Category Archives: Evolution

Daniel C. Dennett, BREAKING THE SPELL, post 2

Finishing up key points and detailed notes on the second half of this book. Will have some general comments, and notes on the appendices, tomorrow.

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Daniel C. Dennett, BREAKING THE SPELL, post 1

Here’s a book published in 2006. The author, Daniel C. Dennett, is a professor of philosophy at Tufts University. He became grouped among the four so-called “new atheists” of the 2000s, along with Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens, … Continue reading

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Richard Dawkins: THE BLIND WATCHMAKER (1986)

This now 35-year-old book was Dawkins’ third, following the famous The Selfish Gene (summary here) and the less-famous sequel The Extended Phenotype (which I still have not read). If the first two were relatively straightforward explanations of evolution and natural … Continue reading

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L&Cs: The Limits of Human Intelligence; Disinformation and the Media

Is there a limitation to human intelligence and understanding of reality, bound by our tendency to believe magical things for the sake of tribal unity? And how do people understand reality when governments seeking to maintain power are in control … Continue reading

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David Deutsch, THE FABRIC OF REALITY

Subtitled: The Science of Parallel Universes—and Its Implications. Published Aug. 1997 by Allen Lane, Penguin Press. 390pp, of which 24pp are bibliography and index. Here is a book that took me a year and a half to read, but was … Continue reading

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E.O. Wilson: THE SOCIAL CONQUEST OF EARTH (2012)

E.O. Wilson’s THE SOCIAL CONQUEST OF EARTH, from 2012, is in my estimation one of the four most significant books by this scientist and writer. (The others are ON HUMAN NATURE, 1978; CONSILIENCE, 1998; and THE MEANING OF HUMAN EXISTENCE, … Continue reading

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E.O. Wilson, GENESIS: THE DEEP ORIGIN OF SOCIETIES (2019)

This was Wilson’s second to the last original book, and it’s quite short, perhaps simply a long essay; 125 pages divided into 7 chapters with illustrations and blank pages in between; many references, and an index. Key Points The gist … Continue reading

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E.O. Wilson: THE ORIGINS OF CREATIVITY (2017)

What is creativity? It is the innate quest for originality. The driving force is humanity’s instinctive love of novelty—the discovery of new entities and processes, the solving of old challenges and disclosure of new ones, the aesthetic surprise of unanticipated … Continue reading

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Michael Shermer: WHY DARWIN MATTERS: The Case Against Intelligent Design (2006)

This is a middle-period Shermer book, from the range that begins with WHY PEOPLE BELIEVE WEIRD THINGS in 1997 (and omitting some earlier and middle-period books on extraneous topics), and the 6th of 12 Shermer books I have on my … Continue reading

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Extinction Debt

Henry Gee is a long-time editor of Nature, one of the two (along with Science) general interest scientific journals. Gee came to notice of the science fiction community in the 2000s (iirc) when he commissioned short science fiction stories from … Continue reading

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