Friday, July 13, 2012

The Story of Earth by Robert M. Hazen

THE STORY OF EARTH by Robert Hazen, as read by Walter Dixon, is a broad brush all-encompassing history of the Earth over four and a half billion years. It's an ambitious project that to young-Earth creationists would be labeled a "tour de farce." If you believe the Earth is only 6000 years old, as many Christians contend, this is the book you need to hear. Not only will you be overwhelmed by evidence to the contrary, but you'll learn about how chemistry and geology support the other sciences in arriving at timelines. Good luck debunking practically everything here, clocking in at ten hours on audio. Which is easier to believe (in accordance with Occam's Razor): that God created the universe with apparent age at every conceivable level to fool mankind (in order to maintain a literal interpretation of Genesis)...or to believe that Genesis was allegorical (like Revelations,) written for people at that time to understand, and that the Big Bang (which science cannot explain) was the original and only act of Creation? Just a thought. The book is not about religion, per se, it is about evolution in all its forms. (God cannot be proven to exist by science, either. That is faith.) Where scientific evidence is lacking, as with the alternate contention that the dinosaurs died due to volcanism, such theories are stated as theories, with reasoning that is not put forth as conclusive. Interesting, and not particularly didactic, the book is non-fiction. If you want fiction, try HEAVEN'S WAR, an odd title by David S. Goyer and Michael Cassutt about what astronomers think is an approaching near-Earth asteroid that turns about to be an alien-controlled robot spaceship intent on kidnapping scientists for a cosmic adventure and rescue mission. Twist is, they need our help! (Can you say "bailout?") Narrator Joe J. Thomas dramatizes the characters with accents and personalizations, but this novel is more about space opera a la Star Wars than anything else. Just more literate perhaps, and for older listeners.

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