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21. Discovering The Universe
$27.95 $19.87
22. The Wonder of the World: A Journey
$6.44 list($14.95)
23. Coming of Age in the Milky Way
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24. An Introduction to the Theory
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25. The WHOLE SHEBANG : A STATE OF
$11.89 $9.45 list($13.99)
26. In Six Days : Why Fifty Scientists
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27. The Cambridge Guide to the Solar
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28. Venus II: Geology, Geophysics,
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29. National Geographic Encyclopedia
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30. The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos:
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31. A Walk Through the Southern Sky:
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32. Cosmological Physics (Cambridge
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33. Scientific Creationism
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34. The Phenomenon of Man
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35. Stephen Hawking's Universe: The
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36. When Science Meets Religion
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37. Principles of Physical Cosmology
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38. Heaven's Mirror : Quest for the
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39. Light Curves of Variable Stars
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40. Catalogue of Discordant Redshift

21. Discovering The Universe
by Neil F. Comins, William J., III Kaufmann
list price: $99.40
our price: $99.40
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Asin: 0716767961
Catlog: Book (2005-02-18)
Publisher: W.H. Freeman & Company
Sales Rank: 413359
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars "An excellent presentation of fundamental astronomy."
Discovering the Universe is an excellent presentation of fundamental astronomy facts and principles.A major book for amateur astronomers.

William Kaufmann III writes in a clear and concise style,making complex data and theories understandable to the layperson.Nosophisticated math or physics backgrounds are required.Yet, he treatscomplex topics, such as Stellar Evolution, the Origin of the Solar System,etc. in a comprehensive manner.This book will serve as a lastingreference book for your library.

A CD-ROM is included which contains theentire text of the book. ... Read more


22. The Wonder of the World: A Journey fromModern Science to the Mind of God
by Roy Abraham Varghese
list price: $27.95
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Asin: 0972347313
Catlog: Book (2003-12)
Publisher: TYR Publishing
Sales Rank: 4692
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23. Coming of Age in the Milky Way
by TIMOTHY FERRIS
list price: $14.95
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Asin: 0385263260
Catlog: Book (1989-07-31)
Publisher: Anchor
Sales Rank: 159000
Average Customer Review: 4.95 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Winner of the 1988 American Institute of Physics Prize, Ferris's book offers the listener "an exhilarating, wide-ranging journey that takes us from the shores of the Mediterranean, where the second-century astronomer Claudius Ptolemy fashioned his creaky celestial spheres, to modern-day research institutes, where theorists contemplate this and other universes bubbling out of a quantum vacuum." (The New York Times) ... Read more

Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars A good history of the sciences and Astronomy in particular.
This book is an excellent tour through history of astronomy and astronomers quest to uncover our place (and time) in the universe. Ferris goes into quite a bit of detail and does not treat his readers with kid gloves. There are many interesting anecdotes about various astronomers and Ferris sometimes gives mini biographies of the more interesting/eccentric of them. Ferris starts with the greek astonomers such has hypocratus, goes through copernicus, kepler, galileo, newton, and then onto the astronmers of the last 200 years. But in his final section, he also talks about how the geosciences, and the theory of evolution began to give us a better perspective of where we fit in the universe not just in space but in time. The last chapters are devoted to the cutting edge of science - quantum physics. Ferris reports discoveries up to the point practically that this book was published! All in all, a good read for anyone interested in science and particularly in Astronomy.

5-0 out of 5 stars COSMOS on steroids.
This book is an excellent tour through history of astronomy and astronomers quest to uncover our place (and time) in the universe. Ferris goes into quite a bit of detail and does not treat his readers with kid gloves. There are many interesting anecdotes about various astronomers and Ferris sometimes gives mini biographies of the more interesting/eccentric of them. Ferris starts with the greek astonomers such has hypocratus, goes through copernicus, kepler, galileo, newton, and then onto the astronmers of the last 200 years. But in his final section, he also talks about how the geosciences, and the theory of evolution began to give us a better perspective of where we fit in the universe not just in space but in time. The last chapters are devoted to the cutting edge of science - quantum physics. Ferris reports discoveries up to the point practically that this book was published! All in all, a good read for anyone interested in science and particularly in Astronomy.

5-0 out of 5 stars The more we know, the more we see how little we know
In charting the place of mankind in the universe Timothy Ferris explores as different topics as history, evolution, physics, mathematics, cosmology, theology or philosophy and that from the Big Bang over the Greeks to the end of the 20th century.
Within this tour-de-force I would like to emphasize a few extremely important statements.
First, the importance of Godel's incompleteness theorem:'there is not and never will be a complete and comprehensive scientific account of the universe that can be proved valid'.(p. 374)
Secondly, the killing of the 'monstrous' philosophy of determinism (Einstein's belief) by quantum physics:'Quantum indeterminacy ... celebrates the return of chance to the fundamental affairs of the world.' (p.291)
Thirdly, the all importance of symmetry in the gauge field theory with force as a medium to maintain the invariance and particles as messengers of symmetry.
When one reads a book about the fate of mankind in (or and) the universe, one encounters nearly always approaches from new angles. Timothy Ferris' book is in that league.
I have only one small remark: the short personal biography of Einstein is not correct.
Not to be missed.
I also recommend strongly the works of Lee Smolin and Richard Dawkins.

5-0 out of 5 stars Old Ideas in science revisited, New ideas introduced
Great book! I finished this 500+ pages book in a week, a record for a slow like myself. "Coming of Age in the Milky Way" tells us how our concept in astronomy and cosmology changes and evolves, how man struggles to understand the universe through diligent research, and what will the future of SETI be. Timothy Ferris tells us how, for example, we develops the idea that earth is spherical from simple observations of Eratosthenes from Alexandria, and that measuring the distance of earth to sun accurately is an endeavour that takes hundreds of years and take hundreds of scientist globe-trotting to observe transit of Venus (the passing of Venus in the sun's disc), which will be an accurate method to determine the earth-sun distance. In short, this books tells us how human can gain all the knowledge that is now a popular knowledge to everybody.

The titles suggest that we, human, are just becoming of age in our universe. Young, passionate, eager to face the world, but brash and hold many future. In the final chapters, Timothy Ferris introduces us to the concept of galactic beacon that will hold all our profile so that it can be transmitted to other civilizations in other stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best starter for anybody.
Professor Ferris 1988 work is absolutely worth of pursuing - beautiful writing style, fantastic read. He researched historical details about voyages, discoveries and lives of the greatest philosophers and scientists. He tells us how people started to observe and realize the depth of the Universe.
Final chapters depict selected important subjects of particle physics, quantum mysteries and SETI dilemma. I have rarely seen topics like: symmetry-invariance, gauge field theory, description of particle accelerator, vacuum inflation (just to mention a few) so brilliantly presented. Topped with practical glossary - book ends where Alan Guth proposed his inflation hypothesis. This book is better than Hawking's original "The Brief History of Time" and would be better (if not a date of publishing) than Fred Adams "Origins of Existence". Robert Kirshner's "Extravagant Universe" would be the good choice to get more updated and ready to absorb whatever new is coming from the space - unless professor Feriss updates his great masterpiece. ... Read more


24. An Introduction to the Theory of Stellar Structure and Evolution
by Dina Prialnik
list price: $120.00
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Asin: 0521650658
Catlog: Book (2000-01-15)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 682007
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Using fundamental physics, the theory of stellar structure and evolution is able to predict how stars are born, how their complex internal structure changes, what nuclear fuel they burn, and their ultimate fate. This undergraduate textbook provides a clear, methodical introduction to the theory of stellar structure and evolution.Starting from general principles and axioms, step-by-step coverage leads students to a global, comprehensive understanding of the subject. Throughout, the book uniquely places emphasis on the basic physical principles governing stellar structure and evolution. All processes are explained in clear and simple terms with all the necessary mathematics included. Exercises and their full solutions allow students to test their understanding. This book requires only a basic background in physics and mathematics and assumes no prior knowledge of astronomy. It provides a stimulating introduction for undergraduates in astronomy, physics, planetary science and applied mathematics taking a course on the physics of stars. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for beginners
A truly excellent introductory book. It has worked problems at the back and actually has an index that allows you to find anything you need for reference. I actually used this book more than Padmanabhan's books for my graduate course, because Prialnik explains things very well.

This book should be the basis of any undergraduate stellar astrophysics course. ... Read more


25. The WHOLE SHEBANG : A STATE OF THE UNIVERSE S REPORT
by Timothy Ferris
list price: $25.00
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Asin: 0684810204
Catlog: Book (1997-05-02)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 357069
Average Customer Review: 4.34 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Plenty of books try to explain the origin of the universe, but despite the ascendance of the Big Bang theory, numerous details of that theory remain in flux as new observations are made and new hypotheses formed (and then confirmed or rejected). Timothy Ferris's The Whole Shebang is an up-to-date account of the various mechanisms believed to have contributed to the universe as we now know it, from the Big Bang itself to inflation to superstrings. The Whole Shebang eschews mathematics and formulae and explains cosmological concepts in clear and enticing prose. If you need an update on the state of the universe, you'll find it here. ... Read more

Reviews (56)

5-0 out of 5 stars Stunning summary of the Cosmos
This is an absolutely stunning summary of the leading edge theories of advanced physics in an easy to read and entertaining format. Although nobody can understand a physics book without at least a modicum of knowledge about the basics, Ferris' work manages to remain easy reading until the end. It addresses everything you always wanted to know about quantum physics, cosmology, space-time, unified theories, superstring theory, etc. More importantly, instead of shoving a long, historical introductory chapter into your face (like most other books in this genre tend to do) it sneaks in the relevant historical facts in the form of small, captivating and humorous personal stories that pepper every chapter.

It is getting outdated, of course, as the years go by, but I still haven't seen anything that would be better while remaining just as comprehensive and readable. It is in roughly the same genre as "The Cosmic Code" or "The Dancing Wu Li Masters", but without any pretentious mumbo-jumbo. Finally, it shows much more respect to religion than other works, which is refreshing.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book covers the whole....well, you know
Although he taught English and Journalism at the university of California, Berkeley, Timothy Ferris is one of the more knowledgeable fellows on the planet when it comes to cosmology. And this is, in fact, an extraordinary work on cosmology.

As a pre-requisite to Ferris' book, I would recommend "The First Three Minutes" by Stephen Weinberg. Although Weinberg's book is 20 years old (published, 1979), it is nonetheless still a classic in the cosmology field. It is also rather terse - only 150 or so pages in & out.

Ferris brings us up to to date on many of the "happenings" in cosmology since 1979. He discusses such diverse areas of physics as gravity waves, the mystery of singularities, why black holes have no hair and quantum weirdness (although the latter is an understatement...). I actually preferred this book over the much more famous "A Brief History In Time" by the Cambridge physicist Stephen Hawking. Hawking's prose is a bit more dry than Ferris' and "Brief / Time" does not go as in depth into many important concepts as this book.

So, for those of you who wonder (like me) how in the world the universe began (or, perhaps, how in the universe the world began), this book is for you. Ferris can't answer all your questions, to be sure. But you can learn an awful lot in the process of engaging what we don't know. Also, in addition to this book I would recommend the PBS home video "The Creation Of The Universe" which is hosted by Ferris. It is the best video cosmological documentary I have ever seen (and I have seen quite a few). It, too, is available at Amazon.com

4-0 out of 5 stars The Book of the UNIVERSE
Now there is a plenty of the books of the authors of every possible calibers from various schools and predecessors. All of them are good in own way.

However offered book is laborious work of the author giving to generalize and to inform to us in the form the unique summary of a basis cosmology.

And so it is time to begin to understand with this cosmology. Please, take and read this book. It will be useful both schoolboy, and student, and pensioner.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Book on our Universe
This is the most coherent (and in depth) book on the cosmos I have ever read. I have numerous books on "the universe", gravity, astrophysics, physics, etc, but this book is FAR and AWAY the most lucid thing I have ever read on the topic. Generally I like to skip around to certain sections of interest to me but with this book, the WHOLE THING is incredibly fascinating. I also bought the Audio Version (which he reads himself) and it is very well read. If you want to know the fascinating structure and workings of the Universe you live in, THIS IS THE BOOK. I think it is a shame that most people go through their whole lives not knowing how cool this Universe really is. His discussion of Gravity and "the SHAPE of space" is a perfect example. Just read it and you will find out. Things are not always what they seem. An amazing book!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Book.
The Whole Shebang is a marvelous book that expertly explains the working of the universe in a simple and understandable manner, which almost ever reader will comprehend. Whether you're an amateur cosmologist, or just an average Joe (or Joe-Ann) who wants to learn a little about the universe, this book is for you! Ferris does a wonderful job of explaining all the basics of the universe, in a loose and fluid writing style, without overwhelming the reader, making the book a lighter read then some of its counterparts. Does this sound too much like a commercial? Well, if it does, I'm sorry. But this book is by far the best educational literature I have ever read. ... Read more


26. In Six Days : Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation
by John F. Ashton
list price: $13.99
our price: $11.89
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Asin: 0890513414
Catlog: Book (2001-01-01)
Publisher: Master Books
Sales Rank: 92776
Average Customer Review: 3.03 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Stephen J. Gould, Harvard professor, claims that "professionally trained scientists virtually to a person, understand the factual basis of evolution and don't dispute it."This book refutes that statement with essays from 50 doctorate-holding scientists from around the globe who give sound reasoning and evidence for believing in a literal six-day creation. ... Read more

Reviews (30)

5-0 out of 5 stars My mind was changed
Relish that the previous reviews are strongly conflicting! I find it humorous and a exciting because authentic issues of faith are rarely clearly resolved. Does this book touch on issues of faith? Certainly!, not as a scientific rebuttal to the theory of evolution but as a sketch from different scientific thinkers as to why Chreation, with it's own untestable mysteries, is convincing to them. If I had no doubt that evolution is an impregnable fortress of truth, and were looking to pick a fight, this book would not change me into a Bible-thumping creationist. Fact is, there are thousands of scientists (not just 50) who believe that a creator God is more than nursery rhymes. There are multiple arguments that stack up agaisnt both creation and evolution. Here, 50 scientists, in one chapter apeice, share the arguments that cast evolution in a fog. To think that each chapter is a complete and convincing appology to evolutionists, as several of the reviewers of this book anticipated, seems to miss the point. The point is that thinking people find faith in the Bible to be as relavent as science. (Let hardcore evolutionists shake their heads here--you will not be convinced by faith or reason).

As for me, I have been an old earth, young creation Bible believer; but this book has moved my mind toward a young earth, young creation persuasion. Some of the arguments in the book will hit you, others may not. The beauty of this book is that it's written by 50 authors--all with qualified scientific credentials. Each took one chapter to share a scetch from their personal story of doubt, reason, and faith. If you want to line your quiver with darts to throw, it might produce a few, but you have missed the target. This book is about the experience of those who have balanced reason and faith and can not disqualify either. I recommend this book to evolutionists and creationists to don't know everything yet.

5-0 out of 5 stars Is evolution fact or faith?
An earlier reviewer correctly pointed out that creationists have a starting bias with which they use to interpret all data, but he mistakenly seemed to think that evolutionists are somehow more objective in their approach to science. This is a common picture presented to the general public, but is it true? As a previous reviewer documented, the idea of "objective" science exists only in the mind of young (naive and inexperienced) scientists and laymen.

But don’t simply take my word for it. Professor Richard Lewontin, a geneticist (and self-proclaimed Marxist), is a renowned champion of neo-Darwinism, and certainly one of the world's leaders in evolutionary biology. He recently wrote this very revealing comment. It illustrates the implicit philosophical bias against Genesis creation - regardless of whether or not the facts support it...

So here we have one of the world’s leading evolutionists admitting what the general public was never told - that evolutionists have universally accepted a materialistic interpretation scheme as truth. All evidence stands or falls based upon it’s fit with the dogma of evolution. Any data that does not fit within this hypothetical framework is discarded or explained away...

1-0 out of 5 stars Uselessly biased and inane argumentation
Quoted excerpt from the back cover of this book:

"Science can neither prove nor disprove evolution anymore than it can creation...However, certain factors are present today which are capable of swaying one's beliefs one way or the other."

The object of this book is to obviously induce the scientifically uninitiated into accepting the account of Biblical creationism as true using scientific "evidence" which contradicts the theory of evolution, as an influential source of persuasion.

This book abounds with scientific hypotheses which attempt to discredit evolution yet, once this "evidence" is used to discern the shortcomings of evolutionary theory, these testimonies unscientifically assign these facts as correlating truth-claims regarding the Christian Bible's account of creation.
From the onset Mr. Ashton wants you to accept a fallacious and preconceived dichotomy, one in which you are simply an atheist who believes in evolution, or a Christian who believes in creation. Mr. Ashton fails to note that there may be a variety of alternative explanations (metaphysical or otherwise) derived from such "evidence". This book simply alludes by default a biased interpretation of the evidence, exclusively that of Christianity.
One example of this is biodiversity, which it must be noted that certain religions predating Christianity have made claims of "inextricable oneness" when describing man in relation to the universe.

Another testimonial goes to great length to discount spontaneous generation in support of biogenesis which states that "life *must* come from life." Then proceeds to (fallaciously) presume God's inevitable role in the matter. The problem here is in considering God a life-form.
If you consider God (the entity) a life-form then (via biogenesis), God himself/herself must derive from a previous form of life. (how can this be?) Conversely, if you consider God the fountainhead of life (not a life-form per se) then "God creating life" is in complete contradiction with the biogenesis claim.

Finally, from the dawn of time man has sought to appease some type of God for that which he does not fathom. This book is no different. Science cannot prove how the universe came into existence therefore God must fill the gaps that science has left unexplained. This is simple "God of the gaps" argumentation.

Each testimonial indicate a Christian bias and by assembling this collection the author is disingenuously using science to disclaim any preconceptions held in favor of evolution yet, he expects the uninitiated reader to unscientifically, accept the unsubstantiated preconceptions he holds toward creationism.

In summary: Scientifically it is interesting - Theologically it is useless - Philosophically it is a joke!

2-0 out of 5 stars A less-than-inspiring format for a compelling topic
"In Six Days", for those wishing to understand "young earth" creation theories, provides thought-provoking questions and answers. As with any book that looks at a highly charged issue, it is important to come to it with an open mind. That many reviewers here on both sides of the issue cannot keep from vehemently pointing fingers at each other says nothing about the actual content of "In Six Days", unfortunately, so I hope this review can find some middle ground. Rather than making this review simply another in a line of rabid apologetics for one side or the other, I hope to relate whether the book succeeds in accomplishing what it intends.

To create this book, many Christian scientists (of various disciplines) from around the world were asked "Why do you believe in a literal six-day biblical creation as the origin of life on earth?" The fifty best responses ultimately were included.

Sadly, this format makes "In Six Days" less than useful - on any level. The answers provided resemble testimonies rather than useful scientific analyses. Respondents tended to repeat each other, answer too generally, or (conversely) too technically on a single point. Further compounding the problems of the book, the great majority of the scientists refer to points outside their own discipline. If I were looking for serious answers to important questions about a six-day creation, would I want to read a mechanical engineer's musings on organic chemistry? Probably not. This book would be infinitely more helpful if the question had been posed as "What are five discoveries within your field of expertise that point specifically to a six-day creation?" But as phrased here, the original question automatically leads to unfocused answers.

In truth, only about twenty of the respondents provide compelling arguments. Of those twenty, half spoke about ideas outside their disciplines. That doesn't leave the reader with much unimpeachable "ammunition" to counter evolutionists.

This is not to say that nothing here satisfies. Twenty percent of the respondents had compelling information that either casts doubt on treasured pro-evolution precepts or supports a God-inspired young earth. Unfortunately, for those that have some passing knowledge of the Creation vs. Evolution hysteria, few of those ten scientists had anything new to contribute to the body of work out there already in the pro-creation community. For this reason, it must be assumed that this book is intended for people who have never explored the claims of creationists. Given some of the issues already mentioned, the result is less than stellar.

And this is a shame since there are many excellent books that make strong arguments for the creation viewpoint. Several of the scientists quoted in "In Six Days" refer to these books. My question is then: "Why not skip 'In Six Days' and just read those more scholarly and better-constructed books?" One book, "Darwin's Black Box", was mentioned repeatedly - it's probably a good bet.

If you have some knowledge of the debate, pass on this book. If you know someone who is asking questions and doesn't have a tremendously technical bent, "In Six Days" might work for them in spots. Otherwise, there are increasingly more pro-creation, young earth, and intelligent design books out there that offer the reader a better use of their time.

1-0 out of 5 stars A counter-effective book
This book is the most counter-effective exercise in persuasion that I have met. It appears to provide to people with creationist sympathies the supporting intellectual arguments that they might otherwise lack. In practice, it does the opposite. I admit that I approached the book with evolutionist views but as science provides only probabilistic conclusions and all these merit assault, I was interested to find out what were the best arguments that creationists could assemble. But these! Are these the best the creationists can offer?
There are several arguments that occur many times and all could be demolished even in a review such as this one. I will give one example.
About a quarter of the essayists claim that the second law of thermodynamics prohibits evolution. Dr. Don B. Deyoung states it thus, "It describes unavoidable losses in any process whatsoever which involves transfer of energy. The energy does not disappear but some always becomes unavailable, often as unusable heat. Stated another way, everything deteriorates, breaks down and becomes less ordered with time". This is nearly right but not quite. It states only that the entropy (disorder) of a closed system AS A WHOLE steadily increases. It does not prohibit decreases in entropy (more order) within a closed system provided they are local and temporary. If he and all the other essayists who consistently omit this truth were right, there would be no mountain building, no rain, no tides, no photosynthesis and therefore no life. Agreed that the solar system as a whole (a closed system) is suffering steadily increasing entropy (more disorder) but within it, locally and temporarily, more order is permitted and we are some of it. The denials of this by people with Ph. D. degrees are astonishing or sinister. Take your pick.
There are similar examples relating to the role of chance, the fossil record and dating techniques. If you want to become an evolutionist, read this book. ... Read more


27. The Cambridge Guide to the Solar System
by Kenneth R. Lang
list price: $60.00
our price: $37.80
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Asin: 0521813069
Catlog: Book (2003-09-25)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 277640
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Book Description

The Cambridge Guide to the Solar System provides a comprehensive, funamental, and up-to-date description of the solar system.It is written in a concise, light and uniform style, without being unnecessarily weighted down with specialized materials or the variable writing of multiple authors.It is filled with vital facts and information for astronomers of all types and for anyone with a scientific interest in the Earth, our Moon, all the other planets and their satellites, and related topics such as asteroids, comets, meteorites and meteors. The language, style, ideas and profuse illustrations will attract the general reader as well as professionals.A thorough report for general readers, it includes much compact reference data. Metaphors, similes and analogies will be of immense help to the lay person or non-science student, and they add to the enjoyment of the material.Vignettes containing historical, literary and even artistic material make this book unusual and interesting, and enhance its scientific content. Kenneth Lang is professor of astronomy in the Physics and Astronomy Department at Tufts University.He is the author of several astrophysics books, including The Sun from Space (Springer Verlag, 2000), Astrophysical Formulae: Radiation, Gas Processes, and High Energy Physics (Springer Verlag, 1999), Sun, Earth and Sky (Copernicus Books, 1997), Astrophysical Data: Planets and Stars (Springer Verlag, 1993), and Wanderers in Space: Exploration and Discovery in the Solar System (Cambridge, 1991), ... Read more


28. Venus II: Geology, Geophysics, Atmosphere, and Solar Wind Environment (University of Arizona Space Science Series)
list price: $110.00
our price: $110.00
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Asin: 0816518300
Catlog: Book (1997-11-01)
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
Sales Rank: 579885
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Everything you could possibly want to know.
I've only read a few of the papers, but they are very good.If you know lots of phyics, this book is everything you want to know about Venus and then some.Most papers are using the Magellion data. ... Read more


29. National Geographic Encyclopedia of Space
by Linda K. Glover, Patricia S. Daniels, Andrea Gianopoulos, Jonathan T. Malay
list price: $40.00
our price: $24.00
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Asin: 0792273192
Catlog: Book (2004-11-01)
Publisher: National Geographic
Sales Rank: 3434
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Book Description

The National Geographic Encyclopedia of Space offers clear and concise explanations of the planets; telescopes; manned space flight; satellites; the origin of the universe; the contributions of Nicolaus Copernicus, Edwin Hubble, and Stephen Hawking; and much more. The Encyclopedia of Space answers such questions as How vast is the Milky Way? What makes a satellite stay up? How does deep space affect our daily climate? Arranged in six thematic chapters, the Encyclopedia of Space brings together in one accessible volume the varied aspects of space science: the solar system, deep space exploration (manned and unmanned) and discovery, satellites and orbits, and the commercial, scientific, and military uses of space. Tables, diagrams, maps, and fact boxes provide additional information and value.The encyclopedia is enriched by recently declassified intelligence material and photographs from the U.S. Navy and the National Reconnaissance Office, the latest Hubble images, and essays written by leading professionals in the field, such as Kathryn Sullivan and Sylvia Earle. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who landed on the Moon with Neil Armstrong, will write a foreword to the encyclopedia. ... Read more


30. The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos: Humanity and the New Story
by Brian Swimme
list price: $12.00
our price: $9.60
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Asin: 1570752818
Catlog: Book (1999-06-01)
Publisher: Orbis Books
Sales Rank: 176121
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars DEATH TO CONSUMERISM
Brian Schwimme has an archaic nostalgia. For thousands, even millions, of years, people have united together to marvel at the mystery of the cosmos and contemplate the essence of it all. It was the same macrocosm that each and everyone of the primitive cave dwellers to modern man have directly experienced. But nowadays, we don't do that. We disenchant the world by scientific explanations that view the universe as a machine, to the point where the mathematical explanations of phenomena are more significant than phenomena itself. You might be thinking, no way, the majority of the world is religious, and contemplate such things regularly. He points out that the problem with modern day religious thought is that when we ponder the deep questions of meaning in the universe, we do so in a context fixed in the time when the classical scriptures achieved their written form, rather than worshiping in the context of the universe as we have come to know it over the recent centuries. Such knowledge is restricted to "science" which is at odds with religion. It shouldn't be like this. The Scientific Revolution was an age of this separation. The current cosmology calls for an age of integration. I am all for this goal of striving for a new consciousness. Within our Newtonian minds, we've built such tiny worlds like this, which resulting from the machine view of a dead universe, we apotheosize and deify consumerism. This book doesn't bicker about God or anything that people don't want to hear, it's just saying, "Wake up from this man made world, cast back the veil from your eyes, be at one with this LIVING fecund universe!" You will truly be LIVING in the world once you appreciate the heart of the cosmos, which all though is around 15 billion light years away, is also every where at once. There is no restriction to science. The new cosmology is what has mystified the men of all ages, what they spoke of as the Tao, or the Logos - the emanating source of all creation.

5-0 out of 5 stars A much needed vacation from humanities molded reality
I personally found this book both extremely inspiring and enjoyable to read. Swimme's method of unveiling the truth about advertisments and consumerism and how they shape our veiw of reality is ingenious. At the same time, the book takes you on a scientific journey of the universe that incorporates feelings of mystical awe and wonder that many books fail to acomplish. I have read everything from Fred Wolfe to Brian Greene. However, Swimme envokes a deeper feeling of appreciation for science, the workings of our universe, and humanity in general. All his books, especially this one, have something new to say and add a human touch to science that is long overdue. This is definitely not your run-of-the-mill new age book and I recommend it to anyone who is passionate about preservation of the environment or just plain curious about new ideas concerning reality and the world we live in.

3-0 out of 5 stars A decent but not outstanding book by Brian
This book falls somewhere between the cerebral 'Universe Story' and the poetic 'The Universe is a Green Dragon'. Brian is struggling to bring the beauty and feeling of the universe into perspective with the consumerism which rules the day. If you had to pick a single book by Swimme, it would be 'The Universe is a Green Dragon' ... Read more


31. A Walk Through the Southern Sky: A Guide to Stars and Constellations and Their Legends
by Milton D. Heifetz, Wil Tirion
list price: $17.18
our price: $15.99
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Asin: 0521665140
Catlog: Book (2000-01-15)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 448472
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Make each night a meaningful stargazing experience with A Walk Through the Southern Sky. This ultimate guide to the heavens takes the guesswork out of identifying constellations and fosters appreciation of their beauty and significance. All you need are your eyes; this trusty volume takes care of the rest. This volume brings to stargazers in the Southern hemisphere the same insightful coverage and accessibility that Heifetz and Tirion's previous volume--A Walk Through the Heavens--did for those up North.Its unique, simplified maps not only make constellations easy to find but also help locate the stars within them. Without having to use a telescope or other astronomical equipment, readers can gauge the sizes and separations between constellations, and easily move from one to the other, by simply following the book's clear instructions. In addition, the ancient myths and legends surrounding the constellations, are retold, providing a rich historical prespective. Beautifully illustrated by Wil Tirion, this is an ideal introduction to launch the novice astronomer on a journey across the starlit skies. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Learning the Southern Sky
After deciding to go into the Observational Astronomy hobby, I have been denying experts' advise for months. Although being almost a rookie, "start with a pair of binoculars", "plan your session ahead" and so on seemed trivial to me. This book helps the reader to solve which is probably the very first lesson to begin with: "learn the sky". In addition to that, it is dedicated to the Southern Hemisphere, trascendental for those who live "below" the equator. "A walk through the Southern Sky" easily and friendly explains how to reach minor constellations starting at the major ones. From Orion and Canis Major, precise highways are traced to reach Canis Minor, Cancer, Lepus and so on. From Crux and Centauri, to Vela and so on. I had started with a friend's computerized scope, and always thought that "starhopping" would be imposible for me under light-polluted skies. Probably one of the major goals of the authors is having proved me wrong. Again, if I could, anybody can! ... Read more


32. Cosmological Physics (Cambridge Astrophysics S.)
by John A. Peacock
list price: $55.00
our price: $42.90
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Asin: 0521422701
Catlog: Book (1998-12-28)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 133192
Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This textbook provides advanced undergraduate and graduate students with a complete introduction to modern cosmology. It successfully bridges the gap between undergraduate and advanced graduate texts by discussing topics of current research, starting from first principles. Throughout this authoritative volume, emphasis is given to the simplest, most intuitive explanation for key equations used by researchers. The first third of the book carefully develops the necessary background in general relativity and quantum fields. The rest of the book then provides self-contained accounts of all the key topics in contemporary cosmology, including inflation, topological defects, gravitational lensing, galaxy formation, large-scale structure and the distance scale. To aid understanding, the book is well illustrated with helpful figures and includes outline solutions to more than ninety problems. All necessary astronomical jargon is clearly explained, ensuring the book is self-contained for any student with undergraduate physics. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

3-0 out of 5 stars Borrow it first .
I got this book on short term inter-library loan hoping to further my knowledge of inflationary cosmology. I don't think that this is a suitable volume from which to begin study of this topic unless you have a supervisor on hand for occasional help.The chapter on inflation for example summarises standard results. I found derivations of these not to be explained fully enough for a first encounter. The derivation of the basic equations of motion for the scalar field cosmologies from the Lagrangian is an example.The slow -roll parameters and their relationship to the Friedmann equations are summarised - (a much fuller discussion of these is given in Scott Watson's e -book - see below).This sometimes terse approach can make the book heavy going for people like me working on their own for 'fun'.I did enjoy the chapter though as I had already studied a lot of the material using John Norbury's e-book 'General Relativity'(pdf and html available -contains quite a few errors but inflation is very clearly explained),Scott Watson's (pdf/html)'Exposition on inflationary cosmology'and numerous preprints from the e-archives. With mastery of this material under my belt I therefore found Peacock's material on this topic readable and enjoyable although I did not learn anything new from it. The problems (and solution hints) were good.I enjoyed the chapters on the rudiments of GR (being already very familiar with this albeit from long ago)but again the treatment is brief and constitutes a review rather than a place to start learning GR from.
Dipping into the chapters of material new to me, I could see little hope of personal progress here using this book as a starting point.I realise however that the book covers a huge amount of varied material much of which has been developed in the last twenty years and the book needs to be kept to a sensible size.My perspective is that of someone dabbling independently in their sparetime twenty years after leaving university. I daresay a beginning PhD student might view it in a different light.

5-0 out of 5 stars Cosmology resources
Great book. Unlike many other cosmology books it is very up to date. Should be used with another book, such as Rowan-Robinson or Kolb and Turner for class atmosphere. It is a little lacking in examples, while the presentation is very good. This book is for the undergraduate senior or the graduate student.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book.
Very lucid and up-to-date description of cosmology and relativity, with the right balance of qualitative discussion, presentation of the important observations, and mathematical formalism.

1-0 out of 5 stars Possibly the worst book that I own
This book is possibly the worst book that I own. I found it totally incomprehensible. The other reviewer must have only flipped through the book and not attempted to read it. I admit that the book looks good when flipping through it, but don't be decieved.

This book was used in a cosmology class that I took, but was abandoned after 1 week because it was so bad.

Try to find another book!

5-0 out of 5 stars This is the best book on the subject
This is a very comprehensive book, clearly written, and very up-to-date, which is very important in this fast moving field. As a researcher, I find it a very useful reference work. ... Read more


33. Scientific Creationism
by Henry M. Morris
list price: $10.95
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Asin: 0890510032
Catlog: Book (1974-10-01)
Publisher: Master Books
Sales Rank: 154703
Average Customer Review: 3.42 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (36)

2-0 out of 5 stars A bit over the deep end.
I am a Christian and believe that God created the world, however I find it very hard to believe that He did it in the method descibed in this book. I used to hold to this version of creation also but recently I started reading other books and magazine articles and began to realize the shallowness of Morris' evidence. First I would like to say that "evolutionists" are NOT stupid. Evolution of non-living things is certainly possible if by no other means then chance but I don't believe that living things evolved significantly. Second, evolution and the age of the earth are two entirely different things. I don't see any real evidence that the earth has been around for only a few thousand years. Morris' views on the flood are also out of wack. It gets to the point where laws of nature would have to be broken in able for his theory to work. I do not know for sure how creation happened. I would like to dig into this more myself, but if you want a book that makes more sense and is probably closer to the truth read a Hugh Ross book.

3-0 out of 5 stars Creationism's best foot forward is flat
*Scientific Creationism* is the Institute for Creation Research's summa against evolution. I gave the book three stars because it is well written, and does an outstanding job of summarizing the views of several major creationists, most notably Henry Morris (who is responsible for most of the written text) and Duane Gish. I can't in good conscience give it any more stars than that due to the content of the book itself, which is tremendously problematic.

Start with the goal of the book. The book is supposed to be used as a resource for balanced teaching of evolution and creation. However, the whole book is devoted to criticizing evolution. Not exactly a presentation of "balanced treatment". Maybe the ICR thinks that evolution is already well enough understood by science teachers. However, unless they are deliberately misrepresenting evolutionary theory (which I find it very hard to rule out), their own presentation of evolution belies this claim. Similarly, some recent studies have revealed that evolution is *not* well understood, not even by those who teach it to high school students. One may also take issue with the general approach of the book--attempting to refute evolution, even if successful, does nothing to bolster creationism. This work does not even *attempt* to show how creationism explains the relevant data--it merely asserts that it predicts it. For all this book tells us, evolution and creationism might *both* be lousy. Don't bother looking for it in their other works either; I've tried, and come up with a big goose egg for my troubles.

Second, the title. Unfortunately, on their *own* standards, creationism is *not* scientific. Creatonists and other critics of evolution (like Philip Johnson) continually assert Popper's view that the defining feature of science is empirical, and primarily experimental, falsification. Yet the ICR explicitly claims that *neither* evolution *nor* creation is testable in this way. So how can they assert that evolution is not scientific, but creationism is? The very title of the book reveals a dishonest double-standard.

Third, why has this book never been updated? About 30 years have passed since this book was first written, and an awful lot has happened in biology since then, most notably the new developments in population genetics and molecular biology that provide new evidence for evolution. Yet the ICR has chosen not to respond to these new developments, either as a body or as individual members. They continue to repeat the same refrain, like an old record sadly skipping over and over.

Speaking of which, another way in which the ICR has refused to change with the evidence is in their continued adherence to Popper's view of *the* scientific method, as taught to all of us in jr. high. Unfortunately, those doing work in philosophy of science have known for 4 decades now (even before this book was written) that Popper's view faces serious theoretical, applicational and historical difficulties. So why do we still see them proclaiming Popper unabashedly? (Johnson, in many ways a much better critic of evolution than the ICR, is similarly wedded to a naive Popperian view of science.)

I think the answer to this lies in the overall strategy of he ICR: say whatever you have to to discredit evolution, regardless of whether it's true. New developments in our understanding of science make their contention that evolution is not scientific problematic, so stick with Popper come hell or high water (so to speak). "Science" is a laudatory term, so call your view "scientific" even if by your own standards it isn't. Say that biologists haven't given you transitional forms, and when they do, deny that they're transitional. (Note for example the ICR's insistence that since the Archaeopteryx had feathers and flew, it *must* be a bird, no matter what anyone says.) Unfortunately, this tactic is displayed in abundance in this book, in every permutation possible--and maybe even some that aren't.

While *Scientific Creationism* is indeed well-written and accurately reflects the overall positions and arguments of the ICR members, it is filled with so many half-truths, vagaries and double-standards that it singlehandedly demonstrates the old maxim that "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing". If this book is the ICR's best foot forward, creationism is liable to trip over its own flat feet and fall on its face.

5-0 out of 5 stars Read the book.....
Wow...can't believe these negative reviews. These folks have obvious bias toward a lie called evolution. One critic claims you must have college level biology to understand evolution. I have college level biology, physics, chemistry, organic chemistry, calculus, etc. and creationism is truth to me. As a former atheist, I sought to disprove God. I only proved his existence (IMO). There is so much overwhelming evidence that one could write a book. Check out some sites such as www.answersingenesis.org or www.drdino.com. THere are probably better sources. I have some excellent books at home, but don't recall the titles. A super video which gives archaeological proof of the Exodus is called The Exodus Revealed. It should be available here or Ebay. Divers have found horse bones, hooves, human bones, chariot wheels, etc. in a stretch of the Gulf of Aquaba (one arm of Red Sea). Too much other info in video to cover (photos of probable real Mt.Sinai (with black burned top) and split rock of Horeb, altar, and so much more). Note too that the word dinosaur was not coined until 1841. Prior to this, they were called dragons. Where do you think the legends came from? Dr.Hovind (www.drdino.com) has more info on this (including past legends of dinosaurs and info about rare modern sightings). Marco Polo stated that the emperor of China raised "dragons" to pull chariots in parades. I read recently about a pterodactyl skull that was discovered with soft tissue still present inside the skull.

I agree with a previous reviewer. If you are blinded to the truth, it is because God has chosen to blind you in your arrogance. I was once disobedient and arrogant. He is slowly opening my eyes and teaching me Truth. Pray to God for conviction and that the Holy Spirit will do a work in you. I have witnessed supernatural things in the last few years that I can't explain from a scientific point of view. There is something spiritual or "inter-dimensional" out there. I feel that this "spiritual" world will soon collide with our physical world. I would not want to be on God's bad side when this occurs. There is a verse and I paraphrase "Only a fool says in his heart There is no God".

5-0 out of 5 stars Please Read the book before you review...
I am a biology major and I found this book to be packed with helpful and relevant information. I was shocked at the lack of quality of these negative reviews I've read. The assumption that all scientists believe in evolution simply isn't the truth anymore. Morris shows multiple hinderances to evolution, including the undeniable fact that mutations in DNA are not only rare, they are often fatal, which is why cells have methods to correct mutations.

Enough of the vicious bickering about creationists being crazy religious freaks. Let's quit calling names and actually look at evidence. Such immature reviews should be removed from public view.

5-0 out of 5 stars Read Fully Before You Judge!
This is an excellent presentation of how science supports faith in God as Creator rather than faith in chance or Darwinian evolution for the origin of life and the universe. There are natural limits to biological change in living things and unless nature has the ability to perform genetic engineering those limits will continue to remain. One cannot explain the origin of a T.V. set by the T.V. set itself. So, too, one cannot explain the origin of the universe by the universe itself. An intelligent power outside of the universe must have been responsible for its origin. Natural laws can explain how the order in life and the universe operate and function but those same laws left to themselves cannot explain the origin of life and the universe. Mere undirected laws of physics cannot explain the origin of the universe anymore than undirected laws of physics can explain the origin of a T.V. set. For those who may be interested I also have a book out on the subject. The title of my book is "Origins?" and the ISBN is 1579215769. The book is available here on amazon.com. ... Read more


34. The Phenomenon of Man
by De Chardin Pier Teilhard
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
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Asin: 006090495X
Catlog: Book (1976-01-24)
Publisher: Perennial
Sales Rank: 41291
Average Customer Review: 3.06 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Pierre Teilhard De Chardin was one of the most distinguished thinkers and scientists of our time. He fits into no familiar category for he was at once a biologist and a paleontologist of world renown, and also a Jesuit priest. He applied his whole life, his tremendous intellect and his great spiritual faith to building a philosophy that would reconcile Christian theology with the scientific theory of evolution, to relate the facts of religious experience to those of natural science.

The Phenomenon of Man, the first of his writings to appear in America, Pierre Teilhard's most important book and contains the quintessence of his thought. When published in France it was the best-selling nonfiction book of the year. ... Read more

Reviews (17)

5-0 out of 5 stars Tellhard de Chardin is a must read for those in conflict.
I am not going to argue points as the author can do that for him self. I will say, many people surpassingly arrive at the same conclusions independently of this work. The few negative reviews are because of a disagreements not that this book is negative in any way. Even with all of today's scientific discoveries the truth in his extrapolations still hold up. However I would listen to Dinosaur in a Haystack : Reflections in Natural History [UNABRIDGED] ISBN: 0787109150. Just put the number in the search engine and press "GO!" before reading Book 2, chapter 2, section 3 "THE TREE OF LIFE".

This is a five star book no matter what side of the argument you are on. Listen to Teilhard de Chardin's words coming from Oskar Werner as Fr. David Telemond in "Shoes of the Fisherman (1968)" ASIN: B00003OSTW

4-0 out of 5 stars Profound, Complex and Farsighted
This is the toughest book I have ever read.

Teilhard de Chardin starts with the Universe as primal gas and traces the evolution of "matter and consciousness" to the present day. He charts this development as a vector leading to higher consciousness. Man is only one more stepping stone along this path. What is next? He predicts the development of a "noosphere" existing between the biosphere (the thin, wet, green and flesh layer on the lithosphere) and the atmosphere.

When I read this book, 20 years ago, I thought the noosphere was the development of a collective consciousness and a precursor of mental telepathy. I now believe that the internet and widespread use of wireless communications already fulfills his prophecy.

Despite being a Jesuit (or perhaps because of it), Teilhard de Chardin develops his analysis without relying on the concept of God.

Brilliant and subtle. Not for the faint of heart or the speed reader.

2-0 out of 5 stars Muddled Synthesis
Pierre Teilhard De Chardin was a Jesuit scientist, a brilliant paleontologist and evolutionist who attempted throughtout his life to reconcile Catholic belief with scientific knowledge. It was necessary for him to invent a new vocabulary in order to accomplish this. The trouble is that this vocabulary is rooted in mysticism and faux scientific terminology.

He valiantly tries to show the long march from unicellular creatures to modern human. This is much more plausible than his introduction of a spiritual "zone" through which this evolution is strained. In other words, evolutionary change with a hidden guiding hand. Parts of it were beautiful and I agree with the author that man is a unique phenomenon on this planet. But how one reconciles a physical mechanism with a spiritual theology is a task too great even for a great man.

How is Jesus as God reconciled with ape-man or pre-man? Chardin suggests that religion is a natural outgrowth of being human and he may be right. But it should be noted that the spiritual side of man has evolved along with the physical changes. All we can do is take a "snapshot" of where we are, discover who we were and prepare for who we will become.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Insight
I stumbled across this site and was captured to read the reviews about Teilhard's book. I read this book 20+ years ago and had relegated it to my archives but these reviews have rekindled the fire.

This book was one of the most eye opening books I have ever read. I have been an observer of Pierre's vision of global "confluent synthesis" since, and I might add, have been impressed as to how his concept has developed.

Another writer commented that de Chardin's mysterious description of the "global mind" has since materialised into the internet (?). That is the exact same thought I had when I witnessed its emergence. Anywhere on the globe now, people can tap into this "mind" and access whatever data is required to facilitate their "evolution" to greater understanding. Hence, the transference of "evolution" to the inner man. It is having a greater impact on all phases of life, even now 2002. What will this thought process bring mankind in 5 years, 10, 20 and beyond?

It is synthesizing all thoughts into one, using the process of elimination. This is done through the "confluent" contributions of the many. People come to places, such as this site, interject their opinions, read others and eventually a dominant concensus arises which abandons all others. Is this not natural selection?

I really liked this book and read 4-5 others by the author. Those who scorn his writings simply see the world from a different viewpoint, but that does not dissipate its development.

1-0 out of 5 stars Bring your oxometer, and try to keep a straight face...
Derek Bickerton, in "Language and Species," gives us an example of language creating concepts: a friend declares that, to evaluate a certain speech, he would really need his "oxometer." What's that? Oh, "it measures the percentage of BS in things." Hmm, could be a useful tool -- but it doesn't exist.

If there were such a thing as an "oxometer," it would register very nearly 100 percent when presented with this absurd book.

Why do I call it absurd? Well, take a look at this statement, which Father Teilhard considered so important that it deserved a whole paragraph to itself:

"In the last analysis the best guarantee that a thing should happen is that it appears to us as vitally necessary."

So -- using our powers of analytical thinking -- we can reduce this sentence to the proposition that we will get whatever we really need. Which is nonsense, as every failed lottery contestant and starving infant can assure you.

This is nothing like scientific thinking, of course. So how did this book ever get a reputation as a scientific book?

Well, part of it is "jumping on the bandwagon." As Brian Silver brilliantly shows in "The Ascent of Science," every major scientific discovery has been pounced on by the ignorant and mistakenly applied to everything under the sun. Newton's Laws of Motion were applied to politics, medicine, and human behavior. David Hume thought he saw "inertia" in thought! ("Every thought will continue thinking in the same direction at a constant speed unless acted on by some force?")

Similarly, the law of universal gravitation was dragged into politics, biology, and chemistry. And the same fate lurked for Einstein and Darwin, naturally.

Charles, meet Father Teilhard! The fundamental process or motion in the universe is evolution, and evolution is "a general condition to which all theories, all hypotheses, all systems must bow..." Now, there is the biggest bandwagon-jump I have ever seen!

All theories must bow to the general law of evolution? Really? How about Newton's Laws of Motion? They haven't evolved a bit during the history of the universe. How about rocks? They haven't evolved and never will.

Evolution is a discovery about life and DNA. It is not applicable outside the realm of biology. Get a grip, folks. "The universe" is not "evolving." Life is evolving. Computers are not "evolving" -- unless you use language loosely. Evolution is a process governing living organisms only.

There is much more and much worse in this awful book. As Brian Silver remarked, "Here we are in the land of unprovable statements, abuse of language, and everything that has given mysticism a bad name." Just like a TV psychic babbling of "focusing cosmic energy," Father Teilhard takes strictly defined terms such as "energy," uses them in the loosest metaphorical way, and then pretends that his "energy" corresponds to the "energy" found in a scientific text.

As Peter Medawar brilliantly remarked, this sort of book finds a huge audience among people who have been educated far beyond their capacity to undertake analytical thought. ... Read more


35. Stephen Hawking's Universe: The Cosmos Explained
by David Filkin, Stephen Hawking
list price: $22.00
our price: $14.96
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Asin: 0465081983
Catlog: Book (1998-10-01)
Publisher: Basic Books
Sales Rank: 246674
Average Customer Review: 3.95 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (20)

3-0 out of 5 stars A Brief Version of "A Brief History"
The title "Stephen Hawking's Universe" may give you the wrong impression about this book, because one would naturally associate Stephen Hawking with more in-depth scientific theories. However, this book is in fact no more than an introduction to the histories and discoveries of our universe. That is, it is more of a "tell-tale" than an explanation type of book, and should not be compared with books like "A Brief History of Time" (by Stephen Hawking himself).

In terms of presentation, this book does a great job in showing us the discoveries made by various scientists of the past and present in a fairly logical order. The beautiful illustrations used also contribute in helping the readers to understand and to maintain interest in the contents. Nevertheless, at times the author does seem to lose focus on the topics, and they become slightly more difficult to follow. Quite often you have to read on a couple of pages (or even chapters) before you are taken back on track.

To summarise, the book provides a clear outline of human's knowledge of the universe in a very graphical manner, and would be suited to those new to such concepts. However, if you are expecting explanation of greater depths, then you will probably be disappointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best book describing the best cosmological principles
Stephen Hawking's universe is one of the very few books of its kind. It describes the complex and beautiful picture of our cosmos as presented by the most famous living scientist of the world. This book will prove helpful and informative for all those who are concerned with the universe and also with Professor Hawking.
Stephen Hawking's universe is such a book which tends to describe a difficult subject with simplicity and ace. Thus any one out there who is intrested in cosmology and is waiting for a new arrival the please do have a look at this one.

1-0 out of 5 stars Beware! You will be dumber after reading this!
I've always enjoyed Stephen Hawking's writings, as in them he clearly explains things without condescendingly simplifying them, mixes humor with science, and conveys the awe and thrill of scientific discovery. However, once I got past the forward of this book (the only part written my Hawking), I could see that this book was a complete failure. I should have known when someone got me the book; Filkin is a total non-scientist and I now know is scientifically illiterite.

I was first confronted with horrid and sometimes malicious (or at least maddeningly stupid) terminology errors. For example, throughout the book, a brown dwarf is said to be a cooled-down white dwarf. WRONG! A brown dwarf is a starlike object too small to start thermonuclear fusion, so it produces heat and light by contracting; this is the definition according to the International Astronomical Union, the body which defines all astronomical, astrophysical, and cosmological terminology. This is just one of many such errors.
The terminology I had the biggest problem with was the wrongful (indeed, gratuitous) use of the word "creationism." It is relatively apparent that Filkin means the idea that the universe was created at some time, but it is still the wrong word. Either it was placed in there by Filkin (I think unlikely) or the publishers (more likely) to cave to the 45% of this backwards country which seriously believes creationism (in the sense of what the word really means), or (maybe a little more likely)used without thinking. This leads to my next big problem with the book.

Rather than sticking to the science, or at least pointing out how science sharply contrasts with "faith," Filkin spends a large amount of time talking about how science and religion (specifically Christianity) go hand-in-hand. He even makes up malicious falsities, frequently claiming that science at least partially supports Christianity (actually, he said it supporst "creationism"), and that important discoveries were held up by the dogma of "atheist scientists." One particularly despicable example is his claim that after Hubble discovered the Hubble flow, its reality and logical conclusions were denied and held back by "atheist scientists," being unwilling to accept the idea that the universe began (and hence doesn't violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics). Nothing could be further from the truth! The Hubble flow was looked upon very skeptically for over a decade because the original measurements put the age of the universe as less than the then-known age of the Earth.

Lastly, there are the contradictory statements. Filkin often makes statements contrary to the 'evidence' he supports it with, if there is any. One example is as follows: "churchgoing" scientist were shunned and forced to hide their beliefs from the 18th to the 20th centuries because (a) they believed in a moment of creation despite the official church policy that the universe was infinite, (b) the "atheist scientists" believed, like Newton, that the universe was infinite, and (c) these two beliefs (the church's and the atheist concepts) are different. If you were paying attention, you'd know these beliefs are NOT different, and hence not in conflict.

I put the book down after a few chapters of being frustrated not learning anything, frequently needing to correct Filkin, and seeing a creationist-propagandist's dream come true (regardless of what Filkin meant, I've seen quotes from this book paraded around by creationists). Finally, I would like to point out my disgust with Hawking for having a book like this sold with his stamp of approval.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous book
This book starts with Ptolemy, proceeds to Galileo and eventually to Einstein and Planck. Any one who has ever been interested in science will love this book.

2-0 out of 5 stars A grave disappointment
As a fan of Stephen Hawking, I was anxious to read this work - looking forward once again to his humorous and "banally-esoteric" approach to science. But I was gravely disappointed. My own fault really, for not reading the editorials, the reviews... or even the jacket!

If I'd only glanced at the bottom of the jacket I would have known that Hawking (whose photo and name are the most dominant features on the cover) had only written the forward to this book, and nothing else. Go figure.

But in spite of that, I began to eat from it greedily, expecting that it would at least resemble the familiar and palatable taste of a Hawking work. I was wrong of course. So then I felt sort of cheated. I guess I resent being hoodwinked. But then maybe I'm just too sensitive.

Apparently, David Filkin's approach to literary science is to be condescendingly simple. Which is okay if you promote it that way. But if you fire your intentions from the ramparts of Stephen Hawking's identity, I think it'd be best to run somewhat parallel to his reader's level of awareness, and allow us the dignity of licking the wounds of our own self-esteems as they occur.

The book attempts to be a chronological outline of scientific discovery. At times though, it becomes almost predictable - and as a result, boring. At other times, it wanders (Hawking wanders too, but he does so for good reasons, and usually has me laughing before he's back on track). Further moments are occupied with repetition, contradiction and redundancies - not to mention a maddening penchant for patting my head, and saying, "I know you didn't understand that, so here's a simpler explanation".

I had the nagging feeling that Filkin was being careful not to overburden the reader with science. Or at least the kind of science that requires explaining. Sure, I'm not a whiz at chemistry, and I flunked calculus twice, but at least give me a chance to feel stupid where I fully expect to. Don't tread softly on me if you think I won't understand it, especially if you're representing Stephen Hawking for Pete's sake!

Don't get me wrong - I am not a Stephen Hawking fanatic with a get-even agenda (I've had my moments with portions of Hawking's work a time or two also). My exasperation is purely clinical - I expect to get what I pay for. Or at least what I see on the cover.

Not recommended ... Read more


36. When Science Meets Religion
by Ian G. Barbour
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
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Asin: 006060381X
Catlog: Book (2000-06-01)
Publisher: HarperSanFrancisco
Sales Rank: 48691
Average Customer Review: 3.47 out of 5 stars
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We're closing in on the 150th anniversary of Darwin's Originof Species, but clearly not closing in on any resolution of thedebates that the book stirred up between science and religion. In thisslim volume, physicist and theologian Ian Barbour summarizes his owndecades-long accumulation of knowledge in these two arenas. Writingwith clarity and a scientist's eye for organization, Barbour takes onthe scientific and theological significance of the big questions: thebig bang, quantum physics, Darwin and Genesis, human nature (thequestion of determinism), and the relationship between a free God and alaw-bound universe. In each chapter, Barbour recognizes four possibleways of responding to the dilemmas posed by these topics:conflict, represented by Biblical literalists and atheists, bothof whom agree that a person cannot believe in both God and evolution;independence, which asserts that "science and religion arestrangers who can coexist as long as they keep a safe distance fromeach other"; dialogue, which invites a conversation between thetwo fields; and integration, which moves beyond dialogue toexplore ways in which the two fields can inform each other. Barbournotes that his own sympathies lie with dialogue and integration.

Barbour won the 1999 Templeton Prize for his role in advancing thestudy of science and religion. "No contemporary has made a moreoriginal, deep, and lasting contribution toward the needed integrationof scientific and religious knowledge and values," John Cobb haswritten of Barbour. This book is perhaps the best entry point intoBarbour's work. --Doug Thorpe ... Read more

Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars A whirlwind tour of Ian Barbour's thought
To my mind, Ian Barbour writes more clearly about the relationship between Christianity and science than any other published author I'm acquainted with. He is fully aware that Christianity is not the only path to God and salvation, but he is most comfortable talking within the framework of his own Christian background, so this book is really about the relationship between Christianity and science, not religion in general and science. But that is okay, because he allows that other religious traditions can also be paths to God. It's just that to give the book more focus and relevance to its English-speaking audience, he discusses the Christian encounter with science. Barbour presents a remarkably well thought out survey of this topic, always making it clear where he personally stands on the issues, and why.

Barbour treats his subject matter in two-dimensional matrix format, with one axis portraying the degrees of cooperation between science and religion and the other axis the various branches of science. Barbour identifies four fundamental ways in which his topic is treated by interested parties. These are Conflict, Independence, Dialog, and Integration. He then outlines the major positions in each of these categories across the major branches of science: astronomy, particle physics, evolution by natural selection, neuroscience, and finally the natural world in general (as described by science).

Biblical literalists and scientific materialists are in irreconcilable conflict on the issues of science and religion. Barbour thinks we can do much better than that, and makes quick work of both sides of the issues dealt with at the Conflict level. Neither is Barbour much impressed by the next level, Independence. In virtually every one of his analyses, treating religion and science as if they are independent categories of being that do not bear on each other is seen to be intellectually, spiritually, and scientifically bankrupt.

Barbour perks up when he comes to discussing the ideas of scientists and Christians who are interested in constructive dialog and even better, integration. Dialog and integration blend into each other, as Barbour repeatedly shows. When both sides have open minds and are not dogmatic about their religious beliefs, it is apparently not that difficult to find many promising possibilities for integration. If the basis of religion is real (the experience of the divine), then it should not be surprising at all if the Ground of Being turns out to be thoroughly saturated and mixed up in the universe revealed by science. So why shouldn't it be a fertile area for thought that merits careful consideration?

Barbour seems to place himself close to the process theologians, who believe that there is awareness at all levels of organized complexity, and that there is a freedom inherent in this complexity that is outside of the powers of God to interfere with. The one theme however that kept coming up (because of the interference of classical Christian beliefs about the omnipotence of God) was how God was only lacking omnipotence because he voluntarily relinquishes it for the sake of freedom in the world. Process theologians seem to want to hold onto the ultimate omnipotence of God over matter. He could instantly rub it out if he decided he didn't like it anymore.

I personally would take one step further and say that God is inherently unable to control "brute matter" and it is not simply a matter of voluntary relinquishment of power. God can only influence "top down," by acting as a lure to conscious creatures. God is powerless against unconscious matter because of the very way he creates: in creating the fundamental particles, which have the lowest possible awareness of any wholeness regardless of complexity, he is by necessity giving up control over them, taking the risk that because they are ultimately from God himself they have within themselves the power to self-assemble universes and worlds such as the incredibly interesting one we live in. Then when self-conscious creatures such as human beings finally evolve, for the first time God has the possibility of self-consciously taking over the direction of evolution, through US, self-conscious, technological creatures.

But that is a different book than the one Barbour writes. The one he writes is a whirlwind tour through his own thought and powerful ways of looking at the problems of science vs. religion. Barbour's book covers an incredible amount of material in 180, short pages. If this book takes your breath away and leaves you with the feeling that there is a lot more of extreme interest to this subject than Barbour allows himself in this little primer, fear not. Barbour provides much more satisfying treatments of his thought in books like "Religion and Science, Historical and Contemporary Issues" and "Ethics in an Age of Technology." If after reading this book, you feel teased if not cheated, those two books will deliver the richness and depth that "When Science Meets Religion" by its very design, cannot provide.

4-0 out of 5 stars Process this . . .
When Science Meets Religion is the winner of the Templeton Prize for advancing religious understanding. As a humanist, this topic is always of interest to me, and I found Barbour's view on process theology most interesting. The typology of the book was such that four "topics" were discussed in each chapter with respect to the "view" being discussed: Conflict, Independence, Dialogue, and Integration. So, for instance Astronomy and Creation are "analyzed" from those four points, as are the other major sticking points between science and religion.

Barbour seems to treat each position with respect and objectivity and clearly states his own position so that the reader is not required to "guess" where he is coming from in his own thinking. For example, in chapter five (Genet6ics, Neuroscience, and Human Nature) Barbour states clearly the "I will defend an integral view of the person as a psychosomatic unity, which I believe is closer to both the biblical view and the evidence from contemporary science." And so it goes through all the major topics of the book. And, in the next to the last paragraph, we have this conclusion: "Finally, I find the concepts of process philosophy particularly helpful, but I am aware that a single coherent set of philosophical categories may not do justice to the rich diversity of human experience."

In the end, Barbour has not convinced me to leave off my Humanist views, but he has indeed given me the framework I need to understand the need for others to use a religious model to express their sense of unity with all the Cosmos. As he so eloquently explains, all models are limited and partial, and none gives a complete or adequate picture of reality. So it is just a matter of where you wish to put your faith when it comes to understanding your own place in that infinity. One can put faith in science eventually giving us answers to the major questions we have or one can put faith in religion explaining the mysteries. Whichever system one chooses, one must keep in mind that no one model fulfills all needs or answers all questions.

From the Foreword:
"Quantum Physics: A Challenge to Our Assumptions about Reality?
Classical physics was deterministic and reductionistic in assuming that the behavior of all objects could be exactly predicted from accurate knowledge of their smallest components. Quantum physics, by contrast, acknowledges an inherent uncertainty in the prediction of events at the atomic and subatomic levels. It is also holistic in showing that the behavior of larger wholes is not simply the sum of the behavior of their parts, but involves distinctive system laws. More over, the quantum world can never be known as it is in itself, but only as it interacts with the observer in a particular experimental system. Quantum physics thus suggests the openness of the future, the inter connectedness of events, and the limitations of human knowledge. Some theistic interpreters propose that God determines the indeterminacies left open by the laws of quantum physics. Advocates of Eastern mysticism say that quantum holism supports their belief in the fundamental unity of all things. The new physics has led scientists, philosophers, and theologians to exciting discussions about time, causality, and the nature of reality."

2-0 out of 5 stars Is there a physicist in the house?
Plain and simple. There is some thought-provoking points made in this book. But there are some difficulties for the average reader to comprehend.

4-0 out of 5 stars When science meets religion
Barbour is known for his expertise involving the connection between science/religion. As a student of both science and theology I highly recommend this text. The only flaw in this treatise is the material covered is limited. For a more complete text I suggest Barbour's " Science and Religion: Historical and contemporary issues."

5-0 out of 5 stars The Long Awaited Meeting Has Been Finally Conducted!
This book is simply one of the best (if not the best) books that address this controversial issue: Science and Religion. I had to summarize the whole book (each chapter) for my religious studies class. It was like an amazing fantastic adventure that the author takes you through when you read this one-of-a-kind book.

The fourfold typology that the author has used is amazingly adequate to present any highly controversial issue, and lets you explore and master most (if not all) different views and positions of different scientists, scholars, experts, and theologians.

Any serious researcher or student MUST use this book as one of his MAIN tools of research and study. But if you just need a book for enjoyment, then this is it. It's a nice book to read in conjunction with any of Stephen Hawking's books, especially the brand new one: The Universe In A Nutshell.

Highly Recommended. A Must Read! ... Read more


37. Principles of Physical Cosmology
by Phillip James Edwin Peebles
list price: $47.50
our price: $47.50
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Asin: 0691019339
Catlog: Book (1993-04-19)
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Sales Rank: 50245
Average Customer Review: 2 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

During the last twenty years, dramatic improvements in methods of observing astrophysical phenomena from the ground and in space have added to our knowledge of what the universe is like now and what it was like in the past, going back to the hot big bang. In this overview of today's physical cosmology, P.J.E. Peebles shows how observation has combined with theoretical elements to establish the subject as a mature science, while he also discusses the most notable recent attempts to understand the origin and structure of the universe. A successor to Peebles's classic volume Physical Cosmology (Princeton, 1971), the book is a comprehensive overview addressed not only to students but also to scientists active in fields outside cosmology.

The first chapter of the work presents the elements of physical cosmology, including the history of the discovery of the expanding universe. The second, on the cosmological tests that measure the geometry of spacetime, discusses general relativity theory as the basis for the tests, and then surveys the broad variety of ways the tests can be applied with the new generations of telescopes and detectors. The third chapter deals with the origin of galaxies and the large-scale structure of the universe, and reviews ideas about how the evolution of the universe might be traced back to very early epochs when structure originated. Each section of these chapters begins with an introduction that can be understood with no special knowledge beyond undergraduate physics, and then progresses to more specialized topics.

P.J.E. Peebles is Albert Einstein Professor of Science at Princeton University. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Royal Society. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

2-0 out of 5 stars A big disapointment!
Although the book overviews many topics in cosmology, it seems an excersise in personal interests of the writer. The results are often not directly applicable to "real-life" situations and rewritting of formulae is usually required. Personally, I would recommend the book "Cosmological Physics" by Peacock, which is much more transparent and up-to-date. ... Read more


38. Heaven's Mirror : Quest for the Lost Civilization
by GRAHAM HANCOCK
list price: $25.00
our price: $17.00
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Asin: 0609804774
Catlog: Book (1999-10-26)
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Sales Rank: 50111
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

It could be true! That's the enthusiasm that author and scholar-mystic Graham Hancock counts on--in himself and in his readers--as he lays down his theories of an ancient (Atlantean, perhaps?) civilization that disseminated a sophisticated religion of ground-sky dualism and a "science" of immortality. Hancock's previous work, including the popular and controversial Fingerprints of the Gods, has drawn criticism for its leaps of faith and allegedly pseudoscientific conclusions, but Heaven's Mirror proves at least a little more substantial. His chief thesis is that numerous ancient sites and monuments--the pyramids of Mexico and Egypt, the ruins of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the monuments of Yonaguni in the Pacific, and the megaliths of Peru and Bolivia--are situated in such a way, geodetically, that they point towards some separate and uniform influence, some lost civilization or "invisible college" of astronomer-priests. And that civilization, as evidenced in the mathematics and architecture of the sites, points towards some gnosis, or body of knowledge, that would allow humanity to transcend the trap of mortality, a worldview in which the knowledge-giving serpent of Eden is not a villain but a hero.

Whatever you think of Hancock's ideas and theoretical musings in archaeo-astronomy, Heaven's Mirror is a gorgeous book, thanks to the photography of Santha Faiia. Lush, evocative photos of the monoliths on Easter Island and temples deep in the Cambodian jungle are enough to set the mind to introspective wandering--maybe, just maybe, Hancock's got it right after all. --Paul Hughes ... Read more

Reviews (50)

3-0 out of 5 stars Bring A Calculator.
Hancock's basic premise is that an ancient civilization built monuments around the world that are astronomically aligned to the year 10,500BC (thus backdating human history several thousand years.) And somehow these monuments are linked to the search for immortality.

Hancock and his wife travel around the world and try to tie a lot of historical sites together with magic numbers (72 being the most prevalent but any even number being almost as good.) The problem I had was that the linking of the monuments to stars degrades as the book moves along. The link is clear in Egypt, possibly present in Mexico, requires squinting in Cambodia, and then devolves to a lot of "as ifs" and "rough alignments".

The pictures in the book are pretty even if they don't always offer the clearest view of the idea the book is trying to convey. Most of the diagrams involving star alignments are oversimplified and practically useless.

This book barely advances the ideas put forth in "Fingerprints of the Gods". It mainly takes the format of "Message of the Sphinx" and applies it to other mysterious places around the earth.

4-0 out of 5 stars Subject the Hypothesis to the Process of Scientific Enquiry
As I write about this heated debate/book, I have realized how each one of us will subjectively react to Graham Hancock's current book and the previous others. My subjective reaction we know is not the proof. The answer to end this debate is simple, find the means to test the hypothesis being put forth...That there was an ancient advanced civilization around 10,500 BC whose knowledge we all share through stories, myths and structural evidence that employs some advanced astronomical principles...

For a true Scientist, classifying Graham Hancock is not important, testing his theories and the evidence he presents, however is and to do so with an open mind. As a researcher Hancock has taken the time to observe the same sites, texts and myths as have others in the past. He is postulating different conclusions from what others have done..Not in vaccuum either...He provides you with plenty of evidence, contextual information and interpretation....more definitive than the "Fingerprints of the Gods"... Others have interpreted differently..He is willing to test it...Are there any takers?

The BBC program's attempt to prove/disprove Graham Hancock's theories is not sufficient. Debunk a theory proposed on physical evidence on a tv program? We have not come so far in our scientific advancement by disproving a hypothesis in that fashion...Why not consider the physical evidence and evaluate/re-evaluate the evidence..Then subject the idea through the rigourous of the scientific process...Let this be done with ideas put forth by Graham Hancock and some of his collabarators...

If people disagree with Graham Hancock, test the hypothesis...If we cannot test it, treat it as fiction and read it and forget it...But let us not jump to "scientific" conclusions by doing what Graham Hancock is accused of doing...being unscientific...Either take the time to prove / disprove it or just let it be....

And as a reader, keep your mind open when reading this book. Personally I find Hancock's hypothesis very interesting and believe that more research is needed..to prove or disprove..What exists as evidence for the players in this debate is necessary but not completely sufficient to prove their position beyond doubt..Why so?

Let us compare the field of Physics with Cultural Anthropology. A famous Scientist made a very definitive end-of-the-19th-Century declaration that Physics can explain all physical phenomena save for a few, one of them being the Photo-Electric effect. However, one Einstein was willing to think differently and has changed our thinking about physical reality. His discoveries have not finished off Physics, but re-energized it and given the power to explain even more about the universe we live in and opened our eyes to how life can truly be stranger than fiction. Was the opinion stated by a prominent scientist and held by a majority of scientists of that time really the truth and the whole truth? Far from it as it turns out. An additional advantage with Physics is that, many of the hypothesis can be confirmed through lab based experiments and observable physical phenomena. These are repeatable or tend to repeat themselves and so can be re-tested and theories can be revised. Let us also not forget that we are human. This should actually be sufficient!

The orthodox hypothesis about rise of civilizations and Graham Hancock's new hypothesis and other alternate theories,however do not have such luxury. They are working with languages, texts, myths and physical pieces of evidence that no one person can completely claim to understand or explain. They may be able to recreate the skies in 5000 BC and 10000 BC, but nothing like physics. So the researchers in such a field should pay attention to all the data and whatever secondary data they can lay their hands on. I have read quite a few articles by the proponents of different theories.. Still I believe for reasons stated above, a lot more rigorous research is needed...and I will look forward to such research.

5-0 out of 5 stars Where are the charts to keep track of all of these ideas?
This book was interesting to read. His theories are infectious and at times you find yourself marvelling at all of the wonderful coincidences and halfway believing Mr. Hancock. Other times, he takes liberal use of supposition (even going so far as to suppose what Albert Einstein would have thought of one of his ideas) and he throws out so many ideas that he reminds me of a desperate defense attorney who throws out any idea to throw doubt on the prosecutor's case. Here, Mr. Hancock throws out any number of theories, including Atlantis; aliens (but never says it - but he leads you that way); Egyptians coming to Europe, Asia, South America and Polynesia; the use of magic or an unknown force to build ancient megaliths and more.

I enjoyed the book but there are occassional bad photographs that mar the book - he refers to one picture two or three different times and the picture is not clear - the image has been worn too much over time. That would have been the perfect time for a traced outline of the picture, like he does at other times. Sometimes shadows obscure the images he would like us to see - the shadows make the pictures quite beautiful but the images are the point of the exercise. However, in general the quality of the pictures reminds me of those of National Geographic.

Mr. Hancock poses so many theories that he is sorely in need of a chart in the back of his book so that we can quickly see some of the theories and how the data looks when compared across the board.

However, in defense of his book, he quite freely admits that this is a work in progress and the research has barely begun. I would not consider this to be the final word from Mr. Hancock - rather, I would treat this as more of an interim report stating some of the interesting things he has found and a few theories that might help to explain them.

I give this book "5 stars" because he writes about so many of the interesting ancient sites and, if nothing else, has thrown an interesting new light on them (Graham points out that most 'legitimate' researchers won't even come to Easter Island anymore for fear of being thought to be one of the 'crazy' researchers). I don't quite buy his theories, but I'm open to reading more of what he has to say.

YOu may also see Mr. Hancock on TLC or Discovery Channel with entertaining documentaries that cover most of these same topics in a less thorough but highly entertaining manner.

4-0 out of 5 stars Myths and Monuments as Signs
There are essentially five types of arguments for one or more intelligent ET civilizations having visited and exploited earth and influencing (if not helping "create") humanity and continuing to do so. The first is the logico-statistical, which is essentially that in a universe as large and as old as ours, anything that can happen has happened, does happen, and will happen in a mulititude of spacetime locales. The second is the mythological: Our sacred histories are full of accounts of the gods, sons of god, angels, demons, faeries, etc. coming to earth from the sky, out of the sea, etc. The third is the testimony of all those who have seen flying saucers and met various intelligent non-humans (some of whom allegedly advise that, yes indeed, they have been coming and going for milleinia). The fourth are the megalithic monuments found all over the world whose origins, engineering, and construction are inexplicably sophisticated and, in some cases, beyond any known human technology, past or present. The fifth is the aesthetic argument, to the effect that in our time, science fiction is prophecy, from Jules Verne and H.G. Wells to Gene Roddenberry, and within such genre, intelligent non-human civilizations are fundamental. The fact that current human science and technology (whether or not inadvertently a/o secretly assisted by ETI), much of it classified, has either accomplished or is now on the verge of such things as "anti-gravity" field propulsion vehicles (i.e. "flying saucers"), particle beam weaponry, and bio-engineering transgenic species and increased longevity, makes it all the more plausible (if not demonstrable) that the sons of adam may simply be tracing the same paths pursued by other, more mature civilizations. Hancock's explorations of the megalithic monuments and myths and the questions he raises are truly worth pondering. However, his hypotheses about a secret society of astronomer-priests which many find too fanciful and preposterous, are, in my opinion, to the contrary, insufficiently imaginitive if one merely accepts the conclusion of the first argument above. It is not crop circles (which humans can make with computer controlled directed energy devices such as masers) that are the "signs" we should attend to; they are the myths and megalithic monuments. The "gods" have left far more than their fingerprints; they have left all sorts of messages for the sons of adam. (Among these messages, for example, are that man has both a body and soul, his body is subject to death, and his soul must reckon with divine judgment concerning the good and evil he does. Eternal life as enjoyed by those who live in the heavenly realms is an ancient quest for the sons of adam.) Hancock and his talented wife are to be commended for calling our attention to some of these myths and monuments so expertly and helping us better see how truly marvelous they are. Wonder if they had any help from on high?

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating for history buffs and window shoppers alike
What Hancock and Faiia do in this book is, in my opinion, amazing. Not only is this book beautifully illustrated, it does what few books can - it teaches us the history of various cultures, AND keeps us interested at the same time, with fascinating theories and factual evidence that is hard to dispute. I actually felt chills when the authors presented the relationship of the various sites on the globe to one another. The two achieve seemless transition and the book is divided very usefully into "parts" based on each civilization. Well worth the read, even if you have a busy schedule ... Read more


39. Light Curves of Variable Stars : A Pictorial Atlas
list price: $75.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521390168
Catlog: Book (1996-10-28)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 379039
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This unique volume provides a complete reference on variable stars. It presents a wealth of typical light- and color-curves to allow identification, together with a detailed and up-to-date description of each subclass. The editors, together with seven other world experts, have created a unique pictorial atlas of variable stars. In the first chapter they give a clear introduction to the nomenclature and classification of the light curves of variable stars, and to photometric systems. In the remaining chapters they provide a detailed account of each subclass: from eruptive, pulsating, rotating and cataclysmic variables, to eclipsing-binary systems and X-ray binaries. Readers can quickly and easily locate specific variable stars, types and classes of variables, and key astrophysical terms in the book by means of detailed object-name and subject indexes. This comprehensive and up-to-date volume provides an essential reference for all those interested in variable stars--from researchers and graduate students to dedicated amateurs. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Variable Star Menagerie
This book is written for professional astronomers as a compendium of what is known (and unknown) about variable stars. (A lot of the "unknowns" are categorized as "poorly understood.") I consider the book very useful for amateur variable star observers, but general readers (it will be worth the effort) will likely need to refer to an introductory astronomical tutorial to interpret much of the material.

The "menagerie" of variables is subdivided into six natural groups bearing the following names with the numbers of sub-classes in each group as shown. Eruptive (5), Pulsating [including Cepheids] (7), Rotating [including Pulsars] (5), Cataclysmic [including Novae] (5), Eclipsing binaries (4), and X-Ray binaries (1).

The stars in the first four groups are presented as single stars that do "poorly understood" but weird and wonderful things such as radial pulsations. One subclass of pulsating variables is alternatively explained as a close binary with a common envelope.

(Gamma-Ray bursters are not covered but many light curves of these enigmatic objects bear strong resemblance to those of some X-Ray binaries.)

The book discusses a total of 279 different variable stars and provides light curves and graphed color information for 164 of them. The bibliography contains 521 references. Two pages of neat "addresses of interest" are given for new researchers to use to obtain further information.

The book faithfully reflects a longstanding astronomical tradition of publishing very few "phase-coordinated" light curves and spectroscopic line profiles in the same study. If phase coordinated line profile information were to be incorporated with the light curves, the book might well become a paradigm flipping tool. ... Read more


40. Catalogue of Discordant Redshift Associations
by Halton Arp, Halton C. Arp
list price: $45.00
our price: $38.25
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Asin: 0968368999
Catlog: Book (2003-09-01)
Publisher: Aperion
Sales Rank: 587673
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