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161. Evolution: The History of an Idea,
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162. Introduction to Protein Architecture:
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163. Human Evolution and Prehistory
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164. Utilization-Focused Evaluation
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165. The Origin of Species and the
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166. Fossil Shark Teeth of the World
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167. Evolution : The Triumph of an
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168. Molecular Biology of the Cell:
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169. The Essential John Nash
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170. Future Evolution
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171. Virus of the Mind:: The New Science
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172. Trace Your Roots with DNA : Using
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173. At Home in the Universe: The Search
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174. From a Biological Point of View
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175. On Numbers and Games
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176. An Introduction to Molecular Medicine
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177. Actin (Protein Profile (Unnumbered).)
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178. Racing the Antelope: What Animals
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179. Biochemical Pathways: An Atlas
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180. The Science of Good and Evil :

161. Evolution: The History of an Idea, Third Edition, Completely Revised and Expanded
by Peter J. Bowler
list price: $24.95
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Asin: 0520236939
Catlog: Book (2003-07-01)
Publisher: University of California Press
Sales Rank: 158345
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars The evolution of an idea
This history of evolutionary thought is good at showing how the idea developed in Darwin's particular society, influenced by thinkers before Darwin such as Malthus. The book, also shows how Darwin's thinking evolved, how the idea itself evolved from outside influences (particularly plate tectonics and cosmology), and how it influenced non-biological thinking (such at utilitarianism, capitalism, Marxism) sometimes in scary ways such as eugenics.

Throughout the book, it seems like philosophers (at least in the West) desired a purpose and direction of evolution, if not a Director. Lamarckianism (inheritance of acquired characteristics) also seemed to have continual appeal and in the later editions of the Origin of Species, Darwin himself was leaning more that way. The continual difficulty of direct evidence and incomplete fossil record, leads to ongoing speculations.

Although generally dry/scholarly there are a few fun side-diversions, such as Kammerer's midwife toad. Bowler also highlights other key figures such as paleontologist Georges Cuvier and "Darwin's bulldog" Thomas Huxley. I would have like more history of how the general public accepted the idea, perhaps by tracing the teaching in schools or textbooks. Readers of this might also enjoy Dawkins "The Blind Watchmaker".

5-0 out of 5 stars For those with serious interest in "the history of an idea"
Peter Bowler is an Irish historian of science who is known for his studies of evolution as an "-ism". This is undoubtedly his magnum opus and is one of the best introductory texts on this subject available. But, a word of caution- reviews on this website are full of superlatives. Many books are advertised by reader-critics shouting "everyone should read this book!" Setting aside the obvious absurdity of that statement, I will state quite clearly that this book is not for everyone. With notes and index, it comes to 432 pages, and, as Bowler himself notes in the preface, it is intended for undergraduate students or as a survey text for the specialist. That having been said, his prose is approachable and one does not need to have a background in history or science to follow the argument.

Also, unlike many other texts on this subject, Bowler does not descend into triumphalist or other such ideologies that remove science from its own social context. In the words of the author, "Finally, we must look more closely at the problems the historian faces as he tries to chart the rise of scientific evolutionism. In particular, these problems arise from the normal view of science as an objective search for knowledge and the suspicions of many critics that scientific theories are themselves value-laden contributions to philosophical and ideological debates" (Bowler, pg.4). He does an excellent job of explaining not only the theories and their evidence but does so by relating them to their own social and historical context. His analysis is also distinguished from many of its predescessors (and descendents, unfortunately) by its breadth and scope. Bowler does not confine his study to the merely biological, but begins at the beginning with geology and early modern ideas of nature and change, or more appropriately, the lack thereof. Furthermore, he brings the reader up to the date of publication with a healthy discussion of the current debates, which once again stresses the idea of "evolution" as an "evolving" concept.

Thus, this book is for the novice, whether intially hostile to the concept of common descent through natural selection or not, who wants a comprehensive and scholarly introduction to the material. Note that this is a history text, however, and not science. This book is also for the biologist who finds herself caught in the throes of "biology as ideology," and wishes to read a scholarly text testing science's absolute claim to truth. ... Read more

162. Introduction to Protein Architecture: The Structural Biology of Proteins
by Arthur M. Lesk
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Asin: 0198504748
Catlog: Book (2001)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 129079
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A nice introduction to structural biology
This book deserves 5 stars on the basis of its color stereo diagrams alone! Well done. I wish I had this book when I was starting out as a graduate student! A very good explanation of structural hierarchy. Plus the book also contains excellent details of structure of proteins belonging to specific families -for ex., antibodies. Even today, for my work, I find it very convenient to look into the book first for some structural information rather than into the PDB databases. And yes, I do have a very good pair of stereo glasses always on hand!

5-0 out of 5 stars If Frank Lloyd Wright did proteins...
This is truly a monument to the architecture of proteins: a gorgeous tour of the structures that dwell within us. The "frozen music" of biology is clearly presented in beautiful detail. The computer-generated renderings give pause to anyone who wonders what God was up to when She thought about creating life. Proteins, as represented here, are Her finest efforts. Visually stunning is only the most obvious aspect of this amazing introduction to structural genomics (proteinomics): the systematic study of protein structures. This is a serious graduate level textbook.

The text should be considered for any introductory graduate level course in biochemistry. Beginning with sound chemical principles, the text lays a solid foundation for the concepts of secondary and tertiary structure within protein. The author builds a superstructure from which to view the motifs of cofactor binding domains and active sites in enzymes.

Each chapter concludes with exercises, problems and "weblems". The weblems underscore the fact that structural genomics, a branch of bioinformatics, is a hot topic in the biotech arena. The weblems ask the reader to pursue ideas on the world wide web. The author provides the reader with a wealth of websites ranging from browser plug-in software for viewing crystal structures, to sources of those structures, to sequence alignment servers which will allow the student to do real research. Well thought-out, the weblems posed are useful to the student in exploring the topics of each chapter.

The author sticks to protein architecture avidly, issues of how proteins fold or how structure might be predicted from amino acid sequence are presented to the reader. It is a credit to the author that he does not speculate on these very hot research topics. The bibiliography for each chapter is current to mid-2000.

A student using this text will have greater insight and understanding of the literature of protein structure, folding, and prediction of structure. This book would also be a useful reference to the veteran practitioner, summarizing an early 21st century look at this field. ... Read more

163. Human Evolution and Prehistory
by William A. Haviland
list price: $78.95
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Asin: 0155067230
Catlog: Book (1999-07-19)
Publisher: Harcourt College Pub
Sales Rank: 243947
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Book Description

This book offers a comprehensive and balanced presentation on views of the human evolution and prehistory. It focuses on selected aspects of physical anthropology and prehistoric archaeology as they relate to the origin of humanity, the origin of culture, and the development of human biological and cultural diversity. Haviland's commitment to challenging student ethnocentrism is continued and reinforced in this new edition. ... Read more

164. Utilization-Focused Evaluation : The New Century Text
by Michael Quinn Patton
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Asin: 0803952651
Catlog: Book (1996-10-30)
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Sales Rank: 53533
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Can evaluation be used to improve programs? Can it contribute to program effectiveness? Do evaluators bear any responsibility for evaluation use and program improvement? This skillfully honed revision by master storyteller and evaluator Michael Quinn Patton grapples with the answers to these questions and provides the most comprehensive review and integration ever done of the vast literature on evaluation use and practice. Earlier editions are popular with more than 26,000 students of evaluation as a core or supplemental text.

This entirely rewritten edition offers readers a full-fledged evaluation text from identifying primary users of an evaluation to focusing the evaluation, making methods decisions, analyzing data, and presenting findings. Both practical and theoretical, Utilization-Focused Evaluation: The New Century Text, Third Edition tells how to conduct program evaluations and why to conduct them in the manner prescribed.

Each chapter contains a review of the relevant literature and actual case examples to illustrate major points. Finally, the book offers a definite point of view developed from observing much of what has passed for program evaluation that has not been very useful: Program evaluation ought to be useful and something different must be done if evaluation is to be useful.

Thought-provoking topics new to this edition are:
- Using participatory evaluation processes to change a program's culture and build a learning organization.
- Alternative evaluator roles connected to varying situations and diverse evaluation purposes.
- Getting started: generating commitment to use.
- How evaluators can nurture results-oriented, reality-testing leadership in programs and organizations.
- Specific techniques for managing the power dynamics of working with primary intended users as well as evaluation stakeholders.
- A paradigm of choices beyond the qualitative-quantitative methods debate.
- Concrete and practical approaches for facilitating evaluation processes and working with diverse stakeholders.
- Development evaluation fully elaborated.
- Utilization-focused evaluation and the Experimenting Society (tribute to Donald T. Campbell).
- Ethical issues in utilization-focused evaluation.
- Fourteen fundamental premises of utilization-focused evaluation that are completely revised and updated.

In addition, Patton has supplemented the book with the following pedagogical features to enhance your, and your students', understanding of the concepts:
- More than 50 new exhibits for teaching and training use.
- Menus developed as special tools for working with stakeholders in selecting evaluation decision options.
- New examples and ideas for useful presentations and graphics.
- Plus, the stories and parables you''ve come to expect--and love--from Patton.

Written with humor, a soft touch, and the sound advice of two decades of experience, Utilization-Focused Evaluation: The New Century Text, Third Edition provides an overall framework and concrete advice for conducing useful evaluations.

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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A key reference text for evaluators at all levels
One of the most important books on evaluation ever written, and this third edition is better than ever. How to ensure that evaluation results are put to maximum use, by involving key stakeholders as true partners in the effort from start to finish. This is evalution for the new century at its finest. And fun to read as well.

4-0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking and easy to read
I found this book to provide a very useful summary of a philosophy of evaluation that seems very valuable. Despite the horrible title the test is easy to read, and scattered with funny stories which may be an advantage or disadvantage depending on your perspective.

The first two parts are largely philosophical, with the later parts providing more of the practical back-up.

I am not convinced by all of Patton's arguments, but he certainly gives evaluators food for thought. ... Read more

165. The Origin of Species and the Voyage of the Beagle
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Asin: 1400041279
Catlog: Book (2003-10-14)
Publisher: Everyman's Library
Sales Rank: 31183
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Book Description

Easily the most influential book published in the nineteenth century, Darwin’s The Origin of Species is also that most unusual phenomenon, an altogether readable discussion of a scientific subject. On its appearance in 1859 it was immediately recognized by enthusiasts and detractors alike as a work of the greatest importance: the revolutionary theory of evolution by means of natural selection that it presented provoked a furious reaction that continues to this day.

The Origin of Species is here published together with Darwin’s earlier Voyage of the ‘Beagle’. This 1839 account of the journeys to South America and the Pacific islands that first put Darwin on the track of his remarkable theories derives an added charm from his vivid description of his travels in exotic places and his eye for the piquant detail.
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166. Fossil Shark Teeth of the World
by Joe Cocke
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Asin: 0971538131
Catlog: Book (2002-02-06)
Publisher: Lamna Books
Sales Rank: 31310
Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

An easy to understand book on fossil shark tooth identification. Clear photos and simple terminology. This book is a must for any fossil collector. ... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fossil Shark Teeth of the World
This book has many things going for it: the design, the amazing amount of reference photos, the portable size and it's beauty, all delivered in an easy readable and understandable format. I gave many copies to my nieces & nephews living in Virginia where there are a lot of fossils to be found.

5-0 out of 5 stars Jaws uncovered
Being an amateur fossil collector I grabbed Joe Cocke's book to learn more about fossil shark teeth. I found the guide well organized and easy to use. You'll find pictures, the different accepted names used (scientific and common), a detailed description along with references to similar teeth and of course the age. Discovering what kind of tooth you actually found is a lot of fun. This is definitively a great guide.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must for any fossil collector
The book "Fossil Shark Teeth of the World" by Joe Cocke is a very concise and well organized guide. The photos are clear and the descriptions of the teeth will help anyone identify their find.

3-0 out of 5 stars One of the Better Guides, but not Comprehensive Enough
In this short booklet on fossil shark teeth of the world, author Joe Cocke has compiled a fairly detailed and descriptive guide for identifying shark's teeth. Well illustrated, this book a great beginner's guide for anyone interested in trying their hand at identifying those teeth they keep finding on the beach. Unfortunately for the professional, this guide just isn't quite comprehensive enough in that it does not provide a good set of photographs showing the range of variation in the teeth from each species, nor does it compare and contrast similar looking teeth from different species so that the layman can be sure to get them right. In all, however, this booklet is a wonderful guide worthy of study by both kids and adults

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Guide to Fossil Shark Teeth
Finally a very comprehensive shark tooth identification book that covers over 85 species and covers them correctly. I found very few mistakes of any kind in this book when it comes to ID, nicknames, ages, localities, etc. which is almost never done! Each identified species shows accompanying photos (several of each species showing different positions usually) and is written in plain English so it can be easily understood by amateurs. Plus it's small size will enable it to be well-utilized in the field unlike most ID books. ... Read more

167. Evolution : The Triumph of an Idea
by Carl Zimmer
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Asin: 0060958502
Catlog: Book (2002-10-01)
Publisher: Perennial
Sales Rank: 21187
Average Customer Review: 4.42 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This dazzling companion volume to one the most important series in PBS history tells the compelling story of the theory of evolution -- from Darwin to twenty-first-century science.

Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species was breathtaking, beautifully written, staunchly defended, defiantly radical. Yet it emerged long before paleontologists and geologists worked out the chronology of life on Earth, long before biologists uncovered the molecules that underlie heredity and natural selection. Not until the late twentieth century was the true scope of its power revealed.

This remarkable new book, featuring more than 150 color illustrations, presents a rich and up-to-date view of evolution that explores the far-reaching implications of Darwin's theory and emphasizes the power, significance, and relevance of evolution to our lives today. After all, we ourselves are the product of evolution, and we can tackle many of our gravest challenges -- from the lethal resurgence of antibiotic-resistant diseases to the wave of extinctions that looms before us -- with a sound understanding of the science. It can help us see our lives in connection to everything that has come before and to every form of life on Earth today.

Filled with rich narrative, award-winning science writing, and the most up-to-date information on topics ranging from Darwinian medicine and sexual selection to the origins of language, evolutionary psychology, and the controversies surrounding creationism, Evolution tells in riveting detail the story of a remarkable scientific journey, from the emergence to the triumph of an idea.

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Reviews (43)

5-0 out of 5 stars Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea
Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea written by Carl Zimmer is one of the best books that presents a rich and up-to-date view of evolution that explores the far-reaching implications of Darwin's theory and emphasizes the power, significance and relavance of evolution to our lives today.

Reading this book leaves no doubt that Darwin was right... evolution is fact, whether the creationists want to believe it or not. "Evolution" tells in riveting detail the story of a remarkable scientific journey, from the emergence to the triumph of an idea. This book is an easy read filled with a rich narrative, award-winning science writting, illustrated with more than 150 color illustrations making this book a dazzling companion to the PBS series of the same name.

"Evolution" is divided into four parts covering a wide scope, but bringing a clear focus to the reader as to the truth about evolution. Starting out in part one: Slow Victory: Darwin and the Rise of Darwinism. From Dawin's trip on the Beagle, to the writing of "The Origin of Species," to putting date to our History of Life, and a very clear "Witnessing Change: Genes, Natural Selection and Evolution in Action. Each of the sub-sections is well written and cogent, bring a foundation to the book bringing to reader upto speed.

Part Two: Creation and Destruction, where we read about "Rooting the Tree of Life;" From Life's Dawn to the Age of Microbes; next "The Accidental Tool Kit:" Chance and Constraints in Animal Evolution; to "Extinction:" How Life Ends and Begins Again. Here the reader sees life's will to survive. It is at work on all species everywhere on the planet, and it has been at work ever since life first emerged.

Part Three: "Evolution's Dance, featuring "Coevolution;" Weaving the Web of Life; "Doctor Darwin;" Disease in the Age of Evolutionary Medicine; to "Passion's Logic:" The evolution of Sex. This section brngs to light reasoning to save endangered species from extinction because we can find among them lessons about how evolution works. As man evolves, so does his enviornment, making all life part of the whole picture of survival.

Part Four: "Humanity's Place in Evolution and Evolution's Place in Humanity" where "The Gossiping Ape:" The Social Roots of Human Evolution; next, "Modern Life, 50,000B.C.: The Dawn of Us; to "What about God?" This whole section should ruffle the skirts of the creationists, as I found this section to be the most interesting. This section places man in the mix of evolution, just as everything else in nature, is a obvious survivor of evolution to this point in time.

Ever since the publication of "Origin of Species," people have been pondering the significance of evolution for the meaning of their lives, and of life in general. Are we just a biological accident or a cosmic imperative? Well, if this question is left to the facts alone, then man is part and parcel of Earth's evolutionary process. But, there are those who contemplate, where is God's place if everything does have a natural cause? Might I suggest that, maybe "God" is an evolution in our mind's thought as a succor to portray evolving to loftier heights.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Definitive Guide to Evolution for lay men
Carl Zimmer wrote a solid account of evolution in the book "Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea". The text is accessible to practically all ages. Serious lay men and people with no knowledge of evolution may find the book rewarding and entertaining. Zimmer begins with an elegant life story of Darwin - his family, his voyage on HMS Beagle, his friendship and discussions with other naturalists, publication of Origin of Species and other details. I was particularly interested in how Darwin's theory and ideas were debated at the time. As the book explains, Darwin earned many loyal friends (Thomas Huxley) and bitter enemies (Sir Richard Owen) after publishing his work. Also, Zimmer provides some information on carbon dating and emphasizes its importance as a method and introduces Lord Kelvin and Marie Curie to his readers as well. When Zimmer moves on to discuss genetics and heredity he rightly introduces Gregor Medel. Readers should pay special attention to the evolutionary tree of whales that show a divergence of species that are actual intermediate forms.

Due to the compactness of the text I understand that Zimmer was writing under deep constraint, however, I was surprised by the fact that Zimmer only briefly mentions trilobites that surpassed 300 million years of existence during Paleozoic Era and the dinosaurs (150 million years during Mesozoic Era). At times Zimmer presents only one theory when it is known that several theories exist that confirm to the available evidence suggesting there is some favoritism going on. Graphs and illustrations seem to be up to date and are well picked but I wish he included more of these. Visual information is just as valuable as verbal.

Zimmer describes several theories that try to account for mass extinctions (90% of species 250 million years ago, the demise of dinosaurs 65 million years ago, and other 4 mass extinctions): volcanism and cataclysmic asteroid collisions with earth. Zimmer attributes the mammalian rise to dominance to the mass extinction that happened 65 million years ago. He explains that mammals were no bigger than present day shrews at the time dinosaurs ruled. Only after the extinction could the mammals grow in size unconstrained. Zimmer predicts that future extinctions may be possible but this time it is Homo sapiens that are causing it. He explains that humanity has already left a deep mark on environment through carbon dioxide emissions and deforestation. According to him, we are frustrating the evolution of other plants and animals. If this is thrown out of whack the consequences may be catastrophic.

Later on, Carl writes about sexual selection and sexual/asexual reproduction. He explains evolutionary advantage sexually-reproducing animals have over those that reproduce asexually. For describing sexual selection and female choice Zimmer uses old established example of peacock's tail.

As we approach Part 4 we are headed into evolution of hominids. I was rewarded by the reconstructions of hominids: Australopithecus afarensis and Homo ergaster. Here Zimmer dwells into the theory of mind, human migrations, hominid interaction, and emergence of modern human behavior, symbolic thinking, and other areas. He gives some clues as to why Neanderthals went extinct about 27,000 years ago. Homo neanderthalensis did not seem to interbreed with Homo sapiens. They left no progeny. Zimmer is clearly a proponent of a theory of sudden emergence of human behavior that arose, according to some anthropologist, as early as 50,000 years ago and led to the use of jewelry, cave paintings and other forms of symbolic expression. I personally sway toward the theory that suggests that modern human behavior arose gradually in Africa without taking any sudden leaps. Recent archeological findings of shell beads dated to about 75,000 years ago and other digs may be suggesting that modern human behavior has existed way before Africans began expanding into Europe in several migration waves.

The last chapter deals with the idea of God. Zimmer walks his readers through history of American education and its battle with Darwinism. He explains that Darwinism has historically been abused and used to justify xenophobia, violence, and eugenic polices in Europe. This type of Darwinism was dubbed "Social Darwinism" and left a deep gash on the reputation of Darwinism as a healthy science. Additionally, if you are interested about Intelligent Design movement and Earth Creationists then you will definitely like this chapter.

Zimmer finishes off his book splendidly. He portrays Darwin's own battle with his religiosity. Darwin's transformation from a devoted Christian to an agnostic was gradual. Deaths of his loved ones left deep marks on his mentality. At the end Darwin himself succumbed to his illness and passed away in solitude and peace.

5-0 out of 5 stars WOW!!!!!!!
what an experience... This book has open my mind up to a new world. I feel that I have a much greater knowledge and appreciation of the origins of life and the world around me.
This book is designed for beginners who are new to evolution and the origins of life on earth.

the book walks you through fascinating subjects that you could not think of in your wildest dreams: example, did you know that whales and dolphins were once land mammals. Even Today whales still have remants such as a hip bone and tiny hind legs only a few inches long.
This book is long and very time consuming but if you have a alot of time and a GREAT thrust for knowledge this book is for you.

5-0 out of 5 stars As interesting as evolution itself
Wow, I have to say this is the first book I read of Carl Zimmer, he really impress me. The book is graphically wonderful, it has lots of pictures and some sketches that support the text. You can almost read it as a textbook, but this one is much more interesting. The way Zimmer states the plot (which of course is history, not fiction) and how he explains the current states of affairs (considering herbicides, plaguicides, genetic modified food, etc.) and its impact in ecology is that of a first class novelist. He covers almost every aspect of evolution you can imagine, so he cleverly responds (almost telepathically) to the interior questions nurtured while reading the text. Superb, I love this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Splendid Companion to the PBS series
Carl Zimmer, one of our finest science writers, has written an elegant companion to the PBS NOVA miniseries which stands on its own as an excellent introduction to evolution, covering topics which should be of interest to all, ranging from the evolution of sex to fighting disease, and of course, the search for humanity's origins as the only extant member of a once-flourishing tribe of hominid species related to the great apes. Each of Zimmer's chapters corresponds with the NOVA episode related to it. He gives us a mesmerizing, compelling portait of Charles Darwin and his intellectual struggles with his understanding of biology, geology and faith, as he recognized that his detailed observations of biotic diversity could only be accounted for by a theory of evolution via natural selection. Zimmer gives a riveting account on the history of life, highligting such notable episodes as the evolution of multicellular organisms, the Cambrian explosion, the invasion of the land by plants, insects and tetrapods, the Permo-Triasic and Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary mass extinctions, to name but a few. He also notes the significance of chance and constraint in the evolution of animal life, pointing out the significance of tiny changes in certain genes in creating vast differences in the structures of animal skeletons and organs. He emphasizes the importance of co-evolution as a constant struggle between predators and prey. And he clearly shows the importance of natural selection in understanding the spread and control of such virulent diseases as tuberculosis. Zimmer's account of the role of God - if any - with respect to evolution and the widespread appeal of so-called creation science, most notably, "Intelligent Design", is replete with excellent arguments and examples demonstrating why Intelligent Design and other forms of creation science are not scientific. This well written, highly engrossing, popular account of evolution deserves to be read by all. ... Read more

168. Molecular Biology of the Cell: A Problems Approach
by John Wilson, Tim Hunt
list price: $35.95
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Asin: 0815335776
Catlog: Book (2002-09)
Publisher: Garland Publishing
Sales Rank: 110770
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Molecular Biology of the Cell, Fourth Edition: A Problems Approach is designed to help students appreciate the ways in which experiments and simple calculations can lead to an understanding of how cells work. Chapters are subdivided as in Molecular Biology of the Cell and provide a review of key terms, test for understanding basic concepts, and research-based problems. Chapters 1-8 and 10-18 from Molecular Biology of the Cell are covered in this way.The new edition of A Problems Approach (formerly titled The Problems Book) is completely reorganized and revised to match the Fourth Edition of Molecular Biology of the Cell. Detailed answers are provided in the book for half the problems to help students learn how to analyze experimental observations and draw conclusions from them. Problems without the solution contained in the book are useful for homework assignments and as exam questions. Answers to these problems are provided to instructors upon request. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars electrtonic version??
is there a electronic version like pdf format in somewhere ??
how much does it cost ??

i,ve already the whole book and is a perfect way to learn biology whith a lot of images an clearly explained topics.

well , thats all, sorry about my english. ... Read more

169. The Essential John Nash
by John Nash
list price: $34.95
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Asin: 0691095272
Catlog: Book (2001-11-19)
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Sales Rank: 55481
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

When John Nash won the Nobel prize in economics in 1994, many people were surprised to learn that he was alive and well. Since then, Sylvia Nasar's celebrated biography, the basis of a new major motion picture, has revealed the man. The Essential John Nash reveals his work--in his own words. This book presents, for the first time, the full range of Nash's diverse contributions not only to game theory, for which he received the Nobel, but to pure mathematics, in which he commands even greater acclaim among academics. Included are nine of Nash's most influential papers, most of them written over the decade beginning in 1949.

From 1959 until his astonishing remission three decades later, the man behind the concepts "Nash equilibrium" and "Nash bargaining"--concepts that today pervade not only economics but nuclear strategy and contract talks in major league sports--had lived in the shadow of a condition diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenia. In the introduction to this book, Nasar recounts how Nash had, by the age of thirty, gone from being a wunderkind at Princeton and a rising mathematical star at MIT to the depths of mental illness.

In his preface, Harold Kuhn offers personal insights on his longtime friend and colleague; and in introductions to several of Nash's papers, he provides scholarly context. In an afterword, Nash describes his current work, and he discusses an error in one of his papers. A photo essay chronicles Nash's career from his student days in Princeton to the present. Also included are Nash's Nobel citation and autobiography.

The Essential John Nash makes it plain why one of Nash's colleagues termed his style of intellectual inquiry as "like lightning striking." All those inspired by Nash's dazzling ideas will welcome this unprecedented opportunity to trace these ideas back to the exceptional mind they came from. ... Read more

Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Reading
Even without the Nobel Prize for Economics, the outstanding movie by Ron Howard ("A Beautiful Mind"), or the exceptional biography by Sylvia Nasar (also "A Beautiful Mind"), Professor John Nash would a legend. While cursed with severe mental illness, Dr. Nash was and is an extraordinary man. His contributions to game theory were so ahead of their time it took over 30 years for economists and business leaders to apply them fully. When they were applied, they advanced everything from international trade talks and arms control treaties, to radio frequency auctions and the study of evolutionary biology. Dr. Nash's work has had a profound, highly practical impact on negotiation and decision making throughout business and government. He created a path toward win-win solutions to complex, multi-party agreements.

This book is largely a collection of Dr. Nash's own writings, each a significant contribution to mathematics or economics. Nash's papers are thoughtfully introduced and explained - thankfully so given the complexity of Nash's writings. Also included is Nash's own touching and revealing autobiography.

The result is a compelling glimpse inside the thought processes of a genius - a beautiful mind indeed. Thanks to Harold Kuhn and Sylvia Nasar for pulling this wonderful collection together.

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent compilation
Having written about the life of the mathematician John Nash in the excellent biography "A Beautiful Mind", Sylvia Nasar teams up with the mathematician Harold W. Kuhn to produce a book that introduces the mathematical contributions of Nash, something that was done only from a "popular" point of view in Nasar's biography. For those who have the background, this book is a fine overview of just what won Nash acclaim in the mathematical community, and won him a Nobel Prize in economics.

It is always easy to dismiss ideas as trivial after they have been discovered and have been put into print. This is apparently what John von Neumann did after discussing with Nash his ideas on noncooperative games, dismissing his ideas as a mere "fixed point theorem". At the time of course, the only game-theoretic ideas that had any influence were those of von Neumann and his collaborator, the Princeton economist Oskar Morgenstern. The rejection of ideas by those whose who hold different ones is not uncommon in science and mathematics, and, from von Neumann's point of view at the time, he did not have the advantage that we do of examining the impact that Nash's ideas would have on economics and many other fields of endeavor. Therefore, von Neumann was somewhat justified, although not by a large measure, in dismissing what Nash was proposing. Nash's thesis was relatively short compared to the size on the average of Phd theses, but it has been applied to many areas, a lot of these listed in this book, and others that are not, such as QoS provisioning in telecommunication and packet networks. The thesis is very readable, and employs a few ideas from algebraic topology, such as the Brouwer fixed point theorem.

The paper on real algebraic manifolds though is more formidable, and will require a solid background in differential geometry and algebraic geometry. However, from a modern point of view the paper is very readable, and is far from the sheaf and scheme-theoretic points of view that now dominate algebraic geometry. It is interesting that Nash was able to prove what he did with the concepts he used. The result could be characterized loosely as a representation theory employing algebraic analytic functions. These functions are defined on a closed analytic manifold and serve as well-behaved imbedding functions for the manifold, which is itself analytic and closed. These manifolds have been called 'Nash manifolds' in the literature, and have been studied extensively by a number of mathematicians.

I first heard about John Nash by taking a course in algebraic topology and characteristic classes in graduate school. The instructor was discussing the imbedding problem for Riemannian manifolds, and mentioned that Nash was responsible for one of the major results in this area. His contribution is included in this book, and is the longest chapter therein. Here again, the language and flow of Nash's proof is very understandable. This is another example of the difference in the way mathematicians wrote back then versus the way they do now. Nash and other mathematicians of his time were more 'wordy' in their presentations, and this makes the reading of their works much more palatable. This is to be contrasted with the concisness and economy of thought expressed in modern papers on mathematics. These papers frequently employ a considerable amount of technical machinery, and thus the underlying conceptual foundations are masked. Nash explains what he is going to do before he does it, and this serves to motivate the constructions that he employs. His presentation is so good that one can read it and not have to ask anyone for assistance in the understanding of it. This is the way all mathematical papers should be written, so as to alleviate any dependence on an 'oral tradition' in mathematical developments.

Nash's proof illuminates nicely just what happens to the derivatives of a function when the smoothing operation is applied. The smoothing operator consists of essentially of extending a function to Euclidean n-space, applying a convolution operator to the extended function, and then restricting the result to the given manifold. Nash gives an intuitive picture of this smoothing operator as a frequency filter, passing without attenuation all frequencies below a certain parameter, omitting all frequencies above twice this parameter, and acting as a variable attenuator between these two, resulting in infinitely smooth function of frequency.

The next stage of the proof of the imbedding theorem is more tedious, and consists of using the smoothing operator and what Nash calls 'feed-back' to construct a 'perturbation device' in order to study the rate of change of the metric induced by the imbedding. Nash's description of the perturbation process is excellent, again for its clarity in motivating what he is going to do. The feed-back mechanism allows him to get a handle of the error term in the infinitesimal perturbation, isolating the smoother parts first, and handling the more difficult parts later. Nash reduces the perturbation process to a collection of integral equations, and then proves the existence of solutions to these equations. A covariant symmetric tensor results from these endeavors, which is CK-smooth for k greater than or equal to 3, and which represents the change in the metric induced by the imbedding of the manifold. The imbedding problem is then solved for compact manifolds by proving that only infinitesimal changes in the metric are needed. The non-compact case is treated by reducing it to the compact case. The price paid for this strategy is a weakening of the bound on the required dimension of the Eucliden imbedding space.

The last chapter concerns Nash's contribution to nonlinear partial differential equations. I did not read this chapter, so I will omit its review.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Collection of Nash Writings!
I only rate books that I really enjoy reading. While this one has some techy chapters, readers without a strong math background can still enjoy it.

Professor Nash's story was brought to life by the movie, this book shows why. One day his manifold theory will rule! ;)

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent
Personally, I found this book to be very interestring. The proofs and ideas are presented in clear and non-rigomorphic fashion. One is able to read the works of Nash in the way he himself presented them, and hopefully appropriate some mental strategies used by this genius. There is much that goes on behind the scene of creation of proofs. I think mathematicians of today would greatly benefit from availability of larger number of books which would contain the mathematical works in the way they were originally presented. This is certainly a major step in that direction.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Most Welcome Mathematical Banquet
I can't begin to express how deeply satisfying it was to peruse these papers by John Nash. You almost felt you were right there at his side, as he penned them.

There is even something in the book for non-mathematical types: Sylvia Nasar's Introduction and the autobiographical essay (Chapter Two). But for me the greatest interest resided in the remaining chapters: 4-11.

Of these, I particularly enjoyed reading the original presentation of Nash's Thesis on 'Non-Cooperative Games' (Chapter 6), and was fascinated not only with the air-tight logic of his proofs, but the use of hand written-in symbols.

Of course, Chapter 7 is just the re-hashing of Ch. 6, but in proper type-set form, rather than Nash's original script. But - give me the former any day! Reading the original form and format almost made me feel like Nash's Thesis aupervisor, including the same excitement of a new discovery!

Chapter 8 'Two person Cooperative Games' nicely extends the mathematical basis to cover this species of interaction.(And in many ways, people will find the cooperative game model easier to understand than the non-cooperative).

Chapter 9 is important because it delves into the issue of parallel control, and logical functions such as used in high speed digital computers. This chapter was of much interest to me since particular aspects of parallel control figured in my own model of consciousness - recently presented in Chapter Five of my book, 'The Atheist's Handbook to Modern Materialism'. Astute readers who read both books will quickly see the analog between the Schematic of Logical Unit Function (p. 122) and my own Figure 5-13 ('Development of Neural Assemblies', p. 156).

I enjoyed Chapter 10, 'Real Algebraic Manifolds' because of my ongoing interest in Algebraic Topology, and especially homology and homotopy theory. In his chapter, Nash presents a cornucopia of methods for representation, which I am still playing with for different manifolds.

Chapter 11, 'The Imbedding Problem for Riemannian Manifolds', is a delight for anyone familiar with Einstein's General Relativity, or even differential geometry. When you read through this chapter, you also will understand why Nash is still very interested (and involved) in research to do with general relativity and cosmology. Particularly fun for me was his section on 'Smoothing of Tensors' (p. 163) and 'Derivative Size Concept for Tensors' (p. 164).

Chapter 12, 'Continuity of Solutions of Parabolic and Elliptic Equations' is like 'dessert' for anyone who is intensely interested (as I am) in modular functions, which themselves are related intimately to elliptic equations.

In short, I think this book has something for both mathematicians and non-math types alike. Obviously, the former are likely to get more out of it, so the question the latter group must ask is whether the purchase is worth satiating their curiosity about Nash.

I know how I would answer, even if I couldn't tell a derivative from a differential. However, this book can be read on all kinds of levels, and that's the beauty of it. ... Read more

170. Future Evolution
by Peter Ward
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
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Asin: 0716734966
Catlog: Book (2001-11)
Publisher: W.H. Freeman & Company
Sales Rank: 55191
Average Customer Review: 3.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Everyone wonders what tomorrow holds, but what will the real future look like? Not decades or even hundreds of years from now, but thousands or millions of years into the future.Will our species change radically?Or will we become builders of the next dominant intelligence on Earth- the machine?

These and other seemingly fantastic scenarios are the very possible realities explored in Peter Ward's Future Evolution, a penetrating look at what might come next in the history of the planet.Looking to the past forclues about the future, Ward describes how the main catalyst for evolutionary change has historically been mass extinction.While many scientist direly predict that humanity will eventually create such a situation, Ward argues that one is already well underway--the extinction of large mammals--and that a new Age of Humanity is coming that will radically revise the diversity of life on Earth.Finally, Ward examines the question of human extinction and reaches the startling conclusion that the likeliest scenario is not our imminent demise but long term survival--perhaps reaching as far as the death of the Sun!

Full of Alexis Rockman's breathtaking color images of what animals, plants and other organisms might look like thousands and millions of years from now, Future Evolution takes readers on an incredible journey through time from the deep past into the far future.
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Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars Put Away Your Shades, The Future May Not Be That Bright
Danger awaits those who declare the existence of patterns based on paltry data, but I feel like living dangerously. I think I have discovered a relationship between the study of mollusks and the writing of great nonfiction on evolution. Exhibit A: Stephen J. Gould studies gastropods [snails for the layperson, or, as we called them in college, ghastly-pods] and writes books on evolution from the highest peak of the adaptive landscape of evolution writers. Exhibit B: Peter Ward studies living and fossil shelled cephalopods [relatives of squids and octopi] and writes books on evolution that have a mother-of-pearl beauty and a filling of tasty meat. Future Evolution is not the book that I'd recommend to first time Ward readers; in my opinion, first timers should start with Time Machines [1998] or Rivers in Time [2000, an updated version of The End Of Evolution (1994)]. But readers of books on evolution should make it a point to put Future Evolution [and Rare Earth (2000, co-written with D. Brownlee)] on their reading list.

Future Evolution is a beautiful book visually, making the hardback a must and worth the price. Paintings by Alexis Rockman compliment and illuminate the text by Ward. Future Evolution is a thought provoking book. Even though the book is grounded in our extensive knowledge of evolution and mass extinctions, any book about the future must extrapolate from the data of the past and this is dangerous in the historical sciences. Future Evolution is not a cheery book. Folks who want to hear that humans will save the Earth from themselves [or that humans will go extinct and leave the Earth to continue happily without us] wiil probably not be supportive of many of Ward's conclusions. For readers who want to THINK about evolution, Future Evolution is a must.

I highly recommend Future Evolution to any reader of good books on science and especially to people interested in evolution, mass extinctions, conservation, and the future of life on the Earth.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best book of its kind
In this very readable and very enlightening book, paleontologist Peter Ward explores the possibilities of evolution in the near and far future. At the start, Ward first takes us into the past to see how mass extinctions have affected species diversity and the processes of evolution. He then brings us into the present and argues that the human-caused mass extinction may now be in its final phases, rather than just beginning.

Taking a cue from H.G. Wells's _The Time Machine_, the best parts of this book concern the future. Will there evolve a new species diversity with more big mammals, for example? Highly unlikely, says Dr. Ward, because there will simply not be the room for them to develop. More likely, the "pests" and "weeds" of our modern world--rodents, dandelions, cockroaches, crows, etc.--will form the leading front in the next wave of evolution.

And what of humanity? Will we stay as we are, or will we develop into new species as a result of genetic engineering or space colonization? Or will we merge with (or be replaced by) intelligent machines? Or might we simply just go extinct ourselves? Dr. Ward provides an excellent examination of these questions, and comes to some rather surprising conclusions.

I was expecting a good book, because I thoroughly enjoyed _Rare Earth: Why Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe_, co-authored by Dr. Ward (along with Dr. Donald Brownlee). I am pleased to report that my expectations were surpassed. If you want to read one outstanding book on where we may be going as a species and as a major force in the biosphere, you can do no better than taking in _Future Evolution_.

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but Incomplete
Who has not wondered what the world will be like in the far future? Will humans
evolve into something new? Will rabbits evolve into giant herborives to fill the niche
left behind by the bison and elephants? Will the oceans of the future have new monsters that put the giant squid and blue whale to shame? In Future Evolutuin Peter Ward makes a series of educated guesses at what the future holds in store for life on Earth. One may agree or disagree with his conclusions, but he raised several points that can not be easily dismissed.

Ward's starts by describing the mass extinctions that ended the Permian and
Cretaceous periods and then discusses the evidence that we are currently in the middle of a mass extinction of our own devising. He points out similarities and
differences between the past and present mass extinctions and comes to the conclusion that there will be no new blooming of the tree of life in the future, as
there was after the the Permian and Cretaceous mass extinctions. He argues that
humans have fundementally altered the channels that are available to evolution
and that humans will dominate the Earth's ecology until we go extinct. This is a reasonable assumption. After all, it is very unlikely that we will ever allow a species
to evolve that represents a thread to us, such as a large predator.

Peter Ward's more contraversial assumption is that humans are immune to extinction. He argues that we have enough control over our environment that
only a planet-wide disaster such as a large asteroid impact, or wide-spread trap
vulcanism can pose a serious threat to our survival. This assumption that humans
will be around for as long as there in as Earth is the bedrock that the rest of his
predictions for the future of evolution are based upon.

Future Evolution is an interesting and thought provoking book, even if you
disagree with some of the assumptions that the authorr makes. My main reason
for only giving it a medium rating is that the book was choppy and parts of it
felt rushed. For example, I would have preferred to have been given more detail on the similarities and differences between the present and past mass extinctions.
I would also have liked to see Mr Ward explore more scenarios for the future.
All in all I recommend this book, not as a description of what the future will be
like, but as a starting point for pondering what the future may hold for the Earth
and its ecosystem.

4-0 out of 5 stars Imaginative.
There seems to be four main topics on which professional scientists write for the general reading public: the origin of the universe category, the origin of life category, the origin of consciousness category, and the future of the planet category. Peter Ward's book Future of Evolution falls into the latter. While his book Rare Earth is much more specific and thorough with respect to origins and fates, this book is probably a little more approachable for the reader who has yet to delve into the subject. Like others of its kind, it is a cautionary tale.

The author is a colorful writer who is able to capture the concepts of scientific data in brilliant word-pictures for the non-scientist. He also brings his work and that of others into focus by reflecting on his own experiences in the field, which for those who enjoy adventure stories might well capture the imagination. One of the most poignant stories is that of the death of a close friend during a diving accident (p. 171).

Like many in the scientific community Ward is inclined to see the impacts of human activity on the planet as posing a major and irreversible threat to the continued existence of much of the biota with which we share the planet. Unlike others, however, he believes that much of the worst damage has already been done, namely the demise of the mega fauna of the glacial and post-glacial world and the introduction of domestic cultivars into the floral domain. As a paleontologist he is aware that after each major extinction event in the past, whether a broad spectrum or a narrower one, it takes almost 10 million years for the world's living community to recover. Even if our species lives the usual two million years, it will not live to see that recovery, which is a sobering fact.

While he, like one of my former professors, believes that the human species is almost extinction resistant--barring another asteroid impact like that which put "paid" to the dinosaur--he does believe that the world that our descendants inherit will be vastly different from the one bequeathed to us by our ancestors. He would look to the "weeds" of the living world for the future radiation into vacated niches, animals like rats, insects, and snakes, and plants like the dandelion. He also believes that domesticated animals may give rise to new species.

In the last chapters Ward also gives some thought to the fate of our own species, examining what he calls "unnatural selection." He discusses the apparent increase in behavior disorders in modern society, the possibility of artificial genetic modification of the species, the possibility of merging with machines, the possibility that machines will actually be our only "descendants," the possibility that we will be reduced by an asteroid impact, by nuclear war, or by catastrophic climate change.

A very imaginative book.

2-0 out of 5 stars Blah....
I give this book two stars, because the premiss is interesting. Unfortuantly, I did not feel that this was a good book. It gave me the same feeling that Carl Sagan's books did of a man with a certain nihilistic view of life. He seems utterly convinced that humanity is going to wander down the path of what basically amounts to biological damnation. He does not take into acount that there are people all over tbe world that are struggling to save the natural world, though they are sometimes few in number. I was throughly disapointed by this book. I am a realist at the core of my being, but this book seems to have a rather cynical bent to it, though I agree with the author that we as a species will most likely not go the way of the do do and the passanger pigieon. Anyway, there are my two cents. ... Read more

171. Virus of the Mind:: The New Science of the Meme
by Richard Brodie
list price: $15.95
our price: $13.56
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Asin: 0963600125
Catlog: Book (2004-01-31)
Publisher: Integral Press
Sales Rank: 191291
Average Customer Review: 3.64 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (53)

5-0 out of 5 stars Read this book now!
This is an incredible book! It's a fascinating subject which offers a new perspective into the way we think and the propagation of ideas. Regardless of reality, if we are convinced that an idea is true, our behavior reflects that belief. We are only able to change our behavior and control our own destiny by understanding why we believe and how others convince us. I've never read anything else that gave me such a clear vision of the power in ideas - not to mention advertising!

Richard Brodie has a conversational style of writing that I particularly enjoy. I've always been frustrated by authors who find it necessary to weigh down their writing with a lot of dry and heavy prose. Richard does a great job of explaining some fairly complex and little known ideas in clear, simple language. Science doesn't have to be boring. Apparently, when an author loves his subject, it can even be a lot of fun. That's the case with this book.

The author doesn't try to pretend that he invented the idea of the meme. We are taken along on his quest for enlightenment about this mysterious concept. Once we gain a general understanding of the meme, he supplies further information into its character. We learn how it can be used against us, and how we can use the meme to our own advantage as well.

This book opened my eyes to the concept of a very influential method of communication. It's a fascinating topic written in a style that is fun, easy, and quick to read. It gets my top rating as a must read. Don't wait. This is a technique you won't want to be the last to know!

2-0 out of 5 stars Easy-to-read, light-weight intro. to memetics
Virus of the Mind wants to piggyback on Richard Dawkins' concept of the meme but it is done at a very superficial level. The author is probably targetting the consumer of pulp science and, from that viewpoint, he does an OK job. The worse side of this book is that there is little effort to provide hard evidence on its theories. (What's Richard Brodie's background on genetic evolution or biology!?)

If you like science in general and want something really light to read during summer by the swimming pool, then this book is alright. However, readers wanting to have a better understanding of memetics are better off by checking Susan Blackmore.

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting and well written
The author has a nice writing style and interesting theory on cultural evolution that would have major implications if one accepted it wholeheartedly. (Some complex issues seem to be oversimplified)

Particularly meaningful are the political uses of memetics, though less space is devoted to it than to discussions about sexual roles and motives. Just when it's getting interesting, this book seems to abruptly end. There is an extensive bibliography, however for further research on memetics.

5-0 out of 5 stars Belief Structures & Erasing Personal History
I first flicked through a copy of 'Virus of the Mind' in a secondhand bookshop in Flagstaff, Arizona. At that stage the part that caught my attention was the chapter on disinfection and particularly the piece entitled 'zen and the art of devirusing'. Here Richard Brodie states, "if you switch off your internal dialogue, you've made the first big step towards freeing yourself of the tyranny of mind viruses." The technique he suggests is a simple meditation, "thought watching".

This brought to mind two other, seemingly unrelated, schools of thought. One is 'speed reading'; the Evelyn Wood Reading dynamics system suggests the only way to increase your speed significantly is to stop repeating the words in your head. The second is Carlos Castaneda, who talks of 'stopping the world' - more on the technique is given in Victor Sanchez's book 'The Teachings of Don Carlos' where techniques for 'Stopping Inner Dialogue' are given.

More recently, I was reminded of this book when I began a course of study in Psychosynthesis. One of the key concepts our tutor talked about was "Belief Structures." Belief structures and memes are for all intents and purposes the same thing. Our course involved looking at where we gained many of our beliefs, including a project entitled 'Family of Origin' where the main aim is to trace beliefs (memes) and traits through our parents and grand-parents, along with our siblings.

Psychosynthesis itself (as a "psychotherapy") works heavily on breaking down belief structures, and allowing an individual to recreate new beliefs which are more appropriate for their needs. For those interested in following up this line of thought, check out the works of Roberto Assagioli and Piero Ferrucci.

An important concept in Psychosynthesis is the sub-personality. Each sub-personality has a core belief (meme). Therefore, work with sub-personalities is work with memes, although not always directly. It can however lead to discovery of the core belief (meme), when and how it came about, which parent it was programmed by (as often our main beliefs come from parent's and parent figures in early childhood).

So it is with this background in mind I discovered a copy of 'Virus of the Mind' in the Public Library and decided to read it. I consider it well worth a read for anyone interested in the subject of memes, as well as anyone interested in fields such as Psychosynthesis (or Psychotherapy in general), psychology, or self-development.

This book is a thought-provoking read, which may indeed lead to a decision to be less 'thought-provoked' by the mind viruses spread by marketing companies, the mass media, and politicians.

So, read this book, turn off that inner dialogue, and tune in to your intuition!

4-0 out of 5 stars a good first step
i recommend following this book with Ian McFadyen's Mind Wars which places memes in a more complete context of 'tenetics'. ... Read more

172. Trace Your Roots with DNA : Using Genetic Tests to Explore Your Family Tree
by Megan Smolenyak, Ann Turner
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1594860068
Catlog: Book (2004-10-27)
Publisher: Rodale Books
Sales Rank: 22033
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Book Description

Written by two of the country's top genealogists, this authoritative book is the first to explain how new and groundbreaking genetic testing can help you research your ancestry

According to American Demographics, 113 million Americans have begun to trace their roots, making genealogy the second most popular hobby in the country (after gardening). Enthusiasts clamor for new information from dozens of subscription-based websites, email newsletters, and magazines devoted to the subject. For these eager roots-seekers looking to take their searches to the next level, DNA testing is the answer.

After a brief introduction to genealogy and genetics fundamentals, the authors explain the types of available testing, what kind of information the tests can provide, how to interpret the results, and how the tests work (it doesn't involve digging up your dead relatives). It's in expensive, easy to do, and the results are accurate: It's as simple as swabbing the inside of your cheek and popping a sample in the mail.

Family lore has it that a branch of our family emigrated to Argentina and now I've found some people there with our name. Can testing tell us whether we're from the same family?

My mother was adopted and doesn't know her ethnicity. Are there any tests available to help her learn about her heritage? I just discovered someone else with my highly unusual surname. How can we find out if we have a common ancestor? These are just a few of the types of genealogical scenarios readers can pursue. The authors reveal exactly what is possible-and what is not possible-with genetic testing. They include case studies of both famous historial mysteries and examples of ordinary folks whose exploration of genetic genealogy has enabled them to trace their roots.
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173. At Home in the Universe: The Search for Laws of Self-Organization and Complexity
by Stuart Kauffman
list price: $18.95
our price: $12.89
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Asin: 0195111303
Catlog: Book (1996-10-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 46565
Average Customer Review: 4.07 out of 5 stars
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The best treatment I have yet encountered about how order emerges naturally -- and possibly even necessarily -- out of chaos. Profoundly important, and considerably more informed than better-known pop-science treatments of chaos theory. Very highly recommended. ... Read more

Reviews (54)

4-0 out of 5 stars the self-organization and evolution of complexity.
Whereas Darwinian Evolution theorizes that all life evolved from single-cell organisms via natural selection applied to variation, Kauffman focuses attention upon the source of variation, and his Theory of Emergence poses a plausible answer to evolution's stickiest question: how did cells arise. His "autocatalytic sets" spontaneously emerge "fully-grown" - and you'll understand why upon reading this book. He also suggests a principled reason for why life may depend upon - even flourish due to - chaos, without resorting to the wide-eyed speculation found in other chaos-theories on organic evolution & development.

4-0 out of 5 stars Compelling science
It seems to me that people are getting too caught up in the argument as to whether God exists or not, but this has nothing to do with Kauffman's work here. I'm not fussed whether an almighty Creator is responsible for nature, but I am interested in what science is revealing about evolution. To give this book 1 star and to throw it away as "a heap of rubbush" is a somewhat immature and is frankly uncalled for.

There are many implications of Kauffman's work here which cannot be disregarded frivolously. Reaction systems in nature known as 'catalytic cycles' are now becoming established as 'fact' by biologists and chemists, and catalytic reactions are crucial processes in the chemistry of life. The most common and most efficient catalysts are the 'enzymes' which are components of cells promoting metabolic processes. (Kauffman shows in his other book 'The Origins of Order' that a catalyst is a substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without itself being changed in the process).

Kauffman shows clearly that these catalytic cycles are at the core of self-organising chemical systems, and they play an essential role in the metabolic functions of living organisms.

I noticed a previous reviewer say that "Every cell biologist will tell you that Kauffman discussion of cell cycle is plain nonsense". This is, in fact, plain nonsense.

The laws of thermodynamics was also mentioned. The second law of thermodynamics contradicts ALL notions of inherently progressive complexity - yet progressive complexity is a fact of nature, (see the origins of life; see the human brain; consciousness may be telling something deeper still about reality, but I'll leave that to the philosophers).

Stephen Jay Gould said of this book: "Kauffman has done more than anyone else to supply the key missing piece of the propensity for self-organisation that can join the random and the deterministic forces of evolution into a satisfying theory of life's order."

It's foolish to rubbish cutting edge work like Kauffman's and to throw it away as a "heap of rubbish". Such attitudes only prevents science from progressing.

Kauffman's book returns the problem of evolution to the central issue that evolutionists have been avoiding for too long - the organised system that we call life, self-organisation, - and the origin of the beast itself.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic and enlightening
This particular book is a fantastic revelation and study of the boundary between order and chaos as it applies to the evolution of life, culture, technology and anything else in the universe. Its goal is to seek a universal law regarding the emergence of order in what we've traditionally considered unordered or random sets of fundamental stuff. For example, one of the observations that it makes is that evolution as Darwin revealed it is by itself not a sufficient explanation (scientifically) for why and how creatures like us could be here at all. In other words, natural selection is not sufficient to accomplish what life has accomplished in this world of ours. It needed the help of a very important other "force"... the life force, I might call it, and to which I've alluded many times in many forms through my writings. It's that special something about the nature of the universe that brings about the cooperation of systems, the autocatalytic closure which makes "hanging together" and "existing" some sort of "goal" deeply encoded in the nature of it all. You might be able to see how I might identify these ideas very closely with that term "lifetoward". What goal-oriented force brought life to be and continues to make life strive for ever more order and complexity? This book answers I think very well with: it's not a force, per se, but rather a fundamental aspect of the basic nature of the universe. To quote the book, "We the expected." We as living beings belong here and are an integral part of an incredibly awe inspiring process of creation of meaning and order in a world aching to give birth to it. The book closes with a nice summary, which much like a message I had posted to the list some time ago, extols the development of a new and enlightened faith, based on a realization of the wonder of the way the universe deeply is and how we are in it.

In terms of the meaning and importance of this book, I would recommend it to everyone. However, I will warn you that it may be a significant challenge to read. It calls on a deeply considered understanding of a variety of disciplines, including most notably evolutionary biology, organic chemistry, mathematics, anthropology, and economics. It proceeds with an assumption that the reader has realized or can quickly recognize the common ground between these different areas of study. It uses a lot of mathematical models and visualizations of 2, 3 and hyperdimensional spaces to discuss the nature of this common law and its emergence in the world around us.

4-0 out of 5 stars Autocatalytic sets and more.
Kauffman is a complexity theorist/mathematical biologist. The most intriguing concept in this book is that of an autocatalytic set: put enough kinds of organic molecules, which possibly could be developed by non-organic means, in a self contained space, which can arise in various ways, and a system with the properties of life will emerge with reasonable probability. This is just one example of a self-organizing system. Another important idea is the importance of the boundary between sub-critical and super-critical regions of a dynamic system: if super-critical there is chaotic change, if sub-critical there may not be enough flexibility to adapt. Organisms have evolved so mutation rates lay near the boundary, but still in the sub-critical area, and it is characteristic of successful ecosystems. There is an explanation of why it is natural and logical that all the current phyla, and many more extinct ones, arose in the Cambrian period or "immediately" after, even though in the subsequent Permian extinction, for example, 96% of species became extinct, to be replaced by new ones. While sometimes repetitious, Kaufman's prose would often do a novelist proud, and he is excellent in explaining abstract concepts, using images and graphs to good effect. He is particularly good at explaining the work of others. He has a very likable personality and is great in giving credit to others, eminent scientists as well as Emily Dickinson (a computer scientist who worked for him). Why then did I not like this book even more than I did? A major problem for me is that Kauffman's passion is for the logic, not the biology, and I would have appreciated additional fleshing out of his models in their biological context. His application of his models to other areas such as technology are sometimes interesting, but not always; sometimes, what he thinks is a new insight is hardly new at all: cf. his discussion of the use of a set of sub-optimizations to solve one large optimization problem. Finally, I found his discussion of ontogeny very confusing: recalling his image, I understood that there were a number of sub-systems of flashing green lights of varying size(corresponding to cell types), so how does the total number of green lights relates to the time for cell division?

4-0 out of 5 stars My first exposure to the topic
This book is written from a biological perspective, which is not where my interests lie. Perhaps if my background were different, I would have given it an additional star.

The greatest benefit I received from this book was exposure to a whole new subject area (self organization). After reading the book, I moved on to read several other books about emergent behaviour which is more along the lines of my interests.

It served me well to open my eyes to a different way of thinking. The other books I have read have served me better as they are not primarily biologically based. ... Read more

174. From a Biological Point of View : Essays in Evolutionary Philosophy (Cambridge Studies in Philosophy and Biology)
by Elliott Sober
list price: $36.99
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Asin: 0521477530
Catlog: Book (1994-09-30)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 296634
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Book Description

This new collection of essays will appeal to a readership that extends well beyond the frontiers of the philosophy of science. Sober shows how ideas in evolutionary biology bear in significant ways on traditional problems in philosophy of mind and language, epistemology, and metaphysics. Among the topics addressed are psychological egoism, solipsism, and the interpretation of belief and utterance, empiricism, Ockham's razor, causality, essentialism, and scientific laws. ... Read more

175. On Numbers and Games
by John Horton Conway
list price: $45.00
our price: $45.00
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Asin: 1568811276
Catlog: Book (2000-12-01)
Publisher: AK Peters, Ltd.
Sales Rank: 70684
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

ONAG, as the book is known, is one of those rare publications that sprang to life in amoment of creative energy and has remained influential for over a quarter of a century. Still in highdemand, it is being republished with some adjustments and corrections. The original motivation forwriting the book was an attempt to understand the relation between the theories of transfinite numbers andmathematical games. By defining numbers as the strengths of positions in certain games, the authorarrives at a new class, the surreal numbers (so named by Donald Knuth) that includes at the same time thereal numbers and the ordinal numbers.

This new edition ends with an epilogue that sets the stage for further research on surreal numbers. Thebook is a must-have for all readers with a serious interest in the mathematical foundations of gamestrategies. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Math geek heaven
Boy, you wanna talk about your _cool_ books. I read this one twenty years ago and never quite got over it. Georg Cantor sure opened a can of worms with all that infinity stuff.

John Horton Conway is probably best known as the creator/discoverer of the computer game called "Life," with which he re-founded the entire field of cellular automata. What he does in this book is the _other_ thing he's best known for: he shows how to construct the "surreal numbers" (they were actually named by Donald Knuth).

Conway's method employs something like Dedekind cuts (the objects Richard Dedekind used to construct the real numbers from the rationals), but more general and much more powerful. Conway starts with the empty set and proceeds to construct the entire system of surreals, conjuring them forth from the void using a handful of recursive rules.

The idea is that we imagine numbers created on successive "days". On the first day, there's 0; on the next, -1 and +1; on the next, 2, 1/2, -1/2, and -2; on the next, 3, 3/4, 1/4, -1/4, -3/4, and -3; and so on. In the first countably-infinite round, we get all the numbers that can be written as a fraction whose denominator is a power of two (including, obviously, all the whole numbers). We can get as close to any other real number as we like, but they haven't actually been created yet at this point.

But we're just getting started. Once we get out past the first infinity, things really get weird. By the time we're through, which technically is "never," Conway's method has generated not only all the real numbers but way, way, way more besides (including more infinities than you've ever dreamed of). His system is so powerful that it includes the "hyperreal" numbers (infinitesimals and such) that emerge (by a very different route, of course) from Abraham Robinson's nonstandard analysis as a trivial special case.

So there's a lot here to get your mind around, and it's a lot of fun for readers who like to watch numbers being created out of nothing. But wait -- there's more.

See, the _full_ title of the book includes not only "numbers" but also "games". And that's the rest of the story. Conway noticed that in the board game of Go, there were certain patterns in the endgames such that each "game" looked like it could be constructed out of smaller "games". It turns out that something similar is true of all games that have certain properties, and that his surreal numbers tie into such games very nicely; "numbers" (and their generalizations) represent strategies in those games. So in the remainder of the book Conway spells this stuff out and revolutionizes the subject of game theory while he's at it.

Well, there must be maybe two or three people in the world to whom this all sounds very cool and yet who haven't already heard of this book. To you I say: read it before you die, and see how God created math.

5-0 out of 5 stars A very dense collection of original ideas
We all think we know numbers, and yet every once in awhile something comes along that makes us realize that we actually know very little. I am not talking about facts such as whether a specific large number is prime, but about the fundamental definition of what a number is. The appearance of the surreal numbers is one of those mathematical equivalents of a whack on the side of the head. Suddenly, numbers are defined as the strengths of positions in certain games, something that is at first strange, but it turns out that the class of objects defined this way includes the real and ordinal numbers. It certainly is different, and I had to read the first thirty pages of the book three times before I felt that I truly grasped the concepts behind the definition of the surreal numbers.
From that things move more smoothly. As I read through the book, it was easy to get the impression that most of life can be described as a game, where our day-to-day status in the community can be described as a dynamic set of surreal numbers. I often wondered if that may be an effective approach for artificial intelligence work, as it certainly seems that surreal numbers can be used to model almost any dynamic situation. Furthermore, effective game playing is nothing more than effective decision making.
There are many significant ideas in the book, at times you stop and start mentally jumping through different scenarios, as in "What would be the change if this rule is added, dropped or altered?" It seems that if you took that approach, several lifetimes could be spent in exploring all the possibilities. I have read many books and this one is most likely the densest carrier of new ideas that I have ever encountered.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Truly Amazing Piece of Work
Conway deals with a certain type of game: games with no element of chance (no dice), the players have complete knowledge about the state of the game (no hidden hand signs like scissors-paper-stone) and where the last player to move wins (though that can be stretched to include Dots and Boxes and endgames from Go - though not in this book).

Conway defines a bunch of mathematical objects. He defines mathematical operations on these objects such as addition and multiplication. The whole work looks suspiciously like a way to define the integers and arithmetic starting from set theory. But we soon see that his construction allows for all sorts of things beyond just integers. We quickly get to fractions and irrationals and we see that he has given us a wonderful new way to construct the real line. Then we discover infinities and all sorts of weird new numbers called nimbers that have fascinating properties.

It all looks a bit abstract until you get to part two (well, he actually starts at part zero so I mean part one). At this point you discover that these objects are in fact positions in games and that the ordinary everyday numbers we know so well are in fact special types of games. Ordinary operations like addition, subtraction and comparison turn out to have interpretations that are game theoretical. So in fact Conway has found a whole new way to think about numbers that is beautiful and completely different to the standard constructions. Even better, you can use this new found knowledge to find ways to win at a whole lot of games.

It's not every day that someone can make a connection like this between two separate branches of mathematics so I consider this book to be nothing less than a work of genius.

BTW This is the Conway who invented (the cellular automaton) the Game of Life and came up with the Monstrous Moonshine Conjectures (whose proof by Borcherds recently won the Fields Medal in mathematics). ... Read more

176. An Introduction to Molecular Medicine and Gene Therapy
list price: $110.00
our price: $110.00
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Asin: 0471391883
Catlog: Book (2000-10-20)
Publisher: Wiley-Liss
Sales Rank: 188256
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

An Introduction to Molecular Medicine and Gene Therapy

Edited by Thomas F. Kresina, Ph.D. Gene therapy, or the use of genetic manipulation for disease treatment, is derived from advances in genetics, molecular biology, clinical medicine, and human genomics. Molecular medicine, the application of molecular biological techniques to disease treatment and diagnosis, is derived from the development of human organ transplantation, pharmacotherapy, and elucidation of the human genome. An Introduction to Molecular Medicine and Gene Therapy provides a basis for interpreting new clinical and basic research findings in the areas of cloning, gene transfer, and targeting; the applications of genetic medicine to clinical conditions; ethics and governmental regulations; and the burgeoning fields of genomics, biotechnology, and bioinformatics. By dividing the material into three sections - an introduction to basic science, a review of clinical applications, and a discussion of the evolving issues related to gene therapy and molecular medicine-this comprehensive manual describes the basic approaches to the broad range of actual and potential genetic-based therapies. In addition, An Introduction to Molecular Medicine and Gene Therapy:
* Covers new frontiers in gene therapy, animal models, vectors, gene targeting, and ethical/legal considerations
* Provides organ-based reviews of current studies in gene therapy for monogenetic, multifactoral or polygenic disorders, and infectious diseases
* Includes bold-faced terms, key concepts, summaries, and lists of helpful references by subject in each chapter
* Contains appendices on commercial implications and a review of the history of gene therapy

This textbook offers a clear, concise writing style, drawing upon the expertise of the authors, all renowned researchers in their respective specialties of molecular medicine. Researchers in genetics and molecular medicine will all find An Introduction to Molecular Medicine and Gene Therapy to be an essential guide to the rapidly evolving field of gene therapy and its applications in molecular medicine.
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Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent overview of a fascinating field
I did not have any special prior knowledge in biology or genetics. I needed to quickly get up to speed in this area for a professional reason. Parts of the book were a little difficult to understand at times, especially when it used many technical terms, but overall it provided me with an excellent overview of this fascinating and rapidly evolving field. I reduced one star because of not seeing enough illustrations and diagrams which in my view are essential in any text that includes complex concepts. With this book I also read "Genomes" to complement the basics of Genomics and together these two books did the trick!! Strongly reccomended to anyone who is interested in the field.

5-0 out of 5 stars .
The greatest difficulty with this field is that it is currently evolving at a rapid rate. Thus, books on the subject run the risk of being outdated before publication. However, Kresina and co-authors have done a solid job of reviewing existing methodologies, ethics and regulation of gene therapy as well as identifying some of the diseases for which this novel type of therapy could be applied. --Grant MacGregor, Emory University

5-0 out of 5 stars An outstanding introduction
I am very impressed with the breadth of subjects that Dr. Kresina covered and how he was able to relate their associations with either molecular medicine and/or gene therapy. More importantly, he draws the two disciplines together in a logical and constructive manner. The book is not only an outstanding introduction to molecular medicine and gene therapy, but will be a valued reference guide for much of the information contained in the chapters. The topics are timely and most of the authors extremely well known and respected in their respective fields. While the second section of the book is primarily the clinical application, it draws very nicely from the more basic science introductory chapters. Chapters 13-15 and the Appendix provide a discussion of issues which undoubtedly will become significantly associated with advances in molecular medicine and gene therapy. The book is laid out in an easy-to-read format and provides ready access to a variety of different subjects. The index is inclusive and the chapters cover their individual areas in an up-to-date manner..."An Introduction..." should remain an outstanding introduction and reference text for a variety of students - from undergraduate to postdoctoral to all levels of faculty and investigators. --Clifford J. Steer, M.D., University of Minnesota Medical School ... Read more

177. Actin (Protein Profile (Unnumbered).)
by Peter Sheterline, Jon Clayton, John C. Sparrow
list price: $154.50
our price: $154.50
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Asin: 0198504632
Catlog: Book (1999-04-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 732717
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Book Description

Actins are highly conserved proteins found in virtually all eukaryotic cells. They have prolific roles in cell motility, from the contraction of striated muscle to the movement of organelles within cells, and are known to interact with a diverse number of proteins. This up-to-date edition gives a comprehensive account of actin sequence, mutation, and structure as well as providing insight into ligand-binding sites and drug and toxin binding. ... Read more

178. Racing the Antelope: What Animals Can Teach Us About Running and Life
by Bernd Heinrich
list price: $23.00
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Asin: 0060199210
Catlog: Book (2001-05-01)
Publisher: Ecco (HarperCollins)
Sales Rank: 186605
Average Customer Review: 4.27 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Racing the Antelope

"The human experience is populated by dreams and aspirations. For me, the animal totem of these dreams is the antelope, swift, strong, and elusive. we chase after 'antelope,' and sometimes we catch them. Often we don't. But why do we bother? I think it is because without dream 'antelopes' to chase we become what a lapdog is to a wolf. And we are inherently more like wolves than lapdogs, because the communal chase is part of our biological makeup."

In 1981, Bernd Heinrich, a lifelong runner, decided to test his limits at age forty-one and race in the North American 100-Kilometer Championship race in Chicago. To improve his own preparations as a runner, he wondered what he could learn from other animals--what makes us different and how we are the same--and what new perspective these lessons could shed on human evolution. A biologist and award-winning nature writer, he considered the flight endurance of insects and birds, the antelope's running prowess and limitations, the ultraendurance of the camel, and the remarkable sprinting and jumping skills of frogs. Exploring how biological adaptations have granted these creatures "superhuman" abilities, he looked at how human physiology can or cannot replicate these adaptations. Drawing on his observations and knowledge of animal physiology and behavior, Heinrich ran the race, and the results surprised everyone--himself most of all.

In Racing the Antelope, Heinrich applies his characteristic blend of scientific inquiry and philosophical musing to a deft exploration of the human desire--even need--to run. His rich prose reveals what endurance athletes can learn about the body and the spirit from other athletes in the animal kingdom. He then takes you into the heart of his own grueling 100-kilometer ultramarathon, where he puts into practice all that he has discovered about the physical, spiritual--and primal--drive to win.

At once lyrical and scientific, Racing the Antelope melds a unique blend of biology, anthropology, psychology, and philosophy with Heinrich's passion for running to discover how and why we run. ... Read more

Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars interesting exploration of the biology of running
In "Racing the Antelope" (which has since been renamed "Why We Run"), Heinrich presents us with an exploration of the biological features that make running and other types of activity (for example sprinting, flying, and even marathon bouts of mating calls amongst male frogs) possible. He devotes the middle chapters of the book to individual animals (insects, birds, pronghorn antelopes, camels, frogs, dogs, cats, and more) and the biological characteristics which allow them to develop incredible endurance or speed.

The beginning and end of the book are concerned with the story of Heinrich's own experiences with running, an activity which has been for him an integral part of life. This autobiographical story is a bit disjointed, though. At the beginning of the book, we learn about the role running plays during Heinrich's childhood, through his school and college years, and on into graduate school. The end of the book details his preparation for, and participation in, a 100K race (62.2 miles). It is only at the end of the book that its structure becomes readily apparent. Preparation for the race is what ties everything together; Heinrich looked to the examples of the animals discussed in the middle of the book for ideas that would help him as he trained for his ultramarathon. I would liked to have seen the structure of the book be a bit more apparent to the reader throughout.

That said, this book is a nice overview of the incredible variety of--and potential for--endurance and speed present in animals (including humans) today. I read this book because I was looking for something to inspire and motivate my own running; this book isn't quite what I was looking for. However, once I finished it I found myself thinking about my running from a perspective I had not previously considered. Recommended for those with interests in biology, distance running, or both.

5-0 out of 5 stars I'd Rather Eat Worms than Deplete
Anyone (like myself) who likes to run longer distances (and likes ~bugs~ to boot) will just plain enjoy reading about Heinrich's passion for the simple, elegant and primordial sport of running. Heinrich has woven his autobiography with scientific inquiry...his vocation (biology) is what gives this book about his avocation (running) an interesting bent. Heinrich talks about antelope, birds, toads, dogs and cats etc. and investigates what those animals can teach us about running, and what humans do or do not have in common with these animals regarding stamina, endurance, and even focus. I think that this book gives the reader / runner something to think about and be inspired by in an abstract way rather than serving as a ~step-by-step process~ on how to be a better runner. This is not some boastful read for the old-fart jock club (which by age I would qualify for), but an inspirational life story ~and~ scientific investigation regarding the human spirit, our primal / animal need to run (well, some of us anyway) and the drive to pursue our dreams (that goes for all of us!).

5-0 out of 5 stars An Unique Perspective
This is a great little book. It's title doesn't fully convey the complete story which includes one man's quest for a life-time-in-the-making run.

While Bern Heinrich's description of his quest pertains to ultra-marathoning, I found the principles he brought out equally applicable to lesser efforts. His vignettes of the natural endurance abilities various animals and insects are useful to ponder as one tries to squeeze a little extra performance out of a marathon. I found his observations of mankind's natural abilities and their comparisons to wildlife very interesting. I also found his commentary of his thoughts and tactics in preparation for and during his actual 100k race identical to some that I've had during my own endurance runs.

All in all, a unique read for the experienced runner who doesn't need another "how to" book on running.

4-0 out of 5 stars Distance Running
This was a thoughtful venture into the science of distance running. The authors presents us with this scientific material (the physiology of endurance running) in a digestable manner. His prose is excellent for a scientist.

3-0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining book
I can't disagree with the other reviewers that say this book is original and intense. However, I'm struggling to find out how my running can benefit from Heinrich's advice. The problem I have with the book is that it's disorganized. It starts off comparing the physiology of animals and humans' running ability, and ends with Heinrich's triumph at the big ultramarathon. I'm not sure what message the author and publisher are trying to convey to me. I was totally enthralled though with the discussion of the physiology of animals. I guess I was hoping for more details on how a runner can best prepare for an ultramarathon. ... Read more

179. Biochemical Pathways: An Atlas of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
list price: $145.00
our price: $131.95
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Asin: 0471331309
Catlog: Book (1998-12-14)
Publisher: Wiley-Spektrum
Sales Rank: 252196
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Biochemical Pathways An Atlas of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Edited by Gerhard Michal Modern biochemistry is a complex field, combining areas of cell biology, molecular biology, medicine, immunology, genetics-even neuroscience. Many of these disciplines converge in the dynamic arena of research dealing with metabolic processes and other mechanisms present at the cellular and molecular level. Biochemical Pathways offers a truly unique road map to modern biochemistry. In full and vivid color, it features detailed charts-each color-coded and accompanied by a brief explanation-of metabolic pathways and their relationship to regulation pathways. Important mechanisms of molecular biology are reviewed in the second part of the book. This encyclopedic compendium goes well beyond traditional biochemistry to cover some very specialized pathways and many aspects of regulation. The clear, systematic presentation includes:
* Metabolic structures and reaction mechanisms
* The intermediates and enzymes involved
* Metabolic branching points
* Transcription and translation
* Signal transduction
* Transport mechanisms
* Blood coagulation, immunology, and the complement system
Current, referenced, and easy-to-use, Biochemical Pathways is bound to become a classic in the field. It is a one-of-a-kind visual guide for researchers and scholars in all areas of the life sciences.
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent. A MUST for anyone in biochemistry and endocrine
This is by far the best written and illustrated book for pathways I have ever seen. If I was teaching a course, it would be absolutely required.

2-0 out of 5 stars "Bichemical Pathways"...Great content, Poor Presentation
Comprehensive references of bochemical pathways are not common, especially with well described cofactors, modulators, and interactions with disparate pathways. This book could provide such a useful reference, unfortunately, the quality of the layout is so poor as to make it very difficult to read. Poor graphic quality, exceptionally small fonts, and poor color choices render what should be a most useful reference into a visually challenging document. At the price, the book is a disappointment, although the content is great. One wishes that the editors would rerelease it after completely revising the graphics and production quality, as the content is indeed very useful.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Biochemical Pathways..." - An excellent reference guide
The book "Biochemical Pathways..." is the book of choice if you quickly need information on a particular biochemical reaction, substrate or enzyme and serves well as an excellent reference guide. It is a comprehensive book version of the well-known Boehringer Mannheim wallchart "Biochemical Pathways" that can surely be found in almost every laboratory on the world. The book is color-coded and in addition to the enormous biochemical wallchart data gives a large body of overview information about fundamental aspects concerning enzyme structure, viruses and even the immune system. ... Read more

180. The Science of Good and Evil : Why People Cheat, Gossip, Care, Share, and Follow the Golden Rule
by Michael Shermer
list price: $26.00
our price: $16.38
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Asin: 0805075208
Catlog: Book (2004-02-02)
Publisher: Times Books
Sales Rank: 11184
Average Customer Review: 3.64 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In his third and final investigation into the science of belief, bestselling author Michael Shermer tackles the evolution of morality and ethics

A century and a half after Darwin first proposed an “evolutionary ethics,” science has begun to tackle the roots of morality. Just as evolutionary biologists study why we are hungry (to motivate us to eat) or why sex is enjoyable (to motivate us to procreate), they are now searching for the roots of humannature.

In The Science of Good and Evil, psychologist and science historian Michael Shermer explores how humans evolved from social primates to moral primates, how and why morality motivates the human animal, and how the foundation of moral principles can be built upon empirical evidence. Along the way he explains the im-plications of statistics for fate and free will; fuzzy logic for the existence of pure good and pure evil; and ecology for the development of early moral sentiments among the first humans. As he closes the divide between science and morality, Shermer draws on stories from the Yanamamö, infamously known as the “fierce people” of the tropical rain forest, to the Aum Shinrikyo cult in Japan, to John Hinckley’s insanity defense. The Science of Good and Evil is ultimately a profound look at the moral animal, belief, and the scientific pursuit of truth.
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Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars Evolutionary morality.
Of all the differences between man and the lower animals, Charles Darwin believed that "the moral sense or conscience" is the most important. "It is the most noble of all the attributes of man," he wrote in THE DESCENT OF MAN (1871), "leading him without a moment's hesitation to risk his life for that fellow-creature; or after due deliberation, impelled simply by the deep feeling of right or duty, to sacrifice it in some great cause." Drawing from evolutionary ethics, evolutionary psychology, sociobiology, anthropology, and ethology, Michael Shermer (WHY PEOPLE BELIEVE WEIRD THINGS; HOW WE BELIEVE)takes on the difficult subject of the origins of morality and the foundations of ethics from an agnostic and nontheistic position, and contends that moral behavior can be scientifically traced to humanity's evolutionary origins. For those unfamiliar with his work, Shermer is the editor in chief of Skeptic magazine, and a frequent contributor to Scientific American.

THE SCIENCE OF GOOD AND EVIL picks up where HOW WE BELIEVE ended, defining religion as a social institution that "evolved as an integral mechanism of human culture to create and promote myths, to encourage altruism and cooperation, to discourage selfishness and competitiveness, and to reveal the level of commitment to cooperate and reciprocate among members of a community" (p. 7). Shermer divides his book into two parts, first examining how morality evolved as a species-wide mechanism for survival to enforce the rules of human interactions before there were such things as state laws and constitutional rights, and then by disputing the religious position that without God, there can be no morality. In developing his notion of "provisional ethics," Shermer observes that some form of The Golden Rule (i.e., "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you") provides the foundation of morality in all human societies.

Calling himself a "free rider" (p. 22), Shermer argues that humans don't need God to be moral, but that evolution has equipt the human brain with a tendency toward moral behavior. In other words, humans are moral by nature. "I may be free from God," he writes, "but the god of nature holds me to her temple of judgment no less than her other creations. I stand before my maker and judge not in some distant and future ethereal world, but in the reality of this world, a world inhabited not by spiritual and supernatural ephemera, but by real people whose lives are directly affected by my actions, and those actions directly affect my life" (p. 22).

G. Merritt

5-0 out of 5 stars Raises the bar for the all too human.
Shermer's discussion of morality in this book is a continuation of that he started in How We Believe, though that book was less dry and more complete. Still, he bravely tackles morality with an approach not unlike Nietsche's (one must drop the crutch of religion and take responsibility for their own morals) only less angry and more scientific (hence the dryness). Shermer does do a fair job of trying to explain the beauty of individual moral responsibility, but the book concerns mainly the historical or 'evolutionary' explaination of morals, in that they serve a societal function. (A good companion book to this would be Sagan's Shadows Of Forgotten Ancestors.)
Shermer's lens seems greatly shaped by Darwin. That may be because one of his books between How We Believe and this on was In Darwin's Shadow (about Alfred Wallace), or perhaps Darwin's science is pretty solid stuff. At any rate, to apply a scientific approach to morality is to try and replace thousands of years of mythology which did the job until recently. Can morality be explained without religious ties? That's the interesting part of it.

I was going to give this book 4 stars because of the slight disappointment I had with Shermer's writing style, but the topic is so vast and this book gives one of the best discussions of it I've seen in a long time. So it's a Fiver!

5-0 out of 5 stars Can there be morality without God?
Can there be morality without God? This is the question tackled by the Skeptic Society's Michael Shermer and while he definately deserves a five for his effort, the resulting book shows a man straining against inherent limits.
The first inherent limit Shermer struggles against his own upbringing wherein he indicated that his mother did not believe in God. It is very fascinating that regardless of what education one goes on to attain they invariably ultimately return to the religous views of their upbringing later in life. This is not a bad thing but it is interesting that whenever writers attempt to assert some grand new theory all they're really talking about is what their parents believed. Perhaps it is for this reason that truly revolutionary religious thought is such a rare thing.
Shermer also struggles against the evidence. In the first part of his book, Shermer is quick to assert that morality is the natural product of human evolution. However, and this is according to Shermer's own cited figures, for 84% of the people on this planet that morality ACCOMPANIES MEMBERSHIP IN AN ESTABLISHED RELIGION. In other words, one cannot fairly gainsay that morality is an evolutionary by product without also conceding that religion as well is an evolutionary by product. To be sure, an absence of religious belief cannot be said to be an absence of morality any more than the presence of religious belief can itself be said to be evidence of morality. Still the same there has been, and remains, an undeniable and as yet unfully explained relationship between religion and morality. In this sense, Shermer's first half of his book serves as a great starting point for further study of this important topic.
However, and again, we are talking about a starting point and definately not the last word.
Finally, Shermer is limited by logic. If one is to believe his earlier referenced studies that humans only appear to have free will, then why should recourse be made to the many philosophers he cites in the second half of his book? For that matter, if human behavior really is a "science" then why resort to philosophy at all? Logically, one would have to concede that that which is possible would have to yield to that which is. Phenomenon, not paradigm, is paramount.
In all, the book had a certain endearing quality. After having read the two predecessor works by Shermer in this series -- Why People Believe Wierd Things and Why We Believe -- it's strangely comforting to see Shermer admit to such a detailed knowledge of the television program Star Trek. (As he was quoting the Kirk monologue, I found myself mentally inserting the appropriate pauses between the words...just as Kirk did in the original TV episode.)
So in the end the question remains: Can there be a morality without God?
I don't know. Maybe this question should be asked when we can really be sure that we even have morality with God.

1-0 out of 5 stars Shermer should be ashamed for minimizing the evils of 9/11!
In his latest book, The Science of Good & Evil, Skeptic Magazine publisher Michael Shermer suggests that President Bush was mistaken in calling the 9/11 terrorist attacks "pure evil." According to Shermer, no such thing exists.

On page 81, Dr. Shermer writes: "September 11, 2001, comes to mind here. United States President George W. Bush described what happened that day as an act of pure evil. Yet millions of people around the world celebrate that day as a triumphant victory over what they perceive to be an evil American culture. What we are witnessing here is not a conceptual difference in understanding the true nature of evil. Nor is it simply a matter of who is in the right. It is, at least on one important level, a difference of perspective. To achieve true understanding and enlightenment it might help to understand what the other side was thinking."

He should issue a public apology for trying to minimize the moral gravity of these actions and ignoring the human pain they caused. He should be ashamed of defending terrorists who killed thousands of innocents in the name of God. None of us will move any closer to "enlightenment" if we join him in dismissing the specific actions that caused the 9/11 mass murders as a "difference of perspective." The degree of evil of the 9/11 murders does not depend on the fluctuating measures America's popularity in foreign public opinion polls. Exploring every delusion held by the 9/11 terrorists won't make their crimes less vicious or bring their victims back to life.

According to Dr. Shermer "pure evil" is nothing but a word. Any morally blameworthy act can be nothing more than what Shermer names "provisional evil." If we accept his limited concept, an ethical and moral gray area must always exist when thousands of innocents are brutally murdered in the name of God.

In truth, the ultimate value of human life transcends space, time, material reality, and Darwinian evolution because we are loved by, and created for, eternal friendship with an eternal God who exists independent of the Big Bang and all material reality. The intentional mass murder of innocent human life is "pure evil" because it rejects the God-given inherent worth of the human person.

In a recent e-mail, Dr. Shermer told me he supports the current war in the Middle East. He also said he doesn't endorse or excuse the 9/11 attacks.

He can't have it both ways, however. The statement he chose to publish in his book gives comfort to all current and future enemies of human life, and he should print a retraction on his website at Shame on you, Dr. Shermer.

3-0 out of 5 stars A Reasonable Effort
This is a good overview of how ethics might have originated, but not a particularly good (pun intended) justification of ethical rule. Shermer is always entertaining, but he lacks philosophical rigor. A much better exposition on both can be found in Michael Berumen's: Do No Evil. ... Read more

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