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Through a Glass Brightly

Nonfiction: Science; Social Science
Unabridged   9 hour(s)
Publication date: 09/11/2018

Through a Glass Brightly

Using Science to See Our Species as We Really Are

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781684415465
Digital Download ISBN:9781684415472


Human beings have long seen themselves as the center of the universe, the apple of God's eye, specially-created creatures who are somehow above and beyond the natural world. This viewpoint—a persistent paradigm of our own unique self-importance—is as dangerous as it is false.

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Product Description

In Through a Glass Brightly, noted scientist David P. Barash explores the process by which science has, throughout time, cut humanity "down to size," and how humanity has responded. A good paradigm is a tough thing to lose, especially when its replacement leaves us feeling more vulnerable and less special. And yet, as science has progressed, we find ourselves—like it or not—bereft of many of our most cherished beliefs, confronting an array of paradigms lost.

Barash models his argument around a set of "old" and "new" paradigms that define humanity's place in the universe. This new set of paradigms range from provocative revelations as to whether human beings are well designed, whether the universe has somehow been established with our species in mind (the so-called anthropic principle), whether life itself is inherently fragile, and whether Homo sapiens might someday be genetically combined with other species (and what that would mean for our self-image). Rather than seeing ourselves through a glass darkly, science enables us to perceive our strengths and weaknesses brightly and accurately at last, so that paradigms lost becomes wisdom gained. The result is a bracing, remarkably hopeful view of who we really are.


"Wise, witty, literate, well-read, this is David Barash at his best. A true scholar-scientist." —Richard Dawkins, author (most recently) of Science in the Soul and The Selfish Gene

"You'd think Copernicus and Darwin would have sufficed to get humanity over its superiority complex, but we are still in the middle of shaking it off. David Barash enlightens us from a solid historical and scientific perspective how far we have come and how far we still have to go." —Frans de Waal, author of Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?

Author Bio

David P. Barash is an evolutionary biologist and Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Washington. He has written more than 280 peer-reviewed articles and nearly forty books. Barash has penned op-eds in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and the Chicago Tribune.