Get out your credit card and get some...

Science Books

April 27, 2006

Frozen Earth: The Once and Future Story of Ice Ages
Douglas Macdougall (2006)
ISBN: 0520248244

It may come as a shock to those people stressing over our current climate woes, but according to earth scientist Professor Doug Macdougall, the warming that we are currently experiencing is nothing more than an anomalous blip on the climate radar. Macdougall examines the Earth's present global warming trends within the context of a much broader geological time scale, claiming: "today's climate is just a geologically short warm spell in a continuing ice age". Working on the foundations laid by scientists such as 19th century naturalist Louis Agassiz, amateur scientist James Croll and J. Harlan Bretz, Macdougall explains how the Earth is gripped within a 3 million year old ice age, and that the Earth has actually been cooling for the past 35 million years. But Macdougall isn't entirely of the opinion that humans shouldn't worry about the whole global warming thing, as he speculates that current warming may in fact bring the ancient ice age to an untimely end. Frozen Earth is not only a thorough examination of ice ages and their causes, it also shows the complex scientific processes and methods used to reach important conclusions about Earth's fickle nature. A fascinating and captivating read that, in light of current climate debates, will leave you wondering whether you ought to reach for your earmuffs and snowshoes, or your Bermuda shorts and that garish Hawaiian shirt.

Richard Dawkins: How a Scientist Changed the Way We Think
Alan Grafen, Mark Ridley (2006)
ISBN: 0199291160

It has been 30 years since Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene was published, but the book's central argument continues to instill insight and wonder among the science community and general public alike. Consequently, a collection of highly respected scientists and thinkers have been brought together in Richard Dawkins: How a Scientist Changed the Way We Think to pay tribute to one of science's greatest advocates. Among the 26 contributors you will find philosopher Daniel Dennett, linguist Steven Pinker, Matt Ridley and James Watson, who all deliver stimulating and thought provoking pieces that highlight the impact that Dawkins' selfish gene meme has had on the science community. Many of the contributors tell how reading The Selfish Gene had a profound affect on their careers and changed forever the way that they thought about evolution. Dawkins' magnificent work has had 30 years to seep into the consciousness of scientists everywhere, which is noticeable in the way that each essayist explains Dawkins' theory within the context of their own field. Also included among the contributors are a number of healthy detractors who present some interesting challenges to Dawkins ideas. Dawkins' is also known for his trenchant criticism of religion. It would not be much of a tribute if this aspect of Dawkins' life was not noted, and this book doesn't disappoint. There are 20 essays that address Dawkins' very public rationalist approach to the debunking of religion written by Simon Blackburn, Michael Ruse, Michael Shermer and the Bishop of Oxford. Readers should be aware that while there is much to enjoy about this book on its own, it should be considered a companion book to Dawkins' other works. And a very good one at that!

[Back to the Main Books Page]

Top of page     Home page     Forums     About

The terms and conditions governing your use of this website.

© 1997 - 2016 McMurdo Media Pty Ltd and its licensors. All rights reserved.