• Written in Stone

  • Evolution, the Fossil Record, and Our Place in Nature
  • By: Brian Switek
  • Narrated by: L. J. Ganser
  • Length: 11 hrs and 29 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (304 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Spectacular fossil finds make today's headlines; new technology unlocks secrets of skeletons unearthed 100 years ago. Still, evolution is often poorly represented by the media and misunderstood by the public. A potent antidote to pseudoscience, Written in Stone is an engrossing history of evolutionary discovery for anyone who has marveled at the variety and richness of life.

©2010 Brian Switek (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Written in Stone

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Very good but has some weaknesses

I enjoyed 95% of this book. A captivating recounting of the story of the key fossils in our current understanding evolution. However the author strays into metaphysical speculation that lacks nuance and sophistication. He wines about religion like a 15 year old atheist, not realizing his opposition itself is freighted with terms that imply some pre-rational valuation. Yes biological evolution is a fact, but it’s ultimate meaning like it or not takes the shape of a faith. Glass houses and all that

9 people found this helpful

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Very informative

It reads like a text book. But listening to it on audible was a much better platform. The reading is able to draw you into the history and the record and the evolution of many many species including our own

8 people found this helpful

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Excellent book

A good mix of evolutionary theory, history and fossil detective work. Very enjoyable. Worth listening to more than once.

6 people found this helpful

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Disappointing

As a book for an interested amateur, fascinated by time and change on earth, this was a real disappointment. The extensive reliance on formal scientific species names with minimal descriptions and context makes it akin to listening to the reading of a dictionary. Also the book is far less about the creatures themselves and how they lived and changed than it is about the author’s preoccupation with - in his view - a conflict between science and religion. As a person who happens to know a lot about both, I can say that his presentation on this topic is simplistic and tone condescending. I really enjoyed about a 1/2 hour of the text on quadrupeds, but otherwise recommend skipping this one.

3 people found this helpful

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Interesting tour of evolution and paleontology

Well written book that makes its subject interesting and entertaining. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a better understanding of evolution.

3 people found this helpful

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Too much drama

It would be nice, when listening to a book about evolution in our place in history, if there was not so much drama involved. Let’s hear the science. Let’s hear the facts and forget about the whining.

1 person found this helpful

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A great introduction to (aspects of) history of science

Well written and read. Thanks for the pdf as well. This work drills another hole in all religious and dogmatic thought that articulates nonsensical fairy tales for the natural history of life! I am industrial scientist and understood this work pretty well, since author patiently summarizes scientific milestones and their philosophical implications at every stage.

1 person found this helpful

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Good overview

This is a good overview of the impact of paleontology on the development of our understanding of evolution. Slightly disjointed though. Performance was OK, with a couple of odd pronunciations.

1 person found this helpful

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Awesome

So much incredible information packed into one book. The end regarding humans and the last homo sapiens is worth listening to a few time to really let it sink in. A must listen/read for everyone!

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Did I just binge a book on Paleontology?!

Yes. Yes, i did. Listen, i like dinosaurs and fossils and stuff, but i did not expect to get completely sucked into this surprisingly accessible account of how we came to know what we think we know about our world millions of years ago. I spent the whole time looking up these crazy creatures and the adventurers who dug them up on my phone, fascinated by the story of slow change over immense amounts of time.