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Thread: I want science books!

  1. #1 I want science books! 
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    Hello. I'm curious to see what you guys personally think are the best of the best of science books.

    I'm looking for new material to read but i dont know where to start. All I've been able to do is narrow it down to something related to Evolution, something related to Abiogenesis, and/or something related to The Big Bang.

    So i was wondering if anyone here knew any good LONG reads with a lot of information.


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  3. #2 Re: I want science books! 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost147
    Hello. I'm curious to see what you guys personally think are the best of the best of science books.

    I'm looking for new material to read but i dont know where to start. All I've been able to do is narrow it down to something related to Evolution, something related to Abiogenesis, and/or something related to The Big Bang.

    So i was wondering if anyone here knew any good LONG reads with a lot of information.
    Lot's of science books on the latter subject has been made by Doctor Fred Alan Wolf. He has an amazing way to bring science to the layman. May i even give you some examples:

    1) Parallel Universes, the search for other worlds... which holds good conditions for those who wants to understand the wave nature of the universe and the original conditions we are to take for granted at the big bang.

    2) Mind into Matter is also a book by him. This shows the relationship between the energy and matter within mind and subjective consciousness.

    3) Another one i would suggest as a very good read is by Felix Pirani and Christine Roche, '''The Universe,'' which is full of good historical facts.

    There is my three books, or three cents, or whatever


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  4. #3  
    Reptile Dysfunction drowsy turtle's Avatar
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    "The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair." ~ Douglas Adams
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Here are a couple of items on the Evolution and Abiogenesis fronts from my own library that I think are quite good.
    Evolution:
    Darwin's Dangerous Idea Daniel C. Dennett. Simon & Schuster 1995 ISBN 0-684-80290-2
    The Structure of Evolutionary Theory Stephen J. Gould. Harvard Univeersity Press 2002 ISBN 0-674-00613-5
    Sudden Origins Jeffrey H. Schwarzt. John Wiley and Sons 1999 ISBN 0-471-32985-1

    Abiogenesis:
    Vital Dust Christian de Duve. Harper Collins 1995 ISBN 0-456-09044-3
    The Fifth Miracle Paul Davies Penguin Books Ltd. 1998
    At Home in the Universe Stuart Kauffman Penguin Books Ltd 1995 ISBN 0-670-86997-X
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  6. #5  
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    Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters by Prothero

    This should pretty much tell you everything you need to know about evolution.

    Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life by Nick Lane

    This will tell you how an ancient symbiotic relationship between a methanogen and a metabolically versatile proteobacterium suppossedly formed, allowing higher life forms to develop in time. One of the top 5 books I've ever read. And I've read hundreds of books. It also touches upon the role of free radicals, metabolic differences and how they affect life span (generally, birds live longer than expected using that model), differences between warm and cold-blooded animals, the origins of sex, and mitochondria's role in apoptosis (programmed cell death). It's a treasure-trove of scientific knowledege.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    Best evolution book.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

    - Arnaud Amalric

    http://spuriousforums.com/index.php
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    Best evolution book.
    Darwin is so Victorian Era science. He may have started the ball rolling, yet I find more recent books concerning modern paleontological findings and Darwinian medicine much more informative.
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    thanks for all the suggestions. Im going to make it a resolution (for my birthday ) to read all of them by the end of the year.
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    A warning note - The Structure of Evolutionary Theory is massive. Also Gould has a complex writing style that could have benefited from heavier editing. His sentences would read like this:

    The Structure of Evolutionary Theory, a massive work, perhaps on the scale of the Collected Works of Shakespeare, or at least of Keats or Wordsworth, though in mnay sense more massive than these since it extends, as they do not in to a diversity that is more than scientific, more than poetic, more than a glimpse into the soul of ideas, yet at the same time, through meticulous documentation, at times carried to extremes, nevertheless pins, much as lepidoterist pins their prize specimen, the heart of the matter on public display for all to see.

    Which could be edited to read The Structure of Evolutionary Theory is massive, but pretty good.
    So maybe resolve to begin it, but not necessarily to complete it in that time frame. :wink:
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  11. #10  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gottspieler
    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    Best evolution book.
    Darwin is so Victorian Era science. He may have started the ball rolling, yet I find more recent books concerning modern paleontological findings and Darwinian medicine much more informative.
    Yes, but most are not more correct. Maybe they are right where Darwin errs, but then they err where Darwin was right.


    And Darwin is definitely a better writer than most modern science writers.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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    Yes, but most are not more correct.
    Examples?



    And Darwin is definitely a better writer than most modern science writers.
    I disagree. I think Sean Carroll, Nick Lane, Edward O. Wilson, Donald R. Prothero, Carl Zimmer, and Neil Shubin are much better authors. Of course Darwin's work laid the foundation on which they now build knowledge...that doesn't mean that his work is "better" in my opinion..I find his prose somewhat dry despite his groundbreaking ideas (at the time)...many of which were known about earlier yet kept hidden due to religious convictions...Curvier, for example tried to reconcile they early fossil record with several great floods...or by stating that extinct animals were not on Noah's ark...Darwin's natural selection theory is what sets him apart and makes him a true idol to scientists and laymen alike, and you don't need to read On the Origin of Species to understand this. I find modern science writing much more readable and awe-inspiring though.
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  13. #12  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    Have you even read it?

    Your paragraph makes me seriously doubt that you did.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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  14. #13  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    the problem with Darwin is that we all live after the paradigm shift he created
    as such, what was revolutionary in Darwin's day, now seems par for the course to us (unless you're a creationist)

    still, if you read anything by Darwin, it's amazing to see how prescient he was
    even if he was wrong about some aspect of his theory (and let's face it, he never got to the bottom of the source of variation), he still was right when it comes to the overall picture
    so much so that when genetics got into its stride, people thought this would be the death knell for natural selection - that is, until the modern synthesis proved Darwin more right than his detractors
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  15. #14  
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    Definitely read Michio Kaku's books. Amazing theories for Big Bang and everything.
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