why beliefs matter reflections on the nature of science

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Why Beliefs Matter

Author : E. Brian Davies
ISBN : 9780199586202
Genre : Mathematics
File Size : 61. 38 MB
Format : PDF
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`It is a brilliant work, beautifully written, and brimming with surprising information and stimulating philosophical speculations.' Notices of teh American Mathematical Society --

Why Beliefs Matter

Author : E. Brian Davies
ISBN : 0198704992
Genre : Science
File Size : 46. 28 MB
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This book discusses deep problems about our place in the world using a minimum of technical jargon. It argues that 'absolutist' ideas of the objectivity of science, dating back to Plato, continue to mislead generations of both theoretical physicists and theologians. It explains that the multi-layered nature of our present descriptions of the world is unavoidable, not because of anything about the world, but because of our own human natures.

Why Beliefs Matter

Author : E. Brian Davies
ISBN : 0191591564
Genre : Mathematics
File Size : 72. 5 MB
Format : PDF, Mobi
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This book discusses deep problems about our place in the world with a minimum of technical jargon. It argues that 'absolutist' ideas dating back to Plato continue to mislead generations of theoretical physicists and theologians. It explains that the multi-layered nature of our present descriptions of the world is unavoidable, not because of anything about the world but because of our own human natures. It tries to rescue mathematics from the singular and exceptional status that it has been assigned, as much by those who understand it as by those who do not. It provides direct quotations from many of the important contributors to its subject, and concludes with a penetrating criticism of many of the recent contributions to the often acrimonious debates about science and religions.

The Sacred Depths Of Nature

Author : Ursula Goodenough
ISBN : 9780195136296
Genre : Nature
File Size : 41. 29 MB
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For many of us, the scientific breakthroughs of our times--the Big Bang, evolution, quantum physics, and relativity--denote an existence that is bleak, devoid of meaning, or pointless. But here, eminent biologist Goodenough shows how the scientific worldview need not be a source of despair. Indeed, it can be a wellspring of solace and hope. This eloquent volume reconciles our contemporary scientific understanding of reality with our timeless spiritual yearnings for reverence and continuity. Addressing ideas like evolution, emotions, sexuality, and death, The Sacred Depths of Nature brings rich, uncluttered detail to the workings of nature in general and of living creatures in particular. Goodenough's clear thinking and writing will allow even non-scientists to appreciate that the origins of life and the universe are no less meaningful in light of our scientific understanding of them. At the end of each chapter, her spiritual reflections respond to nature's complexity with a vibrant emotional intensity and sense of reverent wonder.

The Outer Limits Of Reason

Author : Noson S. Yanofsky
ISBN : 9780262316781
Genre : Science
File Size : 21. 1 MB
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Many books explain what is known about the universe. This book investigates what cannot be known. Rather than exploring the amazing facts that science, mathematics, and reason have revealed to us, this work studies what science, mathematics, and reason tell us cannot be revealed. In The Outer Limits of Reason, Noson Yanofsky considers what cannot be predicted, described, or known, and what will never be understood. He discusses the limitations of computers, physics, logic, and our own thought processes.Yanofsky describes simple tasks that would take computers trillions of centuries to complete and other problems that computers can never solve; perfectly formed English sentences that make no sense; different levels of infinity; the bizarre world of the quantum; the relevance of relativity theory; the causes of chaos theory; math problems that cannot be solved by normal means; and statements that are true but cannot be proven. He explains the limitations of our intuitions about the world -- our ideas about space, time, and motion, and the complex relationship between the knower and the known.Moving from the concrete to the abstract, from problems of everyday language to straightforward philosophical questions to the formalities of physics and mathematics, Yanofsky demonstrates a myriad of unsolvable problems and paradoxes. Exploring the various limitations of our knowledge, he shows that many of these limitations have a similar pattern and that by investigating these patterns, we can better understand the structure and limitations of reason itself. Yanofsky even attempts to look beyond the borders of reason to see what, if anything, is out there.

Why Is The Penis Shaped Like That

Author : Jesse Bering
ISBN : 9781429955102
Genre : Science
File Size : 51. 90 MB
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Why do testicles hang the way they do? Is there an adaptive function to the female orgasm? What does it feel like to want to kill yourself? Does "free will" really exist? And why is the penis shaped like that anyway? In Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That?, the research psychologist and award-winning columnist Jesse Bering features more than thirty of his most popular essays from Scientific American and Slate, as well as two new pieces, that take readers on a bold and captivating journey through some of the most taboo issues related to evolution and human behavior. Exploring the history of cannibalism, the neurology of people who are sexually attracted to animals, the evolution of human body fluids, the science of homosexuality, and serious questions about life and death, Bering astutely covers a generous expanse of our kaleidoscope of quirks and origins. With his characteristic irreverence and trademark cheekiness, Bering leaves no topic unturned or curiosity unexamined, and he does it all with an audaciously original voice. Whether you're interested in the psychological history behind the many facets of sexual desire or the evolutionary patterns that have dictated our current mystique and phallic physique, Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That? is bound to create lively discussion and debate for years to come.

The Structure Of Scientific Revolutions

Author : Thomas S. Kuhn
ISBN : 9780226458144
Genre : Science
File Size : 24. 54 MB
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A good book may have the power to change the way we see the world, but a great book actually becomes part of our daily consciousness, pervading our thinking to the point that we take it for granted, and we forget how provocative and challenging its ideas once were—and still are. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is that kind of book. When it was first published in 1962, it was a landmark event in the history and philosophy of science. Fifty years later, it still has many lessons to teach. With The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Kuhn challenged long-standing linear notions of scientific progress, arguing that transformative ideas don’t arise from the day-to-day, gradual process of experimentation and data accumulation but that the revolutions in science, those breakthrough moments that disrupt accepted thinking and offer unanticipated ideas, occur outside of “normal science,” as he called it. Though Kuhn was writing when physics ruled the sciences, his ideas on how scientific revolutions bring order to the anomalies that amass over time in research experiments are still instructive in our biotech age. This new edition of Kuhn’s essential work in the history of science includes an insightful introduction by Ian Hacking, which clarifies terms popularized by Kuhn, including paradigm and incommensurability, and applies Kuhn’s ideas to the science of today. Usefully keyed to the separate sections of the book, Hacking’s introduction provides important background information as well as a contemporary context. Newly designed, with an expanded index, this edition will be eagerly welcomed by the next generation of readers seeking to understand the history of our perspectives on science.

The Pea And The Sun

Author : Leonard M. Wapner
ISBN : 1568813279
Genre : Mathematics
File Size : 62. 10 MB
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Take an apple and cut it into five pieces. Would you believe that these five pieces can be reassembled in such a fashion so as to create two apples equal in shape and size to the original? Would you believe that you could make something as large as the sun by breaking a pea into a finite number of pieces and putting it back together again? Neither did Leonard Wapner, author of The Pea and the Sun, when he was first introduced to the Banach-Tarski paradox, which asserts exactly such a notion. Written in an engaging style, The Pea and the Sun catalogues the people, events, and mathematics that contributed to the discovery of Banach and Tarski's magical paradox. Wapner makes one of the most interesting problems of advanced mathematics accessible to the non-mathematician.

Last Child In The Woods

Author : Richard Louv
ISBN : 156512586X
Genre : Family & Relationships
File Size : 77. 16 MB
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“The children and nature movement is fueled by this fundamental idea: the child in nature is an endangered species, and the health of children and the health of the Earth are inseparable.” —Richard Louv, from the new edition In his landmark work Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv brought together cutting-edge studies that pointed to direct exposure to nature as essential for a child’s healthy physical and emotional development. Now this new edition updates the growing body of evidence linking the lack of nature in children’s lives and the rise in obesity, attention disorders, and depression. Louv’s message has galvanized an international back-to-nature campaign to “Leave No Child Inside.” His book will change the way you think about our future and the future of our children. “[The] national movement to ‘leave no child inside’ . . . has been the focus of Capitol Hill hearings, state legislative action, grass-roots projects, a U.S. Forest Service initiative to get more children into the woods and a national effort to promote a ‘green hour’ in each day. . . . The increased activism has been partly inspired by a best-selling book, Last Child in the Woods, and its author, Richard Louv.” —The Washington Post “Last Child in the Woods, which describes a generation so plugged into electronic diversions that it has lost its connection to the natural world, is helping drive a movement quickly flourishing across the nation.” —The Nation’s Health “This book is an absolute must-read for parents.” —The Boston Globe Now includes A Field Guide with 100 Practical Actions We Can Take Discussion Points for Book Groups, Classrooms, and Communities Additional Notes by the Author New and Updated Research from the U.S. and Abroad

God And The New Physics

Author : Paul Davies
ISBN : 9780671528065
Genre : Science
File Size : 71. 26 MB
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Argues that the discoveries of twentieth-century physics--relativity and the quantum theory--demand a radical reformulation of the fundamentals of reality and a way of thinking, that is closer to mysticism than materialism

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