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81. Unfolding Meaning: A Weekend of
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82. Out of This World: Colliding Universes,
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83. Maps of Time : An Introduction
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84. Cosmology: A Very Short Introduction
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85. Chaos, Creativity, and Cosmic
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86. God's Equation : Einstein, Relativity,
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87. A Key to Whitehead's Process and
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88. Exploring the Physics of the Unknown
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89. The Universe That Discovered Itself
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90. A Little Book of Coincidence
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91. Cosmological Inflation and Large-Scale
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92. On the Revolutions of Heavenly
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93. The Artilect War: Cosmists Vs.
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94. A Brief Tour of Higher Consciousness:
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95. Surfing Through Hyperspace: Understanding
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96. The Planet Observer's Handbook
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97. Broca's Brain
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98. New Worlds in the Cosmos : The
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99. Formation of Structure in the
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100. Mere Creation; Science, Faith

81. Unfolding Meaning: A Weekend of Dialogue With David Bohm
by David Bohm, Donald Factor
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Asin: 0415136385
Catlog: Book (1996-06-01)
Publisher: Routledge
Sales Rank: 367932
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Book Description

Bohm discusses with a group of people from various backgrounds his thoughts concerning mind, matter, meaning, the implicate order and a host of other subjects. ... Read more


82. Out of This World: Colliding Universes, Branes, Strings, and Other Wild Ideas of Modern Physics
by Stephen Webb
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Asin: 0387029303
Catlog: Book (2004-07-01)
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Sales Rank: 41566
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Book Description

Although it is now almost unanimously accepted that the cosmos started with the Big Bang, we still have no plausible theory for the forces that set this creative cataclysm into motion. Some of the most profound questions science arise out of the difficulties scientists have explaining how our Universe was born. What happened, and indeed what was, before the Big Bang? During the past few years cosmologists and physicists have begun to develop new ideas, sometimes fantastic, that are beginning to shed light on such questions. In OUT OF THIS WORLD, Stephen Webb examines these amazing recent theories. After introducing general relativity and quantum mechanics-the twin foundations of twentieth century physics-he explains how they are fundamentally incompatible. Then, in a series of increasingly astonishing chapters, he introduces us to the seemingly outlandish and bizarre proposals-from almost unbelievably small particles to huge membranes that may envelope our Universe-that physicists have devised to account for this incompatibility, ultimately leading to us to wholly new realms of understanding. Webb makes these strange and wonderful goings-on accessible, engaging, and enjoyable, conveying not just what theorists have begun to believe about the cosmos, but the awe and excitement felt by scientists as this new picture of the Universe slowly emerges. ... Read more


83. Maps of Time : An Introduction to Big History (California World History Library)
by David Christian, William H. McNeill
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Asin: 0520244761
Catlog: Book (2005-02-01)
Publisher: University of California Press
Sales Rank: 145732
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

An introduction to a new way of looking at history, from a perspective that stretches from the beginning of time to the present day, Maps of Time is world history on an unprecedented scale. Beginning with the Big Bang, David Christian views the interaction of the natural world with the more recent arrivals in flora and fauna, including human beings.
Cosmology, geology, archeology, and population and environmental studies--all figure in David Christian's account, which is an ambitious overview of the emerging field of "Big History." Maps of Time opens with the origins of the universe, the stars and the galaxies, the sun and the solar system, including the earth, and conducts readers through the evolution of the planet before human habitation. It surveys the development of human society from the Paleolithic era through the transition to agriculture, the emergence of cities and states, and the birth of the modern, industrial period right up to intimations of possible futures. Sweeping in scope, finely focused in its minute detail, this riveting account of the known world, from the inception of space-time to the prospects of global warming, lays the groundwork for world history--and Big History--true as never before to its name.
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Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars This book
I took his class last semester, and used the book. Fortunately it coincided with my views of the world, and I was able to finish the book and class with ease.
This book teaches you your spot in the universe. How people, matter, creatures and geography have lived and died, shaping the coils of history to bring you to where you stand today. This is the most scientific and coherent compilation of explanations we have today - Christian is able to see the bits and pieces of life that is around us, and put it together in a book. His theories that are scattered around the book are interesting in themselves.

5-0 out of 5 stars Important book
This important book is so well written that, despite its broad sweep and intellectual distinction, it flows beautifully. The first chapters provide one of the simplest and clearest descriptions of cosmology I've ever read, perhaps even bettter than Neil deGrasse Tyson's in Natural History. Christian provides a marvellous theoretical framework for understanding history as playing out repetitive patterns, and the sweep of learning, while careful, is extraordinary.

4-0 out of 5 stars An ambitious and well-written book

David Christian's Map's of Time might bare the standard for non-parochial academic scholarship for years to come.Starting with the "big bang," Christian charts history from the beginning of the universe to the 21st century by drawing parallels between astronomical, biological, and historical phenomena.While the ambitious scope of this project might prove misguidedly off-putting to the narrow academic specialist (which certainly includes most academics), Christian deserves credit for painting a broad picture amidst an academic culture that prizes knowing more about less.
No one, even Christian, could possibly claim expertise in all the fields that this book traverses.Appropriately and refreshingly, rather than obscuring their works in the footnotes, Christian gives credits to the works of experts whose arguments he draws from within the main text.With a work of this scope, such credit is necessary often.Christian does not use much primary source material, which, again, will make professional historians question the work's greater relevance.But as he states in the introduction, while less accepted in academia, synthesizing information is often as important a task as discovering and presenting new information.This approach is more appealing for many intellectually engaged individuals who do not have the time or energy to keep up with the cutting edge of narrowly defined fields.If academics do not embrace such broader interdisciplinary projects then writers with less scholarly discipline will find eager audiences.
Without much prior knowledge of astronomical jargon, I found Christian's explanation of the big bang, quasars, black holes, star formation, the basic laws of gravitation, and many other complex astronomical phenomena both accessible and fascinating.His coverage of the controversies surrounding precise dating of human ancestors is exhaustive and his explanation of human evolution is cogent.As a historian, however, I think he probably dedicates too much time to these two sections (nearly half of the text).
From the agricultural to the industrial revolution, Christian stresses the interaction between different civilizations or "global zones" of influence as the primary dynamic in history, at least in Africa/Asia/Europe.This methodology illuminates the importance of interaction between civilizations and attempts to display the parochialism of studying "western" or "eastern" civilization in isolation.In this vein, this book responds to the increasing importance of globalization and the subsequent push in the academy and secondary schools for "world history."Yet while this might be an effective approach to analyzing dissemination of technology, the transmission of disease, and the integration of economies, it leaves much to be desired in the way of ideology and world views, which undoubtedly shapes history.
With the coming of the industrial revolution and the emergence of the nation state, Christian shifts his focus to Europe and eventually America.This focus is appropriate given that, for better or for worse, western nations have shaped most of history for the past two centuries.Christian's analysis of the environmental degradation that resulted from industrial nation states past and continuing attempts to consume more in the twentieth century is particularly powerful.Through extensive use of statistics, he shows that the current rate of population increases and consumption is unsustainable.This is not new news but putting this within a broad panorama of history goes a long way towards showing us just how profligate our society is.Ultimately, it makes Christian's speculation on possible futures especially relevant.
All told, this book is well-written, imaginative, and cogent.Realize, however, that Christian is not an expert in all these fields and will not leave readers with more specialized knowledge satisfied with his coverage of their areas of specialization.

4-0 out of 5 stars Maps of Time
Weaknesses of the book
-The cosmology section assumes a very low level of knowledge about the subject, and will not be terribly interesting to those who have read more detailed accounts.
-The part of the book covering human civilizations, meanwhile, assumes a great deal of foreknowledge about the details of history (Christian provides virtually no discussion of the rise or fall of particular empires or political systems), making the text rather less useful to those without a reasonable knowledge of world history in the last 3,000 years.
-Christian's use of scientific terms and statistics can be at times misleading (though this may be unintentional).For example, when comparing rich countries to poor countries, Christian uses data unadjusted for differences in purchasing power, thus greatly amplifying the magnitude of income gaps.And again when emphasizing the rise of the multinational corporation, Christian compares the total market value of large corporations to the annual GDPs of nations, thus increasing the apparent size of the corporations.
-Finally, Christian seems at times unreasonably defensive of Marx and critical of free markets, at one point bemoaning that "Sadly, the Communist revolutions of the twentieth century suggest that overthrowing capitalism may be an extremely destructive project." (478).Why is that sad?Why does "Communism" begin with a capital "C" while "capitalism" does not?I may be nitpicking here, but he goes on like this for some time (incidentally, and perhaps only coincidentally, Christian has his doctorate in Russian history).

Strengths of the book
-The dustjacket is really nice.That may be trivial, but boy does this tome look good on a bookshelf.
-The book really does cover a lot of ground, going from the dawn of the universe through all of human history, rounding off with predictions which extend right through to the death of the last stars and the ultimate victory of thermodynamics' second law.
-Every chapter ends with a recommended reading list which is alone almost worth buying the book for.
-The writing style is at times irresistible; I could scarcely put down the book to relieve myself in pages 335-440 about the rise of the modern period.

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting view of world history
Dr. Christian's view is that history should begin with the creation of the Universe and look at over-arching themes.While this is an interesting concept, Dr. Christian fails to provide enough background information to the non-historian to see how the details support the bigger picture.It is a good methodology book for historians looking to see larger concepts, but it assumes a level of historical knowledge lacking in many laymen. ... Read more


84. Cosmology: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
by Peter Coles
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Asin: 019285416X
Catlog: Book (2001-10-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 220819
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This is the 2nd edition of a highly successful title on this fascinating and complex subject. Concentrating primarily on the theory behind the origin and the evolution of the universe, and where appropriate relating it to observation, the new features of the this addition include:

  • An overall introduction to the book

  • Two new chapters: Gravitational Lensing and Gravitational Waves

  • Each part has a collection of exercises with solutions to numerical parts at the end of the book

  • Contains a table of physical constants

  • The addition of a consolidated bibilography
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Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars A very good introduction to cosmology
Professor Coles' book on cosmology in the VSI series is a very good introduction to the subject. If you search for a first book on the subject, that's it (although you can also choose Stephen Hawking's Brief History of Time and the contents of these two books could complement with each other)! It provides an overview of the key concepts of cosmology in non-technical language while preserving room for deeper thought and exploration for those who are not satisfied with an introduction.

In my opinion, Chapter 2 provides the best simplified exposition of Einstein's relativity and here and there the book shows very clear exposition of the Hubble's law with kept-to-minimum mathematical presentation which is comprehensible by the general reader without relevant training at all.

Although it may be my own problem, I cannot quite get hold of the key concept of the Friedmann models. The models are first presented in Chapter 3 but they are often quoted in later chapters. Reading them all together, I fail to make a coherent understanding on the models. ... Read more


85. Chaos, Creativity, and Cosmic Consciousness
by Rupert Sheldrake, Terence McKenna, Ralph Abraham, Jean Houston
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Asin: 0892819774
Catlog: Book (2001-12-01)
Publisher: Park Street Press
Sales Rank: 78490
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Three of the most original thinkers of our time explore issues that call into question our current views of reality, morality, and the nature of life. *A wide-ranging investigation of the ecology of inner and outer space, the role of chaos theory in the dynamics of human creation, and the rediscovery of traditional wisdom.

In this book of "trialogues," the late psychedelic visionary and shamanologist Terence McKenna, acclaimed biologist and originator of the morphogenetic fields theory Rupert Sheldrake, and mathematician and chaos theory scientist Ralph Abraham explore the relationships between chaos and creativity and their connection to cosmic consciousness. Their observations call into question our current views of reality, morality, and the nature of life in the universe. The authors challenge the reader to the deepest levels of thought with wide-ranging investigations of the ecology of inner and outer space, the role of chaos in the dynamics of human creation, and the resacralization of the world. Among the provocative questions the authors raise are: Is Armageddon a self-fulfilling prophecy? Are we humans the imaginers or the imagined? Are the eternal laws of nature still evolving? What is the connection between physical light and the light of consciousness?

Part ceremony, part old-fashioned intellectual discussion, these trialogues are an invitation to a new understanding of what Jean Houston calls "the dreamscapes of our everyday waking life." ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars holy trinity?
Three of the most intriguing and revolutionary minds of our time together at last. If you can find the video in which this book is transcribed,it's definitely worth watching as well. it's called Metamorphasis.

5-0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and Enlightening, Intellectual 60s style
I read this book while on jury duty. Because I ran out of reading materials, I went back over it and decided to write down some of my favorite quotes. Here is one example, by Ralph Abraham. "I find the whole idea that the world's soul is confined in a space/time continuum of four or ten dimensions extremely claustrophobic." So, you all get the idea. This was not a book to summarize, so I kept writing down quotes and buzz words. What gave me a lot of chuckles were the interspersed references to psychedelic drugs and various qualities of mushrooms, and the use of mushroom examples and so forth. I don't know much about mushrooms, but it helps date these guys, even while they are talking about ten dimensions being claustrophobic. I will say this-- they must have had some good trips.

I don't pretend to understand a lot of their references, mushrooms aside, but it is an easy book to read as long as one doesn't feel the need to follow up every lead and reference. Their approaches seem to be kind of cutting edge, but dated, if there is such a combination. I am particularly interested in Sheldrake's morphogenetic fields, which is what led me to the book. My attention span tends to be a little short, so I wanted a kind of breezy overview. Although I enjoyed the book a lot, I don't think I got much out of the morphic fields discussion. So I will look elsewhere for that.

I lent this book to my daughter, who is enthralled by it, particularly since she just took a bunch of final exams, some having to do with statistics and econometrics, so their discussions of modeling were most interesting to her.

And who wouldn't go for the idea of creativity coming out of chaos? Aren't our lives in chaos most of the time anyway? There must be a purpose for it. That's it. I get more creative after every chaotic event!! The discussions about beginnings, endings, various attractors, etc. were really fun to read. Not sure which ones came from their imaginitive minds (resulting from chaos), or their super intelligent brains, and which ones were from the mushrooms.

Oh, here's another Abraham quote I absolutely loved. "As the waves pass the rock, their shape is changed. There is a hologram of the rock within the wave that comes forward and crashes on the beach, then there's a reflected wave back."

Ok, that was cool!! All things considered, if you have some extra time (either on the beach, or on jury duty) read this book. They weaved in references from all aspects of experience-- mythology, mushrooms, science, waves, psychology, philosophy, history, etc. I love that!! I consider a book a success for me if I get one good idea from it. And I got more than that from this one, although I am not any more inclined to take psychedelics than I was prior to reading the book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Cutting-edge Cosmology
This is a gripping series of conversations between the three authors discussing various aspects of the psyche, the universe, the role of chaos theory in the dynamics of creation and the rediscovery of ancient wisdom. The authors, all three of whom stood at the cutting edge of their respective disciplines, challenge the reader about our current views of reality, morality and the nature of life. The sometimes breathtaking insights emerging from this will not fail to move the reader. The chapters on creativity, the imagination and chaos are amongst the most compelling, and deal with theories like the cosmic imagination as a higher dimensional magnet that pulls the evolutionary process to itself, the Omega Point, and imagination arising out of the womb of chaos. Other fascinating topics include indeterminism in nature, nature's organising fields as mathematical representations, and the encoding of information in crystals and in written language. The chapter "Light and Vision" is one of the most poetic, dealing as it does with physical light and the light of consciousness, the theory that one's thoughts are a measurable field emanating from the eyes, the similarities between electromagnetic and mental fields, the concept of a world soul, and morphogenetic fields as a medium of divine omniscience. Incorporeal intelligence and non-human entities are discussed - are the latter merely inhabitants of the psyche or do they have an independent existence? Scientists and inventors like Kekule, who received answers in dreams, are referenced here. The book concludes with a glossary, bibliography and biographical information about the authors. It is a stimulating text in which the power of the mythical imagination, scientific observation and innovative speculation combine to create a thought-provoking reading experience.

4-0 out of 5 stars Repackaging flair
For those new to the works of Sheldrake, this could be the perfect buy.

Yes, it's a repackaged version of what the authorities would consider "Old School." So if you want a book with a cool title, cool cover, and probably one of the more digestible texts of Sheldrake's ideas, (and you don't have any Sheldrake on your shelf) then this would work.

As for complaints by Sheldrake fanatics, hey, at least this is getting those marvelous ideas by McKenna and Sheldrake out to newer and newer audiences!

3-0 out of 5 stars TRICKY MARKETING BY PUBLISHER- + Dishonest
Well I just received my book and come to find out it is the exact same book I already own under a different name + graphics. This book is originally titled "Trialogues at the edge of the west".
I would not have bought this book if I knew I already owned it. I find the publisher, Park Street Press, completely dishonest for not informing the "would be buyer" what this book really is.
I was friend's with one of the authors, Terence mckenna, and I find this to be just another way for corporations and individuals to capitalize on his death-
such a shame. ... Read more


86. God's Equation : Einstein, Relativity, and the Expanding Universe
by AMIR D. ACZEL
list price: $11.95
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Asin: 0385334850
Catlog: Book (2000-11-28)
Publisher: Delta
Sales Rank: 232340
Average Customer Review: 4.16 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Are we on the verge of solving the riddle of creation using Einstein's "greatest blunder"?

In a work that is at once lucid, exhilarating and profound, renowned mathematician Dr. Amir Aczel, critically acclaimed author of Fermat's Last Theorem, takes us into the heart of science's greatest mystery. In January 1998, astronomers found evidence that the cosmos is expanding at an ever-increasing rate. The way we perceive the universe was changed forever. The most compelling theory cosmologists could find to explain this phenomenon was Einstein's cosmological constant, a theory he conceived--and rejected---over eighty years ago.

Drawing on newly discovered letters of Einstein--many translated here for the first time--years of research, and interviews with prominent mathematicians, cosmologists, physicists, and astronomers, Aczel takes us on a fascinating journey into "the strange geometry of space-time," and into the mind of a genius. Here the unthinkable becomes real: an infinite, ever-expanding, ever-accelerating universe whose only absolute is the speed of light. Awesome in scope, thrilling in detail, God's Equation is storytelling at its finest.
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Reviews (31)

5-0 out of 5 stars A good read...
Aczel, whose book about Fermat's last theorem was an enjoyable romp through the history of mathematics, now turns his attention to Einstein's theory of general relativity and its implications for cosmology. Based on his work with some historians who are taking a fresh look at Einstein's life and work through recently discovered notebooks and correspondence (Renn, Stachel, et.al), Aczel is able to reveal some previously unknown factoids about the 20th century's greatest scientist. For example, a previously unknown notebook from about 1912 reveals that Einstein had produced his field equation for gravitation nearly 3 years earlier than its final publication in 1915. Apparently Einstein was not convinced of the accuracy of this equation, for he abandoned it, only to rederive it 3 years later with apparently no recollection that he'd been there before. Aczel also spends some effort refuting the popular myth that Einstein was no good at mathematics. He was a superb mathematician, says Aczel, and largely self-taught, which speaks to his agile intellect and intuitive sense for fruitful areas of research.

Unlike any other biographies of Einstein or expositions of relativity that I've read, Aczel takes a "mathematician's eye view" of general relativity, and spends considerable time tracing the development of the geometry of curved space through Gauss, Reimann, and several other lessor known contributors. He also reveals, which I had not known previously, that Einstein kept up an ongoing correspondence with the legendary British mathematician David Hilbert, and that Hilbert published some work of his own based on early copies of Einstein's field equations. This incident has apparently been fodder for considerable historiagraphical debate, and was only recently settled that there was no plagarism or other funny business occurring on the part of either man.

God's Equation is not all Einstein, however. Aczel also introduces us to many of the nagging questions in modern cosmology, and astronomers' attempts to reconcile the recently discovered accelerating expansion of the universe with current theories. Astronomer Saul Perlmutter is central to the story's recent developments, whose supernova observing program lent considerable weight to the accelerating expansion scenario. Taking center stage for this discussion is the resurrection of the cosmological constant, Einstein's famous "blunder," which Aczel argues, has never really left cosmology. As modern astronomers have looked further and further into the universe and back in time, the cosmological constant seems more and more necessary to some theorists, as a repulsive force to counteract the attractive force of gravity (which is itself a brute simplification, since anybody familiar with general relativity knows that gravity is not a force at all, but rather a result of curved spacetime).

Overall, I do recommend this book, though I'm frustrated that Aczel didn't do much more with this opportunity. This book could have easily been twice as long. I get the sense that he was hurried to get it to print for some reason, passing over stories that begged for further clarification (more, for instance, on the eclipse expeditions so central to providing proof for general relativity, and less on the roots of World War I, which delayed the expeditions). All in all, it's an excellent addition to the existing material on Einstein's life and work, and a teaser for more detail on what's really going on in modern cosmology (in the last two or three years, particularly). It makes me hunger for some publications based on Renn and Stachel's work on Einstein. I found a few typographical errors (in a discussion about the effect of Minkowski's lectures on Einstein while at the ETH, he gives a date for Minkowski's birth four years after Einstein published his paper on special relativity).

5-0 out of 5 stars A great story
This is one of the best popular books I have read about cosmology. What I liked in the book is that it does not try to dazzle the reader with exotic and complicated words. It describes in plain words how Einstein's idea of the "cosmological constant" developed over the years. When it was introduced it looked like a good idea, but was clearly marginal to the interests of current science; later, Einstein himself thought that it was a big blunder; now, almost a century later, the cosmological constant has become a key problem, which links the study of the origin of the Universe with the study of the ultimate building blocks of matter. Aczel's book tells this fantastic story.

After reading it I realized that that the book's title is very proper: it is the story of the search of God. But this is not the God of the common religions: it is Einstein's God, the Mind who wrote the ultimate equation. No title could better describe Einstein's motivation.

While telling this story, Aczel describes the life of Einstein and his times: I read many things about Einstein that I did not know. In conclusion, it is a book worth reading.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Explanation of a Mind Boggling Theory
A meandering book that undertakes to explain the one recently observed fact that the universe appears to be expanding with increasing speed, with the historical fact that one of the results of Einstein's cosmology formulas predicted this expansion of the Universe. Einstein thought he was mistaken and corrected the formulas. The author does an admirable job keeping the subject interesting . The reader is exposed to the history of the experiments to prove Einstein's theory along with a large amount of anecdotal and biographical material of the main characters involved. No math is really discussed in this book, just the conclusions of mathematical formulas. I think the author included a little too much extraneous background. The reader should be prepared for an onslaught of material that makes one wonder if the author is begging for material to fill the pages.That point aside, I consider this author still one of the best at explaining science to the layman. On a par with Isaac Assimov in that respect.

4-0 out of 5 stars Relatively speaking . . .
For fans of "Connections-style" history of science, this is a great read. It does an especially good job of chronicling the interplay between math and physics, and how general relativity could not be developed until the appropriate mathematical constructs were available. Using the cosmological constant as the common thread in exploring how general relativity has shaped our understanding of the evolution of the universe lets Aczel pull everything together in a most satisfying way. There are some weak points, however. Sprinkling a few equations in the text does nothing to clarify his explanations and gives a simplistic view of the real mathematics involved, and his inclusion of irrelevant biographical details of minor players is a bit exasperating. Nonetheless, most readers will find this time well spent.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Accessible Introduction to Complex Physics
In "God's Equation", Amir Aczel explores the recent history of cosmology and physics, interwoven with a biography of Albert Einstein. Despite the fact that he is discussing complex ideas and topics, Aczel manages to explain concepts in an easy-to-understand fashion.

Perhaps the most enjoyable part of the book was the biography of Einstein infused in the chapters. Einstein was an amazing scientist and a fascinating person, and Aczel reveals his life in an interesting way. The reader also learns of the great work of a number of scientific/mathematical genuises of the past- such as Euclid, Planck, and Reimann. Their discoveries, like Einstein's are explained to the reader in a surprisingly accessible way.

The most interesting conclusion of this book is that the universe is expanding, and will expand forever. This seems counterintuitive, for it implies a universe that began a finite time ago and will never re-contract. This is perhaps one of the most important discoveries of all time.

Overall, "God's Equation" is a highly accessible and highly recommended book. It is a fast read, and one that won't be regretted. ... Read more


87. A Key to Whitehead's Process and Reality
by Donald W. Sherburne
list price: $24.00
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Asin: 0226752933
Catlog: Book (1981-09-15)
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Sales Rank: 119769
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent primer
Alfred North Whitehead, in his magnum opus 'Process and Reality', set forth a philosophical framework that has inspired the subsequent generation of theologians to look towards a new system of metaphysics, ethics, epistemology, and theological reality. One of the problems with 'Process and Reality', however, is that it is not a very accessible text to most people, even to most theologians. Donald Sherburne has done great service to legions of pastors, students, and interested lay persons by simplifying and reorganising the text of 'Process and Reality' into a more logical and easier-to-read text.

Sherburne's introduction speaks of the lack of information available on Whitehead - since his death in 1947, his influence has been confined to philosophy and theology, and then only at graduate-student and higher levels. This has not changed, for the most part, in the decades since the first publication of Sherburne's text, but it is beginning to make itself felt in various levels through grassroots 'evangelism' of process thought principles.

The text itself is organised to allow primary emphasis on Whitehead's own writing from 'Process and Reality', followed closely in the chapters by paragraphs of explanation and commentary by Sherburne (these are presented in an italicised typeface, making the distinction between Whitehead's words and the commentary very clear).

The rearrangement of topics follows more closely what a typical student of philosophy might expect to find in any other philosophy text. Like logic or geometry (Whitehead was a protégé of Bertrand Russell of Principia Mathematica fame), it begins with basic principles and concepts. For Whitehead, this is the actual entity and the process itself. From this, the text explores how things are what they are, and how we can come to know them.

How things are constituted involved their formative elements; for Whitehead, these consist of God, creativity, and the pure potentiality inherent in the universe. With these in mind, the process of concrescence is presented.

Sherburne then presents ideas of the macrocosmic and nexus, and the requirements and limitations on perception. This leads to a discussion of Whitehead versus other philosophers, many of whom will be far more familiar to the readers. Descartes, Hume, Locke, Kant, and the methods of science (through a lens of Newton and Plato first, then further developed) are explored.

The seventh chapter, on God and the World, is perhaps the most interesting and useful to theologians. God's primordial and consequent natures are explored. Whitehead uses the process ideas set forth earlier to look at the concept of immortality, in particular, the love of God for the world, and the process by which all of reality can be redeemed and held complete in the mind of God.

Sherburne states that the Appendix - In Defense of Speculative Philosophy - can be read first or last in the text; Sherburne actually recommends both, so that Whitehead's Defense can serve both as a setting and a conclusion to this text. Philosophy, particularly metaphysics and the more speculative sorts of philosophy, has been under critical attack over the past few generations. Whitehead's arguments for the value of philosophy, particularly when it relates to other intellectual disciplines (as opposed to merely trying to explain things away) are worth considering by the philosopher, scientist, historian, theologian, political scientist, and followers of many other disciplines.

There is a useful glossary of terms that I return to time and again. These are good definitions, succinctly stated, deriving from the text of 'Process and Reality'.

Sherburne, a professor of philosophy at Vanderbilt, is also one of the editors who produced the corrected version of Whitehead's primary text, 'Process and Reality'. This book can serve as an excellent preliminary study prior to going on to 'Process and Reality' itself, but I would advise those seriously interested in Whitehead and process thought to continue on toward that text.

4-0 out of 5 stars Must have for Process and Reality
I tried to wade though Whitehead's Process and Reality unarmed several times and was routed by hoards of "actual entities", "eternal objects" and other beasts. Finally, fortified by Sherburne, I made it. And you can too, but don't think the going is easy even with Sherburne at your side.

He does a good job of reorganizing the text so that the concepts build in a more linear fashion, he also provides some insightful introductions to his chapters. Still, I give the book only a 4, because it's still hard to get the big picture from the onslaught of details.

5-0 out of 5 stars you'll need this one...
...if you want to understand Whitehead but haven't attempted him yet. Sherburne does indeed provide a key to Whitehead by unlocking his concepts one by one and explaining them in plain English. Recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars This key really works
This book is the place to start if you want to understand Whitehead's Process and Reality.

Sherburne has done a masterful job of explaining Whitehead's many neologisms.

Process and Reality is one of the masterworks of 20th century philosophy, however its terminology make it hard to comprehend.

Sherburne's book makes Process and Reality accessible even to non-philosophers. ... Read more


88. Exploring the Physics of the Unknown Universe: An Adventurers Guide
by Milo Wolff
list price: $15.00
our price: $12.75
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Asin: 0962778710
Catlog: Book (1994)
Publisher: Technotran Press
Sales Rank: 513997
Average Customer Review: 4.88 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Part I describes the fundamental laws underlying science. The emphasis is on intuitive understanding of the foundations of scientific knowledge to enable deciphering of Mother Nature's designs for the physical universe. It explains the six fundamental laws: Conservation of Energy, Gravity, Coulomb's force, Newton's laws, Quantum Mechanics, and Special Relativity. The book follows a trail of scientific ideas and clues from the Greeks to Newton, Mach, Clifford, Einstein, Dirac, and Feynman to Modern galactic astronomy.

Part II discusses cosmology, space and the universe. It explores their enigmas and paradoxes. Dr Wolff's role is a friendly guide to the reader, enabling her/him to understand the machinery behind Nature's laws, and to help solve the puzzles which have confounded scientists over the years. The century-old controversy of wave structure or substance structure of particles is examined and it is shown that a wave structure is the probable origin of the natural laws. The mysterious role of space itself is explored and the reader is asked and helped to choose between truth and prejudice. ... Read more

Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars State of art and helpful thoughts on unification
My copy of Milo Wolff's book is covered with notations. A wide side margin seems to invite the reader to think out loud as he reads. Mr. Wolff's effort to review the understanding current now in physics and then supply his own creative insight, makes interesting reading. As I read book after book on the subject, the way an author organizes the history, addresses the meaningful, and draws his own conclusions, gives physics the human drama of epic. This is where science and art work together. "Exploring the Physics of the Unknown Universe" invites everyone to enjoy the subject and to think about it for themselves. Its a "How to Book" in the sense one is encouraged to undetstand the problems and then come up with their own ideas as to why nature does the things it does. It does not marginalize the reader from the work of phyicis by suggesting only the few thousand card carrying theoretical physicist in the world are the only ones capable of understanding how this universe works. I like the way Mr. Wolff opens the discussion up to the general public. In view of the fact physics has not yet supplied a working unification model, maybe it is time more phycist like Mr. Wolff encourage new input. Milo Wolff offers, with this book, the lay person, and the scientist as well, a creative tool. Read and enjoy.

5-0 out of 5 stars A New Way of Looking at the Universe
In this book Dr. Wolff explains, clearly and concisely, some very difficult and revolutionary concepts regarding the wave structure of matter. The ideas he presents are thought-provoking, yet written clearly enough to be understood by someone with absolutely no background in physics, such as myself. That he accomplishes this with a minimum of mathematical formulas is to his credit. Time will tell, of course,but I believe that his ideas are the sort that future generations will look back upon as being ahead of their time. Exploring the Physics of the Unknown Universe is well-written, well-illustrated, and well worth your time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Easy to understand, fun to read
As Milo Wolff`s granddaughter, I am, of course, immensely proud of his accomplishments and excellent book. Even without a background in physics, I found the theories contained within these pages interesting and relatively (no pun intended!) easy to understand. Aunt Jenny`s illustrations are helpful, too. As a young reader - highschool age - I can say that this book is more an adventure than a textbook, and much more engaging than the mundane texts that we are given to read in school. I recommend it for anyone with an interest in the world around us and an inquisitive mind! Great job, GF Milo!

5-0 out of 5 stars A book can be read with profit and fun
In this book, Dr. Wolff introduced audience from basic laws of physics to advanced topics of particle and wave structures. Different from text book, Dr. Wolff talk the physics with his insightful ideas and his enthusiasm to the unknown world, challenging the thoughts and provoking the interests of the readers. This book definitely can be read with profit and fun.

5-0 out of 5 stars New concepts, easy to read, mind boggling good fun.
I read a book review of Dr. Wolff's book in Galilean Electrodynamics years ago. I special ordered the book from the publisher and was delighted at the easy to read style, and the new concepts presented (with numerous graphical aids). It was a fun book to read, sit, and think about the possiblities. Even better, the author has an email address and responded to my questions about the material. This is a must read for anyone who looks to the future and wants to think "outside the box", instead to relying on what was taught in school. - Steph Neuwirth, Pr. Engineer, Raytheon Systems, Inc. ... Read more


89. The Universe That Discovered Itself
by John D. Barrow
list price: $16.95
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Asin: 0192862006
Catlog: Book (2000-05-15)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 610485
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Are there really laws of nature out there still waiting to be discovered? Or are they simply illusions?

The Universe that Discovered Itself is a re-titled and wholly revised edition of The World Within the World, John Barrow's extraordinary study of how we view the universe. Ranging from long-ago societies up to tomorrow, and from the magical notions of primitive cultures up to the latest ideas about chaos, black holes, inflation, and superstrings, this book traces the development of our concept of what the laws of nature are and how we might come to know them. Entertaining and inspiring, it is a journey to the edge of space and time--and in Barrow we have the ideal guide and companion. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars An account of New physics
In this small but chubby book author gives an account of history of Physics and goes into new Physics. Starts with greeks and he hates Philosophers, passes through classical Mechanics into Quantum physics with short stories of about the paradoxes and philosophical implications of Quantum Physics and into Cosmology. Half of the book with introduction and other half with Cosmological concepts. A lot of concepts are covered.
Particle Physics, Quantum Vacuum, Black Holes, Anthropologic Principles.Author has a good way of explaining things.
I enjoyed reading it.

4-0 out of 5 stars The author that discovered himself
Judging from my own experience of reading such serious science books, it may be important to gain readers' attention by some measures like nice design, adequate amount of book, and easy vocabularies. At my first glance through this small and thick book, the contents seem to be too much for readers to concentrate. As a whole, this must be one of Barrow's magnificent books. Especially, the subtiles with the quotations of the famous persons are very impressive. This book also leads me to more deeply understand what made me confusing in terms of some new cencepts. I hope his another version of simpler edition will come to public sooner or later.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Universe that discovered itself: Why this name?
I do not understand why this book deserves a diferent name other than "The World within the World", being just a second edition with minor changes. I bought the book via internet, but if I had had the opportunity to revise it in a bookstore, surely I would not buy it. Two sections has been eliminated from the original, and five has been added (twenty pages or so) in this new version. If you realize that the book contains over a hundred sections,you will be convinced that the changes are too few to justify another title. The new sections are: The second string revolution; Questions abot the superfuture; Time travel; The outer limit; Cosmology, stars and the life. The contents of these sections are included in others of the (excellents) books written by Barrow. For example, the section Time Travel is contained in the section "Time Travel: is the universe safe for historians?" from the book "Impossibility: The Limits of Science and the Science of Limits" (Oxford U. P. 1998). Summarizing, if you never read "The world within the world" (Oxford U. P., 1998), you now have a good opportunity to enjoy it in its update version; otherwise, it is preferable to purchase "Pi in the Sky", "Impossibility" or anyone of the tantalizing publications from this great writer.I rate this book with five stars, the same stars corresponding to "The world...", because is the same wonderful book. ... Read more


90. A Little Book of Coincidence
by John Martineau
list price: $10.00
our price: $7.50
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Asin: 0802713882
Catlog: Book (2002-03-01)
Publisher: Walker & Company
Sales Rank: 18866
Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A most unusual guide to the solar system, A Little Book of Coincidence suggests that there may be fundamental relationships between space, time, and life that have not yet been fully understood. From the observations of Ptolemy and Kepler to the Harmony of the Spheres and the hidden structure of the solar system, John Martineau reveals the exquisite orbital patterns of the planets and the mathematical relationships that govern them. A table shows the relative measurements of each planet in eighteen categories, and three pages show the beautiful dance patterns of thirty six pairs of planets and moons. Wooden Books

Small Books, Big Ideas Historically, in all known cultures on Earth, wise men and women studied the four great unchanging liberal arts -numbers, music, geometry and cosmology-and used them to inform the practical and decorative arts like medicine, pottery, agriculture and building. At one time, the metaphysical fields of the liberal arts were considered utterly universal, even placed above physics and religion. Today no one knows them.

Walker & Company is proud to launch Wooden Books, a collectable series of concise books offering simple introductions to timeless sciences and vanishing arts.

Attractively simple in their appearance yet extremely informative in content, these unusual books are the perfect gift solution for all ages and occasions. The expanding title range is highly collectable and ensures continuing interest. In addition, the books are non-gloss and non-color, appealing to a greener book-buying public. Wooden Books are ideally suited to non-book outlets.

Wooden Books are designed as timeless. Much of the information contained in them will be as true in five hundred years time as it was five hundred years ago. These books are designed as gifts, lovely to own. They are beautifully made, case-bound, printed using ultra-fine plates on the highest quality recycled laid paper, finished with thick recycled endpapers and sewn in sections. There are fine, hand drawn illustrations on every page.

The fast-moving world of Wooden Books brings you a selection of fascinating titles. All hardcover, 64 pages, 100% recycled paper at $10.00 each. ... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars The best book yet on Cosmic Weirdness
I don't know what the previous reviewer was going on about - personally I found the planet-centred pictures fascinating (in particular those involving the small planetoid Chiron which turns out to be highly harmonic/resonant with its neighbours). If I had one criticism of this book it would be that the author does not in fact go into resonance as the likely explanation for many of the coincidences he describes, but hey, since most scientists don't seem to talk about it either (they haven't quite cracked it yet), I can see why he goes for the Harry Potter style instead. This is a great book, leave it by the toilet, read a little every day, and have your brain fundamentally rewired. Why has nobody noticed all this stuff before? Astophysicists, this is your wake-up call!

3-0 out of 5 stars Some parts are not explained very well
I found the statements on the ratios of planet diameters and orbits to be well presented and pretty straightforward but the "spirograph" images representing the relative motion of the planets in their orbits and the epicycles, which the author calls "kisses", left me a bit confused. The representation of epicycles on page 7 is clear and makes sense but from there the leap to the sort of creative rendition on page 23 appears to be pure artistry with only the smallest connection to observed reality.

Many comments are simply made with little or no explanation at all, e.g. on p.26, "Mercury also displays a harmonious calendar as its day is 2 of its years, a musical octave". OK. And about 365 earth days is one of its years, which probably isn't an octave. So what? Page after page had comments like this that simply left me wanting a more meaningful discussion.

Many of the "coincidences" presented were very intriguing indeed but I would caution the readers who are awestruck by this book to also read, "Numerology, or, What Pythagoras Wrought", by Dudley, Underwood for an enlightening evaluation of numerical 'coincidences'.

5-0 out of 5 stars AN ENIGMATIC MASTERPIECE
Quite why there isn't more of a storm breaking over this elegant little book I can't work out. Brief, beautiful and to-the-point, it's been my top gift-book of 2004. Good original science wrapped up as magic, I'm still not sure where Martineau is exactly coming from, but there's no arguing with his data (which I have checked). A pity there is no statistical background to the findings he presents, but then this is not the kind of book for that anyway. For what it's worth I think he's probably right (although we won't know for another 100 years) - these kind of patterns may well be a signature of conscious life. I would kind of expect other solar systems with conscious life to also display phi and fibonacci-based relations around their primary 'conscious' planets. We know that liquid water takes an icosahedral structure. Martineau's ideas seem the next logical step. Ahead of its time. Recommended.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great intro to Design in the Universe
Martineau does a great job introducing us to the "coincidences" that surround Earth, and in fact let us exist. However, he wrongly states, "No modern theory exists to explain the miracle of conscious life nor the cosmic coincidences that surround our planet." This is untrue, Intelligent Design Theory (IDT) does just that. (Martineau even asks "Is this design?" on p. 2.)

For more on IDT see books like "The Creator and the Cosmos" by Hugh Ross who has been documenting the cosmic "coincidences" for 20 years. See also Dembski's "Intelligent Design" & "Signs of Intelligence" and Dean's "Is the Truth out There?"

There are other great books in this Wooden Book series: "Sacred Geometry," "Stonehenge" and "Sun, Moon & Earth"

5-0 out of 5 stars John Martineau rocks!
This book is very clever. John Martineau is a genius and my biggest hero. I hope to meet him some day. He understands the universe. I would like him to show me how to become a world famous geometer too! ... Read more


91. Cosmological Inflation and Large-Scale Structure
by Andrew R. Liddle, David H. Lyth
list price: $40.00
our price: $30.40
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521575982
Catlog: Book (2000-04-13)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 119496
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Enormous progress has been made in inflationary cosmology in the past few years and this book is the first to provide a modern and unified overview of the subject. Coverage examines every aspect of inflationary cosmology and carefully compares predictions with the latest observations, including those of the cosmic microwave background, the clustering and velocities of galaxies and the epoch of structure formation. Problems are included throughout to help the student develop a thorough understanding. An ideal introduction to what promises to be one of the most fruitful topics of research in science in the next decade, this volume will be of great interest to graduate students and researchers in astrophysics, cosmology, particle physics, theoretical physics and applied mathematics. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A mess of a book, but still very useful.
This book is a total mess. Lots of errors in the equations. The notation is somehow inconsistent. The authors switch between regular time and conformal time, Fourier series and integrals, etc. Instead of progressing in order, the authors cover the subject in a back-and-forth way that drives me crazy! Still this is very useful compendium of information on Inflationary Theory, at a graduate to professional level. A future edition, more up-to-date, with the errors corrected and a more consistent notation would be a masterpiece. Provided Inflation withstands the test of time (it is doing fine for now!)

Five stars because of the reasonable price!

5-0 out of 5 stars Concise, modern and lucid: pretty good
This is a nice book that introduces all of the basic material for inflation. I found that most of it can be found elsewhere (eg. in Peacock's book), and it isn't necessarily any more comprehensive in Liddle & Lyth, because the pace of exposition is slow. However, it's worth buying for the insights the authors give, for the careful treatment of cosmological perturbation theory and gauge choice, and because it is approached from an explicitly supersymmetric direction. (There is no technical information about supersymmetry, however, and if you are after a book on supersymmetric cosmology, then you will have to look elsewhere. I think Peter D'Eath has a book of this sort, published by CUP.) There is a "beyond the slow roll approximation" section, which is good, and the chapter of inflationary model building is the best I have seen.The level of mathematics is pretty much nil, anyone with basic algebra could cope. Other points of interest are that (1) the authors develop all spectra (power spectrum, spectrum of tensor perturbations etc.) from what they call the "curvature perturbation", which is new to me, although there's absolutely nothing at all wrong with it, (2) the section on large-scale structure (Press-Schecter et. al.) which is included, and (3) the fact that the bibliography gives eprint numbers for the quoted papers. A minor downside is a small amount of forward referencing. It's concise, modern and lucid, and the website has up-to-date info. Excellent. ... Read more


92. On the Revolutions of Heavenly Spheres (Great Minds Series)
by Nicolaus Copernicus, Prometheus Books
list price: $12.00
our price: $9.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1573920355
Catlog: Book (1995-11-01)
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Sales Rank: 162556
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

New to our On the Shoulders of Giants series, this groundbreaking work of astronomy proposed a heliocentric universe in which planets orbited the sun-daring to challenge the Ptolemaic ideal of the earth as the center of the universe. This essay by Copernicus (1473-1543), revolutionized the way we look at the earth's placement in the universe, and paved the way for many great scientists, including Galileo and Isaac Newton, whose theories stemmed from this model. Featuring a biography of Copernicus and an accessible, enlightening introduction, both written by the renowned physicist Stephen Hawking, On the Revolution of Heavenly Spheres provides a fascinating look at the theories which shaped our modern understanding of astronomy and physics.

Black-and-white illustrations. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars What A Joy As Well As A Work of Art
Never before did I know a man could explain the heliocentric universe as well in this book. Of Course, Copernicus explained it centuries before my birth. But, it seems so foolish to believe the geocentric view, and I'm Catholic. Read "Dialogues" by Galileo to get the full picture of what these two men said, it it truly fascinating. ... Read more


93. The Artilect War: Cosmists Vs. Terrans: A Bitter Controversy Concerning Whether Humanity Should Build Godlike Massively Intelligent Machines
by Hugo de Garis
list price: $22.95
our price: $22.95
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Asin: 0882801546
Catlog: Book (2005-02-28)
Publisher: ETC Publications
Sales Rank: 392560
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This book’s main idea is that this century’s global politics will be dominated by the "species dominance" issue. 21st century technologies will enable the building of artilects (artificial intellects, artificial intelligences, massively intelligent machines) with 1040 components, using reversible, heatless, 3D, molecular scale, self assembling, one bit per atom, nano-teched, quantum computers, which may dwarf human intelligence levels by a factor of trillions of trillions and more.

The question that will dominate global politics this century will be whether humanity should or should not build these artilects. Those in favor of building them are called "Cosmists" in this book, due to their "cosmic" perspective. Those opposed to building them are called "Terrans," as in "terra," the Earth, which is their perspective. The Cosmists will want to build artilects, amongst other reasons, because to them it will be a religion, a scientist's religion that is compatible with modern scientific knowledge.

The Cosmists will feel that humanity has a duty to serve as the stepping-stone towards building the next dominant rung of the evolutionary ladder. Not to do so would be a tragedy on a cosmic scale to them. The Cosmists will claim that stopping such an advance will be counter to human nature, since human beings have always striven to extend their boundaries. Another Cosmist argument is that once the artificial brain based computer market dominates the world economy, economic and political forces in favor of building advanced artilects will be almost unstoppable. The Cosmists will include some of the most powerful, the richest, and the most brilliant of the Earth's citizens, who will devote their enormous abilities to seeing that the artilects get built. A similar argument applies to the military and its use of intelligent weaponry. Neither the commercial nor the military sectors will be willing to give up artilect research unless they are subjected to extreme Terran pressure.

To the Terrans, building artilects will mean taking the risk that the latter may one day decide to exterminate human beings, either deliberately or through indifference. The only certain way to avoid such a risk is not to build them in the first place. The Terrans will argue that human beings will fear the rise of increasingly intelligent machines and their alien differences. To build artilects will require an "evolutionary engineering" approach. The resulting complexities of the evolved structures that underlie the artilects will be too great for human beings to be able to predict the behaviors and attitudes of the artilects towards human beings. The Terrans will be prepared to destroy the Cosmists, even on a distant Cosmist colony, if the Cosmists go ahead with an advanced artilect building program.

In the short to middle term, say the next 50 years or so, the artificial brain based industries will flourish, providing products that are very useful and very popular with the public, such as teacher robots, conversation robots, household cleaner robots, etc. In time, the world economy will be based on such products. Any attempt to stop the development of increasingly intelligent artilects will be very difficult, because the economic and political motivation to continue building them will be very strong in certain circles. If the brain-based computer industries were to stop their research and development into artilects, then many powerful individuals, including the artilect company presidents and certain politicians will lose big money and political influence. They will not give up their status without a fight.

However, as the intelligence levels of the early artilects increases, it will become obvious to everyone that the intelligence gap between these artificial-brain-based products and human beings is narrowing. This will create a growing public anxiety. Eventually, some nasty incident or series of incidents will galvanize most of society against further increase of artificial intelligence in the artilects, leading to the establishment of a global ban on artilect research.

The Cosmists however, will oppose a ban on the development of more intelligent artilects, and will probably go underground. If the incidents continue and are negative enough, the anger and hatred of the Terrans towards the Cosmists will increase to the point where the Cosmists may decide that their fate is to leave the Earth, an option that is quite realistic with 21st century technology.

Since the Cosmists will include some of the most brilliant and economically powerful people on the planet, they will probably create an elite conspiratorial organization whose aim is to build artilects secretly.

The book presents a scenario in which the Cosmists create an asteroid-based colony, masked by some innocuous activity. In reality, this secret society devises a weapon system superior to the best on the Earth. With their wealth and the best human brains, this may be achievable. They will also start making advanced artilects. If the Terrans on the Earth discover the true intentions of the Cosmists, they will probably want to destroy them, but not dare to because of the counter threat of the Cosmists with their more advanced weapons. The stage is thus set for a major 21st century war in which billions of people die – "gigadeath."

This horrific number is derived from an extrapolation up the graph of the number of deaths in major wars from the beginning of the 19th century to the end of the 21st century. Approximately 200 million people died in the 20th century, for political reasons -- wars, purges, genocides, etc.

The profound schizophrenia that the author feels on the Cosmist/Terran species dominance issue will be felt by millions of people within a few years he expects. There is probably Cosmist and Terran in nearly all of us, which may explain why this issue is so divisive. The author is simply one of the first to feel this schizophrenia. Within a decade it may be all over the planet.

The last chapter of the book closes with a repetition of a pithy slogan that summarizes the two main viewpoints in the artilect debate in a nutshell; a debate that the author believes will be raging in the coming decades.

"Do we build gods, or do we build our potential exterminators?" ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Just Think of the Possibilities
To those of us struggling with Windows crashing our stupid computers, this book's subject, the building of super smart computers seems somewhat oxymoronic. No matter how fast you could build a machine, if it crashes several times a day it certainly wouldn't be a risk to humanity.

In another sense, the book raises a question about the possibility of Terminator like devices actually engaging in a war with humans. Can it happen? You certainly cannot prove that it cannot.

What the author is trying to do is to begin thinking about a potential problem. At that he succeeds. ... Read more


94. A Brief Tour of Higher Consciousness: A Cosmic Book on the Mechanics of Creation
by Itzhak Bentov, Jean Houston
list price: $12.95
our price: $10.36
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 089281814X
Catlog: Book (2000-06-01)
Publisher: Destiny Books
Sales Rank: 99553
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Self- Realization made easy!
-You didn't believe me, did you? Okay, let's say this more accurately; Itzhak Bentov makes the understanding of the The Process of self-realization easy! Just in case you haven't realized that Nirvana defeats our Evolution, that your thoughts Can influence our environment, that the ONLY way is from Will to Love, I highly recommend this book. It's one revelatory ride, and a fun one at that! The tickets are right over there; Enjoy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Enlightening and Informative Book that is Mandatory Reading
Itzhak Bentov's second book after "Stalking the Wild Pendulum", (that was completed/published by his wife after his untimely death). Itzhak bentov was a genius in the area of physics and metaphysics, and reveals to mankind (those with the intelligence, and open/elightened minds) the proverbial secrets of the universe.

Other recommended books are- "KYBALION" by Three Initiates ; "Initiation of the World" by Vera Stanley Alder ; "The Secret Life of Nature" by Peter Tompkins ; "Meditation" by Sri Chinmoy ; "Heaven's Mirror" by Graham Hancock ; "ZELATOR" by Mark Hedsel. ... Read more


95. Surfing Through Hyperspace: Understanding Higher Universes in Six Easy Lessons
by Clifford A. Pickover
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195142411
Catlog: Book (2001-02-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 449329
Average Customer Review: 4.06 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Do a little armchair time-travel, rub elbows with a four-dimensional intelligent life form, or stretch your mind to the furthest corner of an uncharted universe. With this astonishing guidebook, Surfing Through Hyperspace, you need not be a mathematician or an astrophysicist to explore the all-but-unfathomable concepts of hyperspace and higher-dimensional geometry.

No subject in mathematics has intrigued both children and adults as much as the idea of a fourth dimension. Philosophers and parapsychologists have meditated on this mysterious space that no one can point to but may be all around us. Yet this extra dimension has a very real, practical value to mathematicians and physicists who use it every day in their calculations. In the tradtion of Flatland, and with an infectious enthusiasm, Clifford Pickover tackles the problems inherent in our 3-D brains trying to visualize a 4-D world, muses on the religious implications of the existence of higher-dimensional consciousness, and urges all curious readers to venture into "the unexplored territory lying beyond the prison of the obvious." Pickover alternates sections that explain the science of hyperspace with sections that dramatize mind-expanding concepts through a fictional dialogue between two futuristic FBI agents who dabble in the fourth dimension as a matter of national security. This highly accessible and entertaining approach turns an intimidating subject into a scientific game open to all dreamers.

Surfing Through Hyperspace concludes with a number of puzzles, computer experiments and formulas for further exploration, inviting readers to extend their minds across this inexhaustibly intriguing scientific terrain. ... Read more

Reviews (17)

4-0 out of 5 stars The truth is out there...
Perhaps lots of you remember this phrase from the TV series "X-Files"; well, let me tell you something, Pickover did it again! Supporting the main story of the book in some kind of "X-Files" chapter, Dr. Clifford Pickover bring to us this hyper-interesting text. For many centuries, the great philosophers and scientists of the world thought that our lives were confined to a 3D (three dimensional) space, namely, only with length, breadth and thickness. These people thought that it was impossible to conceive a 4D world (fourth dimensional) because one cannot arrange a fourth axis at a right angle respect to the well-known X, Y and Z axis; and, if nobody could fix the problem in a logic way, it turns out that a fourth dimension might contradict nature. This manner of thinking affected the evolution of science in many aspects. The human being had to learn that NOTHING HAPPENS IN CONTRADICTION TO NATURE, ONLY IN CONTRADICTION TO WHAT WE KNOW OF IT. Luckily, men like Minkowski and Einstein had minds that were out of this world and thanks to them, and many others of course, the so-called fourth dimension was accepted as a part of the Minkowski's Space-time; a Space-time that was warped in the upcoming years by the Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. Since that time, many books about the fourth dimension have been written in order to make public the yet ill-understood knowledge of higher dimensional worlds. The book now featured by Dr. Pickover makes a great approach to that goal. The text presents the basic theory of higher dimensions in a way easily understandable to anyone. I just love the Pickover's manner of writing because he always finds the exact blend of humor, fiction and knowledge. The book is plenty of diagrams, draws and representations that make the reading something very delightful and, as usual, it has the computer code of almost every computer simulation. The text also presents many examples of 3D projections of 4D objects that help the reader to visualize the hyperspace, besides many mind-boggling puzzles and theological question. By the end, the author briefly explains some interesting theories related to the hyperspace; a dimension in which our space is embedded (and also curved) and where is possible that two points, far away in our 3D universe, come very closer, even communicate each other. This kind of cosmic bridge is known as a wormhole. If you want to learn more about wormholes and space travel using them, I recommend you "Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein's Outrageous Legacy" by Kip Thorne. That is an equations-free book and a good place to begin your hyper-adventure in the modern physics.

5-0 out of 5 stars THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE...
Perhaps lots of you remember this phrase from the TV series "X-Files"; well, let me tell you something, Pickover did it again! Supporting the main story of the book in some kind of "X-Files" chapter, Dr. Clifford Pickover bring to us this hyper-interesting text. For many centuries, the great philosophers and scientists of the world thought that our lives were confined to a 3D (three dimensional) space, namely, only with length, breadth and thickness. These people thought that it was impossible to conceive a 4D world (fourth dimensional) because one cannot arrange a fourth axis at a right angle respect to the well-known X, Y and Z axis; and, if nobody could fix the problem in a logic way, it turns out that a fourth dimension might contradict nature. This manner of thinking affected the evolution of science in many aspects. The human being had to learn that NOTHING HAPPENS IN CONTRADICTION TO NATURE, ONLY IN CONTRADICTION TO WHAT WE KNOW OF IT. Luckily, men like Minkowski and Einstein had minds that were out of this world and thanks to them, and many others of course, the so-called fourth dimension was accepted as a part of the Minkowski's Space-time; a Space-time that was warped in the upcoming years by the Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. Since that time, many books about the fourth dimension have been written in order to make public the yet ill-understood knowledge of higher dimensional worlds. The book now featured by Dr. Pickover makes a great approach to that goal. The text presents the basic theory of higher dimensions in a way easily understandable to anyone. I just love the Pickover's manner of writing because he always finds the exact blend of humor, fiction and knowledge. The book is plenty of diagrams, draws and representations that make the reading something very delightful and, as usual, it has the computer code of almost every computer simulation. The text also presents many examples of 3D projections of 4D objects that help the reader to visualize the hyperspace, besides many mind-boggling puzzles and theological question. By the end, the author briefly explains some interesting theories related to the hyperspace; a dimension in which our space is embedded (and also curved) and where is possible that two points, far away in our 3D universe, come very closer, even communicate each other. This kind of cosmic bridge is known as a wormhole. If you want to learn more about wormholes and space travel using them, I recommend you "Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein's Outrageous Legacy" by Kip Thorne. That is an equations-free book and a good place to begin your hyper-adventure in the modern physics.

4-0 out of 5 stars Wonders of Hyperspace
This is an introduction to the understanding of fourth dimension. Most books, science-TV shows, and websites introduce fourth dimension by comparing the interaction of the three dimensional beings (us) with imaginary 2-dimensional dwellers (flatlanders). Our interaction with flatlanders causes mystery and miracle to them simply by the virtue of us having the freedom of an extra dimension. From this we can extrapolate to the interaction of imaginary four dimensional dwellers with our world and they certainly appear to us as mysterious. This book illustrates these comparisons in the form of conversations between two (male and female) fictitious FBI agents. Although the author does a good job of helping the reader develop a good feeling for the fourth dimension, the dialogue between FBI agents sometimes gets sensual, which the author could have certainly avoided in a science related book (sometimes it gives you a feeling that you are reading a semi-romantic novel). There is no doubt the author is influenced by the TV show X-files as he often quotes from the show. Towards the end of the book, the author briefly touches upon the fifth dimension.

Hyperspace is not excluded by the laws of physics. Can human beings access fourth dimension? Could we learn to see the fourth dimension? Is it true that the evolution of human brain is such that it can understand only three dimensions? Do we need three dimensional retina to see the fourth dimension? Is hyperspace a survival zone for humans in the event of a catastrophe to this planet? Some of the suggestions made in the conclusions are less scientific, but the author touches some interesting topics that include biology of evolution and psychology.

The author gives many simple problems (brain-teasers) to help reader to reach the peak of his imagination and thoughts to visualize hyperspace. The book is almost free of physics and mathematics. I encourage the reader to buy this book despite the author's unorthodox approach in the writing a book on a scientific topic.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Four-Dimensional World for Imaginative Minds
The four-dimensional world treated in this book is not the space-time of the theory of relativity, but the world with a fourth spatial direction different from all the directions of our normal three-dimensional space. A number of books on the fourth dimension had already been published. So, why did Pickover, an IBM researcher who published many popular books, write this book? He gives an answer in the preface: The main purpose of the book is to tell the reader the physical appearance of four-dimensional beings, what they can do in our world, and the religious implications of their penetration into our world, with a few simple formulas and computer programs to aid the understanding of the four- and more-dimensional spaces (those who are not interested in computing can easily skip them).

The author presents an SF story, in which an FBI agent, "you," gives personal lectures on hyperspace to his younger fellow agent Sally. Finally they both experience surfing into a four-dimensional world. Meanwhile the reader learns concepts and terms such as "hyperspheres," "tesseracts," "enantiomorphic," "extrinsic geometry," "quaternions," "nonorientable surfaces," etc. The author succeeds in achieving his aim rather well by the use of many illustrations and computer graphics, though he cites too much from Edwin Abbott's "Flatland" in early chapters and from Karl Heim's "Christian Faith and Natural Science" in later chapters.

The book has nine Appendixes (one is a list of SF stories and novels about the fourth dimension), "Notes" and "Further Readings" sections, and Addendum about recent publications dealing with parallel universes and cosmic topology. These are also interesting and informative. This is a good book especially for theologians, philosophers, artists, and general readers who like wild imaginations or computer experiments. To the serious reader who wants to know the implications of hyperspace in modern physics, I would like to recommend Michio Kaku's "Hyperspace."

1-0 out of 5 stars YUCK
A quite pathetic rehash of worn out diagrams and dogma. Also very poor paper used. ... Read more


96. The Planet Observer's Handbook
by Fred W. Price
list price: $34.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521789818
Catlog: Book (2000-10-26)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 512579
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Here is an informative, up-to-date and well-illustrated guide to planetary observations for amateurs.After chapters on the solar system and the celestial sphere, the text explains how to choose, test and use a telescope with various accessories and how to make observations and record results. For each planet and the asteroids, Price gives details of observational techniques, together with suggestions for how to make contributions of sound astronomical value. From a general description and detailed observational history of each planet, readers learn how to anticipate what they should see and assess their own observations. New to this edition is a chapter on planetary photography that includes the revolutionary use of videography, charge coupled devices and video-assisted drawing. Another new feature is a section on the Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud. Other chapters on making maps and planispheres and on photoelectric photometry round out the book's up-to-date treatment, making this indispensable reading for both casual and serious observer alike. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

3-0 out of 5 stars The Intro may have skewed my opinion....
Unlike the other reviews, I thought the book was not that technical at all. The book at first seemed to dedicate too many pages to the same topics you find in every beginner astro book, telescope types, eyepiece types, etc... The information on the planets were not as detailed as I had hoped (sans Saturn). Most of this information and much more can be found on the Web. I did think the chapter on the minor planets was worth the read.

I must admit, my opinion of this book may have been heavily skewed because I "accidentally" read the introduction. In there, Fred Price compares planetary astronomers to real "observers" and anyone who observes deep-sky objects to "sightseers".

Hmmm... the AAVSO might differ with that opinion, as would a number of organizations who do deep sky research. Maybe I was just too sensitive, but the introduction did rub me the wrong way. It is true, I do often "sight see" deep sky objects for the challenge of seeing something I had not seen and to improve my "observing eye" (ability to see detail with your eyes). I do not care what Dr. Price thinks of me in doing so. However, I know many people who think the opposite way, that observing the planets is a dull and boring task that already much is known about. I think both sides are wrong to be so damned elitist about it.

Besides that, it is a good book :-)

3-0 out of 5 stars A bit too advanced for me
I was surprised by the technical flavor of this book, as I expected (wrongly, it turned out) a beginner to mid-level observation handbook which I could take out with me on my observation trips.

The book is over 400 pages long, all written in 10 point Times font. There are very little illustrations and photo, and they are all in black and white. So it looks like a college science textbook and is very challenging visually.

Each of the sections on each planet have the same subsections such as "History of Observation" (mostly useless to me), "Observing [Jupiter, etc.]" and "Space craft Obsevation of [Jupiter, etc.]"

It also seems that to see most of the stuff described in this book, you need to have a telescope that is at least 8 inches, so that is out of my league.

However, in fairness, I know that this is a very compresensive book on the subject, and answers all possible questions that one may have on observing the planets.

But as I said, this book is more suitable for the advanced amateur Astronomer.

5-0 out of 5 stars An extensive exposition of the Solar System
This terrific book is an illustrated and textual exposition of the Solar System - a guided tour of the planets and their characteristics - from the transients of Mercury to eclipses and occultations of Pluto and Charon. Except for a few singular and minor omissions, The Planet Observer's Handbook qualifies as one of the best works on the Solar System to date. In fact we've included it on the Belmont Society's "Required Reading List" for the amateur astronomer.

Advanced amateurs may want to skim through the first chapters - dealing with telescope types, accessories, components of the celestial sphere, and introductory terminology. There are however, some eye-catching moments for jaded readers, like the apodizing (antidifraction) screen, a simple homemade device to limit diffraction and the effects of atmospheric turbulence while not adversely affecting image contrast or quality (it's actually an old trick, but not that well known).

This book was not intended to be a "post card catalog" of pretty pictures. Thus there are no contemporary photographs such as pictures of Venus from the HST, or a Cassinni fly-by image of Io against the festooned background of Jupiter. There are however, many pertinent photos and illustrations to serve historic interest and to offer educational impact. We find this arrangement to be perfectly suitable and appropriate.

Some may be surprised and/or a little disappointed that our moon is not included here. But keep in mind that the moon is a subject unto itself, and thus deserves a work of a separate magnitude - and there are several available.

There are some disappointments: Aside from some basic illustrations for the purpose of scale, this work is notably lacking in accurate renditions of the orbital planes of major satellites. Also, in light of various discussions about several other oddities, there is virtually none (or even any speculation) about the drastic tilt of Uranus. We find this to be curiously conspicuous, as it's one of the most striking anomalies in the Solar System.

There is skillful discussion of little-known and much-neglected Solar System components, like the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud, and some insightful speculation of such things as their respective associations with short and long term comets. There is also some discussion of an almost ubiquitous "Planet-X", the existence of which is argued to this day as being the cause for Neptunian perturbations. This parallels some speculation (or at least the opinion) that Pluto and Charon are in fact not the ninth planet and its moon, but simply major lost-in-space chunks of accreted or captured "debris".

We found the brief presentation and subsequent explanation of Bode's Law to be the best we have seen offered in a non-college level text. This intriguing mathematical statement is so staggeringly significant, (yet surprisingly simple) that it boggles the mind.

Finally, there is considerable discussion of the data and knowledge that can be contributed by amateur astronomers. This discussion is a clever form of interactive "provocation" and is to be applauded. Author Price emphatically encourages dedicated amateurs to take up the gauntlet, and involve themselves in observational contributions to the sciences, and he makes a fair attempt at describing how to accomplish it, including addresses of where to send your observations and data. However, you shouldn't feel bad if you don't have the time or the inclination to engage in such ambitious activities.

The average amateur astronomer who is even mildly interested in the Solar System will benefit greatly from this work, and will likely gain a great deal of knowledge and insight about the countless and innumerable objects that circle the Sun.

Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must-have for the dedicated planet observer!
This book is a good read for the general amateur astronomer and a required text for the dedicated planet observer. I fall in the "general amateur" category and do not have the patience nor inclination to devote my observing time to sketching the planets night after night. Yet I enjoyed the book anyway and it gave me a sound appreciation for the dynamic nature of our neighbors in the solar system as well as the numerous ways in which the serious amateur can contribute to the science.

This book is replete with details on the numerous features visible on the planets through amateur telescopes. It also gives advice on what type of telescope to use and what magnifications to employ. Basic scientific data on each planet (rotation rate, mass, distance, etc.) is included for reference as well as a lengthy history of observation for each planet, but the emphasis of this book is on *amateur observation*, as implied by the title. You won't find theories on Saturn's cloud decks or the origins of Mars' surface features. What you will find are detailed tips and advice on how to look for and draw the spokes in Saturn's rings, festoons between Jupiter's cloud belts, the "purple haze" on Mars, filters to employ, etc.

A necessary work at a great price for the hardcore planet observer! For the casual amateur, a bit expensive and over-the-top but still a useful addition to the library. I give it five stars because it adheres to its stated purpose faithfully and with style.

4-0 out of 5 stars An excellent guide to practical planetary observations.
Fred Price has produced a wonderful guide to the inquisitive amateur astronomer who wants to undertake solar system observations. The book provides a very thorough and useful discussion of the solar system and "celestial sphere," and progresses into a fairly standard, but very informative, discussion about telescopes and atmospheric conditions. The meat of the book assigns one chapter to each planet; for each planet the author provides the essential orbital characteristics, physical properties, etc., and an enlightening relation of the history of each planet's observations. This history not only prepares the observer for what to expect to see at the eyepiece, but allows him to place the quality of his observations in historical context. Finally, Dr. Price provides suggestions of good science which a dedicated and moderately well-equipped amateur can perform, contributing usefully to human knowledge of the solar system. I found this book quite informative, and found that it has enriched my observing experience at the telescope. ... Read more


97. Broca's Brain
by CARL SAGAN
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.29
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Asin: 0345336895
Catlog: Book (1986-02-12)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 42440
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Carl Sagan, writer and scientist, returns from the frontier to tell us about how the world works. In his delightfully down-to-earth style, he explores and explains a mind-boggling future of intelligent robots, extraterrestrial life and its consquences, and other provocative, fascinating quandries of the future that we want to see today.
... Read more

Reviews (25)

5-0 out of 5 stars This book changed my life.
I read "Broca's Brain" in high school (late eighties) at a time when I believed in all sorts of pseudoscientific flim-flam. In an entertaining and very readable style, Sagan showed the weaknesses in the theories of those on the edge of science, and from that point onward I viewed everything with a skeptical mind.

5-0 out of 5 stars A time to think
The skill of writing is to create a context in which other people can think. Sagan is a master of distilling scientific complexity for a layman's understanding.

A fascinating journey through various aspects of science. There are few books in the world which can instill such wonderment for the meaning of things.

Sagan was always opinionated, but seldom shows bias. He lets the reader make up his mind by asking the questions, not giving the answers.

One of the pillars of any good book collection.

4-0 out of 5 stars Sagan all over the place
Broca's brain is a difficult book to rate, because Sagan is really all over the place with it, covering tons of different topics. I gave it four stars because a lot of it is fascinating and amazingly written (easily 5 stars), but some of the other sections really pull it down. By and large, it's all good stuff, with two exceptions - he goes on for a couple dozen pages about the names of various craters on various planets and moons in our solar system. Maybe I missed the point, but I just couldn't get interested in it. The second thing, which is what really lost the book that last star, is the chapter on Velikovskian Catastrophism. Apparently around the time this book was written (about thirty years ago, but it's all still interesting and relevant information), there was a book going around by someone named Velikovsky, who pretty much claimed that the book of Exodus, and all of the fantastic things that happen in it (the plagues, the parting of the red sea, etc.) where caused by some six comets or meteors that passed so close to the earth as to gravitationally (or magnetically, apparently this Velikovsky isn't quite sure) affect various things (i.e. somehow the gravitational pull of the nearby comet caused the water of the red sea to rise up in two different directions, therefor allowing the israelites to pass in between). Now I have a great deal of respect for Carl Sagan and his work, and I don't know what the climate of popular science was like thirty years ago. Clearly he felt a need to strongly discredit this theory - maybe a lot of people believed it then. But today, it seems pretty silly - I'm not a student of physics, astronomy or anything like that and the sum of my knowledge on the subject comes from popular science books that I enjoy reading. But the idea of six meteors flying that close to the earth, over the course of a couple months, plus the effects that Velikovsky claims would result, seem completely impossible - requiring maybe a page or two to respectfully discredit, but definitely not the fifty or so pages that Sagan uses to completely (and, it's important to note, respectfully) demolish the theory. I found it very tedious. I know that I've gone on for a while on this, but it really bothered me and detracted from an otherwise excellent book. Also highly recommended is Dragons of Eden, also by Sagan.

5-0 out of 5 stars A science book for the masses
What makes this book the best science book that I've ever read, is its simplisity. Many scientific books are hard to read because while whatever is written in them is clear to the writer, usually a doctor or a professor, it is far beyond the understanding of the average reader. Most of the science books start high, they will explain you anything about black holes, assuming you know what a black hole is. They could tell you about the wonders of galaxies that are thousainds of miles away, assuming of course you can understand what they are saying without checking every second word in the dictionary.

"Broca's Brain" is the exact opposite. Instead of starting high, and force the reader to climb up to the book's level, Sagan is starting in the low and simple things (A grain of salt, for example.) and takes the fascinated reader to the high and miraculous.

Sagan is a great teacher, and more than that, he is a great storyteller. He is teaching science as it should be taught: As a story. Without funky formulas that most people can't even understand, and in simple and clear words. He is telling us the story of ourselves and everything that's around us, and in this book he is turning science from a magical and isolated thing to what it really should be: Simple, understandable by everyone, interesting and basically fun.

4-0 out of 5 stars It's Sagan, for heaven's sake!
At some point in my life, much of what Sagan wrote became "common knowledge" and much less interesting to read, because I stopped learning from him.

Then I realized: he had done his job. Sagan excited me, thrilled me, MADE me go out and learn more because I couldn't stand not knowing.

Carl Sagan was a master at distilling science to the masses; he made physics, biology, cosmology, math...he made it all so thrilling that the masses barely knew they were learning.

If you're not already a Sagan fan, try starting with his fiction (Contact--the book is a thousand times better than the movie), and then moving on to his nonfiction. You'll discover from Sagan why we are where and who we are.

Read it. Learn it. Then outgrow it. You'll be honoring Sagan, and you'll be honoring your own humanity. ... Read more


98. New Worlds in the Cosmos : The Discovery of Exoplanets
by Michel Mayor, Pierre-Yves Frei
list price: $30.00
our price: $19.80
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Asin: 0521812070
Catlog: Book (2003-09-25)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 531671
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Book Description

With the discovery in 1995 of the first planet orbiting another star, we now realize that planets are not unique to our own Solar System. For centuries, humanity has wondered whether we are alone in the Universe. We are now finally one step closer to knowing the answer. The quest for exoplanets is an exciting one because it holds the possibility that one day we might find life elsewhere in the Universe, born in the light of another sun. Written from the perspective of one of the pioneers of this scientific adventure, this exciting account describes the development of the modern observing technique that has enabled astronomers to find so many planets orbiting around other stars. It reveals the wealth of new planets that have now been discovered outside our Solar System, and the meaning of this finding as it concerns other life in the Universe.Michel Mayor is Director of the Observatory of Geneva, Switzerland. In 1995, together with Didier Queloz, he discovered the first extrasolar planet (51 Peg b) around a main sequence star, and has discovered many more since. His work earned him the prestigious Balzan Prize in 2000, for Instrumentation and Techniques in Astronomy and Astrophysics. Pierre-Yves Frei is a science journalist with the Swiss newspaper, Lausanne Hebdo. In 1998 he was awarded the Media Prize of the Swiss Natural Sciences Academy for science popularization. Boud Roukema is the translator. ... Read more


99. Formation of Structure in the Universe
list price: $50.00
our price: $50.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521586321
Catlog: Book (1999-04-15)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 622576
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Book Description

Eleven leading authorities lend their expertise to this textbook.Their contributions form an introduction to a wide range of exciting topics in contemporary cosmology--from recent advances in redshift surveys, to the latest models in gravitational lensing and cosmological simulations.In the fast-moving field of structure formation, this book provides graduate students with a much-needed union of the latest theory and observation. ... Read more


100. Mere Creation; Science, Faith & Intelligent Design
by William A. Dembski
list price: $25.00
our price: $16.50
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Asin: 0830815155
Catlog: Book (1998-09-01)
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
Sales Rank: 114632
Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (20)

4-0 out of 5 stars "Mere Creation" Merely Fantastic
...A number of specialists laboring in different fields beganto come to the conclusion that the universe they perceived couldhardly have arisen by chance, but seemed at every turn to be guided by intelligent design. William A. Dembski, who managed to obtain advanced degrees in both mathematics and philosophy, brought together a number of these persecuted souls for a conference on the singularly unhip topic of creationism.

The ensuing essays in "Mere Creation" are guaranteed to change the way you view the world. To glean some highlights from the numerous arguments favoring intelligent design of the universe:

The Universe began with the Big Bang, the instant of time when all matter and energy came into existence in an enormous explosion. Despite the Universe's seeming complexity, it is governed by only a tiny handful of physical laws. Should any of these governing principles be altered in the slightest (a bit less gravity, for example), life could not exist. The odds of life arising naturally are infinitesimally small. Genetic mutation, the means for transferring traits so crucial to the theory of evolution, always results in the loss of information, making beneficial mutation much less likely. There is no evidence of interspecies evolution extant.

If you have the slightest interest in how our Universe came about, or pondered the existence of God, or even simply distrust the dogma constantly shoveled around by tweed-jacketed academics who haven't had a new idea since Che Guevara's book came out, you'll thoroughly enjoy "Mere Creation."

5-0 out of 5 stars A Smashing Uppercut to the Evolutionist
This book is a blasting cannon in the face of the evolutionist. The scholars who contribute are very respectable and qualified to write on such matters. The contributors in the book include: William Dembski, William Lane Craig, Michael Behe, Hugh Ross, Phillip Johnson, J.P. Moreland, Henry F. Schaefer III, Robert Kaita, Jeffery Schloss, etc. The book is organized into five parts, each part covering a specific area of study. Part one deals with Naturalism, part two deals with Design Theory, part three deals with Biological Design, part four deals with Philosophy & Design, and part five deals with Design in the Universe. Many of the articles are very advanced and sometimes difficult to follow. Therefore, at times a background in the information at hand is needed. This book systematically tears down the misconceptions about Creationism and simply ruins any hope for an evolutionary position. Some of the stronger chapters were Dembski's titled "Redesigning Science," Bradley's titled "Nature: Design or Designoid," Meyer's titled "The Explanatory Power of Design," Schloss's titled "Evolutionary Accounts of Altruism & the Problem of Goodness by Design," and Moreland's titled, "The Explanatory Relevance of Libertarian Agency as a Model of Theistic Design." It is nice to see works like this available and it is even better to see the results that works like this have made in the scientific community (since this single volume received a great deal of response in the scientific community). If you want a solid text that deals with the falsities of evolution and does so in a very scholarly fashion then this is the best book available.

1-0 out of 5 stars once again, a failed arguement
This book takes a much more objective approach to presenting a theory of Intelligent Design yet fails to deliver and ends up failing in the same way every other pro ID book fails: bad science, logic, and premise. The major benefit of this book is a somewhat rigorous attempt to examine current and past problems with Evolution. In fact, the book is really better viewed as yet another examination of Evolution and its problems with no alternate hypothosis provided. The idea of Intelligent Design is constantly presented but never backed up with evidence, only assertions and hand waving.

I had hoped that this was the book that would finally present Intellgient Design in the true scientific light as Evolution has been shown

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Overview: Bad Presentation
I read this book last year but failed to write a reveiw back then. However, it is worth mentioning that this book is a facinating collection of scientific and philisophical papers on the creation of the universe and man. The only drawback is that you need to have a PhD in each field to understand what many are saying in their respective papers. I think a book like this aught to be rewritten in order to allow a greater reading audience to appreciate and enjoy its wonderful proposals.

1-0 out of 5 stars Replaces A Small Mystery With An Even Bigger One
Despite protests to the contrary, the authors are transparently trying to promote and "legitimize" a theological agenda under the guise of science. The theses of the contributors have already been debunked by several authors, most notably, physicist professor Victor J. Stenger. I strongly urge that his critiques of ID and those of other skeptics be consulted before spending money on and facilitating an intellectually dangerous and underhanded attempt to blow new wind into creationist sails. ... Read more


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