Tag Archives: Science

ron

Ron’s #5: Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer

Even though this book was on my soon-to-read list, Mark beat me to it and reviewed it already. I’m glad that he did, as he has been propagating the memory palace idea in our discussions lately, and it spurred me on to read it sooner than I would have. Drew also reviewed it. I’m last on this.

The book is more of an overview of memory history rather than specific techniques to help readers improve our own memorizing. Although through the narrative of having Foer report on memory and eventually winning the U.S. Memory Championship, he discusses many little tricks along the way. These were helpful in my own thinking about memory. I also found some of the case studies of memory prodigies and memory-deficit people particularly fascinating.

Foer is overly critical and insulting about Tony Buzan, the granddaddy of memory techniques, an aspect about the book that I found to be mean and ungracious, as Buzan seemed kind enough to grant him an interview. I also am hesitant about how ingrained Foer is within his own story here. Unlike another similar journalist-becomes-subject account Born to Run, Foer borders on self-serving.

While it starts to feel too long toward the end, I really did enjoyed reading this. It helped me to think more about memory and how I can memorize more Scripture and poetry. Maybe even a deck of cards or two.

Ally

Ally’s #1: Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler

If you’re going to be the only woman on a blog full of men, you may as well pack a powerful, initial estrogen punch so that the 51 posts to follow seem more pleasant in comparison. Ron, you were very gracious to set up an account for me. I hope you aren’t already regretting it!

Now, onto “Taking Charge.” It’s not surprising that Toni Weschler’s book is a national bestseller, as she writes intelligently and light-heartedly about issues that women are sometimes hesitant to discuss. The information packed into this 400+ page book is indispensable for women from puberty to menopause, though the majority of the material is geared toward married women.  Toni lays bare in accessible language much of what is glossed over or completely overlooked in health education courses offered at public schools.  I highly recommend this book to any women who is seeking to understand her body better as to aid family planning or who is looking for a natural method of birth control.  The Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) Toni presents teaches women how to track their bodies natural processes and to chart them daily.  Included in the hefty appendix are easy-to-copy charts that are specifically tailored based on your goals for using FAM.

ron

Ron’s #44: Evidence for God by William Dembski and Michael Licona, editors

Here’s a book that most Christians should read in order to understand their faith better. Evidence for God’s subtitle is “50 Arguments for Faith from the Bible, History, Philosophy, and Science.” It’s a collection of fifty short, 2-3-page essays exploring many aspects of and challenges to the Christian faith.

In the introduction, we are told a story about Bart Ehrman challenge to his class, “My goal this semester will be to change everything you Christians think you know about the Bible and about Jesus.” We also hear the results of a survey stating “any evangelical Christian is an unthinking bigot and therefore a fundamentalist.” The goal of this book is to prepare the Christian to be a thinking Christian. These essays will prepare believers to understand some of the issues at hand in order to discuss them more intelligently.

The four sections are:

1. The Question of Philosophy (deals with the cosmological and moral arguments for God, naturalism, suffering, etc.)

2. The Question of Science (evaluating Darwinism, role of science, Intelligent Design)

3. The Question of Jesus (Did he exist? How can we know what he did? Did the resurrection occur?)

4. The Question of the Bible (Can we trust that this is reliable? What is inerrancy?)

The strength of this book is the ability to read a few essays in one sitting. In only two or three pages, the content will not be exhaustive. Rather, it can whet the appetite, introduce the reader to new authors, and allow for continued thought and discussion. Some of the essays are better than others, although the ones that appealed to me may not appeal to you. The sections on Jesus and the Bible were my favorites. I enjoyed the science section, but at times, it was simply too technical for me.

Evidence for God is a book to work through as you continue to love God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength.

ron

Ron’s #24: The Devil’s Delusion by David Berlinski

I was interested in this refutation of the “New Atheists” called The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions because the author was not a Christian. David Berlinski is a secular Jew, and he takes on Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens with power and wit.

Much of the material in here is challenging the essence of the worldview of Darwinism. As other voices continue to say, Darwinism’s biggest critic is science itself, not faith as is often caricatured.

While I enjoyed reading this book, much of the scientific discussions were too technical for this guy. If you have a strong background in the sciences, you may glean more from this than I did. I certainly appreciate was Berlinski brings to the discussion.

mark

Mark’s #16: Who Made God: A Search For A Theory of Everything by Edgar Andrews (303 pages)

Professor Edgar H. Andrews (BSc, PhD, DSc, FInstP, FIMMM, CEng, CPhys) is smarter than you… and me… and everyone who will read this blog combined.  Nonetheless, his book, Who Made God: A Search for a Theory of Everything is written in an accessible and engaging manner.   Though Andrews deals with some very weighty scientific, philosophical, and theological issues, he works hard to clarify and explain his points, while using humor and witty analogies.

This book is an apologetics book, which does a masterful job of countering the claims of the new atheists such as Richard Dawkins, as well as putting forth a robust argument for the reality of the God of the Bible.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book – every chapter of it.   With most books, you can pretty much get the gist of the author’s main point within the first few chapter, while the remainder of the book sometimes feels like the author is just beating a dead horse.  This was not the case with Who Made God.

Let me briefly summarize the most intriguing aspect of Andrews apologetic that made this book one of the best books on apologetics that I’ve read.   As a scientist first and foremost, Andrews is very familiar with the scientific community, various scientific theories (Big bang cosmology, string theory, evolution, quantum physics, and the new atheism).   As a scientist he sees the value (and potential pitfalls) of forming hypothesis and testing those hypothesis with data.

Edgar points out that many classical apologetic arguments such as the cosmological argument and teleological arguments may do something to prove the existence of a transcendent being, but they do nothing to show who or what that being is really like.   Andrews proposes in his book a different solution.   He starts with a hypothesis that there is a God, and He is the God of the Bible…

From there on out he tests his hypothesis in a variety of scientific and philosophic fields showing that, unlike the arguments of the new atheists, his God hypothesis does a much better job of matching the data…

For more insight on the book and the author, check out these links:

1.  whomadegod.org

and an interview Professor Andrews did last year with Tim Challies:

2. http://www.challies.com/interviews/who-made-god-an-interview-with-edgar-andrews

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