Thursday, July 26, 2012
—Michael Le Page, New Scientist
How did life invent itself? Where did DNA come from? How did consciousness develop? Powerful new research methods are providing vivid insights into the makeup of life. Comparing gene sequences, examining atomic structures of proteins, and looking into the geochemistry of rocks have helped explain evolution in more detail than ever before. Nick Lane expertly reconstructs the history of life by describing the ten greatest inventions of evolution (including DNA, photosynthesis, sex, and sight), based on their historical impact, role in organisms today, and relevance to current controversies.
Friday, July 20, 2012
"Either there is evidence for the supernatural and the paranormal, or there isn't. There isn't. Victor Stenger explains why there isn't."
—Michael Shermer, author of How We Believe: Science, Skepticism, and the Search for God
Does quantum mechanics show a connection between the human mind and the cosmos? Are our brains tuned into a "cosmic consciousness" that pervades the universe enabling us to make our own reality? Do quantum mechanics and chaos theory provide a place for God to act in the world without violating natural laws?
Many popular books make such claims and argue that key developments in twentieth-century physics, such as the uncertainty principle and the butterfly effect, support the notion that God or a universal mind acts upon material reality.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Revised by the committe which includes Neil deGrasse Tyson and Francisco Ayala
How did life evolve on Earth? The answer to this question can help us understand our past and prepare for our future. Although evolution provides credible and reliable answers, polls show that many people turn away from science, seeking other explanations with which they are more comfortable.
In the book Science, Evolution, and Creationism, a group of experts assembled by the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine explain the fundamental methods of science, document the overwhelming evidence in support of biological evolution, and evaluate the alternative perspectives offered by advocates of various kinds of creationism, including "intelligent design." The book explores the many fascinating inquiries being pursued that put the science of evolution to work in preventing and treating human disease, developing new agricultural products, and fostering industrial innovations. The book also presents the scientific and legal reasons for not teaching creationist ideas in public school science classes.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
In Deconstructing Jesus, author Robert M. Price argues that liberal Protestant scholars who produce reconstructions of the "historical Jesus" are, as Albert Schweitzer pointed out long ago, creating their own Jesus icons to authorize a liberal religious agenda. Christian faith, whether fundamentalist or theologically liberal, invariably tends to produce a Jesus capable of playing the role of a religious figurehead.
Monday, July 16, 2012
Experimental Evolution: Concepts, Methods, and Applications of Selection Experiments - Theodore Garland, Jr. & Michæl R. Rose
"Will surely be of interest to researchers looking for new ways to ask evolutionary questions. . . . This book, almost encyclopedic in its breadth, will provide a valuable entree for those thinking about carrying out an experimental evolution study. . . . For any problem under consideration, this book will lead one quickly and thoroughly into a fascinating literature, and will help one to carry out well-designed experiments."—Bioscience
Includes an article by Douglas J. Futuyma
Experimental approaches to evolution provide indisputable evidence of evolution by directly observing the process at work. Experimental evolution deliberately duplicates evolutionary processes--forcing life histories to evolve, producing adaptations to stressful environmental conditions, and generating lineage splitting to create incipient species.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
"A splendid book."
"The exposure of ignorance, pomposity and pseudo-science in this book are truly breathtaking."
In Intellectual Imposteurs, Alan Sokal, the author of Beyond the Hoax, and Jean Bricmont contend that abuse of science is rampant in postmodernist circles, both in the form of inaccurate and pretentious invocation of scientific and mathematical terminology and in the more insidious form of epistemic relativism. When Sokal and Bricmont expose Jacques Lacan's ignorant misuse of topology, or Julia Kristeva's of set theory, or Luce Irigaray's of fluid mechanics, or Jean Baudrillard's of non-Euclidean geometry, they are on safe ground; it is all too clear that these virtuosi are babbling.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
"Stott's research is broad and unerring; her book is wonderful…. An exhilarating romp through 2,000 years of fascinating scientific history."
Christmas, 1859. Just one month after the publication of On the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin received an unsettling letter. He had expected criticism; in fact, letters were arriving daily, most expressing outrage and accusations of heresy. But this letter was different. It accused him of failing to acknowledge his predecessors, of taking credit for a theory that had already been discovered by others. Darwin realized that he had made an error in omitting from Origin of Species any mention of his intellectual forebears. Yet when he tried to trace all of the natural philosophers who had laid the groundwork for his theory, he found that history had already forgotten many of them.
Monday, July 9, 2012
Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That?: And Other Reflections on Being Human - Jesse Bering (Unabridged Audiobook)
Friday, July 6, 2012
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Following the CERN announcement, theoretical physicist Garrett Lisi explains the discovery of the Higgs Boson particle by CERN scientists.