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Closer to Truth: Challenging Current Belief Hardcover – May 17, 2000


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 326 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies; 1st edition (May 17, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071359966
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071359962
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 7.7 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,209,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

CONTRIBUTORS Paul R. Abramson W. French Anderson Francisco Ayala Gregory Benford Barry Beyerstein Edward de Bono Todd Boyd Warren S. Brown Charles Buchanan Vern Bullough Stephen J. Cannell David J. Chalmers Bruce Chapman Patricia Smith Churchland Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Arthur S. De Vany Edward Feigenbaum Timothy Ferris Wendy Freedman Robert Freeman Francis Fukuyama George Geis Rochel Gelman Barbara Marx Hubbard Rhoda Janzen Saru Jayaraman John Kao Steven Koonin Bart Kosko George Kozmetsky Ray Kurzweil Leon Lederman Andrei Linde John H. McWhorter Marvin Minsky Graham T. Molitor Richard Mouw Nancey C. Murphy Bruce C. Murray Sherwin Nuland Clifford Penner Joyce Penner Dean I. Radin Marilyn Schlitz John R. Searle Todd Siler Brian Skyrms Gregory Stock Charles Tart Frank J. Tipler Allan J. Tobin James Trefil Neil de Grasse Tyson Roy Walford Fred Alan Wolf

From the Back Cover

An insatiable desire to fathom the workings of the natural world and the meaning of existence is as fundamental to our species as walking upright or having the capacity to love. Yet, throughout most of human history, only a select handful of people in each generation had the ability and good fortune to participate in the grand discourses of philosophy and science.

Closer to Truth harnesses the intellectual energy of more than fifty of today's most influential minds to offer an exciting, in-depth exploration of today's most important trends in science, philosophy, and human understanding. Over the course of twenty-eight lively roundtable discussions, these scientists, philosophers, and visionaries share their intriguing insights on a vast array of timely intellectual issues ranging from consciousness to cosmology, sexuality to soul, evolution to education. No other source brings you inside the major debates now raging within lecture halls and research labs around the world with such immediacy or candor. Nor does any feature such an impressive roster of contributors.

In orchestrating Closer to Truth­­both the public television series and the book­­Dr. Robert Lawrence Kuhn has assembled a veritable Who's Who in the world of ideas, from the mainstream to the avant-garde, all brought together in electric combinations that spark with light and heat. In so doing, he has provided us with an unparalleled opportunity to watch these intellectual all-stars in action and discover where each stands on many of today's most controversial "knowledge" issues, including the workings of the brain and mind, genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, longevity, sex and gender, the beginnings and endings of the universe, the nature of consciousness, and the beauty of quantum physics.

Closer to Truth is pioneering a new genre of media called "Knowledge Affairs," and is the program of record for new knowledge. While this book does not claim to provide ultimate answers to the great questions, by affording a unique opportunity to sample from the "competitive marketplace of ideas," it will bring you Closer to Truth.


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mary on June 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The Book Closer To Truth has rejuvenated my excitement for science. Dr. Robert Kuhn is brilliant to bring such a diverse group of people togther.I was elated to see that his roundtable discussions were not limited to scientists. Seated at these roundtable discussions are poets, philosophers, musicians, educators,as well as some of the greatest scientists of our time. The focus of the discussions in this book are in-depth. Science is about asking questions and challanging those questions for the quest of the truth.I think my college-aged children would be more excited about science if they were exposed to a book like Closer To Truth. This book kept has me up at night. Every aspect of our life in some way is revolved around science.Closer To Truth addresses some compelling topics in science today. Closer To Truth has reminded me of how important science is to mankind.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Frank Paris on June 12, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book has a lot going for it: a superb cast of players and a list of fascinating topics. Unfortunately, the format does not lend itself to depth and focus. The chapters are in the form of dialogs, the transcripts from a TV series, actually. Pit five or six world-renowned scientists together in the same room, give them a fascinating topic, and watch the fireworks. Unfortunately, not much can happen in this kind of a forum. Just as one of the participants starts getting into the meat of something, someone who disagrees interjects with his own agenda and they are off in another direction before the idea can be explored in any depth. In chapter after chapter I came away with the feeling of not being any more enlightened than I was at the beginning. There are an incredible number of interesting ideas discussed in this book that simply are not followed through in enough detail to let you feel that you've actually heard a well-rounded argument. I'd much rather have a single author of wide vision and open mind such as John D. Barrow write a book covering these topics than this diffuse presentation. A waste of the serious seeker's time.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
When I was in college, I took copious notes in every class, since in those exhausting days my memory seemed little more than a vestigial organ . Viewing Closer to Truth on television is like sitting in a classroom with some of the greatest minds of our time. The book Closer to Truth provides for the note-taking function. I can look up any show in the book and find a summary of its contents. Before the shows air, I can know who the players will be and what issues they will discuss. I can bone up on the topics ahead of time and be a more informed viewer. After the fact, I can review the book and recalled who said what, when. This book is an ideal companion to the 28 shows that are scheduled to air on Public Television stations across the country. Wouldn't be without it. Nobody, with the possible exception of the host, is fully informed on all of the topics that are covered in these fascinating shows. This book clues me in to the issues and why they are important. To fully explore the subject matter of the shows, the book would have to be encyclopedic. For the purposes it serves, the present book is just the right size and format. As they say, it's a "boon companion" to the shows.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Closer To Truth gives meaning to science and I loved it. Such fascinating ideas and such easy reading! At first I browsed, skipping and jumping to what I particularly liked (consciousness, artificial intelligence, life in the universe). Then, surprisingly, I read the book from cover to cover, and I realized the continuity of themes, all of which reflect deeply on what we are as human beings. I almost sense a purpose to human life and I am still rather overwhelmed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The book is mostly transcripts from the television series, which can make it hard to follow if you haven't seen the show. But the topics are fascinating and the discussion is enlightening. The second show in particular left me wanting more, so I went to the show's web site and found a complete and in-depth discussion in which I was able to participate and share my own views.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 1, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Closer to Truth has really opened my eyes. This book makes the latest scientific thinking of the most innovative thinkers accessible to the general readers. By reading the book, I felt that I joined a roundtable with top scientists and thinkers to discuss in-depth on some most fascinating scientific issues. This book fits perfectly an audience, like me, who needs a simpler introduction. Robert. L. Kuhn hardly asserts to have all the answers or to have proven anything beyond presenting the latest development in each scientific field, however, he clearly is laying the groundwork for future work in scientific inquiry. If you interest in development in science today, you got to read it!
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