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Download The Borderlands of Science: Where Sense Meets Nonsense Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Borderlands of Science: Where Sense Meets Nonsense, by Michael Shermer Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (267 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michael Shermer Narrator: Grover Gardner Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In The Borderlands of Science, Michael Shermer takes us to the place where real science, borderline science—and just plain nonsense—collide. Shermer argues that while science is the best lens through which to view the world, it is often difficult to decipher where valid science leaves off and borderland, or “fuzzy” science begins. To solve this dilemma, he looks at a range of topics that put this boundary line in high relief. For instance, he debunks the many “theories of everything” that try to reduce the complexity of the world to a single principle. He examines the work of Darwin and Freud, explaining why one is among the great scientists in history, while the other has become nothing more than a historical curiosity. And he reveals how scientists themselves can be led astray, as seen in the infamous Piltdown hoax—the set of ancient hominid bones discovered in England that after decades turned out to be an enormous forgery.

From SETI and acupuncture to hypnosis and human cloning, this enlightening book will help readers stay grounded in common sense amid the flurry of supposedly scientific theories that inundate us every day.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The book provides grist for the mill of thought and debate.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “The author demonstrates in human-interest fashion how scientists’ personal traits influence their scientific research. The recreational rationalist will have fun with Shermer’s potpourri.”


  • “Quick-witted, shrewd, open-minded—these barely describe Michael Shermer’s latest confection of intriguing stories, arguments, and insightful observations. His cruise through the shadowlands of science makes a fascinating expedition of the mind.”

    Gregory Benford, author of Deep Time

  • “Whether the issue is alternative medicine or environmental threats, cloning or race, cosmology or hypnosis, Shermer keeps his focus on the central question: Where do we draw the line between solid science, pseudoscience, and the untamed territory in between? This is a detailed, multi-faceted exploration of these ever-shifting borderlands, as well as the fascinating people who populate them.”

    K. C. Cole, author of The Hole in the Universe: How Scientists Peered over the Edge of Emptiness and Found Everything

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by David | 12/26/2013

    " There is much of interest in this book, but it does not form a coherent whole. It appears to be more a collection of essays than an exposition on one theme. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Warren Benton | 12/10/2013

    " This book discusses how some realms of science aren't really scientific. Somethings they have fully figured out yet and are still running on theory with little to no evidence. He finished off the book discussing Darwin and how lots of research still needs to be done in the theory of evolution. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Mark | 8/21/2013

    " Good ideas but needed substantial editing "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Dave | 5/27/2013

    " so and so, nothing great "

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