What we've been reading in book club...
Oct 2009 - Society without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us About Contentment
by Phil Zuckerman
Nov 2009 - How we decide
by Jonah Lehrer
Dec 2009 - The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution
by Richard Dawkins
Jan 2010 - The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power
by Jeff Sharlett
Mar/Apr 2010 - 36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction
by Rebecca Goldstein
May 2010 - Living Like You Mean It
by Ronald J Frederick, Ph.D
June 2010 - The God Virus: How Religion Infects Our Lives and Culture
by Darrel W. Ray
July/Aug 2010 - God's Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question--Why We Suffer
by Bart D. Ehrman
Sep 2010 - Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918
Oct 2010 - Godless
by Dan Barker
Nov 2010 - The Moral Landscape
by Sam Harris
Dec 2010 - Why People Believe Weird Things
by Michael Shermer
Jan 2011 - Infidel
by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Feb/Mar 2011 - The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails
Edited by John W. Loftus
April 2011 - Bones, Rocks and Stars: The Science of When Things Happened
by Chris Turney
May 2011 - Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality
by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá
June 2011 - Against the Grain: How Agriculture Has Hijacked Civilization
by Richard Manning
July 2011 - Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions
by Dan Ariely
Aug 2011 - The Knowledge of Good and Evil
by Glenn Kleier
Sep 2011 - Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism
by Susan Jacoby
Oct 2011 - Forged: Writing in the Name of God--Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are
by Bart D Ehrman
Nov 2011 - The Magic of Reality -How We Know What's Really True
by Richard Dawkins
Dec 2011 - The Demon Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
by Carl Sagan
Jan 2012 - Half Empty
by David Rakoff
Feb 2012 - A Universe from Nothing - Why There is Something Rather than Nothing
by Lawrence M. Krauss
May 2012 - In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind
By Eric R. Kandel
June 2012 - 50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God
By: Guy P. Harrison
July / Aug 2012 - 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James
Sep 2012 - Synaptic Self: How Our Brains Become Who We Are by Joseph LeDoux
Oct 2012 - Mortality by Christopher Hitchens
Nov / Dec 2012 - Hitch-22 by Christopher Hitchens
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I'm really enjoying the Book Club selection for the month. It's a great narrative about cosmology by Lawrence Krauss called "A Universe From Nothing."
In chapter 2, Krauss conveys a wonderful story about Einstein's 1936 paper in the magazine Science entitled “Lens-Like Action of a Star by the Deviation of Light in the Gravitational Field.”
“In this brief note Einstein demonstrated the remarkable fact that space itself could act like a lens, bending light an magnifying it, just like the lenses in my own reading glasses.”
It turns out that Einstein was right and we can see this gravitational lensing effect. Gravitational lensing of distant quasars by intervening galaxies was first observed in 1987 (see image below).
Krauss explains how this effect gives us insight into the mysterious dark matter that appears to make up the majority of “stuff” in the universe. It’s a compelling tale. Krauss has this amazing ability to make cosmology and physics come alive even for the casual reader. This book is a must read!
Dream or nightmare, we have to live our experience as it is, and we have to live it awake. We live in a world which is penetrated through and through by science and which is both whole and real. We cannot turn it into a game simply by taking sides.
In the interests of full disclosure right at the outset I must admit that I am not sympathetic to the conviction that creation requires a creator, which is at the basis of all of the world’s religions. Every day beautiful and miraculous objects suddenly appear, from snowflakes on a cold winter morning to vibrant rainbows after a late-afternoon summer shower. Yet no one but the most ardent fundamentalists would suggest that each and every such object is lovingly and painstakingly and, most important, purposefully created by a divine intelligence. In fact, many laypeople as well as scientists revel in our ability to explain how snowflakes and rainbows can spontaneously appear, based on simple, elegant laws of physics.
Here's a video referenced in Dawkins' book "The Greatest Show on Earth". In the Channel 4 program "Inside Nature's Giants: The Giraffe" a young giraffe is dissected to determine the cause of death and to explore much of its unique physiology. This is a remarkable program which highlights evolution and natural selection. 5 parts, approximately 50 minutes.
This might be a fun one to read for book club. Only, I don't want to give the author any money.
To some, the concept of having faith in a higher power or a set of religious beliefs is nonsensical. Indeed, many view religion in general, and Christianity in particular, as unfounded and unreasonable.
Norman Geisler and Frank Turek argue, however, that Christianity is not only more reasonable than all other belief systems, but is indeed more rational than unbelief itself. With conviction and clear thinking, Geisler and Turek guide readers through some of the traditional, tested arguments for the existence of a creator God. They move into an examination of the source of morality and the reliability of the New Testament accounts concerning Jesus. The final section of the book deals with a detailed investigation of the claims of Christ. This volume will be an interesting read for those skeptical about Christianity, as well as a helpful resource for Christians seeking to articulate a more sophisticated defense of their faith.
Freethought Dayton hosts a monthly Book Club. Here's how it works... Members suggest books and then we create a poll and vote via the meetup site on which book to read next.The book club event is normally hosted in a local library. Members share their ideas and opinions about the book in open discussion forum.
Want to see what we are reading? Then join us on our Meetup.com site.