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General > What science book is your most recent read? What do you think about it? Pt. 1

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

I have found that simple threads listing recent books one has read or is reading, along with a brief comment to be helpful to me as I am always looking for new reads. If you are really energetic a review would be useful, but that is a lot more work. I will lead off with my latest read. Please hop on board. Of course, this group is a science group so I suppose posts should be relevant, but certainly not obligatory.

I am a novice at this so I don't really know what I'm doing! :>)


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

The Mind and the Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force by Jeffrey M. Schwartz and Sharon Begley

The authors make a case for the mind producing an actual force that affects matter, an idea certainly not in the mainstream of science thinking which mostly takes the materialistic view that the mind is an immaterial by product of the brain and thus cannot causally affect the world. Thus, in this view humans are automatons of the biological and chemical world of our body and physical brain.

Dr. Schwartz is a practicing physician treating patients with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). He has developed a treatment that teaches patients how to focus their minds when they have an attack in such a way as to "rewire" their brain by recognizing the obsession as a false signal and redirecting their actions. Thus many of his patients subdue their disease by the power of their directed will, causing real, measurable, alterations of their brain structure.

There is also an investigation into the age old "free will" debate and the authors come down on the affirmative side. In particular they argue for "Free Won't" , i.e. the power to restrain from action, which is just as important, if not more so, than initiating an action.

The mechanism through which the mind produces effects is proposed to be quantum mechanics, which I suppose is the only way it could feasibly happen. The authors propose that the brain is a complexity neurons emitting ion chemicals subject to quantum laws and thus quantum waves which the mind's conscious will has the ability to influence just as scientists can experimentally affect particles in lab experiments, thus collapsing the indeterminate quantum waves into concrete states.

At least I think that is what they say. :>)


message 3: by S. (last edited Jun 25, 2010 06:11AM) (new)

S. (salvatrice) I just finished "Material Faith Thoreau on Science." It was a little hard to stay with because it's really more a collection of notes from his journal than a "story" of anything, but it was a decent intro for me since I'd not read any of his work (plus it's very short). I'm inspired now to read Walden...but it goes onto a very long list of "to be read" books!


message 4: by David (new)

David Rubenstein | 905 comments Mod
I recently read the book Schroedinger's Universe and the Origin of the Natural Laws because I thought that it would be an interesting summary of modern physics. It isn't--it is a fresh new theory of the foundations of physics. It is a very clever theory; it purports to derive--from three basic principles--all of the characteristics of an electron. According to the theory, an electron is not a particle, but a wave; actually a superposition of an outgoing and an ingoing wave. The author derives many other properties of the physical universe; he actually, in a sense, derives F=ma! Whoa! He does this by deriving the fact that inertial and gravitational mass are the same. He also derives several of the physical constants. He derives gravitation! Absolutely unbelievable.

I cannot decide if the book is a brilliant masterpiece, or the work of a quack! The author realizes that his theory is revolutionary, so he takes on the language of a crackpot, over and over again.

The last few chapters are the most interesting, as they bring in some quantitative analysis. I highly recommend this book, but I'm still not sure if it is genius or deluded quackery.


message 5: by Patricrk (new)

Patricrk patrick | 136 comments March of the Microbes Sighting the Unseen by John L. Ingraham John L. Ingraham The author convinced me that this is really their world and they merely tolerate us. I gave it a 5 star rating.


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

David wrote: "I recently read the book Schroedinger's Universe and the Origin of the Natural Laws because I thought that it would be an interesting summary of modern physics. It isn't--it is a fre..."

Chas wrote: "David wrote: "I recently read the book Schroedinger's Universe and the Origin of the Natural Laws because I thought that it would be an interesting summary of modern physics. It isn'..."

Thanks David, it looks like a read to me. I will check into it further if Barns & Noble stocks it as I hang out in the coffee shop a lot.

I found this review of the book at Amazon and post it here to add some additional info.

Amazon Review By Carolyn Pearson: Schroedinger's Universe and the Origin of the Natural Laws

Like the proposed Big Bang itself, modern physics is an explosion of theories, particles, dimensions, and increasingly incomprehensible explanations of our universe. In this remarkable book, Dr. Wolff, with the help of such notables as Schrödinger and Einstein, cuts this modern Gordian knot and explains the amazingly simple foundations of space, time, and matter.

The breadth of concepts examined and explained is vast: the nature of the electron and its fundamental property of spin, light as a purely wave structured phenomena, and how gravity bends light are but a few.

Along with his explanation of the Wave Structure of Matter (WSM) Dr. Wolff also explores a variety of philosophical issues such as the nature of our connections with our universe and the difficulties with implementing the scientific method.

All this is explained in terms the average reader will find easy to absorb though there is a detailed mathematical "appendix" for those who require a more rigorous explanation.

It is my belief that this book will one day be seen as the beginning of a new foundation of modern physics. I highly recommend it.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Patricrk wrote: "March of the Microbes Sighting the Unseen by John L. IngrahamJohn L. Ingraham The author convinced me that this is really their world and they merely tolerate us. I gave it a 5 st..."

No doubt about it. Microorganisms are a major and essential part of our ecology. Their combined weight is many times the weight of all the higher forms of life on earth and they are everywhere, even in rocks far, far, underground.


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Salvatrice wrote: "I just finished "Material Faith Thoreau on Science." It was a little hard to stay with because it's really more a collection of notes from his journal than a "story" of anything, but it was a dece..."

All I know about Thoreau is this quote attributed to him. "No man's intellect is so large that it cannot be circumscribed by his ego." My own observance is that it applies equally to all, even "objective" scientists. Step on ones pet conviction and watch what happens. :>)


message 9: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) I recently wasted time with Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error. If it had been done better, would it qualify for science for this group? (asks the new girl)


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Cheryl wrote: "I recently wasted time with Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error. If it had been done better, would it qualify for science for this group? (asks the new girl)"

Hi Cheryl,

I know nothing of the book you mention. However, from the little I see about it from your post and the front information on the title perhaps the book: "On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You Are Not", by Robert H. Burton might be a better slant on the subject of human error in our thinking.

Mark Twain is quoted as saying, "It's not so much what we don't know that is important, but what we know that isn't true." :>)


message 11: by [deleted user] (last edited Jun 25, 2010 06:01PM) (new)

David wrote: "I recently read the book Schroedinger's Universe and the Origin of the Natural Laws because I thought that it would be an interesting summary of modern physics. It isn't--it is a fre..."

Well, my local Barnes & Noble doesn't stock this book. I looked it up at Amazon, but even the used book versions are a little pricey. Does anyone know a way to get this book cheaper? I suppose my local library might be a source so I will look into that.


message 13: by S. (last edited Jun 26, 2010 03:32PM) (new)

S. (salvatrice) Cheryl wrote: "I recently wasted time with Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error. If it had been done better, would it qualify for science for this group? (asks the new girl)"

oh sure--every/all science-related books are appropriate! varied recommendations from group members have helped me expand my own scope and it seems the same is true for many other members. (ps-welcome to the group)


message 14: by S. (new)

S. (salvatrice) Chas wrote: "David wrote: "I recently read the book Schroedinger's Universe and the Origin of the Natural Laws because I thought that it would be an interesting summary of modern physics. It isn'..."

libraries rock.
also- you might check if anyone on bookcrossing.com has it available. (bookcrossing is a free global book-sharing program--books are given, not sold)


message 15: by James (new)

James (thalamus88) | 2 comments I finished reading Richard Dawkins' The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution for the second time about a week ago. I happen to think it is in some senses his strongest book, because he just lets himself write about all sorts of interesting zoological and evolutionary concepts that might be out of place in his other books. Some parts do drag a bit though (I don't need to read 15 pages about race). It is a good book to explore the larger picture of evolution and phylogenetic relationships if you haven't before.

I'm currently reading The Variety of Life: A Survey and a Celebration of All the Creatures that Have Ever Lived by Colin Tudge, which is a bit like the Dawkins, except it focuses exclusively on cladism, phylogeny, and classification, as well as zoological descriptions of as many major groups as he could fit into 600 odd pages. I don't know if it would be a good one for most people to read straight through, unless you are really interested in the topic. I'm enjoying it though.


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

Susanna wrote: "Haven't read that one, but I can recommend In Search of Schrodinger's Cat: Quantum Physics And Reality."

I admit to being captivated with quantum theory and I read everything that I think may have some new aspect about it. As Einstein said, "It's spooky!"

A funny story. My daughter is a cat and dog lover, they have 3 cats and 2 dogs. I started in one time to tell her about Schrodinger's cat and she refused to listen any more after I said the cat was locked up and might be killed! I finally got her to understand that it was just a thought problem and wasn't real. Still, I think the very idea of the endangered cat distracted her so much she was never able to follow the ideas presented about quantum theory.


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

James wrote: "I finished reading Richard Dawkins' The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution for the second time about a week ago. I happen to think it is in some senses his stronges..."

I did "The Ancestor's Tale" about a year or two ago. Dawkin's is just soooo good! Now you must do "The Greatest Show On Earth" by Dawkins. "The Variety..." isn't my cup of tea. I have never been able to handle straight biology. :>)


message 18: by James (last edited Jun 26, 2010 03:49PM) (new)

James (thalamus88) | 2 comments Chas wrote: "I did "The Ancestor's Tale" about a year or two ago. Dawkin's is just soooo good! Now you must do "The Greatest Show On Earth" by Dawkins. "The Variety..." isn't my cup of tea. I have never been able to handle straight biology. :>)"

I read "The Greatest Show..." last year right when it came out :). If you liked that one you might want to try Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution Is True if you haven't already. The topic is the same, but their approaches are different, and the two books complement each other nicely.

As for The Variety of Life... well, I am a bit of a biology nerd.


message 19: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) Tx all for the welcome and the suggestions - On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not does look like a better book than "Being Wrong." I'm thinking I'll look to see whether a book was written by a scientist or a journalist before bringing it home from now on....

Btw, I'm cherylllr on bookcrossing.com, if anyone wants to check out my avl shelf or anything.


message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout

I just finished this book and it is a good, easy, read. It is shocking that the author asserts that one person in 25 in the US is classifiable as a sociopath, i.e. one which has no conscience to govern their actions. I think it is a good practical guide to recognizing and protecting oneself from the harm they can do to unsuspecting people who have the misfortune to come into contact with them.


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell

I have skimmed through about half of this book and I intend to finish it. It looks like a good, easy read. It is a sort of pop science psychology book and its value probably lies more with stimulating thought than revealing insights into deep issues. I think its definitely worth a read.


message 22: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) I was not impressed by Blink.

I did recently read Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's and, re' The Sociopath Next Door, the author of that memoir reports that he was misunderstood to be a sociopath. So if people who actually have Asperger's or Autism are contributing to Stout's data, she could be overstating the prevalence significantly.

And of course there are books, (albeit fictional, but which apparently ring true) like Lord of the Flies and The Chocolate War which make Stout's assertion more believable. (Me, I prefer to think that we can evolve towards World Peace etc. at least as much as the vision of *Star Trek.* :)


message 23: by David (last edited Jul 03, 2010 08:46AM) (new)

David Rubenstein | 905 comments Mod
The book The Edge of Physics: A Journey to Earth's Extremes to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe was recently nominated for the June 2010 book of the month. Although it did not win the poll, it looked interesting, and I just finished reading it.

I found this book to be an easy read--it is sort of a travelogue, going to far-away, exotic locations where physics research is being done. The interplay between theory and experimental research is a key element of this book, and helped to keep me turning the pages. Highly recommended.


message 24: by Patricrk (new)

Patricrk patrick | 136 comments David wrote: "The book The Edge of Physics: A Journey to Earth's Extremes to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe was recently nominated for the June 2010 book of the month. Although it did not win..."

I'll second that. I enjoyed the book.


message 25: by Emily (last edited Jul 04, 2010 08:57PM) (new)

Emily Brown (talulahgosh) | 8 comments i loved march of the microbes!! btw, bookfinder.com is a great place to look for books on the internet--it prices amazon as well as other online stores.
i'm constantly reading science, especially the history of science. i highly recommend The Gospel of Germs: Men, Women, and the Microbe in American Life, it's my favorite science book. along with The Blind Watchmaker, which made me want to dance around when i was done.


message 26: by Emily (new)

Emily Brown (talulahgosh) | 8 comments just thought i'd add Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, it's very easy to read and oddly, humorous.


message 27: by Sandra (new)

Sandra (slortiz) | 60 comments Emily wrote: "just thought i'd add Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, it's very easy to read and oddly, humorous."

Ditto on that! Mary Roach manages to combine terrific science writing with a terrific sense of humor. She once wrote a magazine article about her experiences as a subject in an experiment on the common cold. I was clutching my sides and falling off the couch, it was so funny.


message 28: by Sandra (new)

Sandra (slortiz) | 60 comments Chas wrote: "The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout

I just finished this book and it is a good, easy, read. It is shocking that the author asserts that one person in 25 in the US is classifiable as a sociopat..."


Chas,
Thought you would find this interesting:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/st...


message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

Sandra wrote:
Chas,
Thought you would find this interesting:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story...


Yes it is interesting, but I'm sure identifying psychopaths is a little more difficult than just matching up PET scans. However, Stout claims standard personality tests can detect a sociopath, but the big majority of sociopaths aren't violent or serial killers, apparently because they fear prison or execution.


message 30: by [deleted user] (new)

I have just finished; On Intelligence by Jeff Hawkins, and Sandra Blakeslee

This book is written by a computer programmer with an orientation toward how the mind works in contrast with how a computer works. The ultimate objective from Hawkin's viewpoint is to learn enough about the human brain's intelligence in order to eventually implement intelligence in machines. Hawkins is smart and he has spent a lot of time working to understand the brain. To me, the most salient point he makes is that the brain stores an enormous amount of information in the form of previously stored mental patterns which are summoned up in total into the mind's current experience and then used to predict what is going to happen next. I find that is a compelling explanation of how the brain might function.

Hawkin's gives a good explanation of the mechanics of the brain as best it is known today,and that is a lot more than I had thought but he is the typical scientist and elects to put aside the discussion of the mind and consciousness as just "the feeling beings get that have a neocortex." BTW, all mammals have a neocortex which is the gray matter covering the entire convoluted surface of the brain. Thus in Hawkin's view all mammals are conscious, just not to the extent humans are.

Anyway, this book fits in well with my current absorption with the human brain and what it all means. :>)


message 31: by David (new)

David Rubenstein | 905 comments Mod
Chas, that sounds like a very interesting book. I've just put it on my "to-read" list.

I just finished a very good book,
The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature by Steven Pinker. The idea of the blank slate, is that when one is born, his mind is a totally "blank slate", that is to say, his nature is completely malleable. It is not a new idea, and Steven Pinker does a good job showing that it is simply not true. The book covers a very wide range of topics, and Pinker shows how his ideas impact each topic. Highly recommended.


message 32: by Stan (new)

Stan Paulsen (stansbooks) I am currently enjoying Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming dealing with how the messy business of science can be exploited to perpetuate doubt by those with interests not in line with scientific truth.


message 33: by Ella (new)

Ella (ellamc) I just finished On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not, as well as a handful of books tackling the same or closely-related topics. I'm still chewing over all of the information and some of the conflicts between the group, and I am really wondering if I "needed" to read any of them, but some were more interesting than others, On Being Certain one of them.

I would love to be more active in this discussion as well as this month's book discussion, but I'm so busy getting ready to leave and start a new job in a new country with a little holiday smooshed between. And that's what my very next post is going to be about - I'd love any opinions at all!

Be well - Ella


message 34: by Ella (new)

Ella (ellamc) Stan wrote: "I am currently enjoying Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming..."

That is on its way to my house right now, planned on as a holiday read along with Stiff, noted above.

I wanted to ask, if anyone's read & has opinions on whether I should pack the other two I have tentatively on my list: Elephants on Acid: And Other Bizarre Experiments and not really a science book, but Peter Sagal's The Book of Vice: Very Naughty Things Since I have to make sure my luggage only weighs a certain amount, does anyone have ideas on if some of these should be left at home (or donated to the library?) And other light science-ish books I should take instead, perhaps?

Thanks!


message 35: by [deleted user] (new)

David wrote: ..........
I just finished a very good book,
The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature by Steven Pinker ..."


David, I read Pinker's "The Blank Slate" several years ago, it's an excellent read. I started a re-read yesterday and since I don't have anything else thats hot on my read list in the science book field I might just carry on and do a complete re-read.

BTW, if anyone wants to read more about a book, I find that the reviews available at Amazon.com are very helpful.


message 36: by S. (new)

S. (salvatrice) Emily wrote: "just thought i'd add Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, it's very easy to read and oddly, humorous."

agreed! that was a good one...and one i never thought i'd enjoy, but her writing is fun.


message 37: by Sandra (last edited Jul 13, 2010 10:43AM) (new)

Sandra (slortiz) | 60 comments Just finished The Mind & the Brain--our July read. Have to admit it presumed a level of familiarity with quantum mechanics that I lack. Now I will have to find something to read about that topic that explains it better than things I have read in my previous attempts to grasp this subject. That being said, I found the brain science part of the book quite understandable and it was a good review. The author makes a good case for neuroplasticity and I'll take his word for how quantum mechanics theory overcomes the objections of the materialists. But isn't this really beating an old horse to death? The uncomfortable feeling I had while reading this was that he was overstating the degree to which neuroscience has refused to admit the possibility of mind over matter. It's a good book though because it motivates me to read more on these topics. In fact I think I may even want to tackle William James. But who knows whether that is a matter of volition stemming from the free will of my masterful mind or whether my brain is just responding mechanistically to environmental triggers?


message 38: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) Sorry I've not read either of your tentatives, Ella, but they both sound interesting. I hope you like what you do choose!


message 39: by [deleted user] (last edited Jul 15, 2010 08:31AM) (new)

Sandra wrote: Just finished The Mind & the Brain--our July read. Have to admit it presumed a level of familiarity with quantum mechanics that I lack. Now I will have to find something to read about that topic that explains it better than things I have read in my previous attempts to grasp this subject. That being said, I found the brain science part of the book quite understandable and it was a good review. The author makes a good case for neuroplasticity and I'll take his word for how quantum mechanics theory overcomes the objections of the materialists. But isn't this really beating an old horse to death? The uncomfortable feeling I had while reading this was that he was overstating the degree to which neuroscience has refused to admit the possibility of mind over matter. It's a good book though because it motivates me to read more on these topics. In fact I think I may even want to tackle William James. But who knows whether that is a matter of volition stemming from the free will of my masterful mind or whether my brain is just responding mechanistically to environmental triggers?

Yes Sandra, I have to agree with you that Schwartz makes less than a convincing case about quantum mechanics as the means by which the human mind can effect physical changes in its brain. The interaction between experimenter and test in quantum physics is spooky and difficult for anyone to conceptualize. If I remember correctly, some tests have shown that the affect of the observer can change an experiment's result even when the observation is made after the quantum choice in the experiment has occurred. In other words, the quantum interaction between observer and test seems to bridge backward in time!!!

Beside all the quantum theory, I now think that Schwartz and others, like Norman Doidge's:The Brain That Changes Itself, have firmly established that the focused mind can physically alter its own brain structure.

Finally, as to whether Schwartz is beating a "dead horse", especially concerning the behaviorist establishment's attitude toward OCD therapy is more analogous to pounding a snake, it just keeps springing back to life. :>)


message 40: by Sandra (new)

Sandra (slortiz) | 60 comments Chas wrote: "Sandra wrote: Just finished The Mind & the Brain--our July read. Have to admit it presumed a level of familiarity with quantum mechanics that I lack. Now I will have to find something to read about..."

I love the pounding a snake analogy! Never heard that before and find it quite descriptive. Sort of like "herding cats"--another very graphic metaphor.


message 41: by [deleted user] (new)

David, caught my eye with his mention of Pinker's book and I decided to reread it. The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature I am about half way through and I am glad I decided to read it again after about five years. I didn't recall how politically enlightening it is. Pinker lays out the fears and hopes of America's political ideologies very well. That is good because I have decided to do some study in that area. I am not satisfied just with the knowing of something, I always have an innate urge to understand the why of it. I think the practice of politics is a vile and abhorrent thing, but at the same time it is so important when its impact is considered along with the shear number of lives that are touched. Anyway, I feel a need to understand what is prompting all the actors on that great stage.


message 42: by David (last edited Jul 18, 2010 02:09PM) (new)

David Rubenstein | 905 comments Mod
I have just finished The Flamingo's Smile: Reflections in Natural History, by Stephen Jay Gould. It took me a long time to read--it is not an easy book--Gould's language and style are aimed at educated, but non-professional readers. I read one or two essays at a time, since each essay is totally independent of the others. Each essay is a gem in its own way, on a wide diversity of subjects. Gould sheds much light on how science is done, and the importance of the process of science, rather than the conclusions. Highly recommended!


message 43: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) Except that it's so old. Punctuated equilibrium has apparently been shot down, and since Gould was so enthusiastic about it, I tend to feel skeptical of the rest of his work, too. I tried to struggle through a few of his collections of essays and realized that they'd've had more value if I'd read them at the time they were fresh & current.


message 44: by [deleted user] (last edited Jul 19, 2010 10:13AM) (new)

Cheryl wrote: "Except that it's so old. Punctuated equilibrium has apparently been shot down, and since Gould was so enthusiastic about it, I tend to feel skeptical of the rest of his work, too. I tried to stru..."

Here is some of Dawkin's thoughts about Gould's theory:

Richard Dawkins believes that the apparent gaps represented in the fossil record document migratory events rather than evolutionary events. According to Dawkins, evolution certainly occurred but "probably gradually" elsewhere. However, the punctuational equilibrium model may still be inferred from both the observance of stasis and documented examples of rapid and episodic speciation events documented in the fossil record.

Dawkins also emphasizes that punctuated equilibrium has been "oversold by some journalists",but partly due to Eldredge and Gould's "later writings". Dawkins contends that the theory "does not deserve a particularly large measure of publicity". It is a "minor gloss," an "interesting but minor wrinkle on the surface of neo-Darwinian theory," and "lies firmly within the neo-Darwinian synthesis".


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 368 comments Cheryl wrote: "Except that it's so old. Punctuated equilibrium has apparently been shot down, and since Gould was so enthusiastic about it, I tend to feel skeptical of the rest of his work, too. I tried to stru..."

Guilt by association? LOL

He's still a very fine writer about science.


message 46: by David (last edited Jul 24, 2010 08:48AM) (new)

David Rubenstein | 905 comments Mod
I just finished reading a short novel, Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture: A Novel of Mathematical Obsession by Apostolos Doxiadis. Yes, I know what you are going to say, "A novel? in the Science and Inquiry Group? ... " Well, I mention this book because the story sheds light on how mathematicians view their work, and how they approach theoretical problems. For the general reader, this is an interesting psychological study of how someone gets caught up in a real obsession. Then, after many years of work, he gives up, using a self-deluding rationalization (based on logic theory) that is interesting, in and of itself.


message 47: by David (last edited Aug 10, 2010 06:41PM) (new)

David Rubenstein | 905 comments Mod
Has anybody read this book?
Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void
It looks like a fun read. Some of Mary Roach's other books look quite entertaining, too.


message 48: by Coqueline (new)

Coqueline I'm reading The Blind Watchmaker by Dawkins. I have to say I enjoyed The Greatest Show on Earth better. I have been reading a lot about evolutionary biology and The Blink Watchmaker seems to be the book for evolution beginner where he iterates each small ideas really slowly. Nonetheless, as in other Dawkins books, you always learn something new.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 368 comments I have read a couple of Mary Roach's books, and found both enjoyable and very funny.


message 50: by Mike (new)

Mike | 5 comments Salvatrice wrote: "Emily wrote: "just thought i'd add Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, it's very easy to read and oddly, humorous."

agreed! that was a good one...and one i never thought i'd..."

All of Mary Roach's books are screechingly funny AND informative.
Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife reviews the attempts to provide empirical proof of the afterlife and Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex well, the title speaks volumes. I am just getting started on Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void which promises to be very entertaining.


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