Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself - Sean Carroll

"From the Big Bang to the meaning of human existence, The Big Picture is exactly that— a magisterial, yet deeply fascinating, grand tour through the issues that really matter.  Blending science and philosophy, Sean Carroll gives us a humane perspective on the universe and our place in it.  As gripping as it is important, The Big Picture can change the way you think about the world."
—Neil Shubin, author of Your Inner Fish

In The Big Picture Sean Carroll shows how an avalanche of discoveries in the past few hundred years has changed our world and what really matters to us. Our lives are dwarfed like never before by the immensity of space and time, but they are redeemed by our capacity to comprehend it and give it meaning.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself - Sean Carroll [Audiobook]

"Weaving the threads of astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology, and philosophy into a seamless narrative tapestry, Sean Carroll enthralls us with what we’ve figured out in the universe and humbles us with what we don’t yet understand.  Yet in the end, it’s the meaning of it all that feeds your soul of curiosity."
Neil deGrasse Tyson

Already internationally acclaimed for his elegant, lucid writing on the most challenging notions in modern physics, Sean Carroll is emerging as one of the greatest humanist thinkers of his generation as he brings his extraordinary intellect to bear not only on the Higgs boson and extra dimensions but now also on our deepest personal questions. Where are we? Who are we? Are our emotions, our beliefs, and our hopes and dreams ultimately meaningless out there in the void?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Unbelievers: The Evolution of Modern Atheism - S. T. Joshi

Atheism, once a minority view, is now openly embraced by an increasing number of scientists, philosophers, politicians, and celebrities. How did this formerly closeted secular perspective gain its current prominence as a philosophically viable and challenging worldview? In this succinct history of modern atheism, a prolific author, editor, and scholar traces the development of atheist, agnostic, and secularist thought over the past century and a half.

Monday, May 9, 2016

1000 Lashes: Because I Say What I Think - Raif Badawi

"Badawi writes for his generation, and for all those interested in changing the Arab and Islamic world for the better."
Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Foreword by Lawrence M. Krauss

Raif Badawi, a Saudi Arabian blogger, shared his thoughts on politics, religion, and liberalism online. He was sentenced to 1,000 lashes, ten years in prison, and a fine of 1 million Saudi Riyal, over a quarter of a million U.S. dollars. This politically topical polemic gathers together Badawi’s pivotal texts. He expresses his opinions on life in an autocratic-Islamic state under the Sharia and his perception of freedom of expression, human and civil rights, tolerance and the necessary separation of state and religion.

Monday, May 2, 2016

A Hedonist Manifesto: The Power to Exist - Michel Onfray (Insurrections: Critical Studies in Religion, Politics, and Culture)

"A Hedonist Manifesto is a finely wrought and far-sweeping book by an author who has established himself as a voice of wit and acuity in contemporary debates surrounding atheism and the revival of a general Epicurean/Lucretian sensibility."
—Rocco Gangle, Endicott College

Michael Onfray attacks Platonic idealism and its manifestation in Judaic, Christian, and Islamic belief. He warns of the lure of attachment to the purportedly eternal, immutable truths of idealism, which detracts from the immediacy of the world and our bodily existence.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Science, Sense & Nonsense - Joe Schwarcz

Science, Sense and Nonsense celebrates chemistry's great achievements, lambastes its charlatans, and explores its essential connections to our wellbeing. And does so in authoritative, highly readable, good humoured style.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost Genomes - Svante Pääbo [Audiobook - E-book]

"If there is one name associated with ancient DNA, it is Svante Pääbo. . . . His book, Neanderthal Man, is perfectly timed, beautifully written and required reading—it is a window onto the genesis of a whole new way of thinking."

Neanderthal Man tells the story of geneticist Svante Pääbo’s mission to answer this question: what can we learn from the genomes of our closest evolutionary relatives? Beginning with the study of DNA in Egyptian mummies in the early 1980s and culminating in the sequencing of the Neanderthal genome in 2010, Neanderthal Man describes the events, intrigues, failures, and triumphs of these scientifically rich years through the lens of the pioneer and inventor of the field of ancient DNA.  

Monday, April 18, 2016

Creationism and Its Critics in Antiquity - David Sedley

"Sedley's argument is subtle and expert. . . . The brilliance of this book is that Sedley lets the Greeks talk to us and, surprisingly, we can understand what they're saying."

The world is configured in ways that seem systematically hospitable to life forms, especially the human race. Is this the outcome of divine planning or simply of the laws of physics? Ancient Greeks and Romans famously disagreed on whether the cosmos was the product of design or accident.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World - Tim Whitmarsh [Audiobook + E-book]

"Brilliant….This is an invigorating, urgent book that makes an important contribution to a central contemporary debate. Whitmarsh makes a compelling case that atheism has had a distinguished and varied lineage."
—Emily Wilson, The Guardian

How new is atheism? Although adherents and opponents alike today present it as an invention of the European Enlightenment, when the forces of science and secularism broadly challenged those of faith, disbelief in the gods, in fact, originated in a far more remote past.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Stations of the Cross (2014)

Stations of the Cross depicts the story of a fourteen-year-old Catholic girl whose family is a member of a strict sect. Due to the tenets she learned in the sect and the pious mother's relentless behaviours against her, she decides to follow the footsteps of Jesus Christ to become a saint and go to heaven. The film consists of 14 acts as a Biblical allegory mirroring a girl’s coming of age and exposes the harmful side of religion and what would happen extreme fundamentalism meets social life in a modern world.

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