Monday, March 25, 2013

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Review: The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth by E.O. Wilson

The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth by Edward O. Wilson. I've reviewed other books by Professor Wilson.

The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth

This book is a Reader's Digest version of Professor Wilson's ideas as expressed in books like Future of Life and Social Conquest. It's meant to spread biophilia among the religious to get humanity in action to save biodiversity. Bill Moyers's 2006 show Is God Green? addresses some of this as well.

I thought that the most interesting part of the book was Wilson's explanation of biology as a discipline and how love of this branch of science could be inculcated in students, pages 103-61.

Erasing Memory: The Cultural Destruction of Iraq

FreeSpeech TV is broadcasting today Shocking and Awful, a series of programs describing how shocking and how awful the USA attack on Iraq was. One segment I've watched is Erasing Memory: The Cultural Destruction of Iraq.

Review: The Social Conquest of Earth by Edward O. Wilson

The Social Conquest of Earth by Edward O. Wilson. I've previously reviewed his books The Future of Life and Anthill.
The Social Conquest of Earth
The bulk of this book describes the process by which Homo sapiens' ancestors became eusocial and how that led to multilevel selection. When a species becomes eusocial, group selection becomes an important element in the species' evolution.

For criticism of the concept of group evolution, read blog entry 1 and blog entry 2 from Jerry Coyne, the author of Why Evolution is True, a book I have in my possession and intend to read and review. I heard Dr. Coyne give a lecture in a suburb of Augusta, GA on February 4, 2013.

Being an expert in insects, the typical example of eusociality, E.O. Wilson shifts back and forth between describing the development of eusociality in ants and eusociality in anthropods.

The important thing for me, and for most readers of this blog, is Professor Wilson's final chapters where he presents conclusions on how this understanding of humanity should impact our religious and moral beliefs and ethical practices.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Review: Anthill by E.O. Wilson

Anthill by E.O. Wilson. I've previously reviewed his book The Future of Life.
Anthill
This fiction book presents themes Professor Wilson has emphasized in his nonfiction books. The most important theme is the necessity of creative synthesis of capitalism and environmental protection. The lead character, Raphael Cody, learns that a beloved southern Alabama old wood forest surrounding a lake will be threatened by Mobile's expansion. In fact, his blue-blood maternal uncle is among the business elite advocating this development. Raphael leaves the study of the biosphere to complete a law degree at Harvard. Upon graduation, he returns and works as the legal counsel for the developer who purchased the property and who has previously converted woodland and wetlands to suburban Mobile sprawl. As legal counsel, he is able to develop a proposal which to a large extent preserved the quality of the land while advancing his employer's bottom line.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Review: Minaret by Leila Aboulela

Minaret
Professor Heather Abdelnur reviewed Minaret by Leila Aboulela.
As the movement goes from late teen’s mini-skirt wearing, callous, and shallow rich girl, to an increasingly religious and conservative working class woman, Aboulela could have made the transformation too fast, too unbelievable, or too cliche.  Instead, the reader believes the changes, comes to understand the transformation of character, and, while wishing for a happy ending that might not come, we do not pity Najwa nor exhault her.  ... read more ...
Dr. Abdelnur has reviewed other books.

Review: Love in a Headscarf by Shelina Z. Janmohamed

Love In A Headscarf
Professor Heather Abdelnur reviewed Love in a Headscarf by Shelina Z. Janmohamed.
What a fun, refreshing, and good-natured presentation of the process and problems facing Western-raised Muslim women on the market for marriage! ... read more ...
Dr. Abdelnur has reviewed other books.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Review: The Butterfly Mosque by G. Willow Wilson

The Butterfly Mosque: A Young American Woman's Journey to Love and Islam
Professor Heather Abdelnur reviewed The Butterfly Mosque by G. Willow Wilson. I have not yet read it.
After reading it, I’m almost angry.  How could I not have heard of Willow Wilson before?  How had I missed this book? ... read more ...

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Ask Alison's Science Books for Everyone

Science educator and blogger Alison Monahan answers the question:
Would you put together a recommended reading list for a world citizen in 2013 to be in a good position to judge political and moral claims in the light of science today?