Best books about evolution according to redditors

We found 783 Reddit comments discussing the best books about evolution. We ranked the 273 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Molecular biology books
Paleontology books
Organic evolution books

Top Reddit comments about Evolution:

u/Baeocystin · 256 pointsr/askscience

There is a book called Survival of the Sickest I think would interest you.

The tl;dr is that in populations that are under constant pathogen challenge (think malaria in Africa, or tuberculosis in Europe) you do see changes in the genome to reflect it.

But the changes are not 'for the better'. What is selected for is surviving long enough to pass on your genes. So what we wind up with is sickle-cell anemia, which kills its homozygous carriers, and can cripple its survivors and shorten their lifespans, but also conveys resistance to malaria. Or, in the case of tuberculosis, the cystic fibrosis gene does the same- kill its homozygous carriers, allow its heterozygous ones to live long enough to have children and avoid tb.

In both cases, the populations are more suited for living in their conditions than an outsider would likely be. But (unfortunately for us), 'more suited' does not imply 'more robust'.

u/grinde · 145 pointsr/EarthPorn

We've already been attempting something like this at several islands in the Galapagos. There's an island, Daphne Major, that has incredibly restricted access where people have been studying finches since at least the '70s. The original ~20 year study was written about in The Beak of the Finch - definitely worth a read.

u/NukeThePope · 45 pointsr/atheism

My recommendations:

u/restricteddata · 30 pointsr/AskHistorians

So this is a very, very, very tricky question, because when we get right down to it, we still don't have a very rigorous definition of "science" today. That is, we don't have a clear way to say, "this is science" and "this is not science." This is known as the Demarcation problem and after several decades of no progress made, most historians and philosophers of science have simply abandoned the project altogether as a badly thought-out one, even in the cases of outright silly nonsense.

(Now I know a lot of people out there who don't study this stuff for a living are probably saying, but what about Karl Popper? What about falsifiability? Etc. Let me just say that it doesn't really work out very smoothly along those lines and that has been known for many decades now. Falsifiability is a nice way to attack Creationism but as a rigorous means of sorting out science from non-science it falls flat when you start trying to apply it widely.)

It gets much worse if we take philosophical standards of the day (be they Popper's or Merton's or whomevers) and try to apply them backwards in time. We find that most of those heralded as the "first" or "great" scientists break ever rule in the book, routinely. (Galileo is such an offender that Paul Feyerabend wrote an entire book about it.)

So this gets tricky as an historical question, and historians of science are prone to debate with each other just how unclear it is that there, for example, was any kind of "Scientific Revolution" ("There was no such thing as the Scientific Revolution, and this is a book about it.") at all, or whether the evolving professionalization, practices, and mindsets were something both more gradual and as-of-yet-still-unfinished than most people realize.

But that's probably not the answer you're interested in. I think what you're probably going for is a history of professionalization of science, the latter loosely defined as systematic inquiry into nature.

Peter Dear, an historian of science at Cornell, has argued quite persuasively in my mind that the real distinguishing feature of the "Scientific Revolution" of the 15th-16th century (e.g. Galileo et al.) is not that they came up with brand new ways of thinking about the universe, or that Galileo himself was any kind of real outlier here (he did not pop out of nowhere and there were, indeed, plenty of other astronomers and philosophers and etc. running around at the same time as him, though we tend to ignore them), but that they started on a very regular basis merging quantitative studies of nature with philosophical ideas about nature. That is, they started integrating mathematics into their empirical observations, and using these to develop better theoretical models for big questions like "how is the universe run." That, he argues, is somewhat different than what came before, though even then, there are always antecedents. But there are plenty who would even disagree and argue with him on that apparently simple point.

If you want to talk about the professionalization of this kind of inquiry, the early 18th century is when it starts to really become considered almost a "profession" in some parts of the world.

If you want to ask, when does it start to look like what we would today call "science" — with the university positions, industrial cooperation, little boys (and later, girls) saying "daddy I'd like to be a scientist when I grow up," foundations giving grants, people having regular educational and career paths, not just something for rich elites, research published in journals, etc. — that's the mid-to-late 19th century. Obviously bits and pieces of that are present earlier, but prior to the 19th century it still looks, largely, like an informal thing that mostly is done by rich men in their spare time.

Sorry for such a long answer that is probably not what you wanted! I hope, at the minimum, it impresses upon you the fact that historians of science consider this to be a not very easy question to answer, and generally regard the flip answers provided by scientists ("Galileo! Newton!") as being horribly inadequate, if not outright propaganda of a sorts.

u/astroNerf · 26 pointsr/evolution

Check out the sidebar links:

  • recommended viewing (start here - there are short videos that will get you up to speed in about 20-30 minutes)
  • recommended reading (for more in-depth learning)

    Berkeley has a nice evolution portal that you can click through at your own pace, if that's your thing.

    Ultimately, if you're wanting a solid introduction to what evolution is, how it works, and the evidence for it, I'd recommend Jerry Coyne's book Why Evolution is True.
u/MothershipConnection · 21 pointsr/nba

One of my best memories of visiting the Philippines (my dad lives there half the year and I try to visit every other year or so) is playing pick up ball with the locals. Pick up culture there is completely different from pick up games here, it was a trip having games just continue on and on and having people just sub in instead of calling next or anything like that. Also playing in a gym built inside a shopping mall.

And they play a lot more zone defense and a lot less defense in general! People looked at me like a fucking mad man when I was crashing the boards hard and running the break, like some sort of Kenneth Faried/Dennis Rodman hybrid (in the States I'm much more Jason Terry). It helps at 5-8 I was one of the taller players in a lot of these games.

Rafe Bartholomew of Grantland fame has a pretty excellent book on Philippine basketball culture, I definitely recommend it!

u/[deleted] · 20 pointsr/books

Nothing I have read comes to quite the same level of history and science but if I had to suggest a few readable books I would go with:

Marcus Chown - The Never-Ending Days of Being Dead for some physics things (even if some of the stuff is a little too out there to be fully appropriate to day to day life)

for further physics Michio Kaku is normally very accessible or if you feel a bit braver either of the schrodingers cat books by John Gribbins

Richard Dawkins - The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution is the most intuitive guide to evolution I have read.

These all focus on one area as opposed to Short History which moved on from topic to topic fairly fast preventing boredom but hopefully you will be ok with them.

u/qarano · 20 pointsr/askscience

If you're really interested in this kind of stuff, check out The Ancestor's Tale by Richard Dawkins. In it, he examines our common ancestors with other life in backwards chronological order (our common ancestor with chimps, then our and chimps' common ancestor with the other apes, then apes' common ancestor with all primates, etc). There's lots of interesting information about how genes express and get selected for. For example, one particularly fascinating chapter covers the origin of our tri-chromal color vision, as opposed to the vision of most other mammals, like dogs, and what happened in our genes to bring about that change.

u/FoxJitter · 14 pointsr/suggestmeabook

Not OP, just helping out with some formatting (and links!) because I like these suggestions.

> 1) The Magic Of Reality - Richard Dawkins
> 2) The Selfish Gene - Richard Dawkins
> 3)A Brief History Of Time - Stephen Hawking
> 4)The Grand Design - Stephen Hawking
> 4)Sapiens - Yuval Noah Harari (Any Book By Daniel Dennet)
> 5)Enlightenment Now - Steven Pinker
> 6)From Eternity Till Here - Sean Caroll (Highly Recommended)
> 7)The Fabric Of Cosmos - Brian Greene (If you have good mathematical understanding try Road To Reality By Roger Penrose)
> 8)Just Six Numbers - Martin Reese (Highly Recommended)

u/mixosax · 14 pointsr/evolution

Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne is the book I read for the same reason. It is concise, factual, and easy to understand. I recommend it to everyone in your position.

u/cbabraham · 12 pointsr/askscience

Along the same line, Jerry Coyne's "Why Evolution is True" is fantastic.

"Anyone who doesn't believe in evolution is stupid, insane, or hasn't read Jerry Coyne" - Richard Dawkins

u/Lazarus5214 · 12 pointsr/Christianity

bperki8 is right. Most Young Earth Creationists (YEC) I know have a very poor understanding of evolution, and I don't blame them for not accepting it. What they describe as evolution is utter trash, promoted throught the intellectual dishonesty of the Discovery Institute, Ben Stein, and the likes. Please read Why Evolution is True. I ruthlessly implore anyone with doubts to read this book. YECs are in the same boat as those hundreds of years ago who believed the Earth the center of the solar system, and anything else is against God.

u/lilgreenrosetta · 11 pointsr/atheism

> Could you please tell me where to find the documentation to show that (macro) evolution has been proven?

A good place to start would be Richard Dawkins' "The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution". This is a book written by a leading evolutionary biologist in a way that laymen can understand, and it's a fascinating read. The book describes the various ways in which evolution has been proven, including the math you ask for. It also includes an extensive list of scientific papers and other sources for further reading.

u/distantocean · 10 pointsr/exchristian

That's one of my favorite popular science books, so it's wonderful to hear you're getting so much out of it. It really is a fascinating topic, and it's sad that so many Christians close themselves off to it solely to protect their religious beliefs (though as you discovered, it's good for those religious beliefs that they do).

As a companion to the book you might enjoy the Stated Clearly series of videos, which break down evolution very simply (and they're made by an ex-Christian whose education about evolution was part of his reason for leaving the religion). You might also like Coyne's blog, though these days it's more about his personal views than it is about evolution (but some searching on the site will bring up interesting things he's written on a whole host of religious topics from Adam and Eve to "ground of being" theology). He does also have another book you might like (Faith Versus Fact: Why Science and Religion are Incompatible), though I only read part of it since I was familiar with much of it from his blog.

> If you guys have any other book recommendations along these lines, I'm all ears!

You should definitely read The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins, if only because it's a classic (and widely misrepresented/misunderstood). A little farther afield, one of my favorite popular science books of all time is The Language Instinct by Steven Pinker, which looks at human language as an evolved ability. Pinker's primary area of academic expertise is child language acquisition, so he's the most in his element in that book.

If you're interested in neuroscience and the brain you could read How the Mind Works (also by Pinker) or The Tell-Tale Brain by V. S. Ramachandran, both of which are wide-ranging and accessibly written. I'd also recommend Thinking, Fast and Slow by psychologist Daniel Kahneman. Evolution gets a lot of attention in ex-Christian circles, but books like these are highly underrated as antidotes to Christian indoctrination -- nothing cures magical thinking about the "soul", consciousness and so on as much as learning how the brain and the mind actually work.

If you're interested in more general/philosophical works that touch on similar themes, Douglas R. Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach made a huge impression on me (years ago). You might also like The Mind's I by Hofstadter and Daniel Dennett, which is a collection of philosophical essays along with commentaries. Books like these will get you thinking about the true mysteries of life, the universe and everything -- the kind of mysteries that have such sterile and unsatisfying "answers" within Christianity and other mythologies.

Don't worry about the past -- just be happy you're learning about all of this now. You've got plenty of life ahead of you to make up for any lost time. Have fun!

u/emp733 · 10 pointsr/scifi

not so much.. sometimes, and perhaps even often so. One of the appeals, however, for star trek has always been the early attempts to strive for believability. The early writers were in constant contact w/ the cutting edge sciences, trying to line up their stories w/ where science looked like it could go one day.

I'm getting this from Michio Kaku's "The Physics of the Impossible". It was a fascinating and fun read.. In it, he made note many times concerning Star Trek's attempts to stay relevant to the sciences they portrayed. Thought you may like to know

This is the book. Check it out if you get a chance!

u/TedTheGreek_Atheos · 10 pointsr/creepy

And that's for the paperback!

Edit: oddly, the hardcore hardcover is a lot less valuable

u/pstryder · 10 pointsr/exjw

Why Evolution is True - By Jerry Coyne

The author specifically and purposefully avoids all talk of religion and morality, and very simply and concisely lays out the evidence and logic behind evolutionary theory.

Anyone who reads this book and continues denying evolution is not approaching the subject honestly, or has other reasons (religious) for rejecting evolution.

It's only a couple hundred pages, and certainly is no longer than 'Life How Did It Get Here-By Evolution or By Creation', which I am nearly 100% certain is what he will be giving you. (For a fun game, take a shot every time you read a blatant lie or intentional misstatement of fact, or quote mine you find in that book. Just be sure you don't need to drive for the next couple of days.)

He may give you the new Creationism tract they introduced this summer, which is nothing more than excerpts from the larger book.

u/CapturedMoments · 10 pointsr/atheism

Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne: Buy it on Amazon

A quality online resource for you would be the free online archive of MIT's class "Human Origins and Evolution"; check it out here: MIT OCW 3.987 EDIT: This would actually only be appropriate as a guide for further study on your own. The course materials provided are primarily syllabi and the like, but does provide an extensive list of books and other sources of information that may be up your alley.

Much more technical options are also available from their biology department: MIT OCW Bio

u/AgnosticKierkegaard · 9 pointsr/changemyview

So you think you can argue by giving me links to a book on And, its not such an open and shut case as you'd hope, and I highly doubt this solves the problem of induction. I'm not going to argue this here, but I think if you're going to link to a book on amazon I'm entitled to link to another.

And because I'm a jackass. one more

u/fre3k · 9 pointsr/KotakuInAction

>one huge evil being with a bunch of disposable bodies

That being is called a meme. Intersectional social justice is one of the most contagious, and in some senses effective, memes of all time.

If you're interested in reading about such a thing, check out

u/TheThirdDuke · 9 pointsr/Christianity

What you refer to as "hyper evolution" is called punctuated equilibrium. The Beak of the Finch is an excellent and very readable explanation of the process.

u/Jhaza · 8 pointsr/SubredditDrama

Specifically, it shows that there is a qualitative difference between those with and without the disorder, both physiologically and in drug response; thus, whether you want to call it a disorder or not, it does describe a distinct subpopulation that it is meaningful to discuss as a group, distinct from other individuals who may share some traits with members of the group - that is, that it exists. You say that we know it exists (which is true!) and suggest that the debate is on classification of that subpopulation (reasonable!), but I don't think that's universally true. I don't really have any evidence to offer other than anecdotes, so take that as you will.

Incidentally, the question of "is it really a disorder or just a normal variation, possibly with a purpose?" is really, really interesting. There's a book called Survival of the Sickest that makes some very interesting connections between ostensibly-harmful disorders and possibly historical (or current!) benefits that derive from the same trait/gene/what have you.

u/Cepheus · 8 pointsr/PoliticalDiscussion

I think you have touched on something very important. There is a really good book on this called Facts Can't Speak for Themselves by the nationally known and respected jury consultant Eric Oliver.

His theory is that we are hardwired for story telling and that we have to frame facts that can be conveyed in a narrative manner that touches the stories that people have internally. It is a method for tapping into a type of confirmation bias. Essentially, framing facts in a narrative in such a way that we are preaching to the choir even if they disagree with us. But, you have to listen to discover the song they are singing.

I think if we all learn to listen more to discover the stories that people have internally, it opens a door to communicate with people through story telling to get our points across no matter what it is.

Most people operate in an analysis fact free world and make decisions based on the narratives they have constructed from personal experience. This is a mental shortcut in all of our brains that allow us to survive and not drown in the incredible amounts of data we experience from birth to death. It allows us to survive by deciding what is an immediate issue, like the danger of rattle snake right next to you rather than a lion half a mile away.

Then the use of language is how we survive as a group by relating stories to other people. Those stories propagate and rise in importance in how is is perceived to aid in survival. If we can connect and share experiences, we can move people in our direction.

Two other books worth reading is Dawking, The Selfish Gene and The Culture Code by Clotaire Rapaille.

u/geeineff · 8 pointsr/nba

I've been reading this book about basketball in the Philippines and the PBA and it is awesome. I really want to visit Manila now and just play pick up games all the time.

u/efrique · 8 pointsr/atheism

> when you're looking for it to happen, it does.

Okay, straight off, you've impressed me. Most people find themselves unable to figure this out.

> I recently started watching the TV show Heroes.

I like it too - but big warning - almost all hollywood 'science' is utterly bogus. It's fine that it got you thinking though.

> According to Evolutionary theory, as far as I know, mutations are the cause of the "advancement" of a species, or transition, however you say it (not an expert on the subject at all).

Well, mutations are a source of variation. But it's not mutation that leads to change at the population-level (which is what evolution is). Individuals changing isn't evolution.

Basically, you need heritable variation, leading to differences in survival or reproduction (and differences in survival matter because you can't reproduce if you're dead). Natural selection is the primary mechanism by which beneficial versions of genes are retained and the frequency of 'bad' ones reduced.

> The school taught me to retaliate the argument with "give me one example of a positive mutation."

Actually, that's easy: here's two

  1. The gene-duplication + frame-shift mutation in a strain of Flavobacterium that made it able to digest byproducts of nylon 6 manufacture:

  2. The evolution of citrate-digestion in the Lenski long-term evolution experiment (there are actually several mutations involved along the way, though each one was beneficial):

    > If my understanding is correct, mutations aren't beneficial.

    Not quite. Frequently mutations are bad - which is why we have mechanisms to prevent them. Often, mutations are relatively neutral - you carry several mutations not present in either of your parents yet here you are. Sometimes mutations are actually beneficial.

    One example of a usually-fairly-neutral kind of mutation that is important in evolution is gene-duplication. This is important because you end up with an extra copy of a gene. The extra copy is free to change without any loss of function in the original copy.

    > They're meant to wipe a species out,

    No, mutations aren't 'meant' to do anything. They are simply there.

    The main resistance a population has to a bad mutation is simply this: its carriers leave fewer offspring behind than non-carriers.

    > Like cancer: in [x] amount of years, humans should theoretically be immune to cancer if we let it run its course

    Cancer has been around hundreds of millions of years. Its present throughout the animal kingdom. All animals should be 'immune to cancer', by this reasoning. There are a variety of reasons why this is not so. You should probably research cancer a bit more deeply, after you've done some learning on evolution.

    > If someone could give me some more misconceptions the Christians have about Evolutionary theory,

    Actually, in many parts of the world, a majority of Christians accept evolution.

    Your first step should be to read about what evolution is. Perhaps start here:

    or here:


    Some of the misconceptions about evolution:


    Evidence for evolution: Why Evolution Is True, Jerry Coyne.

    Evidence for common descent:

    Examples of speciation:

    (e.g. see the second and third link in particular, but many of the others are also good)
u/theuniverseman · 8 pointsr/exmormon

I was hard core TBM, I would believe just about anything, which is why Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams is so much funnier to me now that I am an atheist, than when I read it back when I was TBM.

I also knew when I was TBM that if God exists then anything is possible, ergo the church was true because it made the strongest claim to the truth then any other religion (when I say "truth claim" I am not referring to a logical and rational claim of truth by the church, I am referring to the standard "I know God lives and loves me" sort of truth claim). But I also reasoned that if I were to find sufficient cause to be an atheist, any difficulty of rejecting the LDS church and all other churches is rendered moot.

My biggest hurdle to stop believing in God was the fact that I was raised in an extremely religious environment growing up, even before my family joined the LDS church when I was 13 years old. My mom enrolled my brothers and in private christian schools growing up and we attended church services religiously growing up. My belief in God was such that it never even occurred to me to question his existence in spite of the fact I was keenly interested in science, I was also aware of the concept of atheism, but I could not comprehend why anyone would want to do something stupid like rejecting God.

It took me a long time to go from from fully believing in God, to completely rejecting the notion of God, I accomplished this through reason and science, I taught myself, with help from others how to think and reason. Atheism is not an easy choice for some, for others it is not so hard, it was a big fucking deal for me for me to reject everything I had ever understood about the universe and it scared the hell out of me when I did. There is no point in me telling you exactly why I am an atheist, it's complicated, and it is a very personal road of discovery.

However, for starters I would suggest reading Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution Is True
and Richard Dawkins The Magic of Reality, How We Know What's Really True

Here are some of my most favorite Christopher Hitchens quotes.

>“That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.”

>“Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely solely upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, open-mindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake.”

>“The only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism. It is not a creed. Death is certain, replacing both the siren-song of Paradise and the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and love. There is nothing more; but I want nothing more.”

And my favorite Richard Dawkins quotes.

>“The total amount of suffering per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation. During the minute that it takes me to compose this sentence, thousands of animals are being eaten alive, many others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear, others are slowly being devoured from within by rasping parasites, thousands of all kinds are dying of starvation, thirst, and disease. It must be so. If there ever is a time of plenty, this very fact will automatically lead to an increase in the population until the natural state of starvation and misery is restored. In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won't find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”

>“We admit that we are like apes, but we seldom realize that we are apes.”

>“Evolution could so easily be disproved if just a single fossil turned up in the wrong date order. Evolution has passed this test with flying colors.”

Evolution threatens Christianity

u/Groumph09 · 8 pointsr/books

You might get "more" by starting to look at more specialized books. Biographies and non-fiction.

u/Zamboniman · 8 pointsr/DebateAnAtheist

> I do not understand the theory and I thought that based on the answers that I received here I would make a decision based on how much I really want to read up on it.

That is literally like asking about how to make ice cream in a subreddit about developing black and white film.

If you're interested in a topic, research the topic using relevant resources.

>Can you suggest some books that a person in my position of ignorance would find beneficial?

Start with Why Evolution is True, Wikipedia, RationalWiki, Iron Chariots, and any highschool text on evolution, and then go from there.

u/derioderio · 7 pointsr/math

A good book that would help you answer this question is God Created the Integers which is a book on the history of mathematics by Stephen Hawking (yes, him). Each chapter has a short introduction and history of a mathematician written by Hawking, and then the rest of the chapter is the paper or excerpt from their works that Hawking felt was most important to mathematical progress.

The first chapter is on Euclid, and includes his basic postulates on geometry, theory of proportion, and his proof of infinite prime numbers.

The second chapter is on Archimedes, and includes his proofs on the surface area of a sphere and cylinder, his estimation for pi, his "sand reckoner" where he defines a method of denoting very large numbers and uses that to estimate the number of sand grains that would fill up the entire known universe and show that it is still finite, and then his fulcrum/lever method that he derived that was an early analogue to integral calculus.

So the rest of the book goes on through Diophantus, Descartes, Newton, Euler, Laplace, Fourier, Gauss, Cauchy, Lobachevsky, Bolyai, Galois, Boole, Reimann, Weierstrass, Dedekind, Cantor, Lebesque, Godel, and Turing.

It's a pretty heady book and I'm only going through it very slowly, but one thing that was clear to me from the first few chapters is that even without the tools we have like symbolic notation, cartesian algebra, imaginary (or even negative!) numbers, etc., the early Greek mathematicians (more accurate to call them 'geometers') were able to do some really advanced things.

If you were to go back into their time and were able to communicate with them, the hardest part would be teaching them to understand and use the symbolic notation for mathematics that we now take for granted. For them everything was geometry, and if it couldn't be expressed as such it wasn't seriously regarded.

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/ThisIsDave · 7 pointsr/

>evolution occurs- just not as fast as darwin would like in order to explain the creatures that exist on the timeline that the archeological record shows

Actually, can occur far faster than he anticipated.

Additionally, if the planet were seeded, it would have to have been prior to the emergence of modern bacteria; otherwise, their phylogenies wouldn't make any sense. Which is probably before any of the archaeological evidence you're talking about.

u/FINDTHESUN · 6 pointsr/Meditation

no , just open-minded, what about you ?


here's a quick selection of some of the books from my library list. have you seen/read at least 1 of those?? ;-)

How knowledgeable are you ?

u/MichaelKohlhaas · 6 pointsr/AskReddit

Okay, the issue I have with reddit's recommendations of literature is that it's so limited. The community has a number of blind spots; literature is one of them. You'll get the best of the fantasy/sci-fi genres, the Orwell-Vonnegut group, some science books and little else. Nothing from before the 20th century, nothing by an author that didn't write in English. It's depressing, because it's ignoring the other 99% of great literature.

Here's what I did. I read Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, a Nigerian author. It's short (just over 200 pages), but good. Then I read One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. That was harder to get through because I wasn't used to the length (over 400 pages), but the payoff was worth it.

But then there's the issue of how much you're interested in going into literature deeply. If you have any thoughts like "I wouldn't want to read something that wasn't written in English" or "I don't want to read anything ancient," that's fine; but don't go into these things with preconceptions, because more often than not when I decide to read an classic I'm satisfied that it deserved its classic status.

If you ever get interested in reading literature at very serious level, use this list. It's the top 100 books as recommended by authors. It's very good in that it's spread across every age, from almost every great nation. Every one is a classic in the truest sense of the word. You may not like one once you've read it, but you'll probably see why it's a classic.

For some non-fiction that's worth reading, two come to mind. There's The Society of Mind by Marvin Minsky, the founder of the A.I. program at MIT. He essentially deconstructed the various mental processes that human beings use in their conscious and unconscious ways of thinking. It's invaluable to gaining insights into what sorts of ways your mind actually works. (And it was recommended by Asimov too, you fanboys.) It's subdivided into chapters, with each chapter composed of numerous essays no greater than a page in length. It's filled with useful diagrams and relevant quotes. It's great.

The other is The Social Construction of Reality by Berger and Luckmann, two sociologists. It's surprisingly short and readable for an academic book. Read some of the reviews for it.

u/rationalinquiry · 6 pointsr/atheism

I can also fully recommend /r/askscience. Also, unless you've already read it, The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution - Dawkins, is a fantastic (quite simplified scientifically, but explained beautifully) book.

However, the two programmes I'd most strongly recommend are Wonders of the Solar System and Wonders of the Universe; both presented by Prof. Brian Cox and produced for the BBC.

u/GWFKegel · 6 pointsr/askphilosophy

Peter Singer, to me, is the absolute clearest writer in philosophy, and I think he has an incredible knack for interesting theses. As a result, I think you can start pretty much anywhere with him.

I do work in ethics, metaethics, and applied ethics, though. The two articles I see referenced over and over again are "Famine, Affluence, and Morality" and "Ethics and Intuitions". The former is a valid, tight, and incredibly fun-to-discuss argument about how we should donate all unnecessary funds to end abject poverty. The latter is an evolutionary debunking argument against intuitions and in favor of the practical reason that standard utilitarian views use. If you're into the former, he wrote a very accessible book recently, stemming from lectures at Yale, called The Most Good You Can Do, which I can recommend to pretty much anyone as an easy and provocative read. But if you're interested more in the theoretical stuff, as in how objective ethics is and how much it might regulate our lives, check out The Expanding Circle.

Overall, if you're interested in almost any applied ethical debate, Singer has written something relevant. You might just start there out of interest. But I really don't think you can go wrong with anything.

u/guiraldelli · 5 pointsr/math

I really like the book "God Created The Integers: The Mathematical Breakthroughs That Changed History" from Stephen Hawking because he makes a historical introduction and then he puts the original texts.

Certainly, a worthful reading.

u/da_bears2233aa23f · 5 pointsr/askscience

Here is a good book about the people who study Darwin's Finches in the Galapagos. The researchers have documented the birds evolving very quickly in response to droughts and floods on the island. It's fascinating!

u/bcarson · 5 pointsr/math

God Created the Integers, edited by Stephen Hawking. Includes selected works of various big names in mathematics with a brief biography of each preceding the math. The wiki article on the book has a list of all mathematicians included.

Prime Obsession, about Riemann and his famous hypothesis.

The Man Who Knew Infinity, about Ramanujan.

u/KarnickelEater · 5 pointsr/news

Evolution is not a one-way street of "progress to better". It is just adaptation, nothing more. Yes you know, you think. But adaptation works equally way in the other direction.

The consequences of "all out war" among species is a full concentration of all efforts on just that "war". You will NOT get better. You may actually LOSE. Sure, you'll be able to withstand some diseases. I recommend the book "Survival of the sickest" (#). Each time you gain something, you lose something else in the process! If your body needs to fight diseases much harder other things will suffer. The result of such selection will NOT be some "super-man". Look around you - we ARE the result of such ruthless selection.

And by the way (an aside), if you believe the fairy tale that selection has stopped and we now live much longer because of medicine in his lecture "Return of the Microbes" Professor William Ayliffe, he made an aside about life-expectancy in 19th century England:

> Now, look at the modern day. Look where cancer is now. But, guess what? We still die! And what is interesting, if you take out the childhood mortality, the Victorian person between 1850 and 1880 lived slightly longer, if he was a male, than you do today. So, your life expectancy at five, in England, as a male, in 1870 was slightly longer than it is now, which is an extraordinary statistic, slightly shorter then if you were a female.

So our biggest achievement for life-expectancy is lowering child mortality. The pills for the older generation don't seem to do that much (for life-expectancy, they may still be good for quality of life).

(#) I have read the most highly rated negative review on that page and I have no idea what book it is talking about. It seems the reviewer has taken issue with some minor side-issue that I can't even remember having read. So he may be right about that, but as I said, I can't even remember it was in the book. So while I usually like those negative reviews more, this one is completely bogus. So read the book and decide for yourself based on its actual contents. The comments to that review are completely insane, they have nothing at all to do with the book. People are just going off on their own discussions, ignoring that it's supposed to be about that book. And I followed that review's advice and googled tha author. The anti-blog posts I read had not a single substantive argument, they were all ad-hominem attacks. So the author may be all they call him, but none of the links I followed to see their prove bothered to show any. Besides, having read that book some time ago I'm quite baffled what the big deal is? Those "anti" voices are so extremely venomous, I have no clue what got under their skin. It doesn't look like scientific well-reasoned argumentation is their strong suite.
Here's one of those anti-voices. What am I supposed to make of that??? And again: The things they criticize may be right, but they are no substantial part of that book (hey, I read it). So if something is substantially wrong with it, why do they attack points I can't even remember he made?

u/hga_another · 5 pointsr/KotakuInAction

Errr, why not just label them as sort of mistakes of nature, by definition they won't directly propagate their genes, and most of the ones we talk about won't help propagate genes they share with their relatives.

(Which is one reason a "gay gene" could have survival value; if you want a great introduction to this, read The Selfish Gene, you will understand a lot more about the world afterwords. Also where the meme meme was launched. :-)

Eugenics is entirely unnecessary in a sane society where these people can be ignored, kept in the closet enough to not cause many problems (well, aside from Catholic Church...), or institutionalized if they cause enough problems. The problem is the Left is now using them as shock troopers in World War T, now that they've used up gays having achieved "gay marriage" and gays in favor of Muslims who are dedicated to preventing them from committing suicide by throwing themselves off high buildings, but who are just not very good about it. But if our society was sane, we wouldn't have made a fatal epidemic disease a civil right in the 1980s.

u/xenomouse · 5 pointsr/nanowrimo

If you haven't discovered it already, check out Physics of the Impossible by Michio Kaku. It explains things like force fields and interstellar travel (as well as weirder shit like time travel and antimatter engines) in terms of actual theoretical physics, but is written in a way that is easy for non-experts to understand. I've read that he kept getting letters from sci-fi writers wanting him to explain this stuff to them, and that's what led him to write this book.

u/drc500free · 5 pointsr/science

If you haven't already, you might enjoy putting aside a few weeks reading for The Ancestor's Tale. It's just dozens of those stories.

One of the most amazing ones is about Ring Species, which are nothing short of absolute proof of speciation with no need for fossils or gene analysis.

u/sanschag · 5 pointsr/biology

I think Dawkins' The Ancestor's Tale is one of his best. It takes the traditional bacteria to human story of evolution and flips it on its head, escaping the sense of directed progress that so often occurs in evolutionary books. I would also second the suggestion for Shubin's Your Inner Fish.

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/Khiv_ · 4 pointsr/biology

The other commenters have already explained this very well, but I'm going to try putting it in my own words anyway.

There are two things to talk about: sex and gender. Sex is the biological aspect while gender is the behavioral aspect. But wait, can't behavior have a biological influence? Everything points out that yes, it can, but it can also have environmental influences such as culture.

So how did sex arise? Some animals have only one sex, and some are even able to make babies with themselves. The reason some animals evolved away from this suggests an advantage to having multiple sexes in multiple people. The multiple people part is easy, genetic variability. If you only make sex with yourself, you're going to have very little change in your genes, and any new hazard, like viruses and changes in temperature could wipe your genome out.

What about different sexes? In this case, it is all about specialization. Having someone specialize in nurturing and someone specialize in proliferating might have given advantage to our predecessors. This specialization starts in our germ cells, with one producing small, motile, and ever proliferating spermatozoan and the other producing large, immobile, once in a lifetime eggs. Males make millions of spermatozoan during most of their lifetime while females make eggs only in an early age.

Now, what does that have to do with gender? It is possible that the different costs on the different types of sex cells could have led animals to behave differently. The female invests a lot on a single egg, so maybe she needs to be really picky about whom she mates with; the male can just throw his stuff around. It would also be dangerous if males started mating with males instead of females. That would be just wasted energy that could have been used in effective reproduction.

Note that this behavior isn't always observed in animals. The ultimate goal is gene survival, and there are many factors that help genes survive. Maybe a male fish will find that having a male lover while procreating with a female will cause this lover to protect his offspring for some reason. This would reinforce the behavior of keeping male lovers in this species.

Now, to humans. What makes humans complex is the hypothesis that we have this consciouness that can govern our lower impulses and perhaps even act against them. This area is still growing, and there are many theories. One could say that gene influence is still what matters most. Maybe by choosing not to have children and instead focusing on my career, I am helping my genes survive through other people (all humans have some similar genes, and if my career helps the world, it also helps my genes). On the other hand, I could argue that there is something in humans that really allows them to outrule their survival insticts, or that there are new powerful forces such as culture that can govern our actions more than our genes and our own will together.

So, is there such a thing as gender? Yes, but in humans it could go much beyond simple inherited "instincts". I recommend you read the chapter on sex of this book and maybe take a look at the selfish gene.

u/optimaloutcome · 4 pointsr/BreakingParents

I audio-book so not reading, but "reading". Currently listening to This Town by Mark Leibovich

u/Liebo · 4 pointsr/booksuggestions

I've read a lot of nonfiction sports books. When a decent writer covers a fascinating sports topic they can be pretty hard to beat. Some of my absolute favorites:

Play Their Hearts Out by George Dohrmann Phenomenal story that shows the insanity of elite high school basketball and the recruiting machine.

Bringing the Heat by Mark Bowden Fly on the wall account of the Philadelphia Eagles' 1992. Some great insights into players like Jerome Brown, Randall Cunningham, and Reggie White and Bowden (who also wrote Black Hawk Down) describes on and off-field action very well.

Soccernomics by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski A mix between Freakonomics and Moneyball as it relates to international soccer. If you have any interest in soccer or international sports/business its definitely worth a read.

Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby Reflections on intense fandom from a novelist. Soccer-related (and unfortunately this book is the reason why I am now stuck supporting Arsenal) but Hornby's musings definitely apply across sports.

Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer Journalist returns to his Alabama roots to follow the Tide's football season in an RV amongst die hard fans. Great book about fandom and a chronicle of a season.

Pacific Rims by Rafe Bartholomew Just finished this one. Filipinos are obsessed with basketball and this book describes the depths of the national obsession as well as covering the 2007 season of the Alaska Aces in the Philippines Basketball Association. Asian professional basketball is a bit different than its NBA cousin and I found the book to be incredibly interesting.

u/econartist · 4 pointsr/nba

He is an absolute legend in the Philippines (PBA). Rafe Bartholomew, who was a Grantland contributor, wrote a great book about the PBA and a good chunk of it is about Bates.

Amazon link

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/ColdShoulder · 4 pointsr/evolution

If you're interested in this topic, I highly recommend Dawkins "The Ancestor's Tale." It starts with modern humans, and then it works it's way back through our ancestors (explaining as it goes along when our "cousins" join the family tree; or to put it differently, it explains, in real time (rather than going backwards), our cousins departure from our common ancestor to the place they hold today). It doesn't focus exclusively on hominids or "transitional fossils," but the scope of the book will definitely give you an idea of the mountains of evidence we have for determining our ancestors, our cousins, and our family tree. I'm only about halfway through, but I've enjoyed it quite a bit so far. Take a look at the reviews online, and if it looks good, pick it up.

u/gabaji123 · 4 pointsr/science

Kittel - Thermal Physics.

My favorite undergraduate physics text, is beautifully and simply written with intuitive examples and problems that are easy to relate to. Explains entropy (from a quantum POV) on the first page. You don't need a teacher (my prof at berkeley who taught this class was god awful) for this subject: you need to be open-minded and patient. Work your way through with discipline and you'll see the pay-offs.

Remember that there are a few interpretations of entropy: ask a chemist and you'll initially get a different answer than a classical physicist, who will initially give you a different answer than a quantum physicist. Eventually, they will all agree that they are saying the same thing, but it takes some working.
Note, you don't need to get the second edition, or a new book. Go pick your self up a nice used copy of the first edition for like 25 bucks, or the second (if you want) for like 60.

Alternatively, you MAY be able to find it here in the first two non-sponsored links on this page:

BUT that is probably piracy or evil or something and I don't condone or suggest you do it at all. I just put the link there for your information, so you know.

u/CSMastermind · 4 pointsr/learnprogramming

I've posted this before but I'll repost it here:

Now in terms of the question that you ask in the title - this is what I recommend:

Job Interview Prep

  1. Cracking the Coding Interview: 189 Programming Questions and Solutions
  2. Programming Interviews Exposed: Coding Your Way Through the Interview
  3. Introduction to Algorithms
  4. The Algorithm Design Manual
  5. Effective Java
  6. Concurrent Programming in Java™: Design Principles and Pattern
  7. Modern Operating Systems
  8. Programming Pearls
  9. Discrete Mathematics for Computer Scientists

    Junior Software Engineer Reading List

    Read This First

  10. Pragmatic Thinking and Learning: Refactor Your Wetware


  11. Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction
  12. Software Estimation: Demystifying the Black Art
  13. Software Engineering: A Practitioner's Approach
  14. Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code
  15. Coder to Developer: Tools and Strategies for Delivering Your Software
  16. Perfect Software: And Other Illusions about Testing
  17. Getting Real: The Smarter, Faster, Easier Way to Build a Successful Web Application

    Understanding Professional Software Environments

  18. Agile Software Development: The Cooperative Game
  19. Software Project Survival Guide
  20. The Best Software Writing I: Selected and Introduced by Joel Spolsky
  21. Debugging the Development Process: Practical Strategies for Staying Focused, Hitting Ship Dates, and Building Solid Teams
  22. Rapid Development: Taming Wild Software Schedules
  23. Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams


  24. Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency
  25. Against Method
  26. The Passionate Programmer: Creating a Remarkable Career in Software Development


  27. The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering
  28. Computing Calamities: Lessons Learned from Products, Projects, and Companies That Failed
  29. The Deadline: A Novel About Project Management

    Mid Level Software Engineer Reading List

    Read This First

  30. Personal Development for Smart People: The Conscious Pursuit of Personal Growth


  31. The Clean Coder: A Code of Conduct for Professional Programmers
  32. Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship
  33. Solid Code
  34. Code Craft: The Practice of Writing Excellent Code
  35. Software Craftsmanship: The New Imperative
  36. Writing Solid Code

    Software Design

  37. Head First Design Patterns: A Brain-Friendly Guide
  38. Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software
  39. Domain-Driven Design: Tackling Complexity in the Heart of Software
  40. Domain-Driven Design Distilled
  41. Design Patterns Explained: A New Perspective on Object-Oriented Design
  42. Design Patterns in C# - Even though this is specific to C# the pattern can be used in any OO language.
  43. Refactoring to Patterns

    Software Engineering Skill Sets

  44. Building Microservices: Designing Fine-Grained Systems
  45. Software Factories: Assembling Applications with Patterns, Models, Frameworks, and Tools
  46. NoEstimates: How To Measure Project Progress Without Estimating
  47. Object-Oriented Software Construction
  48. The Art of Software Testing
  49. Release It!: Design and Deploy Production-Ready Software
  50. Working Effectively with Legacy Code
  51. Test Driven Development: By Example


  52. Database System Concepts
  53. Database Management Systems
  54. Foundation for Object / Relational Databases: The Third Manifesto
  55. Refactoring Databases: Evolutionary Database Design
  56. Data Access Patterns: Database Interactions in Object-Oriented Applications

    User Experience

  57. Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability
  58. The Design of Everyday Things
  59. Programming Collective Intelligence: Building Smart Web 2.0 Applications
  60. User Interface Design for Programmers
  61. GUI Bloopers 2.0: Common User Interface Design Don'ts and Dos


  62. The Productive Programmer
  63. Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change
  64. Coders at Work: Reflections on the Craft of Programming
  65. Facts and Fallacies of Software Engineering


  66. Dreaming in Code: Two Dozen Programmers, Three Years, 4,732 Bugs, and One Quest for Transcendent Software
  67. New Turning Omnibus: 66 Excursions in Computer Science
  68. Hacker's Delight
  69. The Alchemist
  70. Masterminds of Programming: Conversations with the Creators of Major Programming Languages
  71. The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood

    Specialist Skills

    In spite of the fact that many of these won't apply to your specific job I still recommend reading them for the insight, they'll give you into programming language and technology design.

  72. Peter Norton's Assembly Language Book for the IBM PC
  73. Expert C Programming: Deep C Secrets
  74. Enough Rope to Shoot Yourself in the Foot: Rules for C and C++ Programming
  75. The C++ Programming Language
  76. Effective C++: 55 Specific Ways to Improve Your Programs and Designs
  77. More Effective C++: 35 New Ways to Improve Your Programs and Designs
  78. More Effective C#: 50 Specific Ways to Improve Your C#
  79. CLR via C#
  80. Mr. Bunny's Big Cup o' Java
  81. Thinking in Java
  82. JUnit in Action
  83. Functional Programming in Scala
  84. The Art of Prolog: Advanced Programming Techniques
  85. The Craft of Prolog
  86. Programming Perl: Unmatched Power for Text Processing and Scripting
  87. Dive into Python 3
  88. why's (poignant) guide to Ruby
u/omaca · 3 pointsr/AskReddit

Just buy him a copy of The Greatest Show on Earth.

Or failing that, Mayr's What Evolution Is, Dennet's Darwin's Dangerous Idea (a bit heavy), or finally if all else fails, this

u/shanedoth · 3 pointsr/science

The hill keeps shifting, too - so what may be "higher" terrain today may not be tomorrow. And everyone climbs the mountain with the following algorithm - "Always take steps upward." Then a bunch of people find themselves on local peaks, unable to cross chasms to the actual highest peak of "fitness."

This mountain analogy is actually quite helpful for understanding the philosophical connotations of Darwin's theory. Daniel Dennett's Darwin's Dangerous Idea is actually one of my favorite books on the topic.

u/muddisoap · 3 pointsr/politics

No you're absolutely right. It's definitely something to be aware of. Probably a shit comment to make and I don't feel that great about it. But, ah well. I said it. Maybe I'm a superior asshole. I don't think so. But we'll not strike it from the record, your honor. lol. It can be a fair point though, depending on circumstance or individual experience.

Guess it's just hard for me to really understand someone considering themselves "intelligent", who voted for Trump, who also proudly proclaims their "disbelief" (what is it...a leprechaun?) in things like Global Warming or Evolution. Sorry, but your belief has nothing to do with it. You either understand it or you don't understand that you don't understand it.

Extra Blowhard Thoughts, Stop Reading If Not in the Mood for Some Blowing Hard.


For everyone who has ever told me they don't believe in Evolution, I've recommended a book I read in my college Evolution class called "The Beak of the Finch" by Jonathan Weiner. Most I've recommended it to that don't "believe", have, unsurprisingly, never given it the time of day. But, I maintain if you read that book, you basically have to come away "believing" or understanding the truth of Evolution. It's a bunch of small, simple facts (i.e., there was less rain this year, we counted and there were fewer smaller seeds produced by plants that don't do well in dry times, hardier drought resistant trees produced more and larger seeds since there were more of those plants since the smaller plants died out in the dry time, we measured the beaks of the finches during this dry year and there was a slight uptick in finches with beaks that were shorter and thicker and with more of an angle on the beak, allowing them to crack larger seeds easier, because the finches with thinner and shorter and less angled beaks died of starvation because they couldn't crack the seeds, therefore more thicker shorter beaked birds were the ones producing offspring, which made for even more birds with similar beak types and on and on) that when taken alone and by themselves are irrefutable.

And once you finish digesting this story of simple fact after simple fact, you realize you've simply read a proof for evolution in a closed environment (the Galapagos) in a short period of time. If at no point did you stop and say "hey wait! That's not true! Those painstaking measurements they did over years and years are made up!" then you just educated yourself on a relatively simple and straightforward proof of evolution. But, most naysayers won't even take the time to read said book, because they're afraid of educating themselves with hard science. Because if you "believe" that when you drop a ball, it hits the ground accelerating at 9.8 m/s^2, then you believe in evolution. If you "believe" that when you flip a switch in your house, the lights come on because of electricity, you believe in Evolution. If you "believe" that when the Doctor gives you an antibiotic and you get better, you believe in Evolution. If you "believe" you were born following the principals of fertilization and genetics, then you believe in evolution. You just simply can't cherry pick science for the parts you want to believe in, the parts that are convenient for your life, and discard other parts that don't fit your world view. Science is a structure supported by every piece that's come before, and you can't pull the Jenga block of evolution out of the bottom but still hop in your combustion engine powered vehicle everyday to drive you around your various bastions of ignorance.

u/Nooooope · 3 pointsr/atheism

Try Why Evolution Is True, by Jerry Coyne. It's eleven bucks and it's fascinating.

u/spinozasrobot · 3 pointsr/AskReddit

OK, folks may call me a nut, but you might want to try Evolution by Loxton. It's for younger readers, but you could literally jumpstart yourself in an hour.

Then, read Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne as well as The Greatest Show on Earth by Dawkins.

Honorable mention goes to Dawkins' An Ancestor's Tale.

u/texascience · 3 pointsr/diabetes

You should read Survival of the Sickest by Sharon Moalem and Jonathan Prince. It has other explanations of how certain genetic variations helped populations survive.

u/ajswdf · 3 pointsr/financialindependence

I don't know what you're specifically interested in, but here of a couple books I liked:

Tricks of the Mind by Derren Brown. He's a semi-famous magician/mentalist in the UK, and this book has a ton of really interesting stuff in it like hypnosis and memory hacks. The only issue is the NLP stuff, which is pseudo-science, but the rest is good.

100 Deadly Skills was interesting, although I'm not sure how useful it is.

The Selfish Gene is a more famous book than those two, but if you're interested in evolution at all it's an awesome book.

I'm not much of a science fiction reader, but I really liked the Foundation Series. Also most Michael Crichton books are good, although in particular I liked Sphere, Jurassic Park and the Lost World, Congo, Timeline, and Prey.

u/somedudegeekman · 3 pointsr/conspiracy

Read "This Town".

[Argh. Days pass and I realized I messed up the title. Our Town =/= This Town by Leibovich. Link:]

u/Nick4753 · 3 pointsr/Ask_Politics

I can't speak to Scandal directly, but if you want to go into more real-world examples of "behind-the-scenes drama" check out This Town by Mark Leibovich

u/indorock · 3 pointsr/MapPorn

Well, similarly the Philippines LOVE basketball - like basically obssessed with it, know everything there is to know about the NBA and its players & teams, and there are courts everywhere - but they suck at that too (can't blame them for being a short-statured race).

Here's an interesting book about the phenomenon

u/cardboardbuddy · 3 pointsr/Philippines

There is a book about this (disclaimer: haven't read past the intro) : Pacific Rims: Beermen Ballin' in Flip-Flops and the Philippines' Unlikely Love Affair with Basketball by Rafe Bartholomew

u/heresybob · 3 pointsr/evolution

Read Dawkin's Ancestor Tale - In short, creatures that survive by hunting and foraging through small enclosed spaces with little light need to know what's in front and on the side of them as they creep around.

Whiskers are used to provide that data. What's really interesting is the amount of gray matter (sensory processing) dedicated to the feedback.

Humans have large sensory areas for eyes. Dogs for olfactory. Moles for their whiskers.

u/remarkedvial · 3 pointsr/askscience

The Ancestors Tale

Dawkins gets a lot of hate, but the man knows his evolutionary biology and he can write! This is a great read, and a good overview of human ancestry, and if you're interested in the finer details of natural selection, follow it up with The Selfish Gene.

u/MarcoVincenzo · 3 pointsr/atheism

If you aren't interested in the actual biology of how species branch and evolve into other species I'd suggest Dawkins' The Ancestor's Tale. It will give you the grand overview of life on Earth.

It doesn't deal with the Big Bang directly, but Krauss' Atom will take you on a single oxygen atom's journey from the Big Bang to its inclusion in earlier generations of stars and on to how it gets used here on Earth.

u/NapAfternoon · 3 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

Similar to "Your Inner Fish", I'd also recommend The Ancestors Tale its rather long, but written in ELI5.

u/searine · 3 pointsr/askscience
u/soafraidofbees · 3 pointsr/biology

Take lots of classes and keep learning. When I was in high school, things like ecology and wildlife biology were appealing to me because I understood what plants, animals, and ecosystems were, but I had no idea what a ribosome or a micro-RNA really were. I found that the more I learned about molecular and cell biology, the more fascinated I became by these tiny little machines that power every living thing. I started taking neuroscience classes because brains are cool; I ended up getting a PhD in neuroscience with a very cellular/molecular focus to my research (my whole dissertation was on one gene/protein that can cause a rare human genetic disorder).

Get some experience working in a lab. Until you've spent time in that environment it's hard to know whether you'll like it. And as others have mentioned, population biology and evolutionary genetics can combine some aspects of field work and molecular lab work, so those might be areas to investigate.

Want some books? Try The Beak of the Finch and Time, Love, Memory. The first is focused on experimental validation of evolutionary theory (involving lots of field work), the second is about the history of behavioral genetics in fruit flies. Both were assigned or suggested reading in my college biology classes.

Good luck, and stay curious!

u/herecomesthasun · 2 pointsr/Anxiety

Okay, I've been thinking about this and have many things that have influenced me but here's a few!
this book was wonderful for understnaing the basics of cell biology when I began my journey. It's also a great reference.
For fun reading really enjoyed survival of the sickest and Sharon Moalem's other books as well. He's a medical doctor who also does genetic disease research.
For concepts I struggled with I would find academic videos on you tube. There are some really great resources out there for quick refreshers! I don't have specific channels to recommend though, it just depends on the topic.
After having a good foundation and starting to ask more specific questions it's time dive in to scientific literature! I started out with review articles in my field (membrane trafficking). These are great because they summarize years worth of discoveries in a few pages, and also cite the original papers where you can go to learn more!
After having a good grasp on the past research in order to keep me up to date I use PubCrawler. Its a website that automatically searches pubmed for all of the things you are interested then sends you a list of new papers to dive in to. I have mine delivered to my inbox every monday morning.
Academic papers have a bit of a learning curve before you really begin to digest them, but once you get the hang of it it takes you to literally the edge of current human knowledge (how cool!), and is more real than a polished textbook which is just trying to get the main idea across.
I hope that helps!

u/finepopla · 2 pointsr/booksuggestions

I enjoyed the book Survival of the Sickest by Sharon Moalem. It's all about the evolution of diseases and using that information to diagnose and cure them. It was surprisingly gripping!

u/SplatterSack · 2 pointsr/science

Physics of the Impossible -Dr. Michio Kaku is a fantastic read.

u/DeBurgo · 2 pointsr/pics

Reminds me of one of these freaky dudes from the evolutionary futurist picture book, "Man after Man"

u/JimKB · 2 pointsr/pics

From the book Man After Man

u/HammStar · 2 pointsr/ObscureMedia

No problem! There was a reprint of After Man in 2018, and it's affordable under $40. Man After Man has indeed been out of print since 1990 and is fairly pricey between $100-300. Dougal Dixon has many other books too such has The New Dinosaurs, If Dinosaurs Were Alive Today, and many other dinosaur related books (many for children.) Most of these are out of print as well and are expensive, but worth it if you're really interested. Maybe you could luck out at your local library and just rent them.

There is however a rare book he made that was only released in Japan for some reason (and of course it's the most badass one) called Greenworld (グリーン・ワールド) about humanity colonizing an alien world and taming certain inhabitants. Although I've never seen Greenworld for sale on English sites, if you know how to order from Amazon Japan you can find the two books in the series for less than $20 a piece.

I linked to some PDF's in my original comment if buying isn't an option.

u/1Swanswan · 2 pointsr/mensa

my paper back was $3.50 it is published by basic books and it is offered on audible in a talking book format style let me look at amazon and i will just send the link to the book on amazon .... good luck

OK Here is the link :

The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge

Please be sure to read the reviews at that page of this book.

u/TribbleTrouble · 2 pointsr/AskSocialScience

I've never read Games People Play, and psychology is not my area of expertise. But, to answer your question, that is not it.

You could read a number of different pop-psych books and each will give you a different perspective. The human psyche is extremely complex, and social interaction is even more complex. It can/should never be boiled down to one idea that supposedly explains the majority of human interaction. Be sure not to take books like this too seriously: Most people do not consider themselves to be "playing a game" whenever they are interacting with others.

My education is not in psychology, but if you are looking for further reading I can recommend some of my favorite books from my undergrad sociology education: (IMO any understanding of human interaction must have both a sociological and psychological component)

Invitation to Sociology by Peter L Berger

Sociological Insight by Randall Collins

The Social Construction of Reality by Berger and Luckmann

These were required reading in a 4000-level class, but this particular professor also assigns them to his 1000-level intro-soc class (which is why he doesn't teach intro soc often). They can be dense, but they are very interesting and definitely worth reading if you are at all interested in sociology.

edit: I don't want to hate on a book I have never read too much, so I will say this: Whenever you read a psych/soc book, especially if it is written for a wide audience, remember to take everything you read with a grain of salt. You may find truth, but you may also find a very smart author who is too caught up in his own work to see the limitations of his theories.

u/JeffSergeant · 2 pointsr/atheism

This book is pretty awesome.

Explains everything from how life started to why (most!) animals must die of old age (and everything in between)

I have a copy I can mail you if can't get hold of it.

u/amindwandering · 2 pointsr/evolution

Kaufmann is fairly well respected in the community of complexity researchers, but his work is veeery abstract. You might find the stuff you read there interesting, but I doubt you'll find anything to sway someone skeptical of the plausibility of non-God-initiated abiogenesis that their skepticism is mainly based on bias.

With that goal in mind, I'm not sure that pursuing the math angle directly is really the best route either (if there actually are any best routes towards that sort of goal). The appeal to mere mathematical plausibility is abstract enough that it's for a person to dismiss that and still maintain that it isn't plausible physically. It would maybe be better instead or in addition to approach the topic of known environmental contexts that make abiogenesis seem like a physically plausible thing to have happened.

From that perspective, I'd say the first couple chapters of Lane's Life Ascending is still one of the better sources out there. It's a very approachable text.

u/Seekin · 2 pointsr/atheism

How much of a background do you have in biology, chemistry and biochemistry? Not trying to dodge the (excellent) question or to belittle you in any way. But an appropriate answer will change considerably depending on what we can assume you already know.

Nick Lane's book Life Ascending has a great chapter on abiogenesis. But it is written in a style that seems to me would be quite dry if you didn't have a solid background in the material already. Essentially, there are several plausible, overlapping theories that probably contain the answer among them. Many of them have excellent foundations in experimental research.

We may never know exactly what combination of specific events led to the first systems we would call "living". But we can show that it is entirely plausible that they did so through natural processes with no supernatural agency whatsoever required. We have generated self-replicating and evolving systems of RNA molecules in the lab. (Im on my phone right now and can't link easily, but will later if you're interested). This, in itself, isn't life and the systems were generated by an outside agency (the scientists). But the building blocks are readily generated spontaneously and the timescales involved (thousands of millions of years) change the equations of what is likely to occur naturally.

Finally, I'd like to point out that even if we had no idea about the answer to such a question (which we certainly do) this would still make the leap to a supernatural agency untenable. An argument (for the existence of any gods) from ignorance (about how the world works) is still a logical fallacy.

All the best.

u/admorobo · 2 pointsr/suggestmeabook

If you're looking for a funny yet horrifying, compulsively readable book about Washington politics, look no further than This Town by Mark Leibovich

u/lucksmithy · 2 pointsr/nba

Check out this book on Filipino basketball culture by Rafe Bartholomew.

u/handlesscombo · 2 pointsr/nba

you should check out this book. it explains why filipinos love basketball and why the sport flourishes as the number one sport in the country

u/akoaymatangpusa · 2 pointsr/nba

Basketball is the number one sport in my country, the Philippines,
there's a book about it [Pacific Rims: Beermen Ballin' in Flip-Flops and the Philippines' Unlikely Love Affair with Basketball]
(, no other sports compare

Edit: I personally think volleyball is a close second not because of how much tv time it gets but because a lot of people plays the sport, football(soccer) is slowly becoming popular, i know baseball is pretty popular back then but it has declined.
Edit2:how could i forget about boxing? Manny Pacquiao is a demigod

u/randomredditor69 · 2 pointsr/nba

Well, "Pacific Rims" is about his journey/immersion to the Philippines in search of this crazy-obsessive basketball culture he heard about in the States. He thought it was an interesting enough subject to cover so he convinced his Fulbright panel to send him here. I may be biased because I'm Filipino haha I'm 80 pages in and I love this thing.

Here's an Amazon link for the book and a webseries he did for NatGeo called "Pinoy hoops."

u/Tipoe · 2 pointsr/exmuslim

Definitely read it. About evolution, I recommend Dawkins' The Greatest Show on Earth

u/heeb · 2 pointsr/Christianity

I recommend "The Greatest Show On Earth".

You didn't like "The God Delusion"? I thought it was awesome.

u/citizen_reddit · 2 pointsr/atheism

Almost totally off topic, so my apologies.

I'd advise you read Dawkin's An Ancestor's Tale - it isn't specifically a piece of 'atheist literature', but in it's scope and execution it is one of the most incredible books I've ever read and I think everyone, atheist or not, should read it. Be warned however, that it is dense and many people have difficulty getting through it.

u/the_oncoming_storm · 2 pointsr/atheism

> I more want a good timeline from the primordial ooze to me typing this message.

Dawkins' The Ancestors Tale is exactly the book you want. It starts with present day humans and works backwards, explaining the points at which different branches of species diverged along the evolutionary tree.

u/freakscene · 2 pointsr/IAmA

I second the reading idea! Ask your history or science teachers for suggestions of accessible books. I'm going to list some that I found interesting or want to read, and add more as I think of them.

A short history of nearly everything by Bill Bryson. Title explains it all. It is very beginner friendly, and has some very entertaining stories. Bryson is very heavy on the history and it's rather long but you should definitely make every effort to finish it.

Lies my teacher told me

The greatest stories never told (This is a whole series, there are books on Presidents, science, and war as well).

There's a series by Edward Rutherfurd that tells history stories that are loosely based on fact. There are books on London and ancient England, Ireland, Russia, and one on New York

I read this book a while ago and loved it- Autobiography of a Tibetan Monk It's about a monk who was imprisoned for 30 years by the Chinese.

The Grapes of Wrath.

Les Misérables. I linked to the unabridged one on purpose. It's SO WORTH IT. One of my favorite books of all time, and there's a lot of French history in it. It's also the first book that made me bawl at the end.

You'll also want the Adventures of Tom Sawyer, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Great Gatsby, The Federalist Papers.

I'm not sure what you have covered in history, but you'll definitely want to find stuff on all the major wars, slavery, the Bubonic Plague, the French Revolution, & ancient Greek and Roman history.

As for science, find these two if you have any interest in how the brain works (and they're pretty approachable).
Phantoms in the brain
The man who mistook his wife for a hat

Alex and Me The story of a scientist and the incredibly intelligent parrot she studied.

For a background in evolution, you could go with The ancestor's tale

A biography of Marie Curie

The Wild Trees by Richard Preston is a quick and easy read, and very heavy on the adventure. You'll also want to read his other book The Hot Zone about Ebola. Absolutely fascinating, I couldn't put this one down.

The Devil's Teeth About sharks and the scientists who study them. What's not to like?

u/K_benzoate · 2 pointsr/TumblrInAction

> there is no such thing as different species

Exactly, there's not.

Biologists use it as a shortcut, but we've abandoned essentialism. There are no discrete, immutable, groups of animals except when taken as a snapshot in time with our limited view of the past. It can sometimes be useful to use this way of thinking when studying biology, but you must always keep in your mind that it is not the closest model of reality we have access to.

If you're interested, The Ancestor's Tale is a good way to be introduced to this way of thinking.

u/fathan · 2 pointsr/askscience

Richard Dawkin's book The Ancestors' Tale goes in the opposite direction -- from mankind back to the common ancestor of all life -- and tries to estimate the generations along the way. At some point before getting to Amoebas, however, he gives up, because the best approximations are complete guesses. But you could get some insight into your question from that book, I believe.

I don't have my copy on me, and Wikipedia doesn't include his estimates. But check it out! Wikipedia Amazon

u/puggydug · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

Do you have $2.16 you don't mind spending?

Buy this book (and then read it). which will answer that very question.

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/brainburger · 2 pointsr/atheism

If she will read a book for this and evolution is a big sticking-point, then actually maybe The God Delusion isn't the best Dawkins for the job.
I'd suggest Climbing Mount Improbable, or The Blind Watchmaker. Surprisingly I don't think The Greatest Show on Earth is the best to start with.

Or, This one :

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/earthforce_1 · 2 pointsr/atheism

Or if you want correct answers:

which handily demolishes this creationist nonsense over and over.

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/fookhar · 2 pointsr/agnostic

When it comes to understanding evolution, Why Evolution is True is a very entertaining, easily read introduction. I would also recommend The End of Faith by Sam Harris.

u/djork · 2 pointsr/Christianity

You can get by without enrolling in upper-level courses. There is some great free coursework out there if you want to go that route without paying money. Otherwise there are great introductory texts on the subject, like Why Evolution is True.

u/liquidpele · 2 pointsr/atheism

Here is a good book for Christians on evolution. It was recommended by Dawkins once for people that didn't like him and would never read his own books.

The author (Miller) is Roman Catholic, and also has several other good books on the topic if you look at the author's page on amazon.

This one by a different author is also very good.

If you'd like the basics online, here:

u/chewgl · 2 pointsr/biology

The Beak of the Finch is a pretty good read.

u/HalleyOrion · 2 pointsr/worldbuilding

On earth, most speciation happens within a population that is not physically split up by anything (water, mountains, etc.). In fact, getting split up by some kind of a boundary actually makes it harder for two populations to evolve into different species; there isn't any evolutionary pressure on them to become sexually incompatible.

Most speciation occurs because there are two empty niches within the ecosystem, and a population splits to fill both of them. A really good lay explanation of how this happens can be found in The Beak of the Finch. I highly recommend this book.

A good real-life example of this would be the cichlids of Lake Victoria. When the ancestor of these cichlids first showed up in this lake, there were numerous empty ecological niches, and the descendants of these fish evolved various specializations to compete better against each other.

The thing with specializing, though, is you don't want to breed with a fish of a different specialization, because your babies won't be very specialized, and they'll get outcompeted by fish that are more specialized. For this reason, being a very picky fish—that is, having a strong sexual preference for fish who share your specialization—is a major evolutionary advantage.

And giving off signs to other fish like you, to let them know that you're one of their kind, is also an advantage. This is why the cichlids in Lake Victoria are so amazingly diverse, despite being closely related and living in amongst each other. If you're a blue fish, you know to breed with other blue fish, and not with red fish. If you breed with red fish, your lineage will probably die out, and your preference for red fish will die with it. (Obviously, red fish would evolve the same preference for other red fish and aversion to blue fish.)

Sexual preferences and sexual displays are not the only method animals evolve to avoid interbreeding with a population of a different ecological specialization. Some animals (like frogs and cicadas) evolve to breed at different times of the year from their closely-related neighbors.

And some species (including most plants) do it by merely having incompatible sperm and eggs (or pollen and ova), or by having flowers specialized for different pollinators. If you're an oak that's specialized for growing on a riverbank, for example, you don't want to get pollinated by an oak that's specialized for growing on higher ground, because you'll still drop your hybrid acorns on the riverbank, and they just won't grow as well. You can't stop that oak's pollen from reaching you (oaks are wind pollinated), so the next best thing is to build some kind of protein defense on your ova that stops the highland oak's pollen from working on your ova—but still allows the pollen of your fellow riverbank oaks.

In the case of two your two intelligent species, they need to possess two traits to be realistic.

1 — They need to fulfill different ecological niches. They must not compete directly with each other (only in indirect ways that are not enough for one to drive the other to extinction). They need to live compatibly with each other, not unlike the way wildebeests and zebras do (they don't compete directly with each other because they eat different grass). And, if they were to interbreed, the hybrid children would be at a biological disadvantage to purebred children (e.g., suffering more from malnutrition due to not being specialized for digesting the available foodstuffs, or being more susceptible to predation due to lacking the right equipment to escape or defend against danger).

2 — They need to avoid hybridizing. This can come about through several ways—finding each other sexually distasteful (the way we find chimpanzees unattractive), wooing prospective sexual partners at different times or in different ways, having incompatible gametes or genitalia, etc. There can be a social taboo against interbreeding, too, but it would almost certainly be rooted in biology (much the way that incest taboos are ultimately derived from our instinctual aversion to inbreeding).

u/epoxymonk · 2 pointsr/biology

Your best bet is to contact the instructor(s) for any classes you're interested in to see if there will be lectures covering material you are uncomfortable with; it would be helpful to be specific (for example, if you're okay with diagrams of organs and tissues but aren't comfortable with images of the actual thing).

That being said, in my experience (4th year graduate student in molecular biology) few classes have been especially graphic. Off the top of my head, the only ones to be careful of are anatomy/physiology (duh :) ) and general bio as there is usually at least one dissection in the lab section (which you might be able to opt out of).

Another option is to explore your interest in biology and evolution outside of coursework. There are quite a few great books out there that discuss the field without being gory. I personally recommend “The Beak of the Finch”, which discusses the decades-long research project tracking finch evolution in the Galapagos.

Good luck!

u/rbobby · 2 pointsr/science

Evolution can happen quickly (not saying it has in this case... just that it can). Pickup for an interesting read about fast observable evolution.

u/Nausved · 2 pointsr/askscience

Male orangutans grow beautiful facial hair! I'm pretty sure this is just a coincidence, though.

It's not uncommon for two closely related species to sexually select for different traits in their mates, as it helps cut back on interbreeding (read The Beak of the Finch for an excellent example of this). Normally genetic variety is a good thing, but if a lineage diverges because it is specializing in two different niches, interbreeding between the two branches hurts both of them. Perhaps beards—and the sexual preference for them—developed in early humans because it set them apart from their cousins.

u/KahNeth · 2 pointsr/science

You should read the thermal text written by Kittel and Kromer

u/dubious_alliance · 2 pointsr/askscience

Dawkins has written several good books on evolution, "The Blind Watchmaker" is another good one.

"Why Evolution is True" by Prof. Jerry Coyne is another informative (and fun) book on evolution.

u/Purgii · 2 pointsr/DebateAChristian

> Why can't God copy/paste?

I can see this has already gone nowhere fast.

If you wish to entertain the possibility of another truth, I highly recommend this book. Before you ask the inevitable, yes - I've read the Bible. Didn't find the truth in it, unfortunately.

u/yuumai · 2 pointsr/suggestmeabook

Here are a few of my favorites:

The Beak of the Finch

Wild Trees

Almost anything by Richard Dawkins

Why Evolution is True


u/catalytica · 2 pointsr/biology

The Beak of the Finch is a great non-textbook about evolution to read. Evolutionary Analysis by Freeman and Herron is the text I used in class.

u/Themias · 2 pointsr/atheism

Let's count the logical fallacies! This should be fun.
>You are out-numbered by several billion people who actually have faith in something that is Superior to the world and life.

Argument ad populum, just because lots of people believe something, does not mean it is true. At one point, most people thought the sun revolved around the earth

>...just because someone is religious, doesn't automatically make them wrong about something.

Straw man. Atheists don't say that a religious person is automatically wrong. Also, we recognize that religious people obviously have, and continue to, make lots of contributions to science.

>If we evolved from apes, why are there still apes?

A complete misunderstanding of evolution. Try reading Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne.

>The most ridiculous thing i've ever heard is humans being born from exploding stars.

This matter refers to the carbon, iron, calcium, etc necessary for life was first fused from hydrogen and helium in the fusion furnaces of stars and when they exploded (developing into planets and such) allowed life to evolve in the first place. No stars = no heavy metals = no life.

>So by your logic there is not a SINGLE event of genocide that has been occured by non-religious affairs?

Straw man. No atheist I've ever heard of thinks that every bad thing in history is done only by the religious or for only religious reasons.

>Why NOT believe in God? Why take the risks of going to Hell?

Pascal's wager? I would hope you would see the flaws in that pretty clearly. One flaw: you said you weren't Christian (a Muslim I'd presume) so what if Christianity is correct? The new testament quite clearly states the only way to heaven is through Jesus. Another: what if there is a god, but he only lets atheists into heaven?

>What i meant is, why does over half the world believe in him?

Argument ad populum again.

>Big bang theory? How did that happen? you can't figure that out because your little tools have been created by humans, which are very inferior to God. the only answer that makes sense is, somebody has got to have created the universe. Its not like its been around. Who created God? No one knows, but dont go ahead and call myself a hypocrite.

You are being a hypocrite here. "Big bang theory? How did that happen? you can't figure that out because your little tools have been created by humans, which are very inferior to God."
Why is there a god?
"No one knows, but dont go ahead and call myself a hypocrite."
Ah, that all makes sense now... ಠ_ಠ

>Why is God making chaos on earth instead of making us live in luxury in the gardens of paradise? Its a TEST.

If your God is omniscient, he would know the outcome, therefore making tests irrelevant.

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/bdwilson1000 · 2 pointsr/atheism

I highly recommend this book. It should give you plenty of intellectual ammo:

u/tbu720 · 2 pointsr/AskPhysics

Well, unfortunately it sounds like you want two different things -- a "deeper" dive into thermo with more abstraction, and an elaborated look at applications to biology. It would be hard to find a text that really gets you both, I think.

I can't help with the biology thing, but a deeper abstract look at thermo would definitely be covered in Thermal Physics by Kittel:

This book starts from the deepest most abstract foundation of thermodynamics, a field called Statistical Mechanics. Are you familiar with that topic at all? If not this text may be a tad challenging. It is also very abstract. Many find it to be a boring book but I find it challenging, interesting, and rewarding.

u/nolsen01 · 2 pointsr/DebateAnAtheist

I really really wish I could have gotten to this post earlier.


There are always different definitions for the word faith floating around. It appears that your definition of faith is actually pretty trivial. If I'm not mistaken, you would have to have faith to believe anything according to your definition. If that is the case, then sure I have faith. The fact that I believe anything implies that I have faith.

But this sort of faith doesn't tell us anything. If I ask, "Why do you believe in God?" Pointing out that you have faith doesn't tell me anything since I've already assumed you have faith by acknowledging the fact that you believe in something. The real question is:

> Why have faith in one belief, and not in another?

In other words, how do you distinguish between what is reality and what isn't? What makes you think God exists? "I have faith" is not an answer.


Its common for theists to make arguments like, "If God doesn't exist, then why is the universe so well designed for us?" They will highlight many variables like the temperature of the earth, or the earths density and point out (rightly) that if they were much different, we wouldn't be able to live. If the earth was much more dense, then our bones would break under our own weight, etc.

This is the design argument. "If any of these things were any different, then we wouldn't be able to live. Therefore, the universe must have been designed with us in mind. The designer is God."

The key to understanding why this is wrong is evolution. They are making an assumption that the universe was designed for us when there is another very real possibility: that we are the ones that are designed. They observe this compatibility between us and our environment, and assume that it is our environment that is adapted to us while dismissing the possibility that we are the ones that are adapted to our environment.

"...any form of intelligent life that evolves anywhere will automatically find that it lives somewhere suitable for it."

Evolution showed us that complex phenomena can bubble up on their own and don't require a more complex intelligent agent to design and create them.

This is absolutely damning for the hypothesis than an intelligence had to have created the universe. Since we know of no minds that occur without a brain, and we know that evolutionary-type processes occur all over the universe, the conclusion is pretty simple. We don't need God to explain the current state of things, and more then likely God doesn't actually exist.

There is a great book on this called Darwin's Dangerous Idea by Daniel Dennett. The book is dense, so if you don't have the patience or the interest, you can check out some of his talks on youtube and TED.

u/zack1123581321 · 2 pointsr/PhysicsGRE

I am using Conquering the Physics GRE as an overview, but I really enjoy anything from David Morin and David J. Griffiths for the level of questions and explanations (and in-book/online solutions manuals that go a long way towards showing you how to think like a physicist). But my "library" for preparing for the physics GRE is:

CM: Morin, Problems and Solutions in Introductory Mechanics and Introduction to Classical Mechanics

Gregory, Classical Mechanics for extra explanations and problems

EM: Griffiths, Introduction to Electrodynamics 3e

QM: Griffiths, Introduction to Quantum Mechanics 3e

Thermo/Stat.Mech: Schroeder, An Introduction to Thermal Physics

Kittel and Kroemer, Thermal Physics

Waves: Morin, on his website are ten chapters to what appears to be a Waves book in the making

Atomic, Lab Methods: Conquering the Physics GRE and any online resources I can find.


If you email Case Western, they send a link to some amazing flash cards!

u/fduniho · 2 pointsr/DebateReligion

For Atheism:

  1. Superstition in All Ages by Jean Meslier - a comprehensive treatise against religion, written between 2 and 3 centuries ago.

  2. The Religion Virus: Why we believe in God by Craig A. James - explains how religion and particularly belief in God is due to memetic evolution.

  3. Atheism: A Philosophical Justification by Michael Martin - a comprehesive overview of arguments for and against the existence of God.

  4. Darwin's Dangerous Idea by Daniel Dennett - explains why the idea of evolution is so powerful an explanation of things, it acts as a universal acid against supernatural beliefs.

  5. The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins - specifically addresses the idea of God as a supernatural creator

    For Christianity:

  6. The Five Great Philosophies of Life by William De Witt Hyde - covers Epicureanism, Stoicism, Plato, Aristotle, and Christianity, explaining the value in each.

  7. Summa Theologica by Thomas Aquinas - a comprehensive and detailed examination and defense of Christian beliefs

  8. The End of Religion: Encountering the Subversive Spirituality of Jesus by Bruxy Cavey

  9. Unspoken Sermons by George MacDonald

  10. Descent Into Hell by Charles Williams - a novel
u/jez2718 · 2 pointsr/DebateReligion

He's pointing out that we shouldn't just do the things that are evolutionarily favourable, that isn't a sufficient reason. For example we have an evolutionary tendency to treat those we view as 'outsiders' cruelly. Should we unthinkingly act on this tendency?

As a side note, a really good book on evolution and morality is Peter Singer's The Expanding Circle, which I would recommend reading if you're interested in this stuff.

u/Jivlain · 2 pointsr/

The term is used extensively by Richard Dawkins, who attributes it to Daniel Dennett (who apparently used it in Darwin's Dangerous Idea, which I have not read yet, though I do intend to).

u/Ohthere530 · 2 pointsr/atheism

Daniel Dennett. I was especially struck by Darwin's Dangerous Idea.

u/succulentcrepes · 2 pointsr/PoliticalDiscussion

> when Haidt notes that left-wingers don't rely on Loyalty/betrayal as much as right-wingers do, could it be instead true that left-wingers see everyone on earth as part of their "ingroup", which means that the only way to "betray" is to go against the whole world? While, on the other hand, the right-wingers still see their "ingroup" as being only "people like themselves" (e.g. white, Protestant, anglophone, American, etc.)?

That's the way I see it too actually - that liberals value loyalty more than Haidt claims but are just loyal to a wider group than conservatives. But I disagree on the extent to which the average liberal can be said to view the whole world as their in-group.

I largely view morality and its progress over time like Peter Singer's "expanding circle", where the kernel of our moral intuitions came from the benefits of cooperating with your "in-group", and moral progress comes from reflecting on that to realize that we should expand that principle to a larger group. And I think the average liberal has a wider circle of empathy than the average conservative.

But I think that circle is still significantly limited by nationality. For instance, the average liberal seems to focus the most on national inequality and how to redistribute more money within their own country. There's not nearly as much emphasis placed on foreign aid or immigration as there is on progressive taxation, expanded national health insurance, expanded minimum wage, etc. IMO the most effective policy tool to address inequality, poverty, and oppression, by far, is to have near-open borders, even though that would mean we would need to reduce our welfare programs. But that idea is often met with hostility from many on the left, out of belief that we should prioritize "our own" (loyalty!).

I think the moral circle for the average liberal is also limited by time. There's much more interest in providing more for people now and less interest in funding things that are focused on helping future people. For instance, public spending on R&D relative to public spending on welfare programs has been in a long-term decline.

I try to value all humans equally, regardless of location or time of birth. This leaves me with policy preferences that are sometimes to the right of the average liberal, but for reasons that I view as being to the left of the average liberal.

Something I read not too long ago on this that really stuck with me was this post on Scott Sumner's blog:

> I think the biggest area where I disagree with the left is that I’m way less nationalistic than most liberals, or Pat Buchanan. If anything I care more about the overseas poor, because they are much poorer. I actually find some of the things I read on the progressive side (and on the right as well) to be almost grotesquely insensitive. In recent decades living standards in places like China, India and even Africa have grown considerably faster than in the developed world. And yet we are constantly told that inequality is getting worse and that it is the defining issue of our time. If we dissent we are scolded for being “insensitive.”
> Remember the famous joke about the Lincoln assassination? It would have been insensitive to say to Mrs. Lincoln; “Yes, your husband was shot, but the play was pretty good.” In 1945 it would have been insensitive to say to a European; “Yes, there was WWII and the Holocaust, but overall Europe’s done well in the past 5 years because the economies of Sweden, Switzerland, and Spain have boomed.” And it is insensitive to say; “Yes, billions have been raised out of abject misery but inequality is getting worse because the gap between average Americans and the top 1% is widening.”

u/NotFreeAdvice · 1 pointr/atheism

I am not totally sure what you are asking for actually exists in book form...which is odd, now that I think about it.

If it were me, I would think about magazines instead. And if you really want to push him, think about the following options:

  1. Science News, which is very similar to the front-matter of the leading scientific journal Science. This includes news from the past month, and some in-depth articles. It is much better written -- and written at a much higher level -- than Scientific American or Discover. For a very intelligent (and science-interested) high school student, this should pose little difficulty.
  2. The actual journal Science. This is weekly, which is nice. In addition to the news sections, this also includes editorials and actual science papers. While many of the actual papers will be beyond your son, he can still see what passes for presentation of data in the sciences, and that is cool.
  3. The actual journal Nature. This is also weekly, and is the british version of the journal Science. In my opinion, the news section is better written than Science, which is important as this is where your kid's reading will be mostly done. IN addition, Nature always has sections on careers and education, so that your son will be exposed to the more human elements of science. Finally, the end of nature always has a 1-page sci-fi story, and that is fun as well.
  4. If you must, you could try Scientific American or Discover, but if you really want to give your kid a cool gift, that is a challenge, go for one of the top three here. I would highly recommend Nature.

    If you insist on books...

    I see you already mentioned A Brief History of the Universe, which is an excellent book. However, I am not sure if you are going to get something that is more "in depth." Much of the "in depth" stuff is going to be pretty pop, without the rigorous foundation that are usually found in textbooks.

    If I had to recommend some books, here is what I would say:

  5. The selfish gene is one of the best "rigorous" pop-science books out there. Dawkins doesn't really go into the math, but other than that he doesn't shy away from the implications of the work.
  6. Darwin's Dangerous Idea by Dennett is a great book. While not strictly science, per se, it does outline good philosophical foundations for evolution. It is a dense read, but good.
  7. On the more mathematical side, you might try Godel, Escher, Bach, which is a book that explores the ramifications of recrusiveness and is an excellent (if dense) read.
  8. You could also consider books on the history of science -- which elucidate the importance of politics and people in the sciences. I would recommend any of the following: The Double Helix, A man on the moon, The making of the atomic bomb, Prometheans in the lab, The alchemy of air, or A most damnable invention. There are many others, but these came to mind first.


    edit: added the linksssss
u/Bilbo_Fraggins · 1 pointr/DebateAChristian

Ah, I see. If you're stuck to that position, then we really have nothing to talk about.

Just be warned that the great majority of scientists and biblical scholars think that is a losing strategy, and IMHO will kill evangelicalism faster than anything else. It's one of the primary reasons surveys show young adults leaving the church.

I once held such beliefs, and if there were more Peter Enns and less Ken Hams out there, someone might have been able to hand me a better reason to stay a Christian when I accepted the overwhelming evidence for evolution.

BTW, we're pretty sure that the fall of man isn't true either on genetics grounds alone, not to mention the archeological and other evidence. Search for "historical Adam" if you haven't paid attention for the past 2 years or so. It made the front page story of Christianity Today last summer.

u/jmsr7 · 1 pointr/atheism

I would recommend "Darwin's Dangerous Idea" by Daniel Dennett. It is think and dense and comprehensive and meaty. Thanks to his takedown of Stephen J Gould's use of the term spandrel, i can no longer look a the corners of a vaulted ceiling arch without thinking of evolution anymore.


Gould was famous for overblown rhetoric - just look at the 'debate' over gradual evolution vs. punctuated equilibrium which turned out to be the exact same phenomena observed at different timescales. Thousands or even tens of thousands of years of evolutionary change can appear to be a punctuation when viewed at the level of millions of years.

u/BeakOfTheFinch · 1 pointr/videos

If you find the finches even mildly interesting, read this book:

u/jimktrains · 1 pointr/science

Send him "The Beak of the Finch" ( It's very insightful and based on data from an experiment. It's also a very good and easy read.

u/kickstand · 1 pointr/atheism

There's a great book called The Beak of the Finch. It tells the story of how evolution has been observed occurring in the field, today, now, in the same Galapagos finch populations that Darwin observed.

u/matts2 · 1 pointr/Christianity

It sounds like you now want an education in the whole process of science. The best way to get that is to read material directly on that topic. I suggest starting with Beak of the Finch but Jonathan Weiner. It is an account of a long term research project on Galapagos, but along the way Weiner does a very good job in showing the reader how science actually works. It is a Pulitzer Prize winner and very accessible. After than if you want something in depth, read, as I suggested, Science as a Process by David Hull. A deeper, much deeper, exploration into how science works and the philosophical underpinnings.

I don't see me as jumping the gun, I keep trying to get back to the topic.

u/stemgang · 1 pointr/science

Religious thought has been eliminated from the UK, perhaps by people like mark204, who made a new account just to post that unuseful trolling.

Also, JSavage37 didn't even bother to quote from the book he referred you to. That is lazy, not helpful.

Frankly, the guardian article was sensationalistic. However, it addresses the difference between epigenetics and Lamarckianism.

I didn't see your article as promoting Creationsim, and I doubt the other posters even read the article. But the title attacking evolution will invite a knee-jerk downvote here in /r/science.

u/nipsonine · 1 pointr/chemistry

Kittel and Kroemer! This is a great Stat Mech book starting from first principles that I just had a semester of. You'll be able to derive all sorts of gas laws.

u/Thucydides411 · 1 pointr/pics

> Detailed balance only applies to individual games. It makes no statement at all about the collective pool of players.

Detailed balance is a property of the system as a whole. The Elo system is based on the principle that you can define a means of exchanging points that leads to an equilibrium distribution of ratings, where differences in ratings correspond to expected outcomes of games.

> Additionally, I've already proven to you, via the actual FIDE rules, that this condition doesn't always hold.

You've shown that FIDE imperfectly implements the Elo system, and that in absurd situations (e.g., Magnus Carlsen playing a 101-game match against a player ranked more than 1000 Elo points below him), FIDE ratings would be affected by these implementation details.

> Additionally, I've already shown via the rules that detailed balance falls apart with the FIDE implementation (which is actually the real world implementation, hence, rating inflation is guaranteed)

Only in situations where players play huge numbers of games against opponents who are rated more than 400 points above or below them. That doesn't happen in the real world.

> The lower rated players contribute to the higher rated players ratings, either directly (i.e., Caruana, So, Kramnik playing 1800 rated players in a few Open tournaments last year) or indirectly (1800's playing 2400's in an open, and the 2400's playing 2600's, and the 2600's playing 2700's).

What percentage of games are between players that are more than 400 rating points apart? The FIDE implementation works just fine if an 1800 player plays a 2200 player, who plays a 2600 player, who plays Carlsen. In that case, FIDE's rules implement Elo almost exactly. The only inaccuracy is in circumstances like an 1800 player playing Carlsen directly, and even then, the impact on FIDE's Elo system is minimal (one Elo point might be generated, which will quickly get dispersed throughout the entire pool of players worldwide).

> So, again, you don't have a clue about what you're talking. Literally everything you've written has been wrong, especially your assumptions.

Except that between us, I'm the only one who's actually demonstrated that I know how the Elo system works. I don't think you know what "detailed balance" means, or that you understand what it means for the Elo system to be an equilibrium process. If you had studied physics at university, you'd know these concepts.

> This is why you're a 1200 rated liberal arts student with a bachelor's degree and not someone who does more important things. You are incapable of understanding relatively simplistic concepts. Stick to reading blogs and wikipedia pages.

It's funny that you keep falling back to this supposed insult. First of all, I have nothing against liberal arts students with a bachelors degree. But most smart liberal arts students I know would have recognized long ago in this conversation that the person talking about stat mech and detailed balance probably isn't a liberal arts major. I cited Wikipedia to you because that's more useful than telling you to go read Kittel and Kroemer. But by all means, if you really want to jump from this Reddit thread into a full-blown study of thermodynamics, read the latter.

u/PsychRabbit · 1 pointr/math

Do you have a copy of God Created the Integers?
> Pulled together for the first time, and paired with commentary from the world's most respected scholars, God Created the Integers presents history's extraordinary moments in math, culled from 2,500 years of history and 21 distinguished mathematicians, four more than the hardcover edition. Each chapter begins with a profile of one of these mathematical masters, followed by original printings of their relevant works. This new paperback edition includes the work of Euler, Galois, Bolyai, and Lobachevsky.

u/craklyn · 1 pointr/Frugal

If you look at the link I gave, there's a number of specific studies where they look at one specific problem in college-level physics. If you look at the one of your choice, you'll likely see that after they studied the problem and how students respond to it, the approach changed substantially. The careful studies they do requires a lot of time, so they don't come out with new editions of their text every year. In the case of the University of Washington, once they have a new version of their material, they supplement the classroom with handouts of the new text.

There's no need for hyperbole. Yes, new textbooks in the US are quite expensive. Do you have any source for the claim that any substantial amount of textbooks which are used at the college level publish new editions every year? That frequency disagrees with my experience.

I can name some texts which have had absurdly small changes to them. E.g. Statistical Physics by Kittel and Kroemer. They released a 2nd version of their second edition with only a couple pages about BEC and the Greenhouse Effect. But I have also seen textbooks which vary greatly between editions and have a long shelf lifetime.

u/Hyperbolicflow · 1 pointr/math

The book by Stephen Hawking God Created the Integers has some (translated) excerpts from Cantor's paper. It's only $23, but I'd suggest trying to find a copy at a nearby library.

u/speadskater · 1 pointr/math

God Created the Integers is the best there is that I know of. It gives you a synopsis of each (of 13) major innovators in mathematics, as well as a copy of one of their more famous or important proofs. It was edited by Stephen Hawking

It's awesome because it gives you a good history for people who like history, and then it gets down and dirty into the proofs for those who want the math.

u/Dai_thai · 1 pointr/ukpolitics

>being compassionate, that assistance can not in any way hinder those close to me, for I will have breached my social/fraternal/parental/etc contract.

Economics (as in the OP) is about trade offs, how much suffering for the other is acceptable as long as everyone is unhindered within the social/fraternal/parental/etc contract? An infinite amount of suffering for very slight hindrance? The line must be drawn.

This is based on Peter Singers idea of expanding circle of ethics, its a very interesting idea if you get a chance to check it out.

u/brutay · 1 pointr/Anarchism

>Capital is the primary (only?) true drive in the segregation of society into a hierarchal class system.

Actually, centralized, exclusive access to decisive coercive violence is the primary true drive in the segregation of society into a hierarchical class system.

>anarchist will have to turn to subversive media propaganda

If you're using the traditional definition of propaganda--i.e., a message designed with purpose to persuade--I agree. The public needs to be exposed to and educated about a small number of vitally important ideas that have traditionally been suppressed. The American populace is uniquely equipped (due to their widely dispersed access to decisive coercive threat) to dismantle their oppressive government. They are merely lacking the right information and motivation.

u/DNAGeeks · 1 pointr/biology

Try "Darwin's Dangerous Idea". One of my all time favorites.

u/SlothMold · 1 pointr/answers

Survival of the Sickest is a surprisingly accessible piece of non-fiction that covers a lot of modern diseases and their connections to increased survival rates. Two conditions it covered that I remember off the top of my head are cystic fibrosis and hemachromatosis. Some of the conclusions in the book seemed flimsy, but I believe it had a bibliography in the back for further research and fact-checking.

u/iscreamtruck · 1 pointr/science

first heard about it here. Interesting book and ideas.

u/jedipunk · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

There is a book about diseases and how they benefitted humans throughout history.

Survival of the Sickest

From one of the comments:
Dr. Moalem elegantly explains why medical conditions that are deemed to be diseases today often helped our ancestors survive and reproduce in difficult environments. Take hemochromatosis, a hereditary condition that causes iron to accumulate in a person's internal organs, eventually leading to death. Although the gene that causes hemochromatosis was once thought to be rare, research completed in 1996 found that it's actually surprisingly common. Why wouldn't such a terrible disease have been "bred out" of our species long ago? The answer is that hemochromatosis reduces the amount of iron available to iron-loving bacteria, such as the bubonic plague that depopulated Europe in the mid-1300s. A person living in the Middle Ages with the hemochromatosis gene would have eventually died from iron build up, but in the meantime would have have had a smaller chance of dying from the plague and other iron-loving infections--in an age when few people lived past the age of 50, the disease resistance conferred by hemochromatosis far outweighed the disadvantage that would have materialized if the person carrying the gene had lived to old age. People with hemochromatosis reproduced and passed the gene one to their heirs; those without it died of the plague, without children.

u/yourmomcantspell · 1 pointr/answers

Check out this book. It is fascinating and one of my faves of all time. Easy to read and understand too if you aren't very keen on science speak. sorry for the long link, I'm on mobile.

u/rasfert · 1 pointr/atheism

Wow! The eloquence and complexity of your counter-argument leaves me blindsided!
Without sarcasm or satire, I strongly recommend you read (and if you haven't done so, you're doing a poor job of being an atheist) The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins. It will illuminate the answer that I gave (perhaps more than "Nope. It isn't") to this question.

u/Sonmi-452 · 1 pointr/askscience

First of all, OP is definitely talking about terraforming - for what other reason would humanity attempt to create an artificial atmosphere?

> As far as the technology, it is just a matter of scale and materials engineering to build large enough generators.

Seriously? This simply isn't true.

>so there is no point in doing the math at this time.

Actually, the math dealing with volume of gases involved and amount of energy in the total system are hugely relevant in terms of human scale vs. planetary scale.

The thing is - your argument is arbitrary as hell no matter how much you write. There's nothing wrong with thought experiments. But there's a difference between those born in good theory and daydreams. The fact is that this technology may never be developed and may be impossible. It is certainly WELL beyond the range of human endeavors and will remain so for a very long time, more on the 10,000-100,0000 year scale, if ever. You speak of it as an inevitability, which it isn't.

Have a look at Dr. Kaku's book, Physics of the Impossible, for a good speculative overview of technological advancement in regards to energy manipulation and generation. I think you'll have a better appreciation of the scales involved after reading it (though he doesn't mention terraforming specifically, if I recall.)

u/digitalyss · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

I love shopping for people! I still don't know too many people around here, but /u/AlySedai is awesome because she can quote Homestarrunner. I would totally buy her Michio Kaku's Physics of the Impossible because I've been reading all sorts of ridiculous crap about dimensional physics today, and found this serendipitous. I also own this book and it is great and I am a fan of Michio Kaku's hair.

u/FerralWombat · 1 pointr/TrueAtheism
u/wildcard_bitches · 1 pointr/AskReddit

I've never studied Physics beyond high school but I have the same interest as you. A few of the books I've read that might interest you include:

You Are Here - Christopher Potter

Physics of the Impossible - Michio Kaku

A Briefer History of Time - Hawking, really easy to read version

There was another one along the same lines I read recently that was pretty good too. If I remember it I'll list it later.

u/zombiedad · 1 pointr/AskReddit
u/illusion58 · 1 pointr/IAmA

Loved your book Physics of the Impossible. I am currently in my second year as a Materials Engineering student. In your opinion what is the most interesting new material being developed right now?

u/tonusbonus · 1 pointr/science

I understand what you're saying, but I feel like you're intentionally trying to not understand what I'm saying.

To tell me that all cars look the same because "function dictates form" is very near sighted. Of course, function does dictate form, but that doesn't have anything to do with what we're talking about. If you were to show Ford a picture of a 2016 Ford Explorer and he said, "Nah, function dictates form, this is the way they should look because function dictates form." You'd laugh at him. Just like if someone from 200 years in the future came and said "Your car is nice, but why don't you think about doing it this way?" You wouldn't tell that person "Function dictates form." You'd say, "Holy shit, I didn't know you could do that!"

You should check out Michio Kaku's book: Physics of the Impossible.

It basically talks about how the laws of physics don't change, but our understanding of them does. What we're able to do now, if you would have shown someone 300 years ago, they would have told you it was magic. Because to them, and their current understanding of physics it would have been magic. We know now that it is simply reasonable that you could have moving pictures on a hunk of metal in your pocket, or whatever.

"Our technology is getting closer and closer to an organic merger." And it is. What I meant by that is not that we've used technology to be better at raising crops, but that the electronics and circuits will become merged with organic things. I wasn't as clear as I could have been there. I'm thinking about how close we are to hooking our nervous system up with a fully functioning prosthetic limb and have your brain signals control the limb. We're practically already there, but only in infancy. "Once we're able to grow our circuits and such" so then as we're able to grow circuitry and meld the biological with the technological soon we'll be able to record video with our eyes as the lens, or any number of "magical" things. To us now, it seems like magic, but in the future it will be standard issue. This is what I meant, not that biological things would be faster than, or smaller than, but the two can come together and create things we have yet to dream up.

""Manipulate matter on an atomic scale" is, again, technology is magic - even worse, really." I have to believe you've heard about nano-technology. Its only the biggest explosion in scientific research in the modern age. We already are building things at the atomic scale. This is really the future, and if it sounds like magic to you then you're holding yourself back. Once we get the control of building things at the atomic scale, all bets are off on how things will look.

And you know I didn't mean that everything will look different.
There are certain elements to anything that if changed would change the item itself, that is obvious. A knife needs to have a sharp edge. That's the only defining part of a knife. You can make it look a million different ways, but if you take away the sharp edge it obviously is no longer a knife. But if I have a micro-blade embedded in my thumb that I can extend or retract by just thinking about it because I grew circuits and had a motor built out of several atoms you'd probably call that magic. Doesn't look like a knife that you know of, but by gawd it's still a knife, and I'm a magician.

u/Supervisor194 · 1 pointr/WTF

I found it on Amazon. Can't imagine why Borders is shutting down. :I

u/roontish12 · 1 pointr/askscience

You might find this book interesting Physics of the Impossible. It's a great read into how force fields, light sabers, teleportation and all sorts of sci fi technology could possibly work and what would be needed to make them.

u/thebardingreen · 1 pointr/AskReddit
u/EarthExile · 1 pointr/leagueoflegends

I am not responsible for the nightmares you're going to have. Let's just get that straight.

The art comes from a book called Man After Man, a horrifying experiment in creativity and futurism. Basically an insane person tried to imagine our next five hundred million years of evolution, spiced up with a few nightmarishly strange choices made by human scientists.

My personal favorite scene is when two Hitek, the near-future human variants who spend 99.99% of their time in life-support creches, attempt to mate.

You should never have asked.

u/tatch · 1 pointr/WTF

It looks as though the image was originally from this book

u/bouquet_of_blood · 1 pointr/atheism

This is definitely the book The Social Construction of Reality

u/xactoman · 1 pointr/Psychonaut

Yeah man, I've been meaning to get into hardcore sociology for a while now. I have been looking at this book specifically which might be of interest to you or others: link.

u/bourgeoispunk · 1 pointr/gay

Oh I see, you don’t understand that gender and sex are two different things. The concept of gender expression is probably meaningless to you, and yet you probably couldn’t be bothered to learn what it means, so you wouldn’t understand that the reason why a person’s gender expression is expected to match a person’s sex is because it (knowing who the “men” and who the “women” are) makes it easier for men to oppress women. You also don’t understand that gender is a social construct, and I’m guessing you don’t understand what a social construct is either. You’re definitely not aware that what you just said was both sexist and transphobic, because to you masc and femme are indistinguishable from the bodies that perform them, which is why men never cry and women don’t play sports. I’m guessing “male” in that scenario is someone with a penis, so you obviously don’t understand how human reproduction works, and are probably not considering the problem hermaphroditism poses to the gender/sex dichotomy like the fact that some children are surgically altered to be given a penis or a “pussy” at birth because they are born with ambiguous genitalia. Never mind the fact that genitalia has little to do with attraction because it’s kept under clothes(edit: although I acknowledge genital attraction is a thing). You clearly don’t understand that biological sex is different to identify anyway due to the complexity of genes for example people born XXY or XYY, but none of that matters because you’re a troll.

u/redmeansTGA · 1 pointr/evolution

Ernst Mayer, Jerry Coyne and Richard Dawkins have written some decent books broadly covering the evidence for evolution. Donald Prothero's Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters fits into that general category, and does a good job of outlining the evidence for evolution as well, in particular from a paleontological perspective.

Astrobiologist / Paleontologist Peter Ward has written a ton of fantastic books. I'd start with Rare Earth, which outlines the Rare Earth hypothesis, ie complex life is likely rare in the universe. If you read Rare Earth, you'll come away with a better understanding of the abiotic factors which influence the evolution of life on Earth. If you end up enjoying Rare Earth, I'd highly recommend Ward's other books.

Terra, by paleontologist Michael Novacek describes the evolution of the modern biosphere, in particular from the Cretaceous onwards, and then discusses environmental change on a geological scale to modern environmental challenges facing humanity. It's one of those books which will change the way you think about the modern biosphere, and the evolution in the context ecosystems, as opposed to individual species.

Another book by a paleontologist is When Life Nearly Died: The Greatest Mass Extinction of All Time, looking at the Permian mass extinction, which was the most catastrophic mass extinction of the Phanerozoic wiping out 95%+ of all species. More focused on the geology than the other books I mentioned, so if you're not into geology you probably wont enjoy it so much.

Biochemist Nick Lane has written some great books. Life ascending would be a good one to start off with. Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life is really excellent as well.

The Origins of Life and the Universe is written by molecular biologist Paul Lurquin. It mostly focuses on the origin of life. It's pretty accessible for what it covers.

Another couple of books I would recommend to people looking for something more advanced are: Michael Lynch's Origins of Genome Architecture, which covers similar stuff to much of his research, although takes a much broader perspective. Genes in conflict is a pretty comprehensive treatment of selfish genetic elements. Fascinating read, although probably a bit heavy for most laypeople.

u/danysdragons · 1 pointr/natureismetal

Interesting. No doubt you're right that some mammals have awful stamina and some reptiles have good stamina, but couldn't it still be true that mammals have greater stamina in general? My original comment was based off this passage in Nick Lane's book Life Ascending (page 210)

> What exactly is it that we have but the reptiles don’t? It had better be good.  

> The single most compelling answer is ‘stamina’. Lizards can match mammals easily for speed or muscle power, and indeed over short distances outpace them; but they exhaust very quickly. Grab at a lizard and it will disappear in a flash, streaking to the nearest cover as fast as the eyes can see. But then it rests, often for hours, recuperating painfully slowly from the exertion. The problem is that reptiles ain’t built for comfort–they’re built for speed. As in the case of human sprinters, they rely on anaerobic respiration, which is to say, they don’t bother to breathe, but can’t keep it up for long. They generate energy (as ATP) extremely fast, but using processes that soon clog them up with lactic acid, crippling them with cramps.

u/vote_for_peter · 1 pointr/suggestmeabook

For a comical take on the DC culture today, read "This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral-Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking!-in America's Gilded Capital" by Mark Leibovich. He's a NYTimes political correspondent and he gives you a look into the private world of the people in DC. You could also check out the book "Game Change" which covers the 2008 election of Obama, if you would like an in depth look at a presidential election.

These two are definitely not authoritative or comprehensive explanations of national politics, but they will probably make for much more interesting reading and may pique your interest in researching various topics, procedures etc. on wikipedia afterward.

u/S_K_I · 1 pointr/technology

People need to read this book, This Town and understand, Washington is exactly Wall Street. Here's an interview from the author, Mark Leibovich.

u/cheese_sticks · 1 pointr/Philippines

If you want to read more about the subject, I'd suggest reading Pacific Rims by Rafe Bartholomew

It's a good read that explores how Philippine culture and basketball tie together.

u/TheBossIsWatching · 1 pointr/atheism

Welcome to the Church of Richard Dawkins.

Start with this - Read it a few times.

Then try this - This one is heavy but worth it.

When your done, go back to your original faith and research it. You mentioned you were a christian. Read the bible again having absorbed these books. To be an effictive Atheist you need to understand the perspective of the religious.

u/Iago_Huws · 1 pointr/conspiracy

Try having a watch of this... and then buy the book and educate yourself properly by learning the science behind evolution in a summarized manner accessable to the average educated person Can get it in audio or text format here

u/delanger · 1 pointr/atheism

A reasonable reply. Why don't you learn a bit more about evolution before trying to use it in an argument. Try these....Why Evolution Is True - Jerry Coyne or The Greatest Show On Earth - Richard Dawkins

u/thesunmustdie · 1 pointr/atheism

It's a gradual ramp of tiny little improvements over millions/billions of years.

Because all living things compete for finite resources like sunlight and/or food, the organisms with the optimal traits (perhaps it's a cheetah with enough speed to chase down prey) get to live and pass on their genes. These genes are inherited by offspring. With each generation there are subtle changes in the genetic information being passed on — in response to the environment. This is called epigenetics. With massive amounts of geological time, all these subtle little response modifications eventually add up to something really substantial like human beings with a complex immune system.

An easy way to convince yourself of it is to look at artificial selection and how animal breeders "play god". Take pigeon breeders: They decide what kind of bird they want — perhaps it's one with a long beak — and out of the hundreds of pigeons they have they select two with the most prominent beaks and mate them. They continue doing this over the generations. Several years later, you would already see the massive difference in the beak length of the youngest experiment pigeon when compared with the other normal pigeons.
Natural selection works in a very similar way to this.

Edit: As for book recommendations? Dawkins is the best at explaining it if you ask me:

Richard Dawkins' Greatest Show on Earth

Richard Dawkins' The Blind Watchmarker

u/Spurnem · 1 pointr/biology

If you're looking for a biology-related book to read when you can't take textbooks any more, I highly recommend The Ancestor's Tale. My high school AP Bio teacher had us read that (and write reports on every chapter to make sure we'd read it thoroughly instead of skimming), and that taught me more biology than I ever realized. I'm almost done my bachelor's and I'm still encountering material in classes that is familiar to me because of the Ancestor's Tale.

u/Reverie_of_an_INTP · 1 pointr/INTP

I enjoyed the ancestor's tale by Dawkins.

u/missinfidel · 1 pointr/AskReddit

If you're interested in the subject, there are lots and lots of great resources on it, though nearly all of it focuses on human evolution. Even if you're just interested in evolution as a whole, Dawkins' book "The Ancestor's Tale" is a really great way to get familiar with modern species' progenitors in a really engrossing way.

u/cyclopath · 1 pointr/books

I recommend Ancestors Tale as your next Dawkins book.

u/berlinbrown · 1 pointr/atheism

"he civil rights issues of the united states in the early to middle 1900s happened around a classification of "black". "

I said, "where are they" not "where were they". So, right now, how are people grouped?

"at you are saying does not in any way apply to this conversation"

What does apply to the conversation?

What is race to you?

Once again, discussions on race are non-nonsensical as you have proven. No one can adequately define what race is. Race to one person is completely different to another. Even if you define race and can group people, what is the point?

If I am being annoying or ignorant. Please clarify your position, use current media reports, use concrete evidence.

The only evidence I can bring is what Dawkins mentioned on race:

""Interobserver agreement suggests that racial classification is not totally uninformative, but what does it inform about? About things like eye shape and hair curliness. For some reason it seems to be the superficial, external, trivial characteristics that are correlated with race—perhaps especially facial characteristics.""

u/l33t_sas · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

I'm in no way qualified enough to talk about it myself but since nobody else has said anything particularly helpful, Richard Dawkins does a great job covering this stuff in a clear and easy to understand way in Ancestor's Tale

u/Life_is_Life · 1 pointr/askscience

I'm not a professional in the field, but my favorite free-time science books are usually focused on evolutionary biology, so here goes. One of the best discussions on this particular topic I've read is in The Ancestor's Tale by Dawkins. It's an excellent 3-page discussion you can read in full by accessing the "Look Inside!" preview of the book on Amazon (link to book page) and scrolling to the bottom of page 430. Do this by searching for "Maynard Smith" and clicking on the result on page 430. You'll need to sign in in order to search.

Anyways, I'll try to summarize the discussion here (although I'm a huge fan of Dawkins' eloquence in this book so I'm afraid I won't do it much justice). At a fairly naive level, sex is an evolutionary paradox. Modern Darwinism says that every organism strives to pass on as many of its genes as possible to its offspring. If this is true, however, why does sex, which is basically throwing away half of your own genes and mixing them with half of those of some other stranger, make any sense? An asexual organism can pass on 100% of its genes to its offspring. A sexual organism can only pass on 50%.

And yet, sexual reproduction is pretty much the norm for multi-cellular organisms. This suggests that the "twofold" cost of sex is somehow "cancelled out" by some other advantage of having two parents. One possibility is if the male commits to the child (instead of just running off to have sex with some other female), the couple can, as a group, produce at least twice as many offspring as the asexual alternative. While it is true that the male puts as much effort into child-rearing as the female in a few species, (emperor penguins, for instance), it is by no means the norm. So there must be something else going on.

Genetic recombination Dawkins hesitates to say that it alone is sufficient to counteract the massive twofold cost of sex, but it is definitely a factor.


After this Dawkins makes some points that are very interesting but not totally relevant to your question, so I'll just summarize it very quickly. High school biology teaches us that genetic recombination introduces diversity and variety to the gene pool. Dawkins makes the point that sexual reproduction simultaneously has the opposing effect as well because it introduces the very concept of a gene pool. Think about it: an asexual organism shares none of its genes with its brethren. The very idea of a gene pool is nonsensical. In fact, you could say every new creature is a separate species because from that moment on, it's evolutionary path is completely different from that of its brother or sister. Yes, sexual reproduction, through the process of genetic recombination potentially allows for greater diversity and variety. But sexual reproduction introduces a gene pool that tends to diffuse the effects of genetic recombination. Gene pools have a massive "inertia" that a single wayward member cannot easily change. Dawkins forwards this not necessarily as a benefit of sex, but rather a consequence of it.

u/Leechifer · 1 pointr/books

Richard Dawkins
at Amazon...

u/owlish · 1 pointr/genetics

Since gordonj has already written a fine answer, let me take another tack and suggest that the book An Ancestor's Tale is a very readable discussion of topics related to this.

u/MagicDeliveryBox · 1 pointr/LSD

Because there is no god, just the universe of which you are a part of. Get the strong feeling of being a part of this universe next time you trip (if you trip again shrooms might be the better choice). Also i think your real crisis is obvious: You seak a worldview. Go read some E.O. Willson (the social conquest of the earth) or the "ancestors tale" by richard dawkins ( and also read about some philosphers. I think THIS is what would really really help you. Go for it and speak about your new insights with your councilor. You will be happier and more fullfilled than prior the experience. But dont try to get religious, thank you.

u/tendeuchen · 1 pointr/atheism

I just started reading some of Richard Dawkins - The Ancestor's Tale, and it seems pretty good.

u/StellaMaroo · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

An hour or two ago I added The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution to my book wishlist. I don't plan on buying most books on my wishlist. I just use it as a reminder to request the book from the library when I have more time.

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/SurlyTurtle · 1 pointr/atheism

Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution is True might help some.

u/Skololo · 1 pointr/DebateReligion

> However, addressing your argument about "denying observable reality" is quite insulting.

Your denial of observable reality is quite insulting to those of us who care about observable reality.

> Many people refuse to believe in the literal six day creation or global flood and insist they are just stories

The reason for this is that everything we've observed about the relevant reality indicates that these events simply did not happen.

Read a science textbook. Or this.

u/Big_Brain · 1 pointr/exmuslim

Here is a good book for your research in understanding Evolution. It's a nice read with reliable knowledge from an ecology specialist.

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/bperki8 · 1 pointr/evolution

Why evolution is true. by Jerry A. Coyne

Pretty much all the evidence you need for evolution there. For information about the origins of life you will have to look elsewhere though.

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/m0rken · 1 pointr/islam

When you take the position of refusing to learn, nothing can be done to convince you. Why not be curious instead? Why not become interested in the world and how it works? It's fun.

It's not really possible to learn evolution via reddit comments. You need to read a book. For example, Why Evolution is True.

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/fugularity · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

This book is an excellent and simple example of animals evolving now, right before our eyes:

u/pacocat · 1 pointr/atheism
u/shinew123 · 1 pointr/books

Beak of the finch by Jonathan Weiner is a pretty darn good book. It tells of one experiment on evolution and how it works. I have read a lot, but this one is more about the people as well as the new ideas of experiment than the theory of evolution.

u/radiomouse · 1 pointr/gaymers

The Beak of the Finch. It's nonfiction about how scientists are actually recording quantifiable evolution within Darwin's finches. Much more interesting than it might sound...

u/greenearrow · 1 pointr/askscience

Read "The Beak of the Finch," two species hybridized and essentially gave rise to a third species. The book talks about the research and discoveries of Peter and Rosemary Grant, both highly respected biologists.

u/RicochetScience · 1 pointr/biology

The Beak of the Finch by Jonathan Weiner. Probably one of the best books that cover the research on the Galapagos finches.

u/broofa · 1 pointr/DebateAnAtheist

I highly recommend reading about the research going on into evolution of finches in the Galapagos. They've been the subject of study since the 70's and it's fascinating stuff.

For a short read, check out this National Geographic article. There's also the Pulitzer prize winning book on the subject, The Beak of the Finch.

tl;dr - Significant evolutionary change can happen in the span of just a few months, rather then millennia. (E.g. researchers have seen the average size of finch beaks change by 15% in just 1-2 years).

u/i_am_scared_of_truth · 0 pointsr/medicine

Interesting reading on the same topic.

u/AgentBif · 0 pointsr/LifeProTips

There's a huge amount of evidence for altruism.

Seems like you need to educate yourself a bit more before you go about flippantly tossing out such wide sweeping declarations about the nature of reality.

Good book for you to read: The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins. Amazing work that helped revolutionize the modern view of Biology. This will likely turn your understanding of the nature of behavior inside out and will hopefully give you a new appreciation for the miracle that is humanity.

u/toapat · 0 pointsr/whowouldwin

Both of These links are referencing the same book that Michio Kaku wrote talking about forcefields not as a replacement for armor but as a specific type of armor against Ionizing radiation, which would require as much power input IRL as some of the most power hungry world powers consume in a day to get the extreme end performance displayed in science fiction.

Im not invalidating Master Chief's Neural surgery which in reality would not enhance his reaction times even if you could replace someone's entire neurological system with a mechanical variant, or the fact that most of his skeleton was replaced while allowing him to still undergo military exercise rather than being crippled for life and mentally crippled by Anti-rejection drug dependency. Im denying Magic Energy shielding working on an entire class of weaponry because it does not create effects that would impede Kinetic weapons.

u/blackstar9000 · 0 pointsr/atheism

Hijacked is too strong a word, but I think two points are notable. First, arguably most of the really popular and notable books on evolution released in the last twenty years were penned by New Atheists proper or by authors who basically fit the New Atheist mold but aren't one of the four specific authors. A big part of the reason for that is simply Richard Dawkins. He's a popular writer and a biologist, so it was almost inevitable that he'd pen books about Darwin and that they'd hit the bestsellers lists. And if it were limited to Dawkins, I'd think nothing of it, but there's Dennett and Shermer, and I wouldn't be surprised to see Harris release one before long. Another part of the reason is that a number of the other books about Darwinian evolution that have sold well in past decades were penned by creationists like Michael Behe, so a certain measure of response is, from my perspective at least, welcome. At that point, it's about market share, and we don't want creationists having too big a piece of the market share. Their point of view is, after all, problematic to say the least. If it weren't for my second point, it wouldn't even be problematic that a) popular books on evolution are basically split between creationists and New Atheists, and b) that New Atheists make up such a large share of that market.

But my second point is this: New Atheists aren't just popularizing or "standing up for" Darwinian evolution; they're attaching a political and ideological agenda to that effort, and that runs several risks, the most obvious being that it can polarize people against evolution, as some commentators have warned it might do in Muslim countries. To my mind, the more insidious risk is that, once you've connected a scientific theory to a political or ideological effort, it becomes all to easy for its patrons to see it in those terms even when it has nothing to do with that effort. Without much noticing it, pro-Darwinians may start seeing barely articulated associations as part and parcel of evolution, until evolution is something more than a scientific model. Dawkins, for example, has turned evolution into a theological disproof with the subtitle of "The Blind Watchmaker". The title of Shermer's "Why Darwin Matters" sums up the achievement of evolutionary theory as a form of polemic against intelligent design theory. Dawkins, at least, is close enough to the professional practice of biology that he probably doesn't need reminding that evolution isn't really about atheism, but all of these guys are writing books for people who don't have the continual reminder of working in the field where evolutionary theory is most functional.

I say none of this in defense of the Guardian article, but I do think there's something to be said for the idea that our society stands to lose by leaving it up to the New Atheists to give evolution its popularly received meaning.

u/tommytoon · 0 pointsr/todayilearned

> I meant it (slavery) was a moral crime/atrocity/evil, then and now.

I agree.

> I'll be the first to agree the ancient Greeks and Romans shouldn't be thought of as beacons of enlightenment...They were, on the whole, brutal warrior/slave societies in a constant state of warfare with everyone and everything around them.

And so was most everyone else. Humans are an obviously violent species and for the simple reason than that violence is supremely effective. Humans have been abusing both other humans and other forms of life since there was a thing called humans. The idea that you will find a human community free of violence is an absurdity because if a society like this existed, they could simply be dominated by a more violent society.

However, I for one am comforted by the fact that the human species as a whole has been becoming less violent as civilization moves forward and I am confident that this trend will slowly continue. All the steps forward in civilization from Sumerian, Greek, Roman, Chinese, Egyptian, Arab, and so many other cultures should all be considered beacons of enlightenment, or perhaps better thought of as ladder rungs, in our ever expanding circle of ethical progress.

Of course my time in existence is vanishingly small but there is good reason to think that there will be less suffering 5000 years from now just as there is less suffering now then 5000 years ago.

u/jambox888 · 0 pointsr/ukpolitics

Sorry but I couldn't get more than half way through that, your tone is horrible. Try reading Singer's The Expanding Circle or Pinker's Better Angels.

> Under your theory a dog could be considered more intelligent than a human if that dog could empathise more than the human.


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/lartrak · -1 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

I have another book I would recommend to you. It's called Man After Man. It's pretty pessimistic, suggesting a divide between rich and poor that leads to evolutionary divergence, and also fairly extreme genetic engineering.

I'm not sure how plausible the forms mankind takes in the book are, but you'd probably find it interesting.

Actually, for that matter, you might also read The Time Machine. Probably the earliest book to tinker with the idea (even if the timeline isn't probable). I do think you should be aware that people are starting to tamper with gene therapy and other genetic treatments - if such things ever become advanced enough and commonplace enough, you wouldn't have to worry about a proliferation of such issues in the extreme long term of humanity's future.

u/Iratus · -1 pointsr/AdviceAnimals

I could give out a huge rant about how what you perceive and attack as "pc culture" is merely the effect of miss-application of long-standing academic arguments, but what's the point? I'm not going to change your view, and nobody else will see this thanks to the "grr SJWs" crowd and their downvotes. The TL,DR is basically "you are fighting with people just as ignorant on the matter as you are".

The idea that gave birth to current american "PC culture" is that "language creates reality", but the way (american) modern leftist college students (and tumblr-like crowds) use it is nowhere near useful. If you are really interested in that kind of subject, I reccomend you to read The Social Construction of Reality. It's not directly related to the subject, but it touches on the basis of many useful concepts to board the subject without 4chan-level arguments.

u/Old13oy · -1 pointsr/washingtondc

So anyone who makes less than $125k lives in poverty?

Look, I don't think the choices you're making are necessarily bad if considered in a vacuum. You chose to get a law degree to make more money and live a good life. You ended up in a lot of debt as a result, and pursuing a high paying career is probably the best way to deal with that.

But the narrative that you have to go to DC, slave away for the establishment and build your rep, and then become a lobbyist to spend the rest of your life as a parasite on the ass of the body politic is troubling at best, and vomit-inducing at worst.

I suggest reading This Town by Mark Leibovich. It talks more about the culture you'll be participating in. If you're fine with the system as it's outlined there, Godspeed, enjoy your time at the Correspondent's Dinner and your front row seat to the decline of representative democracy.

u/SadisticPottedPlant · -2 pointsr/politics

Beltway people despise non-Beltway people. Clinton, Obama, and Trump share one thing, they all despise the Beltway people in return. After reading 'This Town', I can see why.