Nonfiction Bibliography

This page compiles nonfiction books that inform the framework of my Provisional Conclusions. Within each section, titles are arrange chronologically. Essential titles are in bold.

  1. The vast, ancient universe
    • Cosmology
      • Asimov, Isaac. 1966. The Universe: From Flat Earth to Quasar. New York: Walker & Company. (Also 1968, Avon). Dated, but with a valuable emphasis on how understanding of the size and age of the universe arose.
      • Weinberg, Steven. 1977. The First Three Minutes: A Modern View of the Origin of the Universe. (Reprinted 1979, Bantam.)
      • Sagan, Carl. 1980. Cosmos. New York: Random House.
      • Morrison, Philip, and Phyllis Morrison. 1982. Powers of Ten: About the Relative Size of Things in the Universe. New York: Scientific American/W.H. Freeman.
      • Hawking, Stephen. 1988. A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes. New York: Bantam Books.
      • Weinberg, Steven. 1992. Dreams of a Final Theory: The Search for the Fundamental Laws of Nature. New York: Pantheon.
      • Christian, David. 2004. Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History. Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press.
      • Greene, Brian. 2005. The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality. New York: Knopf.
      • Hawking, Stephen & Leonard Mlodinow. 2010. The Grand Design. New York: Bantam. [review]
      • Greene, Brian. 2011. The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos. New York: Knopf.
      • Krauss, Lawrence M. 2012. A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing.
      • Carroll, Sean. 2016. The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself. New York: Dutton.
    • Mathematics and the Nature of Reality
      • Rucker, Rudy. 1987. Mind Tools: The Five Levels of Mathematical Reality. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
      • Deutsch, David. 1997. The Fabric of Reality: The Science of Parallel Universes — and Its Implications. New York: Penguin/Allen Lane.
      • Deutsch, David. 2011. The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations that Transform the World. New York: Viking.
      • Holt, Jim. 2012. Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story. New York: Norton/Liveright.
      • Frenkel, Edward. 2013. Love & Math: The Heart of Hidden Reality. New York: Basic Books.
      • Tegmark, Max. 2014. Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality. New York: Knopf.
      • Wilczek, Frank. 2015. A Beautiful Question: Finding Nature’s Deep Design. New York: Penguin.
    • Evolution
      • Dawkins, Richard. 1976. The Selfish Gene. New York: Oxford University Press.
      • Sagan, Carl. 1977. The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence. New York: Random House.
      • Wilson, Edward O. 1978. On Human Nature. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.
      • Dawkins, Richard. 1982. The Extended Phenotype: The Long Reach of the Gene. New York: Oxford University Press.
      • Dawkins, Richard. 1986. The Blind Watchmaker: Why the evidence of evolution reveals a universe without design. New York: W.W. Norton.
      • Gould, Stephen Jay. 1989. Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History. New York/London: W.W. Norton.
      • Ridley, Matt. 1993. The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature. New York/London: Macmillan.
      • Wright, Robert. 1994. The Moral Animal: Why We Are the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology. New York: Pantheon.
      • Dennett, Daniel C. 1995. Darwin’s Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life. New York: Simon & Schuster.
      • Dawkins, Richard. 1996. Climbing Mount Improbable. New York: Norton.
      • Ridley, Matt. 1997. The Origins of Virtue: Human Instincts and the Evolution of Cooperation. New York: Viking.
      • Coyne, Jerry. 2008. Why Evolution Is True. New York: Viking.
      • Shubin, Neil. 2008. Your Inner Fish: A Journey Into the 3.4-Billion-Year History of the Human Body. New York: Pantheon.
      • Dawkins, Richard. 2009. The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution. UK: Bantam Press; US: Free Press.
      • Vermeij, Geerat J. 2010. The Evolutionary World: How Adaptation Explains Everything from Seashells to Civilization. New York: St. Martin’s/Thomas Dunne.
      • Wilson, Edward O. 2012. The Social Conquest of Earth. New York/London: Liveright.
      • Kolbert, Elizabeth. 2014. The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History. New York: Henry Holt.
      • Hidalgo, Cesar. 2015. Why Information Grows: The Evolution of Order, from Atoms to Economies. New York: Basic Books.
      • Lane, Nick. 2015. The Vital Question: Energy, Evolution, and the Origins of Complex Life. New York: Norton.
      • Ridley, Matt. 2015. The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge. New York: Harper.
  2. The human mind… and its biases
    • Mind
      • Minsky, Marvin. 1986. The Society of Mind. New York: Simon & Schuster.
      • Dennett, Daniel C. 1991. Consciousness Explained. New York: Little, Brown.
      • Humphrey, Nicholas. 1992. A History of the Mind: Evolution and the Birth of Consciousness. New York: Simon & Schuster.
      • Dennett, Daniel C. 1996. Kinds of Minds: Toward an Understanding of Consciousness. New York: Basic Books.
      • Schacter, Daniel L. 1996. Searching for Memory: The Brian, the Mind, and the Past. New York: Basic Books.
      • Pinker, Steven. 1997. How the Mind Works. New York: Norton.
      • Stewart, Ian, and Jack Cohen. 1997. Figments of Reality: The Evolution of the Curious Mind. UK: Cambridge University Press.
      • Pinker, Steven. 2002. The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature. New York: Viking.
      • Harris, Sam. 2012. Free Will. New York: Free Press.
      • Gelertner, David. 2016. The Tides of Mind: Uncovering the Spectrum of Consciousness. New York: Liveright.
    • Mental Biases and Logical Fallacies
      • Gilovich, Thomas. 1991. How We Know What Isn’t So: The Fallibility of Human Reason in Everyday Life. New York: Free Press.
      • Sagan, Carl. 1995. The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark. New York: Random House.
      • Shermer, Michael. 1997. Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time. New York: Freeman.
      • Kaminer, Wendy. 1999. Sleeping with Extra-Terrestrials: The Rise of Irrationalism and Perils of Piety. New York: Pantheon.
      • Comins, Neil F. 2001. Heavenly Errors: Misconceptions About the Real Nature of the Universe. New York: Columbia University Press.
      • Gilbert, Daniel. 2006. Stumbling on Happiness. New York: Vintage, 2007.
      • Ariely, Dan. 2008. Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decision. New York: Harper.
      • DiSalvo, David. 2011. What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite. New York: Prometheus.
      • Kahneman, Daniel. 2011. Thinking, Fast and Slow. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
      • McRaney, David. 2011. You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You’re Deluding Yourself. New York: Penguin/Gotham Books.
      • Shermer, Michael. 2011. The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies–How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths. New York: Henry Holt/Times Books.
      • Haidt, Jonathan. 2012. The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion. New York: Penguin Press.
      • Hutson, Matthew. 2012. The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking: How Irrational Beliefs Keep Us Happy, Healthy, and Sane. New York: Penguin/Plume 2013.
      • Mooney, Chris. 2012. The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science — and Reality. New Jersey: John Wiley.
      • Greene, Joshua. 2013. Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them. New York: Penguin Press.
      • McRaney, David. 2013. You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself. New York: Penguin/Gotham Books.
      • Gilovich, Thomas, and Lee Ross. 2015. The Wisest One in the Room: How You Can Benefit from Social Psychology’s Most Powerful Insights. New York: Free Press.
      • Kaplan, Matt. 2015. Science of the Magical: From the Holy Grail to Love Potions to Superpowers. New York: Scribner.
    • Narrative
    • Tools for Clear Thinking
  3. All supernatural phenomena…
    • Religious claims
      • Russell, Bertrand. 1957. Why I Am Not a Christian and other essays on religion and related subjects. UK: George Allen & Unwin, reprinted New York: Touchstone.
      • Boyer, Pascal. 2001. Religion Explained: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Thought. Basic Books.
      • Harris, Sam. 2004. The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason. New York: Norton.
      • Dawkins, Richard. 2006. The God Delusion. Boston/New York: Houghton Mifflin.
      • Dennett, Daniel C. 2006. Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon. New York: Viking.
      • Harris, Sam. 2006. Letter to a Christian Nation. New York: Knopf.
      • Hitchens, Christopher. 2007. god is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. New York: Twelve.
      • Paulos, John Allen. 2008. Irreligion: A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don’t Add Up. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux/Hill and Wang.
      • Wade, Nicholas. 2009. The Faith Instinct: How Religion Evolved and Why It Endures. New York: Penguin.
      • Bering, Jesse. 2011. The Belief Instinct: The Psychology of Souls, Destiny, and the Meaning of Life. New York: Norton.
      • Lee, Adam. 2012. Daylight Atheism. San Bernardino CA: Big Think.
      • Grayling, A.C. 2013. The God Argument: The Case Against Religion and for Humanism. New York: Bloomsbury.
      • Schneider, Nathan. 2013. God In Proof: The Story of a Search from the Ancients to the Internet. Berkeley: University of California Press.
      • Johnson, Dominic. 2016. God Is Watching You: How the Fear of God Makes Us Human. New York: Oxford University Press.
      • Wathey, John C. 2016. The Illusion of God’s Presence: The Biological Origins of Spiritual Longing. New York: Promethus.
  4. Human Culture
  5. Science
  6. The arc of scientific and technological progress
    • Technology
      • Asimov, Isaac. 1972. Asimov’s Biographical Encyclopedia of Science & Technology. New York: Doubleday.
      • Brin, David. 1998. The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Privacy and Freedom?. Reading MA: Addison-Wesley.
      • Gleick, James. 1999. Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything. New York: Pantheon.
      • Broderick, Damien. 2001. The Spike: How Our Lives are Being Transformed by Rapidly Advancing Technologies. New York: Forge.
      • Gleick, James. 2011. The Information: A Theory, A History, A Flood. New York: Pantheon.
      • Clegg, Brian. 2015. Ten Billion Tomorrows: How Science Fiction Technology Became Reality and Shapes the Future. New York: St. Martin’s.
    • Science Fiction (1)
  7. The arc of social progress
    • The Gays
    • Morality
      • Dennett, Daniel C. 2003. Freedom Evolves. New York: Viking.
      • Harris, Sam. 2010. The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values. New York: Free Press.
      • Ryan, Christopher, and Cacilda Jetha. 2010. Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality. New York: Harper.
      • Pinker, Steven. 2011. The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. New York: Viking.
      • Bayer, Lex, and John Figdor. 2014. Atheist Mind, Humanist Heart: Rewriting the Ten Commandments for the Twenty-First Century. Maryland/London: Rowman & Littlefield.
      • Shermer, Michael. 2015. The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity Toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom. New York: Henry Holt.
    • Secularism
      • Rosenberg, Alex. 2011. The Atheist’s Guide to Reality: Enjoying Life without Illusions. New York: Norton.
      • de Botton, Alain. 2012. Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion. New York: Pantheon.
      • Grayling, A.C. 2013. The God Argument: The Case Against Religion and for Humanism. New York: Bloomsbury.
      • Arel, Dan. 2014. Parenting Without God: How to Raise Moral, Ethical and Intelligent Children, Free from Religious Dogma. UK: Dangerous Little Books.
      • Kitcher, Philip. 2014. Life After Faith: The Case for Secular Humanism. New Haven: Yale.
      • Zuckerman, Phil. 2014. Living the Secular Life: New Answers to Old Questions. New York: Penguin Press.
      • Barker, Dan. 2015. Life Driven Purpose: How an Atheist Finds Meaning. Durham NC: Pitchstone.
  8. Conservative Resistance
    • Niose, David. 2014. Fighting Back the Right: Reclaiming America from the Attack on Reason. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
    • Prothero, Stephen. 2016. Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars (Even When They Lose Elections. New York: HarperOne. [also applicable to moral progress]
    • Right Wing Watch: daily examples of conservative/right-wing/religious resistance to changing times, usually with predictions of God’s wrath, etc. See: Jack Smith Rule.
    • Antidote to apocalyptic religious claims, including conservative predictions of doom resulting from any progressive social change: The Jack Smith Rule: predict the opposite, and you will win.
  9. Species Reset; Catastrophic or Regressive Futures
    • Rees, Martin. 2003. Our Final Hour: A Scientist’s Warning: How Terror, Error, and Environmental Disaster Threaten Humankind’s Future in this Century — On Earth and Beyond. New York: Basic Books.
    • Dartnell, Lewis. 2014. The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World from Scratch. New York: The Penguin Press.
    • Weisman, Alan. 2007. The World Without Us. New York: St. Martin’s/Thomas Dunne.
    • Newitz, Annalee. 2013. Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction. New York: Doubleday.
    • Torres, Phil. 2016. The End: What Science and Religion Tell Us about the Apocalypse. Durham NC: Pitchstone.
  10. Humanity’s conscious place in the universe
    • Conscious Awareness and Search for Meaning
      • Sagan, Carl. 1973. The Cosmic Connection: An Extraterrestrial Perspective. New York: Doubleday/Anchor Press.
      • Johnson, George. 1995. Fire in the Mind: Science, Faith, and the Search for Order. New York: Knopf.
      • Humphrey, Nicholas. 1996. Leaps of Faith: Science, Miracles, and the Search for Supernatural Consolation. New York: Basic.
      • Raymo, Chet. 1998. Skeptics and True Believers: The Exhilarating Connection Between Science and Religion. New York: Walker.
      • Shermer, Michael. 2000. How We Believe: The Search for God in an Age of Science. New York: W.H. Freeman.
      • Horgan, John. 2003. Rational Mysticism: Dispatches from the Border Between Science and Spirituality. New York: Houghton Mifflin.
      • Sagan, Carl. 2006. The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God. New York: Penguin.
      • Kauffman, Stuart A. 2008. Reinventing the Sacred: A New View of Science, Reason, and Religion. New York: Basic.
      • Gleiser, Marcelo. 2014. The Island of Knowledge: The Limits of Science and the Search for Meaning. New York: Basic.
      • Harris, Sam. 2014. Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion. New York: Simon & Schuster.
      • Scharf, Caleb. 2014. The Copernicus Complex: Our Cosmic Significance in a Universe of Planets and Probabilities. New York: Scientific American/Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
      • White, Frank. 2014. The Overview Effect: Space Exploration and Human Evolution, Third Edition. Reston VA: AIAA.
      • Wilson, Edward O. 2014. The Meaning of Human Existence. New York: Norton/Liveright.
      • May, Todd. 2015. A Significant Life: Human Meaning in a Silent Universe. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
      • Wilson, Edward O. 2016. Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life. New York: Norton/Liveright.
    • Progressive Futures
      • Clarke, Arthur C. 1968. The Promise of Space. New York: Harper & Row.
      • Sagan, Carl. 1994. Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space. New York: Random House.
      • Benford, Gregory. 1999. Deep Time: How Humanity Communicates Across Millennia. New York: Avon/Bard.
      • Wright, Robert. 2000. Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny. New York: Pantheon.
      • Ridley, Matt. 2010. The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves. New York: Harper.
      • Impey, Chris. 2015. Beyond: Our Future in Space. New York: Norton.
    • Science Fiction (2)