Friday, October 14, 2011

Annotated Table of Contents: Science 02

The Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher. Lewis Thomas. This book by Lewis Thomas, a physician, is a series of essays consisting of ideas and reflections about medicine and a range of other topics. An idea from this book I have never forgotten: After death, where do all the consciousnesses go?

Microbe Hunters. Paul DeKruif. The stories in this book are about known and unknown scientific heroes of humanity. They are distinct personalities. Sometimes they doggedly worked to achieve their goals and sometimes they achieved them by accident. Paul DeKruif, the author of these biographies of scientists, has an engaging style of writing. Your eyes will fly over the pages of this book.

 Out of Chaos. Louis J. Halle. Explains the apparent contradiction between accident in the foundations of matter and order in its developed form, between molecules bounding from one to another like pin-balls and a full-gown human being. A work that unites the two cultures, science and art. In science, history and contemporary affairs, the closer our perspective, the more chaotic things appear to be; the wider and broader our perspective, the more ordered things appear to be.

The Schweitzer Album: A Portrait in Words and Pictures. Erica Anderson. Schweitzer was a remarkable person. The essence of Dr. Schweitzer’s life and thought was respect and reverence for all life. He believed that the idea of reverence for life is spread from person to person not through the mass media. All life is one. The good preserves and supports life; evil destroys or injures life.  Everything that lives is related to us.

A Random Walk in Science: An Anthology. Compiled by RI Weber. Ed. By E. Mendoza. Despite the humorous items, there is a fairly serious intent to this book. The 133 selections record some changing attitudes within science and mirror the interactions of science with society.  There are anecdotes about noted scientists, items of historical interest, and articles showing the often bizarre ways in which scientific theories are brought into being. Before you take science too seriously, you need to read this anthology. Parts of it are very, very funny.

 The Universe and Dr. Einstein. Lincoln Barnett. Haven’t you always wondered about what Einstein said concerning the universe? Well, after reading this book, you probably  won’t be able to talk about it at cocktail parties, but Barnett does shed light on Einstein’s ideas. And after you have read even these highlights, you will be struck again with the wonder of the universe in which we live and the intelligence of the One who created it.

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