During my unexpected five week vacation, I managed to get a lot of reading done and/or started. I sure wish that I could read faster though.
As has been the case for some time; much of that reading concerns science, atheism and religion. It is a topic that I find nearly endlessly fascinating. I’ll write another post soon about the books that I have finished reading recently.
The Believing Brain – Michael Shermer
I am nearly finished reading this and I have loved every page of it. Shermer theorizes that our brains are “belief engines,” thanks to our evolution; we believe something and afterwards find ways to rationalize that belief. We seek patterns and apply agency to those patterns.
He examines not only religious belief but UFOs, conspiracy theories and political beliefs too. The book cites and describes many studies done by psychologists and neurologists that support the author’s thesis.
Although the subject may appear to be dry or erudite, this book is still quite easy to read and understand. It is one of the best I have read. Very highly recommended!
The Magic Of Reality – Richard Dawkins
This newest book by Professor Dawkins is aimed at younger children but it is still a thoroughly enjoyable read. It provides an excellent overview of the sciences – math, physics, chemistry, biology and astronomy. Along with the science, it also tells many of the various myths stories that surround the topic.
Of course, I already know about evolution, genes, rainbows and such; I don’t need to learn where these things come from. Yet, the writing and the beautiful illustrations by Dave McKean makes reading this book a great experience.
This should be required reading in schools!
Evolution: How We And All Living Things Came To Be – Daniel Loxton
This book is aimed at an even younger audience than The Magic Of Reality.
It is an excellent introduction to evolution and the story behind speciation. I suspect that it is probably also a useful guide for adults who have had their minds marinated in religious dogma and thus fail to grasp just what evolution is.
For me, Dawkins’ The God Delusion and The Greatest Show On Earth gave me that understanding. But I also want to support this author and encourage him to write more books like this one.
This is a great book to know about should you need help with explaining evolution to a young child.