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Current Topic: Science

Dawkins' God: Genes, Memes, And The Meaning Of Life
Topic: Science 3:00 pm EST, Mar 12, 2005

This is the first book-length response to Richard Dawkins, author of some of the most popular scientific works, such as The Selfish Gene and The Blind Watchmaker. Dawkins has become perhaps the world’s best-known atheist, noted for his hostile and controversial views on religion.

This wonderfully argued book explains and examines Dawkins’ scientific ideas and their religious implications. Head-to-head, it takes on some of Dawkins’ central assumptions, like the conflict between science and religion, the "selfish gene" theory of evolution, the role of science in explaining the world, and brilliantly exposes their unsustainability. Moreover, this controversial debate is carried on in a style which can be enjoyed by anyone without a scientific or religious background.

Dawkins' God: Genes, Memes, And The Meaning Of Life

Brainwashing: The Science of Thought Control
Topic: Science 2:58 pm EST, Mar 12, 2005

In Brainwashing, Kathleen Taylor brings together for the first time the worlds of neuroscience and social psychology to examine why humans have attempted througout history to influence and control the thoughts of others.

The technical term for this process, brainwashing, was coined shortly after the Korean War, but the concept has been with us ever since humans began to interact with one another.

In this compelling and thought-provoking book, Taylor explores the history and the science of thought-control and shows how it still exists all around us, from marketing and television to politics and education.

Brainwashing: The Science of Thought Control

The Beast in the Garden: A Modern Parable of Man and Nature
Topic: Science 2:57 pm EST, Mar 12, 2005

In 1991, in Idaho Springs, Colo., a small town not far from Boulder, a young jogger was killed and partially eaten by a mountain lion.

In an engrossing book that reads like a true crime thriller, Baron, a science and environmental writer, follows the advance of mountain lions around Boulder as if they were serial killers, building tension as he leads up to the killing.

The Beast in the Garden: A Modern Parable of Man and Nature

Frontiers of Biogeography
Topic: Science 2:55 pm EST, Mar 12, 2005

Drawing upon such disparate fields as biology, geology, socio- economics, climatology, and philosophy, biogeography takes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the origins and maintenance of global patterns of biodiversity. Containing 18 contributions from international scholars, this text covers five main subdisciplines of biogeography: plate tectonics and paleobiogeography; phylogeography and diversification; diversity gradients; marine biogeography; and conservation biogeography.

Frontiers of Biogeography

The Velocity of Honey: And More Science of Everyday Life
Topic: Science 2:55 pm EST, Mar 12, 2005

Science can uncover the origins of the cosmos and the blueprints of life itself, but it can also explore some of the most inconsequential phenomena known to man. No less than three essays in this charming collection concern the spillage of breakfast foods, including the title piece on dripping honey and further investigations of why toast always falls with the buttered side down and why coffee stains are ring-shaped.

Other topics probed by Ingram, host of the Discovery Channel's Daily Planet and author of The Science of Everyday Life, include the physics of coin-spinning, stone-skipping and paper-crumpling; the math talents of animals and infants; the six degrees of separation myth; and the cognitive psychology behind a range of desultory human capabilities, from catching a fly ball to working an ATM machine.

Though the scientific theories Ingram unearths are fascinating, more hilarious is the disproportion between effort and importance, as with the elaborate experimental protocols scientists have developed to investigate the feeling people sometimes get of being watched.

Ingram's deft, witty writing gives a real feel for science as a human process of trying to answer the questions, no matter how inane, that happen to get stuck in one's craw. (From Publishers Weekly)

The Velocity of Honey: And More Science of Everyday Life

Topic: Science 2:05 pm EST, Mar 12, 2005

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County presents Collapse?, a thought-provoking exhibition that draws on ideas from UCLA professor and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jared Diamond's book "Collapse: How Societies Choose To Fail Or Succeed". This journey through time and place uses the Museum's diverse collections in an original, multimedia-rich installation that explores the links between societies and their environments, asking why some civilizations decline while others flourish. Throughout the exhibit's seven-month run, live evening programs will offer Museum audiences an opportunity to further engage in these ideas.

Visitors will travel through present-day Montana (not as pristine as it may seem); investigate the fate of ancient Maya civilization; look to the radical, and successful, solutions of 17th and 18th Century Japan; and examine contemporary Australia's ongoing search for a balanced approach to its environment. In the final section a virtual newsroom will showcase modern environmental and geopolitical issues as visitors are invited to consider how their decisions can have far-reaching impacts.

The exhibit opens May 1.


Wonder Shows: Performing Science, Magic, And Religion In America
Topic: Science 1:42 pm EST, Mar 12, 2005

"A fascinating and important study of popular science in America after the mid-nineteenth century, filled with memorable characters and the amazing demonstrations of their wonders."

This book is a study of scientists and inventors who enter the realm of showmanship and of showpeople who mimic scientists to promote wonders.

Wonder Shows: Performing Science, Magic, And Religion In America

An Agenda for Another Einstein
Topic: Science 1:16 am EST, Mar  3, 2005

Albert Einstein achieved scientific fame by asking questions and solving problems that nobody else had realized were problems.

The next big revolution will probably also come from an unexpected direction, but here are some of the Big Questions that are haunting physicists today.

An Agenda for Another Einstein

The Road to Reality : A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe
Topic: Science 9:23 am EST, Mar  1, 2005

"A truly remarkable book."

"Genuinely magnificent ... the most stimulating book I have read in a long time."

"What a joy it is to read a book that doesn't simplify, doesn't dodge the difficult questions, and doesn't always pretend to have answers."

"... the high point of the year ..."

Roger Penrose has a new book.

The Road to Reality : A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe

Explanations: Styles of Explanation in Science
Topic: Science 12:28 am EST, Dec 17, 2004

"We are addicted to explanation, constantly asking and answering 'why' questions."

Widespread confusion about the nature of "explanation" and its scope and limits pervades popular exposition of the natural sciences, popular history and philosophy of science. This fascinating book explores the way explanations work, why they vary between disciplines, periods, and cultures, and whether they have any necessary boundaries.

Explanations: Styles of Explanation in Science

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