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wamjam

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  • reviews
  • 8
  • helpful votes
  • 9
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  • The Blind Watchmaker

  • Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design
  • By: Richard Dawkins
  • Narrated by: Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
  • Length: 14 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 460
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 362
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 352

The Blind Watchmaker, knowledgably narrated by author Richard Dawkins, is as prescient and timely a book as ever. The watchmaker belongs to the 18th-century theologian William Paley, who argued that just as a watch is too complicated and functional to have sprung into existence by accident, so too must all living things, with their far greater complexity, be purposefully designed. Charles Darwin's brilliant discovery challenged the creationist arguments; but only Richard Dawkins could have written this elegant riposte.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Read the Selfish Gene instead

  • By Matthew on 16-11-11

Richard Dawkins - amazing as usual

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 23-01-19

In some of Dawkins books it seems as though he spends too much time attempting to convince the reader that 1 - evolution occurs, and 2 - religion or belief in a deity hold no logical ground. I love nature, natural selection and the finer points of evolution. I am also wholeheartedly just a normal person who doesn't choose to think there some deity. I think most people choosing to read Dawkins are the same. We come for the beautiful writing about natural history, smarts and intellect of the author and, mostly, to learn about evolution. I do understand why he does it, but i cant help but feel like its a waste of time when he writes to convince me of what I already know. So the God Delusion is the worst. I had to stop reading it. River out of Eden was the best. One of my all time favourite books. Just way too short. Watchmaker is brilliant. Well worth the listen / read. Get your fix of evolutionary science and amazing examples of symbiosis, mimicry and other quirks of natural selection. I just wish there was an abridged version for normal people. Drop all the attempts to convince us that evolution makes sense and creationism is a joke and the book would be 3/4 the length, and just pure gritty evolution.

  • Kansas Evolution Hearings

  • Day 4 (5/12/05)
  • By: Kansas Board of Education
  • Length: 3 hrs and 5 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 1

A subcommittee of the Kansas Board of Education holds hearings on whether the state's science curriculum should permit alternate theories to be taught alongside evolution. In this final hearing, attorney Pedro Irigonegaray states the case for teaching evolution exclusively. Irigonegaray was given the opportunity to call witnesses, but declined. Also heard is a retired lawyer, John Calvert, who heads the Intelligent Design Network of Shawnee Mission, Kansas.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A questionable download

  • By wamjam on 06-09-16

A questionable download

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-09-16

Any additional comments?

It may be partially my own fault that I was expecting something different when i purchased this audio series. I was looking for an intellectually stimulating discussion (/hearing) on evolution.
Personally, I grew up in the UK in a time where science and the scientific method is considered of utmost importance. In my primary school we were introduced to creationism and educated on a large number of popular religious around the world. From primary up until university level education we were taught about the most recent and relevant advances in science. They were taught as 2 separate subjects. Neither posing an implication upon the other. Whilst it was an interesting listen, I found myself at times almost aggravated at the idea that a hearing such as this should occur. This audio series is a testimony to the ever growing censorship of education by an overbearing parent population. Hearing the entire field of "science" questioned (moreover misunderstood), and the argument for creation being worthy of replacing scientific alternatives left me dumbfounded and content to have being educated in the system I was.
Interesting non the less

  • The Selfish Gene

  • By: Richard Dawkins
  • Narrated by: Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
  • Length: 16 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,382
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,073
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,050

Richard Dawkins' brilliant reformulation of the theory of natural selection has the rare distinction of having provoked as much excitement and interest outside the scientific community as within it. His theories have helped change the whole nature of the study of social biology, and have forced thousands to rethink their beliefs about life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great listen

  • By Amazon Customer on 20-08-11

A must read for any biologist.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-09-16

What about Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward ’s performance did you like?

Dawkins has a phenomenal use of the English language. Not only a scientist and a keen observer, he is a natural writer, using beautiful metaphors and analogies. (some of which he mentions have worked against him among an audience too skeptical to humor the witty title "selfish gene")

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Had I the time, I would have happily listened to this in one sitting.

Any additional comments?

Richard Dawkins has lead an interesting life. He is full of anecdotes, and has a clearly superior grasp on the topic in discussion. Compared to other evolutionary scientists he can appear somewhat more aggressive with his distaste to creationism. If you are a disbeliever in evolution or a believer in a deity, the written copy of the book, or a viable alternative, may be an easier pursuit.

  • On the Origin of Species

  • By: Charles Darwin
  • Narrated by: Peter Wickham
  • Length: 21 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30

Perhaps the most influential science book ever written, On the Origin of Species has continued to fascinate for more than a century after its initial publication. Its controversial theory that populations evolve and adapt through a process known as natural selection led to heated scientific, philosophical, and religious debate, revolutionizing every discipline in its wake. With its clear, concise, and surprisingly enjoyable prose, On the Origin of Species is both captivating and edifying.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellently read

  • By G Douglas Whistler on 14-02-17

A brilliant concept, A brilliant book

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-09-16

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would (and have) recommended this book to many. I believe this book to be the pinnacle of the progressive, scientific way of thinking. Though dated (both in content and in language used), this book holds great scientific and historical importance.

What other book might you compare On the Origin of Species to, and why?

A lot of Richard Dawkins' writing, primarily the selfish gene, is comparable to Darwins "on the origin of species". Though Dawkins has the benefit of a century of scientific development and understanding, they both approach the topic in a similar manor.

Any additional comments?

As with most scientific writing, it helps vastly to have a preliminary knowledge before jumping in. If you are completely unfamiliar with biology or evolution then some of the finer points of this book will be lost on you. We have the privilege to be able to understand much that Darwin could not (genetic theory, true inheritance etc.). Reading / listening to this with an understanding of these concepts not only makes it easier to understand what Darwin wrote, but also gives a humbling realization to the gravity of what he was writing (and at such a time). Many of his predictions have since become true, and many of his observations can now be explained thoroughly with our modern understanding of genes.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Feynman Lectures on Physics: Volume 1, Quantum Mechanics

  • By: Richard P. Feynman
  • Narrated by: Richard P. Feynman
  • Length: 5 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 76
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37

For more than 30 years, Richard P. Feynman's three-volume Lectures on Physics has been known worldwide as the classic resource for students and professionals alike. Ranging from the most basic principles of Newtonian physics through such formidable theories as Einstein's general relativity, superconductivity, and quantum mechanics, Feynman's lectures stand as a monument of clear exposition and deep insight.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The Unequivocal

  • By Douglas on 24-01-08

As best as could be...

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-09-16

Would you consider the audio edition of The Feynman Lectures on Physics: Volume 1, Quantum Mechanics to be better than the print version?

There are no print version of these lectures, However I believe a video of the series of lecture is available somewhere online (possibly youtube)

What about Richard P. Feynman’s performance did you like?

There is a reason that Richard Feynman has gone down in history, not only as a phenomenal thinker and teacher in his field, but also as a scientific communicator to the entire range of scientifically adept audiences. He has the clarity of a field leader, with the anecdotal and friendly style of an old grandparent or uncle.

Any additional comments?

Unsurprisingly, quantum mechanics is a hard topic to wrap your head around. The subjects discussed are of a high academic caliber. With a preliminary to "somewhat" understanding of quantum mechanics, i was able to enjoy this audio series comfortably. For a new comer to quantum physics, or physics in general, this series may be a bit too advanced.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Science of Everyday Life

  • Why Teapots Dribble, Toast Burns and Light Bulbs Shine
  • By: Marty Jopson
  • Narrated by: Marty Jopson
  • Length: 6 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 176
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 158
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 157

Have you ever wondered why ice floats and water is such a freaky liquid? Or why chilis and mustard are both hot but in different ways? Or why microwaves don't cook from the inside out? In this fascinating scientific tour of household objects, The One Show presenter and all-round science bloke Marty Jopson has the answer to all of these and many more baffling questions about the chemistry and physics of the everyday stuff we use every day.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Just superb.....all of science without any jargon

  • By Ketan Dave on 23-09-16

Thought provoking and excellently interesting

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-09-16

What does Marty Jopson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

The reader has a knack to breaking down complex topics to an understandable and enjoyable level. He uses his own anecdotes and explains his thoughts on the subjects at hand from his previous perspective prior to his scientific understanding.

Any additional comments?

Having studied in chemistry and biochemistry, more of the challenging concepts in the book were more readily understandable to me. Though not a book written exclusively for the academic or graduate level reader, some of the finer points MAY be lost on a reader coming with no baseline scientific knowlede / way of thinking

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Unstoppable

  • Harnessing Science to Change the World
  • By: Bill Nye
  • Narrated by: Bill Nye
  • Length: 11 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 49
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 47
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 47

Just as World War II called an earlier generation to greatness, so the climate crisis is calling today's rising youth to action: to create a better future. In Unstoppable, Bill Nye crystallizes and expands the message for which he is best known and beloved. That message is that with a combination of optimism and scientific curiosity, all obstacles become opportunities, and the possibilities of our world become limitless.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Truly thought provoking

  • By Haz on 20-11-15

A beautiful explanation, like no other

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-09-16

Would you consider the audio edition of Unstoppable to be better than the print version?

I have not read (and am unaware of) a print version to this audio book. Doubtlessly I would read it, however Bills reading is phenomenal. It is concise, simple (though thoroughly in depth) and entertaining.

What other book might you compare Unstoppable to, and why?

"the science of every day life" by Marty Jopson has a similar vibe to it. It attempts to relieve some of the complexity around some of the more interesting things which go unnoticed in our day to day life.
Comparisons can also be drawn to "On the Origin Of Species" and the "Selfish gene". Both due to the similarity in topic, but also die to the gifted nature of the auther / speaker.

What about Bill Nye’s performance did you like?

There is a reason Bill Nye is the prominent figure in mainstream science that he is. He is extremely witty, humble and intellectual.

Any additional comments?

This is NOT the book (/audio book) to convince a disbeliever in evolution of its validity. It is less concerned with arguing contradictory claims, and more concerned with highlighting simple beauties that may not have been considered by an evolution lover/thinker/scientist