best about The History of Science?
It's interesting to look back to 1991 both in the tech that recorded this, the overhead projector he's obviously using, and the understanding of world politics (this is ten years before 9/11).
What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?
The recording is sometimes difficult to hear, particularly the audience.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
25+ hours? Heck no!
Any additional comments?
I think some of the other reviewers didn't understand what this is (lectures) and don't recall or never experienced older tech recording.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
This is in 3 parts and spans about 24 hours. These are Shermer's lectures recorded in the classroom (it does not seem to be a lecture theater as there is an intimacy with the class. He sometimes makes mistakes (due to the virtue of a live recording) on values and data but these are just verbal trips and are not intended. They are however enjoyable, but the listener will not have access to his pictoral material which he uses. I e-mailed Shermer about this and he does not have the images to give, he also said I was the first reviewer to get in touch as the lectures had only been just released. If anything you will learn the inter-connectedness between known and unknown scientists throughout the last few centuries. His lectures on Einstein are very revealing. I would strongly recommend this title to those interested in science and how it works.
27 of 29 people found this review helpful
When buying this book I expected something akin to Bill Bryson's "Short History of Everything" - perhaps more detail and less humourous but, given the length and cost, something well-researched and well-presented. In fact this is a series of lectures given by Schermer, the structure, clarity and editing of which is significantly inferior to the standards set by the "Modern Scholar" series. Structurally the lectures are full of digressions and, at times, Schermer shows he has little grasp of some of the topics being discussed. The clarity of the recordings is awful and I lost count of the times when discussions were taking place with the audience and it was impossible to hear the questions being asked or the contributions being made. However, it is perhaps in the editing that this series is at it's weakest. "Chapter" breaks are often made when Schermer is in full flow, digressions and barely decipherable audience discussions - completely off-topic - could, and should, have been edit out.
Finally the title of the book is misleading as, given it's poor structure, it tries to span philosophy and religion as well as science and does poor justice to all three subjects. As an alternative I would recommend any potential purchaser to buy the following:
"A Short History of Everything" - Bill Bryson
"The Story of Philosophy" - Will Durrant
"The God Delusion" - Richard Dawkins
8 of 12 people found this review helpful
I returned this book because it was a rather rambling lecture series with Shermer spending a lot of time answering inaudible student questions. I imagine following it could have been a valuable experience, but insufficient time was spent preparing it for publication.
The audiobook (selling at nearly £39) says it is a sweeping visage of science and it's history. It is most certainly that taking on issues such as religion and ideology as well as scientific method and discovery. However the lectures on which this audiobook is based comes from the 1990s. The production is poor, the questions from the audience are often inaudible, so in so e chapters you are presented with what appears to be up to 15 minutes of silence. A lot of the content is subjective and although often entertaining, is the kind of discussion I would expect at a dinner party. The views are American - calling Iraqis as only capable of growing food for camels is borderline racism. I was expecting much more and I am glad I did not pay full price. It is probably worth the single credit I have begrudgingly lost. Audible, you really need to reconsider whether this audiobook comes up to acceptable standards.
I really enjoyed the subject - I learned so much.
The presenter has a pleasant, humour onus self-deprecating style.
But the recording is full of dead space, usually when someone in the audience is speaking, for the most part, I audibly. Pity. It would be so much more enjoyable if the bits we can't hear clearly were just cut out.
I have been struggling to extract some satisfaction and value from this for a year now. As others have said the editing and sound quality are poor - the lecturing style is just about ok but not fluent. There is almost continual use of overheads and references to material which is not supplied or available. The scope is immense and in parts I find the material and delivery pretentiousand misleading if not incorrect. Without some help as to the structure being followed and the material being covered, I challenge anybody to feel other than irritated after a listening session.
Purchasers beware! This recording is an exercise in futility and does not reflect well on the good standards seen previously from both audible and modern scholar. I would recommend removing this from your catalogue.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
These are lectures given some 20 years ago, apparently recorded live and completely unedited. The result is a disappointingly disjointed and unstructured series, falling far short of the standards set by the Modern Scholars series. Even the sound quality is poor.
I would strongly discourage anyone from wasting a credit or, worse, money, on these lectures. Go for something where the speaker/author has a minimal amount of respect for his audience, and rather less sense of his own importance.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Poorly presented, poorly recorded, conversations take place that cannot be heard. Dr. Shermer has not practiced with this material he loses his place in his notes, he side tracks from the theme and shows a lack of practice at delivery. The price is much too high for the poor content of this audible. Despite all the drawbacks it raised some thought provoking ideas but not enough to rescue it or make it worthy of listening to twice.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful