How is it possible for the disciplines of cosmology, geology, anthropology, biology, and history to fit together? These 48 lectures answer that question by weaving a single story from accounts of the past developed by a variety of scholarly disciplines. The result is a story stretching from the origins of the universe to the present day and beyond, in which human history is seen as part of the history of our Earth and biosphere, and the Earth's history, in turn, is seen as part of the history of the universe.
"Essential Reading for Humanity"
"A wonderful book, wonderfully narrated"
One of the greatest scientific feats of our era is the astonishing progress made in understanding biology-the intricate machinery of life-a progress to which the period we are living in right now has contributed the most.As you read these words, researchers are delving ever deeper into the workings of living systems, turning their discoveries into new medical treatments, improved methods of growing food, and innovative products that are already changing the world.
"Biology brought to life!"
When are we responsible for our own actions, and when are we in the grip of biological forces beyond our control? What determines who we fall in love with? The intensity of our spiritual lives? The degree of our aggressive impulses? These questions fall into the scientific province of behavioral biology, the field that explores interactions between the brain, mind, body, and environment that have a surprising influence on how we behave.
In The Greatest Show on Earth, Richard Dawkins takes on creationists, including followers of 'Intelligent Design' and all those who question the fact of evolution through natural selection. Like a detective arriving on the scene of a crime, he sifts through fascinating layers of scientific facts and disciplines to build a cast-iron case: from the living examples of natural selection in birds and insects.
"Simple and elegantly written"
Cutting-edge research on the brain's interaction with the body shows that health is directly impacted by our social environments, socioeconomic status, culture, behaviors, relationships, psychological states, and habits of mind, among many factors. Mind-body medicine-working in partnership with traditional medical practice-uses a large range of psychological, physical, and behavioral treatments in a model of health care that aims to treat the whole human being.
Sparked by a provocative comment to BigThink.com last fall, and fueled by a highly controversial debate with Creation Museum curator Ken Ham, Bill Nye's campaign to confront the scientific shortcoming of creationism has exploded in just a few months into a national crusade.
"Very enjoyable "
An astonishing new scientific discovery called neuroplasticity is overthrowing the centuries-old notion that the adult human brain is fixed and unchanging. It is, instead, able to change its own structure and function, even into old age. In this revolutionary look at the brain, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Norman Doidge, M.D., provides an introduction to both the brilliant scientists championing neuroplasticity and the people whose lives they've transformed.
"A must listen"
Feeling stressed? You're not alone. Stress is an inherent aspect of life that can have tremendous negative effects on your mental and physical health. This makes coping with stress a critical part of how well we live.Once you understand the inner workings of your stress response system, you'll possess powerful knowledge that will help you understand and better deal with this common aspect of your busy life.
"So interesting it's almost addictive"
This 24-lecture series is your guide to the latest information and viewpoints on what scientists know about this fascinating subject. Taught by an award-winning teacher whose training as a clinical psychologist straddles both the science of the mind and its impact on individual lives, their comprehensive approach reveals how that science applies to the life of our species - and to your own life as well. The lectures explore theories about how the mind works on both an evolutionary and individual scale.
In Brain Rules for Baby, Dr. John Medina shares what the latest science says about how to raise smart and happy children from zero to five. This book is destined to revolutionize parenting. Just one of the surprises: The best way to get your children into the college of their choice? Teach them impulse control. Brain Rules for Baby bridges the gap between what scientists know and what parents practice.
Since Darwin's day, we've been told that sexual monogamy comes naturally to our species. Mainstream science - as well as religious and cultural institutions - has maintained that men and women evolved in families in which a man's possessions and protection were exchanged for a woman's fertility and fidelity. But this narrative is collapsing....
The Blind Watchmaker, knowledgably narrated by author Richard Dawkins, is as prescient and timely a book as ever. The watchmaker belongs to the 18th-century theologian William Paley, who argued that just as a watch is too complicated and functional to have sprung into existence by accident, so too must all living things, with their far greater complexity, be purposefully designed. Charles Darwin's brilliant discovery challenged the creationist arguments; but only Richard Dawkins could have written this elegant riposte.
"Sparkling with life!"
Dish up the red meat, eggs, and whole milk! In this well-researched and captivating narrative, veteran food writer Nina Teicholz proves how everything we've been told about fat is wrong. For decades, Americans have cut back on red meat and dairy products full of "bad" saturated fats. We obediently complied with nutritional guidelines to eat "heart healthy" fats found in olive oil, fish, and nuts, and followed a Mediterranean diet heavy on fruits, vegetables, and grains. Yet the nation's health has declined. What is going on?
"Excellent Book. Easy listen."
In The China Study, T. Colin Campbell revolutionized the way we think about our food with the evidence that a whole food, plant-based diet is the healthiest way to eat. Now, in Whole, he explains the science behind that evidence, the ways our current scientific paradigm ignores the fascinating complexity of the human body, and why, if we have such overwhelming evidence that everything we think we know about nutrition is wrong, our eating habits haven't changed.
"hard reading, good information"
In this series of 24 fascinating lectures, an acclaimed teacher and psychologist gives you a bio-psychological perspective on both the way we humans navigate and react to the world around us and an understanding of the ways in which that process is ever-changing.
Our true origins are not just human, or even terrestrial, but in fact cosmic. Drawing on scientific breakthroughs and the current cross-pollination among geology, biology, astrophysics, and cosmology, Origins explains the soul-stirring leaps in our understanding of the cosmos. From the first image of a galaxy birth to Spirit rover's exploration of Mars, to the discovery of water on one of Jupiter's moons, coauthors Neil deGrasse Tyson and Donald Goldsmith conduct a galvanizing tour of the cosmos with clarity and exuberance.
A comprehensive history of cancer - one of the greatest enemies of medical progress - and an insight into its effects and potential cures, by a leading expert on the illness. In The Emperor of All Maladies, Siddhartha Mukherjee, doctor, researcher and award-winning science writer, examines cancer with a cellular biologist's precision, a historian's perspective, and a biographer's passion. The result is an astonishingly lucid and eloquent chronicle of a disease humans have lived with - and perished from - for more than five thousand years.
"I had no idea how little I knew about Cancer"
Four billion years ago, the infant Earth was a seething cauldron of erupting volcanoes, raining meteors, and hot noxious gases, totally devoid of life. But a relatively short time later-only 100 million to 200 million years-the planet was teeming with primitive organisms.What happened? Now you can find out-in a series of 24 vibrant lectures from a leader of the NASA-supported team studying the origins of life in the universe and also one of the nation's foremost science educators.
Space is a world devoid of the things we need to live and thrive: air, gravity, hot showers, fresh produce, privacy, beer. Space exploration is in some ways an exploration of what it means to be human. How much can a person give up? How much weirdness can they take? What happens to you when you can't walk for a year? Have sex? Smell flowers? What happens if you vomit in your helmet during a space walk? Is it possible for the human body to survive a bailout at 17,000 miles per hour?
In this fresh and provocative view of a seven-million-year evolutionary journey, Finlayson demonstrates the radical implications for the interpretation of fossils and technologies and shows that understanding humans within an ecological context provides insights into the emergence and spread of Homo sapiens worldwide.
This gives a brief and quick overview of evolutionary theories of the origins of early life at the microscopic levels and the view of how organic substances can come from inorganic substances.
Where did I come from? Why do I have two arms but just one head? How is my left leg the same size as my right one? Why are the fingerprints of identical twins not identical? How did my brain learn to learn? Why must I die? Questions like these remain biology's deepest and most ancient challenges. They force us to confront a fundamental biological problem: How can something as large and complex as a human body organize itself from the simplicity of a fertilized egg?
The Thriller is described as the most attractive, handsome, and charming of all human types. A distinctive dresser, a quick thinker, highly ambitious and adaptable. The stage, the film industry, and the arts attract this type of people naturally. But even this seemingly perfect human is not without flaws and weaknesses. Read in English.
Thought of as the seat of our soul, then as a mysteriously animated object, the heart is still more a mystery than it is understood. Why do most animals only get one billion beats? (And how did modern humans get to over two billion - effectively letting us live out two lives?) Why are sufferers of gingivitis more likely to have heart attacks? And what does it really feel like to touch your own heart, or to have someone else's beating inside your chest?
Hydrogen peroxide is administered either intravenously or orally in humans to treat ailments. When cleaning, sanitizing and bleaching a substance or surface, you can use the peroxide solution to spray or soak. You might wonder why people ignored such an easy to use and all round solution. This is not a case of "too good to be true", because hydrogen peroxide is real and fully effective when used appropriately.
Hormones are chemicals secreted into the blood from glands, such as the pituitary and adrenal glands. They work as part of a complex network, referred to as the endocrine system. The endocrine and nervous systems work together to form the control systems of the body. A balanced hormonal system is able to correctly govern growth, sleep cycle, mood, immune system, metabolism, hunger, sexual arousal, and fertility, among other things. Hormones prepare your body for both immediate and long-term changes.
Your eyes are a gateway to your body! Irrespective of the fact that people have blue, brown, hazel, black or mixed eyes, each eye has a story to tell: and how beautifully! A simple torch examination of the eye can reveal the world - it can tell you the kind of person you are and even the diseases that you may be susceptible to.
Are men literally born to cheat? Does monogamy actually serve women's interests? These are among the questions that have made The Moral Animal one of the most provocative science books in recent years. Wright unveils the genetic strategies behind everything from our sexual preferences to our office politics - as well as their implications for our moral codes and public policies.
"Brilliantly engaging book"
In this classic work that continues to inspire its many fans, James Lovelock deftly explains his idea that life on Earth functions as a single organism. Written for the non-scientist, Gaia is a journey through time and space in search of evidence with which to support a new and radically different model of our planet. In contrast to conventional belief that living matter is passive in the face of threats to its existence, the book explores the hypothesis that the Earth's living matter - air, ocean, and land surfaces - forms a complex system that has the capacity to keep the Earth a fit place for life.
Plants form a fundamental element of the biosphere, and the evolution of plants has directly affected the evolution of animal life and the evolution of the Earth's climate. Plants have also become essential to humans not only in the form of cereal crops, fruit, and vegetables, but in their many other uses in wood and paper, and in providing medicines. In this Very Short Introduction, Timothy Walker, Director of the Botanical Gardens in Oxford, provides a concise account of the nature of plants, their variety and classification, their evolution, and their aesthetic and practical value, stressing the need for their conservation for future generations.
In this authoritative Very Short Introduction to the periodic table, Eric Scerri presents a modern and fresh exploration of this fundamental topic in the physical sciences, considering the deeper implications of the arrangements of the table to atomic physics and quantum mechanics. Scerri looks at the trends in properties of elements that led to the construction of the periodic table, and how the deeper meaning of its structure gradually became apparent with the development of atomic theory and quantum mechanics.
What is it like to be a swift, flying at over one hundred kilometres an hour? Or a kiwi, plodding flightlessly among the humid undergrowth in the pitch dark of a New Zealand night? And what is going on inside the head of a nightingale as it sings, and how does its brain improvise? Bird Sense addresses questions like these and many more, by describing the senses of birds that enable them to interpret their environment and to interact with each other.
Where does DNA come from? What is consciousness? How did the eye evolve? Drawing on a treasure trove of new scientific knowledge, Nick Lane expertly reconstructs evolutions history by describing its 10 greatest inventionsfrom sex and warmth to deathresulting in a stunning account of natures ingenuity.
"Very poor reader"
In a book that is both groundbreaking and accessible, Daniel C. Dennett, whom Chet Raymo of The Boston Globe calls "one of the most provocative thinkers on the planet", focuses his unerringly logical mind on the theory of natural selection, showing how Darwin's great idea transforms and illuminates our traditional view of humanity's place in the universe. Dennett vividly describes the theory itself and then extends Darwin's vision with impeccable arguments to their often surprising conclusions, challenging the views of some of the most famous scientists of our day.
Seventy years ago, Erwin Schrdinger posed a simple, yet profound, question: What is life?. How could the very existence of such extraordinary chemical systems be understood? This problem has puzzled biologists and physical scientists both before, and ever since. Living things are hugely complex and have unique properties, such as self-maintenance and apparently purposeful behaviour which we do not see in inert matter. So how does chemistry give rise to biology?
The idea of a missing link between humanity and our animal ancestors predates evolution and popular science and actually has religious roots in the deist concept of the Great Chain of Being. Yet, the metaphor has lodged itself in the contemporary imagination, and new fossil discoveries are often hailed in headlines as revealing the elusive transitional step, the moment when we stopped being "animal" and started being "human". In The Accidental Species, Henry Gee, longtime paleontology editor at Nature, takes aim at this misleading notion.
Cats have been popular household pets for thousands of years, and their numbers only continue to rise. Today there are three cats for every dog on the planet, and yet cats remain more mysterious, even to their most adoring owners. In Cat Sense, renowned anthrozoologist John Bradshaw takes us further into the mind of the domestic cat than ever before, using cutting-edge scientific research to explain the true nature - and needs - of our feline friends. Tracing the cat's evolution from solitary hunter to domesticated companion, Bradshaw shows that cats remain independent, predatory, and wary of social contact.
In recent years, scientists have hypothesized life-forms that can only be called "weird": organisms that live off acid rather than water, microbes that thrive at temperatures and pressure levels so extreme that their cellular structures should break down, perhaps even organisms that reproduce without DNA. Some of these strange life-forms, unrelated to all life we know, might be nearby: on rock surfaces in the American southwest, hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor, or even in our own bodies. Some, stranger still, might live in Martian permafrost, swim in the dark oceans of Jupiter's moons, or survive in the exotic ices on comets.
In this lively and illuminating discussion of his landmark research, esteemed primatologist Frans de Waal argues that human morality is not imposed from above but instead comes from within. Moral behavior does not begin and end with religion but is in fact a product of evolution. For many years, de Waal has observed chimpanzees soothe distressed neighbors and bonobos share their food. Now he delivers fascinating fresh evidence for the seeds of ethical behavior in primate societies that further cements the case for the biological origins of human fairness.
Written by award-winning science writer John Emsley, this informative and highly enjoyable book explains the what, the why and the wherefore of the elements. Arranged alphabetically, from Actinium to Zirconium, it is a complete guide to all the elements that are currently known, with more extensive coverage of those we encounter in our everyday life. The entry on each element reveals where it came from, what role it may have in the human body, the foods that contain it, how it was discovered, its role in human health, the uses and misuses to which it is put, and its environmental role.
"very intresting, found out loads"
The burgeoning new science of epigenetics offers a cornucopia of insights - some comforting, some frightening. For example, the male fetus may be especially vulnerable to certain common chemicals in our environment, in ways that damage not only his own sperm but also the sperm of his sons. And it's epigenetics that causes identical twins to vary widely in their susceptibility to dementia and cancer. But here's the good news: unlike mutations, epigenetic effects are reversible. Indeed, epigenetic engineering is the future of medicine.
The first immortals are already living among us. You might be one of them. At first glance, that arresting statement sounds as if it might come from a science fiction story. But it is an astonishing, exciting fact - as explained clearly and cogently by Dr. Ben Bova. Here is a compelling, startling, understandable, and vitally important study of the greatest challenge - and the most tantalizing opportunity - ever faced by humankind.
By identifying the structure of DNA, the molecule of life, Francis Crick and James Watson revolutionized biochemistry and won themselves a Nobel Prize. At the time, Watson was only 24, a young scientist hungry to make his mark. His uncompromisingly honest account of the heady days of their thrilling sprint against other world-class researchers to solve one of science's greatest mysteries gives a dazzlingly clear picture of a world of brilliant scientists with great gifts, very human ambitions, and bitter rivalries.
"A Fascinating real life story, and well written"