Best biology books according to redditors

We found 1,800 Reddit comments discussing the best biology books. We ranked the 729 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Developmental biology books
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Top Reddit comments about Biology:

u/Maggie_A · 393 pointsr/todayilearned

They are amazing animals if you consider they're about the size of a grain of rice when they're born, get no parental instruction, have to learn everything themselves and grow into such intelligent creatures while having very short lifespans (the longest lived only live 3 to 5 years).

And if you want to read more about them, I highly recommend "The Soul of the Octopus"

u/Kreutorz · 59 pointsr/philosophy

That's actually a part of an entire book about Octopuses! It's called The Soul of an Octopus ! It's a great read and goes into even more depth about octopus intelligence!

Octopuses are some of the coolest animals in the world, I encourage everyone to learn more about them. You won't regret it!

u/LordSolrac · 57 pointsr/todayilearned

Soul of an Octopus is a great read for those who are curious about the intelligence of these amazing creatures.

u/Esmerelda-Weatherwax · 52 pointsr/Fantasy

Campbells: BIOLOGY 6.9lbs

Atlas of the Universe 5.8 lbs

Universe 5.1lbs

The World of Ice and Fire 4 lbs

Elements of Ecology 3.2lbs

Last Words of Notable People 3.2 lbs

Illustrated Edition of Game of Thrones 3 lbs

These are the heaviest books off the top of my head, I'm not home so I can't look at my collection.

Moving my collection of books was not fun when we bought a house. I almost sold them all, but I'm glad I didn't. (I have like, over 1000)

u/CompNeuroProf · 39 pointsr/dataisbeautiful

As someone who has studied dynamical systems for years, I'm pleased to see so many redditors getting interested in them through the double pendulum system. If you're a student and want to learn more, take a course in dynamical systems. If you're not a student, consider reading this book, which is my favorite math book of all time, and I'm far from alone in that sentiment.

u/monkeyjay · 38 pointsr/science

It's never all or nothing! Check out Climbing Mount Improbable for an in-depth look at how these sorts of interconnected adaptations could come about through natural selection.

u/ProfThrowaway17 · 37 pointsr/math

If you want to learn a modern (i.e., dynamical systems) approach, try Hirsch, Smale and Devaney for an intro-level book and Guckenheimer and Holmes for more advanced topics.

> a more Bourbaki-like approach

Unless you already have a lot of exposure to working with specific problems and examples in ODEs, it's much better to start with a well-motivated book with a lot of interesting examples instead of a dry, proof-theorem style book. I know it's tempting as a budding mathematician to have the "we are doing mathematics here after all" attitude and scoff at less-than-rigorous approaches, but you're really not doing yourself any favors. In light of that, I highly recommend starting with Strogatz which is my favorite math book of all time, and I'm not alone in that sentiment.

u/NukeThePope · 35 pointsr/atheism

Hi there, and thank you for your trust!

It sounds like your boyfriend is going about this a bit insensitively. Logical arguments are OK for debates, when both sides do it for the intellectual challenge. It's not humane to tear a person's world view out from under them when they're unprepared for it and a captive audience. I'm sure he means well and wants you to be closer to him, but he's being a bit of a caveman about it. Don't be mad at him, but tell him you think you'll be better off if you do your own information seeking, at your own pace. Ask him to have the patience and the trust to let you educate yourself. If he really cares for you, he should be fine with this: It may even be taking a burden off his shoulders.

I think there are some things you can consider and think about that will put things into focus and make this mess seem less of a problem.

Do you remember that song by Elton John Sting? "I hope the Russians love their children too."

Consider, first, some family in Tibet. Mom and dad live in a simple hut, doing some farming or whatever Tibetans do, and they have a bunch of children. They work hard to feed the family, and in the evening when they get together for supper they talk and smile and laugh a lot. They hug their children, they care for them when they're sick. They observe some kind of religious rituals, though they've probably never heard of Jesus. When a neighbor has a problem, they help them out. When someone dies, they mourn their passing and wish them a happy afterlife. Apart from the fact that they look Asian, they're people just like you, and they're good people. They have similar hopes and fears, they have stories to share and comfort them, and so forth. Two thirds of the world's people don't believe in Jesus, yet they're humans just like you and mostly decent people, just like your neighbors. Do you think they're all going to hell? Do you think they're paralyzed by their distance from your god, from their fear of death? No. Forget what religion these folks are, they're human.

Atheists are just a special case of those "other" humans. They believe in even less "other-worldly" stuff than the folks in Tibet do. Yet you probably meet atheists on the street every day. Some of them greet you and smile, most of them would help you if you had a problem and they were around. Atheists are not like vampires: They're not evil, they don't have to stay out of God's sunlight, and they don't burn up in churches and from contact with holy water ;)

Atheists have stories too, about the creation of the universe, which is really awesomely huge and inspiring. About the struggle of life to evolve to the fine humans we are today. About the many important achievements humans have made in their short time of being intelligent and basically masters of the world.

Rather than wrenching at your faith, I suggest you take a look at other cultures and religions for a bit. Consider that there humans out there who think other things than you, yet manage to be good people and lead happy lives. I'm almost embarrassed enough to delete my sappy paragraph about the Tibetan family, but I'll leave it in there to let you know what I'm getting at.

Then, inhale a bit of science. Go to church if you feel you need to, but also listen to videos by Carl Sagan. Get an appreciation for the wonders of the universe and of nature here on our planet. It's a rich and wonderful world out there. There is so much to see, to learn! Some people are in awe of God for producing all this; but you can just as easily be in awe of nature, of the intricate mechanisms that brought all this about without anyone taking a hand in it.

More stuff on nature and evolution can be learned, more or less gently, from Richard Dawkins' The Greatest Show on Earth. Get your boyfriend to buy it for you! But stay away from The God Delusion. While Dawkins is thoughtful and sensible, you don't want him telling you about how bad your god is - at least not right away.

A thought from me about a metaphor for God. Training wheels! You know how you have those wheels on your bike to keep it from tipping over as you're starting out? And how, once you've learned to keep your cycle straight, those training wheels are no longer really doing anything any more? That's God. It's comforting to feel that God is behind you in everything you do, it gives you strength and confidence. But everything you've achieved... that was you! You're standing up straight and doing fine, God is the training wheels you don't really need. On the other hand, I'm not going to say he really, truly absolutely isn't there. If you want him to be there, let him be there. Your BF will just have to put up with him for a while longer as you outgrow your training wheels.

Finally, about death: The good news is, it's not nearly the problem you think it is. There's a statistic that says, devout Christians are more than three times as likely, in their final week, to demand aggressive life-extending treatment than atheists. In English: Christians are more scared of dying than atheists are. You'd think that with heaven waiting, they'd be anxious to go! Actually, their religion -your religion- is telling them a comforting lie, letting them stick their heads in the sand all their lives. At the end, they panic because they're not sure what they believe is true. And they struggle for every minute of life.

I was religious once, and I had the "fear of death" phase, as many other atheists here report. You know what? I got over it. I confronted the idea, wrapped my head around it, got over it... and I've been completely unworried about death ever since. You'll get other people quoting Mark Twain for you here: About death being the same as the state you were in before you were born, and that didn't inconvenience you either, did it? Seriously, while I worry that my death may be painful or unpleasant, being dead is something I almost look forward to. It's like the long vacation I've always been meaning to take.

Well, I don't know if that will convince you, but... other people have been there too, and it turns out not to be the horrible problem you think it is. Things will be fine! Just allow yourself some time, and remind your BF to not be pushy about things. You can keep a spare room for when God comes to visit, but don't be surprised if that room turns out to fill up with other junk you're throwing out ;)

u/kevroy314 · 33 pointsr/math

I've had a similar experience with wanting to continue my math education and I've really enjoyed picking up Schaum's Outlines on topics I've been exposed to and ones that I have not. There's also a really fun textbook Non-Linear Dynamics and Chaos which I'm enjoying right now. I find looking up very advanced problems like the Clay Institute Millennium Prize Problems and trying to really understand the question can be very revealing.

The key thing that took me a while to realize about recreating that experience is forcing yourself to work as many problems as you have time to work, even (read: especially) when you don't really feel like it. You may not get the exact same experience and it's likely you won't be able to publish (remember, it takes a lot to really dig deeply enough into a field and understand what has already been written to be able to write something original), but you'll keep learning! And it will be really fun!

u/weirds3xstuff · 28 pointsr/DebateReligion

I. Sure, some forms of theism are coherent (Christianity is not one of those forms, for what it's worth; the Problem of Natural Evil and Euthyphro's Dilemma being a couple of big problems), but not all coherent ideas are true representations of the world; any introductory course in logic will demonstrate that.

II. The cosmological argument is a deductive argument. Deductive arguments are only as strong as their premises. The premises of the cosmological argument are not known to be true. Therefore, the cosmological argument should not be considered true. If you think you know a specific formulation of the cosmological argument that has true premises, please present it. I'm fully confident I can explain how we know such premises are not true.

III. There is no doubt that the teleological argument has strong persuasive force, but that's a very different thing than "being real evidence" or "something that should have strong persuasive force." I explain apparent cosmological fine-tuning as an entirely anthropic effect: if the constants were different, we wouldn't be here to observe them, therefore we observe them as they are.

IV. This statement is just false on its face. Lawrence Krauss has a whole book about the potential ex nihilo mechanisms (plural!) for the creation of the universe that are entirely consistent with the known laws of physics. (Note that the idea of God is not consistent with the known laws of physics, since he, by definition, supersedes them.)

V. This is just a worse version of argument III. Naturalistic evolution has far, far more explanatory power than theism. To name my favorite examples: the human blind spot is inexplicable from the standpoint of top-down design, but it makes perfect sense in the context of evolution; likewise, the path of the mammalian nerves for the tongue traveling below the heart makes no sense from the standpoint of top-down design, but it makes perfect sense in the context of evolution. Evolution routinely makes predictions that are tested to be true, whether it means predicting where fossils with specific characteristics will be found or how fruit fly mating behavior changes after populations have been separated and exposed to different environments for 30+ generations. It's worth emphasizing that it is totally normal to look at the complexity of the world and assume that it must have a designer...but it's also totally normal to think that electrons aren't waves. Intuition isn't a reliable way to discern truth. We must not be seduced by comfortable patterns of thought. We must think more carefully. When we think more carefully, it turns out that evolution is true and evolution requires no god.

VI. There are two points here: 1) the universe follows rules, and 2) humans can understand those rules. Point (1) is easily answered with the anthropic argument: rules are required for complex organization, humans are an example of complex organization, therefore humans can only exist in a physical reality that is governed by rules. Point (2) might not even be true. Wigner's argument is fun and interesting, but it's actually wrong! Mathematics are not able to describe the fundamental behavior of the physical world. As far as we know, Quantum Field Theory is the best possible representation of the fundamental physical world, and it is known to be an approximation, because, mathematically, it leads to an infinite regress. For a more concrete example, there is no analytic solution for the orbital path of the earth around the sun! (This is because it is subject to the gravitational attraction of more than one other object; its solution is calculated numerically, i.e. by sophisticated guess-and-check.)

VII. This is just baldly false. I recommend Dan Dennett's "Consciousness Explained" and Stanislas Dehaene's "Consciousness and the Brain" for a coherent model of a materialist mind and a wealth of evidence in support of the materialist mind.

VIII. First of all, the idea that morality comes from god runs into the Problem of Natural Evil and Euthyphro's Dilemma pretty hard. And the convergence of all cultures to universal ideas of right and wrong (murder is bad, stealing is bad, etc.) are rather easily explained by anthropology and evolutionary psychology. Anthropology and evolutionary psychology also predict that there would be cultural divergence on more subtle moral questions (like the Trolley Problem, for example)...and there is! I think that makes those theories better explanations for moral sentiments than theism.

IX. I'm a secular Buddhist. Through meditation, I transcend the mundane even though I deny the existence of any deity. Also, given the diversity of religious experience, it's insane to suggest that religious experience argues for the existence of the God of Catholicism.

X. Oh, boy. I'm trying to think of the best way to persuade you of all the problems with your argument, here. So, here's an exercise for you: take the argument you have written in the linked posts and reformat them into a sequence of syllogisms. Having done that, highlight each premise that is not a conclusion of a previous syllogism. Notice the large number of highlighted premises and ask yourself for each, "What is the proof for this premise?" I am confident that you will find the answer is almost always, "There is no proof for this premise."

XI. "...three days after his death, and against every predisposition to the contrary, individuals and groups had experiences that completely convinced them that they had met a physically resurrected Jesus." There is literally no evidence for this at all (keeping in mind that Christian sacred texts are not evidence for the same reason that Hindu sacred texts are not evidence). Hell, Richard Carrier's "On the Historicity of Christ" even has a strong argument that Jesus didn't exist! (I don't agree with the conclusion of the argument, though I found his methods and the evidence he gathered along the way to be worthy of consideration.)


I don't think that I can dissuade you of your belief. But, I do hope to explain to you why, even if you find your arguments intuitively appealing, they do not conclusively demonstrate that your belief is true.

u/najjex · 28 pointsr/mycology

Start by picking a guide for your area and reading it thoroughly, especially focusing on the anatomy of a mushroom. Go hunting a lot bringing back what you find, take spore prints and work though the IDs. Also joining a NAMA affiliated club will help tremendously.

Regional guides


Common Interior Alaska Cryptogams

Western US

All The Rain Promises and More
Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest

Midwestern US

Mushrooms of the Midwest

Edible Wild Mushrooms of Illinois and Surrounding States

Mushrooms of the Upper Midwest

Southern US

Texas Mushrooms: A Field Guide

Mushrooms of the Southeastern United States

Midwestern US

Mushrooms of the Midwest

Edible Wild Mushrooms of Illinois and Surrounding States

Mushrooms of the Upper Midwest

Eastern US

Mushrooms of West Virginia and the Central Appalachians

Mushrooms of Northeast North America (This was out of print for awhile but it's they're supposed to be reprinting so the price will be normal again)

Mushrooms of Northeastern North America

Macrofungi Associated with Oaks of Eastern North America(Macrofungi Associated with Oaks of Eastern North America)

Mushrooms of Cape Cod and the National Seashore

More specific guides

Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World

North American Boletes

Tricholomas of North America

Milk Mushrooms of North America

Waxcap Mushrooms of North America

Ascomycete of North America

Ascomycete in colour

Fungi of Switzerland: Vol. 1 Ascomycetes


For Pholiotas

For Chlorophyllum

For parasitic fungi, Hypomyces etc "Mushrooms that Grow on other Mushrooms" by John Plischke. There's a free link to it somewhere but I cant find it.

Websites that aren't in the sidebar

For Amanita

For coprinoids

For Ascos

MycoQuebec: they have a kickass app but it's In French

Messiah college this has a lot of weird species for polypores and other things

Books that provide more info than field Mycology

The Kingdom of Fungi Excellent coffee table book has nice pictures and a breif guide to Fungal taxonomy and biology.

The Fifth Kingdom A bit more in depth

Introduction toFungi Textbook outlining metobolic, taxonomic and ecological roles of fungi. Need some level of biochemistry to have a grasp for this one but it's a good book to have.

u/anastas · 22 pointsr/askscience

My main hobby is reading textbooks, so I decided to go beyond the scope of the question posed. I took a look at what I have on my shelves in order to recommend particularly good or standard books that I think could characterize large portions of an undergraduate degree and perhaps the beginnings of a graduate degree in the main fields that interest me, plus some personal favorites.

Neuroscience: Theoretical Neuroscience is a good book for the field of that name, though it does require background knowledge in neuroscience (for which, as others mentioned, Kandel's text is excellent, not to mention that it alone can cover the majority of an undergraduate degree in neuroscience if corequisite classes such as biology and chemistry are momentarily ignored) and in differential equations. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory and Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology were used in my classes on cognition and learning/memory and I enjoyed both; though they tend to choose breadth over depth, all references are research papers and thus one can easily choose to go more in depth in any relevant topics by consulting these books' bibliographies.

General chemistry, organic chemistry/synthesis: I liked Linus Pauling's General Chemistry more than whatever my school gave us for general chemistry. I liked this undergraduate organic chemistry book, though I should say that I have little exposure to other organic chemistry books, and I found Protective Groups in Organic Synthesis to be very informative and useful. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to take instrumental/analytical/inorganic/physical chemistry and so have no idea what to recommend there.

Biochemistry: Lehninger is the standard text, though it's rather expensive. I have limited exposure here.

Mathematics: When I was younger (i.e. before having learned calculus), I found the four-volume The World of Mathematics great for introducing me to a lot of new concepts and branches of mathematics and for inspiring interest; I would strongly recommend this collection to anyone interested in mathematics and especially to people considering choosing to major in math as an undergrad. I found the trio of Spivak's Calculus (which Amazon says is now unfortunately out of print), Stewart's Calculus (standard text), and Kline's Calculus: An Intuitive and Physical Approach to be a good combination of rigor, practical application, and physical intuition, respectively, for calculus. My school used Marsden and Hoffman's Elementary Classical Analysis for introductory analysis (which is the field that develops and proves the calculus taught in high school), but I liked Rudin's Principles of Mathematical Analysis (nicknamed "Baby Rudin") better. I haven't worked my way though Munkres' Topology yet, but it's great so far and is often recommended as a standard beginning toplogy text. I haven't found books on differential equations or on linear algebra that I've really liked. I randomly came across Quine's Set Theory and its Logic, which I thought was an excellent introduction to set theory. Russell and Whitehead's Principia Mathematica is a very famous text, but I haven't gotten hold of a copy yet. Lang's Algebra is an excellent abstract algebra textbook, though it's rather sophisticated and I've gotten through only a small portion of it as I don't plan on getting a PhD in that subject.

Computer Science: For artificial intelligence and related areas, Russell and Norvig's Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach's text is a standard and good text, and I also liked Introduction to Information Retrieval (which is available online by chapter and entirely). For processor design, I found Computer Organization and Design to be a good introduction. I don't have any recommendations for specific programming languages as I find self-teaching to be most important there, nor do I know of any data structures books that I found to be memorable (not that I've really looked, given the wealth of information online). Knuth's The Art of Computer Programming is considered to be a gold standard text for algorithms, but I haven't secured a copy yet.

Physics: For basic undergraduate physics (mechanics, e&m, and a smattering of other subjects), I liked Fundamentals of Physics. I liked Rindler's Essential Relativity and Messiah's Quantum Mechanics much better than whatever books my school used. I appreciated the exposition and style of Rindler's text. I understand that some of the later chapters of Messiah's text are now obsolete, but the rest of the book is good enough for you to not need to reference many other books. I have little exposure to books on other areas of physics and am sure that there are many others in this subreddit that can give excellent recommendations.

Other: I liked Early Theories of the Universe to be good light historical reading. I also think that everyone should read Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.

u/ozonesonde · 22 pointsr/askscience

I'd strongly recommend Richard Dawkin's book The Greatest Show on Earth.

Here is an extract from the first chapter.

u/BlunderLikeARicochet · 21 pointsr/atheism

Rather than Origin of Species, which of course doesn't contain any reference to the vast amounts of evidence discovered in the last 150 years, you should get your dad to read The Greatest Show on Earth - The Evidence for Evolution by Dawkins.

u/Bear_thrylls · 16 pointsr/evolution

I just read it last week. You're pretty well right about. If you're looking for an introductory book which covers evolution, I recommend The Greatest Show On Earth also by Dawkins.

Look, Dawkins is definitely one of the most pedantic authors I've ever read, but his work is strong and arguments are presented very clearly but if the subject isn't what you're interested in, then what can you do. That said, yes the book will contain valuable information that you will gain if you finish it. Any book that has stood as long as the Selfish Gene will leave you with something. But it is an old book. Much of what he says was pretty cutting edge at first edition, but it was released in the 70's (I think). Read the 30th Anniversary Edition if you decide to move forward with it, if not, move on to something that interests you more. It's only a book. It won't get mad.

TL;DR If you don't like it, don't read it.

u/mossyskeleton · 16 pointsr/NatureIsFuckingLit

If you like octopuses, check out the book The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery. It's a fun read.

u/astroNerf · 15 pointsr/Christianity

I didn't study biology in high school because I had a full course load of physics, chemistry and mathematics in preparation for engineering school. That being said, biology is one of the courses I regret not taking.

It really is the Greatest Show on Earth. No other scientific concept explains so much about our visible world while being simple and elegant. If you like biology, but have not read any of Dawkin's biology books, I highly recommend them. In addition to the one I already linked, another excellent one is The Ancestor's Tale. Evolution is capable of explaining why species, as you put it, are built they way they are and why they function the way they do. Evolution explains the why of it all. Of course, you don't need to abandon your concept of God, either. Evolution is perfectly compatible with theology.

u/createPhysics · 14 pointsr/biology

[Physics PhD, theoretical soft condensed matter physics/active matter]
In short, I think interdisciplinary research is always a good thing. Both sides benefit from different ways of thinking and different methodology, which leads to an even greater understanding.

Long version:
Biology (unlike physics or mathematics) contains an “-ology” suffix, which means it is the study of something, specifically life. Whereas physics is more of way understanding and distilling nature through universal principles, and mathematics is a tool or a language to develop those principles and more. Physics/mathematics and biology meet most commonly when biologists borrow physics/math tools to understand new biology. For example, the use of optical tweezers (part of this year’s physics Nobel prize) to accurately control proteins in the subcellular environment in vivo is a vital tool in understanding vesicle transport (if I’m not mistaken). Or in general, the use of more mathematics to make biology more quantitative may help make biology experiments more reproducible.

A second way biology and physics meet is when physicist use biology as a system to understand new physics of things out of equilibrium (or active), complex/adaptive networks, or living. For example, William Bialek and Jeremy England develop general theories for living systems. Mathematics is used as a language to think about these theories. One of my favorite analogies is, “if mathematics is the language of nature, physics is the poetry”.

As for mathematics and biology without physics, ecology is a field that has been a fruitful endeavor for both math and biology.

Lastly, I’d like to add that biology is not being replaced by physics/math. The goals of the fields are inherently different. But where there’s some overlap in these goals, teams collaborate and even more can be achieved/understood than separately. This is beautiful science.

P.S. Two great textbooks where biology, math and physics (and some chemistry) meet are “Biophysics” and “Physical Biology of the Cell”.

u/Willravel · 14 pointsr/atheism

I don't have an advanced degree in biology, but I've read up on it plenty. Honestly, all you really need is The Greatest Show on Earth and google.

u/vincentmlabarbera · 14 pointsr/atheism

You should read Richard Dawkins' The Greatest Show on Earth. It's an airtight, irrefutable look at evolution. It has a scientific answer to refute everything your friend could possibly claim.

u/Dathadorne · 13 pointsr/neuro

Disclaimer: In no way to I want this to dishearten you. Rather, I want to save your new interests from being crushed by irrelevant jargon, and would rather you put that energy toward learning what we already know. If you insist on 'keeping up,' your best bet is probably something light and fluffy like Science Daily, Live Science, or New Scientist.

Are you a scientist? A neuroscientist? What kind of neuroscientist? Or just an interested citizen? By the language you're using, I'll guess that you're a biology undergrad with a burgeoning interest in neuro.

From that perspective, it really shouldn't matter to you what's "new" in the field, because you don't know how it's different from what's "old." Just learn what we know so far. Also, in science, if a finding is "new," the field isn't sure if it's "true" yet, and you therefore need to not pay attention yet.

If you insist on 'keeping up to date,' (which isn't possible unless you pick a very narrow subfield of a subfield), it's much more useful to read review journals than the 'latest' unreplicated neuroscience primary research.

  • Nature Reviews Neuroscience
  • Trends in Neuroscience
  • Annual Review of Neuroscience


    These are still way too specific to be useful by almost anyone but the close network of the authors of those reviews.

    Let's take an example. We'll go to Nature Reviews Neuroscience's page. Oh, look! Salience processing and insular cortical function and dysfunction. How interesting! Except that I have no idea what any of those words mean, or how this fits at all into any context. Attempting to read through this review paper will tell me how these researchers updated an extremely narrow model that isn't even included in textbooks because nobody but the authors and their colleagues care.

    While snarky, I hope this illustrates the futility of trying to 'keep up with neuroscience.' 90% of all neuroscientists who have ever lived are working right now, the field is humongous and expanding so rapidly that just updating Kandel took 12 years.
u/burf12345 · 13 pointsr/atheism

> I am neither an atheist nor a believer in evolution.

Why not?

> how come there are no fossil records of intermediate species?

Every fossil is that of an intermediate species. I don't think you even understand how small every change really is.

> Here is a quote from a book I had been researching.

Don't use the word research, that would imply you actually bothered to learn about evolution from real scientific sources

> and this anomaly has fueled the creationist argument that each species was created by God

For argument's sake, let's just assume that tomorrow the theory of evolution is disproven, how exactly does that prove creationism?

As for actually learning about evolution, read The Greatest Show on Earth

u/nightslayer78 · 12 pointsr/Survival

one book that is also valuable is the Edible Wild Plants

u/5heikki · 10 pointsr/bioinformatics

Due to non-existent biology background, you could start by reading Campbell Biology and Alberts Molecular Biology of the Cell.

u/markth_wi · 10 pointsr/booksuggestions

I can think of a few

u/salamander_salad · 10 pointsr/biology

The Song of the Dodo

Great book. Easy read.

u/yesmanapple · 10 pointsr/math

Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos by Strogatz is supposed to be good.

u/kenlubin · 10 pointsr/UniversityofReddit

This is an awesome and very readable textbook on the subject:
Non-Linear Dynamics and Chaos, by Steven Strogatz.

u/RealityApologist · 10 pointsr/askphilosophy

Well this thread title drew me like a hunk of iron to the world's biggest magnet.

The short answer to the title question is "no, except maybe in some very trivial sense." The longer answer is, well, complicated. Before I ramble a little bit, let me say that we should distinguish between the rhetorical and (for lack of a better word) "metaphysical" interpretations of this question. In many cases, the language used to describe some theory, problem, proposal, or whatever is indeed unnecessarily complicated in a way that makes it difficult to communicate (some parts of the humanities and social sciences are particularly bad offenders here). That is indeed a problem, and we should strive to communicate our ideas in the simplest language that's appropriate for the audience we're talking to. I take your friend's thesis to be a bit more substantive than that, though: he's claiming something like "all big messy systems are really just lots of small simple systems, and we can learn everything we need to know about the world by looking at the small simple systems." That's the viewpoint that I think is mistaken.

I think it's really important to distinguish between complicated and complex, both in the context of this discussion and in general. Lots of things are complicated in the sense of being big, having lots of moving parts, difficult to understand, or exhibiting nuanced behavior. A box of air at thermodynamic equilibrium is complicated: it has lots of parts, and they're all moving around with respect to one another. Not all complicated systems are also complex systems, though, and understanding what "complex" means turns out to be really tricky.

Here are some comparisons that seem intuitively true: a dog’s brain is more complex than an ant’s brain, and a human’s brain is more complex still. The Earth’s ecosystem is complex, and rapidly became significantly more complex during and after the Cambrian explosion 550 million years ago. The Internet as it exists today is more complex than ARPANET—the Internet’s progenitor—was when it was first constructed. A Mozart violin concerto is more complex than a folk tune like “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” The shape of Ireland’s coastline is more complex than the shape described by the equation x2 + y2 = 1. The economy of the United States in 2016 is more complex than the economy of pre-Industrial Europe. All these cases are relatively uncontroversial. What quantity is actually being tracked here, though? Is it the same quantity in all these cases? That is, is the sense in which a human brain is more complex than an ant brain the same sense in which a Mozart concerto is more complex than a folk tune?

These questions are extremely non-trivial to answer, and a very large number of whole books have been written on the subject already; so far, there's no universally accepted consensus of what makes complex systems special, or how to measure complexity in the natural world. There is, however, a growing consensus that P.W. Anderson was correct when he wrote in 1972 that "more is different": in many cases, systems consisting of a large number of relatively simple components interacting in relatively simple ways can display surprising, novel behavior. That's characteristic of complex systems: they behave in ways that we wouldn't expect them to (or even be able to deduce) based on an examination of their constituent parts in isolation from one another.

Complex systems often show interesting patterns of behavior that cut across scales of analysis, with their dynamics at one scale constraining the dynamics at other scales (and vice-versa). This sort of "multiscale variety" has been used to develop a mathematical theory of strong emergence, demonstrating how it can be the case that more is different. I've called this quality "dynamical complexity," and defined it as a measure of the "pattern richness" of a particular physical system: one system is more dynamically complex than another if (and only if) it occupies a point in configuration space that is at the intersection of regions of interest to more special sciences. For instance, a system for which the patterns of economics, psychology, biology, chemistry, and physics are predictively useful is more dynamically complex than one for which only the patterns of chemistry and physics are predictively useful.

The notion of dynamical complexity is supposed to correspond with (and give a physical interpretation for) the formalism of effective complexity, which is an information-theoretic concept developed by Murray Gell-Mann at the Santa Fe Institute. Effective complexity is grounded in the notion of algorithmic information content, and tracks the "amount of randomness" in a string, and how any non-randomness--information--was produced. A key feature of dynamical complexity is that the total "information content" of a physical system--the total number of interesting patterns in its behavior--may be perspectival, and thus depend on how we choose to individuate systems from their environment, and how we demarcate collections of microstates of the system into "relevantly similar" macrostates. Those choices are pragmatic, value-driven, and lack clear and uncontroversial "best answers" in many cases, contributing to the challenge of studying complex systems.

As an example, consider the task of predicting the future of the global climate. What are the criteria by which we divide the possible futures of the global climate into macrostates such that those macrostates are relevant for the kinds of decisions we need to make? That is, how might we individuate the global climate system so that we can notice the patterns that might help us predict the outcome of various climate policies? The answer to this question depends in part upon what we consider valuable; if we want to maximize long-term economic growth for human society, for instance, our set of macrostates will likely look very different than it would if we wanted to simply ensure that the average global temperature remained below a particular value. Both of those in turn may differ significantly from a set of macrostates informed by a desire to maximize available agricultural land. These different ways of carving possible future states up into distinctive macrostates do not involve changes to the underlying equations of motion describing how the system moves through its state space, nor does the microstructure of the system provide an obvious and uncontroversial answer to the question of which individuation we should choose. There is no clearly "best way" to go about answering this question.

Compare that project to modeling the box of gas I mentioned earlier and you can start to see why modeling complex systems is so difficult, and why complex systems are fundamentally different. In the case of the gas, there are a relatively small number of ways to individuate the system such that the state space we end up with is dynamically interesting (e.g. Newtonian air molecules, thermodynamic states, quantum mechanical fluctuations). In the case of the global climate, there are a tremendous number of potentially interesting individuations, each associated with its own collection of models. The difference between the two systems is not merely one of degree; they are difference in kind, and must be approached with that in mind.

In some cases, this may involve rather large changes in the way we think about the practice of science. As /u/Bonitatis notes below, many of the big unsolved problems in science are those which appear to "transcend" traditional disciplines; they involve drawing conclusions from our knowledge of economics, physics, psychology, political science, biology, and so on. This is because many of the big unsolved problems we're concerned with now involve the study of systems which are highly dynamically complex: things like the global economy, the climate, the brain, and so on. The view that we should (or even can) approach them as mere aggregates of simple systems is, I think, naive and deeply mistaken; moreover, it's likely to actually stymie scientific progress, since insisting on "tractability" or analytically closed models will often lead us to neglect important features of the natural world for the sake of defending those intuitive values.

u/gomtuu123 · 10 pointsr/science

Biologists virtually all agree that life on this planet has evolved over a period of about 3.7 billion years and that humans and modern fish share a fish-like ancestor (and a single-celled ancestor, for that matter). They have reached these conclusions because they're the best explanations for the evidence we see in the fossil record and in our DNA, among other things. Creationists deny these conclusions because they're not very well-informed or because they're unwilling to let go of a Genesis-based explanation for the existence of life on this planet.

I'm not trying to bash you; it sounds like you have an open mind and that's good. But the "battle" you describe isn't really a meaningful one. The people who know the most about this sort of thing consider the question settled.

I'd encourage you to read up on the subject if you're curious. Richard Dawkins recently released a book full of evidence for evolution. And although I don't recommend it as wholeheartedly, Finding Darwin's God was written by a Christian for Christians to make the case for evolution.

u/sun_tzuber · 9 pointsr/Survival

Aha! I can't believe I forgot this:

Peterson guides to edible plants. The most cherished of my possessions. This will keep you alive while you form the earth to your comfort.

Get this. Or something better.

Pros: You can practice survival in your front yard.

Cons: you should practice in spring time/early summer, else you're probably not going to recognize anything in fall/winter.

u/squidboots · 9 pointsr/witchcraft

Seconding u/theUnmutual6's recommendations, in addition to u/BlueSmoke95's suggestion to check out Ann Moura's work. I would like to recommend Ellen Dugan's Natural Witchery and her related domestic witchery books. Ellen is a certified Master Gardener and incorporates plants into much of her work.

Some of my favorite plant books!

Plant Science:

u/harrelious · 9 pointsr/math

I really good textbook is probably what you want. Good math textbooks are engaging and have lots of interesting problems. They have an advantage (in pure math) that they don't have to worry about teaching you specific tools (which IMO can make things boring). Lots of people love this one:

Also here is a really good lecture series (on a different topic):

Also if you have a bit of a programming bent or want to learn a little bit of programming, you might like Project Euler:

u/g0lmix · 9 pointsr/bioinformatics

I can tell you what I think was the most importent stuff we have been doing so far in my bachelor.


  • Properties of aminoacids, peptides and proteins
  • Function of proteins and enzymes
  • enzyme kinetics


  • Organisation of eukaryotic cells
  • Development from one celled organisms to multicelled orgaism and evolution
  • Compartiments of the cell and their functions and morphology(this includes stuff like DNA replication and ATP Synthasis and translation and transcription of proteins)
  • Transportmechanisms of small and big molecules from outside the cell to the inside and vice versa . transportation within the cell as well(eg endocythic pathway)
  • Signaltransduction

    IT Basics

  • Boolean Logic
  • Understanding of the number representation systems(eg. binar or hex)
  • Understanding of floating point representation and why it leads to rounding errors
  • Understanding the Neuman Architecture
  • Basics of graph theory
  • Grammars
  • Automata and Touring Machines
  • Basics of InformationTheory(eg. Entropy)
  • Basics of Datacompressions (not very important in your case)
  • Basic Hashing Algorithms
  • Runtime analysis(all the O notation stuff)

    Operating Systems

  • Basics of linux(eg commands like cd, mkdir, ls, mv, check this out )
  • basic programms within linux(eg grep, wget, nano )
  • basics of bash programming


  • Pairwise Sequence Alignment
  • Database Similarity Search
  • Multiple Sequence Alignment
  • Hidden Markov Models
  • Gene and promoter Prediction
  • Phylogenetic basics
  • Protein and RNA 3D structure prediction

    So this is just supposed to be some kind of reference you can use to learning. You probably don't need to work through all of this.
    But I strongly suggest reading about Biochemistry and Cellbiology(a nice book is Molecular Biology of the Cell) as it is really important for understanding bioinformatics.
    Also give the link I posted in the Operating System part a look. Try to just use linux for a month as a lot of bioinformatics applications are written for linux and its nice to see the contrast to windows.
    Regarding programming I suggest you search for a book that combines python + bioinformatics(something like this). If you want to focus on the programming part you would ideally start in ASM then switch to C then to Java and then to python.(Just to give you an impression why: ASM gives you a great insight into how the CPU works and how it acesses RAM. C is on a higher level and you start thinking about organising data and defining its structure in RAM. Java adds another layer onto that - you get objects, which make it easy for you to organize your data in blocks and there is no need for you to manage the RAM by hand with pointers like in C. But you still need to tell your variables specifically what they are. So if you have a variable that safes a Text in it you have to declare it as a string. Finally you arrived at python which is a scripting language. There is no more need for you to tell variables what they are - the compiler decides it automatically. All the annoying parts are automated. So your code becomes shorter as you don't need to type as much. The philosophy behind scripting languages is mostly to provide languages that are designed for humans not for machines).But it is kind of a overkill in your situation. Just focus on python. One final thing regarding programming just keep practicing. It is really hard at the beginning but once you get it, it starts making fun to programm as it becomes a creative way of expressing your logic.
    Let's get to the bioinforamtics part. I don't think you really need to study this really hard but it's nice to be ahead of your commilitones. I recommand reading this book. You might also check out Rosalind and practice your python on some bioinformatics problems.
    Edit: If you want I can send you some books as pdf files if you PM me your email adress
u/sleepingsquirrel · 9 pointsr/ECE
u/jargonista · 9 pointsr/biology
u/Montuckian · 9 pointsr/evolution
u/myalternatelife · 9 pointsr/atheism

Precisely why Dawkins just wrote a new book!

u/wayndom · 9 pointsr/atheism

frenchy612, do you have any science education at all? And if so, what kind of education, and to what extent (grade school, high school, college)? Do you live in the bible belt of the United States?

I'm really interested in knowing this, because the only "debate" over evolution is between educated people and willfully ignorant people.

Allow me to broaden your education a little.

First, it's important to understand that in science, "theory" does NOT mean "unproved idea." It doesn't mean, "guess" or "hypothesis," either. It means an idea that explains a wide variety of phenomena. Newton's theory of gravity, for example not only explains why things fall toward the earth, it also explains how and why the moon orbits the earth, the earth orbits the sun, etc.

When a scientific theory is validated (as many hundreds have been) it does NOT stop being a theory, and does not become a fact. The reason is because "fact" means a single piece of information that doesn't relate to anything else. For example, "chickens have three-toed feet," is a fact. It doesn't tell you anything else about chickens, feet, toes or any other birds. That's what a fact is, and that's why no theory is ever called a fact.

Lastly, the theory of evolution is the most confirmed, most well-documented theory with the most evidence demonstrating its correctness, in the history of science. ALL modern biology is based on it, and ALL medical research is centered on it. It has led to virtually all modern biological knowledge.

If you would like to further your education, I invite you to read The Greatest Show on Earth. But please, don't tell people you're not sure where you stand on the debate. You're only embarrassing yourself, whether you realize it or not.

"Of course, like every other man of intelligence and education I do believe in organic evolution. It surprises me that at this late date such questions should be raised."

  • Letter from Woodrow Wilson to Winterton C. Curtis (29 August 1922)
u/stacksmasher · 8 pointsr/backpacking

I took a few and they where so basic I learned more asking questions on the different sections right here on Reddit. If you want to learn wilderness survival read this book

For first Aid:

For food: shelter etc


Take these out in the woods and practice what they show. Before you know it you will be able to build a shelter and start a fire in no time.

u/Slotos · 8 pointsr/compsci

There is a book that argues almost exactly that - Consciousness and the brain

u/MsRenee · 8 pointsr/birdpics

Usually it happens when a few animals end up on an island with no predators. Flight takes a lot of energy and if nothing's chasing you, mutations that reduce your flight ability will not be selected against, especially if the reduction in flight ability also increases something useful, like fat reserves. If you're interested in the topic, read The Song of the Dodo. You can get it off for a couple bucks or your library probably has it. It's a thick book, but pretty easy reading.

u/fattymattk · 8 pointsr/learnmath

Strogatz's Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos ( is a good book to introduce applications of differential equations. It's an easy read that focuses on concepts and motivation rather than rigour.

Differential equations describe how things change based on what state they are in. An easy example is that the larger a population is the faster is grows. Or the more predators and the less food it has, the slower it grows. One can build a system that takes all variables thought to be relevant and construct a system that describes how all these things affect each other's growth rate, and then see how this system changes in time. Other examples include chemical reactions, as the rate of change of the ingredients depends on how much of each ingredient is in the mixture. Economics: the change of a market depends on the state of all other relevant markets. Physics: the change in velocity of a satellite depends on its position relevant to a large body. The change in weather depends on the pressure, temperature, and air velocity all over the earth (this is getting into PDEs, but the basic motivation remains).

Of course, the connection of such models to the real world depends on how well the model is constructed and how well it can be analyzed. It's a matter of balancing robustness and usability with accurateness, and there are reasons to explore either side of that spectrum based on what your goals are. Many times we may not even bother to solve them, but rather focus on qualitative properties of the model, such as whether or not an equilibrium is stable, the existence of periodic solutions or chaos, whether a variable goes to zero or persists, etc. Differential equations is probably the largest field in applied math, and in my opinion probably the most important use of math in science other than maybe statistics and probability.

u/mudbot · 8 pointsr/Physics

If you find that interesting I highly recommend reading the book Sync by Brian Strogatz. Nature is full of this stuff, from sleep cycles to quantum effects to the behaviour of fireflies.

u/Leetness · 8 pointsr/labrats
u/BarryZZZ · 8 pointsr/shroomers

Paul Stamets, the mycologist, offers this one.

u/rugtoad · 8 pointsr/AskReddit

So much has changed regarding the theory of evolution since Origin was first published.

Origin is a great read, but it's a little overwhelming for some people. The language is dated, and it does take a bit of an understanding of biology to fully comprehend.

A better place to start would actually be Dawkins "The Greatest Show On Earth."

It's aimed toward a person who doesn't have biology degree, and it presents the compelling arguments and evidence that explain why evolution is a fact of life.

u/efrique · 8 pointsr/atheism

> as I have no proof that we evolved from other animals/etc.

Such proof abounds. If you're going to debate these people, you need to know some of it.

I don't mean enough to ask a couple of questions, I mean enough to carry both sides of the conversation, because he'll make you do all the heavy lifting.

Start with

First, the FAQ
Maybe the 29+ Evidences for Macroevolution next,
then the pieces on observed instances of speciation

See the extensive FAQs index

Here are their questions for creationsists - see both links there

and then read the index to creationist claims

That's just to start. Take a look at the Outline (which starts with an outline of the outline!)

If you're going to talk with a creationist, you either need to get some idea of the topography or you'll end up chasing in circles around the same tree again and again.

Yes, it looks like a major time investment, but once you start to become familiar with it, it gets easier quickly. Don't aim to learn it all by heart - but you should know when there is an answer to a question, and where to find it.

read books like Your Inner Fish and Why Evolution Is True and The Greatest Show on Earth

I list Your Inner Fish first because it tells a great story about how Shubin and his colleagues used evolutionary theory and geology to predict where they should look for an intermediate fossil linking ancient fish and amphibians (a "transitional form") - and they went to that location, and found just such a fossil. This makes a great question for your creationist - given fossils are kind of rare, how the heck did he manage that? If evolution by natural selection is false, why does that kind of scientific prediction WORK? Is God a deceiver, trying to make it look exactly like evolution happens?? Or maybe, just maybe, the simpler explanation is true - that evolution actually occurs. (Then point out that many major Christian churches officially endorse evolution. They understand that the evidence is clear)

It's a good idea to read blogs like Panda's Thumb, Why Evolution Is True, Pharyngula, erv (old posts here) and so on, which regularly blog on new research that relates to evolution.

Make sure you know about the experiments by Lenski et al on evolution of new genes

Don't take "no proof" as an argument. The evidence is overwhelming.

u/discodropper · 7 pointsr/biology
u/icantfindadangsn · 7 pointsr/AskScienceDiscussion

I like this question.


u/Eigenwach · 7 pointsr/biology
u/passivelucidity · 7 pointsr/foraging

Pick up a copy of the Peterson Field Guide for Eastern US (

If you know someone with the knowledge, spend some time with them learning, but the Field Guide can help you identify a number of edible plants in PA.

Edit: Spelling

u/livebythem · 7 pointsr/molecularbiology

Molecular Biology of the cell - Great textbook to get you started. It is really comprehensive but not challenging to read. The diagrams are informative but not overbearing. The author clearly cares a great deal about the subject.

Molecular Biology - Weaver - This one is nice because it keys in on many of the landmark experiments and scientists who contributed greatly to the field:

If you want something smaller and more like a narrative, give Recombinant DNA: Genes and Genomes - A Short Course a try.

u/neurone214 · 7 pointsr/neuroscience

This is highly dependent on the area of neuro you're in. It might not vary much from the typical cell/molec biology lab, might involve skills heavy in engineering, animal handling skills, programming skills, etc. Even across labs within an area there will variation in the "set" of core techniques (and thus skills) required.

For a general introduction to working in a lab, you should check out "at the bench". This will skew towards general biology lab skills, but is a great start. It also gives very important tips on peacefully co-existing with your lab mates:

u/willpower12 · 7 pointsr/atheism

The Greatest Show On Earth

I know Dawkins is a polarizing figure due to the tone of his rhetoric. However, this is such a well put together, and engaging description of the overwhelming proof science has for evolution. I highly recommend it.

u/HawkeyeGK · 7 pointsr/evolution

The Greatest Show on Earth


The Ancestor's Tale which is a personal favorite of mine although not specifically devoted to evidence arguments. It's just an amazing read through our biological world and along the way the case for evolution becomes overwhelming.

u/Infinitax · 7 pointsr/atheism

Upvoted. Seriously, The Greatest Show On Earth is phenomenal.

u/smithers85 · 7 pointsr/atheism

I don't know where you read that, but whatever it is was dead wrong.

Because bacteria have such a short lifespan, they can be used to study selection pressures over many (see: tens of thousands) generations in one human lifetime. There is currently an experiment set up by Richard Lenski that has been going on since Feb 24, 1988 that shows depicts evolutionary changes in response to various selection pressures.

You should pick up "The Greatest Show on Earth". Richard Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist and lays it all out, in the way you seemingly want it.

u/areReady · 7 pointsr/AskReddit

You don't actually understand evolution, but are poking holes in a strawman that doesn't actually represent what evolution entails. It's like you're opposed to President Obama because he eats babies, when he clearly doesn't eat babies.

Here's a good place to start.

u/FadedPoster · 7 pointsr/biology

You could start with The Greatest Show On Earth by Richard Dawkins. It's a pretty easy read and it covers a wide range of the current evidence for evolution across different fields of science.

After that, The Selfish Gene also by Dawkins, is awesome. In it, he talks about evolution from the perspective of a gene.

Both should be pretty layman-friendly. He certainly has a compelling way of delivering his arguments.

u/bobbleprophet · 7 pointsr/Aquariums

Yeah it’s heartbreaking, they breed then begin to senesce, some hang on for weeks others months.

Ive spent a lot of time with several GPOs-it’s incredibly difficult to not establish a relationship with an animal as intelligent, expressive, inquisitive, individualistic, and dynamic as an octopus. This is an animal with a vast repertoire of skills and emotions, from placid “loving” inquiries with their suckers to fickle attempts to bite their keepers, playful water-jets during an interaction to targeted streams of water aimed at a stranger. Working with these animals gives you a true appreciation for senescence and animal cognition/perception.

Anthropomorphizing in this industry’s often a “four letter word” used to diminish the cognitive faculties of non-humans when we see a reflection of ourselves. GPOs taught me this may be true but in the sense that I️ was interacting with an organism on an equal, greater, or entirely alien plane of consciousness. We shouldn’t diminish their experience as less than that of our own.

My good friend wrote a book about octopus with a focus on animal consciousness and the bonds formed working with these animals. Definitely worth checking out if you’re interested in learning more Link here

u/cowgod42 · 7 pointsr/evolution

Sure thing! The great, and not so great, thing about learning about evolution is that there is so much information out there it can be a bit overwhelm at times, and it is not always easy to know where to start. The best place to start it probably a university class, but that is not always an accessible resource. In lieu of that, I will strong recommend learning from biologist Richard Dawkins. While he is currently well-known for his stance on religion, he has devoted his life to teaching about evolution to the public. I'll give you a few of my favorite references of his. They are arranged in terms of the length of time they will probably take you. Also, so that you won't be intimidated, they are not references in which he explicitly denounces religion or anything; although, as you will see, he does explain evolution in contrast to some of the claims of creationism. I hope that is not a problem, as it is kind of necessary to learn why biologists take one view as opposed to the other.

Anyway, here are the references! =)

This video (5 parts, 10 min each) is a great introduction to some of the basic concepts of evolution, and was really eye-opening for me.

This lecture series (5 episodes, 1 hour each) goes into much more detail than the above video, gives much more evidence, illustrates some of the arguments, and has many fun and beautiful examples.

The Selfish Gene is a book that answered a huge number of questions about evolution for me (e.g., how can a "survival of the fittest" scheme give rise to people being nice to each other? The answer, it turns out, is fascinating.)

The The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution May be the book you are looking for. This book clearly lays down the evidence for evolution, complete with wonderful illustrations. It is very detailed, and very readable.

There are many other great authors besides Richard Dawkins, but this is a great place to start. You are about to go on a very beautiful and moving journey, if you decide to take it. I envy you! I would love to do it all over again. Enjoy!

u/Raargh · 6 pointsr/Rabbits

I feel your pain. The book on the right is an older edition of this beastie, to give you some idea of the sheer horror I experienced when I walked in and saw the carnage.

u/KlehmM · 6 pointsr/Hobbies

No tools, no sports, no company.

All for less than $10

u/okrahtime · 6 pointsr/evolution

There are two books that I think would be good:

What Evolution Is

Why Evolution Is True

I liked both books. I am not sure how readable they are without a decent understanding of basic biology. Can you tell us how much background you have in biology? That may help with suggestions.

u/Pythugoras · 6 pointsr/math

Differential Equations, Linear Nonlinear, Ordinary, Partial is a really decent book, he explains loads of details in it and gives a fair few examples, I would also strongly recommend Strogatz, he gives really decent explanations on dynamical systems.

u/[deleted] · 6 pointsr/Biophysics

My favorite undergrad course that I ever took was biophysics (under the physics dept). The course used this textbook: I highly recommend it for a first look at biophysics.

u/ilovedownvoting · 6 pointsr/labrats

I highly recommend you these books: labmaths and at the bench

u/NZAllBlacks · 6 pointsr/atheism

This is the prologue in his new book: The Greatest Show on Earth. I'm in the middle of it and highly recommend it.

u/zck · 6 pointsr/IAmA

His recent book, The Greatest Show on Earth is about the evidence for evolution. As far as I know, he doesn't get into god at all. In fact, I haven't seen anything where he's talking about evolution from a pedagogical standpoint where he discusses atheism. But I may have missed something.

u/frequenttimetraveler · 5 pointsr/MachineLearning

"Principles of neural science" (bit heavy) and "Fundamental Neuroscience" (heavier) are two standard textbooks. For computational neuroscience/modeling "Principles of Computational Modelling in Neuroscience" is a great intro.

u/samadam · 5 pointsr/neuroscience

This is the textbook you will likely read your first year, so you might as well look at it and see how it makes you feel:

It's somewhere online in nice PDF format too.

u/xingdongrobotics · 5 pointsr/MachineLearning

For computational neuroscience, it is highly recommended for the classic textbook, Theoretical neuroscience by Peter Dayan and Larry Abbott

u/niemasd · 5 pointsr/bioinformatics

With regard to textbooks, these are the ones I used during my undergraduate career (UCSD Bioinformatics major):

  • General Biology: Campbell Biology

  • Genetics: Essentials of Genetics

  • Molecular Biology: Molecular Cell Biology

  • Cell Biology: Same book as Molecular Biology (Molecular Cell Biology)

  • Biochemistry: Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry

    I think out of these, the key ones for Bioinformatics are the genetics and molecular biology portions of the General Biology book, then the Genetics book, then the Molecular Biology book. Cell Biology can be useful for understanding the downstream pathways certain "big-name" genes are involved in, but it's information that's very easily google-able. Biochemistry isn't too relevant unless you specifically want to go into metabolomics or something

    EDIT: And with regard to reviews, I'm not too sure what "good sources" are; I usually read the Nature Review Journals, but hopefully someone else can chime in!
u/xcthulhu · 5 pointsr/math

Given your background, you could read Ken Binmore's Game Theory: A Very Short Introduction (2007). It's really short, but it assumes the reader is familiar with probability theory and a fair amount of mathematics. Binmore has another textbook Playing for Real (2007) which is goes much more in depth. It assumes the reader is familiar with linear algebra.

One of the central results of von Neumann and Morgenstern's Theory of Games and Economic Behavior (1928) is the minimax theorem. This was John von Neumann's favorite theorem from that book. John Nash generalized this in his PhD thesis in 1950. The minimax theorem establishes the existence of Nash equilibrium for zero-sum games with finite players and strategies. Nash's extended this and showed that any normal form game with finite players and strategies has an equilibrium. You might have seen the movie A Beautiful Mind which depicted John Nash working on this. If you are interested, you can read about Nash's proof in Luce and Raiffa's Games and Decisions: Introduction and Critical Survey (1957). The proof does assumes the reader is familiar with point set topology.

Outside of economics, game theory is also applied to evolutionary biology. One of the best books on evolutionary game theory is Martin Nowak's Evolutionary Dynamics: Exploring the Equations of Life (2006). You might also like John Maynard Smith's Evolution and the Theory of Games (1982). Maynard Smith assumes the reader is familiar with homogenous differential equations.

Hope this helps!

u/KnowsAboutMath · 5 pointsr/math

This book literally changed my life. I was all set to start a career as an experimental condensed matter physicist. After taking a course based on this book, I realized that theory and modelling were my true calling. Now I work in mathematical physics and computational physics.

u/get_awkward · 5 pointsr/AskScienceDiscussion

Albert's Molecular Biology of the Cell. It is a very user friendly book on biology. It's pretty much considered the cream of the crop of biology and molecular biology textbooks. It will introduce you to basic science, as well as go as far in depth as you would prefer. Outside of that, journals such as Nature, Cell, Science. Good luck. Also amazon link, not to promote them, but to show what the book looks like.

u/QuaefQuaff · 5 pointsr/Biophysics

A good introductory text on the statistical mechanics of biopolymers (including a number of models of DNA) is Ken Dill's Molecular Driving Forces. Much of it is undergraduate level, and it will necessarily include simple models that are primarily pedagogical, but they are nonetheless incredibly useful tools for connecting to the literature in a deeper way. For example, two state models can deliver some surprising results despite how simple they are -- such models show up in the literature in the form of elastic network models (ENMs), where two well-defined configurations are used to construct harmonic approximations to the state space. These can then be used to model transitions between states across the potential surface. ENMs aren't as relevant to DNA, as far as I know (I work on a membrane transporter at the moment), but is representative of the simpler tools used in the field.

Additionally, Rob Phillips has some very useful texts (that emphasize an intuition of the length- and time-scales involved): Physical Biology of the Cell and Cell Biology by the Numbers.

Hope that helps!

u/capellablue · 5 pointsr/Biophysics

If you want a textbook, I would recommend one of two books:

Biological Physics by Philip Nelson is a pretty good starting point. The author tried to write a book that is both as accessible as possible and introduces only the most important topics. He covers a lot of interesting, but important material like random walks and molecular machines assuming that the reader does not have a very strong background in either biology or physics. The advantage to this is that he covers only the most important ideas, and in a way that someone with only introductory physics and calculus can understand. The downside is that some of the results are not general, focussing on one dimension instead of three for example, and for the experienced his introductions can be a little redundant. Nelson tries to get around this by having an optional “Track 2” that goes into greater detail and looks are tough problems and original papers.

Physical Biology of the Cell by Rob Phillips is also very good. This book is much longer than the Nelson book and goes into greater detail on a lot of the material. Where Nelson was trying to include only the most important topics, Phillips tries to include everything. The upside is that this book covers more examples and often includes more general results, but it makes for a long read at over a thousand pages. A fairly strong background in some higher level physics, like knowing how to set up and use a partition function, makes reading this book much easier.

I personally like the Phillips book more than the Nelson book, but it depends on where you are at in your major. If you have just taken introductory physics, the Nelson book might be better, if you have taken some higher level courses (especially thermodynamics/statistical mechanics) the Phillips book would be better. Either way I recommend checking them out from the library before you buy them.

Edit: How could I forget this little gem: Can a Biologist Fix a Radio? by Lazebnik. If you want a nice introduction into the philosophy of biophysics, I strongly recommend this well written article.

u/epicmoe · 5 pointsr/shrooms

how does this pair up to Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World: An Identification Guide

Stamets, Paul ?


better/ worse?

u/tikael · 5 pointsr/atheism

The greatest show on earth or Why evolution is true are both very good overviews of the evidence for evolution. Probably a good place to start. Evolution is such a huge topic that no one book is a comprehensive overview of it all, once you understand the basics of evolution however I really suggest the selfish gene. You can also pick up a very cheap copy of on the origin of species, though remember that the book is 150 years old and predated genetics (still remarkably accurate however).

u/fuzzyk1tt3n · 5 pointsr/atheism

I haven't read it, but I hear it's pretty good:

Richard Dawkins, The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution

u/Seret · 5 pointsr/AskReddit

I'm going to post my favorite videos that I grew up on. I could watch them over and over and not get sick of them. Dawkins is my hero.

Royal Institute Christmas Lectures - Richard Dawkins' "Growing Up in the Universe". Entertaining, engaging, and fascinating series of lectures for children on the basics of evolution in a way that makes a hell of a lot of sense. You will see fascinating stuff. I found some parts mind-blowing, and the demonstrations are just great (and here's proof!)

u/soapjackal · 4 pointsr/sorceryofthespectacle

it's not really a scientific tome. 100% brain is bs.

the exercise are worth playing around with regardless.

Oh this is a trend. You want me to argue with you?

In that case I'm sorry I dont care:

  • Modern sconce and neurology have odd philosophical basis's: yes

  • This 100% brain book isnt very good neuroscience: yes, and I stated that it my comment above. Its probably bunk

  • We dont use 100% of our brain: yes, example: lucy is using the same myth as Limitless.

  • Your mind will only expand by thinking: yes thats why this is a good book. It stimulates thought. Other books are great for this as well (and many are much better).

  • Since they exclude the contradiction, by grounding mind in matter, they hide the indication that there's something a bit fishy about this whole universe business.: yes. Youll notice that most of modern science and popular myth is based upon this supposition. It makes much of their work alot less effective as a result but it doesnt by itself make all work from these assumptions completely useless. A totally valid critique but I will still read something written by a materialist even if I disagree with premises.

    I do appreciate that you spent some time on expanding on those thoughts, as they are generally worth having but if you really want to turn those critique guns against something turn them against something thats really trying to explain the human mind with the materialist frame:
u/nathan_w · 4 pointsr/biology

Song of the Dodo a book about island biogeography. Once you can understand that... you know whats up.

u/Chrome7 · 4 pointsr/labrats
Is a really good start - it also covers more "big picture" items about working in a lab, like etiquette and safety.

u/Addequate · 4 pointsr/DebateAnAtheist

You'll only do yourself a disservice by skimming an internet-education on evolution if it's something you truly want to understand.

Grab a copy of The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins . It costs less than a ticket to the creation museum. The book presents clearly and concisely the evidence for evolution and details how the process works. There's likely hesitation to buy a book by Dawkins because of his notoriety as a prominent atheist, but the book is impartial on the topic of a creator; It only aims to provide the facts and reasoning behind evolution.

I hope you find the answers you're looking for on this matter, brandon64344. The world makes so much mroe sense through the lens of evolution.

u/CalvinLawson · 4 pointsr/atheism

You should simply tell your father that's he's wrong, "information" gets created all the time. Heck, any decent sized storm creates an enormously complex body of coherent organized information. Even simple equations "create" information.

We can observe it happening; it's not a matter of faith. Your father is simply wrong. Virtually every creationist argument will be like this; and the few remaining will reduce to transparent fallacies.

If you wish to discuss this with your father, read this book first. Arguing with your dad might be a waste of time, but reading this book will not be.

u/VaccusMonastica · 4 pointsr/atheism

Big Bang Theory and Evolution are not really related, so I don't think you'll find a book with both, but, to answer your question:

The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution by Richard Dawkins is a great book on evolution.

EDIT: You wated the Kindle version KINDLE VERSION

u/angrymonkey · 4 pointsr/DebateAnAtheist

Along those lines, Dawkins is great for explaining evolution in easy-to-understand detail. Pick pretty much any book by him and you'll get a very good education.

u/porscheguy19 · 4 pointsr/atheism

On science and evolution:

Genetics is where it's at. There is a ton of good fossil evidence, but genetics actually proves it on paper. Most books you can get through your local library (even by interlibrary loan) so you don't have to shell out for them just to read them.


The Making of the Fittest outlines many new forensic proofs of evolution. Fossil genes are an important aspect... they prove common ancestry. Did you know that humans have the gene for Vitamin C synthesis? (which would allow us to synthesize Vitamin C from our food instead of having to ingest it directly from fruit?) Many mammals have the same gene, but through a mutation, we lost the functionality, but it still hangs around.

Deep Ancestry proves the "out of Africa" hypothesis of human origins. It's no longer even a debate. MtDNA and Y-Chromosome DNA can be traced back directly to where our species began.

To give more rounded arguments, Hitchens can't be beat: God Is Not Great and The Portable Atheist (which is an overview of the best atheist writings in history, and one which I cannot recommend highly enough). Also, Dawkin's book The Greatest Show on Earth is a good overview of evolution.

General science: Stephen Hawking's books The Grand Design and A Briefer History of Time are excellent for laying the groundwork from Newtonian physics to Einstein's relativity through to the modern discovery of Quantum Mechanics.

Bertrand Russell and Thomas Paine are also excellent sources for philosophical, humanist, atheist thought; but they are included in the aforementioned Portable Atheist... but I have read much of their writings otherwise, and they are very good.

Also a subscription to a good peer-reviewed journal such as Nature is awesome, but can be expensive and very in depth.

Steven Pinker's The Blank Slate is also an excellent look at the human mind and genetics. To understand how the mind works, is almost your most important tool. If you know why people say the horrible things they do, you can see their words for what they are... you can see past what they say and see the mechanisms behind the words.

I've also been studying Zen for about a year. It's non-theistic and classed as "eastern philosophy". The Way of Zen kept me from losing my mind after deconverting and then struggling with the thought of a purposeless life and no future. I found it absolutely necessary to root out the remainder of the harmful indoctrination that still existed in my mind; and finally allowed me to see reality as it is instead of overlaying an ideology or worldview on everything.

Also, learn about the universe. Astronomy has been a useful tool for me. I can point my telescope at a galaxy that is more than 20 million light years away and say to someone, "See that galaxy? It took over 20 million years for the light from that galaxy to reach your eye." Creationists scoff at millions of years and say that it's a fantasy; but the universe provides real proof of "deep time" you can see with your own eyes.


I recommend books first, because they are the best way to learn, but there are also very good video series out there.

BestofScience has an amazing series on evolution.

AronRa's Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism is awesome.

Thunderfoot's Why do people laugh at creationists is good.

Atheistcoffee's Why I am no longer a creationist is also good.

Also check out TheraminTrees for more on the psychology of religion; Potholer54 on The Big Bang to Us Made Easy; and Evid3nc3's series on deconversion.

Also check out the Evolution Documentary Youtube Channel for some of the world's best documentary series on evolution and science.

I'm sure I've overlooked something here... but that's some stuff off the top of my head. If you have any questions about anything, or just need to talk, send me a message!

u/MinoritySuspect · 3 pointsr/neuroscience

Kandel is a very comprehensive neuroscience textbook with a lot of good figures as well as descriptions of experimental evidence. The most recent version came out just last year, so it is very current.

Purves also contains excellent figures but concepts are delivered on a more basic level, probably better suited for undergraduate/non-research perspective.

u/inquilinekea · 3 pointsr/neuroscience

Theoretical neuroscience. Check out this textbook:

You should also look into the Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience (at Berkeley) and at if you have the chance.

u/Double-Down · 3 pointsr/neuro

Information theory and neural coding - Borst A, Theunissen FE (1999)


> Information theory quantifies how much information a neural response carries about the stimulus. This can be compared to the information transferred in particular models of the stimulus−response function and to maximum possible information transfer. Such comparisons are crucial because they validate assumptions present in any neurophysiological analysis. Here we review information-theory basics before demonstrating its use in neural coding. We show how to use information theory to validate simple stimulus−response models of neural coding of dynamic stimuli. Because these models require specification of spike timing precision, they can reveal which time scales contain information in neural coding. This approach shows that dynamic stimuli can be encoded efficiently by single neurons and that each spike contributes to information transmission. We argue, however, that the data obtained so far do not suggest a temporal code, in which the placement of spikes relative to each other yields additional information.

See also: Theoretical Neuroscience, Ch.4 - Dayan P, Abbott F (2005)

u/mobcat40 · 3 pointsr/AskScienceDiscussion

Here's mine

To understand life, I'd highly recommend this textbook that we used at university That covers cell biology and basic biology, you'll understand how the cells in your body work, how nutrition works, how medicine works, how viruses work, where biotech is today, and every page will confront you with what we "don't yet" understand too with neat little excerpts of current science every chapter. It'll give you the foundation to start seeing how life is nothing special and just machinery (maybe you should do some basic chemistry/biology stuff on KhanAcademy first though to fully appreciate what you'll read).

For math I'd recommend doing KhanAcademy aswell and maybe a good Algebra workbook like and after you're comfortable with Algebra/Trig then go for calc, I like this book Don't forget the 2 workbooks so you can dig yourself out when you get stuck That covers calc1 calc2 and calc3.

Once you're getting into calc Physics is a must of course, Math can describe an infinite amount of universes but when you use it to describe our universe now you have Physics, has workbooks too that you'll definitely need since you're learning on your own.

At this point you'll have your answers and a foundation to go into advanced topics in all technical fields, this is why every university student who does a technical degree must take courses in all those 3 disciplines.

If anything at least read that biology textbook, you really won't ever have a true appreciation for the living world and you can't believe how often you'll start noticing people around you spouting terrible science. If you could actually get through all the work I mentioned above, college would be a breeze for you.

u/hankyp · 3 pointsr/askscience

Introductory reading for biology, molecular biology and biochemistry:

Campbell biology

Molecular biology of the cell

Lehninger principles of biochemistry

u/drewinseries · 3 pointsr/bioinformatics

Campell Biology is generally the number one go to for intro bio. My AP class, and intro class in college used it.

For more molecular stuff, molecular biology of the cell is fairly popular:

u/MJtheProphet · 3 pointsr/atheism

If he's already familiar with atheism, and with evolution, but seems stuck on the issue of probability, I'd suggest referring him to Richard Dawkins' Climbing Mount Improbable. It is, of course, written for a popular audience rather than a purely scientific one, but I think it should get the point across.

u/weaselstomp · 3 pointsr/AskReddit

I'm a lonely guy too, I like to study stuff. This summer I bought Peterson's Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants, I walk around deep in the woods/swamps/trails, and bring home good eats. It sounds lame, but it's peaceful and I have a better appreciation for nature.

u/Gullex · 3 pointsr/Survival

This is a good one.

u/simchaleigh · 3 pointsr/atheism

Evolution in no way suggests that "humans came from monkeys." That is a common and unfortunate misconception. Though the trail of human development is quite complicated, basically we share a common ancestor with primates (see for a good basic overview; for a more in-depth exploration, this book ( is a really good read).

u/Felisitea · 3 pointsr/exchristian

I'd recommend "What Evolution Is" by Ernst Mayer- non-confrontational, detailed description of evolution. (Evolution was a big factor in my deconversion, personally, as my branch of christianity was super anti-evolution.)

u/yvesjmt · 3 pointsr/philosophy

We're not that far from understanding consciousness either. It appears to be simple, conceptually: see the global workbench theory. Consciousness is a process that receives input from other modules and generates its own output (decisions), except it's a serial thing. It processes one thing at a time and has access to of its own recent previous states.

Great book about the subject:

(Inaccuracies in the text above are probably my poor interpretation, not the book's fault)

u/Lilyo · 3 pointsr/RationalPsychonaut

Just wanted to clear something up here, but Hameroff's theory on microtubules is baseless of actual facts and the connection he is making between quantum mechanics (or whatever he interprets it as) and the AC measurements (the vibrations he's talking about) is purely pseudo-science and not grounded on any actual experiments or data, and it also ignores previous criticisms regarding quantum decoherence occurring much too fast to effect nerve impulses. The Orch OR model of "quantum mind" is disregarded by any serious neuroscientists and physicist today, and there's many papers outlining it's many flaws.

>And in the case of those that believe that the brain makes consciousness, we don't have any empirical evidence to substantiate their belief. So it's still just a belief at present, but a very dogmatic one.. which is tantamount to religious conviction.

Where are you coming from with this? The entire field of biology and neurology is based around the fact that consciousness emerges in the brain. If you take a rock you won't find its consciousness because there is no biological space to store the data of any sensory interaction, nor any nervous system to have such sensory input. A rock is just a bunch of minerals/ mineraloid particles, and there's nothing more to "being a rock" than its immediate physical chemical bonds. On the other hand, consciousness can be observed in a myriad of organisms with a biological brain to store the data in and be able to interact with. Just to clear this up, the entirety of neurological evidence suggest that consciousness arises in the brain, as defined by neural correlates throughout hundreds of studies and experiments (Dehaene has a great book on this).

> It's quite clear that whatever consciousness is, it's not purely physical. Consider, do your thoughts and emotions possess physical attributes (mass, velocity, weight, shape, color, etc)? No.

This is simply wrong and a ridiculous claim. Your thoughts and emotions DO have physical attributes as they are physically constituted of neurons which are physical electrically excitable cells interacting across further physical synapses and other nervous system structures. The moment your brain activity is stopped, or certain key parts and functions impaired, your consciousness vanishes, and there is no evidence to support otherwise.

Furthermore, every single behavioral and cognitive attribute you posses is based on the interaction of the instinctual reptilian and mammalian complex and the more complex and abstract functions of the neocortex. In order to talk about consciousness you need to talk about its emergence along phylogenesis in evolution, and more importantly how brain development from species to species constitutes the development of brain functions. Acting overly perplexed and dumbfounded of scientific knowledge regarding consciousness is no different than invoking ideas of intelligent design based around assumptions such as the seeming complexity of eyeballs.

>Thus, when you look at the thoughts and emotions themselves..directly.. experientially, you find that they are distinct from physical objects which possess physical attributes. That's why contemplative neuroscience is a very interesting research field.. because they're looking at how the brain can be modulated by modulating consciousness directly.. subjectively.. and the effects that that has on the brain and biology (e.g., neuroplasticity, palcebo, epigenetics).

You're confused about what you're experiencing during a conscious state. Every single thought, emotion, perception, analysis, instinct, and state of consciousness you experience is manifested as such through the physical networking and cascading information in many different areas of the brain, each in charge of very different tasks that overall attribute a perceptually unified consciousness, which of course is not true at all. Hemispheric lateralization and split brain patient studies clearly demonstrate the division of cognitive perception along networks of individualized mechanisms that have direct psychological correlates. It is entirely possible, and well documented, that certain key functions of consciousness (awareness, memory, perception, self distinction, spatial recognition, internal evaluation, etc.) can be impaired or completely cut off, resulting in a vividly (or not so vivid depending on what function or specific physical network is impaired) different experience, yet still within a conscious perspective. Cut off the corpus callosum that connects the two hemispheres and you end up with two completely separate conscious states depending on which size you find yourself on. A stroke on the left hemisphere will impair language concepts and time perceptions and your perception shifts to the intrinsically broad spectrum of understanding of the right hemisphere which focuses on the present input of information.

>And let's not forget the quantum consciousness model, too, which is just as valid, if not more, than the neuronal theory, since the neuronal theory has no testable predictions, has no theoretical framework to explain how you get "awareness" or "subjectivity" out of matter, and not only that, but it lacks the afforementioned empirical data and cannot even explain "spooky" phenomena that have been consitently reported throughout human history.

Again, there is no real data or grounded study for any of the proposed quantum mind theories. You're literally disregarding the entirety of the very empirical evidence you yourself seem to think is missing, when in actuality neurological theories are entirely grounded, peer-reviewed, well established, highly studied, and rigorously experimented and tested, and there are many emerging studies that discuss consciousness as we should, that being in depth and without linguistic misinterpretations. The vagueness of the term is highly problematic when talking about these topics. A lot of recent studies suggest a global overview of brain activity to build the foundation of consciousness, meaning different aspects of cognition are really just different mechanisms of operation that when complementing each other's outputs allow for the structural emergence of a seemingly unified state of consciousness.

I'm sorry but you don't seem to have much basis and knowledge on this subject unfortunately, please don't act as if you understand these concepts and openly spread misinformation and further strengthen misconceptions if you haven't actually studied these topics extensively, which you obviously haven't as demonstrated by your lack of knowledge of neuroscience, it's bad manner to do so in this subreddit.

u/joke-away · 3 pointsr/DepthHub

If you enjoyed that paper, I'd recommend a book called Evolutionary Dynamics: Exploring the Equations of Life by Martin A. Nowak. It's a little dry, and I haven't finished it yet, but it's well presented and reads like a book rather than a textbook.

u/Anzat · 3 pointsr/environment

My undergraduate degree is in mathematics with a mathematical ecology concentration, and I love my current Ph.D. research. (I think it's hard to go wrong with a math major as an undergrad, if you're good at it -- you can use it for anything.) I'm planning to go into academia for a career, but depending on your specific interests there are all kinds of government or consulting jobs for good ecological modelers.

A few books on Amazon that may give you a taste for the field (any given person's specialty will more closely align with just one of them, but I'm trying to convey the broad options):

I'd recommend looking for some of these in your university library, then just browsing through everything next to them at the shelves and seeing if anything jumps out at you.

u/Ho66es · 3 pointsr/math

When I took Game Theory the professor used Evolutionary Games and Population Dynamics, which I really liked.

Evolutionary Dynamics is just amazing, but a bit on the biological side.

If you are studying on your own I would suggest Game Theory Evolving, which has a lot of exercises and examples to keep you going.

And for added bursts of motivation read The Art of Strategy, which is not really technical but explains the concepts incredibly well.

u/yik_yak_paddy_wack · 3 pointsr/MachineLearning

You may find "Evolutionary Dynamics: Exploring the Equations of Life" by Novak, especially chapter 13, to be an interesting/relevant read.

u/lafite · 3 pointsr/funny

I love David Quammen - [Song of the Dodo] ( is a ridiculously well-written and incredibly interesting book.

Even if Island Bio-geography is not your thing - isn't particularly mine - you'll be hard-pressed to put the book down as the writing and ideas are so compelling (almost like a travelogue with science thrown in);

Quammen would make a great dinner guest - certainly among top 10, somewhere between Castro and Mitterand.

u/the_gnarts · 3 pointsr/vim

> did you just make this up?

Not at all. Tenrecs figure prominently in the book that I’m currently
reading: The Song of the Dodo
by David Quammen. The little critters are kind of like the super heroes
of island biogeography.

u/MathematicalAssassin · 3 pointsr/math

Nonlinear Dynamics And Chaos: With Applications To Physics, Biology, Chemistry, And Engineering by Steven H. Strogatz is an excellent book on nonlinear dynamical systems and you definitely don't need any probability or statistics to study it, just a good knowledge of multivariable calculus and linear algebra. Chaos theory actually doesn't have anything to do with randomness since one of the defining features of a chaotic system is that it is deterministic.

Edit: There is a freely available course by Strogatz on YouTube.

u/ashikunta · 3 pointsr/askscience

There seems to be some fuzziness around that term. The text I used defines a strange attractor as an attractor with sensitive dependence on initial conditions. This is clearly not the same definition used by the wikipedia page.

u/shaun252 · 3 pointsr/Physics

This one by Steven Strogatz is by far the most popular to my knowledge anyways. There is also an accompanying lecture series on youtube if you search the authors name.

u/antisyzygy · 3 pointsr/math

Here are some suggestions :

Also, this is a great book :

It covers everything from number theory to calculus in sort of brief sections, and not just the history. Its pretty accessible from what I've read of it so far.

EDIT : I read what you are taking and my recommendations are a bit lower level for you probably. The history of math book is still pretty good, as it gives you an idea what people were thinking when they discovered/invented certain things.

For you, I would suggest :

This is from my background. I don't have a strong grasp of topology and haven't done much with abstract algebra (or algebraic _____) so I would probably recommend listening to someone else there. My background is mostly in graduate numerical analysis / functional analysis. The Furata book is expensive, but a worthy read to bridge the link between linear algebra and functional analysis. You may want to read a real analysis book first however.

One thing to note is that topology is used in some real analysis proofs. After going through a real analysis book you may also want to read some measure theory, but I don't have an excellent recommendation there as the books I've used were all hard to understand for me.

u/solve-for-x · 3 pointsr/math

Nearly everyone on this subreddit recommends Strogatz. However, I've never read this book myself. The one I'm familiar with is Jordan and Smith, which I definitely can recommend, with the caveat that there are a lot of typos in it.

u/beefok · 3 pointsr/atheism

As far as abiogenesis is concerned, I really enjoyed books such as The Emergence Of Everything, Beginnings Of Cellular Life, Origins Of Life, Genesis, What Is Life?, and Microcosms.

I'm an avid reader of all things abiogenesis, if you hadn't noticed. Considering it and finding ways to simulate it on a computer is one of my hobbies.

Also, Abiogenesis is really part of a larger study of emergence, chaos and order, and how simple things come together to perform complex dances. So on that note, I have a few more books worth reading:

Sync: How Order Emerges From Chaos In the Universe, Nature, and Daily Life, Emergence: From Chaos to Order, and Creation: Life and How to Make it

u/fellInchoate · 3 pointsr/booksuggestions

Seven Life Lessons of Chaos

Though it positions itself somewhat as a self-help book, it's really not -- it touches on many interesting things about nature and humanity. It's short (and maybe enlightening too).

I also enjoyed Sync ... though I'm not sure if some of the findings here have been updated (it's a bit old now).

You might also look at some EO Wilson books.

u/ashpanash · 3 pointsr/DebateReligion

> I did and still do believe that an ordered universe that allows science to predict anything at all is evidence of a creator, even if it isn't the one I believe in. I've heard others claim that the universe is chaotic, but I don't agree.

The modern view, backed by evidence, is that order and chaos are not dichotomous as was traditionally believed, but rather they both emerge from each other.

Here are some good links with decent, well produced approaches to teaching this concept while providing concrete examples:

I'll also note that neither of the above even approach the question of whether 'a creator' exists, as it is outside of the scope of the presentation and, I think, irrelevant to the overall point. None of this demonstrates definitively that there is no creator. What it does demonstrate, I believe, is that if you are truly seeking fruitful paths to find evidence or arguments for the existence of a creator, order and chaos is not where you should be looking.

That area of the map has been explored, by hundreds of people undoubtedly more clever and observant than you or me, and we've found no gods there. Or, to use another metaphor, I don't think there's any more meat on that bone.

u/ToOurEnd · 3 pointsr/uncensorednews

You're correct. This is pointless. That you'd refuse to even accept the reality of race and the facets of racial issues in this nation speaks volumes.

Nonetheless I may as well obliterate you by providing more scientific evidence of race existing.

I can't convince a person to accept truth when they willingly deny it.

u/createweb · 3 pointsr/singapore

This is a classic text book for molecular biology

u/Goosemaniac · 3 pointsr/genetics

Molecular biology of the cell ( and molecular biology of the gene ( are two excellent resources for understanding genetics. If reading is what you're looking to do, begin with peer reviewed journals; textbooks become outdated quickly, but peer-reviewed journals give you a glimpse into the ideas which allowed us to better understand biological phenomena.

The best way to understand genetics is to become actively involved in such matters. Attend seminars with speakers working in cell or molecular biology fields. Get involved in research (this is by far the best thing you can do to improve your understanding of genetics).

Good luck!

u/pjfoster · 3 pointsr/Biophysics

I highly recommend Molecular Biology of the Cell. This is a graduate level cell/molecular bio book and goes into pretty good detail on a ton of topics. I know a ton a people with a Physics background who used this book to get a knowledge basis in bio (myself included).

u/InfinityFlat · 3 pointsr/Physics

I think Physical Biology of the Cell is quite good.

u/OppenheimersGuilt · 3 pointsr/Physics

If you look online you can find pdfs of

"Physical Biology of the Cell"

This is a book that basically looks at biology through a physicist's lens, rather than a biochemist's.

You could also try "Biological Physics" by Nelson.

These books spend a good chunk of time dealing with topics such as Statistical Mechanics, Self-assembling structures, Polymer Physics, etc...

u/McQueeny · 3 pointsr/labrats

I don't think this is exactly what you're looking for, but At The Bench - A Laboratory Navigator has a 10-page chapter about keeping a lab notebook.

Here's a brief Google Books preview; unfortunately it does not cover the relevant chapter.

This presentation(PDF link) cites a book called Writing the Laboratory Notebook by Howard Kanare, which (based on the Amazon reviews) might be more geared towards industry labs but could still be pretty useful in a general sense. You can find out for yourself, since I managed to find a full text copy online(PDF link). I don't think I'm accessing this through any proxies, so it does seem like it's freely available.

For a more thorough investigation of what's out there, you should consult your institution's library; I'm sure someone will be happy to help track down the exact book you are thinking of, or something functionally equivalent.

edit - here's a PDF link to another presentation, just for fun

u/ElectricalSuccotash1 · 3 pointsr/labrats

Very highly recommend In grad school, we kept a copy in the lab and gave specific readings to new lab members. It's a super-friendly and pragmatic book, targeted to readers in exactly your situation.

But no book will resolve all the contradictory lab folklore, the field has lots of history and habitual behavior. Many researchers believe that if a particular protocol consistently works, then it's good because it eliminates a source of uncertainty. That doesn't make it the optimal protocol, but because so much of experimental science is eliminating sources of uncertainty, it's a perfectly reasonable opinion.

u/walkingkilo_ · 3 pointsr/shrooms

I bought it off of Amazon:) Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World: An Identification Guide

u/supershinythings · 3 pointsr/ShroomID

Do more than just 'a bit'. If you are serious, make a serious effort. Nobody 'plans' on getting anyone killed, but it happens.

Paul Stamets has an excellent book on active mushroom identification if that's your interest:

But you will also want to become familiar with other types, as you don't want to risk confusing one type for another.

u/kimvette · 3 pointsr/gifs

Well considering that taking 2.5g dry (or ~30g fresh) completely prevents migraines and cluster headaches for six weeks at a time (some people experience up to six months' relief but I assume they're taking a full dose - I've only ever consumed enough to trip once), I don't really need to worry about it. Even eating food with lots of soy protein (that's most processed foods) doesn't trigger the headaches for me. (I'm soy intolerant and soy protein is my worst migraine trigger)

And yes, everything people claim about cluster headaches is true. When I get them the last for up to 12 hours (often accompanied by projectile vomiting, and wishing and praying for death because the pain really is that bad), then I usually get 2-3 rebound headaches hours later and each lasts equally long. The only thing that gets me through them is knowing the headache will eventually end.

It's better losing ~5 hours every month to month and a half high on shrooms than 1-3 days a week to these headaches.

What do I do during winter? Cannabis tincture or vaping (which doesn't cure the headaches but makes them tolerable), or if friends have any, I take dried shrooms. They're nasty dried (fresh out in the woods they're kind of like a "gamey" shitake mushroom) so I follow it up with an orange soda chaser. :)

I'm going to eventually relocate to the PNW for easy access to shrooms as azurecens is ubiquitous there, and there is over a dozen other psilocybe species which grow throughout the area. Here we have only six species, they're not terribly common, and they're oyster/shelf-shaped varieties which look very similar to poisonous species so you need to take it very slow, making a spore print and bruise them and inspect them for a membrane before consumption (the first two characteristics is nearly 100% guarantee it's a psilocybe species and therefore edible, the latter you should still check for insurance because there may be a non-psilocybe, toxic species which drops purple-brown spores and bruises blue which hasn't been identified yet). When I move to the PNW I will probably collect a bunch and will have rhododendron or other laurel species shrubbery with a dress bark apron to encourage azurecens grow in my yard since they are a wood-loving species and are symbiotic with laurel-family trees.

I bring one of Paul Stamets' field guides with me ( ) when I go foraging for visual identification then I do the additional tests to verify. :)

I wish I had known about this property of these fungi sooner - I've lost months of my life bedridden with these agonizing headaches and could have cured them just going out for a walk in the woods. I believed the propaganda about these wonderful species, and believed the lies about cannabis. The government did a huge disservice to The People by pandering to logging and pharmaceutical lobbyists. The stoners were right all along. :-(

u/smartyhands2099 · 3 pointsr/shrooms

Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World by Paul Stamets.

I cannot recommend this enough. All identification features are explained in length, and there are pictures of many, many different psilocybes all over the world. It is not exactly about homegrowing, but a fantastic resource for learning about the amazing genus Psilocybe, and our friends psilocybin, psilocin, and baeocystin. It's a little technical, but it will give you the background to understand many issues faced by growers.

u/Trashington · 3 pointsr/shrooms

Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World: An Identification Guide

u/psillow · 3 pointsr/shrooms

By far the best, hands down:

There's a bit of a learning curve to learn the lingo, and you may need a microscope to differentiate certain species in your area, but it will get you closer than most other resources.

u/pythoncrush · 3 pointsr/PsilocybinMushrooms

Available on Amazon. The ereader versions pay the content creators nearly nothing so I suggest getting the physical book as the author gets the best royalty this way. Need the wonderful kind intelligent fungi evangelist Paul Stamets to get his. For this book there are two paperback types as the only formats.

u/caltrain208 · 3 pointsr/Psychedelics

People will forage for as long as mushrooms continue to grow in the wild. You could probably order them too through the dark net, but I’d be more inclined to order 4-aco-DMT personally. You can also grow them yourself at home. For the record I live in Oakland and have no clue where to buy mushrooms so I wouldn’t suggest coming here for that purpose.

u/antonivs · 3 pointsr/atheism

On the subject of evolution, there certainly are answers. Even better, they're all conveniently collected in a single very accessible book. For less than 20 bucks, you can remedy your ignorance - a huge bargain, and a win for humanity!

Edit: or if you don't want to invest money in your education, you could just watch Why do people laugh at creationists?, which explains how macroevolution arises from microevolution.

u/ScottyDelicious · 3 pointsr/atheism

I have read all of Professor Dawkins' books, and The Greatest Show on Earth is, without question, his finest masterpiece and quite possibly the best explanation of evolution that any jackoff like myself can understand.

u/ABTechie · 3 pointsr/atheism

Religion or theistic religion? I will give you some short answers then discuss my question.

  1. Check out The Greatest Show on Earth.
  2. I believe humans have instincts and they have led us to different cultures with different morals. We get our morals from our instincts, culture, parents, friends and possibly from ideas we get from books and movies.
  3. Don't know. Don't care. See if National Geographic has an article on it.
  4. I am not knowledgeable enough to know how his teachings relate to other teachings at the time. However, if you carefully read the Gospels, you will see that he has some good ideas but he is generally not somebody you would like, like to listen or follow. Christians believe in their communities which are centered around "Jesus". Their morals are not like Jesus who was a Jew who said that people should follow the Jewish law.
  5. I see no evidence for a supreme deity who cares about or doesn't care about us. Scientifically, God is a label for things people don't understand so they can have comfort in their ignorance. "God did it." "God only knows."
  6. Our soul is our state of mind which is dependent on the physical laws of this universe.
  7. Just your brain being a brain in an abnormal state of being. It is no more real than a dream.

  8. "demon possession" - Did you see a demon or did you see a person, who believes in demons, rolling around making noises?
    "healings" - Did you see an amputee or burn victim get healed? Did you know the healed person before the healing and did you do a follow up of the person a week, a month or a year later?
    "probably was just a coincidence" - How can we tell when things are or are not coincidences? Coincidences happen.
    "spoken in tounges" - What did it mean? Had you seen people doing it before? Were you just mimicking people you had seen before?
    What was the education level of the people who had the experiences? What was the general education level of the people who made up the culture where these experiences happen? Do you think these experiences happen as often in well-educated people?

    Now to the religion question. I am for getting rid of theistic religion. Belief in a deity that dictates morality is poison to society. The certainty of an infallible being creates a lot a fear, hate, guilt, shame, willful ignorance and false expectations. Truly, a lot of unnecessary pain.

    Religion, on the other hand, can be fine. The problem is being able listen to criticism and being willing to change to new information. Having a set of principles and guidelines to give you direction in life is good. Being willfully ignorant and trying to force your ideology on the world is not good. Pick and choose good morals from where you see them.
u/Sir_Wobblecoque · 3 pointsr/science

Yup, that's a great book. (For those who don't read, there's the audiobook, read by the author.)

One thing I took away from it was that fossil evidence is superfluous at this point. It fully supports evolution theory of course, but it's a bonus, and even without it "the evidence for evolution would be entirely secure".

That's from the chapter that discusses the fossil record. The rest of the book is about all the other evidence.

u/ChemicalSerenity · 3 pointsr/atheism

That was nearly incoherent, and betrays at the very least a deep misunderstanding of what Darwin's theory of Evolution by process of Natural Selection is.

Strongly recommend getting and reading The Greatest Show on Earth. It'll give you a more-or-less up to date perspective on the breadth of evidence in support of evolution.

You might also be interested in Intelligent Design on Trial, wherein it was revealed that "Intelligent Design" is merely papered-over creationism with the same lack of evidence to support its assertions, and how it was demolished pretty conclusively in the courts - presided over by a Bush-appointed religious conservative judge who was completely convinced by the end of the trial.

u/jello_aka_aron · 3 pointsr/atheism

Let me copy something I wrote in another thread about someone asking what to read about:

Personally, I just finished 'The Greatest Show on Earth' by Dawkins a bit ago. It was pretty stunning even as someone who's never really been of the faithful. Only recently have I really started doing outside reading on these sorts of topics (as a kid the baptist tradition of the south where I live failed the 'looks like bullshit, smell like bullshit, probably bullshit' test for me and I just sort of disregarded the whole thing for the next 20 years or so) so I'm also fairly new to the ballgame in that sense. I've always believed in evolution as the origin of life on this planet but it was pretty amazing the enormity of evidence we now have supporting it, particularly with the advent of modern molecular biology and DNA sequencing. Our knowledge absolutely dwarfs the vague and semi-hand-wavy feel of the old 'we have some bones and radioactive dating stuff' that was glossed over in my education even at a college level 15 years ago.

If you really want to know about the evidence for evolution that books covers it, for the layman, in about as much detail as one could ask for. It is Dawkins, so there's no kid-gloves here and you will get the occasional "Only someone being willfully stupid could ignore all this evidence" type stuff, but the focus is pretty firmly on simply laying out the huge piles of evidence across many different areas of science all supporting common ancestry and evolution by natural selection.

u/N8theGr8 · 3 pointsr/DebateAnAtheist

Former Young Earther here. The best thing you can do is read and learn. is a pretty good site.

Another good source is The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins.

Figure out some of the more common creationist claims, as well. Read some about geology, astronomy, cosmology. It'll take a while, but the more you know, the more intelligible you'll be, and the better able you'll be to string ideas together when asked.

u/dwaxe · 3 pointsr/atheism

The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins is an extremely well written introduction to the evidence for evolution.

u/Dem0s · 3 pointsr/atheism

I would suggest Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder as a good starting point and maybe move on to The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution, but that is just one author. He can be a little condescending to the faithful at times and call them "history deniers" but the second one is pure science and only just touches on religion.

u/gipp · 3 pointsr/askscience

I'm assuming you're looking for things geared toward a layman audience, and not textbooks. Here's a few of my personal favorites:


Cosmos: You probably know what this is. If not, it is at once a history of science, an overview of the major paradigms of scientific investigation (with some considerable detail), and a discussion of the role of science in the development of human society and the role of humanity in the larger cosmos.

Pale Blue Dot: Similar themes, but with a more specifically astronomical focus.


The Greatest Show on Earth: Dawkins steers (mostly) clear of religious talk here, and sticks to what he really does best: lays out the ideas behind evolution in a manner that is easily digestible, but also highly detailed with a plethora of real-world evidence, and convincing to anyone with even a modicum of willingness to listen.


Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid: It seems like I find myself recommending this book at least once a month, but it really does deserve it. It not only lays out an excruciatingly complex argument (Godel's Incompleteness Theorem) in as accessible a way as can be imagined, and explores its consequences in mathematics, computer science, and neuroscience, but is also probably the most entertainingly and clearly written work of non-fiction I've ever encountered.


The Feynman Lectures on Physics: It's everything. Probably the most detailed discussion of physics concepts that you'll find on this list.


Connections: Not exactly what you were asking for, but I love it, so you might too. James Burke traces the history of a dozen or so modern inventions, from ancient times all the way up to the present. Focuses on the unpredictability of technological advancement, and how new developments in one area often unlock advancements in a seemingly separate discipline. There is also a documentary series that goes along with it, which I'd probably recommend over the book. James Burke is a tremendously charismatic narrator and it's one of the best few documentary series I've ever watched. It's available semi-officially on Youtube.

u/atheistcoffee · 3 pointsr/atheism

Congratulations! I know what a big step that is, as I've been in the same boat. Books are the best way to become informed. Check out books by:

u/mausphart · 3 pointsr/askscience

I really enjoyed reading The Age of Wonder by Richard Holmes.

Also Thunderstruck by Erik Larson.

Both of these books are fantastic nonfiction accounts of the history of scientific discovery.

On the biology side, anything by Dawkins is a good choice. I recommend The Greatest Show on Earth

My gateway drug was The Panda's Thumb by Stephen Jay Gould

u/UncleRoger · 3 pointsr/atheism

That's not really a relevant question. You're implying that because we can't find proof of god, we don't need proof? But because we have tons of proof of evolution, you require that each and every one of us (accountants, programmers, carpenters, etc.) have a detailed knowledge of it before you'll believe it?

Again, you're saying there's no proof of god -- indeed, there can't be -- and yet you're willing to believe in god wholeheartedly. Meanwhile, you won't believe in evolution without absolute proof (and, I'll go out on a limb and guess that you want a couple of simple sentences you can understand without having to do a whole lot of book learnin'. You're not willing to put in even the minimal effort it takes to gain a basic understanding of evolution.)

Basically, nobody believes in evolution; you either understand it or you're an idiot.

I suggest picking up a copy of The Greatest Show on Earth and reading it.

u/Gargilius · 3 pointsr/atheism

The Greatest Show On Earth by Richard Dawkins.

u/MRItopMD · 2 pointsr/math

I'll just add here.

It seems intimidating at first. But it builds up just like math.

Personally, I really recommend Cambell's Biology as an introductory text. It is really great to start with. It explains things well, and maintains simplicity in explanations without sacrificing complexity at your level.

There is a big difference in how one studies biology vs mathematics. Mathematics is pretty much all problems, and thinking about those problems and concepts. Biology you generally don't have access to huge problem sets. You're lucky to find 30 multiple choice problems/chapter. It is mainly thinking about concepts in depth, over and over again critically, and memorizing details.

There are many ways of memorizing. The classic way many undergrads will do initially just memorize words. I think the best way is active learning. Ex: understanding exactly why things pass through the phospholipid bilayer and the various mechanisms they do(passive diffusion, primary and secondary active transport etc.) will allow you to predict whether things will pass through or not. I remember in my undergraduate cell biology class. My professor would mention an random molecule. Then we'd have to predict based on chemical structure if it would go through or not.

In biology things repeat themselves over and over again.

If you want to get into neuroscience texts. I'd recommend just getting through cambell's biology, and preferably a basic knowledge of chemistry as well. This will allow you to critically think about biology better. Truthfully, it is hard to truly understand why things happen unless you take organic chem and biochem. however you aren't trying to be a biologist or physician. So you can go as far as you feel you need to go.

If you need help I am a doctor and biomedical engineer. So I can certainly provide some assistance.

In biology, general study methods are...

Compare and Contrast Similar and Disimilar topics. You get a better conceptual understanding between hemidesmosomes, desomosomes, gap junctions, tight junctions and all of these cell-cell and cell-ECM interactions by comparing and contrast

Understand the chemistry behind why something happens. This may not make sense now, but if you know where ATP and ADP+Pi cycles occur in kinesins and dyneins, you will understand why each is attracted to opposinmg electrochemical polarities.

Learn words as images. When someone saids something like axon hillock, a picture should pop into your head. It makes it much easier to learn things if you visualize it in biology.

Biology is probably one of the few areas of science where things are ALWAYS changing. What we knew 5 years ago may not be the same today. So getting an up to date textbook is important. If it is older than like 3-4 years, it is probably not worth getting with some exceptions.
Here are some texts I recommend

Basic Biology:


-I think this text is probably the best for you to start with since you have a mathematics background and the book takes a mathematics/physics approach to biology rather than a biology approach to physics/math. So you may enjoy this to start. Read the comments and evaluate yourself I suppose.

Cell Biology:

-Everyone has different preferences for cell biology texts. It is such an up and coming field that there really is no best text. Personally this is one of my favorites. The images are beautiful, the explanations are as fantastic as they are going to be. This is a heavy duty text and is probably a sophomore/junior biology text. So don't go through this before Campbell. It also takes an experimental approach. Read them. Experiments in biology are like proofs in math. It's important to understand how we discovered something.


This is my favorite. I have it on my shelf right now. Great reference for me as a physician if I need to review some neuro concept I have forgotten. A lot of my neurosurgery/neurology colleagues swear by it.


This is my favorite as a sole neuroanatomy text. however Netter's Anatomy is my absolute favorite anatomical text, the pictures are gorgeous especially neuroanatomy. however for someone like you, a dedicated neuroanatomy text may or may not be necessary. It is generally a text intended for clinicians, however anatomy is anatomy lol.

I hope I offered some resources to get you started!

u/slthomp2 · 2 pointsr/neuroscience

This is a pretty good book, also written for undergrads with only a basic bio background.

u/chrisvacc · 2 pointsr/neuro

I found the MOOC.

I’m fine reading textbooks, it’s this one?

I just usually read on my iPad so im glad there’s a digital version.

I’m particularly interested in mood, behavior, motivation, so maybe after I check out the textbook and course I’ll have a better idea of what to look for in terms of specifics.

Thanks so much for the info!!

u/pushbak · 2 pointsr/neuro

I got a specialty in neuroengineering coursewise as a masters (it was still biomedical engineering). I took an Applied Electrophysiology class that I thought was very good. Most of our neuroscience classes and engineering classes lended from this Principles of Neural Science book.
The applied electrophys class also used an Applied Bioelectricity text.

We also has a pretty comprehensive Computational Neuroengineering course that relied on this Theoretical Neuroscience text.

As far as teaching these topics goes, it's pretty specific. You might want to look into related neuroscience labs to apply some of these theories.

u/c0ffee2 · 2 pointsr/APStudents

No it has a dandelion

10th edition

u/DrLOV · 2 pointsr/biology

I would start with a basic biology book like Campbell's Biology. It will hit the basic level for most topics in biology, give a base knowledge of the biochemistry and metabolism as well as an overview. For systems, depending on what specifically you're interested in, I would start with The Molecular Biology of the Cell by Alberts and Johnson. It will give you a really good overview of cell biology and cell signaling. I know a lot of systems people are working on cell signaling and pathway modeling. Is there something specifically that you're interested in? I may be able to recommend more specific books for you.

u/munchler · 2 pointsr/todayilearned

> It's like you and me have to race up this mountain side

Mountain climbing is actually a good metaphor for evolution, and natural selection is very good at climbing mountains. I recommend Richard Dawkins' book "Climbing Mount Improbable" if you'd like to understand how natural selection drives adaptation of species to their environment. You can also find a good overview of how natural selection climbs mountains here on Wikipedia.

u/kzielinski · 2 pointsr/atheism

Pretty much yes. Really he is argueing that some things are so irreducibly complex that they had to be designed. Except that they are not. Eye evolution has been understood for a very long time. And we have even found organisms with all sorts of eyes, at all sorts of stages. Dawkin's Climbing Mount Imporbable Address this argument in some detail.

But really this ends up being a race. Every so often ID proponents go and find a new something and aay "Ha this is irreducibly complex". Then biologists come along and show that it is reducable, and the process repeats with ever increasingly obsure examples being proposed and falsified. Meanwhile less informed apoligsts just keep refering to the eye or the Bacterial Flegelum and pretend that its evolution is still not understood, because they don't understand it.

u/AlSweigart · 2 pointsr/atheism

"The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins. Dawkins doesn't really go into anything new or original, but the strength of the book is that is a great, concise summary of all the beginning arguments for atheism.

I'd follow it with Daniel Dennett's "Breaking the Spell", also a good recommendation. Same goes for Carl Sagan's "A Demon Haunted World"

Christopher Hitchens is a bit vitriolic for some, but "God is not Great" has some nuggets in it.

I personally didn't like Sam Harris' "End of Faith" but I did like his "Letter to a Christian Nation".

For the topic of evolution, Talk Origins is great (and free)
Dawkin's "The Selfish Gene" is also a good read (and short). Not so short but also good are Dawkins' "Blind Watchmaker", "Climbing Mount Improbable" and "Unweaving the Rainbow"

u/WaywardWoodsman · 2 pointsr/Survival

Howdy, I’m originally from near Wausau!

Honestly, the DNR has good (and free) materials they’ll send you for tracks, though there aren’t to many tracks to figure out.

As for a book, I don’t know if you’re gonna find an all-in-one book that is comprehensive enough to be safe, but if you’re looking for a guide to edible plants look no further!

It doesn’t just cover your local area, unfortunately, but it gives you a lot of information at your finger tips. I wouldn’t expect you to grab the book and be able to immediately determine what something is, but it’s probably the best you’ll find in that department. Remember, if you do take a guide out, practice practice practice and eventually you’ll be able to go “Oh look! Allium! Ah, blue lettuce! Etc.” it’s not an overnight thing. Also, always err to the side of caution. If you aren’t 100%, be very very very careful.

u/goatasplosion · 2 pointsr/foraging

Found this online:

And this article:

I can definitely relate, I've had to learn on my own. Practice! Go out into the wild and start identifying. Eventually you can get really good at it by yourself. I hope you find someone though!

u/digdog303 · 2 pointsr/Survival

I have a couple of the peterson field guides which are awesome. This one and this one are great. I also have one of the samuel thayer books. He's freakin hilarious! Ancestral plants is also pretty interesting but it goes into more detail about less plants compared to the other books. These books are specific to my region(mid-atlantic/new england) but I know there are peterson guides for and other areas.

u/marciedog11 · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

For science!! :D
A field guide to edible wild plants. As a field ecologist, this would be SO useful. on my wishlist ^^

For art!! Ostart 18 Sizes 16'' (40cm) Circular Bamboo Knitting Needles Set Kit (2.0mm - 10.0mm), on my wishlist ^
Time to start knitting hats for Christmas presents (I remind myself of Hermione Granger SO much sometimes)

u/garbage-person · 2 pointsr/C_S_T

Books like this one and this one are where I began my journey to the plant life.

u/snowmantackler · 2 pointsr/foraging

The book I used to get me started was Petersons Field Guide for Wild Edible Plants found here

u/WillowLeaf · 2 pointsr/Frugal

Mullberries just started getting ripe in my area. I have also used wild grape leaves to make stuffed grape leaves, but other than that I don't know too much about wild foraging. I recently treated myself and bought this book: A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants: Eastern and central North America which has been a cool read so far :P

u/readuponthat24 · 2 pointsr/foraging

buy a good field guide for your area and use "google lens" for more distinct looking plants and fungi. I am fairly new to foraging and have learned a few things that I can share. Nothing in this world will be as useful as going into the woods with someone else who knows what they are doing and what to look for. Your local area likely has some special things to look for and some things to look out for and a local guide will be well versed in those. Next is be curious about everything but don't overwhelm yourself either, concentrate on identifying a few things at a time and learn exactly what to look for in identifying/differentiating that particular plant/fungus. Be careful and have fun.

Here is the book I like to bring with me into the woods in the northeast:

Edible Wild Plants: Eastern/Central North America (Peterson Field Guides) Paperback – September 1, 1999

u/omg_IAMA_girl · 2 pointsr/wheredoibegin

Some of the criticisms of "What Evolution Is" by Mayr is that it doesn't go deep enough into the subject, which to me, is a good book as an introduction.
Or pick up a used Intro to Anthropology text book and note the sources they are citing and go that way.

u/rangorok · 2 pointsr/biology

What evolution is by Ernst Mayr.

u/tolos · 2 pointsr/philosophy

I am not a biologist.

The Counter-Creationism Handbook might be something like what you're looking for, though it does branch into non-evolutionary topics. It is a compilation of questions/arguments from (usenet) that are discussed for a paragraph or two with lots of sources cited. Check out the reviews on Amazon. Really recommend this one.

What Evolution Is was a good introduction to evolution. I've read several, and I feel that this was the best. He also talks in passing about what evolution is not. Standard kind of non-fiction book.

Evolution is supposedly the reference textbook of atheists. There is a newer edition out, or you can pick up this one for about $15 (USD).

u/kzsummers · 2 pointsr/atheism

(This is the rest of my answer, cut off for being too long).
3) I'm beginning to think that we need to skip ahead and talk about evolution, because if you don't understand how DNA could have evolved, you've really never read a single book on evolution. (I'm not criticizing you; you're in good company there). So let's combine your third and fourth points, and allow me to clarify what evolution is, why it explains DNA, and why your micro/macro distinction is, frankly, bullshit.

First principle behind evolution: If something can make copies of itself, there will soon be more of it. It there are lots of competing things that can make copies of themselves, the ones that can do so most efficiently will end up having the most copies.

If that statement strikes you as true, there we go. Evolution.

The first proto-organisms were basically strings of RNA. Under certain conditions, a nucleotide strand would attach complementary bases, and you would have two strands of RNA. Then environmental conditions change and the two strands separate, and both of them can attach to more complementary bases.

Second principle behind evolution: If copies aren't exactly the same as the original, then some changes will increase efficiency. Other changes will decrease efficiency. After enough generations, your population will contain lots of copies of efficient replicators and very few copies of inefficient replicators.

So some of the RNA sequences happen to misplace an adenine instead of a cytosine, and that means that a replication enzyme bonds more tightly to the strand, and this mutant makes more copies of itself than its neighbors do.

And eventually, a nucleotide ends up with a deoxyribose sugar instead of a ribose sugar, and this configuration turns out to be WAY more stable - it can form into a double helix that is less likley to spontaneously collapse, and which can replicate with fewer errors. And this mutant makes more copies of itself than its neighbors do.

And these sequences of DNA/RNA aren't just random collections of letters. Well, some of them are, but others can be interpreted to build proteins that facilitate copying - and the ones with these helpful sequences can make more copies of themselves.

Let this process happen for a couple billion years.

But, you're saying, the probability is so small! You mean all those coincidences just happen to occur? Convenient mutations just happen to come along? If you multpily together the odds of all those things happening, it's tiny!

Well, of course it is. When you have a trillion early replicators hanging around, improbable things happen ALL. THE. TIME. And multiplying together the odds of each mutation is the completely wrong way to look at the problem - it's like looking at all the possible combinations of your parents' sperm and eggs that could have existed and declaring triumphantly that the probability of you existing is one in a gazillion. Of course it is! The question is what the probability of some complex life developing, under the given optimization pressures, and it should be obvious that it's reasonably high. Of those trillions of worlds we talked about earlier, maybe only a couple billion of them got to complex life.

Obviously, this is the grossly oversimplified version. For the whole story, you need to read this or this or this or this or... any of these, actually. But I hope you understand why most atheists feel that the distinction between macro- and micro-evolution is silly. Evolution is just the change in gene pools over time. This change has been observed to lead to one species splitting off into multiple species which can no longer reproduce (the biological definition of speciation). At what point is this process called "macro" evolution? How many genes need to change before you insist that the process "doesn't exist"? Why would evolution push two separate populations to the brink of speciation and then suddenly stop working by the rules we've repeatedly observed? Saying "micro but not macro" is like saying you believe gravity works on people but not on planets. There's just no reason to draw the distinction!

Using techniques called molecular systematics, we can trace the evolutionary relationships between species by mapping the differences in noncoding DNA. And, of course, I'm neglecting the single biggest piece of supporting evidence for evolution: the fossil record. You've probably been fed the lie that we don't have the transitional fossils. Well, we do have the transitional fossils. Overwhelmingly..

Now, ethics. The God of the Bible, if he existed, is a monstrous, selfish, egomaniacal, power-hungry terrifying sociopath. I don't mean to cause offense (though I probably will) but I read the Bible and it nearly made me ill. God tortures everyone who doesn't worship him for all eternity. He had 42 children mauled to death by bears for laughing at a bald man.(II Kings 2:23-24). He murders all the inhabitants of an entire city for being "sinful" (Genesis 19:1-26). He orders his people to commit genocide, over and over again. (Deuteronomy 13:13-16, Numbers 31:12-18, I Chronicles 21:9-14).
He's okay with rape (often, he explicitly orders his followers to commit rape) and treats women as property(Deuteronomy 22:28-29, Deuteronomy 22:23-24, Exodus 21:7-11). He's pro-slavery (I Timothy 6:1-2, Exodus 21:20.) He even claims in Isaiah 45:7 to have created all evil. In short, if we're getting our morals from that guy, we're seriously screwed. This isn't the wise and loving father whose children can't understand his dictates: it's the abusive alcoholic father whose son runs away when he realizes that rape, murder, and incest aren't okay just because Dad says so.

You're about to protest that most of those are Old Testament. But Jesus explicitly endorses the Old Testament and says that he has not come to change the old laws (Matthew 5:17). He endorses what God did in Sodom and Gomorrah and threatens to do even worse to three more cities because their inhabitants were unimpressed with him.(Matthew 11:21-24). He says that any child who curses his parents should be killed as according to Old Testament Law. (Mark 7:10)

I don't think a world where everyone follows their individual conscience could possibly be worse than a world rules by that God. And, in fact, countries that are nonreligious have lower rates of crime, higher standards of living, and higher self-reported happiness.

Interesting debate, thanks!

u/panamafloyd · 2 pointsr/atheism

>There is no evidence that consciousness is directly link to any particular piece of brain matter.

I disagree.

>There is growing evidence that consciousness is an emergent property...possibly just a pattern; that existence is infinite, and time just another dimension to move around in.

Cite? Even one to a disputed book or study would help.

>It's not woo, but it does require a bit of hope that the science is pointing us to something less depressing than nothingness.

I'm curious..why do you find "nothingness" depressing?

u/Laughing_Chipmunk · 2 pointsr/neuroscience

Currently reading a book titled Consciousness and the Brain: Deciphering How the Brain Codes Our Thoughts, I would highly recommend it if you're interested in the science of consciousness.

In terms of going back to uni to do an undergraduate in neuroscience, i don't think it's worth it. I'm about to start an honours in visual neuroscience, but before finding my project I was talking to a prof about honours projects and he said he had a computer science graduate doing a project with him on alzheimer's. A lot of neuroscience these days involves programming so you have a huge one up there (i'll be learning programming for my project). In terms of how to get into the field, you could probably go straight into post grad if you have good marks with your current undergrad degree. Honours or Masters degrees, or as ciaoshescu mentioned you may be able to do an internship, i'm not to sure how that would work though.

Good luck on your journey!

u/Dcab · 2 pointsr/neuroscience

Consciousness and the Brain: Deciphering How the Brain Codes Our Thoughts

Comprehensive, current, a generally pleasant read/listen.

u/notsointelligent · 2 pointsr/Futurology

I've read a few. My interest is AI. Of them all I'll recommend two:

  • Consciousness and the Brain
  • On Intelligence

    edit - sigh I am now unable to reply to people who have replied to me. Would love to talk about neuroscience and consciousness and Ai but I guess well meet on another sub
u/c00yt825 · 2 pointsr/artificial

That book has now been added to my library, thank you. Link for anyone interested.

As far as the "It's only a really convincing simulation" goes:

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...
If a simulation is so convincing of faking his consciousness that there's nothing we could do (except maybe open up the soft- and hardware) to differentiate it from something we would consider conscious, then by all means it is conscious. I know I'm conscious, because I have my own thoughts to prove it to myself. But everyone else in the world might just be a clever robot. But it's senseless to assume this because it's not functional.

I think this argument ultimately comes down to "there's something special about us" rather than accepting consciousness too is 'just' a product of complex mechanics. As I mentioned somewhere else, the problem is we don't have a clear definition of what is conscious and can therefore not test for it.

u/Singular_Thought · 2 pointsr/singularity

Sometimes I ponder the same idea. Ultimately we won't know until consciousness is better understood. The research is moving forward.

A great book on the matter is:

Consciousness and the Brain: Deciphering How the Brain Codes Our Thoughts
by Stanislas Dehaene (Author)

u/c_zeit_run · 2 pointsr/biology

That'll answer all your questions about predictive models. All systems can be described by math, though chaotic systems--like, you know, life--are a lot harder to do that with. We can barely predict the weather.

For more math in biology, look at most papers by the theorists like Hamilton. Or maybe anything that has to do with bioinformatics.

Now that I think of it, the simplest and most concrete examples of prediction come from genetics. Make a quick Punnett square and you'll see.

u/econ_learner · 2 pointsr/badeconomics
u/unkz · 2 pointsr/atheism

>George W. Bush

Went to Yale and Harvard and isn't as stupid as he looks. And while he's the figurehead, the reins of power are shared among everyone in the government, all of whom went to university and studied the Greeks and Romans.

>I bet there are a bunch of undiscovered civilizations and we are living just fine without their discovery. Archaelogy only purpose is to satisfied our curiosity, it has zero impact in today world, is just a really interesting hobby.

That's like saying (100 years ago) that there are lots of scientific ideas that we are living fine without. Or to put it more generally, what we don't know doesn't matter.

> This guy discovered by accident.

From your very source, "The significance of the discovery, first published in 1871, was not at first apparent"

Without evolutionary theory, DNA is practically irrelevant. Without DNA combined with the theory of common ancestry, genetic science simply doesn't exist or doesn't make any sense. Without genetic science, our understanding of the nature of a large fraction of disease and heredity would be nonexistent.

> I´m not saying "if we dropped the scientific method", i´m saying if we dropped those three sciences 100 years ago the world would be pretty much the same, this doesn´t mean there are not interesting fields only that they give us a look into the past but nothing to the future.

> Please tell me i really want to know.

I spend a lot of time working on resource optimization problems utilizing computational genetic optimization tools based on the foundation of evolutionary theory -- surivival of the fittest, random mutation, and hereditary descent. These tools and methodologies are a direct outgrowth of evolutionary theory.

I have friends who work in cytogenetics (in disease diagnosis) and in evodevo (fiddling with nematodes). None of what they do makes any sense without first understanding the evolutionary heritage of the diseases involved or the developmental patterns that preceded them.

What you have to understand is that without evolutionary theory linking together all of the various forms of life, they would be mysterious black boxes, each with obvious commonalities with no obvious explanation. We'd have big lists of different creatures with surprisingly similar features and no cogent story to place them in. The tree of life (phylogenetic tree, not to be confused with metaphysical mumbojumbo also referred to as the tree of life) that we all see in biology class is the result of evolutionary theory and gives us that context in which to talk about the interrelatedness of the world around us. That was the state of biology before the integration that evolution gave us.

Yes, before evolutionary theory there was a sort of tree of life that people had in their minds, generally variations on the "great chain of being" that God laid out in the beginning. The great difference between that limited perspective and what evolutionary theory gives us is the ability to make predictions. It allows us to take in observations and use them to generate new hypotheses that lead us to great discoveries. A pre-evolutionary perspective is a distinctly passive passenger in the quest for knowledge.

If you're interested in getting some specifics on exactly how evolutionary theory reaches out into the world that you live in, try this:

u/fungoid_sorceror · 2 pointsr/askscience

I'd imagine that there's selective pressure applied, though I doubt "wariness" is the defining trait.

Our highway system definitely increases the potential for speciation, though, as it creates several discrete isolated populations from what was once one large genetic pool. Effectively we're turning a single large land mass into sporadically connected islands, which creates its own set of dangers. This book does a great job explaining and discussing it.

u/HotKarl_Marx · 2 pointsr/exmormon

One of my favorite books that is tangentially on this subject is Song of the Dodo by David Quammen.

u/reggietheporpoise · 2 pointsr/labrats

the song of the dodo by david quammen. one of my favorite science books. i wish there was an audiobook available, i’d love to experience it again on my commute to work.

u/honilee · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

This is my kinda contest! My Favorite Book! changes with my mood, but my current favorite would be Kushiel's Dart, which looks like a cheap romance novel judging by its cover, but is actually a story of political intrigue set in an alternate history of Europe (most of the action takes place in an alternate-medieval France whose inhabitants have the blood of literal angels running through their veins).

It's the first of a trilogy (and there's more books after that, but you can stop at the first trilogy), but if I recall correctly one can probably stop at the first book, but I know I couldn't. Carey has done a fabulous job building a world that feels real--she intermixes her story's religion, history, and politics into the main narrative in such a way that it doesn't feel clunky at all.

Fair warning: the beginning has quite a bit of exposition, but you need it all to understand anything. It's a long read; I think the print book has 799 pages; the Kindle version has 929 pages. Also: there are sex scenes, so if you don't like to read that kind of content, you probably want to give this book a pass.

If I should win the raffle, I'd love The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinction!

u/theseacoastbarony · 2 pointsr/AskAcademia

Not something I consult regularly, or really ever, but one text that I actually enjoyed immensely while reading is Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos by Steven H. Strogatz.

EDIT: I just discovered he has two other books that aren't quite texts, and one is semi-autobiographical with an element of calculus - sounds a lot like my favorite playwright, Tom Stoppard. I know what I'm buying myself for Christmas.

u/OceanBiogeochemist · 2 pointsr/visualizedmath

Yes it's a really fascinating subject! I'm doing my PhD in oceanography and work with climate simulations. Of course the climate system is quite chaotic, so the whole subject piqued my interest.

I'm fortunate that I'm taking a class in 'chaotic dynamics' currently on campus. We actually just spent a few weeks with the logistic map equation, cobweb diagrams, etc. so this was good timing.

Here's a good MOOC with videos that you'll learn a lot from:

Our course textbook is Strogatz's book on chaos which is a great resource: . I believe he also has a lectures series out on Youtube.

u/cianmscannell · 2 pointsr/math

If you would like to look at something a bit more applied then there is nothing better than Strogratz

u/LyapunovFunction · 2 pointsr/math

I made a comment in a another thread.

I second /u/ProfThrowawary17's recommendation for Strogatz and also suggest the undergrad text Hale and Kocak. Strogatz is a rare text that delivers both interesting math and well-motivated applications in a fairly accessible manner. I have not systematically read Hale and Kocak, but it also seems to provide a gentle yet rigorous introduction to ODE's from the modern dynamical systems point of view.

Like /u/dogdiarrhea, I also recommend the graduate text Hale. If you have a strong analysis background, working through Hale would be quite worthwhile. It's also a Dover publication! So if Hale doesn't work out for you in a first time reading, it would still be a useful reference later on.

u/snaftyroot · 2 pointsr/space

If you want to get into the nitty gritty of it, look to computational modeling of nonlinear systems, specifically the navier-stokes equations and the 4th order runge-kutta method.

Of course that requires a bunch of math and bit of programming. If you're up for it this is an excellent starting point:

u/irrational_e · 2 pointsr/IAmA

Yes! Dynamical Systems is awesome...Strogatz wrote one of the best math textbooks I've read, hopefully you'll be using it.

u/Gereshes · 2 pointsr/Physics

I'd recommend Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos by Strogatz ( <--That's an affiliate link that helps support the blog )

u/GroupDrink · 2 pointsr/pics

If you go to Myanmar or Thailand, you can see them flash in sync. There's a great book that's not really about the phenomenon as much as it's about spontaneous generation of order from chaos. The author was on a fascinating episode of Radiolab that talks about the firefly thing though.

u/flaz · 2 pointsr/ExplorersOfReality

My observation and perception is that this natural harmony is fundamentally what causes intelligence and consciousness. It is fractal, and it is spontaneous. In simple terms, our brains are giant musical instruments, like thousands or even millions of orchestras in our head, and our thoughts are songs that play along with stimulus from our environment. There are many songs playing in our brains at any given time. The most coherent songs get other orchestras to play along, until one is the most coherent in our mind and becomes the main song for a bit.

The fractal nature of this on the larger scale can be seen in social interactions where there is a public consciousness -- the collective intelligence. The collective intelligence that we see in society might exactly mirror how our individual intelligence works. The fractal nature on a smaller scale can be seen when for instance we notice a sound, such as a wind chime, and it stimulates a larger thought. This happened to me a few years ago when my neighbor's wind "flute" played a certain note according to which way and how intense the wind was blowing. There I was, unloading groceries from the car when it occurred to me that that's exactly how our brains work, albeit on a far more complex scale. We are more or less blowing around in the winds of existence, receiving stimuli from many sources at once, and our brains spontaneously oscillate in response, just like my neighbor's wind flute.

There is an interesting book on this subject called "Sync: How Order Emerges from Chaos in the Universe, Nature, and Daily Life". These natural harmonics are how order spontaneously appears in the universe, and it therefore appears to me that our brains and our intelligence are the opposite of disorder.

I had once watched an interview with a lady who was describing a DMT trip. She felt that our brains are "spiritual antennas". That may not be far from the truth when you think about it, since, as I am proposing, our brains naturally oscillate in harmony with stimuli from our environment. What happens when we are asleep, or under the influence of substances such as DMT, is somewhat more of a mystery than being sober and awake. Is some part of our brain sensitive to unseen quantum harmonics perhaps?

u/We_have_no_future · 2 pointsr/AskPhysics

Strogatz is my favorite author for complex syst. and non-linear dynamics:

Watch his TED talk:

u/GodEmperorPePethe2nd · 2 pointsr/savedyouaclick

Race-a human population partially isolated reproductively from other populations, whose members share a greater degree of physical and genetic similarity with one another than with other humans. The commonest being the Caucasian, Mongoloid, and Negro, characterized by supposedly distinctive and universal physical characteristics--Oxford Medical

Race (human categorization)

Race is the classification of humans into groups based on physical traits, ancestry, genetics or social relations, or the relations between them.[1][2][3][4][5] First used to refer to speakers of a common language and then to denote national affiliations, by the 17th century race began to refer to physical (i.e. phenotypical) traits. The term was often used in a general biological taxonomic sense,[6] starting from the 19th century, to denote genetically differentiated human populations defined by phenotype.[7][8]

Minorities crying were instrumental in turning the scientific consensus against the validity of race in the 1960s

"Increasingly women and younger persons
entered the discipline. In the 1960s,
during their graduate training, they were
exposed to and some participated in the
social movements concerned with civil
rights, gender equality, and opposition to
the war in Viet Nam37. Defenders of the
race concept may prefer to portray the rejection
of race as being a politically correct
response. Instead, it is proposed that
their social experiences of discrimination
and awareness of the use of racism to excuse
the slaughter of millions in the Holocaust
and in the massacres of World War
II stimulated their sensitivity to the new
natural science data and concepts and enabled
them to reject the concept of race."

"One was based on clinal variations
noted above. In the second the differences
between human societies were
conceived as cultural ethnic groups in
which one or more populations were identified
on the basis of »behavior, customs,
or genealogy (descent)«26. This is a cultural
distinction that avoids explaining differences
between groups on the basis of
race or genetic determinism, although regrettably,
some use ethnicity to refer to
biological races as in The Bell Curve38."

This is most likely the reason the IQ level for retarded was lowered, as the standard deviation meant the overwhelming majority of the black population was considered mentally retarded

As you can see, it has nothing to do with science as it way it was overturned as a definition, but feels

Humans can be genetically categorized into five racial groups, corresponding to traditional races

Genetic analysis “supports the traditional racial groups classification

“Human genetic variation is geographically structured” and corresponds with race

Race can be determined via genetics with certainty for >99.8% of individuals

Oral bacteria can be used to determine race"

There was minimal gene flow between archaic Europeans and Asians

97% of Whites have no Black ancestry whatsoever

Common-sense racial categories have biological meaning

It is inaccurate to state that race is biologically meaningless

Races are human subspecies

The “social constructionist account of race lacks biological reality”

The concept of race existed in ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, China, India, and Arabia

Racial classification has genetic significance

So feel free to 'enjoy' all that actual science i just dropped on your ass, feel free to let me know when your PH.D in biology is done. No amount of social justice fuckery is going to overcome reality

u/brainguy · 2 pointsr/biology

I'm going to walk through what I think is important to know about transcription by Pol II in eukaryotes; it's similar but more complex that prokaryotes and the transcriptional mechanisms of Pol I and III are much less well understood.

First we often have a TATA box ~25bp from the transcriptional start site (TSS) where the complex of TFIID (the TF's stand for transcription factor) and TATA Binding Protein (TBP) recognize an available TATA box and bind to it.

Next a bunch of other general transcription factors arrange around the TSS and they recruit and stabilize the binding of Pol II. TFIIF then catalyzes the phosphorylation of the C-Terminal Domain (CTD) tail which causes Pol II to release from the general TFs and began transcription in the 3' -> 5' direction (thus generating transcripts in 5' - 3' orientation)

  • At approximately the same time TFIIF & DNA Helicases pry open the double helix allowing Pol II to sort of just do it's thing and synthesize RNA transcripts from the DNA template.

    While the RNA transcript is being made capping proteins are recruited to add the 7-methylguanine cap to the 5' end of the new transcript (This serves to maintain stability and will later be a recognition site of proteins).

    Additionally RNA splicing also occurs (usually) before the RNA transcript is completely transcribed. A large nuclear riboprotein (complex of nuclear RNAs and protein) call the Spliceosome uses 2 trans esterification reactions to clip out the introns and link together the exons (this is another large story I would stick with knowing what I said unless you need to know a lot about RNA splicing)

    Pol II keeps elongating until it hits the stop signal in which case Pol II releases from the DNA and the RNA transcript is now ready for more precessing and then export from the nucleus.

    Once the transcript is released Poly-A polymerase (PAP) adds ~200 adenosine monophosphates to the 3' end which is important for recognition by poly-A binding proteins necessary for circularization of the transcript for translation.

    This is all taken from Alberts - I can send you a PDF of it if you'd like.

    Edit - forgot about poly adenylation
u/splutard · 2 pointsr/biology

The two canonical molecular bio texts are "Alberts" (Molecular Biology of the Cell by Alberts, et al) and Lodish (Molecular Cell Biology by Lodish et al).

These may not be specific enough if you want in-depth info on a particular area, but they'll get you started on just about anything you want to know.

u/Zakalve · 2 pointsr/AgingBiology

I'm coming from Molecular biology background so I can't really help you about medical textbooks but for the biological side of things I would recommend the following:

Biology of Aging: Observations and Principles by Arking - This was my textbook for the subject. It's really good, comprehensive book that covers methodology, basic principles and some more advanced.

An Introduction to Genetic Analysis by Griffiths - This was recommended for my Genetics class. Quite comprehensive and explains some basic genetic concepts really well (imo).

Molecular Biology of the Gene by Watson - Almost all the basic stuff from molecular biology you'll need. Essentially, The Book.

Molecular Biology of the Cell by Alberts - Cell biology, you'll need it a lot and Alberts is really good at explaining things even if it's sometimes a bit too wide.

Developmental Biology by Gilberts Developmental biology is, imo, very important and Gilberts is one of the best in the field. Definitely check it out.

There is a few more books on other subjects that are under or above this level (depending on uni this is 2nd or 3rd year of BsC) but you'll get the gist.

Considering the price of these I would recommend you to check out (feel free to pm me if you need some help). Also you might want to check out r/longevity , it has much more traffic than this sub. I hope I wasn't confusing, I just woke up and my English is not so good in the morning. :)

I'm kinda in the same boat as you. Only I'm going for PhD so if you need any help or advice feel free to pm me. :)

u/weinerjuicer · 2 pointsr/Physics

i did my phd in a related field. it seems like you will have enough math and that some more computer programming could be a good thing. the main pitfall in this kind of stuff is that people want to do a bunch of math that is more complicated than it needs to be without tying it back to the biological system.

obviously you will need help from senior people with that, but it seems to me that the best thing you could do to prepare is read a bunch about motor proteins and the cytoskeleton. every cell-biology textbook should have a few chapters on this. i recommend this book if you want something with a bit of math.

if you want, PM me the name of the person you'll be working for. odds are good i know a bit about what they are doing.

u/MJ81 · 2 pointsr/Physics

I mostly learned from a variety of sources, as there's not an ideal single text on this avenue of research, IMO.

I found general small-angle scattering references for free here and here, the latter being a PDF document from the EMBL small-angle scattering group. For NSE experiments on these sorts of systems, it's pretty much expected you've already done characterization of your samples via small-angle x-ray and/or neutron scattering

I'd also recommend the NIST Summer School course materials as a good and inexpensive way to get started on the neutron spectroscopy side of things. Most of what I'd seen in terms of texts tended to be fairly pricey monographs when starting out, so I'd either borrow stuff from coworkers or my institutional library. There are advanced undergrad/starting grad student texts on x-ray & neutron scattering - e.g., 1 and 2 - but I didn't find out about them until a bit further into my studies.

As might be obvious, there's definitely inspiration and foundational work to be found in the polymer science literature. I went running to Doi and Edwards, for example, when I realized that I needed more background reading in this area, but I'm sure others have their particular favorites in this and related areas.

Insofar as the bio-side of things, well, I've been doing biophysically oriented research since I was an undergrad. I'd suggest a popular biophysics text as well (either Nelson's Biological Physics or Physical Biology of the Cell ) as a starting point/reference. These are aimed towards advanced undergraduates or new grad students as well, mostly due to the interdisciplinary nature of the topics. Speaking of PBoC, one of the authors maintains a publications page where you can check out the PDFs of his group's work.

I think I'll end there, as I think that should be enough pleasure reading for a little while, at least.

u/karma_means_nothing_ · 2 pointsr/shroomers

I have a book, Psilocybin Mushrooms of The World, and in it there's a pic of this woman with a wide brimmed hat that has spore prints all around it. She walks around town spreading billions of spores without a care in the world. I love that kind of initiative.

EDIT: Found it!

u/daemoncode · 2 pointsr/Psychedelics

First find out if they grow where you live. Then start by "acquiring" books such as this one:

u/3kixintehead · 2 pointsr/Drugs

Start here

And DEFINITELY buy other identification guides to cross-reference. Forest-hunting isn't particularly lucrative for psychedelics. Be very careful and deliberate with anything you find, because there are quite a few species (in the fields and forests) that are similar to psilocybin species, but dangerous.

u/scarydinosaur · 2 pointsr/atheism

Many things can be explained better with evolution. Evolution is a theory, in the scientific sense, and that means it's veracity is tested by current and emerging evidence. If it didn't have the explanatory power for most of the evidence then it wouldn't be so popular. So it certainly doesn't explain everything, it just explains the data we have so far. There are countless things we simply don't know yet.

If you're open to understanding the core aspects of Evolution, please read:

Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters

The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution

Why Evolution Is True

As for freewill, it depends on the atheist. Some believe in free will, while others don't think we actually posses it.

u/MormonAtheist · 2 pointsr/exmormon

> Science can't make up its mind.

Neither can religion. Religious leaders tend to make up bullshit and pass it off as fact, such as the Quakers that lived on the moon according to Brigham Young. The difference is that religious people change their doctrines when their beliefs get embarrassing, while scientists change their views whenever new evidence comes along or when their hypotheses are tested and disproven. Scientists aren't just making shit up, they're testing stuff rigorously and have zero tolerance for misinformation.

> No evidence for macro evolution.

If you think the earth is 6,000 years old then evolution couldn't possibly make sense. This is enough time to get all the dogs we see but not enough to get back to the common ancestor between a cat and a dog. This is way beyond the scope of a simple post on reddit, so if you want to destroy this argument get this book and read it twice.

> Homosexuality does not mesh with your theory of evolution.

Logically it doesn't seem like it would, and yet it does. Homosexuality is also very common in the animal kingdom.

> "Your claim of atheism"

Turn this around. Make him prove Odin or Zeus don't exist.

u/samisbond · 2 pointsr/atheism

Well if you have the time, there's The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution by Richard Dawkins and Why Evolution Is True by Jerry A. Coyne. You could check if your local library has one of them.

Also, although this will not teach you evolution, Richard Dawkins notes a flaw in the idea of a designer in that there are clear imperfections that one would not expect from an intelligent designer, but would from evolution.

u/Tokenwhitemale · 2 pointsr/science

Not sure how helpful this will be, but you might point out that there's evolution and Christianity are not NECESSARILY incompatible, that's there's no real reason for him to be worried about evolution clashing with his faith in god. You could point out that many Christians do believe in Evolution. The Catholic Church actually endorses natural selection so any Catholic that denies evolution is actually committing blasphemy. Lutherans, Methodists, and many other Christian denominations see no inconsistency between believing in the Christian God and accepting evolution.

There's also several books you could point him to. Richard Dawkins's new book "The Greatest Show on Earth"

surveys the evidence for evolution, so that would be a great book for your brother to read. Most Creationists demonize Dawkins, though, so your brother might not be receptive to that.

Michael Ruse, a Philosophy Professor at Florida State University, has written countless books on the history of Evolution, the debate between Creationists and Evolutionists, and the history of the conflict between Christianity and Science. Ruse, while an agnostic, IS sympathetic to Christianity, and your brother should find him less offensive to read than Dawkins.

u/omaca · 2 pointsr/books

First, let me compliment you on a fascinating list. There are some truly great books in there. I'm both impressed and delighted. Based on your choices, I would recommend the following.

Catch-22 by Joseph Hellar. Even more so than Slaughterhouse-Five, this is the quintessential anti-war novel. A hugely influential 20th century masterpiece. And laugh-out-loud funny in parts too!

The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes is a deserved winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Engrossing, erudite, insightful and educational narrative history of this hugely important event in 20th century history - reads like a novel. Covers not only the Allies, but also the German and (very often overlooked) Japanese side to the story.

Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra, just because of its sweeping scope. Very entertaining modern novel set in India. Touches upon topics and themes as diverse as modern Indian organized crime, international terrorism, Bollywood, the 1948 Partition, Maoist rebels, the caste system, corruption in Indian film, police and government... the list goes on and on. Great fun, and eye-opening.

A Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Marcia Marquez. Whilst not the original "magic realism" novel (despite what Marquez himself my imply), this is the first one to gain international acclaim and is a very influential work. Entertaining in so many ways. Follow the history of the fictional town of Maconda for a hundred years and the lives (the crazy, multifaceted lives) of its inhabitants.

Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett. This is a play, not a novel, and one translated from the French at that. Don't let that put you off. Existentialism has never been so interesting...

The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins. His latest tour-de-force.

Manufacturing Consent by Noam Chomsky. Dare I say that this expose on how Government and Big Business control public debate and the media is so important, was more influential than Chomsky's review of Skinner's verbal behaviour? Perhaps not. But a very important work none-the-less.

u/Skwerl23 · 2 pointsr/atheism

tell her to read The Greatest show on earth
and if she doesn't well than time to move on. don't be mad at your freedom from forced thought.
Your kids will learn from you, and you will create a future america that will be worth living.

u/WorkingMouse · 2 pointsr/Christianity

>Not familiar as I probably ought to be. I know that there were other homo species -possibly at the same time as humans. I think I heard something about interbreeding at some point, but maybe that was just speculation?

To be honest, I'm not exactly an expert on the specifics. However, Wikipedia provides as always - If the article and the numerous citations are to be believed, they're considered separate species as mitochondria genetic data (that I could explain further if you like) shows little significant breeding. However, there is indeed some evidence of limited interbreeding.

>This is fascinating stuff!

I'm glad you like it!

>To clarify: do all the primates share the same mutation which is different from the mutation in other creatures, ex. guinea pigs?'

Precisely! Mind you, I believe there are a few changes which have accumulated since divergence (since if they don't need the gene once it's "off", further mutations won't be selected against), but the crucial changes are indeed the same within primates - and those within guinea pigs are the same within guinea pigs and their nearby relatives (I believe), but different from those from simians. Amusingly, because mutations occur at a generally steady rate, the number of further divergences between the pseudogenes (no-longer-functional genes which resemble working copies in other organisms) in different species will give hints at how long ago those species had a common ancestor (this, and related calculations, are termed the "genetic clock").

Nifty, isn't it?

>I guess I don't see why it would be demeaning to be patterned after other homo species which were adapted to the environment we would inhabit. Maybe I'm way off here, but it seems like the case for common ancestry could also point to a common creator. (obviously it is outside the bounds of science to consider that possibility, but philosophically, it might have merit?)

I have indeed heard that before; the suggestion of a common creator as opposed to common descent is a fairly common suggestion, pardon the pun. The typical arguments against fall first to traits which can be considered "poor design" in pure engineering terms, even if they're traits that are now needed. I can point to the genetic baggage of the human eye compared to that of the cephelopod (nerve fibers over vs. under the retina), or the human back (not great for walking upright), or further traits along those lines which suggest that we're still closer to our origins. Indeed, we can also look at things like the pseudogene involved with vitamin C above as unnecessary addons; genetic artifacts which hint at our descent.

While this additional argument, I will grant, is better at addressing general creation then special human creation, we can also look at repeated motifs. For example, the same bones that form our hand also form a bird's wing, a whale's flipper, a dog's paw, a horse's hoof, and all the other mammalian, reptile, and avian forelimbs - though sometimes you need to go to the embryo before you see the similarity. When taken alone, that may suggest either evolution or design; it would make sense for a creator to reuse traits. It becomes more stark when you consider examples that should be similar - for example, the wings of the bat, bird, and pterodactyl, despite using the same bones, have vastly different structures, despite all being used for the same purpose (that is, flight).

The way that my evolutionary biology professor phrased this is that "design can explain this, but cannot predict it; evolution both explains and predicts." This idea - that natural observations may be explained or excused (begging your pardon) in a creation model, but are what are expected from an evolutionary model - is the major point I wish to make in this regard. And, I shall admit, perhaps as close as I can get to "disproving" special creation; it tends to approach unfalsifiability, if I understand it correctly.

>If I recall correctly, this is the position of Francis Collins / BioLogos. It's possible, but I have a few concerns. The first being that I think animals do have souls. If that's correct, ensoulment doesn't help make sense of the theology.

Yup; ensoulment as special is less compatible in that case.

>It would also mean that (at least at some point) there were other creatures who were genetically equal to human beings, but didn't have souls. Cue slave trade and nazi propaganda -they're human, but they aren't people. It would have been possible (probable?) that ensouled humans would breed with the soulless humans -and that just seems . . . squicky.

Point taken; even if you were to claim ensoulment for all humans existing at a specific point and thereafter, there can be...negative connotations.

>So, for now, it's a possibility, but it seems to be more problematic than special creation.

To be perfectly frank, I'm not really equipped to argue otherwise. As an atheist, my tendency is to end up arguing against ensoulment, as it's not something we can really draw a line at either. Still, I figured I'd put it out there; I'm a little delighted at your dissection of it honestly, as you brought up things I'd not yet considered.

>Like I said, the genetics is fascinating, and I am naive to much of it. Short of becoming a geneticist, could you recommend a good book on the subject of human genetics and common descent? I took basic genetics in college, so I was able to follow the discussion about chromosomes, telomeres, etc. But I would like to know more about the discoveries that have been made.

Oooh, that's a rough question. Don't get me wrong, it's a wonderful question, but I rarely read books aimed at laymen dealing with my specialty; most of my information comes from text books, papers, and profs, if you take my meaning. Which in the end is a way for me to provide my disclaimer: I can provide recommendations, but I've generally not read them myself; sorry.

Having said that, I'm not about to discourage your curiosity - indeed, I cannot laud it highly enough! - and so I shall do what I can:

  • Why Evolution is True is the one I generally hear the best things about; due to the possible audience, it is partially written as a refutation of intelligent design, but it also gives a lovely primer on evolutionary science - and compared to some of Dawkins's texts, it's more focused on the evidence.
  • I have a copy of Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters on my bedside table right now - largely unread, I'm afraid. Basically, it takes a peek at one gene from each of our chromosomes and explores its relevance and its evolutionary history. It's by no means comprehensive; we have hundreds of thousands of genes, and it looks at twenty-three. None the less, It's been an interesting read thus far.
  • Similarly, Your Inner Fish explores the human form, and where it comes from; it looks at various structures in the human body and draws evolutionary parallels; this one is more heavily focused on common descent in relation to humans.

    I think I'll hold off there for the moment. The latter two are focused more on humans, while the former is about evolution in general. I'm sure there are more books I could recommend - Dawkin's The Greatest Show on Earth has been lauded, for example. I tried to stick with texts which were at a slightly higher level, not merely addressing the basics but delving a little deeper, as you noted you have a measure of familiarity already, and those which were related to humans. I hope they help!

    It's not an alternative to books, but Wikipedia does have a fair article on the topic (which I linked near the very top as well). And believe it or not, I do enjoy this sort of thing; you are more then welcome to ask more questions if and when they occur to you.
u/5amsung · 2 pointsr/atheism

"Makes more sense to me than a man in space" is not a very compelling argument. You claim that you're "one of the very, very few serious and educated atheists within 100 miles" - that a great aspiration, but you need to follow through on it. Buy yourself a copy of The Greatest Show on Earth and learn to engage him more deeply. It's the equivalent of doing karate to be able to deal with school bullies, but for your mind. It'll be good experience.

u/keithamus · 2 pointsr/science

You should read Richard Dawkin's "The Greatest Show On Earth". Most of chapter 1 is used to explain the scientific use of "theory" and how the pundits manipulate the word to remove authority from it. Here is a large excerpt from the book:


Only a theory? Let’s look at what ‘theory’ means. The Oxford English Dictionary gives two meanings (actually more, but these are the two that matter here).

Theory, Sense 1: A scheme or system of ideas or statements held as an explanation or account of a group of facts or phenomena; a hypothesis that has been confirmed or established by observation or experiment, and is propounded or accepted as accounting for the known facts; a statement of what are held to be the general laws, principles, or causes of something known or observed.

Theory, Sense 2: A hypothesis proposed as an explanation; hence, a mere hypothesis, speculation, conjecture; an idea or set of ideas about something; an individual view or notion.

Obviously the two meanings are quite different from one another. And the short answer to my question about the theory of evolution is that the scientists are using Sense 1, while the creationists are – perhaps mischievously, perhaps sincerely – opting for Sense 2. A good example of Sense 1 is the Heliocentric Theory of the Solar System, the theory that Earth and the other planets orbit the sun. Evolution fits Sense 1 perfectly. Darwin’s theory of evolution is indeed a ‘scheme or system of ideas or statements’. It does account for a massive ‘group of facts or phenomena’. It is ‘a hypothesis that has been confirmed or established by observation or experiment’ and, by generally informed consent, it is ‘a statement of what are held to be the general laws, principles, or causes of something known or observed’. It is certainly very far from ‘a mere hypothesis, speculation, conjecture’. Scientists and creationists are understanding the word ‘theory’ in two very different senses. Evolution is a theory in the same sense as the heliocentric theory. In neither case should the word ‘only’ be used, as in ‘only a theory’.

As for the claim that evolution has never been ‘proved’, proof is a notion that scientists have been intimidated into mistrusting. Influential philosophers tell us we can’t prove anything in science. Mathematicians can prove things – according to one strict view, they are the only people who can – but the best that scientists can do is fail to disprove things while pointing to how hard they tried. Even the undisputed theory that the moon is smaller than the sun cannot, to the satisfaction of a certain kind of philosopher, be proved in the way that, for example, the Pythagorean Theorem can be proved. But massive accretions of evidence support it so strongly that to deny it the status of ‘fact’ seems ridiculous to all but pedants. The same is true of evolution. Evolution is a fact in the same sense as it is a fact that Paris is in the Northern Hemisphere. Though logic-choppers rule the town, some theories are beyond sensible doubt, and we call them facts. The more energetically and thoroughly you try to disprove a theory, if it survives the assault, the more closely it approaches what common sense happily calls a fact.

I could carry on using ‘Theory Sense 1’ and ‘Theory Sense 2’ but numbers are unmemorable. I need substitute words. We already have a good word for ‘Theory Sense 2’. It is ‘hypothesis’. Everybody understands that a hypothesis is a tentative idea awaiting confirmation (or falsification), and it is precisely this tentativeness that evolution has now shed, although it was still burdened with it in Darwin’s time. ‘Theory Sense 1’ is harder. It would be nice simply to go on using ‘theory’, as though ‘Sense 2’ didn’t exist. Indeed, a good case could be made that Sense 2 shouldn’t exist, because it is confusing and unnecessary, given that we have ‘hypothesis’. Unfortunately Sense 2 of ‘theory’ is in common use and we can’t by fiat ban it. I am therefore going to take the considerable, but just forgivable, liberty of borrowing from mathematics the word ‘theorem’ for Sense 1. It is actually a mis-borrowing, as we shall see, but I think the risk of confusion is outweighed by the benefits. As a gesture of appeasement towards affronted mathematicians, I am going to change my spelling to ‘theorum’.
First, let me explain the strict mathematical usage of theorem, while at the same time clarifying my earlier statement that, strictly speaking, only mathematicians are licensed to prove anything (lawyers aren’t, despite well-remunerated pretensions).

To a mathematician, a proof is a logical demonstration that a conclusion necessarily follows from axioms that are assumed. Pythagoras’ Theorem is necessarily true, provided only that we assume Euclidean axioms, such as the axiom that parallel straight lines never meet. You are wasting your time measuring thousands of right-angled triangles, trying to find one that falsifies Pythagoras’ Theorem. The Pythagoreans proved it, anybody can work through the proof, it’s just true and that’s that. Mathematicians use the idea of proof to make a distinction between a ‘conjecture’ and a ‘theorem’, which bears a superficial resemblance to the OED’s distinction between the two senses of ‘theory’. A conjecture is a proposition that looks true but has never been proved. It will become a theorem when it has been proved. A famous example is the Goldbach Conjecture, which states that any even integer can be expressed as the sum of two primes. Mathematicians have failed to disprove it for all even numbers up to 300 thousand million million million, and common sense would happily call it Goldbach’s Fact. Nevertheless it has never been proved, despite lucrative prizes being offered for the achievement, and mathematicians rightly refuse to place it on the pedestal reserved for theorems. If anybody ever finds a proof, it will be promoted from Goldbach’s Conjecture to Goldbach’s Theorem, or maybe X’s Theorem where X is the clever mathematician who finds the proof."

Now, if you managed to read all that. I definitely recommend buying it:

It really is an education.

u/jaywalkker · 2 pointsr/science

Any specific Science books?

I could recommend "How to Build a Dinosaur" by Jack Horner
Or "Greatest Show on Earth" by Dawkins.

but neither of those make a difference if that's not the sciencey genres you were looking for.

u/volando34 · 2 pointsr/atheism

I would say, support Dawkins by buying the book, but who am I kidding, the only people who would buy this already know evolution to be a fact (mine is in the mail)... but wait, could we actually do something? More to come after a message from our sponsors!




And we now return with the conclusion: We can buy it for on-the-fence people. Those who would actually consider the other side and are able to follow a logical argument. Not everybody is a bible-thumping full blown creationist. Some really haven't had the education to know about evolution in detail. Make it a part of your christmas/thanksgiving gift package to mom/uncle/girlfriend^W...

u/Lazarus5214 · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

Phenomenal. I urge you to read it right way. That book totally blew my mind. Worldview-shattering is the best way to describe.

Also, just as good, though not as influential, Why Evolution is True, by Jerry Coyne. Short and filled with such modern evidence. The best book to bring a laymen into the world of evolutionary biology.

I'm super excited for The Greatest Show on Earth.

u/BearnardOg · 2 pointsr/atheism

Mom needs to read "The Greatest Show on Earth" by Dawkins. If she has actually unhitched her reasoning from the yoke of religion, then there is no way that she can make it through that book and still doubt that evolution is a fact - which it is.

Dad is trickier. He seems to be at the stage where he thinks "church is bad, but god is good." I was there for a long time myself. If he is a reader, maybe you could turn him on to the works of Bart Ehrman, especially "Misquoting Jesus". If you can get him in front of a computer for 90 minutes, the YouTube series "Why I am no Longer a Christian" by evid3nc3 is mind-blowingly good.

But better still, you read and watch these things and master their content. Then present the arguments to your folks because it sounds like they want to listen to you.

u/darr76 · 2 pointsr/rva

I'm a fan of penguin and elephants. I wish I could have a pet octopus! I actually just won a signed copy of The Soul of an Octopus which I am very excited to read.

u/ioinc · 2 pointsr/atheism

There are no missing links... its a red herring.

Read the 'greatest show on earth'

u/Ethallen · 2 pointsr/atheism

If you're truly curious, you can't do much better than these two books.

The Ancestor's Tale and The Greatest Show on Earth.

u/iwakun · 2 pointsr/softscience

Good introduction to evolution: The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins

u/GodOfThunder44 · 2 pointsr/atheism

Protip: Keep a copy or two of Your Inner Fish or Greatest Show on Earth (or your preferred book on evolution) to lend to any creationist you are trying to convince.

u/fshklr1 · 2 pointsr/askscience

I would read the book The Greatest Show on Earth by Dawkins. It is well written in plain english that is easy to understand and follow.

u/Revigator · 2 pointsr/askphilosophy

Oh boy, great questions but the answers can be really long and (again) belong under science moreso than philosophy. I think I'll link some resources and you can read at your leisure.

  • The ID page on Wikipedia, particularly the Criticism and Kitzmiller Trial sections.
  • Index of Creationist Claims, with responses of course.
  • Evidences for Macroevolution.
  • Why Evolution Is True (book) by evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne, and his website of the same name.
  • The Greatest Show on Earth (book) by Richard Dawkins. It's all biology, unlike "The God Delusion".
  • Your Inner Fish (book) by evo-biologist Neil Shubin, and this excellent talk by him.
  • Science blogs like Sandwalk and Pharyngula can have great info (warning, the latter is very hostile to religion, but I've linked just the evolution articles).

    TL;DR - Biologists document lots of awkward features that develop in a tedious or haphazard manner that no sane designer would ever bother, plus we're missing tons of obvious features that any competent designer would probably include (hello, drowning sucks, gills would be nice). And their work is strongly supported by genetics and its underlying chemistry.
u/Kanilas · 2 pointsr/agnostic

If your interested in the special diversity of Earth, I strongly recommend The Greatest Show On Earth, which does a truly marvelous job of putting a couple hundred years of initial speculation, exciting research, and modern evidence for evolution, and the basis of life on Earth into an easy to read book. It can be a little daunting at time, but I love the book, and recommend it fondly.

u/ididnoteatyourcat · 2 pointsr/askscience

And beyond radiometric dating, there is also geology, historical documentation (beer alone was invented over 7000 years ago), evolution (The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution is fantastic), and ice cores (for example).

u/Apatomoose · 2 pointsr/exjw

The Greatest Show on Earth, the book they are discussing in that interview, is one of the best books I have ever read. In it he lays out the case for evolution in a manner that is thorough, understandable, and beautiful. I can't recommend it enough. link

u/lanemik · 2 pointsr/DebateAnAtheist

Please educate yourself about the theory of evolution.

Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne

The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution by Richard Dawkins

Kent Hovind received his "masters" and "doctorate" in "Christian Education" by correspondence by a non-accredited school. Hovind has no formal scientific training, no research credentials, no worthwhile understanding of the basics of biology and certainly not even the most rudimentary understanding of developmental biology. This article ranges from complete nonsense to outright lying. Bringing this article in here and suggesting that it points out holes in evolution ought to be embarrassing for you. If it isn't, then you are too uneducated on the subject to even bother taking seriously and a sufficient answer is we are as certain about evolution as we are that the earth goes around the sun despite what "Dr. Dino" says.

u/waterless · 1 pointr/neuro

Maybe this was already obvious to you, in which case apologies, but those are very broad topics. What kind of level of aggregation are you thinking of? Neural engineering sounds a bit more neural network-y, rather than large-scale human cognitive processes, which would involve measurement methods like EEG and fMRI that won't tell you much (broadly speaking) about the way networks of neurons do computations. You also have local field potential or clamping measurements, where you're looking at what specific neurons (or at least way smaller scales) are doing, which is more animal research. And there's computational modelling which is (relatively, to my knowledge) as yet hardly connected to the usual methods of measuring brain activity.

That said: I read this as an intro to neural networks, and remember liking it, but I was coming from a psych background so I don't know if it would be rigorous enough for you. For the biology / anatomy, the classic is

There's a paper by Wang (1999) with an integrate-and-fire neuron model that I implemented as a toy model that helped me get to grips with the computational side of things. I can't comment on how influential it is theoretically.

u/throwawayja7 · 1 pointr/Futurology

Chapter 10.

Chemical synapses are what you want, not electrical.

u/Stereoisomer · 1 pointr/neuroscience

I was in the exact same position as you Junior year and I went on to a small liberal arts college that didn't offer an undergraduate degree in neuroscience but did have some classes in the field. I also plan on working for a few years after graduation to get more experience in the field since my university did not offer it. Neuroscience is a relatively new field and hasn't grown enough yet to become its own department at most universities but rather, as was the case at my university, an interdisciplinary focus. If you are certain that you want to do neuroscience (which admittedy is a lot to ask since you haven't come up against classes like Organic Chemistry) than you should maximize your exposure to the field despite the fact that your future university may have a neuroscience program that is anywhere between its own department and non-existent.

For me this meant taking both dedicated neuroscience classes at my college but also doing research with the only professor doing neuroscience research for two years. I also do a lot of learning on my own working through neuroscience texts; a good book that comes to mind is Principles of Neural Science. I echo the opinion of /u/radicalpi in that the program varies widely between universities in terms of what classes it requires: some will have a greater focus on psychology (Cognitive Psych) while others will focus more on the biology and chemistry. I also agree with his/her opinion that you might be better served majoring in biology or chemistry if that component of neuroscience interests you more. I majored in Biochemistry and Math and had my university offered something along the lines of a Cognitive Sci major, I would not have majored in it since I am more interested in the "bottom-up" perspective. One last comment: if math or physics at all interest you, I would suggest looking into mathematical neuroscience or related subfields. In the neuroscience program at my school, most of the students that took neuroscience courses with me were psych majors and I think this is true of many universities. The problem with this is that to understand developing concepts such as neuronal dynamics and to understand technical advances in the field Hodgkin-Huxley/Fitzhugh-Nagumo, fMRI, and optogenetics requires a good grasp and comfortability with math and physics that is inaccessible to a lot of people in the field. This can only serve to help you break into neuroscience in the future.

u/panniculus · 1 pointr/mildlyinteresting

Oh and if you REALLY want to get a head start, this is like the holy bible of intro neuro textbooks. Pretty much every neuroscientist I know has a copy in their office from when they were assigned it in undergrad or grad school. I still have mine and it's one of the only textbooks I kept (the other was a neuropharmacology one that I couldn't bear to part with because that class put me through hell). It's just the fundamentals but it does it well.

u/DonPromillo90 · 1 pointr/neuroscience

What kind of paper? Don't you have access to most of the journals through your university?
I can browse many journals at home with VPN-Access, provided by my university.
For books, try these:
OR (less detailed)

I heard some rumours that at least the Kandel is available as a free PDF in the internet, just use google with the proper terms ;)

u/CuriousIndividual0 · 1 pointr/neuroscience

Kandel's Principles of Neural Science is good. Pdf available online. Concussion falls under traumatic brain injury. I have a friend who did her honours in this field. Worked under a prof named Ramesh Rajan at Monash university, you might want to check him out. Awesome guy. Just as a heads up, you will most likely be working with rodent models in TBI.

u/mathemagic · 1 pointr/AskScienceDiscussion

Why not learn something about neuroscience? You'd better understand the fundamental concepts on which the brain works and how they structure consciousness. I'm not talking psychology but learning the fundamental biology of neurons and building that into an understanding of behavior and cognition.

You'd just have to read Kandel's Principles of Neural Science which is pretty much the neuroscience bible. It takes you from concepts like "Cell and Molecular Biology of the Neuron" and "Synaptic Transmission" to "The Neural Basis of Cognition" and "Language, Thought, Affect, and Learning" - the wiki lists the chapters here

edit: in fact your comfort with physics will help understand the biophysics of neurons: viewing the cell membrane as a capacitor and using circuit models of membranes with some basic V=IR stuff.

u/technically_art · 1 pointr/neuroscience

I'll try to address your questions first and give general advice at the end.

> many of these expressions have a summation of delta functions over index k. One major problem I have is that I do not know how far back my window should go when considering previous spikes. Should it just be my time increment dt=0.1ms? Or more?

This is often up to the modeler, but Dayan & Abbott's textbook has a section comparing the pros and cons of computing for single spikes vs. sliding windows vs. full history. One reasonable first approach would be to find out how long it takes for a single spike event to decay to the point of being neglible (say, 1/100th of total depolarization) and use that as your window size.

>Another issue I'm having is that I'm confused by what they mean by w+ and w- when talking about Hebbian learning. Are these fixed values?

I think w^+ is the upper bound on weights, w^- is the lower bound. They're using a non-normalized scheme where w^+ or w^- is compared against 1 to determine synapse strength - w < 1 means depression, w > 1 means potentiation.

> Also, why does the expression for I_GABA not have any dependence on w_j? Shouldn't there be some reliance on synaptic connectivity between presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons?

I'm not sure how the weights are being folded into the input current equations, but it's possible that I_GABA isn't affected by synaptic strength - they could compute each input current individually and scale them based on weights, for example.


This definitely isn't a beginner-friendly model or paper. Are you recreating as part of a class project, or for a lab? Don't be shy to ask colleagues for help, or even your PI (just make sure you know exactly what you're going to ask and why.) If there isn't a harsh time constraint, I'd recommend checking out a textbook or some other modeling papers from the same lab, and/or citations from this paper.

One thing that experimentalists often have trouble with when trying to reproduce a model is that modelling is not an exact science. You're allowed to mess around with equations, parameters, thresholds and windows to make it work. For every clean equation in the paper, there are 3 or 4 very ugly equations or hacks making the graphs look's not ideal, but that's the way the field is and has been for a long time. The point being - keep trying different things until it works. If you're close to the original model, great. If not, find out what new feature in your model makes it work, and see if you can find where the original model addressed that problem.

Good luck!

u/pratchett2 · 1 pointr/neuroscience

First, on your broader point, you may want to look for programs that stress first-year rotations. I had a BME background, and now do neuroscience related research for my PhD, and joining a department that didn't force me to immediately join a lab was key. I second neuro_exo, it's hard to imagine a top university that won't have multiple people studying the areas you're interested in.

On your more specific question, what sort of math you should review depends on the sort of neuroscience you're talking about.

If you're referring to theoretical neuroscience/modeling, Dayan and Abbott is a standard reference. It includes the broader neuroscientific context as well as the math, so it's quite rewarding to read.

If you're talking about motor neuroscience/learning, a lot of the ideas derive from linear algebra and controls. Watch a few machine learning lectures, review those topics and you should be set.

A lot of the new ideas/excitement has recently focused on techniques to handle high dimensional datasets (see some of the discussion behind the BRAIN initiative). This gets into some rather complex math pretty quickly, so there's not too much I'd directly recommend, except that you check out recent papers in the field to see what you'd need (there's typically a lot of dynamical systems work here).

Most of the rest of neuroscience does use a fair amount of math, but they what it uses tends to be very vague/operational. You'll do a lot of signal processing, a lot of digital filtering/averaging, and noise reduction will be a major focus. Review your EE class notes to get set for this.

Edit: This was coincident with neuro-exo's response. I agree with everything he/she said.

u/RobotSpaceBrain · 1 pointr/artificial

I have heard good things about this book, I've only read the 1st chapter, but I think it's good for Theoretical Neuroscience:

u/atomichumbucker · 1 pointr/neurology

hmm, Im confused... For one, it seems like people in this forum do agree with me. Additionally, I think there are enough people here with some background understanding of basic neurology... heck, anyone who has ever read any Oliver Sacks can be interested.

Im not asking that we have a technical discussion of the benefits of a 3 hour versus 4.5 hour window of tPA administration... no, I just want to have a conversation about actual neurological topics.

I am also not say we need to focus on textbook/well-established science. There is a great deal of new evidence and interesting case reports that call into question currently held beliefs. Even anecdotal data that is just interesting for its presentation's sake.

I do not think we are interested in isolating neurology from the basic and behavioural sciences. But I do think we need to at the very least present actual science and not baseless personal theories.

  • However more importantly I think the confusion here can best be summed up by a fundamental lack of understanding about neural physiology on your behalf. You keep mentioning processing power as a function of metabolism and energy as a function of... Well Im guessing you mean ionic potentials). This is simply wrong. A neuron that fires more frequently is not processing it is just firing. Just as a wire that is at a high voltage is not a computer. It is the connections (and aberrant connections) that determine processing capability. A neuron that is more frequently being acted upon will have an increased metabolic demand to maintain its ionic potentials, but this is an effect rather than a cause. Similar to how a computer processor ( a network of micro capacitors) gets hot when being actively used.

  • Speculating on neural computational power is a very active field known as Computational neuroscience. I strongly recommend Dayon and Abbot's "Theoretical Neuroscience" as a guide into this field. Mind you, its heavy in linear algebra and not by any means a beach read. While it is not necessarily neurology, it does become important for neurologists to have an understanding of this and so obviously topics in this field are more than welcome here as well. An example of how this is important is in the development of new prosthesis and the brain/machine interaction. This is also interesting to think about from the pathophysiological stand point in epilepsy and traumatic brain injury.

  • It appears you attend a DO school. I am certain that the MCAT requires at least some basic physiology, and medical schools also require coursework in physiology, cell biology, and neuroscience in their pre-clinical years. I am concerned because some of what you have said in this forum represented a severe misunderstanding of how the nervous system operates. This will come up on your boards, and more importantly, in your future patients.
u/herpaderpo · 1 pointr/nyu

Back in my day, we used this for Gen Chem and this for Principles of Bio. Don't buy textbooks until you make it to campus because they will most likely be using an updated version. Although which edition you get won't matter for the content, it will matter for the end of chapter questions.

Good luck!

u/Razlyk · 1 pointr/atheism

Seems like it's a pretty well-used and credible textbook for introduction into biology...

u/AP_Esq · 1 pointr/WTF

Wow...them you must have been incredibly lucky. Renting from amazon is over $78 and the cheapest used current edition is over $105.

u/18milesfromaredlight · 1 pointr/IAmA

You realize that some people spend their life studying a single aspect of the question you just asked. Not a genetic master key however and outside source seems too vague a term. If you're interested there are a lot of resources just start with a college intro to biology textbook - the [one] ( is excellent.

u/Biotruthologist · 1 pointr/biology

It probably would not be a bad idea to get some knowledge of basic biology. Biochemistry, molecular biology, and genetics are probably the big three sub-disciplines you want to familiarize yourself with, but to do that you need to have a good idea of basic biology. Campell Biology is the textbook of choice for freshman biology. Molecular Biology of the Cell is a fantastic book for molecular and cellular biologists. I, unfortunately, don't know of any good books for synthetic biology itself, but these two can give you a start.

u/Kashyyykk · 1 pointr/Quebec

No, he is not technically correct and at this point you seem to be too stubborn to see my point. I was explaining the angry mob, I don't think I was especially hostile toward you in this conversation; I myself was trying to explain to you how what the MP said is wrong and why, but I might get there, your tone isn't helping.

We can demonstrate and observe evolution, it doesn't always take a million years for a species to adopt a mutation, be it natural or artificial, read about it. You're looking at evolution like a mathematician look at an equation, biology isn't looking for a formal "proof", biology’s goal is to explain how it all happened. When every single of the thousands and thousands of observations we have all direct us toward the same answer, when every scientific paper written on the subject have the same conclusions and when all the biologists agree on what might be the most important and fundamental discovery of the field, you suck it up and call it a fact, because that's what it is.

Facts don't go away after a debate, theories might change, but the rock will always fall to the ground and species will always evolve according to their environment.

Since you seem to lack in the science department, I'd recommend this read it's all the basics you need to know. There are some big science words in there so you might need a thesaurus though, if you don't know what a thesaurus is, get your dictionary and work your way up.

u/pingjoi · 1 pointr/DebateReligion

> the majority of mutations that appear good, come from a loss of info, so selection would promote loss of info in that case.

Now that's a bold claim which needs to be backed up thoroughly. As a general claim it is most likely wrong.

>Additionally, selection may "root out" the very bad mutations, but many of the deleterious mutations may not affect survivability at first and can still spread to the entire species.

If they won't affect fitness at first, they still might do so in an altered set of genes. But calling them bad before is wrong. They were neutral at worst, and of course they might spread through the enitre species as such. However if they actually are bad, they won't. They can't.

>In fact I've heard arguements that those spead faster than benefitial mutations simply because there are more of them.

Why would that be the case? This is again wrong.

Generally, you have to remember how genes and mutations spread, through reproduction. This means a gene that is disadvantageous will lead to less offspring, and over generations to a very very low rate within the population.

I give up for now, because it just feels like you don't really want to know. Sure you say you do, but I don't believe it.

In any case I highly recommend these standard biology textbooks, which have everything you could possibly want to know in them.

The campbell


u/ethanvolcano21 · 1 pointr/atheism

Some excellent starting books for the above subjects is as follows:

Pre-Calculus by Cynthia Y. Young:

Provides an excellent summary of elementary Algebra up to starting concepts of calculus, such as the difference quotient, etc.

Campbell Biology (10th edition):

Covers pretty much every form of Biology you'll cover throughout your middle school/high school days, up to freshman year of university.

Chemistry 9th Edition: by Steven S. Zumdahl (Author), Susan A. Zumdahl (Author):

A bit more complex, however once you've gained a grasp of Biology/Algebra, this is a fine novel illustrating all the workings of chemistry you'll cover throughout high-school-freshman year university.

That's all I can really recommend as of now. I'm inclined to believe you're 1-2 grades ahead of your peers, and it shouldn't be too long until you finish up basic arithmetic, and starting learning higher maths. If you intend to develop a higher understanding of these fields, seriously try these books out.

Despite their expense, if you can find a way to rent, study, and complete them, you're basically set til' college.

Also know that these books are the most recent editions of their respective categories: These books are used in a multitude of schools/universities, not just random textbooks delving into irrelevant subjects: Nearly everything encapsulated within them is pertinent.

u/Demigod787 · 1 pointr/jailbreak

I prepare for my medical classes using those books:

Campbell Biology (10th Edition), truly an amazing piece of work would really encourage reading it, clear explination of concepts that people seem to forget when they progress further into the subjects

Chemistry: The Central Science (13th Edition), perfect referal in case you forget vital concepts of chemistry, works out well but fails in the orgainc chemisty

And for further reference we need to also buy even though some of the fact are outdated Organic Chemistry with Mastering Chemistry and Solution Manual (8th Edition), I found that this has a really sturdy and "enjoyable" methods(yes I enjoy what I study), and this is just half of it.

Now personally I have a "side job" that is paying me off really well and I couldn't even complain about it, but for most students they need even more books for "reference", education should be for free, I personally will not lie and straight out tell you that I upload these books on several websites, some in my session rely on much older books to study. I do support the fact that people should be rewarded for their efforts, yet not take it out on people, I really think the governments should fund & pay them instead.

u/i_invented_the_ipod · 1 pointr/askscience

I think you mean Climbing Mount Improbable

In any case, yes - the theory of evolution has evolved over time. Darwin didn't have the knowledge of biology (and especially biochemistry) that modern biologists do.

The basic concepts of Darwinian evolution - random variation in populations, natural selection, and speciation over time - are still the same, though.

u/brash · 1 pointr/Documentaries

This was beautifully described and explained by Richard Dawkins in the last chapter of his book Climbing Mount Improbable

u/ses1 · 1 pointr/AskAChristian

What do you mean by Darwinian Evolution?

Most people are sold on evolution based gradual model; where things like the human eye - which are very complex - can evolve if there are many, many tiny steps over millions and millions of years. . Not just tiny improvements all the time, but twists, turns, dead-ends and etc. Richard Dawkins book Climbing Mount Improbable Gives a great overview of this how the seemingly design of living things really isn't.

And it was only those "Crazy Christian Creationists" talked about gaps in the fossil record. They didn't know what they were talking about.....until 1972.

That's when Niles Eldridge and Stephen J Gould were tracing the evolution of trilobites and lands snails; most of the fossil record showed no change through millions of years of strata. That's right, most species are stable for millions of years and then change so rapidly that we rarely if ever see it in the fossil record. see Punctuated Equilibrium

What happens in Punctuated Equilibrium, you see, is that a small sub-population of a species will evolve; gain such an advantage they will take over, the main population dies, and is fossilized thus making it appear that there was no transitions. But.... there is no fossil evidence for it as the theory admits.

So which Darwinian Evolutionary theory are you speaking about when you ask about having secular scientific arguments against them?

Gradualistic evolution isn't supported by the fossil record and neither is Punctuated Equilibrium.

u/Lukesbushcraft · 1 pointr/Bushcraft

About 2 years ago I started really getting into wild plants, sense then I have learned many plants edible, medicinal, and poisonous.

this is where I started
along with youtube.

u/Fucking_throwaway101 · 1 pointr/personalfinance

Also, I forgot to mention. If you want vegetables on the cheap, there's a few ways to go about it. Try going to a flea market that sells vegetables. Often they will sell an entire basket (hand sized basket) of vegetables for a dollar or two. For carrots that's not a big deal, but for peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms,'s wonderful.

You can also offer to cook for someone. Since your ingredients are on the cheap, you can do the hard work of cooking and gain some donations without giving a lot of materials up.

Occasionally, if you study, you can find some harvestable herbs (not weed) growing wild. It's not unheard of to stumble on wild onions, and many wild plants are in fact edible, but always always always check leaf type, leaf grouping, and look alikes. One of my favorite old books is the Petersons Guide to Edible Plants. (

Obviously, don't buy it now. Check it out from the library. You'd be amazed at what you can eat to stay alive once you know what to use, and how to prepare it.

u/omnimoogle · 1 pointr/AskReddit

My Peterson Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants is excellent for putting anything dangerous on the same page as its edible lookalikes. If it's applicable to your region of choice, I'd recommend it.

u/CivilBrocedure · 1 pointr/IWantToLearn

Learn how to identify and use wild plants within your area. There are many edible species that grow wild and in abundance; this is a practice that essentially every human generation prior to this past century was skilled at yet it is becoming a lost skill. Get a guide to edible plants and spend time out in the wild learning to identify which is which. /r/whatsthisplant is also a good resource for identification and there is a large (20k+) group on Facebook which is an excellent resource full of knowledgeable gardeners and naturalists.

u/PM_ME_YOUR_LUNCHEON · 1 pointr/tifu

As a s some what seasoned forager I would really recommend the [Peterson Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants.] ( It is very easy to use and great for beginners. It's uses drawings instead of photos for better clarity and has a simple and intuitive identification system. It is also a very good idea to have 2 or more different guides for cross referencing.

u/greath · 1 pointr/AskReddit

I bought this recently. It will be very useful when society breaks down during the next zombie apocalypse.

u/stormgasm7 · 1 pointr/INTP

Well, I'm currently reading What Evolution Is by Ernst Mayr. I picked it up for some light reading and because I love the subject. It basically goes into detail about what evolution is (hence the title) and how it has shaped our thoughts as a society.

u/caffeine_buzz · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

If you're looking for something that is really easy to read, then I would recommend What evolution is by
Ernst Mayr.

Edit: link

u/informedlate · 1 pointr/atheism
u/Openworldgamer47 · 1 pointr/AskMen

What evolution is by Ernst Mayr.

Even though I forgot almost everything because I have brain damage. Extremely important book that everyone should read. If you've ever been like "Why do I exist" well this is actually the answer to that question.

u/rogersmith25 · 1 pointr/askscience

Sexual Dimorphism is common among many species.

You refer to "gender roles" as the cause, though I don't think that is correct. Gender is a societal construct - it is not societal laws that made women smaller and weaker as sexual dimorphism predates modern society. (It's interesting that some early feminist literature hypothesized that by now women would be physically equal to men, since they too attributed sexual dimorphism to gender roles.) Sexual dimorphism is rooted in biology - it was sexual dimorphism that caused gender roles, not the other way around.

Sexual dimorphism is evolutionarily adaptive. "What Evolution Is" has an interesting chapter on sexual dimorphism as it relates to "harem size". Typically animals that display sexual dimorphism have an uneven mating ratio - the larger the male relative the the female, the more mates he will have in his harem.

Given this evidence, your forth speculation makes sense - that the gap between females and males will diminish with time. But I do not believe it will disappear entirely since much of the female deficit in physical ability can be attributed to sacrifices made in favor of the ability to carry and raise children.

u/Silent_Inquisitor · 1 pointr/atheism

I'd prefer a serious scientific book, tbh, not popular literature.

I would read Darwin but he wrote what he wrote a very long time ago and I'd prefer a modern account. How about this:


u/Zamboniman · 1 pointr/DebateAnAtheist

> You haven't explained what's wrong with defining the term this way.

Sure I have. It's an attempt to define something into existence (in a roundabout way). All our evidence shows that what we generally refer to as consciousness is instead an emergent property from the processes in our brains.

I'm sure you must be familiar with some of the work in this area? In any case, here's a couple of quite interesting articles and books on the subject in case not:

(Note the third research article begins with "according to the assumption that consciousness is the emergent property of the interaction between brain, body, and environment," however there is some interesting references and further reading from here as to why that is a reasonable assumption given the evidence.)

Indeed, the concept doesn't even make any sense without this, as it would constitute an unevidenced exception to every analogous circumstance in any context, and wouldn't be explained or have any supporting framework. This is treading dangerously close to special pleading, if not outright crossing the line.

>Face saved by the bell, eh?

Heh. :) Not at all, it's just that these discussions are of more use to those following along but never participating (the vast majority according to most data on IP accesses to forums such as these) and while often interesting are of less utility when limited to just the two of us.

Take care.

Edit: my links disappeared! I'll re-add them, sorry.

u/ynmidk · 1 pointr/MachineLearning

Stanislas Dehaene - Consciousness and the brain - profoundly interesting book that explores the history of, and latest developments in neuroscience & psychology for the purpose of understanding consciousness.

u/Systemo · 1 pointr/biology

The actual title is a little longer, here it is on amazon:

u/jballanc · 1 pointr/evolution

If you like game theory, you will absolutely love Evolutionary Dynamics: Exploring the Equations of Life. This is a groundbreaking work by Martin Nowak, arguably the leading researcher in Evolutionary Theory today.

u/nana_nana_batman · 1 pointr/Entomology

Ive really enjoyed David Quamman's Song of the DoDo and E.O. Wilson's The Diversity of Life They both follow similar themes of Island Biogeography, extinction, and biodiversity. They also explain a lot of fundamental concepts in Ecology really well. E.O. is obviously an Entomologist so most of the large concepts he goes over are explained using insect models.

u/TheBB · 1 pointr/AskReddit
u/nebraska_admiral · 1 pointr/IWantToLearn

If you have a solid background in calculus, this is a great book that touches on fractals as part of a broader treatment of nonlinear dynamics and chaos theory. You can also learn a lot by messing around with fractal plots (especially the Mandelbrot set) in programs like Winplot and seeing what happens.

u/grandzooby · 1 pointr/

You can download the full episodes at:

The podcasts are short, but the full hour-long episodes are available. It's one of my favorite programs. That, and Philosophy Talk.

Radio Lab tends to feature one of my favorite mathematicians, Steven Strogatz, in several episodes (Emergence was great). He has a good presentation style (see YouTube) and I've really enjoyed his book:

What kind of nerd am I to have a favorite mathematician? I'm not sure I want to know.

u/blinkallthetime · 1 pointr/askscience

In order to learn about chaos theory, you need to know a little bit about differential equations. If you feel like you have that down, this book is a good place to start for a beginner:

u/mechanician87 · 1 pointr/askscience

No problem, glad you find it interesting. If you want to know more, Steve Strogatz's Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos is a good place to start and is generally very accessible. It talks about how to tell what regions of phase space are stable vs unstable, for example, and how chaos arises out of all of this. Overall it is a good read and has a lot of interesting examples (as is typical of a lot of his books).

For more on the Hamiltonian mechanics in particular (albeit at a more advanced level), the classic text is Goldstein's Classical Mechanics. Its definitely more dense, but if you can push through it and get at what the math is saying its a really interesting subject. For example, in principle, you can do a coordinate transformation where you decouple all the generalized momentum - coordinate pairs and do a sort of modal analysis on a system where you would never be able to do so otherwise (these are called action-angle variables)

u/wthannah · 1 pointr/math

It's cool that you're interested in complex systems, but your post is a bit vague. I liked Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos (Strogatz). It is a very easy/friendly intro to the field. Another good book, depending on what you're wanting to do, might be Daniel Gillespie's book on markov processes. In general, you basically need to read some papers, find a type of problem/approach that interests you and then fill in the blanks with supplementary material. Most of what you need to know is in a journal somewhere. Google that shit. If you want to code stuff, learn python & C.

u/haveyouread · 1 pointr/AskReddit

Strogatz writes in a very easy to understand manner. For those interested in chaos theory and nonlinear dynamics, this is the book to read.

u/Phe · 1 pointr/books

There are some really good suggestions here, but a couple of books that were good entry points for me haven't been mentioned yet:

Sync by Steven Strogatz.

How The Universe Got Its Spots by Janna Levin.

Both of these books are rather specific interest type books, but they're both written so well that they are easy entry points into more reading later.

Edit: Ooh ooh I forgot about Plagues and Peoples. A great read that really makes you rethink global history, along the lines of (and drastically predating) another great book about cultural history Guns, Germs and Steel. Both of these books are kind of a mix of history, sociology and science, so it might not be what you're looking for though.

u/loudog40 · 1 pointr/videos

For a really interesting description of the underlying principles at work here I'd highly recommend checking out Sync: How Order Emerges From Chaos In the Universe, Nature, and Daily Life by Steven Strogatz.

u/alt_curious · 1 pointr/forwardsfromgrandma


"Look at all the sources of information that I haven't read or even bothered to cite any of their relevance!"

Naming the title of a book or journal doesn't indicate that its contents support your argument. I'll actually give you things you can read, AND tell you what they're about and how they relate to my point.

Enjoy. Dunce.

Humans can be genetically categorized into five racial groups, corresponding to traditional races. Source:
Genetic analysis “supports the traditional racial groups classification.” Source:
“Human genetic variation is geographically structured” and corresponds with race. Source:
Race can be determined via genetics with certainty for >99.8% of individuals. Source:
Oral bacteria can be used to determine race. Source:
Race can be determined via brain scans. Source:
96-97% of Whites have no African ancestry. Source:
97% of Whites have no Black ancestry whatsoever. Source:
There was minimal gene flow between archaic Europeans and Asians. Source:
Common-sense racial categories have biological meaning. Source:
A substantial amount of the human genome has been subjected to natural selection since the races diverged. Source:
With 160 short gene sequences, race can be determined with 100% accuracy for Whites, Asians, and Africans. Source:
Principal continent of origin (race) can be determined with 87% accuracy even for highly mixed populations. Source:
“It is inaccurate to state that race is biologically meaningless.” Source:
Race is biologically real and represents “genetic clusters” of variation. Source:
“Empirical structure within human genetic variation … resembles continentally based racial classifications”. Source:
“Recent research in genetics demonstrates that certain racial, and also ethnic, categories have a biological basis in statistically discernible clusters of alleles.” Source:
“Numerous human population genetic studies have come to the identical conclusion that genetic differentiation is greatest when defined on a continental basis.” Source:
Genetic analysis of race corresponds with self-identification more than 99% of the time. Source:
Races are human subspecies. Source:
The “social constructionist account of race lacks biological reality”. Source:
Race can be determined from fingerprints. Source:
For 99.86% of individuals, genetic analysis of race matches self-identification. Source:
Predefined ethnic/racial labels are “highly informative” about genetic identity. Source:
Over 2000 genes have been subject to recent (post out-of-Africa) evolution. Source:
The concept of race existed in ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, China, India, and Arabia. Source:
Racial classification has genetic significance. Source:
Racial identity is real and is hidden in correlations between different traits. Source:
With enough data points, an individual will never be closer related to someone of another race than someone of their own race. Source:
An individual’s geographic origin can be determined from their genes “with remarkable accuracy”. Source:

u/tobleromay · 1 pointr/HumansBeingBros

>End of the day both both sides of the argument have evidence.

No they don't. One side has one crappy study from 1972. Here's a list of sources supporting the other side:

Humans can be genetically categorized into five racial groups, corresponding to traditional races. Source:

Genetic analysis “supports the traditional racial groups classification.” Source:

“Human genetic variation is geographically structured” and corresponds with race. Source:

Race can be determined via genetics with certainty for >99.8% of individuals. Source:

Oral bacteria can be used to determine race. Source:

Race can be determined via brain scans. Source:

96-97% of Whites have no African ancestry. Source:

97% of Whites have no Black ancestry whatsoever. Source:

There was minimal gene flow between archaic Europeans and Asians. Source:

Common-sense racial categories have biological meaning. Source:

A substantial amount of the human genome has been subjected to natural selection since the races diverged. Source:

With 160 short gene sequences, race can be determined with 100% accuracy for Whites, Asians, and Africans. Source:

Principal continent of origin (race) can be determined with 87% accuracy even for highly mixed populations. Source:

“It is inaccurate to state that race is biologically meaningless.” Source:

Race is biologically real and represents “genetic clusters” of variation. Source:

“Empirical structure within human genetic variation … resembles continentally based racial classifications”. Source:

“Recent research in genetics demonstrates that certain racial, and also ethnic, categories have a biological basis in statistically discernible clusters of alleles.” Source:

“Numerous human population genetic studies have come to the identical conclusion that genetic differentiation is greatest when defined on a continental basis.” Source:

Genetic analysis of race corresponds with self-identification more than 99% of the time. Source:

The “social constructionist account of race lacks biological reality”. Source:

Race can be determined from fingerprints. Source:

For 99.86% of individuals, genetic analysis of race matches self-identification. Source:

Predefined ethnic/racial labels are “highly informative” about genetic identity. Source:

Over 2000 genes have been subject to recent (post out-of-Africa) evolution. Source:

The concept of race existed in ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, China, India, and Arabia. Source:

Racial classification has genetic significance. Source:

Racial identity is real and is hidden in correlations between different traits. Source:

With enough data points, an individual will never be closer related to someone of another race than someone of their own race. Source:

An individual’s geographic origin can be determined from their genes “with remarkable accuracy”. Source:

>So you believe which research makes you happy, and I’ll believe the research that makes me happy.

Your "research" gets minorities killed.

u/WrathOfAnon · 1 pointr/TheRightCantMeme

> Racism is a totally irrational position entirely unsupported by facts. Biologists, anthropologists, and sociologists all agree that race is more or less a cultural construct

Absolute lie of colossal proportions. Racial self-identification can even be predicted with 99% accuracy in a country as mixed as the US with access to the genetic analysis of the subject in question. Different racial group have as much in common with each other as totally different breeds of dog or bird. The fact that racial categories that have been settled upon are "socially constructed" is irrelevant; most concepts in science are also and, like race, they are still accurately predictive of human behaviour

Humans can be genetically categorized into five racial groups, corresponding to traditional races. Source:

Genetic analysis “supports the traditional racial groups classification.” Source:
“Human genetic variation is geographically structured” and corresponds with race. Source:

Race can be determined via genetics with certainty for >99.8% of individuals. Source:

Oral bacteria can be used to determine race. Source:

Race can be determined via brain scans. Source:

96-97% of Whites have no African ancestry. Source:

97% of Whites have no Black ancestry whatsoever. Source:

There was minimal gene flow between archaic Europeans and Asians. Source:

Common-sense racial categories have biological meaning. Source:

A substantial amount of the human genome has been subjected to natural selection since the races diverged. Source:

With 160 short gene sequences, race can be determined with 100% accuracy for Whites, Asians, and Africans. Source:

Principal continent of origin (race) can be determined with 87% accuracy even for highly mixed populations. Source:

“It is inaccurate to state that race is biologically meaningless.” Source:

Race is biologically real and represents “genetic clusters” of variation. Source:

“Empirical structure within human genetic variation … resembles continentally based racial classifications”. Source:

“Recent research in genetics demonstrates that certain racial, and also ethnic, categories have a biological basis in statistically discernible clusters of alleles.” Source:

“Numerous human population genetic studies have come to the identical conclusion that genetic differentiation is greatest when defined on a continental basis.” Source:

Genetic analysis of race corresponds with self-identification more than 99% of the time. Source:

Races are human subspecies. Source:

The “social constructionist account of race lacks biological reality”. Source:

Race can be determined from fingerprints. Source:

For 99.86% of individuals, genetic analysis of race matches self-identification. Source:

Predefined ethnic/racial labels are “highly informative” about genetic identity. Source:

Over 2000 genes have been subject to recent (post out-of-Africa) evolution. Source:

The concept of race existed in ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, China, India, and Arabia. Source:

Racial classification has genetic significance. Source:

Racial identity is real and is hidden in correlations between different traits. Source:

With enough data points, an individual will never be closer related to someone of another race than someone of their own race. Source:

An individual’s geographic origin can be determined from their genes “with remarkable accuracy”. Source:

> some minor exceptions which tend to disappear after a couple generations of intermarriage.

This is laughably irrelevant and shows that you do not have any third level education in anything remotely scientific. Just because interbreeding is possible, doesn't mean that the breeds themselves don't exist. I've had to beat down a number of clueless retards like you on this topic before, but this takes the cake as by far the stupidest take I've ever heard

You lose

u/ABaconOfFractals · 1 pointr/news

That should be a decent start. If that's too elementary I could make some other recommendations.

u/pi314158 · 1 pointr/AskScienceDiscussion

Honestly I've never seen anything that even attempts to go over the sheer vastness of what goes on inside a cell. The best thing I can think of is to look over the movements and organization of phospholipids on the outer membrane, receptor tyrosine kinases, G-protein coupled receptors, and nuclear transcription factors. That just gives a very small sample of how many interactions the cell has with the outside environment. I know this is probably not what you're looking for, but this is currently the bible for cell/molecular biology:

u/MechaAkuma · 1 pointr/pcmasterrace

Went to med school for 4 years. Most expensive text book I spent on was ~$34 bucks That Apple book is still 20 times that.

u/peanutpenelope · 1 pointr/labrats

At the Bench: A Laboratory Navigator by Kathy Barker is really helpful. I bought this book and read it when I started working in the lab. It is very basic!

u/FreelanceFPS · 1 pointr/mycology

If by ‘good kind’ you mean psilocybin containing, you are dangerously far off. Buy and cherish Paul Stamet’s Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World( if you want to know what to look for.

If by ‘good kind’ you mean edible, then you should read the sticky on how to properly request an ID as you are missing key features used in identification of your mushroom.

Based on the initial picture I would say very likely a no to both possibilities of a good kind.

u/pedanticist · 1 pointr/IAmA

I used to do the Shroomery quite a bit... grew up some. Not to disparage, but some of them damn kids! Ugh.

Too northern? I'm not sure about that. Season's coming up for winter stuff in northern climates...

Are you asking for a "shroom" guide, or a mushroom guide?
This for the former.
This and this for the latter.

Can you tell me where you are, generally, so that i can help?

u/psychonaut936 · 1 pointr/shrooms
u/netherfountain · 1 pointr/shrooms

Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World: An Identification Guide

u/aspbergerinparadise · 1 pointr/IAmA

The world is your source

u/c0mm0nSenseplz · 1 pointr/startrek
u/pharmaconaut · 1 pointr/Drugs

Well, yes, but certain mushrooms grow in certain areas. Not sure how many woodloving mushrooms ya'll got over there in your Louisiana woods, as they're all over the Pacific North West. Could be.

I'd read up on Psilocybe mushrooms, and recommend Paul Stamets' book Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World. The important thing is not knowing about the blue bruising Psilocybes, but rather the blue bruising lookalikes which are toxic.

u/jdow117 · 1 pointr/PsilocybinMushrooms

the first two links will give you more of a general overview of identification techniques and psychoactive mushrooms at large . the youtube playlist at the bottom depicts videos of the species that occur in massachusetts. the more research you do, the more confident you will be. especially considering this is your first hunt, make sure to clarify with experienced hunters reports online. please be extra careful my friend, and if you can’t find any locally i’m sure you can find other ways of obtaining the magic. cheers!

u/SenselessNoise · 1 pointr/see

Hey, you. Yeah, you reading this. Don't think these LBM's (Little Brown Mushrooms) that look an awful lot like the ones growing in your yard are safe. Never, ever, EVER pick and eat mushrooms you find unless you have extensive knowledge of mycology. LBM's are notorious for being difficult to identify, as they have no real phenotypic traits (fancy way of saying that there are few visual cues as to what they are and if they're safe or not).

LBM's usually require spore prints to identify the species, and even then you need a keen eye and lots of experience to use those to identify the mushroom. There are plenty of books to help, but remember that microscopic features can be the difference between a trip and a trip to the hospital.

u/opcow · 1 pointr/atheism

The book is called The Greatest Show on Earth. You can hear Dawkins tell the story of the typo here (and then go to the beginning and watch the whole video and be very happy).

u/bmobula · 1 pointr/politics

> Science does not "work differently in different countries". Science is the scientific method.

I LOLed at the ignorance, I really did! Oh dear, what a sheltered little life you must lead. Don't get me wrong, I wish research funding fell out of the sky with no political agenda or strings attached, but sadly that is not the reality. Of course if you knew anything about scientific research, I wouldn't have to explain this to you like you were a child.

> I'm agnostic.

If you're agnostic and you're accusing scientists like myself - people who have reviewed the mountain of evidence in support of the theory of evolution by natural selection that converges from dozens of different disciplines and concluded that it is a fact - of being a cult member, then you are either fantastically ignorant or fantastically stupid. Or both.

As it happens, there are several superb books that explain all of the evidence for evolution in ways that are reasonable accessible to educationally deprived individuals such as yourself. Perhaps a little less Fox News for you, and a little more reading, hmm?

u/bigwhale · 1 pointr/atheism

I'd recommend The Greatest Show on Earth. It's a great explanation of how it all works. Even thinking I knew, I learned a lot.

u/FeierInMeinHose · 1 pointr/atheism

Actually, Dawkins stated the same thing, albeit more elegantly, in his book The Greatest Show on Earth.

u/mirach · 1 pointr/politics
  1. What? I never said that "religion is taught more in school than evolution." I said that without an educational standard - which Ron Paul wants (govt out of everything) - many schools would choose to teach creationism. I live in Texas so hear about the board of education trying to add creationism into the textbooks pretty often. Many members who run for the board do so on a platform of inserting ID into the classroom. I never mentioned the pledge. And I don't know what you mean by the first sentence.

  2. How much have you studied evolution? Do you understand evolution? Try reading one of these books,

  1. Parents and teachers can be dumb. Experts should be writing the books and determining the material - with input from parents and teachers on what to focus on and how to present it - especially in technically difficult areas like evolution. In Texas this is a big concern because intelligent design (i.e. creationism) is taught in some science classes. Anyway, my point is that science class should be for science only and creationism has no place in it at all and neither should anything without scientific evidence backing it up. I almost don't even want to argue this because even acknowledging creationism with evolution raises it up to a status is doesn't deserve. Creationism is anti-science. And really, I don't mind studying religion in other contexts. I was taught the tenants and beliefs of religions in one of my classes and found it very informative. Analyzing the stories sounds more like it should stay in Bible Study though.

  2. Have you never heard of the Scopes Trial which challenged a law that made teaching of evolution illegal? I never said Dr. Paul would force creationism into public schools. I said he implicitly supports the teaching of creationism in public schools by taking a hands off approach. By holding the schools accountable to parents, you're going to get a lot more bad science taught in schools. Even you should see that some standards should be set so that we don't teach kids incorrect facts.
u/protell · 1 pointr/books

i recently finished reading "the greatest show on earth" by richard dawkins, it is a book about the evidence, beauty and elegance of evolution. it really was an amazing and informative read, yet still accessible to the layman.

i am currently reading "incognito:secret lives of the brain" by david eagleman. i originally heard about this from a talk he had done on npr a couple months ago. the basic gist of it is something like this: the vast majority of what goes on in your brain is controlled by your subconscious and goes on just fine without your consciousnesses ever needing involvement. occasionally a conflict arises that cannot be resolved by your subconscious, and a request is sent to the conscious to solve the issue. i'm probably butchering this explanation, and as i have only started the book, i can't give a good review one way or the other on it, but so far it seems interesting.

u/Chumkil · 1 pointr/atheism

You need to read this book, it has every argument you need:

u/Super_Sagan · 1 pointr/atheism

If you're interested in evolution, I would recommend Richard Dawkins as a favorite author of mine. He writes in a very understandable and accessible manner. I myself just finished The Greatest Show On Earth which covers the evidence for evolution. It was very informative and entertaining, and would be a great starting point if you can find it in a local library.

Edit: Just thought I'd add, Youtube can also be a great source. Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Matt Dillahunty, Sam Harris, all have videos online.

u/CoreLogic · 1 pointr/atheism

On the assumption you mean evolution, Richard Dawkins actually happens to be a well respected biology professor.

This is one of his leading books on the subject.

u/Murrabbit · 1 pointr/atheism

>good sources on Darwinism?

So far as I know "Darwinism" isn't actually a thing. I know this is mostly semantics, but really the only people who say "Darwinism" are creationists who wish to portray evolution as an ideology, and of course over-inflate Darwin's relevance in the contemporary theory of biological evolution. Hes he was the first to lay out the idea of evolution by natural selection, but we know oh so much more about it now than what his observations revealed, so painting Darwin as the final word in evolutionary theory is also just as misguided as trying to portray it as an ideology.

As for where to start, though, as a few others in this thread have suggested I'd say take a look at Richard Dawkins' The Greatest Show On Earth. He does a wonderful job of explaining many of the major points in what is currently known about evolution and how we know it all in language that regular laypersons like most of us here are quite capable of understanding.

u/HertzaHaeon · 1 pointr/atheism
u/adodson · 1 pointr/atheism

Dawkins mentions this interview in his new book. I got it for Christmas. It seemed like a very good survey of the existing evidence... in a format that is like a rebuttal to her kind of denials.

u/jawston · 1 pointr/skeptic

Pick up the Richard Dawkins book "The Greatest show on Earth" and read it asap! It will explain it all and help you when you have to deal with such people.

u/fezzuk · 1 pointr/atheism

this is obviously much more up to date and is aimed at people like your father, i read it but found it was just preaching to the converted.

(also origins is incredibly racist in parts, due to the stupid that was around at that time. that can be used to attack it)

u/bperki8 · 1 pointr/atheism

Here are two books to help you.

Why evolution is true.

The Greatest Show on Earth

u/sheep1e · 1 pointr/atheism

Buy, or borrow from a library, a copy of The Greatest Show on Earth. Aside from giving you a metric assload of ammunition, it's interesting and you'll learn a lot.

u/jjberg2 · 1 pointr/askscience

You might try here:

and then ctr+F for "evolution" for a few previous instances of this question, or here:

or other variations thereupon.

Anyways, we don't make a habit of letting these questions out all that often, as they never really do well, and when they do attract attention it's mostly people who don't really understand evolution all that well, trying to explain evolution to people who definitely don't understand it that well, and it just never really winds up being productive (while those of us who do know something about evolution squirm in agony at even attempting to undue all the damage this whole "fact vs theory" thing in a somewhat concise manner).

I'm keeping it spammed (you could also try searching in /r/evolution), but my honest suggestion would be to have her read something like Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution is True, if she's willing to (and perhaps you could sit down and read it yourself first, to be able to give it an honest recommendation). Alternatively Dawkins's The Greatest Show on Earth is supposed to be good (I haven't read it myself), although Coyne's writing style might be more appealing for the non-academic, and some people are allergic to Richard Dawkins, for obvious reasons if you know who he is.

What's her angle. Presumably she is of the faithful? If that's really her angle, then you might be hard pressed to convince her with a short paragraph or two that I could provide.

u/Carg72 · 1 pointr/atheism

I wouldn't say a damn thing. I'd just point them in the direction of this and this.

u/ericchen · 1 pointr/AskReddit

The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution

u/Symbiont_0 · 1 pointr/askscience

There is an awesome book called The Soul of An Octopus that talks a lot about this subject. If you are interested in Octopuses at all you should check it out.

u/VortexCortex · 1 pointr/TrueAtheism

I turned my younger brother on to logic via Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality.

While not a book, per se, the appeal to fan fiction and use of science to dissect magic got him hooked, and he's shared it with all his friends. Not sure if that would fly with your cousin's parents, given the wizards and what not.

I mean, if you bought them a book on evolution, would their fundamentalist parents would let them read it? It reasons out very clearly why evolution is a fact using some simple critical thinking...

::sigh:: I wish religious indoctrination were outlawed below a certain age.

u/BustyMetropolis · 1 pointr/atheism

My one-stop book recommendation would be Sam Harris's Letter to a Christian Nation. It's a short read, but nearly every paragraph is its own distinct argument, and it covers a lot of territory.

If you're aiming to construct your paper around a set of the most popular arguments, here are some common refutations to arguments for the existence of God. Keep in mind that many of our arguments are in the form of refutation instead of assertion, since the burden of proof is on the claimant:

Ontological Argument (Argument from experience) - We assert that feelings do not equal facts; revelation is not a reliable basis for a factual claim. We also realize that to criticize someone for feelings that are personal can seem like a personal attack. Most of us wouldn't tell someone who claims he/she had a spiritual experience that it didn't happen, but we would try to find a scientific explanation rather than coming to the immediate conclusion that it was God's doing. As a brief example, a friend of mine said he "felt the touch of God" when his daughter was born, but we interpret his feeling as a normal, natural high that most people feel at such an emotional moment.

Teleological Argument (Argument from design) - We accept the evidence for evolution and realize that it is inconsistent with the biblical creation story. For further reading about what proof we have for evolution, I'd personally recommend The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins, and he promotes Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution Is True though I haven't read the latter yet.

Cosmological Argument (Causal Argument) - This is a case of people assigning the "God" label to something difficult to comprehend. The best we have to go on so far is the Big Bang Theory, and scientists will continue to test the theory. We don't have evidence that the beginning of the universe was brought about by an omnipotent/omniscient being outside of what is claimed by religious texts, and that goes back to the. We might also ask, "who/what made God?" inviting an infinite loop of "which came first" questions.

Moral Argument - We believe (normal) people are able to tell the difference between right and wrong without religious guidance. In turn, it seems that the Christian Bible teaches, excuses, or condones actions that our enlightened society would deem immoral, such as slavery, killing of children and non-heterosexuals, oppression, rape, and genocide. Interpretations of the Bible differ, of course, and most modern Christians don't believe they should actually kill their disobedient children (or that the laws of the Old Testament no longer apply since the coming of Christ, which is another conversation). Regardless of arguments from the Bible, we believe that science can tell us a lot more about morality than we give it credit for.

Lastly, here is a wikipedia list of lots more arguments in case you'd like to ask about specific ones: link

Good luck, and I hope you enjoy writing your paper. Not that you should necessarily crowd-source coursework, but you'd probably get quite a strong response if you posted up a final draft, too.

u/uwjames · 1 pointr/atheism

You are not ready for a debate, but perhaps you are ready for an education. Read/watch these and then report back to us:

Universe from Nothing Video

Universe From Nothing Book

The Selfish Gene Book

How New Organs arise video

Why Evolution is true Video

Greatest show on Earth Book

u/newtonslogic · 1 pointr/AskReddit

Buy it. Read It.

EDIT: quick note...for all those who enjoy those goofy memes...(and even for those who don't) Richard Dawkins introduced the term "memes" in his book The Selfish Gene.

u/CatFiggy · 1 pointr/evolution

>evolution is based around the fact that existence is random and chaotic.

>random system

Evolution is the opposite of random. It's natural selection, not natural shit happens (no offense). It's a pattern: the things likely to be reproduced are reproduced the most, and there end up being the most of those things, until they completely overpower the others and they're all that's left and they're the new standard. (To answer your questions: The hornier humans made more babies. Then there were more horny babies and humans. Today, all the humans are horny (inclined to mate), to paraphrase.)

We're not naked all the time because it snows. (I'm simplifying, but do you see my point?) Also, culture. That's been around, in anthropological terms, fo eva. (Shyness is something else. This is all extremely complex.)

>And if you take into account that that would accelerate reproduction too much, food supply would diminish and natural selection would kick in.

Looks like you answered your own question there. It's like trees: being taller (mating more) gets them an advantage; but being too tall costs too many resources (we eat too much) and they even out.

I hate to sound insulting, but there are soo many things wrong with your post; you don't understand evolution at all. I think you should read up on it a little. If you're willing to read a book, Richard Dawkins's The Greatest Show on Earth is amazing. Not only will it give you a wonderful understanding, but it's just a brilliant read, and I plan on rereading it for the fun of it. And I got the tree thing from Chapter 12. (Dawkins explains it much better.)

But if you don't want to read a whole book, maybe find some articles or something.

Anyway, good luck.

u/johnnius · 1 pointr/Christianity

>I understand how we arrived at that theory, and it may even be true, but can we really say with 100% certainty that it is correct? Really?

100%? Sure, you're right. No, we can't be 100% sure. But we can be 99.9999% sure, and that's where we're at. Read The Greatest Show on Earth for a better understanding. All available evidence points to evolution of all species from a single common ancestor.

EDIT: Just wanted to add another phrasing: The theory of evolution is true beyond all reasonable doubt.

u/gkhenderson · 1 pointr/DebateAnAtheist

I suggest you read a couple of books that present the evidence for evolution very clearly:

Why Evolution Is True

The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution

Evolution itself is a simple concept, but the evidence for it is broad and detailed across many scientific disciplines, and it all fits together.

Regarding the existence of God, one can't prove that your God doesn't exist, or that any of the other thousands of gods that have been worshiped through the ages don't exist. The real question is whether there is enough evidence to positively prove the existence of any one of those gods.

u/AManHasSpoken · 1 pointr/atheism

And I would recommend reading The Greatest Show on Earth if you haven't already.

u/penguinland · 1 pointr/atheism

> Is evolution real? I have no idea

Then go learn about the evidence. Some of the most easily understood parts are in The Greatest Show on Earth. Rather than staying ignorant and sticking your head in the sand, learn about the world around you and all the evidence in it.

> The moon landing is fake, dunno.

Really!? ಠ_ಠ It happened at the height of the Cold War; if it were faked, I would expect the Soviets to have called the bluff and humiliated America in front of the rest of the world. We furthermore have moon rocks brought back from it that are unlike any rocks found on Earth, and we have photos from years later showing the tracks the astronauts made on the moon. Yes, it's possible that it was faked with the help of both superpowers from the Cold War, and that they have kept up this conspiracy for over two generations without any credible evidence leaking out, even bringing the Japanese into the conspiracy when they started sending probes to the moon. Would you agree that this scenario is vastly less likely than an actual moon landing would be?

> Mohammad split the moon in half, well I haven't heard that

That's why I linked you to info about it, which in turn has further links to further details. I'm mildly insulted that you don't appear to be considering my writing or looking at any evidence for your arguments before you write them down. Given what you can learn about it, you should be able to at least decide whether it's likely on unlikely, and the degree to which it is plausible.

> I simply take a non-stance on anything I do not know myself. I level my knowledge based on how reliable my source is.

I'm confused. I do the same thing, but we come to wildly different conclusions. You seem to be taking a solipsistic stance, that we cannot know anything about the outside world, so it's best just to give up and never learn anything or evaluate whether or not any claims are true. If you're trying to suggest that we can't have absolute 100% proof, then I agree, but that's a red herring. Go for reasonable evidence instead, and be willing to admit you're wrong if new evidence comes up. For instance, no one can prove for sure that unicorns don't exist, yet I really hope you think they don't exist, rather than saying "I don't know, maybe." In any day-to-day colloquial vernacular, I'd say I know that unicorns don't exist, and there is a common understanding of what that means. I'm not claiming to know absolutely for sure that at no time in history have any unicorns ever existed; I'm claiming that their existence is extremely unlikely given the evidence I have seen so far.

> we can revive a human... 50 years ago, and they would laugh at you.

The pioneering work behind life support machines was done in the 1930's; they wouldn't laugh at you in the 60's. Frankenstein was written in the early 1800's; the ideas were plausible back then even if they hadn't been fully implemented yet. Even if you went back further, they would only laugh at you if you didn't have evidence. Revive a human in front of them and explain how it works, and people would believe you.

> I am actually more of a skeptic than anything

You don't sound skeptical at all to me; skepticism is not the same as the extreme solipsistic stance you seem to be taking. When there is a vast preponderance of evidence for or against something, a skeptic accepts that evidence and believes or disbelieves in the thing until a vast preponderance of conflicting evidence arises.

I feel frustrated that you seem to be unwilling to accept the evidence around us (you seem to think we can't tell if segregation existed, or if Genghis Khan existed, or if Jesus really performed miracles, or if the moon landing was faked, etc.). I can't imagine you really go through life this way. You can't tell for sure if the sun will rise tomorrow, but I doubt you seriously consider what will happen if it doesn't. Why do you accept reasonable amounts of evidence for that but not for other aspects of the world?

> My reason for believing in a higher power... This experience has been experienced by many people, cross language and cultures, the same experience.

No, the higher powers experienced by people in different cultures religions are wildly different from each other. It's strange that so many people can agree that a higher power exists but have such disagreements about what this higher power is like. The details are not widely shared.

> without that my brain cannot come up with a society normal morality.

This is beside the point. How does whether or not you are able to be moral on your own have anything to do with how many authors the bible had (your original question), or whether any of it is historically accurate (what appears to be our main disagreement). There are lots of ethical systems you could subscribe to without believing Yahweh or Jesus existed or performed miracles.

u/Xarnon · 1 pointr/atheism

> You simply disbelieve because you refuse to try to understand.

I don't know about cephalgia, but for me: false. I "simply disbelieve" because there's a severe lack of evidence.

> If evolution explains all, how does evolution just "decide" it is going to do what it does?

You lack information of how evolution works. Go read The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution by Richard Dawkins, or The God Delusion... If you dare.

> ... there is no reason to believe that when life was creating itself, ..., that conditions would change or that it would need to adapt... that's called consciousness

Again, a lack of information, because that's not how evolution works.

> but it fails in glaring fashion at explaining how it came to be in the first place

And again, a lack of information, because that's not what the theory of evolution explains.

> it's an idea, it can't create anything.

Again... (I think you're getting the idea here)

> Every cell in your body acts like a well oiled machine.

Say that to my face when I had 12 operations all related to my cleft lip, with which I was born with.

u/roontish12 · 1 pointr/AskReddit

Well, if you really want to know, and not just go by what other people tell you, 24 hours is not a reasonable limit.

I'd recommend you do some reading. You can start with

Why Evolution Is True

The Greatest Show On Earth: The Evidence For Evolution

Your Inner Fish

And if you don't have much time, or are not that much of a reader, try

The Magic Of Reality: How We Know What Is True, which is aimed at young adults (don't get me wrong, I'm almost 30 and I loved it), but does a fantastic job of easily explaining, and has some kick ass graphics as well.

u/dizzy_lizzy · 1 pointr/AskReddit

Dawkins has a fantastic book on precisely this: the evidence for evolution. There are a few chapters with specific examples we have actually observed, such as isolated populations of lizards on two islands and in-lab bacterial growth. (Remember that micro- and macro-evolution are the same thing.)

The book is The Greatest Show on Earth, and is probably available at your local library!!

u/JamesCole · 0 pointsr/philosophy

IMO, if you're interested in philosophy, your first port of call should be to get an understanding of evolution. It's surprisingly relevant to so many topics in philosophy, and I think so many misunderstandings that occur in philosophy come from not really appreciating an evolutionary viewpoint. There's sure to be quite a few people who'd disagree with me on this.

I'd recommend these books, all of which are quite readable and have a somewhat philosophic bent:

Climbing Mount Improbable or The Blind Watchmaker
by Richard Dawkins

Darwin's Dangerous Idea by Daniel C. Dennett

u/tarmigantus · -1 pointsr/politics

race is deeper than skin:

Genetic analysis “supports the traditional racial groups classification.” Source:
“Human genetic variation is geographically structured” and corresponds with race. Source:
Race can be determined via genetics with certainty for >99.8% of individuals. Source:
Oral bacteria can be used to determine race. Source:
Race can be determined via brain scans. Source:
96-97% of Whites have no African ancestry. Source:
97% of Whites have no Black ancestry whatsoever. Source:
There was minimal gene flow between archaic Europeans and Asians. Source:
Common-sense racial categories have biological meaning. Source:
A substantial amount of the human genome has been subjected to natural selection since the races diverged. Source:
With 160 short gene sequences, race can be determined with 100% accuracy for Whites, Asians, and Africans. Source:
Principal continent of origin (race) can be determined with 87% accuracy even for highly mixed populations. Source:
“It is inaccurate to state that race is biologically meaningless.” Source:
Race is biologically real and represents “genetic clusters” of variation. Source:
“Empirical structure within human genetic variation … resembles continentally based racial classifications”. Source:
“Recent research in genetics demonstrates that certain racial, and also ethnic, categories have a biological basis in statistically discernible clusters of alleles.” Source:
“Numerous human population genetic studies have come to the identical conclusion that genetic differentiation is greatest when defined on a continental basis.” Source:
Genetic analysis of race corresponds with self-identification more than 99% of the time. Source:
Races are human subspecies. Source:
The “social constructionist account of race lacks biological reality”. Source:
Race can be determined from fingerprints. Source:
For 99.86% of individuals, genetic analysis of race matches self-identification. Source:
Predefined ethnic/racial labels are “highly informative” about genetic identity. Source:
Over 2000 genes have been subject to recent (post out-of-Africa) evolution. Source:
The concept of race existed in ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, China, India, and Arabia. Source:
Racial classification has genetic significance. Source:
Racial identity is real and is hidden in correlations between different traits. Source:
With enough data points, an individual will never be closer related to someone of another race than someone of their own race. Source:
An individual’s geographic origin can be determined from their genes “with remarkable accuracy”. Source:

u/CactusInaHat · -1 pointsr/funny
u/bifflewall · -3 pointsr/INTP

More diverse neighborhoods have lower social cohesion. Source:

Diversity increases psychotic experiences. Source:

Diversity increases social adversity. Source:

A 10% increase in diversity doubles the chance of psychotic episodes. Source:

Diversity reduces voter registration, political efficacy, charity, and number of friendships. Source:

Ethnic diversity reduces happiness and quality of life. Source:

Diversity reduces trust, civic participation, and civic health. Source:

Ethnic diversity harms health for Hispanics and Blacks. Source:

Diversity primarily hurts the dominant ethnic group. Source:

Ethnic diversity reduces concern for the environment. Source:

Ethnic diversity within 80 meters of a person reduces social trust. Source:

Ethnic diversity directly reduces strong communities. Source:

Ethnically homogeneous neighborhoods are beneficial for health. Source:

In America, more diverse cities have more segregation. Source:

Homogeneous polities have less crime, less civil war, and more altruism. Source:

States with little diversity have more democracy, less corruption, and less inequality. Source:

There is extensive evidence people prefer others who are genetically similar. Source:

Borders, not multiculturalism, reduce intergroup violence. Source:

Diversity reduces charity and volunteering. Source:

People who live in diverse communities rather than homogenous ones are poorer and less educated. Source:

Black people trust their neighbors less than do White people. Source:

Spanish speakers trust their neighbors less than do English speakers. Source:

Asians trust their neighbors less than do White people. Source:

Ethnically diverse workplaces have lower cohesion, lower satisfaction and higher turnover. Source:

Ethnic diversity reduces social trust. Source:

Ethnic diversity among members of the same race reduces infrastructure quality, charity, and loan repayment. Source:

Diversity of any sort makes people more likely to defect in game theoretic scenarios. Source:

Homogeneous military units have less desertion than diverse units. Source:

Diversity correlates with low GDP. Source:

Ethnic homogeneity correlates with strong democracy. Source:

Genetic diversity causes societal conflict. Source:

Ethnic diversity causally decreases social cohesion. Source:

On race:

Humans can be genetically categorized into five racial groups, corresponding to traditional races. Source:

Genetic analysis “supports the traditional racial groups classification.” Source:

“Human genetic variation is geographically structured” and corresponds with race. Source:

Race can be determined via genetics with certainty for >99.8% of individuals. Source:

Oral bacteria can be used to determine race. Source:

Race can be determined via brain scans. Source:

96-97% of Whites have no African ancestry. Source:

97% of Whites have no Black ancestry whatsoever. Source:

There was minimal gene flow between archaic Europeans and Asians. Source:

Common-sense racial categories have biological meaning. Source:

A substantial amount of the human genome has been subjected to natural selection since the races diverged. Source:

With 160 short gene sequences, race can be determined with 100% accuracy for Whites, Asians, and Africans. Source:

Principal continent of origin (race) can be determined with 87% accuracy even for highly mixed populations. Source:

“It is inaccurate to state that race is biologically meaningless.” Source:

Race is biologically real and represents “genetic clusters” of variation. Source:

“Empirical structure within human genetic variation … resembles continentally based racial classifications”. Source:

“Recent research in genetics demonstrates that certain racial, and also ethnic, categories have a biological basis in statistically discernible clusters of alleles.” Source:

“Numerous human population genetic studies have come to the identical conclusion that genetic differentiation is greatest when defined on a continental basis.” Source:

Genetic analysis of race corresponds with self-identification more than 99% of the time. Source:

Races are human subspecies. Source:
The “social constructionist account of race lacks biological reality”. Source:

Race can be determined from fingerprints. Source:

For 99.86% of individuals, genetic analysis of race matches self-identification. Source:

Predefined ethnic/racial labels are “highly informative” about genetic identity. Source:

Over 2000 genes have been subject to recent (post out-of-Africa) evolution. Source:

Racial classification has genetic significance. Source:

Racial identity is real and is hidden in correlations between different traits. Source:

With enough data points, an individual will never be closer related to someone of another race than someone of their own race. Source:

An individual’s geographic origin can be determined from their genes “with remarkable accuracy”. Source:

100% (324/324) of Chinese researchers believe race is biologically real. Source:

The concept of race existed in ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, China, India, and Arabia. Source:

u/climate_throwaway · -4 pointsr/climateskeptics

video makes the same mistake in interpretation you do. impossibility of deterministic forecasts of climate in the terms of weather, say, max and min temperatures on Nov 22 2104 is a given. does not mean that we can not predict a likely distribution of for those max and min temperatures conditioned on some boundary condition change to the climate system.

silly, silly, silly. you should start with strogatz, not with youtube.

u/typesinaesthetic · -4 pointsr/ComedyCemetery

I have family of my own in medicine and forensics and they will confide that race is a reality, though the Zeitgeist of our age wishes much that it wasn't so.

Perhaps this admittedly-spammy trove of evidence will convince you...


Genetic analysis “supports the traditional racial groups classification.” Source:
“Human genetic variation is geographically structured” and corresponds with race. Source:
Race can be determined via genetics with certainty for >99.8% of individuals. Source:
Oral bacteria can be used to determine race. Source:
Race can be determined via brain scans. Source:
96-97% of Whites have no African ancestry. Source:
97% of Whites have no Black ancestry whatsoever. Source:
There was minimal gene flow between archaic Europeans and Asians. Source:
Common-sense racial categories have biological meaning. Source:
A substantial amount of the human genome has been subjected to natural selection since the races diverged. Source:
With 160 short gene sequences, race can be determined with 100% accuracy for Whites, Asians, and Africans. Source:
Principal continent of origin (race) can be determined with 87% accuracy even for highly mixed populations. Source:
“It is inaccurate to state that race is biologically meaningless.” Source:
Race is biologically real and represents “genetic clusters” of variation. Source:
“Empirical structure within human genetic variation … resembles continentally based racial classifications”. Source:
“Recent research in genetics demonstrates that certain racial, and also ethnic, categories have a biological basis in statistically discernible clusters of alleles.” Source:
“Numerous human population genetic studies have come to the identical conclusion that genetic differentiation is greatest when defined on a continental basis.” Source:
Genetic analysis of race corresponds with self-identification more than 99% of the time. Source:
Races are human subspecies. Source:
The “social constructionist account of race lacks biological reality”. Source:
Race can be determined from fingerprints. Source:
For 99.86% of individuals, genetic analysis of race matches self-identification. Source:
Predefined ethnic/racial labels are “highly informative” about genetic identity. Source:
Over 2000 genes have been subject to recent (post out-of-Africa) evolution. Source:
The concept of race existed in ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, China, India, and Arabia. Source:
Racial classification has genetic significance. Source:
Racial identity is real and is hidden in correlations between different traits. Source:
With enough data points, an individual will never be closer related to someone of another race than someone of their own race. Source:
An individual’s geographic origin can be determined from their genes “with remarkable accuracy”. Source:

u/cordialsavage · -4 pointsr/ContestOfChampions

The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness

u/BuboTitan · -17 pointsr/badscience

You are moving the goalposts, you didn't ask for peer reviewed sources. Scholarly articles aren't as readily available as simply links that I can post on Reddit. And the last time I checked, the NYT was hardly an alt-right publication.

But if you insist, here are quite a few for you, although only the abstracts are generally available:

The Biological Reification of Race

Race: The Reality of Human Differences

How race becomes biology: Embodiment of social inequality

Race Reconciled? How Biological Anthropologists view human variation

Understanding race and human variation: Why forensic anthropologists are good at identifying race

Biohistorical approaches to “race” in the United States: Biological distances among African Americans, European Americans, and their ancestors

Now - most of the anthro articles don't endorse the "folk" or popular view of race and so they might seem like a debunking of race, but in fact, they recognize there are measurable variations, they just think there is more variation than what people popularly observe. And the usefulness in forensic DNA in indentifying victims or suspects has been invaluable. See the landmark Dr. Frudakis case.

EDIT - wow, so I include a ton of peer reviewed articles and already I am downvoted in the first 30 seconds, not even enough time for anyone to have skimmed those links. Classy.