Science & Human Values

Jacob Bronowski - 1956
    "A profoundly moving, brilliantly perceptive essay by a truly civilized man."--Scientific American

The Life of the Cosmos

Lee Smolin - 1997
    In The Life of the Cosmos, Smolin cuts the Gordian knot of cosmology with a simple, powerful idea: "The underlying structure of our world, " he writes, "is to be found in the logic of evolution." Today's physicists have overturned Newton's view of the universe, yet they continue to cling to an understanding of reality not unlike Newton's own - as a clock, an intricate mechanism, governed by laws which are mathematical and eternally true. Smolin argues that the laws of nature we observe may be in part the result of a process of natural selection which took place before the big bang. Smolin's ideas are based on recent developments in cosmology, quantum theory, relativity and string theory, yet they offer, at the same time, an unprecedented view of how these developments may fit together to form a new theory of cosmology. From this perspective, the lines between the simple and the complex, the fundamental and the emergent, and even between the biological and the physical are redrawn. The result is a framework that illuminates many intractable problems, from the paradoxes of quantum theory and the nature of space and time to the problem of constructing a final theory of physics. As he argues for this new view, Smolin introduces the reader to recent developments in a wide range of fields, from string theory and quantum gravity to evolutionary theory the structure of galaxies. He examines the philosophical roots of controversies in the foundations of physics, and shows how they may be transformed as science moves towardunderstanding the universe as an interrelated, self-constructed entity, within which life and complexity have a natural place, and in which "the occurrence of novelty, indeed the perpetual birth of novelty, can be understood."

The God Problem: How a Godless Cosmos Creates

Howard Bloom - 2012
    What do these have to do with the birth of a universe and with your need for meaning? Everything, as you’re about to see. How does the cosmos do something it has long been thought only gods could achieve? How does an inanimate universe generate stunning new forms and unbelievable new powers without a creator? How does the cosmos create? That’s the central question of this book, which finds clues in strange places. Why A does not equal A. Why one plus one does not equal two. How the Greeks used kickballs to reinvent the universe. And the reason that Polish-born Benoît Mandelbrot—the father of fractal geometry—rebelled against his uncle.You’ll take a scientific expedition into the secret heart of a cosmos you’ve never seen. Not just any cosmos. An electrifyingly inventive cosmos. An obsessive-compulsive cosmos. A driven, ambitious cosmos. A cosmos of colossal shocks. A cosmos of screaming, stunning surprise. A cosmos that breaks five of science’s most sacred laws. Yes, five. And you’ll be rewarded with author Howard Bloom’s provocative new theory of the beginning, middle, and end of the universe—the Bloom toroidal model, also known as the big bagel theory—which explains two of the biggest mysteries in physics: dark energy and why, if antimatter and matter are created in equal amounts, there is so little antimatter in this universe.Called "truly awesome" by Nobel Prize–winner Dudley Herschbach, The God Problem will pull you in with the irresistible attraction of a black hole and spit you out again enlightened with the force of a big bang. Be prepared to have your mind blown.

So You Think You're Human: A Brief History of Humankind

Felipe Fernández-Armesto - 2004
    Shows how our concept of humankind has changed over time and argues our current understanding of what it means to be human has been shaken by new discoveries from science and philosophy.

The World of Mathematics: A Four-Volume Set

James Roy Newman - 1956
    It comprises non-technical essays on every aspect of the vast subject, including articles by scores of eminent mathematicians and other thinkers.

Infinite in All Directions

Freeman Dyson - 1988
    In Dyson's view, science and religion are two windows through which we can look out at the world around us. The book is a revised version of a series of the Gifford Lectures under the title "In Praise of Diversity" given at Aberdeen, Scotland. They allowed Dyson the license to express everything in the universe, which he divided into two parts in polished prose: focusing on the diversity of the natural world as the first, and the diversity of human reactions as the second half.Chapter 1 is a brief explanation of Dyson's attitudes toward religion and science. Chapter 2 is a one–hour tour of the universe that emphasizes the diversity of viewpoints from which the universe can be encountered as well as the diversity of objects which it contains. Chapter 3 is concerned with the history of science and describes two contrasting styles in science: one welcoming diversity and the other deploring it. He uses the cities of Manchester and Athens as symbols of these two ways of approaching science. Chapter 4, concerned with the origin of life, describes the ideas of six illustrious scientists who have struggled to understand the nature of life from various points of view. Chapter 5 continues the discussion of the nature and evolution of life. The question of why life characteristically tends toward extremes of diversity remains central in all attempts to understand life's place in the universe. Chapter 6 is an exercise in eschatology, trying to define possible futures for life and for the universe, from here to infinity. In this chapter, Dyson crosses the border between science and science fiction and he frames his speculations in a slightly theological context.

Meta Math!: The Quest for Omega

Gregory Chaitin - 2005
    His investigations shed light on what we can ultimately know about the universe and the very nature of life. In an infectious and enthusiastic narrative, Chaitin delineates the specific intellectual and intuitive steps he took toward the discovery. He takes us to the very frontiers of scientific thinking, and helps us to appreciate the art—and the sheer beauty—in the science of math.

Abusing Science: The Case Against Creationism

Philip Kitcher - 1982
    It is also a lucid exposition of the nature and methods of genuine science. The book begins with a concise introduction to evolutionary theory for non-scientists and closes with a rebuttal of the charge that this theory undermines religious and moral values. It will astonish many readers that this case must still be made in the 1980s, but since it must, Philip Kitcher makes it irresistibly and forcefully.Not long ago, a federal court struck down an Arkansas law requiring that "scientific" Creationism be taught in high school science classes. Contemporary Creationists may have lost one legal battle, but their cause continues to thrive. Their efforts are directed not only at state legislatures but at local school boards and textbook publishers. As Kitcher argues in this rigorous but highly readable book, the integrity of science is under attack. The methods of inquiry used in evolutionary biology are those which are used throughout the sciences. Moreover, modern biology is intertwined with other fields of science--physics, chemistry, astronomy, and geology. Creationists hope to persuade the public that education in science should be torn apart to make room for a literal reading of Genesis.Abusing Science refutes the popular complaint that the scientific establishment is dogmatic and intolerant, denying "academic freedom" to the unorthodox. It examines Creationist claims seriously and systematically, one by one, showing clearly just why they are at best misguided, at worst ludicrous.

Evidence for God

William A. Dembski - 2010
    In Evidence for God, leading apologists provide compelling arguments that address the most pressing questions of the day about God, science, Jesus, the Bible, and more, including Is Intelligent Design really a credible explanation of the origins of our world? Did Jesus really exist? Is Jesus really the only way to God? What about those who have never heard the gospel? Is the Bible today what was originally written? What about recently publicized gospels that aren't in the Bible? and much more

The Lying Stones of Marrakech: Penultimate Reflections in Natural History

Stephen Jay Gould - 2000
    Gould is planning to bring down the curtain on his nearly thirty-year stint as a monthly essayist for "Natural History" magazine, the longest-running series of scientific essays in history. This, then, is the next-to-last essay collection from one of the most acclaimed and widely read scientists of our time. In this work of twenty-three essays, selected by "Booklist" as one of the top ten science and technology books of 2000, Gould covers topics as diverse as episodes in the birth of paleontology to lessons from Britain's four greatest Victorian naturalists. The Lying Stones of Marrakech presents the richness and fascination of the various lives that have fueled the enterprise of science and opened our eyes to a world of unexpected wonders.

Yuval Noah Harari Collection 3 Books Set (Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind, Homo Deus A Brief History of Tomorrow, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century)

Yuval Noah Harari - 2019
    Farming made us hungry for more. Money gave us purpose. Science made us deadly. This is the thrilling account of our extraordinary history – from insignificant apes to rulers of the world. Homo Deus- Yuval Noah Harari envisions a near future in which we face a new set of challenges. Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century and beyond – from overcoming death to creating artificial life. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century- Yuval Noah Harari takes us on a thrilling journey through today’s most urgent issues. The golden thread running through his exhilarating new book is the challenge of maintaining our collective and individual focus in the face of constant and disorienting change. Are we still capable of understanding the world we have created?

In The Blood: God, Genes And Destiny

Steve Jones - 1996
    It draws on all the latest knowledge from anthropology and archaeology, via genetics and evolution, to psychology and medicine. It tackles issues such as hereditary genes in criminal behaviour and homosexuality.

Consciousness: A Very Short Introduction

Susan Blackmore - 2003
    Consciousness: A Very Short Introduction challenges readers to reconsider key concepts such as personality, free will, and the soul. How can a physical brain create our experience of the world? What creates our identity? Do we really have free will? Could consciousness itself be an illusion? Exciting new developments in brain science are opening up these debates, and the field has now expanded to include biologists, neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers. This book clarifies the potentially confusing arguments and clearly describes the major theories, with illustrations and lively cartoons to help explain the experiments. Topics include vision and attention, theories of self, experiments on action and awareness, altered states of consciousness, and the effects of brain damage and drugs. This lively, engaging, and authoritative book provides a clear overview of the subject that combines the perspectives of philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience--and serves as a much-needed launch pad for further exploration of this complicated and unsolved issue.About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.

The Fifth Miracle: The Search for the Origin and Meaning of Life

Paul C.W. Davies - 1999
     Three and a half billion years ago, Mars resembled earth. It was warm and wet and could have supported primitive organisms. If life once existed on Mars, might it have originated there and traveled to earth inside meteorites blasted into space by cosmic impacts? Davies builds on recent scientific discoveries and theories to address larger questions of existence: What, exactly, is life? Is it the inevitable by-product of physical laws, as many scientists maintain, or an almost miraculous accident? Are we alone in the universe, or will life emerge on all earthlike planets? And if there is life elsewhere in the universe, is it preordained to evolve toward greater complexity and intelligence? Through his search for answers to these questions, Davies explores the ultimate mystery of mankind's existence -- who we are and what our place might be in the unfolding drama of the cosmos.

The Ultimate Proof of Creation: Resolving the Origins Debate

Jason Lisle - 2009
    But is there an ultimate proof of creation? There is an argument for creation that is powerful, conclusive, and has no true rebuttal. As such, it is an irrefutable argument – an “ultimate proof ” of the Christian worldview biblical creation. Master the method outlined in the following chapters, and you will be able to defend Christianity against all opposition.* Learn how to apply the ultimate proof in dialogues with evolutionists,how to spot logical fallacies, and biblical examples of defending the faith* Discover the nature of scientific evidence and its proper role in theorigins debate* Details how to address theistic evolution, “day age” creationism, andother compromised positions of biblical creationism* An exceptional book for pastors, ministry leaders, seminary attendees,and students of religion and philosophyThis book is a complete guide to defending the Christian faith, emphasizing the defense of the Genesis account of creation, built on techniques that have been developed over many years and presentations. They are not difficult to apply when you learn how to do it properly. Ready to move beyond the circular arguments? It is time to get to the real heart of the issue and rationally resolve the origins debate. It is time to discover The Ultimate Proof of Creation.