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....
An eclectic, inspiring collection exploring a broad range of scientific thought from best-selling author and celebrated skeptic Michael Shermer....
The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump describes the consensus view held by two dozen psychiatrists and psychologists that Donald Trump is dangerously mentally ill....
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....
Religious fundamentalists and biblical literalists present any number of arguments that attempt to disprove evolution....
Where did the universe come from? What was there before it? What will the future bring? And finally, why is there something rather than nothing? Find out....
A belief in free will touches nearly everything that human beings value. It is difficult to think about law, politics, religion, public policy, intimate relationships, morality.....
Why would anyone think Jesus never existed? Isn't it perfectly reasonable to accept that he was a real first century figure? As it turns out: No....
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....
A razor-sharp thinker offers a new understanding of our post-truth world and explains the American instinct to believe in make-believe, from the Pilgrims to P. T. Barnum to Disneyland....
In crisp, lucid prose accessible to a wide audience, Why Evolution Is True dispels common misunderstandings and fears about evolution....
Here is a stunning counterattack on advocates of "Intelligent Design", explaining the evidence for evolution while exposing the absurdities of the creationist "argument"....
Lawrence Krauss tells the dramatic story of the discovery of the hidden world of reality....
For centuries in Europe, innocent men and women were murdered for the imaginary crime of witchcraft....
A deeply respected advocate for free speech and women's rights, Ayaan Hirsi Ali also lives under armed protection because of her outspoken criticism of the Islamic faith in which she was raised....
What is human consciousness, and how is it possible? This question fascinates thinking people from poets and painters to physicists....
Professor Larson leads you through the "evolution" of evolution, with an eye toward enhancing your understanding of the development of the theory....
For decades Richard Dawkins has been the world's most brilliant scientific communicator, consistently illuminating the wonders of nature and attacking faulty logic....
Shermer, once an evangelical Christian and a creationist, argues that Intelligent Design proponents invoke a combination of ad science, political antipathy, and flawed theology in their new brand of creationism. He refutes their pseudoscientific arguments and then demonstrates why conservatives and people of faith can and should embrace evolution. Why Darwin Matters is an incisive examination of what is at stake in the debate over evolution.
I'm a great fan of Shermer and his various works, having read his SciAm column for years, and this is no exception. Evolution vs. Intelligent Design is a natural and suitable part of his overall gospel of skepticism. My complaint with this book (like the reviewer "A" above) is not the content as such, but rather the abridgement. I think most people who are interested in this sort of thing are hungry for length and detail, and would gladly have paid attention for the full-length recording.
I don't regret the purchase by any means, but I would certainly prefer a reading of the full text.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
This is a relatively simple explanation of a topic that is rarely clearly or honestly presented. It is not exhaustive, but it gives a good introduction to many of the critical arguments.
8 of 10 people found this review helpful
Shermer shows what ID lacks in order to be considered a science and shows a few motivations other than scientific interest those who advocate it may have for trying to advance it. The book also gets into the history of ID and the battle to have it added to the curriculum in public schools and the decisions by several courts, some conservative, that this is unconstitutional. Shermer's effort in this book is toward the preservation of science rather than discounting of religion or the existence of God.
This is a good read (or listen) on its own or as an introduction to the conversation before going on to something like the Blind Watchmaker.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
This is the second audio book I've listened to by Michael Shermer, the first was WHY PEOPLE BELIEVE WEIRD THINGS which I HIGHLY RECOMMEND and got me more interested in skepticism and science. It is very evident this book is abridged because I really wanted it to be longer and it seems like material is missing.
I consider myself a "layman" when it comes to science and Shermer's writing is much easier to comprehend than Richard Dawkins.
This book receives three stars because this subject matter could have been doubled in length and topics covered could have been expanded. I REALLY wanted MORE information on how to promote science in the U.S. and examples of how ID followers hypocrisy when it comes to health, medical, and education (ex. since churches have so much money why don't they start their own schools instead of "wedging" their beliefs into the public system)
Well worth your time and encourages me to listen to his other books.
6 of 9 people found this review helpful
this would be a good literary choice to go with a high school science lecture on natural selection
3 of 5 people found this review helpful
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.
5 of 9 people found this review helpful
What did you love best about Why Darwin Matters?
Shermer makes an eloquent yet straightforward case for what many consider to be the most important idea anyone ever had. He also exposes the sheer dishonesty and intellectual vacuity of the christian right in their war against science they don't like, but he's never vicious or ungracious in his critique of the creationists.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Why Darwin Matters?
His refutation of "intelligent design" arguments.
What do you think the narrator could have done better?
Although Shermer doesn't have an unpleasant voice per se, I think a professional reader/voice actor would have been a better choice.<br/>I did find one chapter in the book very disappointing to the point of being plain silly. Shermer's attempt to sing the praises of the free market by comparing it to evolution by natural selection is just absurd.<br/>One can tell Shermer has never played Bioshock.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
Why Darwin matters: Intelligent Design Exposed
Would you listen to Why Darwin Matters again? Why?
I will listen again. There was a lot of info to absorb and i want to remember more of it to help next time I get into a discussion with those that doubt Evolution.
Michael Shermer gallantly defends Darwinian/Macro evolution and attacks Intelligent Design. There are loads of interesting and fanciful bits of data which tend to confuse the issue rather than provide clarity to the core question: Who was your great….great grandfather? Was it a self replicating molecule, as Darwinian/Macro evolution asserts, or was it Adam, as the Bible asserts or are was it someone else.
I listened to the whole book once and many parts two or three times. Although some parts were interesting, as a whole I found the book disappointing and irritating for the following reasons:
--- 1) MISREPRESENTATION OF THE ISSUE
•Shermer falsely represents the issue as Science against Religion when in reality it is science against Darwinism.
•Darwinism = Darwinian/Macro evolution has fundamental scientific problems that Darwin could never have imagined.
•In the audio transcripts of the Kansas school board hearings (fascinating listening and available as a free download from Audible.com), Dr John Sanford (Geneticist and inventor of the Gene Gun) said
“The bottom line is that the primary axiom [of Darwinian/Macro evolution] is categorically false, you can't create information with misspellings, not even if you use natural selection.”
•Dr Sanford and other highly credible scientists present powerful scientific arguments to why Darwinian/Macro evolution is not viable for scientific reasons.
--- 2. WHERE IS THE EVIDENCE? WHAT IS THE EVIDENCE
•Shermer emphasizes his key point that he believes in Darwinian evolution because multiple lines of scientific enquiry all support Darwinian evolution. He rattles off a whole string of branches of science to reinforce the point. To the uninformed this would be very convincing – however, being an Engineer and educator myself I see through this smoke and mirrors trick and say WHERE IS THE EVIDENCE?
-- 3. POOR SKEPTIC
•As the chief of the skeptic society – Shermer is a poor skeptic because he blindly accepts Evolution.
12 of 34 people found this review helpful
This book, which is not brilliantly read, is just a school level argument setting out the reasons to accept evolution as a fact rather than a theory which is likely to be true.
There is no discussion of the different theories of evolution or why Darwin moved towards a more Lamarkian approach with successive editions of his books. He turned out to be wrong about this by the way. The lack of a proper discussion on genes is especially alarming.
The author also seemed to miss that it was human evolution and not evolution generally that prompted the great conflict in the USA about the teaching of evolution in schools.
He also completely ignores some of the issues that fuelled the arguments against evolution, for example social Darwinism and eugenics.
Generally I found it had an overly simplistic approach to a subject that is far more interesting than it would appear from this book.
Instead of this book I would recommend the Great Courses audiobook on the Theory of Evolution: A History of Controversy by Edward J. Larson.