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    Description

    An insightful, accessible, and fresh interpretation of the life of Galileo Galilei, one of history’s greatest and most fascinating scientists, that sheds new light on his discoveries and how he was challenged by science deniers - a cautionary tale for our time. 

    Galileo’s story may be more relevant today than ever before. At present, we face enormous crises - such as the minimization of the dangers of climate change - because the science behind these threats is erroneously questioned or ignored. Galileo encountered this problem 400 years ago. His discoveries, based on careful observations and ingenious experiments, contradicted conventional wisdom and the teachings of the church at the time. Consequently, in a blatant assault on freedom of thought, his books were forbidden by church authorities. 

    Astrophysicist and best-selling author Mario Livio draws on his own scientific expertise to provide captivating insights into how Galileo reached his bold new conclusions about the cosmos and the laws of nature. A freethinker who followed the evidence wherever it led him, Galileo was one of the most significant figures behind the scientific revolution. He believed that every educated person should know science as well as literature, and insisted on reaching the widest audience possible, publishing his books in Italian rather than Latin. 

    Galileo was put on trial with his life in the balance for refusing to renounce his scientific convictions. He remains a hero and inspiration to scientists and all of those who respect science - which, as Livio reminds us in this gripping book, remains threatened even today.

    ©2020 Mario Livio (P)2020 Simon & Schuster

    Ce que les auditeurs disent de Galileo

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    Global
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    Commentaires - Veuillez sélectionner les onglets ci-dessous pour changer la provenance des commentaires.

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    • Global
      3 out of 5 stars
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      1 out of 5 stars
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      4 out of 5 stars

    I didn't like the reader

    Interesting text, but the reader is unbearable to me:
    - too fast for such an important and complicate subject
    - too much American accent

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    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Rick B
    • 09/06/2020

    Galileo through the mind of Mario Livio

    This audio book was extremely well read by Jonathan Davis who through his own emotions engages Mario Livio as if you were in conversation directly with him. Many books have been written about the life and science of Galileo, but this one is through the mind of a true scientist. Mario not only accurately describes Galileo's life, but also his incredible discoveries and his longing for nothing but the truth. The desire to confirm reality is what sentenced Galileo to a final decision of the Pope to live under house arrest for the rest of his life. The forced public denial of his beliefs and placing his books out of reach of the public was the inquisitors choice. Galileo wrote his books in the Italian language for the public to read. Most books written in this era were written in Latin which only the privileged few of higher education & wealth had access to. Galileo desired to share the truth with all men that Copernicus and the Heliocentric placement of the Sun & Earth were correct. That the Moon was covered with mountains and plains, and that Jupiter was orbited by 4 bodies. All these and much more through the use of his perfected telescopes which he shared. The amazing ending of this book, is that it took the church nearly 400 years to right the wrong the inquisition placed upon him. The absolute denial of the truth, to correct one of history's greatest mistakes. Galileo, who is without a doubt one of the greatest minds in history. I highly recommend this audio book, and will pursue additional books by Mario Livio.

    98 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      2 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars
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    Image de profile pour William G. Stuart
    • William G. Stuart
    • 17/11/2020

    Can't Get Past the Author's Political Agenda

    I purchased this program to learn more about Galileo and his scientific discoveries, challenges, and controversies. The author exceed my expectations. He is meticulous in describing the science and boils down key concepts that a listener without a strong scientific background {"Baby Bio" and "Kitty Chem" in college) can understand. The author deserves five stars for his treatment of the science in the book.

    But he destroys his credibility in my mid with his overt political agenda. He believes that the science of climate change is settled and that anyone who doesn't support using the political process to radically reshape society through the use of government force is a science denier.

    This isn't an uncommon position among politicians, voters, or even scientists. Yet no one has been able to create a model of future changes in the surface or atmospheric temperatures that has been validated by accurately using historical data to produce historic results. This form of rigorous validations if the very definition of the scientific method.

    The author states or implies the usual arguments:

    Unless you agree that the earth's temperature is rising (most people do),

    . . . and unless you believe that man alone is causing this increase,

    . . . and unless you believe that the goal of society is to preserve the earth's temperature as it is today (one might ask what the ideal temperature of earth is),

    . . . and unless you believe in the government-forced restructuring of society that these scientists support (hardly their area of expertise),

    . . . then you are a science denier, a heathen, a neanderthal, etc.

    I reject his line of thinking. Scientists play the critical role in understanding how our environment works and the threats to it. Yes, many are aligned in their belief that global climate change is caused by man. But not all do.

    Gee, that sounds a lot like the science in Galileo's day. A few outliers like Copernicus and Galileo challenged the nearly universally held belief that the sun and planets revolved around the earth. Then a small cadre of scientists denied this conclusion and , lo and behold, they were right.

    I'd rather the author spend his time challenging the models of the current climate outliers than to use Galileo as the fulcrum in his attempts to criticize those who don't fall lock-step behind the scientists who advocate for radical responses to the earth's rising temperature. Debunking the countervailing arguments, rather than criticizing today's outliers, would be a more productive use of his time.

    Perhaps at some point I'll get past the author's political agenda and listen to the final three hours of the book. Absent the politics, it is a meticulous and detailed biography of a man who deserves serious consideration for a place in the scientific Mount Rushmore (Ptolemy, Galileo, Newton, Einstein?).

    11 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
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    • Jim Bonfils
    • 12/12/2020

    This in a book is a political attack on the scientific method!

    This book is not about the life and times of Galileo, it is a book where the author uses select life events and discoveries of Galileo’s to attack politically modern scientist and engineers that don’t agree with the authors position on the environment. He weaves in statements near the end of each chapter. I listened to it twice because I am an open mind, unlike this author. My two cents. Buyers be ware!

    3 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
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    • A. Kovacs
    • 09/12/2020

    Global warming propaganda piece.

    First I thought it was just easier to publish with the PC stuff added. By the end it looked like the book was written with the purpose of using it for propaganda. It seems to try to target religious people primarily.
    Poor Galileo is used again by the church of global warming. No freedom should be allowed to discuss this topic the author claims. If you question anything we say you should be persecuted as a heretic.

    2 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      3 out of 5 stars
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    • William
    • 10/01/2021

    Good but Incomplete

    I was expecting to really like this book and I partly did. It was certainly interesting and covered the main details of Galileo’s discoveries. Livio is also an astrophysicist so he knows more of the significance of Galileo’s discoveries. We know that Galileo lived in a time of great change that also normally is accompanied by great inertia, especially by those in power. We all know that he posited that the earth was not stationary with the sun moving around it, but that the sun was stationary, at least relative to the earth and the other planets. We all know that he was persecuted by the church based on a misinterpretation of the Bible which spoke of the sun rising and setting and returning to its place to rise again. He was threatened until he recanted his theory. 

    The book focuses on the time of his scientific discoveries and his trial by the inquisition. He didn’t invent the telescope but once he got this new invention that could magnify distant things, he kept improving it to see even further and used it to focus on the sky. He discovered that the moon also had mountains and valleys and craters. The moon was thought to be made of something different than the earth which allowed it to float in the sky. He discovered that there were planets that are like our moon and eventually realized that some of them had moons also. But, the most controversial part was that he came to the belief that Copernicus was right, putting him in the crosshairs of the church. 

    And, this is the real focus of the book. It is about how those who deny science hinder the development of knowledge and progress. In that, it does a fairly good job but overlooks a few less convenient facts. The problem is that Galileo didn’t directly oppose the Bible with his views. He opposed the interpretation of the Bible by the Roman Church. He specifically tried to explain how the Bible could be true while the facts that he saw were also true. The Roman Church’s view was based on a literal interpretation of the actual words of scripture when it states that the sun rises in the east. In other words, the issue was not just whether the Bible was literally true, but whether the Bible could have been using metaphorical language. Every language uses metaphor and only those who don’t know the language don’t understand what they mean. 

    In addition, it ignores the fact that, at the time, the facts that Galileo saw through his telescope didn’t rule out another interpretation. The view of the Roman Church was that the earth didn’t move and the sun, planets, and stars rotated around the earth. Galileo’s findings clearly showed that that was not true. However, another scientist of the age, Tycho Brahe interpreted those same facts to also show a stationary earth with the sun, moon, and stars circling the earth, but the planets (not including the earth) circling the sun. With the limited knowledge of the day, that view could not be proven wrong. Galileo argued against it by using the tides, which he said rose and fell because of the rotation of the earth, just like water in a pan will slosh around when the pan is moved. However, we now know that is not what causes the tides and that they are instead caused by the gravitational pull of the moon. The Roman Church did not argue against that and thus it was not purely that they were against science per se. They were against Galileo’s interpretation of the science. There were others who defended Galileo without believing that he was correct, believing that Brahe’s view was better. However, the fact remains that the Roman Church did place itself as judge over which science to accept and based it on a misinterpretation of the Bible. By doing so they impeded the free expression that allows science to progress and throttled a brilliant mind who may have gone on to make more discoveries if he had had the freedom to do so. It also took his publications out of circulation so that others could not benefit from them. Though some copies were preserved and spread, the reach was severely limited. 

    It also tries to extend that to a comparison with science deniers today and again with a mixed result. It certainly is true that there are many deniers of science today and their tribe seems to be increasing. Climate change is an example as is the recent rejection of the science behind Covid-19 (Livio completed the book before the pandemic became well-known and before it had spread widely and doesn’t mention it as an example). Livio discusses both evolution and climate change and ranks the latter as of greater importance (because if a group doesn’t believe in evolution, it doesn’t hurt those around them but if people don’t believe in climate change and take no effort to slow its progress it will have disastrous consequences). What Livio doesn’t note is that science is always changing as new information is found or new explanations for existing information are put forth. Science is based on extant knowledge which is, by definition, always incomplete. It does make mistakes. And, scientists are human. There are great checks and balances in the system, but some scientists still fudge the data (sometimes purposely, sometimes due to preconceived notions) to achieve recognition for their discoveries. While I agree with him on the dangers involved in denying science, scientists have to also accept that some of the blame for that is in their own hubris in making declarative statements too soon which have to be retracted or overturned later, thus reducing the trust of many people who don’t understand the science, but do remember the times when they have been deceived or put down as ignorant.

    Overall, the book is good but could be better. The subject is certainly important but not every disagreement with “science” is a denial of science per se and is more of a built-up mistrust of not only scientists but others in authority who have fooled them, not once, and not even twice. It would have been much better if he had treated this part of his subject with more humility and delved more into the reasons that more and more people are denying science. In a sense, his book is aimed more at people who believe, he is preaching to the choir, instead of writing more towards those who are his subjects, who are more and more suspicious of science. It turns out that in today’s world, it’s not religion that is the real problem. It’s much broader than that, and the issue is even much broader than just denying science. It’s more of a suspicion of those in authority and those who are educated but don’t understand the way the average person sees their world.

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • K. Hansen
    • 01/01/2021

    Excellent

    Definitely a book for the times it is written for, meaning circa 2020. With so many conspiracy "theories" and people willing to believe fantastical ideas.

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      3 out of 5 stars
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      3 out of 5 stars
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      3 out of 5 stars
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    • KrisS
    • 17/02/2021

    Interesting

    This title was categorized in the Bios and Memoirs section so I suppose I expected a traditional biography which this is not. I am only basically familiar with Galileo so I would’ve appreciated a straightforward biography but I did learn a lot. I thought the most interesting part was toward the end with the comparison of modern day science deniers and the experiences of Galileo.

    • Global
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    • Daniel Jones
    • 14/02/2021

    Well-written

    While I disagree with and consider incompatible the comparison of Galileo's research and studies of the mechanics of celestial bodies and the concept of large-scale biological evolution, I nonetheless think the book is well-written. The book presents an insightful and meaningful summary of not only Galileo's scientific life, but also of his thoughts regarding the relationship between science and Christianity.

    • Global
      3 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars
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      3 out of 5 stars
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    • sam
    • 09/02/2021

    struggled to get through this one

    the story of Galileo's life was interesting. I prefer biographies with less editorial content. realizing there must be some in every biography of long gone personages it should apply to them. Not a leap 400 years forward to comment on current issues. though I did not disagree with his conclusions, I do not feel the timing nor placement appropriate

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • isabel B.
    • 01/01/2021

    great study

    great narrator enjoyed the presentation . illumination on the life ,thinking and works of an influential person in history and very relevant to present time situation of Church and Estate