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u/keithamus · 2 pointsr/science

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It really is an education.

u/I_TYPE_IN_ALL_CAPS · -11 pointsr/science

> If done right, science is science.









u/Positronic_Matrix · 4 pointsr/science

Another way you can phrase your question is, how can I educate my brother?

As with any education, its success is a function of the curriculum — start with a strong foundation in the broad basics and finish with the specifics. In this case, chemistry, biology, and physics lay the foundation for advanced courses in evolutionary biology and psychology.

Because it is unlikely that your brother will seek out this education, as it directly conflicts with his religious ideology, an ongoing dialogue with you is the next best thing. For this to work, you must first familiarize yourself with the material. If you haven't had biology, chemistry, or physics, take it. Then, read the following:

  • The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins.
  • Animal Behavior: An Evolutionary Approach by John Alcock
  • Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of the Mind by David Buss

    The best way to convey information to someone who doesn't know that they're receiving an education from you is through the Socratic method. Ask questions that are specific and understood under the paradigm of science — avoid the unknowable ambiguous questions that the religious often heap on the scientist. For instance, a fun questions is to ask how many fingers different mammals have. The answer is always five, since we evolved from a common ancestor. Along the way, fun lessons in evolution can be given:

  • A human has five fingers with one that evolved an opposable thumb to hold tools.
  • A panda has five fingers with a wrist bone that evolved to strip leaves that looks like sixth finger.
  • A horse has five fingers and walks on a giant thumbnail.
  • A gazelle has five fingers and walks on the nails of its index and middle finger.
  • A cat has five fingers walking on four and the front pad of its hand — the rest of the hand stretches upward with a little thumb up high.
  • A whale has five fingers that evolved into a single flipper.
  • A bat has five fingers that evolved into the ribs of a wing.

    If all else fails, you'll have read the Selfish Gene, one of my all-time favorites that I read in my Evolutionary Biology course and have reread several times since.
u/Tokenwhitemale · 2 pointsr/science

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

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

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

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

u/kaleidoughscope · 1 pointr/science

It's not a fad diet. Have you checked out my sources? And of course my sources are those that agree with my opinion on this lifestyle - I'm not going to quote Oprah or something.

> An opinion based on "we used to eat this so it must be good", which is flawed.

Why is this flawed? I'm not making a naturalistic fallacy here, as it's not my sole argument.

> We ate what was available and some of it was good, some of it just kept us alive.

Most of it was good. We've twisted our food supply in the interests of money making in the past few centuries.

My information is based on very rigorous scientific studies that challenge the conventional wisdom - and rightfully so. Americans are the fattest people on Earth, despite years of advice from national health institutes. Much of what is recommended is based on Ancel Keys' faulty research on the "link" between cholesterol/saturated fat and heart disease.

If you're interested in the science of nutrition and where I'm coming from, this is the one book I recommend. Even if you don't read the book, read the amazon comments - it's quite illuminating.
Good Calories, Bad Calories by Science Journalist Gary Taubes

u/gomtuu123 · 10 pointsr/science

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

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

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

u/AwkwardTurtle · 16 pointsr/science

If anyone's interested in the backround of the pictures, go read Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!. It's a really great book, and makes you realize what an awesome person he was. The book is written in such a way that you feel as though you're sitting in a room with him and just sort of chatting.

u/Italian_Barrel_Roll · 3 pointsr/science

I'd recommend the book Feeling Good to gain insight as to the whys and hows of cbt and metacognition. Identifying what thoughts make you feel what ways and being conscious of that helps you determine what makes you feel the way you want. It suddenly becomes less "I should think differently" and more "I'd rather think differently, because I don't like what effect the prior line of thought has on me."

Some days are certainly harder than others, but it stops feeling like a task you need to force yourself into pretty quickly.

u/jerf · 3 pointsr/science

Have you actually read Good Calories, Bad Calories? And I mean, read it, not let someone else tell you what's wrong with it without you having to bother cracking the cover.

Even if it doesn't end up convincing you, it is one of the best science books I have ever seen; there are hundreds of citations and no, they are not all just the "in favor" ones, the best of the conventional mainstream thinking are cited as well. If only every book were as well done.

If you are actually scientifically inclined, you should read the best counter-case you can, and that's probably it. If you can actually come away from that with your opinion unchanged, then at least you'll have come by it honestly.

Shocking as it may seem, it is not merely community-word-of-mouth behind those facts you link. Actual peer-reviewed studies can be brought to bear in favor of those facts, in quantity. If you want the citations, the book I mentioned has them, also in quantity.

u/ryeinn · 1 pointr/science

Fair enough. Didn't know that this was where you were coming from.

No, I haven't read Barrow. But pretty much any popularization of physics recently seems to make this very point. From Brian Greene to Lee Smolin seems to make this point.

I think we were both missing what the other was saying. I agree with your point on why, apologies for the bluntness. I didn't fully see your Devil's Advocate position until now. So I guess we agree to agree?

u/areReady · 5 pointsr/science

I usually try to answer these kinds of questions in a comprehensive way, and in this case I'd explain that there isn't conscious choice, some camels just had a survival and reproductive advantage and passed the advantage along to offspring, etc.

But in this case, Richard Dawkins has just released a new book about evolution, called The Greatest Show on Earth, which is Dawkins' effort to lay out all of the evidence for evolution. Dawkins was a fantastic biology writer before he became an advocate for atheism, and this book is not about atheism, but rather the science and evidence that back up the Theory of Evolution.

I'm listening to the audiobook version now, but I'm well-versed in evolutionary theory. I suggest you get the book and read it, taking advantage of the diagrams and ability to go at your own pace.

u/leoboiko · 3 pointsr/science

> If you want to involve photons in this picture, you can, but it won't help you very much.

I beg to differ. I only really understood what “electricity” is, including said guitar-amp phenomenon, when I got photons in the picture , thus creating a very different model than the one presented by most textbooks on transistor electronics. The stuff that moves at the speed of light when you turn a switch on? Photons. The stuff that actually transfers electromagnetic energy, including wire “electricity”, from a battery/source to charge? Photons. Stuff that binds electrons to protons? Photons. Stuff that get stored in capacitors? Photons. Hell the photon↔electron interaction goes well beyond “light” or “electricity” and do most things in the universe! (except gravity and nuclear phenomena). I don’t feel qualified to explain it all in quantum terms but I got the better picture from Richard Feynman’s QED, which I heartily recommend to any curious layman. (Also, this page).

u/[deleted] · 5 pointsr/science

I was going to ask you if it's approachable for a non-physicist like myself. I mean, it's Feynman.

However, rather than ask I looked to

>Feynman makes it easy for the curious amateur to understand. This book is accessible and mind-blowing. Everyone should read it. And there is little if any math so don't be intimidated.

Well, then. I guess I'll be reading it!

EDIT: Here's the book

Oh, and thank you!

u/RogerMexico · 7 pointsr/science

A lot of sci-fi books predict private space exploration as well. My favorite example is the Mars Trilogy. However, the supposed leaders in commercial spaceflight, like SpaceX for example, are subsidized by NASA just like the companies that were developing Ares I and V. The only difference is that their projects cost less. But the reason they cost less is not because they are innovating the field by being commercial enterprises, rather, they cost less because they only go barely past the Kármán line whereas the Ares rockets could go to the moon.

u/leorolim · 6 pointsr/science

I love Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything

Funny, interesting and educating.

u/DebentureThyme · 2 pointsr/science

I'm treated for anxiety, depression and ADHD. I've long noticed that the best periods of my life are directly correlated to being far more active.

I recently read a great book on the subject called Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain. I'd highly recommend it.

u/digiphaze · 33 pointsr/science

Mars is very very amazing. So much about it screams Terraform ME!!

The Martian Day is only 30minutes longer than earth.
It would have 4 seasons due to a similar inclination in its tilt.
Possibly vast amounts of underground water.

Sigh.. Best books I ever read.

Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars - Kim Stanley Robinson

u/Sir_Wobblecoque · 1 pointr/science

Dawkins discusses this in more detail in his book The Greatest Show on Earth, also available as an audiobook, read by the author.

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

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

u/rayhan314 · 1 pointr/science

I just finished Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything. The book explains the important scientific discoveries about life, geology, and astronomy; but also the stories of the scientists who came up with these discoveries.

I got the audiobook, and it made my commute seem much shorter. It's a little dry in a few bits (especially the parts about geology), but overall it's a good, entertaining read.

u/isarl · 1 pointr/science

The very same. He was quite a character. There are many books about him, such as Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!. Unfortunately, I don't have a link from Google Books for you, but you should definitely look him up. =)

u/podperson · 2 pointsr/science

Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything is very good and a bit more up-to-date (it's a book not a TV series), and I speak as someone who has read the book of Cosmos several times.

Brian Green's The Elegant Universe is worth reading, even if you think String Theory is "Not Even Wrong" (Greene is not one of the die-hards).

u/ladycrappo · 19 pointsr/science

The ladycrappo 7-Step Dealing With Depression Plan
Brought to you by a chick who's been hospitalized for major depression on four separate occasions and is now living a relatively stable normal life

  1. Exercise, exercise, exercise. This may be the last thing you feel like doing, but it's one of the cheapest, safest, most effective ways to boost your mood. Don't feel you have to go to a gym if the ambiance creeps you out; ride a bike, get out in the sunshine, whatever works for you.

  2. Eat well. Shitty diets make you feel shitty physically and mentally. Depressed people tend to have trouble with eating either too much or too little, and with eating crappy stuff in general that wrecks your blood sugar and makes you lethargic. You don't need that. Make a good healthy diet a priority: fruits and veggies, whole grains, lean protein, unsaturated fats, you know the drill.

  3. Get your sleep schedule sorted out. Don't let yourself sleep too much because you don't want to face life; it just makes you more listless. If you're having trouble sleeping enough, force yourself to get on a more regular schedule. Sleep is fundamental to good mental health.

  4. Shower every day. Keep up with personal hygiene, even when you feel like a hideous human turdball. A clean turdball can feel slightly better about itself than a dirty turdball, and whatever bit of dignity and self-worth you can reclaim for yourself is really important.

  5. Do stuff. You won't want to, you really won't want to, but do it anyways. Answer your phone, get out of the house, go out to eat or see a movie-- do normal people stuff despite your profound sense of abnormality. This serves to keep you feeling like a member of the human race, keep you connected with the people in your life who are your support system, and also just to distract you from the ugly world inside your head.

  6. Read up on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which is focused on concrete strategies of altering your thinking and behavior. Pick up a copy of Feeling Good and give it's recommendations a serious try.

  7. Do what it takes to get out of your own head. Depression turns you in on yourself, blots out the larger world, traps you in the darker aspects of your own thinking. It's a particularly dark and dangerous sort of self-absorption. Do things that force you to empathize with other people, in other places: do some volunteer work, spend time with loved ones, read about people in unfortunate circumstances who maintain a core of dignity (e.g., What is the What).
u/sighbourbon · 1 pointr/science

check this out-- the author really thought it through & seems to have really done his homework

i think i would not go for life. but i would love to go photograph it. imagine being the first photographer on mars

u/patzelion · 1 pointr/science

Bill Bryson has some answers. I found this on reddit from people recommending books. This book is awesome and will help with all questions regarding that and then some

u/stewartr · 5 pointsr/science

QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter, Richard P. Feynman (Princeton Science Library)
To start, you need to you learn that eveything is made from complex waves of probability and that is the only way the math works. This short and inexpensive book is a work of art, accessible by the "intelligent layman". Then google the amazing Feynman!

u/Tailslide · 2 pointsr/science

Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly everything. Really, really fucking awesome.

u/david76 · 127 pointsr/science

If you haven't read it already, Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! is a fantastic read.

u/IHopeTheresCookies · 1 pointr/science

The Elegant Universe, The Fabric of the Cosmos

Also, The Age of Spiritual Machines discusses theoretical and quantum physics. I'm not saying its the book to read to learn physics but thats what originally got me interested.

u/Irielle · 1 pointr/science

I read an interesting book a few years back called "The Body Electric" and was amazed at all of his research into electrobiology... and it was all in the 60s! If they had delved further into this in the past few decades I think we would be much further along in our understanding of the human body.

Towards the end he relates his efforts to tighten EMF standards but he was largely poo-pooed and given the run around. Our bodies are precisely tuned electrical machines and I'm sure the pervading presence of electronics, even in relatively small doses, adds up to be a relatively large danger to our health (possibly even mental health). Ever since I've grounded my bed, I sleep much better at night.

u/missinfidel · 1 pointr/science

Although some of his research is being questioned by other anthropologists, Richard Wrangham has a whole book devoted to this, and is a very interesting read.

u/inquirer · 2 pointsr/science

An interesting al though controversial book is Race Evolution and Behavior by Rushton.

The Bell Curve is probably a good one to read too.

For another side you might want to read Gould's Mismeasure of Man.

u/CalvinR · 2 pointsr/science

This is an awesome book on parasites
Parasite Rex

u/teaguesterling · 3 pointsr/science

It's more of a general all-about-science book, but Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything. It was years ago that I read it but it has some really interesting sections about geology and biology if I recall correctly.

u/motophiliac · 2 pointsr/science

I would say so. You guys may already know this but it bears repeating because it reveals how life-shatteringly important this book is: read Michael J. Edwards' review on Amazon.

(* cleanup)

u/ModernRonin · 1 pointr/science

For anyone who hasn't read it, The Hot Zone is an engaging look at Ebola, and I recommend it.

On a somewhat related note, I wonder how well Reston works as a vaccination against Zaire or other strains of Ebola?

u/julia-sets · 8 pointsr/science

The "evidence" is in the studies behind this study. It's in the clinical trials and cohort studies using ERT that have shown that doing so ultimately reduces the chance of death. This study is only trying to show how an individual's choice to forgo a treatment that may have a small percentage of positive effect may be a far more important trend when extrapolated to a whole population.

But man, if there was one thing I'd love to drill into Reddit's head, it's that everyone here takes the whole "correlation != causation" thing too far. I get it, it's important to remember that correlation does not always imply causation, but in the absence of other explanations and with sufficient biological plausibility there's no reason to wholesale deny anything that doesn't have a perfect randomly controlled trial backing it (even beyond the point that there is no such thing as a perfect trial).

I wish that everyone could understand the Bradford Hill criteria and realize that there is a logical structure to defining causality in epidemiology and that the correlation they see is an important part of it. For me it seems too often that people are just so happy to recognize that a study may have limitations (is "just" correlation) that they don't take the time to understand whether or not those limitations are actually important.

I feel like we've been trapped by those Merchants of Doubt into subconsciously believing that we really do always need more information to decide anything. It's incredibly frustrating.

u/Cartosys · 0 pointsr/science

I think a good place to start is here: Rick Strassman - DMT the Spirit Molecule

Basically, the pituitary gland seems to be the "seat of consciousness", or the "dominant monad" of the body and mind. These kids have their own separate pituitary glands, see? It's located front and center of the head--right behind the eyes. So, for example, if you "see yourself through your own eyes", "you" seem to be physically located right there, don't you? Like an inch or two inside the top of the bridge of your nose or somethin.

You know, Shit like that's in this book...

u/Sleestaks · 1 pointr/science

You must realize you are the box and the box is you. With the same instance that you understand your box, your box understands you. This means quantum mechanics may substitute for a cozier box?

On a sidenote however, I understood quatum mechanics at least a little better after reading QED The Strange Theory of Light and Matter I recommend it.

u/entropic · 1 pointr/science

For more about parasites, you might enjoy Parasite Rex.

u/esthers · 3 pointsr/science

I recommend reading Rick Strassman's DMT: The Spirit Molecule

u/creaothceann · 5 pointsr/science

Recently I've read Feynman's The Strange Theory of Light and Matter. It's a nice "introduction" to the world of quantum physics. ((Also available online on certain sites.))

u/O1Truth · 1 pointr/science

Another good book that gives a decent overview (Of everything really) is A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

u/rddman · 114 pointsr/science

It is systemic

Merchants of Doubt

How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming

u/Nagyman · 1 pointr/science

Indeed. The plate tectonic theory is relatively young (not until the last half century was there even evidence starting to accumulate); but the theory dates back nearly 100 years.

Aerik is just being facetious, but really only those in school within the last 40 years or so would have been introduced to the theory. And when we are, we're taught the concept more as a matter fact, such that it would be obvious to anyone who thought about it for more than 5 minutes; but many experts rejected the notion for a long time.

Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything, has a great chapter, about the scientists who really pushed the idea.

u/glittalogik · 1 pointr/science

If you haven't already read Red Mars then I recommend it; plot aside, the science behind the terraforming efforts described in the book was impeccably researched, and probably not far off what we'll eventually attempt.

u/darkanstormy · 1 pointr/science

You may be right in some cases, but salamanders have full regenerative abilities. [The Body Electric] ( begins with experiments on regeneration.

u/losvedir · 0 pointsr/science

You may be interested in The Mismeasure of Man. I've only just begun the book so I'm not in a position to say whether it's compelling, but it purports to demolish the idea of IQ.

u/jaywalkker · 2 pointsr/science

Any specific Science books?

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

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

u/wimcolgate2 · 1 pointr/science

This topic reminds me of a book entitled, "The Body Electric". It was a study of electrical currents and the human body -- with a focus on healing and regeneration.

u/Johio · 1 pointr/science

you can get some at

Well, more accurately, if you buy enough of this stuff, and then do some fission reactions and refine it you might get enough plutonium eventually.

u/intronert · 2 pointsr/science

Consider reading The Mismeasure of Man by Steven Jay Gould.

It is a good intro to questions like What is Intelligece? What is IQ? How has IQ testing been abused in the past? [This last has some tragically hilarious examples].

u/SEMW · 1 pointr/science

If you want to understand how reflection behaves in a "true" way, read Feynman's QED. Transcripts of popular science lectures. They're not exactly simple to understand, but they were designed to be at least somewhat accessible.

u/lxUn1c0 · 1 pointr/science

The flip side of that is that insulin tells your body to refuse to remove energy from fat cells, and eating a carbohydrate-heavy diet dramatically increases your insulin levels. Thus, people can run a caloric deficit and not lose significant weight, but simultaneously experience starvation at the cellular level if their diet is too carb-heavy.

EDIT: Not sure why I'm being downvoted, because it's factually accurate. Sources: Good Calories, Bad Calories; Why We Get Fat; Wheat Belly. There are more, but these are some of the best, fully-sourced books about the subject.

u/lastshot · 3 pointsr/science

Gary Taubes's book Good Calories, Bad Calories is one of the best books I have ever read, on any subject.

u/bitparity · 9 pointsr/science

Actually, we have. This biological anthropologist makes the case that humans have evolved to specifically to eat cooked food, which thus reduces the gut size needed to process raw food, thus allowing more mass expenditure to go to the brain. A very interesting read. He also talks about the origin of the sexual division of labor to cooking.

Thus the "vestigial organ" we've lost is the more extensive intestinal gut system of our primate ancestors.

u/seasmucker · 1 pointr/science

Have you read Spark? It's all about exercise's effect on the brain.

u/doxiegrl1 · 9 pointsr/science

For a longer version of that story, read the Hot Zone

u/RSquared · 3 pointsr/science

Came here for this. Great book, as is The Hot Zone, his earlier book on Ebola Reston.

u/marmotjmarmot · 0 pointsr/science

If you haven't yet y'all should read this.

u/Athardude · 24 pointsr/science

I think those points fall under Richard Wrangham's big idea. He released a book on it.

u/owlish · 3 pointsr/science

Parasite Rex

It's about how parasites rule the world. It'll make your skin crawl.

u/MoonPoint · 1 pointr/science

"Lightning is Zeus hurling his thunderbolts. Leave it at that." As they have in the past, some people still prefer the demon-haunted world.

u/liquidpele · 7 pointsr/science

> ebola is -RNA. can that mix with the flu?

Yes. It already did in a viral lab once.

Read "The Hot Zone" for a truly scary true story about a close call with an ebola pandemic.

u/PsychRabbit · 8 pointsr/science

There are two Carl Sagan books which I believe are more important than all of the others. The first, details how to look at the world skeptically, and the second, how to look at the world with all the wonder that Nature deserves.

u/mcandre · 12 pointsr/science

The Selfish Gene. We reconciled natural selection with altruism in the 70's.

u/rosuoammdo · 3 pointsr/science

I know somebody else already said it, but check out /r/keto. On a ketogenic diet (or even a not-ketogenic low carb diet), you can eat less without hunger. If you want a scientific explanation as to why this works, check out this book.

u/TheLobotomizer · 3 pointsr/science

Really guys? No one mentions the hard SF books for Mars exploration by Kim Stanley Robinson?

Mars Trilogy

u/nonsensepoem · 5 pointsr/science

She's probably wishing she had a gravity-based toilet.

... damn you, Mary Roach, you've skewed my worldview towards the weird once again.

u/mc10000 · 15 pointsr/science

I was fully intent on going to college at Cornell solely to follow this man... and then he died.. :.(

That sounds lke alot of material that he put in "The Demon Haunted World"

u/chipbuddy · 10 pointsr/science

please read The Selfish Gene. It's an incredibly interesting book.

Dawkins talks about social insects (ants, termites, bees) and why they do things "for the greater good".

While individual ants are not acting selfishly, their genes are. If there are two competing alleles. One will (all other things being equal) will cause the worker ant to sacrifice itself for the colony and the other will (all other things being equal) cause the ant to have a sense of self preservation.

Since the worker ants don't send their genes on to the next generation (that is the queen's job), self preservation genes won't necessarily get passed on. If a queen gives a "self preservation" allele to all the worker ants, then the colony will be in danger. The queen will not be protected, and the colony could die off.

If a queen gives the "greater good" allele, the worker ants will protect the queen and the allele will likely be passed on.

So while all the individual ants are acting altruistically, the genes inside their bodes are acting selfishly: sacrificing expendable (genetically) dead end bodies for the one vehicle that can actually propagate the gene (the queen)

u/DannyMB · 168 pointsr/science

If anyone here doesn't know just how scary ebola is, I highly recommend reading The Hot Zone by Richard Preston. Probably one of the most terrifying books I have ever read.
Link here

u/gehenom · 2 pointsr/science

The concept is simple, but the implications are tremendous and often counterintuitive. Do yourself a favor if you want to understand. Go buy:

u/sup3 · 2 pointsr/science

Reminds me of this book I've been meaning to pick up:

Large companies can hire random scientists to say anything. That's why you need public funding in a lot of areas. It was the EPA after all that proved asbestos could kill you, not the companies selling roofing and other products containing all the asbestos.

u/hxcldy · 4 pointsr/science

>Rural Zanzibaris’ descriptions of the leopard and its habits are coloured by the widespread belief that a large number of these carnivores are kept by witches and sent by them to harm or otherwise harass villagers.

What kind of world?

Why, a demon-haunted one, of course.

u/Juvenall · 5 pointsr/science

"Good Calories, Bad Calories" and/or "Why We Get Fat" by Gary Taubes would be good starts for sources, references, and information that cover why saturated fats are not the evil empire they're made out to be.

If science books are less your thing, there's a good, but painfully produced, documentery counterpoint to "Supersize Me" called "Fat Head" that can be found via Netflix or YouTube. This covers some of the same information on the opinion that fats, including saturated fats, are not bad and that its been bad science and personal agendas that propagated the notion that they were.

u/pchiusano · 2 pointsr/science

Another take on this: Gary Taubes' Good Calories, Bad Calories. I'm only partway through, but basic claim is that calories per se are not what's important (calories are an extremely crude method of measuring the energy content in food and don't really take into account how your body metabolizes different foods). What's important is the kind of calories you consume. Also, according to Taubes, there is no real evidence that that dietary fat causes obesity or any other health problems - he reviews the science that's been done to establish this, and it's actually pretty sad. Instead, he claims processed carbs and sugars are the real culprit.

u/jarrettwold · 7 pointsr/science

I always point people to this book when they blow off vaccinations or contagious diseases:

The other book? Preston's The Hot Zone.

Both of those scared the ever living shit out of me, and they're also why I hate Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy.

u/Wollff · 5 pointsr/science

Here you go.

It's the usual story.

A medical professional asks himself an interesting question: Why can newts regenerate limbs, but not humans? He ventures outside his area of expertise, which is medicine, towards biology and gets hung up on a long obsolete theory.

When people try to point that out to him, it's too late: He is sure that his pet theory is right and digs himself into an impenetrable defensive position.

Pointing out flaws in his methods, becomes scientists attacking him as a person. Funding cuts because of flawed research, become an attack of the establishment against him as a person. Competition for funding becomes backbiting by his peers because they can't stand that he is right...