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Download Full House: The Spread of Excellence from Plato to Darwin Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Full House: The Spread of Excellence from Plato to Darwin (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Stephen Jay Gould
3.65 out of 53.65 out of 53.65 out of 53.65 out of 53.65 out of 5 3.65 (31 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Stephen Jay Gould Narrator: Efrem Zimbalist Jr. Publisher: Phoenix Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 1999 ISBN:
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We have always identified trends as bad (loosening of the moral fiber) or good (better ethnic eating in urban areas). But Stephen Jay Gould argues that this mode of interpretation is a bias that needs correcting. In Full House, Gould presents the truth about progress, evolution, and excellence, as well as a different way to understand trends other than as entities moving in a definite direction. Gould examines how the misinterpretation of data and statistics can result in bad science and social policy, while focusing on the nature of excellence from Plato to Darwin and the misconception that progress is inevitable. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chuck | 2/19/2014

    " A true work of genious by one of the great masters. Who else could thoroughly explain evolution and baseball all in the same book? Very sad he is no longer with us. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ke Huang | 2/13/2014

    " His writing is so clear. He is somewhat repetitive about his thesis, but his facts are still identifiable for non-scientists. His thesis seems to support diversity. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christopher Kvaal | 2/1/2014

    " Explains more than you would like to admit. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bria | 1/31/2014

    " In the prologue Gould promises that this is a short book. It is not short enough. All the arguments and evidence could have been thoroughly covered in a few pages. The book is full of repetition and harping, harping, harping on the same thing. It should have been an article, not a book. But he's right, and I suppose a book reaches a wider and more lay audience than an article. Still, I could have used less baseball and lot less patting himself on the back. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charles | 1/24/2014

    " Like trying to read my college statistics book, and worse on tape, I'm sure I could've done with an illustration or graph now & then. However, a great concept, puts a serious twist on what we've now come to accept as evolution. Instead of thinking we humans are the ultimate end of an evolutionary process, this book presents evidence and anecdotes about how we're just a random result, one of numerous branches that may have resulted. A little heavy on the "400 hitting" example but it makes the concept a little more understandable. Honestly, a bit over my head, especially on audio while driving to & from work, but something worth giving consideration to. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 1/19/2014

    " Gould is pissed that Creationism is taken seriously and he is Darwin's great defender (next to Huxley). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kirsten | 1/18/2014

    " Good for people who want to see evolution as a tool of humanity. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Miss | 1/15/2014

    " Excellent discussions of statistics... I even liked the part about baseball, and I'm not a fan! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Curtis | 11/22/2013

    " Covering an interesting array of topics from baseball to religion and evolution all in the context of the excellence of the human mind. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dave Russell | 11/10/2013

    " Such is the talent of Gould as a writer and thinker that even though a quarter of this book is about baseball, I found it compelling and enlightening nonetheless. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sergei Nemirovsky | 11/8/2013

    " What a wonderful book, full of great insights and logic. A pleasure to read! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jonny99 | 7/15/2013

    " Stephen Jay Gould is reportedly the genius that geniuses read; you're going to need that kind of intellectual horsepower to make sense of this thing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Paul | 6/9/2013

    " Basically a 200-page semantic argument about whether we should say life on earth has become more complex. Answer: yes if we talk about the mean organism, no if we talk about the modal organism. There, that was easy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristian | 6/1/2013

    " An expansive book, even as an adult I know this pushed my "readers' level." Its not a book to be hurried through with complex ideas and complex language but definitely a book that makes you think, that makes you enjoy the process of getting through a book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eric Boucher | 4/25/2013

    " From baseball to the origins of life Gould changed the way I looked at sports and the world around me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robin | 1/26/2013

    " Well argued logic with plenty of examples in ecology and paleontology about why variety really is the spice of life. Good follow up to Wonderful Life and reassessment of assumptions we make about Darwinism. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 MikeFromQueens | 12/8/2012

    " Always thought provoking and interesting as Gould's essays are, this book was a delight. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Melanie | 10/10/2012

    " boring; could not get through "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mike | 4/11/2011

    " That the largest organisms on earth are probably fungi and that there will never be another batter to hit 400 in major league baseball "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ke | 4/7/2011

    " His writing is so clear. He is somewhat repetitive about his thesis, but his facts are still identifiable for non-scientists. His thesis seems to support diversity. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristian | 8/18/2010

    " An expansive book, even as an adult I know this pushed my "readers' level." Its not a book to be hurried through with complex ideas and complex language but definitely a book that makes you think, that makes you enjoy the process of getting through a book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mike | 8/11/2010

    " That the largest organisms on earth are probably fungi and that there will never be another batter to hit 400 in major league baseball "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 MikeFromQueens | 6/14/2010

    " Always thought provoking and interesting as Gould's essays are, this book was a delight. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Paul | 2/12/2010

    " Basically a 200-page semantic argument about whether we should say life on earth has become more complex. Answer: yes if we talk about the mean organism, no if we talk about the modal organism. There, that was easy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christopher | 1/5/2010

    " Explains more than you would like to admit. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jonny99 | 12/17/2009

    " Stephen Jay Gould is reportedly the genius that geniuses read; you're going to need that kind of intellectual horsepower to make sense of this thing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ann | 6/30/2009

    " A good book with a lot of valuable information. I think that Gould goes on far longer than necessary to make his point, but it's understandable since it goes against traditional thinking, and I imagine he's had to fight quite a bit to promote this concept at all. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robin | 12/25/2008

    " Well argued logic with plenty of examples in ecology and paleontology about why variety really is the spice of life. Good follow up to Wonderful Life and reassessment of assumptions we make about Darwinism. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Miss | 12/17/2008

    " Excellent discussions of statistics... I even liked the part about baseball, and I'm not a fan! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Curtis | 10/9/2008

    " Covering an interesting array of topics from baseball to religion and evolution all in the context of the excellence of the human mind. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sergei | 9/18/2008

    " What a wonderful book, full of great insights and logic. A pleasure to read! "

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About the Author

Stephen Jay Gould (1941–2002) was the Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology and professor of geology at Harvard University. He published over twenty books, received the National Book and National Book Critics Circle Awards, and a MacArthur Fellowship.

About the Narrator

Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (1918–2014) was born in New York City and trained at the Yale School of Drama. An actor on stage, film, and television, he was also a narrator, voice-over artist, director, and award-winning producer. He is best remembered for his role as investigators on the TV shows 77 Sunset Strip and The FBI.