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What non-fiction book should we talk about next? 
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Post Re: What non-fiction book should we talk about next?
Dennett's book is on my shelf and I've always wanted to read it. It's always too many books, too little time for me. But I would definitely read along with this choice.


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Post Re: What non-fiction book should we talk about next?
I like DWill's suggestion of "Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life" the best so far.



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Post Re: What non-fiction book should we talk about next?
Chris OConnor wrote:
I like DWill's suggestion of "Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life" the best so far.

Well, then you'll be participating in the discussion, right? :wink:

Here's a link to the book on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/DARWINS-DANGEROU ... erous+idea


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Post Re: What non-fiction book should we talk about next?
I was about to begin Carl Zimmer's "Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea", but after reading descriptions and reviews of Dennett's book I decided to order it from Amazon (used hardcover in VG condition :clap: )



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Post Re: What non-fiction book should we talk about next?
My all time favourite is outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. Can we have a discussion on the same?



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Wed Feb 08, 2017 4:20 am
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Post Re: What non-fiction book should we talk about next?
The impact of the quote below is the main reason I decided to put Zimmer's book Evolution back on the shelf and order Dennette's Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life. The quote is actually taken from Richard Hutton"s Foreward to the Zimmer book. Needless to say, I would now like to see Dennette's book chosen for discussion.

"Philosopher Daniel Dennett once wrote of the theory of evolution: "If I were to give an award for the single best idea anyone has ever had, I'd give it to Darwin, ahead of Newton and Einstein and everyone else. In a single stroke, the idea of evolution by natural selection unifies the realm of life, meaning, and purpose with the realm of space and time, cause and effect, mechanism and physical law. But it is not just a wonderful idea. It is a dangerous idea."

Dangerous because, for people who interpret the Bible literally, it threatens dearly held religious beliefs about a six-day process of creation. Dangerous because its implications have been misused and abused by everyone from the Nazis in Germany to eugenicists trying to "improve" the human race. Dangerous because, writ large, it could be seen as countering the notion that there is some greater meaning in life than simply the here and now." (my emphasis).



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Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:32 am
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Post Re: What non-fiction book should we talk about next?
Hi Kenneth,

We're looking for a non-fiction book right now. Your book is described as , "A fiction story with twist and turns, love, hate, happiness, sadness, comical and filled with a whole lot of surprises."



Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:08 pm
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Post Re: What non-fiction book should we talk about next?
LevV wrote:
Dangerous because, writ large, it could be seen as countering the notion that there is some greater meaning in life than simply the here and now."

Hi Lev. This point in your quote is very interesting to me.

The statement implies that the theory of evolution restricts meaning of life to "simply the here and now". I consider that assumption is at the core of the religious objections to evolution.

The 'here and now' is code for the secular atheism of modern worldly philosophy. One example is in the existential theory of Sartre that existence precedes essence, contrary to the old religious idea that essence precedes existence, which Sartre elevated to an existential ethical principle of freedom of the will unconstrained by the past.

These conceptual distinctions hold immense mythical content, in the sense of stories and values that give meaning to life. Even evolution has its myths in this sense.

The logical problem is that meaning in life cannot be understood from the here and now alone, but arises from the interaction between the actual moment and the long term stable patterns that provide the structure of the universe.

Evolution itself, by describing permanent stable patterns of causality, provides an essential structure for all momentary existence. Indeed, such coherent consistent organising principles illustrate that the here and now is strictly speaking meaningless, fleeting and ephemeral. So I find it surprising that you would see the here and now as somehow key to the meaning of evolution.


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Post Re: What non-fiction book should we talk about next?
How about
Faith With Good Reason?

I might be able to get the author to participate.


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 Re: What non-fiction book should we talk about next?
Please consider this post to be an official poll.


Reply with your choice. Click the links to read about each choice. If you're willing to read and discuss either book please say so because that will really make this poll easier. Our book discussion will start March 1st and run for 90 days.


Book 1
The Ordeal of Change by Eric Hoffer

Book 2
Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meaning of Life by Daniel Dennett


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Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:57 am
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Post Re: What non-fiction book should we talk about next?
My vote goes to "Darwin's Dangerous Idea".

I would likely read the other one if it garnered the votes, but I would prefer the Dennett book.



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Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:36 pm
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Post Re: What non-fiction book should we talk about next?
I'm for Dennett's book too but I do like to have my vote not be a factor since I don't contribute much to the discussions.



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Post Re: What non-fiction book should we talk about next?
I vote for the Dennett Book on Darwin. It is one I have wanted to read for a long time, given its focus on the philosophical analysis of evolution.

A good list of quotes from the Hoffer book is at https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/6 ... -of-change


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Post Re: What non-fiction book should we talk about next?
I'll go for the Dennett. I found the book on a for-the-taking shelf in a hotel lobby. Serendipity.

I wonder if people reading the book would think it's a good idea to each adopt at least one chapter, so to be essentially the DL for the chapter.



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Post Re: What non-fiction book should we talk about next?
Hey guys, been away for a while.

I have a copy of Dennett, so I'll try to join in. I have to warn you, it's a long and relatively dense book, although I think worth trying to tackle. I started it before and never finished it, but I have a habit of doing that in general. I'd say the chances of keeping a discussion going is pretty slim, but hey, why not?



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