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Book Recommendation
Posted: 12 June 2014 04:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Good point. I generally tend toward getting fiction from the library. Although I’ve had pretty good luck finding books I’ve heard about through the various skeptic-related podcasts.

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Derek

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Posted: 12 June 2014 04:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 12 June 2014 04:02 PM

My problem with the local libraries, and I can visit them in three States, is their limited amount of science related books and almost no books on religion save Bible commentaries. They can do inter library loans but sometimes it’s a fairly long waiting period. I’m also a verrrry slow reader and hate time limits on reading materiel. We do have some excellent college libraries though and I can check out books for a full semester if I want.


Cap’t Jack

What state do you live in? Somehow I’m thinking it’s Texas. If so, that may be your problem. The Santa Monica, California library has an adequate supply of science books and the right kind of books on religion. A university library might help if you can join. (NOT Bob Jones, though.)

Lois

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Posted: 12 June 2014 04:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Lois is right about the Santa Monica library, and it’s been great as far back as I can remember.  It was my main source of science and math books from my ninth to thirteenth year.  Then we moved, and I switched to the Los Angeles library system which was also great until I was seventeen.  From then on it was an even greater source of scientific and philsosophical information at the UCLA main, chemical, and medical libraries. 

Occam

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Posted: 18 June 2014 06:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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What state do you live in? Somehow I’m thinking it’s Texas. If so, that may be your problem. The Santa Monica, California library has an adequate supply of science books and the right kind of books on religion. A university library might help if you can join. (NOT Bob Jones, though.)


Sorry about the late reply Lois but while searching for CC’s book recommendation I saw your query. I live in Southern Ohio, the land that Columbus forgets about BTW. Our county is the second least populated in the State and borders both Kentucky and West Virginia. So, the funds for a public library system are somewhat limited. We do have a branch campus of Ohio University just down the road and I was the assistant librarian and an adjunct there a few moons ago so I still have access to it. And hell no to Bob Jones and Liberty Baptist!


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 19 June 2014 06:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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I think you might find these useful cap n jack.  They dont have books, but you can read articles

http://www.ntgateway.
http://www.westarinstitute.org

You can also use google books. I found that useful since high school, as its more efficient than reading 20 books to find the answer to one detailed question!!!

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Posted: 19 June 2014 08:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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You can also use google books. I found that useful since high school, as its more efficient than reading 20 books to find the answer to one detailed question!!!


Interesting sites I.J. I’m very familiar with the Jesus Seminar and have read several books from it’s contributing members, especially Crossan. I’m saving Westar to my favorites for future reference. You mentioned Ehrman. Have you visited his site?

 

Cap’t Jack

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One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.

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Posted: 19 June 2014 08:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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He has a website http://bartdehrman.com/
and a blog http://ehrmanblog.org/

The former is where you can see his debates, lectures, and interviews, but not a lot of articles

His blog is good for posts on specific questions, and members can also ask questions (not sure how often he answers)
downside is that you have to be a paid member to do that :(.    Though the money goes to a good cause, still not good for college students like me

I also forgot, I recently joined the mailing list for here
http://dustinmartyr.wordpress.com/

This may not reading material, but Dr. Neil Postman called it one of the few intellectual TV shows.
http://www.thirteen.org/openmind/

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Say: He is God, the Unique.
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He does not give birth, nor was He born.
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Posted: 20 June 2014 04:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Once again, some interesting sites, especially for a religious scholar. I’ve read two of Ehrman’s books and find his detailed research sound despite the pounding he takes from the mythicists like Price and Carrier who also have compelling arguments BTW. But after reading their monographs I’m still not convinced that the historical Jesus was merely a composite of other non Semitic deities. My interest in this subject is purely for historical reasons though, how religion in general and specifically xtianity impacted the history of the West. Enjoyed the Dustin Martyr site, an interesting blog, especially for Bible scholars.


Cap’t Jack

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One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.

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Posted: 05 July 2014 01:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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This website also has some pretty good downloads   http://www.rissc.jo/

BTW,  I can understand the hesitancy to go a religious university, but I’ve been to an evangelical university (North Park) and a catholic school (Depaul).
They still had some pretty good books.

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Say: He is God, the Unique.
God, the Self-Sufficient.
He does not give birth, nor was He born.
And there is none equal to Him.

Quran (112: 1-4)

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Posted: 06 July 2014 05:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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I.J. Abdul Hakeem - 05 July 2014 01:48 PM

This website also has some pretty good downloads   http://www.rissc.jo/

BTW,  I can understand the hesitancy to go a religious university, but I’ve been to an evangelical university (North Park) and a catholic school (Depaul).
They still had some pretty good books.


Most Catholic Universities provide an excellent education, Notre Dame, Fordham, Catholic University, Georgetown, Boston College, to name a few. I don’t know of any that refuse to teach certain subjects or that are deficient in the way that fundamentalist “universities” are, though there coud be a few I don’t kmow about.

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[color=red“Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.”
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Posted: 10 March 2017 07:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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macgyver - 09 June 2013 11:12 AM

I just finished listening to a very interesting audiobook. Not sure if I liked t so much because it hit on two key interests of mine ( space flight and figuring out how to fix things and solve problems) but I thought I would post it here. Its called “The Martian” by Andy Weir. Without giving too much away its a story about an astronaut who gets left behind on the third Mars mission and how he uses his head plus the available tools and materials to stay alive.

Its not so much a science fiction novel as it is a science “what if” since most of the technology discussed is stuff we already have. Its like a cross between Survivorman, Apollo 13, and Macgyver ( OK there’s a little nepotism there) on steroids.

What’s really fun about this book is that they don’t just show you the solution they show you how he works through it right down to the calculations and the science behind his ingenious solutions but with a sense of humor that makes you forget the drudgery of the brief number crunching. If you’re not into the math you can tune out for the 30 seconds it takes to go over it and not miss anything but for those who find it interesting its there.

I found it very educational ( should I ever land on Mars) and entertaining at the same time. Its demonstrates that no matter how much you plan you can’t anticipate every possible problem but if you recognize that fact you can prepare for failures in a way that allows you the chance to survive them. Cool stuff.

A bump, because it looks like potatoes would do quite well on Mars!

In February 2016, the International Potato Center (CIP)—which is a real place—began its second phase of a project to grow potatoes using the driest soils from the Peruvian desert. The team surmised that if the project was successful, the findings could help astronauts master the art of growing potatoes on Mars. After all, the soil used was imported back to the CIP’s lab in Lima, Peru precisely for its Mars-like aridity and high salt content. The project was aptly named “Potatoes on Mars.”

Now, the CIP has released video footage showing that the team has indeed grown potatoes using this Mars-like soil. By planting a tuber in a CubeSat designed by engineers from University of Engineering and Technology (UTEC) in Lima, the team was able to create a hermetically sealed environment for the potatoes to grow in—and they did.

“Growing crops under Mars-like conditions is an important phase of this experiment,” Julio Valdivia-Silva, a research associate with the SETI Institute involved with the project, said in a statement. “If the crops can tolerate the extreme conditions that we are exposing them to in our CubeSat, they have a good chance to grow on Mars. We will do several rounds of experiments to find out which potato varieties do best.”

And I’m glad I listened to the book before it was “improved.”  While the original version wasn’t perfect, it at least had the part where Watney says,  “I wonder what the Apollo guys would do? Hmmm. Probably knock back three whiskey sours, bang their mistresses, fly a rocket to the Moon, and give me a wedgie just on general principles. Fuck those guys.”

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Posted: 11 March 2017 07:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Coldheart Tucker - 10 March 2017 07:02 PM

While the original version wasn’t perfect, it at least had the part where Watney says,  “I wonder what the Apollo guys would do? Hmmm. Probably knock back three whiskey sours, bang their mistresses, fly a rocket to the Moon, and give me a wedgie just on general principles. Fuck those guys.”

LOL
Ahh, those wonderful 60s, we’ll never see a decade like that again.

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Posted: 11 March 2017 08:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Being the drip I am I don’t do that much fiction.  The audio book I’ve been having the most fun with recently is Steven Weinberg’s “To Explain the World” (the discovery of modern science).  My first listen through over a year ago or two - I found it slightly irritating, but with repeated listens it’s seems to keep getting more interesting.

I’ve just now read the New York Times’ caustic book review by Kean.  Interesting how subtle spin is added:

The book begins with the ancient Greeks — from Thales to Aristotle — sometimes described as early scientists, but Weinberg classifies them as poets instead. They chose their words “for aesthetic effect,” he writes, not clear communication, and they made no serious attempt to justify their theories with evidence.

Failing to mention he makes a damned good case for classifying them as poets rather than “scientists” -
plus it didn’t seem to me like he faulted them for it - crawling before walking and all that.

If anything whatever fault there is lies with the unskeptical followers of later centuries and millennia, when one would expect awareness to have increased.

After this detour, the action returns to Europe, and Weinberg resumes sorting out the saved from the damned.

Makes it sound like a very judgmental book, though Weinberg doesn’t sound unreasonable or judgmental to me
plus I think Weinberg did a better job of framing the time periods of the people he’s discussing, then Kean gives him credit for.

Scientists haven’t made much progress here, and Weinberg suggests that perhaps there isn’t any deep reason. ... The universe is the way it is just because.

That notion seems to upset Kean, I pity him.

It’ll be interesting returning to the book with Kean’s challenges running around in my mind.

The most surprising sentence in Kean’s review had nothing to do with the book:

“Most scientists today believe there’s no deep reason the planets orbit at the distances they do. It’s random, an accident “

Hmmm, I vaguely know that exo-planets seem to have a surprisingly huge variety of sizes and guess their orbital distances are rather scattered and unlike our solar systems.  But being most familiar with our solar system - it seems a stretch to claim that planet placement is random.

Any thoughts?

TO EXPLAIN THE WORLD
The Discovery of Modern Science
By Steven Weinberg
Illustrated. 416 pp. Harper/HarperCollins Publishers. $28.99.
also at Audiobooks.com wink

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