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Posts tagged ‘Evolution’

5
May

Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon (Book Review)

“Let’s play real intellectual tennis: this book is my serve, and I welcome serious returns – with the net of reason always up.” – Daniel C. Dennett

Breaking the Spell, by Professor Dennett, takes the reader on a ride, journeying through the evolutionary processes of the memes carried by the transitions of tradition and folklore, to organized religion and fanaticism. He has nothing but inexorable fervour in attempting to discover how world religions came about through natural processes. The spell he attempts to break is the unjustified and supposedly untrumpable defence-mechanism of the so-called sanctity which religion has in the face of examination, no matter how small. How does he do this? By asking a lot of questions, and then trying to answer them, always staying humble, and never claiming facts where none have been affirmed. He is a scientific philosopher through and through, but makes his writings easily accessible to the layman. Read moreRead more

2
May

Evolution: The Remarkable History of a Scientific Theory (Book Review)

I recommend this book to anyone interested in both the findings of the Theory of Evolution and its historical, epic struggle, which continues even today, and will continue for years to come. Edward J. Larson begins with the evolutionary theorists, such as the catastrophists, leading up to Charles Darwin (men like Cuvier, Lamarck, Owen, etc.), until the modern synthesis we have today. Larson is an excellent writer, which is why he won the Pulitzer Price for Summer of the Gods in 1998, and makes Darwinism accessible to the layman, while remaining informed and extremely caring about this undeniably significant, controversial scientific theory. Its possible mechanisms for breeding forth all the magnificent diversity of life on this earth have themselves, as Larson meticulously highlights, been a matter of vigorous scientific dispute among evolutionists, and Larson uses the hypotheses and disputes over their certainty as a mechanism to fuel his book forward. Read moreRead more