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61. We Can Sleep Later : Alfred D.
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62. Science Pathways of Discovery
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63. The Golem at Large: What You Should
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64. Living with the Genie : Essays
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65. The Best American Science &
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66. Biological Complexity and Integrative
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67. The Best American Science Writing
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68. Science Bought and Sold : Essays
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69. The Best American Science Writing
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70. Quantum (Un)speakables
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71. Cross-Pollinations: The Marriage
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73. Remnants of the Fall: Revelations
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78. Creative Tension: Essays on Science
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79. Science and Hebrew Tradition Essays
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80. Cybernetics and Human Knowing,

61. We Can Sleep Later : Alfred D. Hershey and the Origins of Molecular Biology
by Franklin W. Stahl, A. D. Hershey
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Asin: 0879695676
Catlog: Book (2000-08)
Publisher: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
Sales Rank: 1221212
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62. Science Pathways of Discovery
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Asin: 047105660X
Catlog: Book (2002-01-01)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Sales Rank: 743224
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A sweeping overview of the most exciting areas in science, from the most respected scientific journal in the United States
This volume contains twelve essays commissioned by Science magazine to mark the dawn of the new millennium. Here, the world's leading scientists present historical overviews of the most exciting areas in science today, while also speculating on the future for each field. Topics range from planetary science and genomics to quantum physics, neuroscience, and cosmology. Along with the articles are detailed chronologies and introductions setting the tone for each chapter. The stellar cast of contributors includes Stephen Jay Gould, Nobel laureates Eric Kandel and Joshua Lederberg, Robert A. Weinberg, and Sir Martin Rees. This authoritative science history offers something for everyone interested in the story of science, past, present, and future.
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Science Pathways of Discovery
This book gives a historical overviews of the most exciting areas in science today from the perspective of current, leading scientists. Also, you'll read their speculations on the future of each field and topics range from planetary science and genomics to quantum physics.This history offers insight into scientific past, present and future that you won't want to miss. ... Read more


63. The Golem at Large: What You Should Know About Technology
by Harry Collins, Trevor Pinch
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Asin: 0521012708
Catlog: Book (2002-05-15)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 450458
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In the widely discussed first volume in the Golem series, The Golem: What You Should Know About Science, Harry Colllins and Trevor Pinch likened science to the Golem, a creature from Jewish mythology, a powerful creature which, while not evil, can be dangerous because it is clumsy. In this second volume, the authors now consider the Golem of technology. In a series of case studies they demonstrate that the imperfections in technology are related to the uncertainties in science. The case studies cover the role of the Patriot anti-missile missile in the Gulf War, the Challenger space shuttle explosion, tests of nuclear fuel flasks and of anti-misting kerosene as a fuel for airplanes, economic modeling, the question of the origins of oil, analysis of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, and the contribution of lay expertise to the analysis of treatments for AIDS. Anyone who views technology with a wary eye will love The Golem at Large.Harry Collins is Professor of Sociology at Cardiff University and Director for the Study of Knowledge Expertise and Science at the University of Wales. His other books include the forthcoming The One Culture (University of Chicago Press, 2001) and (with M. Kusch) The Shape of Actions (MIT, 1998). nTrevor Pinch is a founding member of the Department of Science and Technology Studies at Cornell University, where he is now chair. He is co-editor (with Wiebe E. Bijker) of The Social Construction of Technological Systems (MIT, 1989). ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Science isn't always a Super Hero
For some, science is a super hero. It helps to save lives with developments like incubators, surgeries, and medicines. Science brings tools like computers, cordless phones, and DVDs into existence. Others, however, view science as a monster that brings with it pollution, greed, and destruction. Science, as explained in this book, is a very human activity with the full range of problems and possibilities of which man himself is capable. Explained within this book, is the findings of science and exactly how science goes about making progress. This is a very interesting and insightful read. I highly recommend it to pracitioners of science and to students who are studying any type of science. I also recommend it to the layman who wishes to know more about how science really works. ... Read more


64. Living with the Genie : Essays on Technology and the Quest for Human Mastery
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Asin: 1559635746
Catlog: Book (2004-09-15)
Publisher: Island Press
Sales Rank: 455858
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"A group of remarkably penetrating, frank, and expert scientists, techno-wizards, activists, and writers raise provocative questions about what is gained and what is lost in a world enthralled by technology in this wonderfully soulful forum on life in the 'Wired World.' " -BOOKLIST

Biotechnology, Cloning, Robotics, Nanotechnology...

At a time when scientific and technological breakthroughs keep our eyes focused on the latest software upgrades or the newest cell-phone wizardry, a group of today's most innovative thinkers are looking beyond the horizon to explore both the promise and the peril of our technological future.

Human ingenuity has granted us a world of unprecedented personal power -- enabling us to communicate instantaneously with anyone anywhere on the globe, to transport ourselves in both real and virtual worlds to distant places with ease, to fill our bellies with engineered commodities once available to only a privileged elite.

Through our technologies, we have sought to free ourselves from the shackles of nature and become its master. Yet science and technology continually transform our experience and society in ways that often seem to be beyond our control. Today, different areas of research and innovation are advancing synergistically, multiplying the rate and magnitude of technological and societal change, with consequences that no one can predict.

Living with the Genie explores the origins, nature, and meaning of such change, and our capacity to govern it. As the power of technology continues to accelerate, who, this book asks, will be the master of whom?

In Living with the Genie, leading writers and thinkers come together to confront this question from many perspectives, including: Richard Powers's whimsical investigation of the limits of artificial intelligence; Philip Kitcher's confrontation of the moral implications of science; Richard Rhodes's exploration of the role of technology in reducing violence; Shiv Visvanathan's analysis of technology's genocidal potential; Lori Andrews's insights into the quest for human genetic enhancement; Alan Lightman's reflections on how technology changes the experience of our humanness.

These and ten other provocative essays open the door to a new dialogue on how, in the quest for human mastery, technology may be changing what it means to be human, in ways we scarcely comprehend.

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Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars A fine collection of essays on "the genie"
"Living with the Genie" is an excellent, important, timely, thought provoking book on human's complex relationship with science and technology.As with any collection of essays, the quality level varies, with a few essays really standing out, although not one of them is bad.The main theme here is not pro-or anti-technology per se, but simply that rapid technological and scientific progress has huge implications for humans, so we'd better give the issue some serious thought.The overarching question, as alluded to by the title, is how we live with the "genie" of rapid technological change, now that it's out of the bottle.

Perhaps my favorite essay is the one by Richard Powers, which actually had me rather rattled.Even at the end of Powers' piece, I couldn't decide if what he described really happened to him, or if it was the basis for a new, Matrix-like sci-fi plot on Artificial Intelligence run amok.In addition to Powers, the chapter by Ray Kurzweil is also fascinating, although a bit repetitive if you've read Kurzweil's book, "The Age of Spiritual Machines."Still, Kurzweil's musings are fascinating, as he ponders whether or not the combination of robotics, biotechnology, and nanotech might be the doom of us all, or whether instead it might lead to a new age in which humans evolve into a hybrid man-machine species like the Borg in Star Trek.

Other chapters in the book present further riffs on various aspects of technology and science. D. Michelle Addington writes an intriguing, if somewhat confusing, chapter on one particular technology -- HVAC -- to illustrate how "our technological world is constructed by our beliefs and not necessarily by progress or science."Lori Andrews discusses genetic engineering of humans and a world in which "people may be treated as products."Gregor Wolbring contributes a well executed chapter on technology and the concept of "disability."Philip Kitcher discusses the types of science that "should be done." Christina Desser's chapter provides a literary meditation on technology and human "connectedness."Finally, Alan Lightman discusses the feeling that technology is intruding into the most private aspects of life, interfering even with the ability to think quietly, to "waste time," and to connect (that word again) with one's soul.

All in all, this is a fine collection of essays, well worth reading in today's world of tremendous technological promise -- and threat.

5-0 out of 5 stars Living with the Genie
This is a thoughtful and thought-provoking collection of essays of the pros and cons of science and technology, from an interesting range of scientists.Unlike many books on this subject, it's a fast read, because it's beautifully written. You can hear the wise voices of the authors. We should listen to them.

5-0 out of 5 stars Taming Technology?
This is a supurb book. Science and technology threaten to recreate both nature outside and nature within--our minds, our bodies, society, and the physical world. This book takes a balanced look at these contentious topics--with essays from a wide range of luminaries--raising questions that are sure to become more important over the next few years.
The book is ideally suited for undergraduate courses in science and society, sociology, and policy. It also makes for an entertaining read for scientists and citizens who are concerned about the future of humanity.

5-0 out of 5 stars A critical, positive assessment of technology in society
Many critics of writings on the relationship between society and its technologies presume that any "negative" assessment (that a technology is inappropriate, that it is moving too fast, that it is too expensive, etc.) indicates the authors are anti-technology Luddites, or just too dense to "get it."It would not surprise me if this happens with this collection of essays as well, and that is unfortunate, as the feeling one takes away at the end of the book is anything but negative in regard to technology and society.

Each of the essays is individually valuable (and quite well-written; some are quite nuanced and require careful reading), but I found them most powerful taken as a whole: science, technology, engineering, innovation...these are good: both good as values in themselves and good for society as a whole. The message that the authors are collectively trying to communicate is that technology (and thus its creators, scientists and engineers) is *part of* the social fabric, not something outside or overarching. The authors ask us to think critically about the use of specific technologies in society, and about the processes we use to shepherd these technologies into everyday use. This is not a reaction to feeling powerless in the face of technology. It is a positive, proactive approach to outlining what kinds of technologies might best let us realize our potentials, both as inviduals and as society as a whole; and to begin to attack the more difficult problem of determining when a problem can be technologically solved, and when it requires other kinds of expertise.

While the questioning of invention, development, and introduction of new technologies per se into everyday use might never be acceptable to those with an absolute belief that technology, science, engineering, etc., are "good", for everyone else, this kind of questioning should be thought of as a net positive: by introducing the right kinds of technology at the right time in the right place, all technologies are potentially more useful and more readily acceptable.For anyone who has been thinking about the fascinating, complex relationship between society and technology, this book will have you both nodding in agreement and questioning long-held views.

3-0 out of 5 stars A collection of nervous viewpoints.
Commentary on the future of science and technology is now very popular, and there have been dozens of books in recent years that are very supportive of it, and in fact engage in uncritical examination of its consequences. There are also those that criticize it vociferously, engaging in dialog and vituperation that go far beyond any standards of rational conduct. One could argue that both of these extreme views "balance each other out", but what is really needed in these books is a rational, critical view of science and technology that is supported by hard evidence, or when that is lacking, by appropriate models that shed more light on what might be coming in the future.

The articles in this book are not quite as extreme as the usual ones that you find in the literature today, but all of them express varying degrees of anxiety about the future of technology that they do not really justify with any evidence or sound argumentation. In reading them one must of course not confuse the intent that the authors had for writing the articles with their content. Too often the knowledge (which is usually imputed) of the author's motivations gets in the way of an objective analysis of their works. It does not matter if the author's reasons for writing the article were to market their company, expand their careers, or to draw attention to themselves. All that matters is whether their ideas are substantiated by sound evidence or not.

Space does not permit a detailed review of all the articles in the book, and so only two articles that this reviewer found most provocative will be discussed. One of them is the article "Promise and Peril" by Ray Kurzweil, who is certainly one of the most optimistic of all futurists. His ideas have been given ample discussion on his website, which many of us go to daily, and find it to be more uplifting than morning coffee. However optimistic his ideas, they need to eventually find more justification from a rigorous scientific point of view. Indeed, his claims on the feasibility of intelligent, self-replicating nanobot technology are completely unsubstantiated. He does quote some papers that are written by researchers that might on the surface offer some support to his assertions, but more is needed if decision-makers are going to input the financing to make this technology a reality. One method that Kurzweil could use is modeling, for when a field is in its youth, it is frequently advantageous to engage in modeling in order to assist one's intuition about what is possible. Physical and mathematical models could be constructed of the nanobot technology that would give more confidence in its feasibility. An example of this is given by the theory of molecular motors, wherein many models have been developed that illustrate their behavior, their thermodynamics, and other properties of interest. Such an approach would work well for the nanobot technology that Kurzweil insists will become a reality. Their use would certainly help his case for nanotechnology. In addition, Kurzweil claims that the hundreds of predictions he made in one of his early books have held up well, but a detailed listing of these is not given, unfortunately. Further, his prediction of the rise of machines that greatly exceed the intelligence of humans in the next few decades in unjustified. Indeed, in none of his works does he quantify his notion of intelligence, which would be needed in order to judge whether machine intelligence has indeed surpassed human intelligence. Is machine intelligence really increasing exponentially?If so, where is the data that shows this explicitly? What intelligence tests exist that will provide a quantitative measure of machine intelligence?

Another interesting article is the one entitled "The World Is Too Much With Me" by Alan Lightman, which could be summarized as a polemic on everyday life in the twenty-first century. Lightman's viewpoint is purely anecdotal, and he admits this, but he also claims that despite the fact that he "cannot document any general conclusions," he asserts that his personal experiences are common to everyone. Life is too fast he complains, and people are feeling a "vague fear of not being plugged in". People are suffering from an information overload, are too obsessed with material wealth, and transforming themselves into false identities on the Internet, in order to escape an overbearing sense of loneliness. Lightman has lost touch with his "inner self", by which he means the part of him that imagines and dreams, and is the source of "true freedom". Lightman wants the human being to always come first, and his nostalgia for the past takes him to the New Atlantis of Bacon, and to the quaintness of Benjamin Franklin.

But Lightman does not discuss any alternative views, and does not acknowledge the existence of any who do not think like him. He does not notice the many who feel a sense of exhilaration in the motion of the twenty-first century. The new technologies, the new scientific discoveries, the new tools, the new machines, the new entertainment, the new architecture, and the overabundance of information and knowledge: all of these put these individuals into intellectual and personal hyperdrive. Confident and proud of their humanity, their inner selves are in delightful symbiosis with the moods of the twenty-first century. They welcome change with eager anticipation, and their fingers are crossed that the world of Kurzweil will indeed be realized: a world of machines with IQs measured in the millions; a world full of hundreds of new transgenic animals and plants; a world whose tools, vehicles, and buildings arise from automated molecular manufacturing....and best of all, a world populated by confident, rational human beings (as they always have been). ... Read more


65. The Best American Science & Nature Writing 2005 (Best American Science and Nature Writing)
list price: $14.00
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Asin: 0618273433
Catlog: Book (2005-10-05)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Sales Rank: 989978
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Book Description

This year's editor, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author Jonathan Weiner, noted
for his "philosophical and poetic mind" (New York Times), brings a new
perspective to the year's best, most provocative writing on science and nature.

Contributors include Sherwin B. Nuland, Malcolm Gladwell, Oliver Sacks, and others.
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66. Biological Complexity and Integrative Pluralism (Cambridge Studies in Philosophy and Biology)
by Sandra D. Mitchell
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Asin: 0521520797
Catlog: Book (2003-09-15)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 1030112
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Book Description

This collection of essays by a leading philosopher of science defends integrative pluralism as the best description for today's complexity of scientific inquiry. The tendency of some scientists to reduce all theories to a few fundamental laws of the most basic particles that populate our universe is not appropriate for the biological sciences, which study multi-component, multi-level, evolved complex systems. This book will be of interest to students and professionals in the philosophy of science. ... Read more


67. The Best American Science Writing 2001 (Best American Science Writing (Paperback))
by Timothy Ferris, Jesse Cohen
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Asin: 0060936487
Catlog: Book (2001-10)
Publisher: Ecco
Sales Rank: 427696
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Gathered from the nation's leading publications by award-winning author Timothy Ferris, The Best American Science Writing 2001 is a dynamic, up-to-date collection of essays and articles by America's most prominent thinkers and writers, addressing the most controversial, socially relevant topics that recent developments in science pose.

Among the contributors: Richard Preston examines the contentious business of decoding the human genome. Malcolm Gladwell follows investigators who aim to revolutionize birth control. Tracy Kidder profiles a modern Dr. Schweitzer. Alan Lightman laments what was lost in his transformation from astrophysicist to fiction writer. Natalie Angier makes some surprising discoveries about gender in mandrill society. Stephen Jay Gould investigates the strange contrast between the 1530 poem by a physician that gave us the name for syphilis and the poetry that can be found in the map of the pathogen's genome. Legendary physicist John Archibald Wheeler celebrates the mysteries of quantum mechanics, which still perplex a century after its discovery. And John Updike contributes a witty verse musing on a biological theme.

For anyone who wants to journey to science's frontiers, understand more fully its ever-expanding role in our lives, or simply enjoy the thrill of powerful writing on fascinating topics,The Best American Science Writing 2001 is indispensable.

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Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Read with pleasure.
This is the first book of this series that I stumbled upon and read in almost all of its entirety. As I understand, every year a prominent guest-writer who is well versed in science is invited to hand-pick articles from various publications such as Discover, Harper's Magazine, The New Yorker, New York Times, Scientific American, and others that are ultimately incorporated in this annual publication. There is also a series editor, as some may have noticed, that does some editing as well.

The articles that are featured in this book are original, lucid, entertaining, and often shocking at the same time. The first 2/3rds of the book I found to be especially interesting and essential for knowledge and 'practical survival'. The Genome Warrior, DNA on Trial, Let Them Eat Fat, The He Hormone, and Death of an Altruist are the most memorable to me. Want to know the story behind Craig Venter's quest to the sequencing of human genome? Ever wondered about the kind of injustices that take place in prosecutions and how DNA testing comes to the rescue? Wanted to know how the testosterone hormone affects one's behavior? What about South African struggle with AIDS epidemic and pseudoscience that somehow seeped into its policies that deal with administering drugs to HIV-infected patients? Would like to know the purpose of an evolutionary adaptation of being in close proximity to humans and other organisms? If you answered to some of these questions with a resounding 'yes' then you may want to indulge your brain to knowing.

Some of the articles are political. However, science always wins!

I want to suggest to those who are very frugal to try to obtain aforementioned and the rest of the articles online. Amazon allows you to read the contents page. Although, it may sound unethically to some.

5-0 out of 5 stars Polio, testosterone, and the French Disease
Even though astronomer Timothy Ferris edited this collection of 2001 science articles, the emphasis is on biological rather than physical sciences. Some of the essays describe the way science is done, and the ways that ignorance or politics can interfere with its results.

I wish this book could have chronicled the progressive triumph of science over superstition and bureaucratic weirdness. Instead, Helen Epstein's, "The Mystery of AIDS in South Africa" shows what happens when a government backs an unproven theory on the cause of HIV infection. Another essay by Robert L. Park offers a scientific (or at least, sane) solution to a fantasy beloved of Americans: "Welcome to Planet Earth" tells the true story of what happened at Roswell, New Mexico in 1947 (there actually was a secret government project).

A couple of essays struck me as inspired silliness. Stephen Jay Gould's "Syphilis and the Shepherd of Atlantis" illuminates Fracastoro's Virgilian ode to "Syphilis sive morbus Gallicus," also known as the Spanish Disease, English Disease, Neapolitan Disease, and 'Treponema pallidum.' Andrew Sullivan's "The He Hormone" was not written to be silly--the author was taking testosterone to combat the fatigue of an HIV infection--but it did very much remind me of the crowing scene in "Peter Pan."

In "Running Dry," Jacques Leslie chronicles the unassailable fact that we are running out of fresh water. Although this essay was written in 2000, it seems particularly relevant to this summer of ferocious drought and wildfire. The author develops a somber case against our current dam-building and irrigation processes.

However, "Running Dry" wasn't the book's most shocking essay--at least for me, since I was already aware of the fresh water crisis. The shocker was "The Virus and the Vaccine" by Debbie Bookchin and Jim Schumacher. Anyone who is over the age of forty might want to read this article, which was originally published in "The Atlantic Monthly." Here is why it is so interesting:

"A breakthrough in the war against polio had come in the early 1950s, when Jonas Salk took advantage of a new discovery: monkey kidneys could be used to culture the abundant quantities of polio virus necessary to mass-produce a vaccine. In 1960 Bernice Eddy, a government researcher, discovered that when she injected hamsters with the kidney mixture on which the vaccine was cultured, they developed tumors...The cancer-causing virus was soon isolated by other scientists and dubbed SV40..."

(Incidentally, Bernice Eddy's superiors tried to suppress her discovery. She was eventually demoted and lost her laboratory. But by 1963, laboratories stopped using monkey kidneys to produce polio vaccine.)

The SV40 virus was presumed harmless to humans, and no further investigations were done until 1993 when Michele Carbone, an Italian pathologist, decided to research the origins of mesothelioma, a rare and deadly cancer of the mesothelial cells in the lining of the chest and lung.

Asbestos exposure was linked to mesothelioma, which takes twenty to forty years to develop-- but Dr. Carbone also wondered if the cancer might also be caused by SV40.

Read "The Virus and the Vaccine" to learn the results of Dr. Carbone's research--especially if you were vaccinated for polio between 1955 and 1963. In fact, read all of the articles in this collection. They were written to hold the attention of lay readers like me, and most of them chronicle darn interesting science.

4-0 out of 5 stars An interesting, diverse, and readable collection
This is the first of these collections that I have read, and it is very good. The articles are chosen from a wide spectrum of publications from the year 2000, including Scientific American, National Geographic, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Harper's, The Atlantic Monthly, etc., which means most of the essays were written in 1999 or thereabouts. There is a minor concentration on the exciting developments in genetics and microbiology, including "The Recycled Generation" by Stephen S. Hall, which is about stem-cell research; "The Genome Warrior" by Richard Preston, which is about Craig Ventor and the human genome project; "DNA on Trial" by Peter J. Boyer, focusing on lawyers Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld's Innocence Project; and a couple of articles on AIDS, "The Mystery of AIDS in South Africa" by Helen Epstein and "The Virus and the Vaccine" by Debbie Bookchin and Jim Schumacher.

My favorite piece was "The Small Planets" by Erik Asphaug where I learned a little about the surprising physics of asteroids, in particular that they are most likely composed of rubble held lightly together by low gravity instead of being solid objects. When they collide, the "rubble piles" are disturbed, but within a few hours most of the pieces come back together again if the collision was not too violent. I also particularly liked John Terborgh's piece "In the Company of Humans" in which he demonstrates that animals can be attracted to humans for reasons as diverse as safety in numbers (like different species of birds foraging together) or being fascinated by a lemon-scented detergent used by a primatologist. He relates the story of a sick peccary that hung out near humans until it got well, that way avoiding hungry jaguars. Also fascinating was Greg Critser's "Let Them Eat Fat" which is about how the fast food industry is "super-sizing" us into obesity. (By the way, I tried for the first time a few months ago a Krispy Kreme donut, just to see what all the fuss was about. It was a warm puppy of an "empty-calorie" confection, pure white flour, made almost as light as air, smothered in fat and glazed with pure white sugar. It practically melted in my mouth. I can see how a steady diet of these babies could lead to a nutritional nightmare.)

Also good were Andrew Sullivan's "The He Hormone" about the phenomenon of testosterone, and Jacques Leslie"s "Running Dry" which is about the mixed blessing (and ultimate failure) of damming rivers, and the present and future crisis in the supply of fresh water.

There is a sprinkling of rather ordinary pieces by scientific heavyweights, John Archibald Wheeler, Ernst Mayr, Stephen Jay Gould, and Freeman J. Dyson, which are collected here perhaps as much for the prestige they lend to this volume as for the value of the essays. But you be the judge.

The interesting articles by Joel Achenbach and Robert L. Park, "Life Beyond Earth" and "Welcome to Planet Earth," respectively, serve well as introductions to their recently published books, Captured by Aliens: The Search for Life and Truth in a Very Large Universe (1999), and Voodoo Science: The Road from Foolishness to Fraud (2000), again, respectively.

Bottom line: this eminently accessible collection is well worth the candle.

5-0 out of 5 stars "People don't like to face reality"
If you are indeed one of those people, you'd better not read this book. Nearly every page confronts you with a new reality. In some essays you'll have your nose forcibly rubbed in it. But don't despair, even with some of the grim pictures presented here, nearly all contain some message of hope, as well. Timothy Ferris has assembled an impressive array of science writing covering topics ranging from quantum physics to the water you drink. There's something here for everyone, but read them all, new doors may open for your mind. And, typically with Ferris, he begins the collection in an unexpected way - a poem from John Updike. Who but Updike could produce sensitive, compelling verse about transparent sea animals?

Examining the universe is an overwhelming challenge. Galaxies, stars, gas clouds, planets - the images appear almost daily. But what about the stuff we can't see? Michael Turner, an astronomer with impressive narrative skills, describes his quest for "dark matter," the mysterious stuff that may be impeding the expansion of the cosmos. He notes that the "missing mass" often credited with explaining why the universe isn't evolving the way we once thought, is a misnomer: "It's the light, not the mass, that's missing." Turner's explanation of what's actually happening will surprise the reader. In another essay, matter that isn't "dark," but still is behaving in unexpected ways is explained by Erik Asphaug. Asteroids, those little worlds cohabiting the solar system with us, are revealing their secret lives.

Other lives are revealed here, as well. Mandrills, a primate of bizarre appearance, also turn out to have a bizarre lifestyle. Just as we were all growing accustomed to the image of "alpha" males in the baboon and ape worlds, mandrills have evolved a unique feminist society. In Central Africa, Natalie Angier encountered huge troops of mandrills, all female. Males are relegated to a mostly "monastic" life - a pattern seen in only one other of the 225 primate species. Life at a more fundamental level is examined by Stephen Hall's account of stem cell research.

Life's condition today and its prospects for tomorrow are the topic of other essays. Greg Critser presents a grim picture of American eating habits; the "obesity epidemic" sweeping society. Which Americans are overweight and why? Critser's analysis offers some unexpected answers. Health is a concern for any people, and those who seek to restore health are too often unknown and unheralded. Helen Epstein examines the history of combating AIDS in South Africa where questions of health become interspersed with international economics and local politics. Health issues at local levels are examined in the most powerful
essay in the collection. Tracy Kidder follows "The Good Doctor" on his rounds. Paul Farmer's patients, however, are not restricted to a local hospital or clinic. He travels from Boston to Haiti, Cuba to Peru, even to Siberia as he intently seeks to restore the afflicted to health. And, incidentally, to petition the affluent for support in his work. When entreaty fails, he calls on a talent for deviousness a spy would envy. He's still out there working and he still needs your support. Find out who he is from this essay and why you should favour his requests.

There are too many issues and ideas in this collection to impart them all here. The quote acting as the title of this review comes from the person in charge of water conservation for the fastest growing metropolis in America - Las Vegas. Turn to Jacques Leslie's article to learn why that city may well lack water within the next five years. Your throat may turn dry as you read, but you will hesitate to run to the kitchen for a brimming glassful of water. Instead, you may find yourself prowling the house to stop any dripping taps. You can close the taps, but if you read this magnificent collection of essays, you will be opening your mind. If you're not afraid of reality and are willing to confront it, buy and enjoy this book. It's a treasure.

5-0 out of 5 stars Of Interest Not Only To Science Teachers
This is a splendid anthology of scientific writing which should be of interest to the general public, as well as to teachers and students of science. Helen Epstein has a highly critical look at South Africa's response to its devastating AIDS epidemic in her essay "The Mystery of AIDS in South Africa". New York Times science writer Natalie Angier gives a humorous, mesmerizing look at mandrills in "In Mandrill Society, Life Is a Girl Thing". Distinguished evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr provides a thoughtful, profound look on "Darwin's Influence on Modern Thought". Paleobiologist Stephen Jay Gould has an interesting overview of Syphilis' early European history in his "Syphilis and the Shepherd of Atlantis". Alan Lightman offers a poignant look at his youth in "A Portrait of the Novelist as a Young Scientist". Richard Powers unearths the politics and intrigue behind the sequencing of the human genome in "The Genome Warrior". These are merely a few of the twenty two essays - and in the case of novelist John Updike, one poem - edited by Timothy Ferris for this volume. ... Read more


68. Science Bought and Sold : Essays in the Economics of Science
by Philip Mirowski, Esther-Mirjam Sent
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Asin: 0226538575
Catlog: Book (2002-01-01)
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Sales Rank: 862426
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Book Description

"A serious reconsideration of the 'economics of science' is long overdue," say Philip Mirowski and Esther-Mirjam Sent in the introduction to Science Bought and Sold. Indeed, it is only recently that one could speak of a field of economics of science at all. Although it has long been accepted that economics can provide useful tools with which to understand science, economics has only lately shifted its focus to the economic agent as information processor, making it more broadly applicable to science.
Bringing together central themes in this emerging discipline, the editors have assembled important articles that provide a wider context and background against which the economics of science can be evaluated. Roughly one-third of the essays presented here are original papers, and the rest are critical articles previously published in the field. From essays examining economic welfare to the idea of scientists as agents to the digital aspects of higher education,Science Bought and Sold presents a comprehensive overview of the new directions of this expanding area.


Contributors:
Kenneth J. Arrow
Mario Biagioli
William A. Brock
Michel Callon
Partha Dasgupta
Paul A. David
Steven N. Durlauf
Paul Forman
Steve Fuller
D. Wade Hands
Shaun P. Hargreaves Heap
Philip Kitcher
Sharon G. Levin
Richard R. Nelson
David F. Noble
Michael Polanyi
Gary Rhoades
Charles Sanders Peirce
Sheila Slaughter
Paula E. Stephan
Stephen Turner
James R. Wible
John Ziman

... Read more

69. The Best American Science Writing 2005 (Best American Science Writing)
by Alan Lightman, Jesse Cohen
list price: $13.95
our price: $11.16
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Asin: 0060726423
Catlog: Book (2005-09-01)
Publisher: Perennial Ecco
Sales Rank: 938553
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70. Quantum (Un)speakables
by R. A. Bertlmann, A. Zeilinger
list price: $99.00
our price: $84.15
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Asin: 3540427562
Catlog: Book (2002-09-17)
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
Sales Rank: 725504
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Book Description

This outstanding collection of essays in commemoration of John S. Bell is the result of the "Quantum (Un)speakables" conference organised by the University of Vienna. The title was taken from a famous note written by John Bell during the "Schrödinger Symposium" of 1987. The book leads the reader from the foundations of quantum mechanics to quantum entanglement, quantum cryptography, and quantum information, and is written for all those who need more insight into this new area of physics.||List of Contributors:||Markus Arndt, University of Vienna, Austria|Alain Aspect, Laboratoire Charles Fabry, Orsay, France|Mary Bell, Geneva Switzerland|Reinhold A. Bertlmann, University of Vienna, Austria|John F. Clauser, J.F. Clauser & Assoc., Walnut Creek, CA|John Conway, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ|Artur Ekert, Oxford University, Oxford, UK|Bernard D'Espagnat, University of Paris (Emeritus), Paris France|Edward S. Fry, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX|GianCarlo Ghirardi, University of Trieste, Italy|Nicolas Gisin, University of Geneva, Switzerland|Daniel Greenberger, CCNY, New York, NY|Walter Grimus, University of Vienna, Austria|Beatrix C. Hiesmayr, University of Vienna, Austria|Gerard 't Hooft, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands|Michael Horne, Stonehill College, Easton, MA|Roman Jackiw, MIT, Cambridge, MA|Simon Kochen, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ|Jon Magne Leinaas, University of Oslo, Norway|N. David Mermin, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY|Olaf Nairz, University of Vienna, Austria|Jian-Wei Pan, University of Vienna, Austria|Roger Penrose, Oxford University, Oxford, UK|R. Rajaraman, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India|Helmut Rauch, University of Vienna, Austria|Franco Selleri, University of Bari, Italy|Abner Shimony, Cupertino, CA|Jack Steinberger, CERN, Geneva, Switzerland|Stig Stenholm, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden|Lev Vaidman, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel|Thomas Walther, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX|Gregor Weihs, University of Vienna, Austria|Andrew Whitaker, Queen's University, Belfast, Northern Ireland|Anton Zeilinger, University of Vienna, Austria|Antonio Zichichi, CERN, Geneva, Switzerland ... Read more


71. Cross-Pollinations: The Marriage of Science and Poetry (Credo Series)
by Gary Paul Nabhan
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
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Asin: 1571312706
Catlog: Book (2004-01-01)
Publisher: Milkweed Editions
Sales Rank: 325510
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Book Description

A pioneering ethnobotanist, Gary Paul Nabhan credits the arts with sparking unlikely scientific breakthroughs and believes that such "cross-pollination" engenders new forms of expression that are essential to discovery. In this highly readable book, he tells four stories to illustrate this idea. In the first, coping with color blindness in art class leads to his career as a scientist; in the second, ancient American Indian songs, when translated, reveal an understanding of plants and animals that rivals modern research; in the third, a poem inspires an approach to diabetes using desert plants; and in the fourth, a coalition of scientists and artists creates the Ironwood Forest National Monument in the Sonoran Desert. ... Read more


72. Writing and Presenting Scientific Papers
by Birgitta Malmfors, Phil Garnsworthy, Michael Grossman
list price: $39.99
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Asin: 1897676123
Catlog: Book (2004-03-01)
Publisher: Nottingham University Press
Sales Rank: 974802
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73. Remnants of the Fall: Revelations of Particle Secrets
by William B. Rolnick
list price: $19.00
our price: $16.15
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Asin: 9812381465
Catlog: Book (2003-05)
Publisher: World Scientific Publishing Company
Sales Rank: 109782
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This is a book that sings about the beauty of the fundamental laws of nature. Clear, accurate descriptions for general science readers (no equations in sight!) are punctuated with original, scintillating verses. The reader is taken on a journey through the contemporary understanding of the building blocks of nature and their interactions — the current status of that age-old, intriguing quest. The central role of symmetry is explained in a manner suitable for general science readers, and its splendor is celebrated in verse. The book facilitates understanding of the background and significance of today's scientific discoveries in atomic, nuclear and particle physics. Many of the poems appear as interludes that reinforce the discussions as they amuse the reader, making this informative book a delight to read. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars The poetry of elementary particles
It is not often that one can find a book dealing with a technical subject that is a pure delight to read, but the "Remnants of the Fall" is just such a book. The technical subject is elementary particle physics (which is written at a level for the non-expert). Liberally sprinkled throughout the book are poems about the subject matter being discussed - a style that is certainly unique and delightful.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Mind Opener
Wow! What beauty and clarity too! Now I know the underlying ideas of particle physics and can appreciate their beauty. The delightful poetry fits so seamlessly with the explanations that I was completely charmed as I read and learned.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece
I am not a scientist. It has been over 40 years since I took my last science class; highschool Biology. I certainly avoided taking any science classes in college, because I was more than afraid of the grade I would get. I have been rewarded for opening my mind and trying to read this book, because it is both artistic in style and interesting in content. I never felt I would be able to understand a subject as difficult as Physics, and I am not pretending to have understood this entire book. I am saying I understood most of it. The author has written poetry that not only helps to explain many of the concepts, but is joyfull and fun to read. He clearly expresses his own love for the subject through his style of writing. It is a book well worth reading. ... Read more


74. Walking the Shores of Cape Cod
by Elliott Carr
list price: $14.95
our price: $12.71
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Asin: 0965328325
Catlog: Book (1997-03-01)
Publisher: On Cape Pubns
Sales Rank: 84188
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In Walking the Shore of Cape Cod, Elliott Carr invites his readers to join him on a literary, a philosophical, and a very physical journey around the perimeter of this peninsula. An inveterate walker; he explores and investigates many of the Cape’s most public and private places – even to the extent that he is eventually driven off the beach in the back of a police car: Complete with maps and recommendations for the reader’s own Cape adventures, this is a book of Thoreauvian proportions. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Pleasures in reading
One of the pleasures I savor in reading a good book is to think about friends who might also enjoy the book. So it is with Walking the Shores of Cape Cod, by Elliott Carr, a gift I received from Lindy and John last Christmas. Having tramped a bit of the outer beach myself when we camped as a family many years ago, I can relate to many of his stories. And of course, we have the model set by Henry David Thoreau, almost 150 years ago.
I have recommended it to a number of friends who have a Cape Cod connection. ... Read more


75. Science Literacy for the Twenty-First Century
list price: $29.00
our price: $19.14
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Asin: 1591020204
Catlog: Book (2002-10-01)
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Sales Rank: 479373
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76. The Best American Science Writing 2000
by James Gleick, Jesse Cohen
list price: $14.00
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Asin: 0060957360
Catlog: Book (2000-09-05)
Publisher: Ecco
Sales Rank: 374060
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Avid science readers know the value of good judgment. There's just too much out there to go through it all in one lifetime, so we learn to appreciate the recommendations of those we trust. Editors James Gleick and Jesse Cohen took it upon themselves to select 19 eclectic pieces for The Best American Science Writing 2000, resulting in a delicious, engrossing volume with something for nearly every reader. Whether relying on well-known authors like Stephen Jay Gould and Oliver Sacks or surprising us with a selection from humor publication The Onion ("Revolutionary New Insoles Combine Five Forms of Pseudoscience"), they choose works that combine the best of exposition and aesthetic delight. The scope of topics is broad: physician Atul Gawande reports on medical mistakes, Douglas R. Hofstadter ruminates on natural and artificial intelligence, and Deborah Gordon gives an inside look at southwestern American ant life. Though the editors cheerfully admit that they can't define science writing with any precision, they still please the reader with this important and enjoyable volume. --Rob Lightner ... Read more

Reviews (7)

3-0 out of 5 stars Misnamed or Misedited...be warned!
I liked many of the pieces in this collection and detested just a few. But overall I was very disappointed since I expected essays about SCIENCE, not essays about science history, about preferring music to science, about doctors making mistakes. I'm not saying those types of essays are not interesting reading, but I am saying they're definitely not about real science. Very few of the essays would actually enhance a university science course, for instance.

Furthermore, there would seem to be a weird bias present in the selection of the essays. A lot of them are from the New Yorker or the New York Times, hardly the places to go for good science (even though I do acknowledge that when it comes to newspapers the New York Times does better than most...which are terrible in general). There are some from the Sciences, Nature, but not many from places where real science essays are published. I suspect the net was not cast far in a search. How about Science News, Discover, Analog, Scientific American? I am also sure there were more overlooked great science essays in books that were not read (a few such are included and tend to be among the best in the collection). There is even a farcical "essay" from The Onion here!

Gleick explains/justifies this in his introduction claiming to take a "big tent" approach. After reading the volume I think he failed. The tent wasn't big enough to retain enough science to validate the title.

The essays I like in particular included Lord of the Flies by Jonathan Weiner, Antarctic Dreams by Francis Halzen, Interstellar Spaceflight by Timothy Ferris, Einstein's Clocks by Peter Galison, and A Desinger Universe by Steven Weinberg.

Two stood out in my mind as particular poor examples of science writing mainly because they embrace "anti-science" in order to be "witty." Natalie Angier's New York Times article "Furs for Evening, but Cloth Was the Stone Age Standby" examines the recent realization that 20-30k year old fertility figures are shown wearing complex textiles. She may just be reporting the shoddy methodology of some current archeological practices, but she proudly announces that the old assumption that men created these statuettes is wrong based on the detailed textile carving that requires detailed knowledge of such and the cross-cultural studies of the present population of earth that indicates women create cloth, not men. I think the announcement is quite premature and just as big of an assumption. It feels like one of those essays that projects present-day sensibilities on past times, a form of political correctness that has no place in science.

Worse is "Must Dog Eat Dog" by Susan McCarthy from salon.com. McCarthy attacks sociobiological thought but displays an astounding level of ignorance about the details of the theories involved. She attacks a straw man of her own invention in which men must be homeless, starving, lecherous slobs in order to validate sociobiology. She simply cannot have read some of the thinkers she attacks and have written the piece she did. She argues from a political motivation, not from a scientific one, and I was quite shocked to see this essay included. "Witty" it may be, but science it ain't!

This is an interesting collection, but be aware of what is actually included here. Good science is going on in the world today, and people are writing about it, just usually not in the New Yorker.

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but not "The Best"
Although I enjoyed most of the articles, this was not exactly what I was expecting. It appears as though many of the articles came out of popular non-scientific publications (many from the N.Y. Times) and were written for a mainstream audience. Too many of them were articles of the "I'm a scientist and here's my story . . ." genre. One story was about an author's "nervous breakdown" and his decision to pursue a career in music rather than chemistry. A few were about the practice of medicine or medical research. They were interesting articles but didn't contain as much scientific information as I expected - I didn't really learn that much. I don't want to sound overly negative. I did enjoy many of the selections. However, calling this "The Best" science writing of the year is a real stretch.

3-0 out of 5 stars A Very Mixed Bag
The best essays were actually on the history of science. There were memoirs of very little scientific interest, some pop-observations of the field of science, some decent philosophy, some medical adventure stories. Not bad, but certainly not a general survey of good science writing spread over all the sciences, so not what I was hoping for at all. I would have to browse the 2001 edition before buying; certainly not an automatic purchase based on this edition.

3-0 out of 5 stars amusing, but very patchy writing skills
There were well written articles by generalists, and good pices by the people who do the research they write about. It's also hard not to enjoy Douglas Hofstadter, even if this was a somewhat weak piece of his.

Mixed in are pieces like Susan McCarthy (from Salon) that use poor argumentative style (numerous ad hominem attacks, the use of Capital Letter sarcasm), poorly researched and develop no thesis of her own. Just scattershot bon mots and drive-by name dropping.

some good with the bad. worth an afternoon, the articles are light on actual content. pop-science.

5-0 out of 5 stars Terrific collection
In general, the BEST collections are the best of the best. First, the essays or books have been chosen for publication and then a few are picked for the collection. These are well written and interesting, covering several areas of science. I especially liked Stephen S. Hall's "Journey to the Center of My Mind" where he describes his experience of an M.R.I. of his brain while being assigned specific mental tasks. Fascinating stuff. And I loved "Lord of the Flies," excerpted from Jonathan Weiner's terrific book, TIME, LOVE, MEMORY, on Seymour Benzer's mapping the genes of the fruit fly.

Each essay in this collection takes you into the world of a specific science and the scientists who are patient enough to stay with their explorations and articulate enough to describe them to others. Some of my favorite authors are in this collection: Stephen J. Gould, Susan McCarthy, and Oliver Sachs. A treat for the mind.

~~Joan Mazza, author of DREAM BACK YOUR LIFE; DREAMING YOUR REAL SELF; WHO'S CRAZY ANYWAY? and 3 books in The Guided Journal Series with Writer's Digest Books. ... Read more


77. El Pequeno Libro De La Tierra/the Little Earth Book
by James Bruges
list price: $20.95
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Asin: 8475563074
Catlog: Book (2004-05-02)
Publisher: Grupo Oceano
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78. Creative Tension: Essays on Science and Religion
by Michael Heller
list price: $22.95
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Asin: 1932031340
Catlog: Book (2003-10-01)
Publisher: Templeton Foundation Press
Sales Rank: 524466
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Book Description

The voice of a renowned professor of philosophy in Poland, who is also a Roman Catholic priest, is introduced to the United States in this collection of his provocative essays on the interplay of science and religion. Michael Heller progressively outlines systematic steps that might lead to a peaceful coexistence of these traditionally separate fields of study. Some essays have their roots in the author’s work in physics and cosmology, while others present his theories on the language of God, creation, and transcendence, inspired by his work in the applications of so-called noncommutative geometry, an emerging field of study.

The book is organized into four sections, each preceded by a brief introduction explaining the order of the essays and their internal logic.

Part One deals with methodology, evaluates the theological interpretation of scientific theories, and proposes a program for a "theology of science."

Part Two looks at the interaction of science and religion from a historical perspective. Topics include the evolution of ideas connected with the place of man in the Universe and the evolution of matter, among others.

Part Three concentrates on the "creation and science" quandary, including the Big Bang theory and the role of probability and chance in science, as well as their impact on theological questions.

Part Four looks for vestiges of transcendence in contemporary science.Creative Tension joins the Templeton library of resources contributing to the growing global dialogue on science and religion. ... Read more


79. Science and Hebrew Tradition Essays
by Thomas H. Huxley
list price: $33.95
our price: $22.41
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Asin: 0766137848
Catlog: Book (2003-01-01)
Publisher: Kessinger Publishing
Sales Rank: 745671
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Book Description

1896. Collected essays by T.H. Huxley, Volume IV. Contains the following: On the Method of Zadig; Rise of Progress of Paleontology; Lectures on Evolution; Interpreters of Genesis and the Interpreters of Nature; Mr. Gladstone and Genesis; Light of the Church and the Light of Science; Hasisadea's Adventure; Evolution of Theology, an Anthropological Study. ... Read more


80. Cybernetics and Human Knowing, Vol. 9: Francisco J. Varela 1946-2001
by Soren Brier
list price: $25.90
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Asin: 0907845924
Catlog: Book (2004-04-18)
Publisher: Imprint Academic
Sales Rank: 1514285
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Book Description

Special issue of the journal Cybernetics and Human Knowing dedicated to the life and work of Francisco Varela. For details see table of contents. ... Read more


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