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message 1: by Patricrk (last edited Aug 24, 2010 11:53AM) (new)

Patricrk patrick | 136 comments http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/cul...

technology freed us from some biological constraints


message 3: by S. (last edited Aug 28, 2010 12:19PM) (new)

S. (salvatrice) Physics (and metaphysics) I've heard this author speak and he's pretty engaging, but my physics & math abilities are not strong enough to critically evaluate his claims!

New Proofs for the Existence of God


message 4: by Alex (new)

Alex Interesting book, Salvatrice...but my belief is that God is by definition unprovable; any attempt to scientifically prove its existence is doomed from the get-go. God should be about faith, not evidence.

I'm an atheist personally, but I don't think it's ridiculous to believe in God. I just don't think one should attempt to mix God in with science; history overflows with examples of that attempt's repeated failure.


message 5: by Patricrk (new)

Patricrk patrick | 136 comments http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/cul...
UK royal society short list of best science books of 2009


message 6: by Alex (last edited Aug 30, 2010 09:10AM) (new)

Alex Well, there's a bunch of books for my to-read list. We Need to Talk About Kelvin is a hilarious name. (In case you don't get that joke, it's a takeoff on the recent, much-loved We Need to Talk About Kevin.)

I agree with the author that Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution Is True is a brilliant book.

I want to read God's Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science, but this sentence makes me a bit nervous: "James Hannam debunks many of the myths about the Middle Ages, showing that medieval people did not think the earth is flat." Everyone kinda knows that already; I hope he has more interesting things to debunk.


message 7: by Kristopher (new)

Kristopher | 35 comments I knew I should stay out of the discussions for this group...lol. I just added 3 more books to my Amazon wish-list, all branching out from God's philosophers. I'll never be a wealthy man at this rate, but I'm going to have more books than the Library of Congress!

Kristopher


message 8: by Patricrk (new)

Patricrk patrick | 136 comments http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/bad...

new calculus book, I also heard about this on NPR


message 9: by Alex (new)

Alex Wow. That sounds really great. Thanks man!


message 10: by Patricrk (new)

Patricrk patrick | 136 comments Are differences between men and women hard-wired in the brain? Two new books argue that there's no solid scientific evidence for this popular notion.
Two new books, Delusions of Gender by psychologist Cordelia Fine and Brain Storm by socio-medical scientist Rebecca Jordan-Young, remind us why sometimes we do need to follow the twists and turns as the ideas develop.


message 11: by Patricrk (new)

Patricrk patrick | 136 comments Clifford Nass, a communications professor at Stanford University, has been studying the ways humans interact with computers to tease out some of the intricacies of how people relate to each other. He talks about those findings in his new book The Man Who Lied to His Laptop. npr_129638197.mp3

Science Friday on NPR


message 12: by Alex (new)

Alex Interesting stuff, Patricrk. Thanks.


message 13: by Jenny (new)

Jenny Hemming Patricrk wrote: "Are differences between men and women hard-wired in the brain? Two new books argue that there's no solid scientific evidence for this popular notion.
Two new books, Delusions of Gender by psycholo..."


Do they address why it is that _so many_ women of my acquaintance have difficulty in articulating (not knowing) left from right, especially in driving situations! In our house it's 'your way' and 'my way' and a friend has told me that in his house it's 'left' and 'lady left'. My husband teaches undergrad chemistry and has noticed that women tend to struggle more than men with the concept of 'left-handedness' and 'right-handedness' in molecules. I feel sure there is a definite difference here!


message 14: by Patricrk (new)

Patricrk patrick | 136 comments Jenny wrote: "Patricrk wrote: "Are differences between men and women hard-wired in the brain? Two new books argue that there's no solid scientific evidence for this popular notion.
Two new books, Delusions of Ge..."


The blurb describing the book didn't say (I guess they want you to buy the books to find out). I heard that the austrailians didn't even have the concept of left or right when Europeans first made contact. And, not knowing left from right was apparently a rather common problem for army recruits in World War I.


message 15: by Kristopher (new)

Kristopher | 35 comments I've noticed when I train people at work that telling them to "move x left or move x right" is a difficult concept for many of them. I had honestly attributed this to the quality of the people we've been hiring, instead of realizing that it's a natural phenomenon.
I do wonder if it has anything to do with the differences in education and upbringing between men and women in our society. I tend to feel that there is more emphasis placed upon left and right-handedness in the things male children are expected to do in society, such as sports, mechanical work, etc. Food for thought, anyhow.

Kristopher


message 16: by S. (new)

S. (salvatrice) Alex wrote: "Interesting book, Salvatrice...but my belief is that God is by definition unprovable; any attempt to scientifically prove its existence is doomed from the get-go. God should be about faith, not ev..."

I agree...and yet, I can't seem to stop myself from reading on the topic.


message 17: by Alex (new)

Alex Fair enough. It is sorta interesting.


message 18: by Adam (new)

Adam | 55 comments Salvatrice wrote: "Physics (and metaphysics) I've heard this author speak and he's pretty engaging, but my physics & math abilities are not strong enough to critically evaluate his claims!

New Proofs for the Exis..."


Based on a quick look at reviews on this book, it looks like the author attempts to baffle/astound the audience, and via that method make them "think" they are proofs. If you really want I'll pick up the book sometime and really give it an intense overview, because I doubt these are legitimate proofs by any stretch of the imagination.

It seems similar to "Science of God" where the author tried to convince people by statistics and probability. Despite the fact that there's this 1 in a trillion some odd chance that Earth should exist, it doesn't take into the account that our galaxy alone has 200 billion stars and who knows how many planets like Earth. Given all the galaxies in existence it's almost a probable assurance that something like Earth SHOULD exist. It needs no special "creator".


message 19: by S. (new)

S. (salvatrice) Alex wrote: "Well, there's a bunch of books for my to-read list. We Need to Talk About Kelvin is a hilarious name. (In case you don't get that joke, it's a takeoff on the recent, much-loved [bo..."

I might read this just b/c I like the title :)


message 20: by Patricrk (new)

Patricrk patrick | 136 comments What grows best in Martian soil? How do you get oxygen out of thin air? Pat Duggins, author of Trailblazing Mars: NASA’s Next Giant Leap, talks about the questions NASA will face if it sends astronauts to the Red Planet and how to choose the right people for the job.npr_130276643.mp3


message 21: by Larry (new)

Larry (hal9000i) God was invented by primitive man to give them something to argue about while in the cave.


message 22: by Patricrk (new)

Patricrk patrick | 136 comments Mutis set off for South America in 1760. He stayed 48 years, during which he became a one-man science institution - doctor, mathematician, astronomer and dedicated follower of ants. Like many early explorer-scientists, he fell into obscurity and his scientific writings were lost.

With this slim volume, based on Mutis's rediscovered diaries, fellow ant enthusiasts E. O. Wilson and José Gómez Durán aim to restore his reputation as one of the greats of early natural history.

Mutis's observations, especially of leafcutter ants, and his single-minded pursuit of marching army ants, reveal much about the man and how and why he reached some of his conclusions. He wasn't always right, but his approach was. A rare glimpse of science in the making.

Book information
Kingdom of Ants: José Celestino Mutis and the dawn of natural history in the New World
by Edward O. Wilson and José M. Gómez Durán
The Johns Hopkins University Press


message 23: by Alex (new)

Alex Ooh, neat. I'm into ants. Although I stalled out on Wilson's The Superorganism: The Beauty, Elegance, and Strangeness of Insect Societies. It's pretty dense.


message 24: by Jeff (new)

Jeff Joseph Salvatrice wrote: "Physics (and metaphysics) I've heard this author speak and he's pretty engaging, but my physics & math abilities are not strong enough to critically evaluate his claims!

New Proofs for the Exis..."


This book seems right up my alley! The problem starts with everyones differing conception of god. I think all the scientific references to god we are seeing in books such as this are really reffering to "a or "the" CREATOR.I think God is just way too charged a word to use, and it invariably causes misunderstanding.


message 25: by Patricrk (last edited Dec 05, 2010 06:09AM) (new)

Patricrk patrick | 136 comments Normally the eyes and brain work together in a seamless, intricate system. But what happens when the brain can no longer make sense of visual information? Neurologist Oliver Sacks talks about his new book, The Mind's Eye, and what visual disorders reveal about how the brain processes sight.

Yeast, hops, grain and water all need to combine with biology, chemistry and physics to make a great glass of beer. Charlie Bamforth, University of California, Davis professor of brewing science and author of the new book Beer Is Proof God Loves Us, offers a toast to honor the beverage.


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