The Bonobo and the Atheist: In Search of Humanism Among the Primates
For many years, esteemed primatologist Frans de Waal has observed chimpanzees soothe distressed neighbors and bonobos share their food. Now he delivers fascinating fresh evidence for the seeds of ethical behavior in primate societies that further cements the case for the biological origins of human fairness. Interweaving vivid tales from the animal kingdom with thoughtful philosophical analysis, de Waal seeks a bottom-up explanation of morality that emphasizes our connection with animals. In doing so, he explores for the first time the implications of his work for our understanding of modern religion and shows that moral behavior does not begin and end with religion but is in fact a product of evolution.
To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism
Our society is at a crossroads. Smart technology is transforming our world, making many aspects of our lives more convenient, efficient and - in some cases – fun. Better and cheaper sensors can now be embedded in almost everything, and technologies can log the products we buy and the way we use them. But, argues Evgeny Morozov, technology is having a more profound effect on us: it is changing the way we understand human society. The temptation of the digital age is to fix everything by digitally quantifying, tracking, or gamifiying behavior. But when we change the motivations for our moral, ethical and civic behavior, do we also change the very nature of that behavior? Technology, Morozov proposes, can be a force for improvement - but only if we abandon the idea that it is necessarily revolutionary and instead genuinely interrogate why and how we are using it.
From Dust to Life: The Origin and Evolution of Our Solar System
The birth and evolution of our solar system is a tantalizing mystery that may one day provide answers to the question of human origins. This book tells the remarkable story of how the celestial objects that make up the solar system arose from common beginnings billions of years ago, and how scientists and philosophers have sought to unravel this mystery down through the centuries, piecing together the clues that enabled them to deduce the solar system's layout, its age, and the most likely way it formed. Authors Chambers and Mitton take readers to the very frontiers of modern research, engaging with the latest controversies and debates. It reveals how ongoing discoveries of far-distant extrasolar planets and planetary systems are transforming our understanding of our own solar system's astonishing history and its possible fate.
The Age of Radiance: The Epic Rise and Dramatic Fall of the Atomic Era
When Marie Curie, Enrico Fermi, and Edward Teller forged the science of radioactivity, they created a revolution that arced from the end of the nineteenth century, through the course of World War II and the Cold War of superpower brinksmanship, to our own twenty-first-century confrontation with the dangers of nuclear power and proliferation—a history of paradox, miracle, and nightmare. While nuclear science improves our everyday lives—from medicine to microwave technology—radiation’s invisible powers can trigger cancer and cellular mayhem. Writing with a biographer’s passion, Craig Nelson unlocks one of the great mysteries of the universe in a work that is tragic, triumphant, and above all, fascinating.
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