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41. Solar System Dynamics
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42. Cosmology and Astrophysics through
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43. Don't Know Much About the Universe
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44. The Myth of the Eternal Return:
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45. The Inflationary Universe: The
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46. Bright Galaxies Dark Matters (Masters
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47. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of
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48. Origins: Fourteen Billion Years
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49. The Living Energy Universe
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50. Nature's Destiny : How the Laws
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51. The Nature of Consciousness :
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52. The Ash Wednesday Supper/LA Cena
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53. Cosmology : The Science of the
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54. The Nature of Space and Time
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55. Stars and their Spectra : An Introduction
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56. Biocosm: The New Scientific Theory
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57. Heavenly Errors
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58. Relativity: Special, General,
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59. Perfumery: Practice and Principles
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60. Sky Atlas 2000.0, 2nd Deluxe Unlaminated

41. Solar System Dynamics
by Carl D. Murray, Stanley F. Dermott
list price: $55.00
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Asin: 0521575974
Catlog: Book (2000-02-13)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 245161
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The force of gravity acting over eons has provided the solar system with an intricate dynamical structure, much of it revealed by recent space missions. This comprehensive introduction to the dynamical features of the solar system also provides all the mathematical tools and physical models needed for a complete understanding of the subject. Clearly written and well illustrated coverage shows how a basic knowledge of the two- and three-body problems and perturbation theory can be combined to understand features as diverse as the tidal heating of Jupiter's moon Io, the origin of the Kirkwood gaps in the asteroid belt, and the radial structure of Saturn's rings. Problems at the end of each chapter and a free Internet Mathematica® software package help students to fully develop their understanding of the subject.This volume provides an authoritative textbook for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses on planetary dynamics and celestial mechanics. It also equips students with the mathematical tools to tackle broader courses on dynamics, dynamical systems, applications of chaos theory and nonlinear dynamics.Written by two leading figures in planetary dynamics, it is a benchmark publication in the field and destined to become a classic. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Authoritative, Fascinating, Challenging
Three books on our solar system appeared in the past year or so. Each has its own "flavor." I will review them in turn, but browsers should be aware of the others, so they are listed here: See also, "The New Solar System," J. Kelly Beatty, Carolyn Collins Petersen, Andrew Chalkin, and "The Planetary Scientist's Companion," Katharine Lodders and Bruce Fegley, Jr.

If one of the other books, "The New Solar System" is lacking in mathematics, this volume more than makes up for it. Although my current interest, the Titius/Bode Law, is given only one page of description, it is a full and fair assessment of this astronomical curiosity. The authors immediately follow this on p. 9 by a statement that sums up the flavor of the rest of the book: "...It is Newton's laws that are at work and the subtle gravitational effect that determines the dynamical structure of our solar system is the phenomenon of 'resonance'." Planets do not circle the sun independently, they influence each other's orbits in fascinating and subtle ways, some of which may take billions of years to evolve.

The manifold aspects of "resonance" can be seen in the Chapter headings: The Two-Body Problem, The Restricted Three-Body Problem, Tides, Rotation, and Shape, Spin-Orbit Coupling, The Disturbing Function, Secular Perturbations, Resonant Perturbations, Chaos and Long-Term Evolution, and Planetary Rings.

The mathematics appears to be straightforward, but like most perturbation theory, it is not simple. Calculus is essential, of course. However, I welcome it. It will challenge my curiosity and ability for many years to come.

This is a compelling, must-have book for the advanced student of the science underlying our solar system and probably of other planetary systems as well. ... Read more


42. Cosmology and Astrophysics through Problems
by T. Padmanabhan
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Asin: 0521462304
Catlog: Book (1996-09-19)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 900721
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This innovative book provides a clear and pedagogical introduction to research through a series of problems and answers. The author has designed the problems to develop each core topic in a simple and coherent way, and he provides full solutions to make this book completely self-contained. The first half of the book covers the core subjects of astrophysical processes, gravitational dynamics, radiative processes, fluid mechanics and general relativity. The second half uses these concepts to develop modern cosmology; topics include the Friedmann model and thermal history, the dynamics of dark matter and baryons in an expanding universe, the physics of high-redshift objects and the very early universe. This unique self-study textbook will be of key interest to graduate students and researchers in cosmology, astrophysics, relativity and theoretical physics. It is particularly well suited to graduate-level courses. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Hard... but excellent!
This is a very welcomed book for graduate students in astrophysics. Although I have only scratched the surface of the topics, I find its format and distribution very well organized. The solutions are also clearly exposed, but you need a very high background to work on the problems entirely on your own. ... Read more


43. Don't Know Much About the Universe : Everything You Need to Know About the Cosmos But Never Learned
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Asin: 0553526502
Catlog: Book (2001-09-04)
Publisher: Random House Audio
Sales Rank: 960731
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Book Description

Introduction by the Author
Read by
Four cassettes, 6 hours


From the ancients who charted the stars, to Jules Verne and Flash Gordon, to The X-Files, Apollo 13, and Armageddon, people around the world have long been intrigued with the heavens and outer space. DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT THE UNIVERSE, the fifth title in this bestselling series, uses the now-familiar and popular question-and-answer format to inform and entertain listeners by examining a subject that has inspired the greatest of fascinations, produced many popular misconceptions, and, ultimately, helped to shape the course of history. Like other books in the series, DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT THE UNIVERSE integrates diverse subjects and ideas, touching on everything from Geography to Cosmic Theology to the impact of the Space Race on American history.
... Read more


44. The Myth of the Eternal Return: Or, Cosmos and History
by Mircea Eliade
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Asin: 0691017778
Catlog: Book (1971-11-01)
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Sales Rank: 45420
Average Customer Review: 4.17 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This essay on humanity's experience of history and its interpretation begins with a study of the traditional or mythological view and concludes with a comparative estimate of modern historiological approaches. ... Read more

Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars In the Light of Mythology
Mircea Eliade, in his internationally aclimed authority, does not need to be praised by a non specialist such as myself, but I still feel compelled to express my infinte debt to his work, of which "The Myth of the Eternal Return" was the introductory book. I am a college student of History, Philosophy, and Religion/Mythology. The area is not so promising as computers or medicine, but when one is in love, as I am with my area of interests, the desert becomes atractive, for one believes the Promised Land is on the other side. Eliade's work is so enlightening, accesible, and rich in information and poetry that my fear of entering in such a discredited area is erased as I read it. I hope the Myth of the Eternal Return will bring as much satisfaction to all who read it as it did to me, and that the Myth will also bring back, as its title promises, the old human interest in the ultimate problems of History, Philosophy, and Mythology. Read it and embrace the magic of our culture!

5-0 out of 5 stars an interesting and thought-provoking piece of scholarship
I was inspired by the icredible insight and interesting acedemic thought in this book -- it's hard to beleive that it was written over fourty years ago. The struggle with "the terror of history" and the horror of linear time is something that many of us still struggle with today.

As a student of literature, I found this book particularly helpful in studying the moderns, such as T.S. Eliot and James Joyce, who, as Eliade mentions, both express a longing to return to the cyclical. As a mythology-lover I found that this book gave me a new perspective on the study of myth -- which I feel is still important if we are to understand the primitive depths of our own minds.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ability to Recreate verses Historical Existentialism
.
I'm in awe over this book! It's a larger lens, a higher mountain to see religious and historical thought. Really, I am amazed at this book. 50 years after it is written and I've read hundreds of books and here I am dumb founded. Read some of the other amazon.com reviews here (some are excellent) and now I am adding to them.

Eliade relates two main types of persons. The archaic man and the modern. The archaic models his life on archetypes, similiar to Plato's "world of ideas," forsaking history in favor of such. He repeatedly and continually destroys all history and recreates himself in a new beginning. He does this by entering a timeless realm Eliade calls the illo tempore, a timeless and numinous death and rebirth, which he bases on cyclic events of some type.

The modern man negates all of this in favor of historicity. He measures all history and time, or the profane time, and bases his entire life on the meaning of such in present existence and all future decision making. However, without the archaic man's non-historical regenerative abilities to recreate himself in such timelessness, or in the sacred, in imitation of archetypes, the modern historical man faces extreme existential despair. But what saves the modern man from suicide and utter meaninglessness in relativism and nihilism; he joins to his historical self, either religious faith, cyclic theories, mysticism, science and philosophy.

Hegel suggests history (and all the evil in history) is never repeated and necessary for the evolution to higher ends. Only persons like Belinsky or Dostoeyski have resisted but weakly in that. Marx had made a science of history as the results of the class struggle, which ultimately fails and leaves us in our existential relativity.

So remedies are created to coincide with historical measurement, as in Nietzsche's Eternal Return,although cyclic in nature is not the Eternal Return of the Archaic man who regenerations a new beginning, but rather that of the Greek Heraclitus and Pythagorean thoughts, are the cyclic meanings needed to live a life of measured time and history apart from the archaic regenerative man of archetype models and rebirth into new beginnings. The same holds true for Oswald Spenglers biological conception of history and Heidegger's idea of historicity transcending all are what modern man must attach to his linear historical measurement.

While monotheism, the first to measure history and time encounters the timelessness of the illo tempore in the beginning of creation and in the "end" of the world or in Christianity in the second coming of the messiah. Unlike the archaic man who enters the new creation each and every time he recreates both himself and his world.

Eliade suggests that perhaps mankind will one day return to the archaic man of regeneration in repetition of rituals and meaning to cease measuring this time and enter in the timelessness, letting go of history and entering in the illo tempore.

(Archetype Non-Historical Regeneration Man)
The wind blows - but - gets continually reborn; or,
(Historical Man with Religious Faith)
Cling to your dusty mirror and hold God's hand.
(Historical Man without Religious Faith)
Or the mirror without dust would destroy the world.

And to sum it up, Archaic man had no history, repeated archetype models, destroying his past (all history) and recreating the beginning of time each year in a mystical, timeless moment in the illo tempore, all history erased. While modern man relies on history and profane time and gains either science, philosophy or religious faith to prevent him from dying in existential despair.

Now I'm reading this great book entitled, When Science Meets Religion, by Ian G. Barbour and reading of those with religious faith who conform the uncertainties of quantum physics with a God who controls such acausual events. Seeing this through Eliade's lens, I see this as an historical man's attempt to join religious faith to his history and science in order to prevent him from existential despair in the terror of history. For the archaic man none of this is needed, as he will erase all history, re-creating the beginning of time reborn in the timeless moment of illo tempore, not of some future time but of the present.

And while the modern man has history and faith, he also forms minority governments to control, organized and maintains his linear history. The majority are followers, freedom is seriously limited. The archaic man has complete freedom as each time cycle or year, to erase all history, to enter in the timeless moment of the archetype of illo tempore and re-create himself and his world.

I can't say enough for this book, this only a summary of a higher mountain to see humanity.

3-0 out of 5 stars post-modern archetypes
Reading this book, I came to acknowledge in no modern scholar's analysis is there a possibility of divergence from "politically accepted" thought. To say a primitive (someone illiterate, living bounded into archetypes) has a theory of being is highly ridiculous, especially as the author himself acknowledges primitive man's disconfort in living outside the world of archetypes. To link an archetype (which is a form of instinct, with equivalents among other higher mammals) with philosophy, and even with the highest stance of the latter (ontology) is "mentally incorrect".

These pitiful relativistic stances should be immediately ignored by a serious person. Otherwise, the influences of Jung's theories are always apparent. As always, ideas aren't bad in themselves, but their interpretation makes them a vehicle of relativism.

According to Eliade, the archaic man lives in a world of archetypes and cyclical past, while for the "fallen" man of modern civilizations archetypes no longer exist and time is linear. This is obviously incorrect. His very idea that "we should respect other peoples cultures and not judge others as primitive" is an ALWAYS recurrent mindless ARCHETYPE of Post-Modern ages.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book has changed my life! (really)
When I first became aquainted with the thought of Mircea Eliade it was through this book. It really changed the way I looked at the world.

The basic Eliade's idea that majority of basic beliefs of human beings about the world do not correspond to the reality but are merely inherited from the religious tradition of our ethnical group is the greatest insight that revolutionized my personal philosophy. After all, how many of our believes are unconsciously shaped by Judeo-Christian dogma? - not only the idea of history as having the beginning and the end which is analyzed in this book, but other ideas as well, such as the idea of death. We think it is bad to die. Why we think so? Because of our belief in soul and its death or possibility of suffering in hell. Tribals share with us the survival instinct which is basic for all mammals but aside from that they are not distressed by the idea of death because they believe that they return back to Mother Earth. Prove them wrong! After all we all come from the matter of this planet in material sense and return to it again, having lived our lives. To believe in the eternal return is more logical than to believe in some entity called "soul" which is separated from the body "once and for all" after death.

This is just a single thought on my part.
After reading this book, those of you who are ready to accept its ideas will undoubtly have more thoughts about the validity of our common-sense beliefs about reality.

Even if scientific materialism is true this is no great reason for pessimism - we are who we think we are! ... Read more


45. The Inflationary Universe: The Quest for a New Theory of Cosmic Origins
by Alan H. Guth
list price: $18.50
our price: $12.58
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Asin: 0201328402
Catlog: Book (1998-03-01)
Publisher: Perseus Books Group
Sales Rank: 133053
Average Customer Review: 4.64 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Rarely have any scientist's predictions been so dramatically confirmed as when NASA's COBE satellite measured the pattern of the cosmic background radiation for the first time in 1992, and showed dramatically that Alan Guth's decade-long struggle to justify his theory of what made the Big Bang BANG had not been in vain.The Inflationary Universe Theory was proved triumphant! ... Read more

Reviews (25)

4-0 out of 5 stars How Higgs fields and Monopoles lead to Inflation
The book provides a very readable account of how the study in one field has a revolutionary impact on another. The Inflationary Universe follows clearly the chronology of events that led to the formulation of the theory and frequent reference is made to diary notes that apparently were kept actual all along. Starting out with the premise that within the bounds of Grand Unified Theories the existence of magnetic monopoles is a theoretical necessity, Guth sets out to determine more accurately their characteristics and their potential abundance. All results of calculations made with a sensible set of parameters and their spread, point at a production of a high and verifiable quantity of very heavy monopoles, that in the real world around us are not observed. In an attempt to explain away the overproduction of monopoles, a study is made of the behaviour of a simplified combination of Higgs fields. Under the pressure of publishing timely the potentially positive result of the outcome of this study and confronted with the publication of similar results by a competing scientist (Preskill) Guth frantically tries to get added value to to his paper. A detailed analysis of the consequences of the decay of the Higgs fields shows an unexpected behaviour of gravity, which during the phase transition period until the decay of the false vacuum becomes repulsive, stretching space itself exponentially in the process. The concept of Inflation is born. It is only at this point that physicist Guth enters the arena of cosmology and associates the results with cosmological problems such as flatness and isotropy.
The published paper therefore addresses those issues instead of the monopole problem which was the target of the paper, even though Inflation had resolved the lack of observed monopoles as well. Triumph abounds.
In the subsequent section of the book the shortcomings of the initial inflationary theory become apparent. Those are addressed in a systematic manner and it is shown how bubbles, domains and domain walls have repercussions on the viability of the theory. It all is a matter of how the decay of the false vacuum proceeds, how the initially assumed combination of Higgs fields looks like and how the inflationary period ends.
Though personally I do not really like the numerous side steps made into the personal matters of the author, those do provide contextual inside in how revolutionary findings come about and make the book quite readable for non subject matter experts.
A book to be recommended to those seriously interested in physics and its implications for cosmology.

5-0 out of 5 stars Origins of the Universe
I always enjoy reading books about scientific discoveries by authors who were there. Alan H. Guth's book "The Inflationary Universe" not only provides a revealing look at the development of inflationary theories of the universe, it is by far the best explanation on the subject that I've seen for the general scientifically literate public.

Guth starts almost at the beginning of modern science by laying a foundation of understanding in conservation laws and fields. His explanation (supported by further information in an appendix) of the negative energy of gravitational fields is clear and intuitive. So clear are his explanations that one hardly seems surprised when Guth introduces Edward Tryon's early speculation that the universe may have originated from a quantum vacuum fluctuation.

Next, Guth develops the idea of an expanding universe, and the flatness problem. His explanation of why the flatness problem is a problem at all is concise and wonderfully illustrated. Throughout all of this, Guth offers a rare glimpse into the workings of science by showing the chaotic effects of unpredictable chance occurrences that lead to that rare insight with its attendant "ahhhh" at the end of discovery. I particularly enjoyed the photographs he included of many key players in the developments of modern cosmology, with a singular exception. There is no photograph of Guth himself [this is my only complaint about the book].

Leading up to the discussion of inflation proper, Guth offers clear and insightful discussions of the discovery of the microwave background radiation. He offers rare insights into the extraordinarily difficult measurements that led to the first discovery, culminating with the superb measurements and confirmation provided by COBE in 1990. As further preparatory information, Guth offers one of the best general-purpose science explanations I've seen for the particles in the standard model, including some very good descriptions of the Higgs particle, which plays a central role in the theory of inflation. Guth is proof that complicated theories can be reduced to simple ideas without losing the essential logical constructs that make them work.

The second half of the book deals with inflation proper. Here, Guth explains how inflation solves the flatness problem, and deals with such things as monopoles, and the nearly uniform background radiation.

The end of the book deals with the aftermath of discovery, and the problems with inflation yet to be ironed out. The author discusses many esoteric possibilities, including percolation of false-vacuum bubbles, event horizons, and pocket universes.

If the origins of the universe excite your intellectual fancy, I highly recommend "The Inflationary Universe."

Duwayne Anderson

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
Guth has developed a theory that would normally be impossible for one to understand. However, his writing style is both scientific history and autobiography. The book unfolds in such an easy manner that anyone who carefully reads this book can walk away with a comprehension of the most complex theories developed by cosmologists. His book takes the reader step by step from classical science through Einstein to quantum theory. His own theory of an inflationary universe is fascinating. His theory has proved to stand up over time to each problem and question that has arisen. I strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in understanding how the big bang theory can be so widely accepted. It also summarizes the many interesting lives of scientists who have developed these theories. What a treasure Guth is for America!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great reading !
I've loved to read this book, because it has this double face:
on one hand it is a very readable and fascinating popular
introduction to a piece of current research, namely inflation,
by one of its main actors, something that doesn't really
happen all too often. On the other hand, it is about the
personal story of that same actor, (A. Guth), so that one
gets a feeling of the life of a young scientist. Each
of the faces would make a good book ; here you get both in
one volume.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Look at Real Science
Some very good books on science focus mainly on detailing a particular scientific discovery or discoveries. Some very good science books do their best to communicate with a general audience concerning ideas that can be highly technical. What is rarer is a science book that does both of these within the framework of what it is really like to live and work as a scientist. The amazing book The Double Helix by James Watson which describes the quest for the structure of DNA is one of these. So is this book by Alan Guth on the development of the inflationary universe theory as a "correction" to Big Bang theory.

In this book Guth takes us through the basics of the Big Bang theory and then into the idea of inflation--what it is and how it goes along with Big Bang theory. He takes a wonderful historically-developed approach and he does this without the help of (at least as far as I can recall) a single equation in the body of the text. Instead, he uses basic numerical analysis and the help of a number of graphs and illustrations to develop these complex ideas into a very readable explanation. He is also very frank in warning the reader of difficult concepts and directing the less detail-minded to skipping around.

All of this makes for a good science read; however, what I really enjoyed about this book is how he brings out the things that really drive real science, particularly when he reaches those investigations into which he was personally involved. He points out how theory and experiment drive each other. He isn't afraid to show the fights for priority and reputation that often push scientists. He lets us see how the desperation for a secure job, the cockiness of the young researcher and the ego of established names is often the engine for discovery.

Anyone interested in the current state of research into the origins of our universe would be remiss in not reading this book. Many people get the gist of Big Bang theory but fewer understand what Big Bang theory is really about and fewer still understand why the inflationary universe has become so important in recent years. This book will clear away all the fog; in particular, Guth is very clear in explaining the problems with Big Bang theory (the horizon problem, magnetic monopoles, etc.) that are cleared-up with the inflation approach.

More than this, however, the reader will gain real insight into what it is like to be a working scientist. It offers a peak at its excitements and disappoints, even a glimpse at the clashes and in-fighting. Many people often get the idea that science makes grand pronouncements of fact from on high. This book shows that science is, in reality, a continuing struggle for a more and more accurate picture of our universe and how it works. It is a view worth seeing. ... Read more


46. Bright Galaxies Dark Matters (Masters of Modern Physics Series)
by Vera C. Rubin, Vera Rubin
list price: $41.95
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Asin: 1563962314
Catlog: Book (1996-12-01)
Publisher: AIP Press
Sales Rank: 1047995
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Book Description

In 1965, Vera Rubin was the first woman permitted to observe at Palomar Observatory. In the intervening years, she has become one of the world's finest and most respected astronomers. This particular collection of essays is compiled from work written over the past 15 years and deals with a variety of subjects in astronomy and astrophysics, specifically galaxies and dark matter. The book also contains biographical sketches of astronomers who have been colleagues and friends, providing a stimulating view of a woman in science. About the Author Since 1965 Vera Rubin has been a staff member at the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism of the Carnegie Institution of Washington. Dr. Rubin has authored nearly 200 papers on the structure of our galaxy, motions within other galaxies, and large scale motions in the universe. She has been a distinguished visiting astronomer at the Cerro Tololo Inter American Observatory in Chile; a Chancellor's Distinguished Professor at the University of California, Berkeley; a President's Distinguished Visitor at Vassar College; and a Beatrice Tinsley visiting professor at the University of Texas, Austin. ... Read more


47. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Meteorites
by O. Richard Norton
list price: $50.00
our price: $31.50
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Asin: 0521621437
Catlog: Book (2002-03-07)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 44315
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In recent years, meteorites have caught the imagination of scientist and collector alike.An army of people are now actively searching for them in the hot and cold deserts of Earth. Fascinating extraterrestrial rocks in meteorites are our only contact with materials from beyond the Earth-Moon system. Using well known petrologic techniques, O. Richard Norton reveals in vivid color their extraordinary external and internal structures and taking readers to the atomic level, describes the environment within the solar nebula that existed before the planets accreted. Extensively illustrated, this volume is a valuable guide to assist searchers in the field in recognizing the many classes of meteorites and it is a superb reference source for students, teachers and scientists who wish to probe deeper these amazing rocks from space.O. Richard Norton is a contributing editor for Meteorite magazine and the author of The Planetarium and Atmospherium and Rocks from Space (Mountain Press, 1998).For the last 40 years, he has taught astronomy and space sciences at various US institutions. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars STUPENDOUS
THERE IS NOT MUCH TO SAY ABOUT THIS EXCEPTIONAL BOOK EXCEPT THIS IS AN EXCELLENT IN-DEPTH LOOK AT METEORITES WITH SUPERB COLOR PICTURES. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN METEORITES, ESPECIALLY COLLECTING THEM, YOUR LIBRARY SHOLD NOT BE WITHOUT THIS BOOK. ... Read more


48. Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution
by Neil deGrasse Tyson, Donald Goldsmith
list price: $27.95
our price: $16.77
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Asin: 0393059928
Catlog: Book (2004-09-28)
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Sales Rank: 973
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Amazon.com

In this companion volume to the two-part NOVA television special by the same title, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and astronomy writer Donald Goldsmith attempt to cram 14 billion years of history into 300 pages. The result of this audacious exercise is a surprising and engrossing book, one that far surpasses the droning tone of so many astronomy texts. Starting (of course) with the Big Bang and ending with the search for extraterrestrial life, the authors synthesize the results of several scientific fields to present a sort of cosmological consilience. They also emphasize the scientific method and its inherent skepticism as the only way to understand such mysteries as dark matter, stellar formation, and the origin of life on Earth. Although several books are published each year that provide overviews of various branches of science, what's different about this one is the accessible tone of the writing. The authors use mild humor throughout to keep readers going in difficult sections; for instance, when assessing the question of why we live during the rare time when the amounts of dark and not-dark energy are roughly equal in the universe, they relate that cosmologist Michael Turner calls the situation the "'Nancy Kerrigan problem,' in honor of the Olympic figure skater, who asked... 'Why me? Why now?'" Combining 21st-century astronomy, astrobiology, astrochemistry, and other disciplines, Origins is a fine guidebook with which to journey "back to the beginning of everything." --Therese Littleton ... Read more


49. The Living Energy Universe
by Gary E. R. Schwartz, Linda G. S. Russek, Dr. Gary E. R. Schwartz, Dr. Linda G. S. Russek, Paul Pearsall
list price: $21.95
our price: $14.93
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Asin: 1571741704
Catlog: Book (1999-10-31)
Publisher: Hampton Roads Publishing Company
Sales Rank: 44666
Average Customer Review: 3.81 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (26)

5-0 out of 5 stars A "Must Read" book for the new millennium !
The Living Energy Universe is an engaging book for the new millennium. Dr.s Gary Schwartz and Linda Russek,two University of Arizona scientists begin with introducing their basic but controversial theory,The Universal Living Memory Theory. Then, they lead you through the research, past and present that support their theory. Once you understand the concept and dare to believe, they take you on a journey of epic proportion. From understanding cellular memory of transplant patients to the mechanism of homeopathy. From mind/body medicine to mediumship and survival of consciousness. From the evolution of the photon to the evolution of the universe. The ramifications are staggering. This book,if nothing else,will change your perspective about the evolving life around you.

5-0 out of 5 stars Living Energy --- that's Gary Schwartz alright!
The Living Energy Universe Gary Schwartz & Linda Russek The living Energy Universe is an incredible book-- incredible because it is hard to believe, especially when you think of all the repercussions the theory it proposes presents. But the authors do a very credible job of arguing for its feasibility.

Basically, it posits that every action, every moment of existence is reflected out into the universe to reverberate and interact as a living energy memory with the universe, including the myriad of other living energy memories. The book ties together everything, from eastern philosophical ideas of non-duality and connectedness to Rupert Sheldrake's morphogenic field theory (which is elegantly explained) to the phenomenon of organ transplant memory, in which recipients of heart and other organ transplants develop habits or experience memories whcih could only come from the organ donor.

This theory has so much potential to change the world and the way we think of it. I'm not just talking about technology. It can change the way you think about God, death, the afterlife, relationships, karma, organ transplants.

A beautiful aspect of this book is it manages to let the reader get to know the joyful, loving personalities of its authors. And that even flows into the theories-- theories filled with love. The book is unusual for its author, because it is the first book not written for a professional audience. Gary Schwartz has a huge CV, with several hundred publications to his credit, and he is one of the most respected psychologists in America. It's a treat-- like candy for the mind-- (vitamin enriched) to get such a digestable big chunk of Schwartz's ideas (most likely made more easily understood by his lifemate, Linda Russek. Isaac Newton, in crediting his scientific predecessors, commented that he got his ideas by standing on the shoulders of giants. If you want to stand on an extra tall pair of visionary shoulders, try the ones who wrote this book. As the organizer of The Futurehealth Winter Brain Meeting, I've had a wonderful opportunity to get to know some of the world's most brilliant visionary scientists and thinkers. Gary Schwartz, a regular speaker at the conference, is, among this stellar group of peers, regarded as somewhat special, guaranteed to surprise and delight by not only expanding the realms and reach of science, but by doing it with scintillating, clear sparkle. He not only sees what others have never seen before, but he shares his ideas with the excitement of discovery he must have experienced on his own.

It is a wonder to watch a room full of brilliant, world famous brain researchers shake their heads in astonishment and surprise when Gary, giving a lecture, drops another of his new explosive ideas. There are always a few who literally walk out, shocked by the boldness of the proposals. But most keep coming back for more, because the ideas force us (or better, lift us up) to see the world with new eyes, and that's a very special gift. Read this book and you will change the way you see the world and your relationship to it and everyone and eveything in it. Take Gary's advice, and read chapters 6 through the end first, before going into the scientific explanation. Rob Kall, President, Futurehealth, Inc, Founder/organizer The Winter Brain Meeting

1-0 out of 5 stars A Well-Intentioned Mess
I really wanted to like this book. How wonderful it would be, to know that everything in the universe is not only interconnected, but alive, evolving and eternal. To know that we and our loved ones and our happy memories live forever - what could be better than that?

That may well be how the universe works, but this book fails to prove it. Instead, the authors present a muddled, heartfelt, personal 'proof' consisting of questionable assumptions, faulty logic, confusion of categories and much wishful thinking. I stopped reading about three-fourths of the way through the book, after one too many of the authors' leaps from questionable assumptions to incredibly sweeping - and incredible - conclusions.

To be fair, I did take away from the book a new appreciation for the way that systems work, and the many levels on which memory may (possibly) be encoded. But that's a far cry from being convinced that everything is alive, evolving and eternal.

The best thing about this book is the Selected Readings list at the end. My recommendation is to skip this book, and go directly to some of the book's much better sources: The Heart's Code by Paul Pearsall; Healing Words by Larry Dossey; Miracles of Mind by Targ and Katra, to name a few.

2-0 out of 5 stars Sweeping Conclusions, nort science
The Author claims to be a scientist (and anyone with a science degree from a university can claim), but I am afraid his personal quest has gotten in the way. The author makes sweeping conclusions from data that can be observed in the natural world, and then because of a faulty logic and false deduction, introduces us to the absolute reality of mediums, angels, guides, etc, without a real proof. It has some interesting ideas if you know where to look.

2-0 out of 5 stars Soft Science
I read this book shortly after publication. It seemed long on anecdotes and short on empiricism. It still does.
The author included a web site to keep readers apprised of current developments. The site was never activated. ... Read more


50. Nature's Destiny : How the Laws of Biology Reveal Purpose in the Universe
by Michael Denton
list price: $24.95
our price: $24.95
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Asin: 0743237625
Catlog: Book (2002-02-01)
Publisher: Free Press
Sales Rank: 115555
Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Is mankind a central product of the universe? Or merely an accident fit to survive? The exploding discoveries of biology in the past half century could radically change the scientific answer to this debate.

In Nature's Destiny, Michael Denton marshals a stunning range of biological, chemical, and physical evidence to answer systematically a simple question: Could life elsewhere in the universe be significantly different from life on Earth? Must it rely on carbon, water, DNA, amino acids, and proteins? Could there be an alternative to DNA, or could DNA be constructed out of different components? Could cells be designed differently? From these building blocks he dares to ask the boldest of questions: Is it possible there are life forms radically different from those realized during the course of evolution on Earth? And even: Is a Homo sapiens -- like creature the only possible highly intelligent species, given the laws of biology that exist throughout the universe?

The stunning answer to his last question is yes. Life is highly constrained by the laws of nature. If, for example, the ratio between strong and weak chemical bonds had not been precisely what it is, if the thermal properties of water were not precisely what they are, if the atmosphere of the Earth had not had just the right properties to filter out harmful radiation, then a flourishing biosphere such as exists on Earth would be impossible. For life to develop beyond the most primitive stage hinted at by the famous Mars fossils requires an earthlike planet, with earthlike atmosphere and oceans.

Over the past twenty years, such physicists as Freeman Dyson, Fred Hoyle, Martin Rees, and Paul Davies have argued that the universe is fine-tuned for carbon-based life. Now, Michael Denton extends their argument all the way from the carbon atom to advanced and complex life forms closely resembling ourselves, showing that our biosphere is central to nature's destiny. Though we may have six-fingered cousins elsewhere, the laws of nature are tuned to reach an endpoint in mankind. ... Read more

Reviews (35)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Extremely Careful Watchmaker
It is a tragic demonstration of what Cremo, in "Forbidden Archeology," politely calls the "knowledge filter" of science, that evolutionists can take the time to read the 428 pages of this book and completely miss the whole point. To claim that Denton has been "converted" to evolutionism is either a serious misreading or deliberate misrepresentation. Perhaps the following, from the conclusion of "Nature's Destiny," will suffice to demonstrate:

"All the evidence available in the biological sciences supports the core proposition of traditional natural theology--that the cosmos is a specially designed whole with life and mankind as its fundamental goal and purpose, a whole in which all facets of reality, from the size of galaxies to the thermal capacity of water, have their meaning and explanation in this central fact."(p. 389)

Can Denton's stance be any more clearer than this? Perhaps. He does say that "to get from a single cell to Homo Sapiens has taken about 4 billion years". Likewise, he seems to assume that evolution is responsible for the diversity and complexity of life, albeit directed by information built into the first cell, by whom or what he does not say. However, he offers little to support the notion that the origin of this first cell (and its wondrous DNA) was "in some way programmed into the laws of nature ... it has to be admitted that at present, despite an enormous effort, we still have no idea how this occurred ..."

He goes on to mention the various theories currently offered, unfortunately with a less critical eye than he should. Even the poor example of snowflakes as a highly ordered state analogous to the molecules of life is thrown a bone. This seems strange in light of the still unanswered challenges presented in his previous book, but it is an example of why evolutionism has survived-- the compartmentalization of science, whereby each scientist, assuming evolution to be proven outside his own! field of expertise, discards or explains away his own contradictory findings (the "knowledge filter" again). We will have to be content with such excellent volumes on the subject as "Forbidden Archeology","The Origin of Species Revisited", and Lubenow's "Bones of Contention". However, this does not detract from the main thrust: the overwhelming evidence of design, inexplicable by "natural" evolution.

Another flaw is his requiring that "evidence for believing that the world is prefabricated to the end of life" must somehow contradict his own notion of "special creation." Even supposing this were true, he errs in forgetting that the creation of the first cell (to use his evolutionary view) or DNA, or indeed the left-handedness of life's proteins, are in themselves worthy of being considered supernatural acts, in that they do not naturally follow from the (strangely fortituous) laws of nature in the same way as the origin of the heavier elements. He neglects to address the still unresolved (and fatal) problems regarding the early atmosphere, crucial to the origins question. In distancing himself from his perception of "creationism," he exhibits similar forgetfulness when he claims that his argument is consistent with naturalistic science--"that the cosmos ... can be comprehended ultimately in its entirety by human reason." But surely he does not mean to include abiogenesis and the fitness of the universe for life. Instead, one gets the impression that he is trying to be charitable to his fundamentalist Darwinian colleagues.

What Denton does do well is take us on a marvelous tour of how finely-tuned the universe is to allow us to exist. He does this in far greater detail than most other books of this kind. He covers such "coincidences" as the many fortituous (and anomolous) properties of water, independent yet working together to support life; the fine-tuning of physical constants; suspicious d! ovetailing of nuclear resonances; the fitness of carbon and other elements for life; the complexity and inexplicability of DNA and proteins; etc. However, details even creationists take for granted are scrutinized, leaving us with a sense of awe (or gnashing of teeth): the fitness of the visual spectrum for vision; the design of the hand; our body dimensions bipedal gait, allowing us to use fire and develop technology; capacity for language; and so on. In doing so he shows us that the "chance" so casually spoken of in evolutionism quickly diminishes to zero upon open-minded examination of our cosmos; and that, indeed, we were meant to discover this fact.

This compilation of smoking guns makes for an always fascinating, always interesting read, bound to raise much ire in evolutionistic circles. Perhaps a better title would have been "Denton's Dangerous Idea." Apologies to many sci-fi writers should be forthcoming, as he demonstrates that many concepts of otherworldly life can be entertained only in our naivete.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Designer peeks through the curtain
It is a tragic demonstration of what Cremo, in "Forbidden Archeology," politely calls the "knowledge filter" of science, that evolutionists can take the time to read the 428 pages of this book and completely miss the whole point. To claim that Denton has been "converted" to evolutionism is either a serious misreading or deliberate misrepresentation. Perhaps the following, from the conclusion of "Nature's Destiny," will suffice to demonstrate:

"All the evidence available in the biological sciences supports the core proposition of traditional natural theology--that the cosmos is a specially designed whole with life and mankind as its fundamental goal and purpose, a whole in which all facets of reality, from the size of galaxies to the thermal capacity of water, have their meaning and explanation in this central fact."(p. 389)

Can Denton's stance be any more clearer than this? Perhaps. He does say that "to get from a single cell to Homo Sapiens has taken about 4 billion years". Likewise, he seems to assume that evolution is responsible for the diversity and complexity of life, albeit directed by information built into the first cell, by whom or what he does not say. However, he offers little to support the notion that the origin of this first cell (and its wondrous DNA) was "in some way programmed into the laws of nature ... it has to be admitted that at present, despite an enormous effort, we still have no idea how this occurred ..."

He goes on to mention the various theories currently offered, unfortunately with a less critical eye than he should. Even the poor example of snowflakes as a highly ordered state analogous to the molecules of life is thrown a bone. This seems strange in light of the still unanswered challenges presented in his previous book, but it is an example of why evolutionism has survived-- the compartmentalization of science, whereby each scientist, assuming evolution to be proven outside his own field of expertise, discards or explains away his own contradictory findings (the "knowledge filter" again). We will have to be content with such excellent volumes on the subject as "Forbidden Archeology","The Origin of Species Revisited", and Lubenow's "Bones of Contention". However, this does not detract from the main thrust: the overwhelming evidence of design, inexplicable by "natural" evolution.

Another flaw is his requiring that "evidence for believing that the world is prefabricated to the end of life" must somehow contradict his own notion of "special creation." Even supposing this were true, he errs in forgetting that the creation of the first cell (to use his evolutionary view) or DNA, or indeed the left-handedness of life's proteins, are in themselves worthy of being considered supernatural acts, in that they do not naturally follow from the (strangely fortituous) laws of nature in the same way as the origin of the heavier elements. He neglects to address the still unresolved (and fatal) problems regarding the early atmosphere, crucial to the origins question. In distancing himself from his perception of "creationism," he exhibits similar forgetfulness when he claims that his argument is consistent with naturalistic science--"that the cosmos ... can be comprehended ultimately in its entirety by human reason." But surely he does not mean to include abiogenesis and the fitness of the universe for life. Instead, one gets the impression that he is trying to be charitable to his fundamentalist Darwinian colleagues.

What Denton does do well is take us on a marvelous tour of how finely-tuned the universe is to allow us to exist. He does this in far greater detail than most other books of this kind. He covers such "coincidences" as the many fortituous (and anomolous) properties of water, independent yet working together to support life; the fine-tuning of physical constants; suspicious dovetailing of nuclear resonances; the fitness of carbon and other elements for life; the complexity and inexplicability of DNA and proteins; etc. As we read about the ingenuity employed at the molecular level for the sending of nerve signals, manipulation of electrons, conveyance of oxygen, and so on, and the many such contrivances that are essential for life, we are struck by the overwhelming, mind-boggling complexity of it all, and the sneaking suspicion that much is taken on faith in evolutionistic circles. And we see immediately that it cannot be an informed faith based on any scientific evidence, but rather a wishful, forced belief that such nanomachines could have arisen by chance. By the time we have recovered from our revelations about water and carbon, how wonderfully fit they are for our existence, by the time we are finished reading about proteins and the cell, it seems an impossibility that life, being so complex as it is, could have arisen at all, even if it were created by some supernatural being; for this being would have to be possessed of an intellect that beggars our minds. We are used to thinking of cells as simple blobs of protoplasmic jelly, as did Darwin; not so. Now we can understand wny the intricate requirements of life are usually glossed over in popularized treatments on evolution: either the knowledge was not available then, or the inclusion of it would have made evolution impossible, even ridiculous, to defend.

However, details even creationists take for granted are scrutinized, leaving us with a sense of awe (or gnashing of teeth): the fitness of the visual spectrum for vision; the design of the hand; our body dimensions and bipedal gait, allowing us to use fire and thus develop technology; our capacity for language; and so on. In doing so he shows us that the "chance" so casually spoken of in evolutionism quickly diminishes to absurdity upon open-minded examination of our cosmos; and that, indeed, we were meant to discover this fact.

This compilation of smoking guns makes for an always fascinating, always interesting read, bound to raise much ire in evolutionistic circles. Perhaps a better title would have been "Denton's Dangerous Idea." Apologies to many sci-fi writers should be forthcoming, as he demonstrates that many concepts of otherworldly life can be entertained only in our naivete.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Peculiar contribution; a worthwhile read
This book could almost be seen as a sequel to Denton's first major critique of Darwinian Evolution, "Evolution a Theory in Crisis." In that book he devastates the Neo-Darwinian paradigm with evidence from various fields of biology, and concludes that life does appear to be designed. But then he does not follow the conclusion to a Designer, but remains a confirmed atheist (or agnostic). Apparently to resolve this peculiar stance of his, he writes the second volume, "Nature's Destiny". In it, he dives into a full-fledged purpose-driven (teleological) view of life and the universe. Or more accurately, what he proposes is a thoroughly deterministic view of life, based on the inherent physical and chemical constants in the laws of nature. While I by no means subscribe to his evolutionary conclusions regarding the evidence he propounds, I found the evidence and research he presented pointing to design to be fascinating.

What makes this book so peculiar is that the remarkable array of evidence he presents in the first 11 chapters is undeniably damaging to the Neo-Darwinian theories, a fact for which creationists and intelligent design advocates alike will applaud his book. Denton clearly shows how hundreds of discoveries in science have repeatedly bolstered rather than weakened the teleological view. Quite predictably, this evidence has made the evolutionists uncomfortable(see other reviews). Yet the conclusions that he draws from this evidence will undoubtedly spawn much more diverse reactions. He basically rejects the existence of God (and therefore cannot rightly be considered a true friend to creation or intelligent design), and retains evolution, albeit in a drastically altered form. His speculations are much more in line with the punctuated equilibrium theorists in this regard, but without relying on the randomness of mutations for the supposed upward drive of evolution. His rejection of God and retaining of evolution will no doubt please the hardened atheistic evolutionists on some level, but it will be interesting to see how the scientific community at large will react to this book. For the reasons I state above, almost all readers will pick and choose from this book, rather than falling directly in line with Denton's beliefs.

Thus where I found the true "meat" of the book to be was in the first 11 chapters, where he deals with scientific evidence pointing to design and purpose, and this is where the book excels. Denton's discussion of water's unique fitness for life, carbon as the standout element for organic chemistry, DNA as unsurpassed among any conceivable information-storing chemical, the rejection of alternate organic chemistries or any arbitrariness in the constituents of life, and much more, presents an astounding glimpse at how delicate and finely-tuned life really is. I found the chapter "Homo Sapiens: Fire Maker" to be one of the most fascinating in the book. Granted, he does enter into several "hypotheticals" in this chapter, but he does present a remarkable analysis of why humans are uniquely suited to possess intelligence and technology. Thus he even acknowledges humankind as the crown of creation. Denton, unlike so many evolutionists today, clearly sees the fingerprint of God in creation. What is so amazing about the book is that an atheist (or agnostic?) scientist presents the objectivity of design arguments. But he emphatically turns away when it comes to identifying God as the Designer. The second half of the book, with his conclusions, is a speculative mix of philosophical and negative theological reasoning, that leads him to the false god of a mystical materialistic purpose in nature. Based on his concluding arguments these book does not deserve 4 stars, but the overwhelming detail of evidence presented that objectively reveals design in nature, makes this book a very worthwhile read (and outweighs the latter portion of the book).

3-0 out of 5 stars attempt to reintroduce purpose-teleology back into biology
It's an odd book, not at all what i expected. I only finished it the 3rd time i tried, after putting it to the bottom of the TBR pile as a waste of reading time. The reason i bought it was that recommendations had it being an important contribution to the Creation-Evolution-Design debate, being an account of purposefulness in the universe encoded in the very physical and biological laws of natural science. The first part, on physical constants(or constraints) and how little they can vary and still have a human being friendly universe, was tedious and boring. The reason i found it so was my expectations clashed with the books reality, i thought it was polemical, fast moving, directed at enemies near and far, in general combative. It's not, it is working through the details, especially the first half. So the reason i finished it is not the same reason as i bought it.

Secondly, it is a misused, misconstrued, misread book in the CEd debate. It is a testimony to the strength of the young earth creationists and their desire to completely polarize the conversation that this book is recommended as ID or even worse as creationist. Simply NOT TRUE, the author is a non-darwinian materialist evolutionist with several pages in the preface directed at this confusion. It is almost like the YEC believe the enemy of my enemies is my friend. Just like they jumped at punctuated evolution as a 'proof' of their thinking, they are jumping at this book.

This out of the way, what is the book about?
The first part, roughly half the book, is an extended, detailed account of physical things and how important their exact characteristics are to the presence of life on earth. This is really introduction to the second half, which are the particular characteristics of biological life are generative of the forms of life we see around us. Essentially the book is an argument against S.J.Gould's statement that if you replayed the video tape of life on earth it would be substantially different than it is because the driving forces are undirectional particularly the spontaneity of mutation.
To this argument the 12th chapter, "the tree of life" is, imho, the key point of the book. It is certainly possible to read it by itself and i would recommend this to anyone, the central themes of the chapter are not dependent upon the earlier material. The following chapters are the details of some pieces of the puzzle started in chapter 12, fleshed out, made into sections in their own right.

So i've reduced a 400+ page book to a careful reading of one chapter. So what is the point of "the tree of life"?

Taking the very old image of the tree of life, setting next to it the modern genetic idea of the investigation of DNA sequence space through time via evolution by creatures existing in morphological or phenotypic space. It is his idea that evolution 'fills', 'investigates', or 'explores' the tree of life in a directed, purposeful way. The chapter is a speculative look at the potential forces that could constraint, prune, force into channels this evolutionary force to literally build a tree where the main branches, the truck, maybe even the twigs, certainly the general form was implicit before hand in those laws and constraints. This looks very much like the Neoplatonic idea of forms updated to the world of PCR and Human Genomic Project.

It's speculative, often i wrote-argument from ignorance*- in the margin, as if he believed 'A' rather than 'B' because there was no 'C' on the horizon, and 'A' looked better than 'B'. The only example i really appreciated was the idea that Australia with it's extraordinary marsupial convergence towards placential animals elsewhere in the world, shows that Gould's tape has run a second time in the history of this world and produced much the same creatures, at least morphologically.

It's an interesting book, i would, if i could do the time over again, read chapter 12 to the end, then just skim the 1st half skipping the mass of uninteresting detail. It IS an important contribution to the CED debate but i am afraid from what i see written about it that people are not really reading it before they recommend it. One problem is that it will be attacked from both major sides in the debate. From the naturalistic darwinian evolutionists because not-teleology not-designed is a crucial element of their high level metaphysics and from the creationist side who can not conceive of a design without a designer or purpose without consciousness. The second problem is that it is not polemical, not convincing because it is so speculative and daring, more a putting out of new ideas to see how they fly then a fully mature consistent position.

*actually argument from personal incredulity....

3-0 out of 5 stars trying to reintroduce teleology-purpose back into biology
It's an odd book, not at all what i expected. I only finished it the 3rd time i tried. The reason i bought it was that recommendations had it being an important contribution to the Creation-Evolution-Design debate, being an account of purposefulness in the universe encoded in the very physical and biological laws of natural science. The first part, on physical constants and how little they can vary and still have a human being friendly universe, was tedious and boring. The reason i found it so was my expectations, i thought it was polemical, fast moving, directed at enemies near and far, in general combative. It's not, it is working through the details, especially the first half. So the reason i finished it is not the same reason as i bought it.

Secondly, it is a misused, misconstrued, misread book in the CEd debate. It is a testimony to the strength of the young earth creationists and their desire to completely polarize the conversation that this book is recommended as ID or even creationist. Simply NOT TRUE, the author is non-darwinian materialist evolutionist with several pages in the preface directed at this confusion.

This out of the way, what is the book about?
The first part, roughly half the book is an extended, detailed account of physical things and how important their exact characteristics are to the presence of life on earth. This is really introduction to the second half, which are the particular characteristics of biological life are generative of the forms of life we see around us. Essentially the book is an argument about S.J.Gould's statement that if you replayed the video tape of life on earth it would be substantially different than it is because the driving forces are undirectional particularly the spontaneity of mutation.
To this argument the 12th chapter, "the tree of life" is, imho, the key point of the book. It is certainly possible to read it by itself and i would recommend this to anyone, the central themes of the chapter are not dependent upon the earlier chapters. The following chapters are the details of some pieces of the puzzle started in chapter 12, fleshed out.
So i've reduced a 400+ page book to a careful reading of one chapter. So what is the point of "the tree of life"?

Taking the very old image of the tree of life, setting next to it the modern genetic idea of the investigation of DNA sequence space through time via evolution by creatures existing in morphological or phenotypic space. It is his idea that evolution 'fills' 'investigates' 'explores' the tree of life in a directed, purposeful way. The chapter is a speculative look at the potential forces that could constraint, prune, force into channels this evolutionary force to literally build a tree where the main branches, the general form was implicit before hand in those laws and constraints.

It's speculative, often i wrote-argument from ignorance- in the margin, as if he believed 'A' rather than 'B' because there was no 'C' on the horizon, and 'A' looked better than 'B'. The only example i really appreciated was the idea that Australia with it's extraordinary marsupial convergence towards placential animals elsewhere in the world, shows that Gould's tape has run and produced much the same creatures.

It's an interesting book, i would, if i could do the time over again, read chapter 12 to the end, then just skim the 1st half skipping the mass of uninteresting detail. It is an important contribution to the CED debate but i am afraid from what i see written about it that people are not really reading it before they recommend it. One problem is that it will be attacked from both major sides in the debate. From the naturalistic darwinian evolutionists because not-teleology not-designed is a crucial element of their high level metaphysics and from the creationist side who can not conceive of a design without a designer or purpose without consciousness. The second problem is that it is not polemical, not convincing because it is so speculative and daring, more a putting out of new ideas to see how they fly then a fully mature consistent position. ... Read more


51. The Nature of Consciousness : The Structure of Reality: Theory of Everything Equation Revealed : Scientific Verification and Proof of Logic God Is
by Jerry Davidson Wheatley
list price: $73.95
our price: $62.86
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0970316100
Catlog: Book (2001-05)
Publisher: Research Scientific Press
Sales Rank: 60088
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The purpose of science is to understand Reality. The ultimate goal and Holy Grail of physics is to understand everything by a single all-embracing principle called the Theory of Everything (TOE).

Jerry Davidson Wheatley has produced a scientific book that details how he found an excellent candidate for the Theory of Everything Equation: One that defies all other possibilities.

The book describes the Structure of Reality and how it leads to the Ultimate Principle. The principle explains the ultimate nature of space and time. It unifies the four forces of nature (gravitational, electromagnetic, weak and strong nuclear forces) and merges Relativity with Quantum Theory. It defines the nature of consciousness and experience and, in so doing, elucidates the idea of God and Creation. It scientifically explains the Bible and most religions.

It solves and explains the most vexing scientific and philosophical problems. It explains biological evolution in a nonreductionistic manner. It explains the Big Bang. It solves the logical dilemma left by Goedel's Incompleteness Theorems.

His book is a comprehensive scientific understanding of reality. Yet, no math skills are needed to understand it. Recommended for serious scientists and truth-seekers. ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Should be Required Reading for everyone
This book will change your life. You will never think the same way you did before reading it.
I have a degree in chemistry and I think this book should be read by everyone in the sciences. Without a doubt, the best book I've ever read. Why and what are two of our best friends

5-0 out of 5 stars A Very Important Book
I must preface my review by stating that I have never been so excited and moved by a book that I have wanted to contact the author. That is what I found myself doing upon reading this book. This book is just what its title says. The author does not "miss a beat" describing in great detail using practically every aspect of scientific knowledge from atomic structure through logic to quantum theory---we are even given a valuable explanation of Love. This text may be challenging to read for those unfamiliar with scientific terminology. And it can also be difficult for those with a science background, such as myself. However, for me it is well worth the work necessary to strive to understand the unfamiliar terminology. (I am continually learning from this book. I am presently on my third reread).

One of the author's main messages is "not" to believe anything without first verifying it with reality, as we know it. He calls it the "Personal Explanation Principle". He indicates that religions are just such belief systems that we as people "fall" victims of; because we do not verify the beliefs with the facts, as we know them, of reality. He gives a very detailed explanation of how the New Testament can be explored using his methodology.

The author methodically and meticulously walks us through his thought processes, which took 30 years to assimilate, of delineating the structure of reality and the nature of consciousness. Included in the "walk" are many of reality's phenomena made revelatory. An example of that, for me, would be the dual nature of light. It's particle/wave duality, which is explained as "functions". Also, when the author took me on the mental journey of "Setness" an exhilaration of the magnificence of life swelled up in me.

To me this is a very important book that should be read by all that are seekers of truth. It is for all those wanting to gain an understanding of the purpose for their existence, wanting to know where life is headed towards, and wanting to know who God is.

This book will enlighten and develop one's mind substantially. You will discover that this is our objective.

And yes, I contacted the author and he responded openly.

5-0 out of 5 stars Illuminating!!!
This is a really great book. It combines philosophy and science in order to tackle a multitude of existential problems. The author's style of writing is fresh and alive, I recommend ths book to anyone interested in expanding the fronteirs of their understanding. Books I also liked are a Universe in an Nutshell by Steven Hawkings and Descent into Illusions by Paul Omeziri.

5-0 out of 5 stars Patterns for Behavioral Studies
Mr. Wheatley has touched upon one of the most intriguing methods, through scientific study and evalution, that leads to new deductions for behavioral patterns. Many books have been written for sociological, psychological, cultural, and behavioral studies, of which I have a deep interest. However, as you are led step by step through the scientific processes of this book, one's perspective of human behavior will take on a whole new meaning. Such questions as "why do people behave the way they do?", or "How do cultural, geographical, sociological factors impact our behavior?" take on a whole new perspective for study and evaluation. This book could become required text at the college level for scientific studies. I was fascinated with several concepts put forth by Mr. Wheatley.

5-0 out of 5 stars "It is the Glory of God to conceal a matter" Proverbs 25:2
If you awoke from Nowhere and quickly overcame your Fear, BUY THIS BOOK! If you have looked out from the eyes of Adam Kadmon before all of this began, BUY THIS BOOK! If you saw the Creation take place before your eyes, BUY THIS BOOK! If you saw the left profile of the Bearded Man on the Mountain across the Great Abyss, BUY THIS BOOK! If you have witnessed effects before their cause, BUY THIS BOOK! If the Man on the Tesseract rescued you from the place where the Two Great Seas meet, BUY THIS BOOK! If you have been given the Three Words of the Two-Edged Sword, BUY THIS BOOK! If you became One in Perfect Love with Unseen She and are now an empty shell, BUY THIS BOOK! If you unceasingly recognize Synchronicity, BUY THIS BOOK! If, in addition to the Eternal Questions, you have asked, "What's happening?" "What's going on?", BUY THIS BOOK! Wheatley is a Master Teacher. He speaks square words to those who have square earholes to hear. Perhaps some may think this book should not have been published at such a ridiculously low price, believing pearls should not be cast before swine. Albeit, to those initiated in the mysteries of Life, willingly or unwillingly, HERE IS YOUR MANUAL. Here is the understanding of what it was you experienced. "[T]he glory of kings is to search out a matter." Ibid ... Read more


52. The Ash Wednesday Supper/LA Cena De Le Ceneri: LA Cena De Le Ceneri (Renaissance Society of America Reprint Texts, 4)
by Giordano Bruno, Lawrence S. Lerner, Edward A. Gosselin
list price: $25.95
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Asin: 0802074693
Catlog: Book (1995-01-01)
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
Sales Rank: 370619
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Good book, good translation, questionable interpretation
Giordan Bruno is still today a controversial philosopher. In this book he exposes his philosophical/cosmological ideas and, in doing so, he uses the new Copernican theory as the basis for a new, daring vision of the universe.
Anybody who would like to familiarize him/herself with the work of Bruno, or is interested in the development of Western ideas will find this book extremely challenging. However I would like to say a few words on the interpretation that the translators give of Bruno's ideas. The translators appear to follow completely an interpretation of Bruno based on the theory of the english scolar Frances Yates. According to this theory Bruno was an exponent of the (then popular) Hermetic movement.
It is imperative to underscore that Yates theory is not universally accepted. While it is known that Hermetic influences can be traced in Bruno, to reduce his whole cosmology and his understanding of Copernican theory to a "hieroglyphic" is misleading if not plainly wrong.
Bruno was not a scientist, but he was the first to intuitively realize the revolutionary consequences of Copernican theory (not only for science) and to bring that theory to its logical conclusions: an infinite universe with infinite earth-like worlds. This vision can not be reconciled with the world of the hermetic "Magus". The whole purpose of the hermetic Magus was to ascend the material world to the world of the perfect spheres. In Bruno's universe there is nothing to ascend to. The universe is composed of a thin air where an infinity of worlds and stars are suspended and move following universal (animistic) principles. The other worlds are corruptible as much as the earth and may be inhabited by earth-like people. The very base of the hermetic doctrine is missing. I would therefore encourage the interested reader not to stop the investigation of Bruno's ideas to the hermetic interpretation, but to also read different points of view (for example Yates interpretation of Bruno's use of images has recently been challenged with very solid arguments by the finding of italian scholars). In particular I found the book of Hillary Gatti "Giordano Bruno and the renaissance science" extremely interesting and complete.

5-0 out of 5 stars Superb translation and penetrating interpretation
Giordano Bruno stands at the cusp between the Renaissance and the modern world. His unique attempts to extract philosophical and theological meaning from Copernicus's forward-looking work provide us with striking insights into the Weltanschauung of his troubled times. Gosselin and Lerner have brilliantly translated Bruno's elegant but involuted Renaissance Italian into clear modern English that nevertheless preserves the spirit of the original. Their thoughtful notes bring comprehensibility to previously misunderstood passages, and the linkage they establish between Bruno's travails and Galileo's later troubles is highly convincing. A must-read for the scientist as well as the philosopher ... Read more


53. Cosmology : The Science of the Universe
by Edward Harrison
list price: $65.00
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Asin: 052166148X
Catlog: Book (2000-03-16)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 302289
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Cosmology: The Science of the Universe is a broad introduction to the science of modern cosmology, with emphasis on its historical origins. The first edition of this best-selling book received worldwide acclaim for its lucid style and wide-ranging exploration of the universe.This eagerly awaited second edition updates and greatly extends the first with seven new chapters that explore early scientific cosmology, Cartesian and Newtonian world systems, cosmology after Newton and before Einstein, special relativity, observational cosmology, inflation and creation of the universe.All chapters conclude with a section entitled Reflections containing provocative topics that will foster lively debate.The new Projects section, also at the end of each chapter, raises questions and issues to challenge the reader. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Cosmology
The first time I bought the next addition of any book. It explaines gravity and that makes it far better then any other book on this subject.

3-0 out of 5 stars A stepping stone to real cosmology
This text represents a lower division stepping stone from pop cosmology (the first three minutes, cosmic questions, the inflationary universe) to scholary texts. Much insight can be gleaned from the author's imagination experiments. Still, the plethora of equations can mislead readers into thinking they have somehow mastered essentials.
The author is far behind in his understanding of post 1980 observations and theory. Occasional mistakes in algebra can also be unsettling. Buy this book but soley in preparation for more serious texts and reviews.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Very Best Book on Cosmology
Undoubtedly, "Cosmology, The Science of the Universe" by Edward Harrison is by far the best book on cosmology that I have ever read. Dr. Harrison did an outstanding job in presenting the physics of the universe. He does not shy away from presenting the mathematics necessary for a complete understanding of the physics involved in describing the universe (or universes as Dr. Harrison points out).

The book contains hundreds of equations, diagrams, illustrations, tables, charts, descriptions and analogies so the reader (or student) can grasp a complete understanding of the physics.

This book is a must for any student of astrophysics. I very much enjoyed reading and would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in understanding the physics of the universe.

5-0 out of 5 stars A serious but very accessible introduction to the field
Even though "Cosmology" is technically a textbook, it takes a rather different sort of approach from the usual such offering. This book makes the subject come alive with excitement by employing a unique style. Even though the book was designed for intro ivy-league students, there's more than enough here to challenge (and intrique) someone who's fully science/physics-literate. The book emphasizes basic principles and intelligently avoids the various fads which seem to plague cosmology at any given time (inflation, dark matter, excessive veneration of the latest observations made with the newest & sexiest technology, etc). It makes clear the important distinction between astronomy and cosmology.

Harrison is both an expert in, and an aficionado of, the grand ideas about creation, so the hard science here is interspersed with relevant pieces of history, philosophy, and literature (i.e., the humanities) -- but not too much, rather just enough to give an appreciation for how great minds of all sorts have wrestled with these problems in one form or another for as long as we know. And Harrison has a way of boiling down the difficult concepts to their essentials, making an opaque subject transparent.

Even though the scientific level is moderately high for a book aimed ostensibly at novices, there are no lengthy mathematical derivations or formulas of the sort that one might think would be necessary to convey, say, Einstein's general relativity or the intricacies of sub-atomic physics. Often taking an order-of-magnitude and geometrical approach, the book avoids long confusing digressions into trivialities and summarizes many of its important points in excellent diagrams. Harrison is great at bringing in just enough from some other branch of physics to help you grasp the topic at hand, so the development as you progress through the book is nearly perfect. He's also excellent at conveying the important conundrums, uncertainties, and many pitfalls in the field. The coverage is very balanced and complete, yet anything but shallow.

Even though I was a grad student in astrophysics at Berkeley, I didn't learn cosmology from Joseph Silk there. Instead, I learned it after I left -- from this book (the 1st edition). Harrison is that good at making what can be a perplexing subject both interesting and understandable. I came away from it feeling I finally "got" cosmology, the grandest of all subjects.

The only better book for the less serious lay person or someone who finds scientific material difficult would be his "Masks of the Universe" -- unfortunately now out-of-print, but well worth tracking down.

5-0 out of 5 stars A splendid survey about cosmology
A good book describing our past and present universe. A must for students and docents in natural science. ... Read more


54. The Nature of Space and Time
by Stephen Hawking, Roger Penrose
list price: $19.95
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Asin: 0691050848
Catlog: Book (2000-10-15)
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Sales Rank: 78076
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Who doesn't love a good argument? When physics heavyweights Stephen W. Hawking and Roger Penrose delivered three sets of back-and-forth lectures capped by a final debate at Cambridge's Isaac Newton Institute, the course of modern cosmological thinking was at stake. As it happens, The Nature of Space and Time, which collects these remarks, suggests that little has changed from the days when Einstein challenged Bohr by refusing to believe that God plays dice. The math is more abstruse, the arguments more refined, but the argument still hinges on whether our physical theories should be expected to model reality or merely predict measurements.

Hawking, clever and playful as usual, sides with Bohr and the Copenhagen interpretation and builds a strong case for quantum gravity. Penrose, inevitably a bit dry in comparison, shares Einstein's horror at such intuition-blasting thought experiments as Schrödinger's long-suffering cat--and scores just as many points for general relativity. The math is tough going for lay readers, but a few leaps of faith will carry them through to some deeply thought-provoking rhetoric. Though no questions find final answers in The Nature of Space and Time, the quality of discourse should be enough to satisfy the scientifically curious.--Rob Lightner ... Read more

Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars A debate between two strong personalities in physics
The current understanding of the physical structure of the universe is bipolar. There is Einstein's theory of relativity, which explains the macroscopic behavior of the universe to many places to the right of the decimal point. At the other end of the size spectrum, there is the quantum theory of fields, which explains the observed behavior of fundamental particles to many places to the right of the decimal point. Although one should always be very reluctant to state such a position, the resolution of this bipolar state into a unified one may be the last, great discovery of physics.
The purpose of this book is to present a debate between Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose concerning the possibility of the issue being resolved, and in what manner. It is a series of six short lectures, three from each man and ends with a brief debate between them. These lectures are not for the general audience, as each lecturer assumes a fundamental understanding of general relativity and quantum theory. Nevertheless, there is a great deal of explanation, including diagrams, in the lectures. Therefore, it is possible to understand the material if you have a basic understanding of the two main topics. Without that, don't bother opening the book.
Of course, the issue is not resolved, as that must wait for a later date. It is interesting that Hawking tends to emphasize the points of difference, while Penrose goes to some length to describe how similar their positions are. Penrose continues with the position of Albert Einstein, in that he argues that quantum mechanics is not a final theory, but only the "gross" appearance of much subtler events. Hawking believes otherwise, arguing that the probabilistic features of quantum mechanics is the way nature does things, and there is no underlying mechanism yet to be discovered that will remove them.
The arguments are strong, yet unconvincing. Not due to their lack of power, but because they are made by two equally strong and forceful personalities. When two such powers collide, there is rarely resolution. Nevertheless, the debate sheds a great deal of light on the current state of thinking in physics, and points out some ways in which it may be resolved.

2-0 out of 5 stars SAH-WEET ...!!!
After having read "A Brief History of Time", "Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays", "The Cambridge Lectures" and "The Universe In a Nutshell" by the esteemed Professor Hawking, as well as Brian Greene's "The Elegant Universe", I figured this book would be yet another great educational read!

It appears that my initial logic was somewhat flawed.

While the book states at it's outset that it requires an understanding of physics, I believe that it requires either the equivalent mind-power of a Einstein with the cocaine-induced flashes of Freud, or the equivalent computing power of everything Seymour Cray ever built...after several upgrades!

After (during?!) the first chapter, I simply couldn't keep my thoughts from blurring into obscure thoughts of the fact that GM is killing the Camaro after 35 successful years...the price of inkjet printer supplies... Bill...Gates keeps getting away with it...and essentially ANY OTHER TOPIC than that which I was "attempting" to read at the time!

While one of the girls at the coffee shop (I get wired on caffeine, and I read...) who, I must admit, was absolutely, captivatingly exotic, and her mere presence drew my eye more often that I care to admit, using her as an excuse for my distraction would really only be secondary at best.

The fact remains that the book simply isn't written for laymen; it's for scientists...and not just "good" scientists either, but the "truly rare" breed...unfortunately, that breed does not appear to include me. Sure, I can get into Mensa...but this book was almost completely beyond me! (I GOT THE INDEX!!!)

I'd very highly reccommend any or ALL (obviously my choice) of the books I've noted above for anyone with an interest, but as for this one...if you're not working for a PHD, Masters, or at least a Bachelor's degree, save your money, because this'll only make you tear your hair out...for many, it's probably falling quickly enough on its own already.

Not me, of course, as I'm just so pretty my face decided to annex surrounding territory for expansion purposes.

Well...theoretics are theoretics, right?

3-0 out of 5 stars hold on for dear life
This was an early attempt to capitalize on Hawking's commercial success with the Brief History. Roger Penrose, Hawking's PhD advisor, has also written some really fascinating books for lay readers on philosophical implications of physics such as on the nature of intelligence. However, combining the two in a debate, the form of this book, cancels out the reader-friendly accessibility of their solo works as their egos take charge and they try to outperform each other. It makes sense after the fact that if they're debating, they must be discussing matters on which they disagree, and since physics is so well settled and understood on all but the most esoteric and advanced questions, the subject matter of their disagreements must lie in that advanced realm. Of course, "advanced" is a vastly relative term to apply to physics, since many ordinary readers would balk at any physics material. But I have a degree in physics, albeit only a BS - and after the initial material I have to struggle to follow anything they're saying! They should stamp this book's cover with a caveat emptor; this is no "Brief History of Time" or "Elegant Universe." They even mention at the outset that they assume the reader has a basic understanding of physics, but these guys' idea of a basic understanding is a Ph.D. specializing in general relativity. Having said all that, the book still makes for heady reading from what I could pick up here and there, so it's a thrill if you're up to it.

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting but not Great
In spite of the errors mentioned in another review the discussion was fairly interesting but not as great a "debate" as I anticipated. I'd spend my money on Penrose's "The Emporer's New Mind" before this one. For those interested in Black Holes, Kip Thorne's "Black Holes and Time Warps ..." is exceptionally well written and rewarding for the reader. For the technically [mathematically] apt who wants an fascinating treatice on spacetime, try John Wheeler and Ignazio Ciufolini's book on Geometrodynamics (Princeton Univ. Press).

1-0 out of 5 stars Massive confusion among irreconcilable physical concepts..
Apart from the elementary, undergraduate level errors in thermodynamics, e.g. the first law of thermodynamics on page 24 is NOT the first law, nor is it a combination of the first and second laws due to a sign error; the Helmholtz free energy on page 50 is NOT the Helmholtz free energy again due to a sign error; the statement on page 135 that all Einstein needed not to go fishing after 1925 was 'Stephen's discovery, fifty-five years later, of black hole radiation' is offensive! Hawking's great surprise, on page 43, that black hole radiation emission was exactly thermal with a temperature derived from the Bekenstein-Hawking expression for black hole entropy in terms of the area of the horizon is ludicrous because it has to correspond to the entropy of black body radiation, which it doesn't. The above are merely examples which serve to call into question the contributions of these two researchers and certainly raise grave doubts concerning the worth of this book. ... Read more


55. Stars and their Spectra : An Introduction to the Spectral Sequence
by James B. Kaler
list price: $34.99
our price: $28.34
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Asin: 0521585708
Catlog: Book (1997-03-27)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 224930
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This unique and informative text describes how stars are classified according to their spectral qualities and temperature.James Kaler explains the alphabet of stellar astronomy, running from cool M stars to hot O stars, and tells the story of their evolution.Before embarking on a voyage of cosmic discovery, the author discusses the fundamental properties of stars, their atomic structure and the formation of spectra. Then, Kaler considers each star type individually and explores its spectra in detail.A review of unusual, hard-to-classify stars, and a discussion of data related to the birth, life and death of stars round out the text.This book is an important resource for all amateur astronomers and students of astronomy. Professionals will find it a refreshing read as well. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very engaging and makes a good reference too
"Stars and their Spectra" is overall a significantly better read than Kaler's earlier work "Stars", which touched on many topics but didn't dive into any of them satisfyingly enough. This book delivers a thorough yet introductory coverage of the science of stellar spectroscopy. As an added bonus, it's very well-written and is great fun to read cover to cover. Kaler clearly harbors great enthusiasm for this subject, particularly when he discusses extreme stars like supergiants and white dwarfs.

Kaler spends the first eighty pages or so covering the basics of how stars work, spectral theory, and history of the modern scheme of spectral classification (OBAFGKM, easily remembered by the popular mnemonic Oh Be A Fine Girl Kiss Me). The meat of the book comes next: a chapter devoted to each letter of the sequence, starting from the cool M stars and working up to the ultra-hot O stars. Here Kaler goes into significant detail on the defining characteristics of each class and how those characteristics manifest themselves physically. We learn how dwarfs, giants, and supergiants may share a spectral class but are fundamentally different (the giants and supergiants almost always aged into that spectral class from a different one). A wealth of other information on each class is presented. We finish up with stars that don't really appear on the regular H-R diagram, such as white dwarfs and neutron stars. Kaler also gives a nice overview at the end of how stars journey along the H-R diagram, changing spectral classes as they age and their internal fusion engines deplete their fuel.

I see stars of a myriad of different colors through my telescope. A few are stunning and a great many come in attractive pairs or multiples. Yet visually they're all points of light with little meaning. It was fascinating to see how much can be learned from analyzing the detailed characteristics of a star's light by dispersing it in a spectrograph. Due to the advancements in this science and the aggregation of data points on the modern H-R diagram, it is often possible to guage a star's size, age, chemical composition, and distance solely from the qualities of its light.

I sell most books after I read them but this one's a keeper and has a permanent spot on the shelf!

5-0 out of 5 stars How to make astrophysics interesting and comprehensible
If you think that star spectrography is an obscure and boring field of research reserved to people with a Cambridge degree, well, you're wrong, and here's why. "Stars And Their Spectra" is yet another marvelous book by James Kaler one of the leading (and still the most underrated!) divulgator of stellar astronomy. It's the natural follow-up of "Stars", Kaler's book on the birth, evolution and death of (guess what?) stars. It explains how the light coming from objects distants thousands of light-years (or more) does contains a wealth of informations on the nature of those little points of light in the night sky. The classification of spectral data, the nature of emission and absorbtion lines, the whole array of concpet behind the analisys of stellar light, it's all presented in a clear manner, with great examples and the right amount of illustrations. Moreover, Kaler it's a divulgator but a scientist too, and he never insults the intelligence of the reader trying to banalize the subject matter. Based on a series of articles appeared on "Sky And Telescope", "The Stars And Their Spectra" will make turn you instantly in an amateur spectrographer...

5-0 out of 5 stars Superbly done
As an amateur astronomer I simply cannot beleive I have gone so long enjoying astronomy without coming to grips with spectra. While the concepts are generally known this book takes the general reader step by step through probably the most important pillar of modern astronomy, analyses of light.

The book requires no advanced mathematics (if it had I wouldnt have understood it) and sticks to good solid concepts.

While it is accessible to the general reader Kaler pulls no punches even when you wish he had, insisting on parsecs instead of lightyears for example. However the joy of him pulling no punches is you are left with a good grounding with which to move onto other works or even do some spectroscopy yourself as I did.

I would commend other astronomy enthusiasts or lovers of space science to get to grips with how we determine the make up of stars and other objects, this is the book to do it.

4-0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction to the spectral sequence.
I have found this book an excellent introduction to the study of stars and in my opinion it can be addressed to a very wide audience including non-expert. The reasons are the following: 1-) It keeps a very basic level in its explanations and throughout the whole book. 2)- It starts of with basic nevertheless fundamental definitions to the understanding of the development of the subject. 3)-It focuses on CONCEPTS which I find essencial in any first encounter with a new subject specially in scientific fields. This is unfortunatelly rarely found within the literature in the field of Physics. 4)- It provides plenny examples to ilustrate the explanations provided and then compares them with available experimental observations. 5)- It is one of the few books which has been able to succesfully avoid the overwhelming ussage of formulae while still addressing the subject in full extent at its introductory level. This is very encouraging for the beguiner as well as for the general audience since it brings closer a field which it has always been basicaly restricted to the expert, thus hindering the spread of scientific knowledge.

I would definetely make use of it in an introductory stellar course, as a base for an undergraduate level course inside or out the field of physics. ... Read more


56. Biocosm: The New Scientific Theory of Evolution : Intelligent Life Is the Architect of the Universe
by James N. Gardner
list price: $17.95
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Asin: 1930722222
Catlog: Book (2003-08-01)
Publisher: Inner Ocean Publishing
Sales Rank: 3001
Average Customer Review: 4.17 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Cosmic Biocomics
This collage of theoretical explorations is as fascinating as it is (apparently) incoherent and gives a progress report on the current state of evolutionary speculation, driven by the unadmitted breakdown of the Darwinian viewpoint, a reality that can't be acknowledged in public. And that's the problem here. You can't have it both ways. It seems the ID people have Darwinists spooked and on the run, and while the elements of a new approach to evolution are certainly appearing over the horizon noone can summon up the presence of mind to ditch natural selection. Contradictory hybrids come into existence in a sort of frolic of wild notions. Now we have cosmic selection theories and Dawkins' selfish gene projected onto cosmology. Far be it from me to throw cold water on all these shenigans, especially since I find it all luridly fascinating and the book entertaining. One thing the author has done is to place the pieces of the puzzle, au courant, onto the table. Perhaps one can somehow fit them together, Darwin, selectionism, ID, anthropics, baby universes, exobilogical exhuberance, and finally a bit of Kant. I was alarmed to see the author confused by Robert Wright's directionality thesis from Non Zero with its total confusion and cooptation of Kant's essay on history. For, whatever we make of the cosmological foundations of biological theory the question of history remains inscrutable as far as current Darwinism is concerned, and Kant's essay points the way to the right question, and provides elements of the right methodology.(Cf. the reviewer's material on this issue of Kant) Current science simply cannot handle any of that,it seems. You can't hybridize Kant and Darwin. As long as the delusion persists that the descent of man was the result of natural selection the basic incoherence will persist. In fact, human history is completely beyond the reach of current science. It's not even in the right ball park and has degenerated from the insights of the Enlightenment. The result is a lot of confused physicists who are too smart to realize they are acting stupidly.
All this said, I enjoyed the somewhat disordered collation of theoretical ideas. The bits and pieces keep flying out of nowhere and I couldn't quite keep track of it all, and the standard appearance of the nonsense about sociobiological ethics mars the result. The overall picture however is highly intriguing, as an idea for the revision of current views around a theme/theory of cosmic life processes. But it is difficult to proceed without a theory of the evolution of consciousness, and there current science hasn't a clue.
Guess what! Modern science doesn't have a coherent theory of evolution. The author unwittingly lets the cat out of the bag. No wonder they have peer review.

2-0 out of 5 stars Ockham's Razor cuts this book off my list.
Recognizing that an intelligent designer of our universe is needed to plausibly account for the fine-tuning required for it's existence, this books author tries to avoid using anything like the omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent God of Christianity as that designer. Instead he relies on a very powerful being that's more like a super-mom or super-scientist of a prior universe to do the birthing. Our infant universe--as it's mother before--has a built-in purpose to develop more "complexity" and eventually evolve to the point when it can give birth to another similar infant universe just like it's mother did to it before. This is repeated over and over again, hopefully without going astray, producing "kid universes" that provide enough "complexity" so the chain is never permanently broken. Here no prior universe exists in eternal quiescence.

But how did all this start? Whatever _begins_ to exist has a cause, how did that beginning arise? One way to avoid the regress, which then brings back what _some_ atheists want to avoid, is an eternal, uncaused intelligent designer that is timeless before creation and omnitemporal at once with creation. The author doesn't want any of that. A closed causal chain that's not self-defeating makes the "future" cause the "past" in one big loop so there never is any real beginning to time and this big cycle just always is.

One still wonders whether this infinitely birthing cycle of universes cause even more problems than a universe with a beginning. Most don't think that an infinite number of things is real because this leads to all sorts of self-contradictions and seems to provide no basis for rational thought. Consider that subtracting all odd numbers from all natural numbers gives an infinite number. So infinity minus infinity is infinity. However, subtracting all numbers greater than 2 leaves 3. So infinity minus infinity is 3! If actual infinites cannot exist in reality, an actual infinite temporal regress of events is an actual infinite and therefore an actual infinite temporal regress of events cannot exist. Another way of looking at it is through successions of events. Since an actual infinite cannot be reached by successive addition, and a temporal series of events is a collection formed by successive addition, then the series of temporal events cannot be infinite. It seems that time and the universe must have had a beginning a finite time ago.

Besides this book being pure speculation and propaganda, it has many specious arguments and one may want to look at other works on these topics. This may also help in deciding if the authors theory is really "falsifiable." Actually, the whole notion of "falsifiability" deserves study.

Anyway, one suggestion is to have a look at the book "GOD? A Debate Between A Christian And An Atheist" by William Lane Craig and Walter Sinnot Armstrong for better arguments.

I side with the "atheist" that believes in an intelligent designer that was atemporal and maybe "supernatural" but not one that has all the characteristics of the Christian God. This is mainly because the defense given by theists to the "problem of evil" just doesn't cut it for me, but these defenses may for others.

5-0 out of 5 stars Interlinking life itself and universal architecture
Biocosm: The New Scientific Theory Of Evolution - Intelligent Life Is The Architect Of The Universe by accomplished science essayist James N. Gardner presents a fascinating hypothesis of how our seemingly "bio-friendly" universe began and what is perceived to be its ultimate destiny. Gardner's "Selfish Biocosm" theory suggests that life and intelligence did not emerge from random Darwinian selection and environmentally deterministic chance, but from a cycle of cosmic creation, evolution, death, and rebirth. Interlinking life itself and universal architecture, fusing biology and cosmology, and more, Biocosm is an absorbing, iconoclastic, and inspirationally presented theory that is recommended as being both thoughtful and thought-provoking.

5-0 out of 5 stars Biocosm: Fresh New Ideas on the Question of Existence
For centuries science has wrestled with the question of how our amazingly complex, life-filled, universe could have formed without the aid on an outside intelligence. Biocosm proposes the most surprising answer of all, that life itself provided the intelligence that created our bio-friendly universe.

The central hypothesis of the book is that at some time in the future, intelligent beings will have the capability of creating universes with the precise characteristics required to spawn life. Whether or not you buy this thesis, Biocosm presents a kaleidoscope of scientific possibilities so advanced that it makes Star Trek look like a buggy ride.

Gardner does an admirable job of weaving together relativity, evolution and complexity theory in a way that keeps the reader glued to each page. The result is a scientific roller coaster that stretches the readers concepts of time, space and intelligence beyond the limits of imagination.

5-0 out of 5 stars Biocosm radically changes our model of existence
Every once in awhile a science book hits the market that has the power to forever change the public's perception of our existence. Books like Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time and Brian Greene's The Elegant Universe presented concepts so unique that they forced us all to take a big gulp and digest bold new thoughts about our existence.

James Gardner's Biocosm falls into this category. This book takes a fresh look at everything we know about life and the universe and makes us think in a radical new way. Ultimately, the importance of books like this lie not in the details of their theories (which are ultimately superseded by others) but in their power to help humanity grasp what we are and how we came to be. If the question of existence is a priority for you then you must read Biocosm. ... Read more


57. Heavenly Errors
by Neil F. Comins
list price: $62.00
our price: $62.00
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Asin: 0231116446
Catlog: Book (2001-08-15)
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Sales Rank: 631880
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Does the weather get warmer in summer because the Earth moves closer to the sun? That many people believe this is a perfect example of common sense leading to scientific misconception, the kind of misconception Neil Comins strives to set straight in Heavenly Errors. Comins is particularly eager to stamp out errors about astronomy, his field, and in his book he explores--and corrects--1,500 "commonly held" astronomical beliefs. Along the way, he investigates the nature of misconceptions, how and why we acquire them, and how to guard against them. He identifies external culprits, such as science fiction films, the Internet, and advertising, and examines how the psychological traits that help humans survive are poor tools for understanding "the real nature of the universe." A writer and teacher, Comins can clearly explain astronomicalconcepts to non-scientists. This book, however, seems geared to freshman astronomy students, and not to the general science reader. --J.B. Peck ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Explains how science really works
Comins (physics and astronomy, Univ. of Maine) provides an informal and engaging discourse on the misconceptions that hinder people from fully understanding the natural world and from discriminating between fact and fraud in everyday life. He uses astronomical examples to illustrate the differences between how nature actually works and how people tend to perceive how it works. Drawing on his experience teaching large science classes, he ruminates on why it is that students enter college with deep-seated misconceptions that prove difficult to correct using traditional lecture-style teaching. The book has a few minor shortcomings worth noting. Some chapters ramble a bit off subject. Much of the posited causes of misconceptions about nature are subjective or anecdotal, not necessarily backed by rigorous research conducted by learned specialists. Chapter 6 contains an unabashed pitch for the author's own elementary astronomy text. Quibbles aside, Heavenly Errors is an interesting new look at how humans perceive nature. Science teachers may find useful the Web-accessible database that Comins has compiled over the years, as well as some of the teaching strategies he describes. Interesting reading for anyone interested in science teaching or public outreach and useful for undergraduate seminars. A good primer on critical thinking and how science really works.

3-0 out of 5 stars Really wanted to give it 3 1/2 stars--better than middle
Considering the misinformation of the general public on astronomical matters (and matters in general), this book casts a welcome light on some of them. The author, further, has a web site listing even more misconceptions, given by students in his classes as well as contributors from his web site audience. The author also delves into the Why of how these misconceptions have arisen in people's minds.

The book is not perfect, and in fact could lead to the furtherance of some other misconceptions. For example, he lists a flat No to the question of whether black holes are black. A correspondence with the author indicates he was thinking of small black holes--with considerably less mass than the moon. Such small black holes would indeed glow, via Hawking radiation, but larger ones would indeed be black by anyone's standards, including those multi-solar-massive ones hypothesized to be at the centers of galaxies. However Prof. Comins' reply did rid me of my misconception that it is only for a short period of time that small black holes glow.

Alluding to the fact that the moon keeps the same side toward the earth all the time, the book states that in the lunar sky, the earth "won't budge, no matter how many days, weeks, months, years, or decades you watch it". In actuality, due to the eccentricity of the moon's orbit and the tilt of its axis relative to its orbit, the moon's center librates as seen from the earth, and as seen from the moon, the earth moves in the sky with a range of 16 degrees East-West (8 degrees either way from center) and 13 degrees north-south. As a result the earth could get to be 20 degrees from where you first saw it. That's 10 earth diameters, or 40 earth-viewed full moon's width, so it really more than "budges". Prof. Comins explains in correspondence that he "chose to be glib about this point because it would take quite a lot to describe issues related to libration from scratch with only a small gain in insight by the general reader." Yet one of his listed misconceptions was of the center of mass of the moon's core being at the geometric center of the moon; that difference is only about 1/2 mile, out of the 2000-mile lunar diameter.

In the book, Prof. Comins states that it is never safe to look directly at the sun without a proper solar filter. He doesn't exempt looking at the corona during totality of a solar eclipse. In his correspondence, he states "Concerning looking directly at the Sun during a total eclipse, it is definitely not safe to do so. A close friend of mine lost a significant amount of his vision doing so. Looking directly at the corona during a total eclipse is still extremely dangerous. Keep in mind that the Sun is in totality for only a matter of minutes, and as soon as it comes out, its brightness is dangerous." While I can understand the impact of personal tragedies, it's also true that people travel thousands of miles to view totality directly. I have done so four times and viewed the totally eclipsed sun with the unaided eye and even through a telescope. And to do so, one cannot have a filter, and my eyes are unscathed, as are those of many hundreds, or thousands, who go on eclipse cruises and expeditions. They have accurate predictions of the timing and accurate timers, and call out to all to "look away" at the appropriate time. As the NASA web site on eye safety during solar eclipses states: "In spite of these precautions, the total phase of an eclipse can and should be viewed without any filters whatsoever. The naked eye view of totality is completely safe and is overwhelmingly awe-inspiring!" ... Read more


58. Relativity: Special, General, and Cosmological
by Wolfgang Rindler
list price: $44.50
our price: $44.50
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Asin: 0198508360
Catlog: Book (2001-10-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 175186
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Whoosh
Professor Rindler explains the concepts with clarity and rigour while minimising the complexities of the notation and formulae. His ability to put ideas into words is outstanding. If you have heard the tales of trains that whoosh past in the ether, and are still none the wiser; or have wondered how the background radiation that set out on its way at the speed of light when the world was a smaller simpler place is only now reaching us, this book will enlighten you. Even for those whose maths cannot keep up it should be worthwhile, stimulating even, to read the sections at the beginning of each chapter, and those elsewhere light in formulae. For those willing to tackle the exercises he is perhaps a little too generous with the hints.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very good
I think both undergraduates and graduates students in physics will find this text enjoyable and enlightening. The sections on general relativity and cosmology are, I think, a little less thorough and complicated than those in Wald or Shultz, though I've only briefly perused those other texts. (GR is still plenty abstract and mathematical in Rindler.) The end of chapter exercises are well-chosen and lead the reader to understand the material. Rindler does an excellent job of keep physical insight at the forefront of his discussions. He points out and resolves a number of interesting paradoxes, and he mentions a number of interesting modern experiments when relevant. ... Read more


59. Perfumery: Practice and Principles
by Robert R.Calkin, J. StephanJellinek
list price: $125.00
our price: $120.00
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Asin: 0471589349
Catlog: Book (1994-08-15)
Publisher: Wiley-Interscience
Sales Rank: 472150
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A text/reference regarding the structure and function of components used in perfume development and the process of developing perfumes. Covers gas chromatography, mass spectrometry and a host of other analytical techniques; the esthetics and techniques of perfume development; the manifold and ever-changing safety-related requirements of countries and customers; concerns about the environmental impact of materials and impurities which affect the perfumer's work. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Perfumes are a matter of chemistry and image
For the lay person that is not involved in the fragranceindustry thisbook sheds an entirely different light on perfumery. Perfumes are not a matter of attractiveness, they are a matter of chemistry, image, and clever marketing. ... Read more


60. Sky Atlas 2000.0, 2nd Deluxe Unlaminated Version
by Wil Tirion, Roger W. Sinnott
list price: $49.95
our price: $49.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0933346875
Catlog: Book (1998-11-01)
Publisher: Sky Pub.
Sales Rank: 428483
Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The standard against which all other star atlases are measured, this best-selling atlas has been completely revised and updated! Each version of Sky Atlas 2000.0 contains 26 charts covering the whole sky and showing 81,312 single, multiple, and variable stars of magnitude 8.5 and brighter and 2,700 deep-sky objects. Includes close-up charts of such areas as the celestial poles and the Virgo-Coma galaxy region, as well as an acetate coordinate-grid overlay for determining accurate positions. A must for any stargazer!

Deluxe Unlaminated Version: Stars are black, while deep-sky objects are color-coded by type for easy identification. Fold out charts in a 12 by 16 inch book (charts unfold to 21 by 16 inches), spiralbound. Click on the version you want and click Buy. You may choose more than one version. ... Read more

Reviews (24)

5-0 out of 5 stars This is the one you want for field use!
Been through several others - this is the definitive one.

The black background white stars are perfect for field usage. I hold my flace a suitable distance to make it the same scale as the sky. It actually works. If you dim your light (or squint your eyes), the lower magnitude stars disappear - instant recognition of what you can see through your finder.

It includes overlays for a Telrad (heads up bullseye 1x finder). Other overlays include co-ordinates to use with your setting circles (or DSC style counters/readouts, etc).

This is a must have, no matter what scope you use. I use this with my Meade LX90. Even if your scope is computer controlled (like my LX90), you will want and need a good star chart.

Believe it or not, this star chart is so good it inspired my wife, using only a pair of 16x50 binoculars.

The lamination is important. Nothing worse than the inevitable bug smears on a star chart. You can sponge these off.

Combined with a decent book like the Sky Atlas Companion you are armed for year round viewing. They are so beautiful and complete, on a cloudy night you can enjoy reading them and preparing a night's journey for clear skies.

Get this one - you will never regret it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Useful, but why no lamiated edition?
Wow, more stars, bigger maps, more objects, clearer text, more "accurate" representation of star magnitudes, what more could you ask from the best all around sky atlas for the owner of a 4-10" scope? Well... lamination. In the wee hours of the morning, particularly in the humid parts of the word, an outdoor atlas of this kind tends to get a bit dewey and wrinkled. Strangely the deluxe "Desk" edition has a laminated version.

However, even given this failing, I would recommend this atlas for general viewing. The selection of objects is superb. The clarity of the atlas keeps it legible under observing conditions, and the binding keeps things nicely together.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent but can by for less elsewhere
This excellent resource for backyard astronomers can be purchased for $10 less from Sky and Telescope.

5-0 out of 5 stars Almost Better Than Looking At The Real Sky.
On this Field Edition, each of the 26 charts measures 13.5" by 18.25". Star viewable area of each chart is 11.25 by 16.25". Large enough to see down to the 8th magnitude star.
With it's Main Index Sheet and another sheet with a rough diagram of what is on each chart, it is easy to quickly find the Constellation you seek.
The Introduction explains the symbols and lines used on the charts. With ~43,000 stars, ~2500 deep-sky objects and various points of interest, the charts are well drawn.
With known position of moving objects (like planets, comets, or asteroids) found in a magazine, the clear plastic overlay helps find where it should be positioned, down to <1 minute Right Ascension and/or <10 degrees Declination, almost assuring that you should be able to find where to look in the sky.

5-0 out of 5 stars Loaded with info
I just recently got into backyard astronomy,and some friends who have been at it awhile suggested that I get this amazing atlas.Every page is crammed with the most amazing charts! I can't think of anything better.Be sure to get the companion to this,as well. ... Read more


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