Online reading group and book discussion forum
  HOME FORUMS BOOKS LINKS DONATE ADVERTISE CONTACT  
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Fri Aug 22, 2014 12:55 am




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 18 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Ch. 8 - The Grand Design 
Author Message
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

BookTalk.org Owner
Diamond Contributor 3

Joined: May 2002
Posts: 13927
Location: Florida
Thanks: 1911
Thanked: 730 times in 580 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)
Highscores: 10

Post Ch. 8 - The Grand Design
Ch. 8 - The Grand Design

Please use this thread to discuss Ch. 8 - The Grand Design.



Sat Oct 09, 2010 11:39 pm
Profile Email YIM WWW
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Almost Comfortable


Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 15
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 10 times in 8 posts
Gender: None specified

Post Re: Ch. 8 - The Grand Design
This is my typical critique of the standard science text for laypeople...

I don't understand why the generalization in the last few pages is used. Here they are talking about conservation of energy as being universal. With 90% of both the matter and energy in the universe being dark (because we can't make any real observations of them) and the multitude of evidence that many of our assumed unversal laws and constants are not completely valid through space and time this generalization is more than what is needed. What we know about the universe is what we can see and measure in the framework we currently exist in and that is enough without trying to go the extra step and place a universal conservation constraint based on incomplete and inconclusive data. It isn't that exceptions to this generalization are not already being discussed such as the work of Stuart Kauffman, which makes the need for this type of constraint unnecessary and too limiting.

All that I would like to see is a qualifier to the conservation statement that in our corner and time in the universe this is valid. For most laypeople they will read past the qualifier with no questions but for everyone who has looked deeper it will open a wider look. And this will make it easier for those who are trained, but not deeply into theory, to accept that there are many ideas less absolute than when you first learn about them.



The following user would like to thank WONK for this post:
DWill
Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:52 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
pets endangered by possible book avalanche

Gold Contributor 2

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 4944
Location: Berryville, Virginia
Thanks: 1081
Thanked: 1040 times in 813 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Ch. 8 - The Grand Design
Wonk--I'm not reading this book; it's probably a bit beyond me aimed at the general reader though it might be. But I noticed your reference to Stuart Kauffman, whom I've come across and find interesting (while also difficult). I'd be glad to hear what you think of his work and any recommendations on his books or chapters therein.


_________________
Man is an animal suspended in webs of significance that he himself has spun.

Clifford Geertz


Fri Nov 05, 2010 6:44 pm
Profile Email
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Almost Comfortable


Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 15
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 10 times in 8 posts
Gender: None specified

Post Re: Ch. 8 - The Grand Design
I've not read any of Kauffman's books but I study Complexity so I have read many many references to him and portions of his work that have appeared in other texts. Possibly the best way to get a feel for his work is to read Part 3 in Melanie Mitchell's book Complexity.

The key to his idea is that Real World events self-organize. This doesn't fit with the 3rd Law of Thermodynamics but the 3rd Law isn't valid outside of closed systems, which is not the universe. The idea here is that nothing in the real world is random but chaotic. That is because real world things only combine is specific ways. For example H2O is one of the few ways H and O can combine. You can't have H153O. The real world frequently appears random because the chaos is so close to pure randomness we can not tell the difference. This means that the universe has to self-organize and this changes everything. You could even create a law based on this. This fits in with the Grand Design in many ways because the end state or non-random events such as H2O are really the controllers of the chaos in the universe or the end or observation state controls the whole.

The Grand Design is not that hard of a book for a layperson to read. It just appears odd because it is taking the math of Quantum and changing it into everyday language. This gives it a feel of talking in parables and not science or like some Buddhist statements such as listening to one hand clapping. It is fun because it is so different.



The following user would like to thank WONK for this post:
DWill, Robert Tulip
Fri Nov 05, 2010 8:05 pm
Profile Email
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Masters


Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 450
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
Thanks: 5
Thanked: 43 times in 34 posts
Gender: None specified

Post Re: Ch. 8 - The Grand Design
WONK wrote:
I don't understand why the generalization in the last few pages is used. Here they are talking about conservation of energy as being universal.

The guiding principle of physics is to explain the world in terms of a few universal laws. When some phenomenon seems to violate the laws, physicists strive to find an explanation consistent with those laws, instead of discarding them. Given how successful physics has been at understanding the world, it's a principle that's worth following.

Sometimes experimental data requires revisions to those laws. Even though the physics of Newton was successful for centuries, relativity and quantum mechanics were necessary to explain the world more accurately. Major paradigm shifts like those are extremely rare.

Hawking works at the boundaries of physics, the areas which don't have an solid explanation. You could spend your lifetime learning the material that physics completely understands, but books for the layman often emphasize the more speculative subjects.



Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:11 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Wearing Out Library Card

Silver Contributor

Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 240
Location: Oak Ridge, TN
Thanks: 43
Thanked: 53 times in 44 posts
Gender: Male

Post Re: Ch. 8 - The Grand Design
I recently finished The Grand Design and I'm currently reading Leonard Susskind's The Cosmic Landscape, in which he touches on the debate between quantum mechanics like Susskind and general relativists like Hawking over whether information is lost when matter falls into a black hole (Susskind also has a book specifically about this debate called The Black Hole War). Hawking's claim that information is indeed lost when matter falls into a black hole would violate QM's requirement for conservation of information. On the other hand, QM's conservation requirements would mean that as the black hole evaporated, the information that was lost into it would have to be recovered, which seems contradictory.

The point is not that these two groups of physicists clashed so much as that the two paradigms for understanding the very small (QM) and the very large (GR) were in conflict and physicists didn't see a way to reconcile them.

Both in The Grand Design and The Cosmic Landscape, Hawking and Susskind discuss how string theory / M theory offers a framework for understanding how something can seemingly come from nothing, why there is something rather than nothing. M theory makes the same predictions as QM in the micro world
and the same predictions as GR in the macro world. However, M theory requires 11 dimensions, some of which are invisible, and predicts an infinity of physics, each with a different set of fundamental numbers (gravitational constant, ratio of the strengths of gravity and electromagnetism, etc.).

The picture I get is of a vast network of universes, each with its own set of physical laws, determined by the fundamental numbers active in each universe. From the outside, one of these universes looks like a black hole. From the inside, it looks like the outer edge of the universe is accelerating away from the observer in all directions (which is what astronomers observe in the universe we inhabit).

This puts the Anthropic Principle in a new light. It's not that our universe is so perfect for us because it was designed so, but rather that we evolved in this particular universe because it happens to be the one out of all the randomly generated universes that was suitable for our evolution.

Of course, although Hawking claims to be describing *The* *Grand* Design, as if it is a Theory of Everything and answers all questions, I still have a few.

Where did the megaverse come from? Just because we have an answer to "Why does *this* univers exist?" (just because -- it happened by chance) doesn't answer why there something rather than nothing at one step up the ladder of universes.

If we object to supernatural explanations based on causes for which we have no evidence (God), why should we accept "scientific" explanations based on invisible causes like an infinite number of universes we can't visit and invisible dimensions? Perhaps that's where the logic of the math points, but maybe some day we'll discover somewhere along the line someone forgot to carry a 2 and none of it means anything. It's a commonplace that what "everyone knows" today may be shown to be completely wrong tomorrow.

I guess I'm just a hard shell skeptic. I don't see any way to ever be certain of anything. And the more I learn, the less certain things seem.


_________________
Tom


The following user would like to thank tbarron for this post:
DWill, Jim Watters
Sat Nov 06, 2010 8:20 am
Profile
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Almost Comfortable


Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 15
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 10 times in 8 posts
Gender: None specified

Post Re: Ch. 8 - The Grand Design
<The guiding principle of physics is to explain the world in terms of a few universal laws. When some phenomenon seems to violate the laws, physicists strive to find an explanation consistent with those laws, instead of discarding them. Given how successful physics has been at understanding the world, it's a principle that's worth following. >

My point is that universal conservation of energy is an unnecessary gerneralization that is unproven and, at this time, possibly has been shown as being invalid over the whole history and breadth of the universe. So why not add the simple conditional phrase that would make the generalization valid? Kauffman's additional law would make this generalization even more unnecessary because it seems to be valid over more conditions and still produces the same results in our corner of the universe (i.e. it is possibly even more universal). Why paint yourself into a corner when there is no need to do so? One of the big problems with the history of science is that laypeople tend to ignor the way science adjusts when new information is added and considers a previous law being changed with a new one as proof that science is nearly always wrong. (The idea that Einstein proved Newton wrong about gravity so Einstein must be wrong as well...) It is such a simple matter to start with using a perfectly valid conditional phrase that accents the fact that science is at flux within itself at this time. It is forcing laypeople to acknowledge that only blind faith has absolutes and that science is not part of miraculous answer system but the laborer in the real world system.



The following user would like to thank WONK for this post:
tbarron
Sat Nov 06, 2010 6:18 pm
Profile Email
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Almost Comfortable


Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 15
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 10 times in 8 posts
Gender: None specified

Post Re: Ch. 8 - The Grand Design
Both the General theory and String come up with at least 11-dimensions. Since the 11-D General theory was developed in the 1950s this is a relatively old physics concept. There are just enough gaps in the real world that require more than 4-D to get the mathematics explaining them to work.

Consider this: You have a shadow moving on the 2-D ground. You use mathematics to explain how it moves and distorts during the day. The math becomes very complicated. Now instead of using the 2-D math you create a 4-D world where there is a stationary tree that doesn't change directions or size and project a shadow onto the ground as a light source (sun) moves. The math is much easier and you have rendered the 4-D world into a 3-D event (motion across a 2-D ground with time the third dimension). This is what is happening with the 11-D universe and our 4-D ability to see it. The math tells us that there is a projection from more dimensions into our 4-D shadow world. We are now in the realm of CSI. We get clues about the crime, or in this case the way the universe works. We then build up what has to happen for these events to occur. Blood on the ground means that someone was bleeding. Typing the blood tells us about the person or persons who bled. We have never and can not physically see the event but the clues tell us that it happened. We can not see the 11-D but the physical clues tell us that they are there.

M-Theory is not a theory in the mold that most people think of. It does little to explain a specific physical event. It is a framework that explains how the math describing something such as Quarks and the math explaining something such as a super nova relate to each other and how to pull the overlap between the two extremely different events together. It sets the parameters on how these different equations have to be framed so there can be a passing of information between the completely different events. M-theory is a theory that sets the conditions that all of the other, more specific, theories have to meet.



The following user would like to thank WONK for this post:
Jim Watters
Thu Nov 25, 2010 11:56 am
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Book General


Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 2518
Thanks: 410
Thanked: 306 times in 259 posts
Gender: None specified
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Ch. 8 - The Grand Design
The Grand Design was more of a grand contradiction by Hawking.

Hawking writes:

Quote:
Traditionally these (referring to his outlined list of questions - my words not his) are questions for philosophy, but philosophy is dead. It has not kept up with the modern developments in science, particularly in physics. As a result, scientists have become the bearers of the torch of discovery in our quest for knowledge


Ironically, Hawking goes on to engage in philosophy nearly throughout his entire book!
For starters his claim against philosophy in particular is an engagement in philosophy. The claim itself in not a statement of science. It is a metaphysical statement about science. DOH!! :P

Further, Hawking and his compatriot state in the book that the laws of nature tell us how the universe works but does not answer the "why" questions (questions that a child can ask but that science can not answer). Yet, Hawking's conclusion is..,

Quote:
Because there is a law like gravity the universe can and will create itself from nothing...Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist


DOH! There he goes again, contradicting himself! :roll:

Laws describe how aspects of the universe function, they do not answer "why" questions. Laws are not creators in themselves.
Laws can explain the works of a jet engine - they can not explain who created the engine.


_________________
“So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind!” (Ecclesiastes 2:17)


“For it is owing to their wonder that men both now begin to and at first began to philosophize; they wondered originally at the obvious difficulties, then advanced little by little and stated difficulties about the greater matters, e.g. about the phenomena of the moon and those of the sun and of the stars, and about the genesis of the universe. And a man who is puzzled and wonders thinks himself ignorant” (Metaphysics, 350 BC)


Last edited by ant on Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:38 pm
Profile Email
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Almost Comfortable


Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 15
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 10 times in 8 posts
Gender: None specified

Post Re: Ch. 8 - The Grand Design
Complex systems is the physics and mathematics that model how sets of simple physical things create everything. When 'things' interact with other things you get everything including life. There is the starting question of where and why the very simple beginnings happen but everything past that comes from the beginning. There is no real need for any why after the simple quantum particles and energies flashed into existence. After the 'Big Bang,' or whatever you want to call it, you have a physical chain of events that creates all there is and all there might be.

Hawking has simplified too far because the book is for non-scientists but what he is trying to bring out is that science can tell you the 'why' for everything that is around us and what might be in the past and future absent the first what came before the 'Big Bang'. Science does explain that there are multiple variations on the 'Big Bang' so in a way it tells you that there exists variations of the universe or variations of every past and future--or that from nothing or everything the 'Big Bang' occured. Although this sounds like a classic philosophy, it isn't because it is based on the known science of what is around us. You can call it philosophy but it doesn't fit what the classic form is because it comes from what is observed around us and not what is 'thought' about what is around us.



The following user would like to thank WONK for this post:
ant
Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:35 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Book General


Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 2518
Thanks: 410
Thanked: 306 times in 259 posts
Gender: None specified
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Ch. 8 - The Grand Design
Quote:
Science does explain that there are multiple variations on the 'Big Bang' so in a way it tells you that there exists variations of the universe or variations of every past and future--or that from nothing or everything the 'Big Bang' occured. Although this sounds like a classic philosophy, it isn't because it is based on the known science of what is around us. You can call it philosophy but it doesn't fit what the classic form is because it comes from what is observed around us and not what is 'thought' about what is around us.



Variations of every past and future event, or that from nothing or everything the big bang occurred is highly speculative. Future events, M Theory multiple universes, 11 dimensions are not observable. It is not based on "the known science that is around us." These are metaphysical assertions.

Hawking indicates that you can get something from nothing with the law of gravity. A law of gravity or gravity itself is NOT nothing. To call it "nothing" is a gross misuse of the word nothing.
What is "nothing" in Hawking's universe? How should a layman like me define "nothing."


_________________
“So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind!” (Ecclesiastes 2:17)


“For it is owing to their wonder that men both now begin to and at first began to philosophize; they wondered originally at the obvious difficulties, then advanced little by little and stated difficulties about the greater matters, e.g. about the phenomena of the moon and those of the sun and of the stars, and about the genesis of the universe. And a man who is puzzled and wonders thinks himself ignorant” (Metaphysics, 350 BC)


Sat Mar 03, 2012 7:12 pm
Profile Email
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Almost Comfortable


Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 15
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 10 times in 8 posts
Gender: None specified

Post Re: Ch. 8 - The Grand Design
You are using the term unobservable and observable incorrectly as far as science is conserned. For example: You can not observe the interior of the sun but you can measure what is going in and out of the sun and the bulk of the 'things' that make up the sun. Using what is known about chemistry, physics and those 'things' you can accurately say what is happening within the sun. OR You can not observe the creation of the continents as they exist today from what and where they were millions of years in the past because we only live at most 100 years but we can measure movements and the make up of the continents and model where they were and how they looked in the past.

Here is how we get the 11 plus dimensions. Consider a shadow on the ground. You don't have to look at the object making the shadow to calculate its size and shape because you know how light is projected and the angles that the light has traveled. So from a two dimensional object you can calculate what the three dimensional object looks like that projected the 2D shadow (you can take this up to 3D shadow and 4D object if you measure over time). Doing the same type of measurements on our 4 D universe you can calculate that 11 Ds or more project themselves onto our 4 D universe by the way those shadows caused by the 11D make themselves felt on our 4D.

Classic metaphysics 'assumes' something and asserts those assumptions on our reality. Science takes what we see in our reality and projects it out in 'all' directions to find out where our reality came from. Science just sounds like metaphysics when talked about in common vernacular but if you go through the advanced math and physics that it is laid out from what is around us now it becomes just as solid a science as the calculations on how a thrown ball travels. That is the trouble when using common language to explain things. People assume that it has as little basis in reality as every other form of classical philosophy. Hawking is using common language and not the advanced math and physics so the average person can at least feel where science has gone today. Just because he hasn't listed the equations and formulas doesn't mean that they don't exist.



The following user would like to thank WONK for this post:
DWill, Robert Tulip
Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:08 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Book Slut

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 4111
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 1126
Thanked: 1169 times in 878 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: Ch. 8 - The Grand Design
Wonk wrote:
Here is how we get the 11 plus dimensions.
The eleven dimension idea is part of string theory, which is generally regarded by mainstream science as not even wrong, due to its complete failure to generate testable claims.

See http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2007/ ... -test-for/

At least classic metaphysics talks about real things, such as human values.


_________________
http://rtulip.net


Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:59 pm
Profile Email WWW
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Book General


Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 2518
Thanks: 410
Thanked: 306 times in 259 posts
Gender: None specified
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Ch. 8 - The Grand Design
Hawking and those who support the multiverse theory actually helps to logically prove the existence of God. It does't do away with God at all.

Here's Paul Davies comments on multiverses (not claiming he believes in a traditional god):

Quote:
Consider the most general multiverse theories…where even laws are abandoned and anything at all can happen. At least some of these universes will feature miraculous events – water turning into wine, etc. They will also contain thoroughly convincing religious experiences, such as direct revelation of a transcendent God. It follows that a general multiverse set must contain a subset that conforms to traditional religious notions of God and design.



Similarly, Alvin Plantinga says that if every possible universe exists, then there must be a universe in which God exists since his existence is logically possible. It follows logically then that since God is omnipotent and omnipresent he must exist in every universe hence there is only one universe (this one) of which he is the creator and upholder of!

I don't think the multiverse theory is a good theory for atheists to seek refuge from god :P


_________________
“So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind!” (Ecclesiastes 2:17)


“For it is owing to their wonder that men both now begin to and at first began to philosophize; they wondered originally at the obvious difficulties, then advanced little by little and stated difficulties about the greater matters, e.g. about the phenomena of the moon and those of the sun and of the stars, and about the genesis of the universe. And a man who is puzzled and wonders thinks himself ignorant” (Metaphysics, 350 BC)


Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:14 am
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Book Slut

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 4111
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 1126
Thanked: 1169 times in 878 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: Ch. 8 - The Grand Design
Davies point in that article http://cosmos.asu.edu/publications/chap ... galore.pdf on multiverse explanations is that "followed to its logical extreme, it leads to conclusions that are at best bizarre, at worst absurd."

We have enough difficulty understanding our own universe without speculating about imaginary ones.


_________________
http://rtulip.net


Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:41 am
Profile Email WWW
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 18 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.  Go to page 1, 2  Next



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:


BookTalk.org Links 
Forum Rules & Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
BBCode Explained
Info for Authors & Publishers
Featured Book Suggestions
Author Interview Transcripts
Be a Book Discussion Leader!
    

Love to talk about books but don't have time for our book discussion forums? For casual book talk join us on Facebook.

Featured Books






BookTalk.org is a free book discussion group or online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a group. We host live author chats where booktalk members can interact with and interview authors. We give away free books to our members in book giveaway contests. Our booktalks are open to everybody who enjoys talking about books. Our book forums include book reviews, author interviews and book resources for readers and book lovers. Discussing books is our passion. We're a literature forum, or reading forum. Register a free book club account today! Suggest nonfiction and fiction books. Authors and publishers are welcome to advertise their books or ask for an author chat or author interview.


Navigation 
MAIN NAVIGATION

HOMEFORUMSBOOKSTRANSCRIPTSOLD FORUMSADVERTISELINKSFAQDONATETERMS OF USEPRIVACY POLICY

BOOK FORUMS FOR ALL BOOKS WE HAVE DISCUSSED
Oliver Twist - by Charles DickensSense and Goodness Without God - by Richard CarrierFrankenstein - by Mary ShelleyThe Big Questions - by Simon BlackburnScience Was Born of Christianity - by Stacy TrasancosThe Happiness Hypothesis - by Jonathan HaidtA Game of Thrones - by George R. R. MartinTempesta's Dream - by Vincent LoCocoWhy Nations Fail - by Daron Acemoglu and James RobinsonThe Drowning Girl - Caitlin R. KiernanThe Consolations of the Forest - by Sylvain TessonThe Complete Heretic's Guide to Western Religion: The Mormons - by David FitzgeraldA Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - by James JoyceThe Divine Comedy - by Dante AlighieriThe Magic of Reality - by Richard DawkinsDubliners - by James JoyceMy Name Is Red - by Orhan PamukThe World Until Yesterday - by Jared DiamondThe Man Who Was Thursday - by by G. K. ChestertonThe Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven PinkerLord Jim by Joseph ConradThe Hobbit by J. R. R. TolkienThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsAtlas Shrugged by Ayn RandThinking, Fast and Slow - by Daniel KahnemanThe Righteous Mind - by Jonathan HaidtWorld War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max BrooksMoby Dick: or, the Whale by Herman MelvilleA Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer EganLost Memory of Skin: A Novel by Russell BanksThe Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. KuhnHobbes: Leviathan by Thomas HobbesThe House of the Spirits - by Isabel AllendeArguably: Essays by Christopher HitchensThe Falls: A Novel (P.S.) by Joyce Carol OatesChrist in Egypt by D.M. MurdockThe Glass Bead Game: A Novel by Hermann HesseA Devil's Chaplain by Richard DawkinsThe Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph CampbellThe Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor DostoyevskyThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark TwainThe Moral Landscape by Sam HarrisThe Decameron by Giovanni BoccaccioThe Road by Cormac McCarthyThe Grand Design by Stephen HawkingThe Evolution of God by Robert WrightThe Tin Drum by Gunter GrassGood Omens by Neil GaimanPredictably Irrational by Dan ArielyThe Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel by Haruki MurakamiALONE: Orphaned on the Ocean by Richard Logan & Tere Duperrault FassbenderDon Quixote by Miguel De CervantesMusicophilia by Oliver SacksDiary of a Madman and Other Stories by Nikolai GogolThe Passion of the Western Mind by Richard TarnasThe Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le GuinThe Genius of the Beast by Howard BloomAlice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll Empire of Illusion by Chris HedgesThe Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner The Extended Phenotype by Richard DawkinsSmoke and Mirrors by Neil GaimanThe Selfish Gene by Richard DawkinsWhen Good Thinking Goes Bad by Todd C. RinioloHouse of Leaves by Mark Z. DanielewskiAmerican Gods: A Novel by Neil GaimanPrimates and Philosophers by Frans de WaalThe Enormous Room by E.E. CummingsThe Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeGod Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher HitchensThe Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama Paradise Lost by John Milton Bad Money by Kevin PhillipsThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson BurnettGodless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists by Dan BarkerThe Things They Carried by Tim O'BrienThe Limits of Power by Andrew BacevichLolita by Vladimir NabokovOrlando by Virginia Woolf On Being Certain by Robert A. Burton50 reasons people give for believing in a god by Guy P. HarrisonWalden: Or, Life in the Woods by Henry David ThoreauExile and the Kingdom by Albert CamusOur Inner Ape by Frans de WaalYour Inner Fish by Neil ShubinNo Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthyThe Age of American Unreason by Susan JacobyTen Theories of Human Nature by Leslie Stevenson & David HabermanHeart of Darkness by Joseph ConradThe Stuff of Thought by Stephen PinkerA Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled HosseiniThe Lucifer Effect by Philip ZimbardoResponsibility and Judgment by Hannah ArendtInterventions by Noam ChomskyGodless in America by George A. RickerReligious Expression and the American Constitution by Franklyn S. HaimanDeep Economy by Phil McKibbenThe God Delusion by Richard DawkinsThe Third Chimpanzee by Jared DiamondThe Woman in the Dunes by Abe KoboEvolution vs. Creationism by Eugenie C. ScottThe Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael PollanI, Claudius by Robert GravesBreaking The Spell by Daniel C. DennettA Peace to End All Peace by David FromkinThe Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerThe End of Faith by Sam HarrisEnder's Game by Orson Scott CardThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark HaddonValue and Virtue in a Godless Universe by Erik J. WielenbergThe March by E. L DoctorowThe Ethical Brain by Michael GazzanigaFreethinkers: A History of American Secularism by Susan JacobyCollapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared DiamondThe Battle for God by Karen ArmstrongThe Future of Life by Edward O. WilsonWhat is Good? by A. C. GraylingCivilization and Its Enemies by Lee HarrisPale Blue Dot by Carl SaganHow We Believe: Science, Skepticism, and the Search for God by Michael ShermerLooking for Spinoza by Antonio DamasioLies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al FrankenThe Red Queen by Matt RidleyThe Blank Slate by Stephen PinkerUnweaving the Rainbow by Richard DawkinsAtheism: A Reader edited by S.T. JoshiGlobal Brain by Howard BloomThe Lucifer Principle by Howard BloomGuns, Germs and Steel by Jared DiamondThe Demon-Haunted World by Carl SaganBury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee BrownFuture Shock by Alvin Toffler

OTHER PAGES WORTH EXPLORING
Banned Book ListOur Amazon.com SalesMassimo Pigliucci Rationally SpeakingOnline Reading GroupTop 10 Atheism BooksFACTS Book Selections

cron
Copyright © BookTalk.org 2002-2014. All rights reserved.
Website developed by MidnightCoder.ca
Display Pagerank