Just a question to science-y people. I grew up in a pretty fundamentalist religious environment where talking about the origins of man/evolution etc was pretty much taboo as it was Genesis or bust.
Just wondering if anyone can direct me to some 101 books on this kind of stuff. Hugely interested in this topic, but pretty much completely clueless about it all.
Last edited by Red Hill; 12-08-2012 at 09:38 PM.
Stephen Jay Gould (odd theories aside) and Dawkins are probably the writers who come to mind. Opinionated bastards but they do know their stuff when it comes to evolution.
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Evolution specifically or science in general do you mean?
It also depends on how far down the rabbit hole you want to go. To truly contextualise the info contained in a lot of general science books, it really pays to do some background self-learning. Not just for the rote-learning but to understand the scientific mindset which led to a theory or branch of the science. You need to understand what science really means by the term 'theory', the experimental decisions and calculations which go into theory development, their limitations, etc.
For example, if you want to have a go at certain bits of climate science, you'd best first be comfortable with the concept of uncertainty and error in measurements then across techniques for quantifying said error and uncertainty (e.g. 1st year stats which, alone, causes psychological distress for many people). Only after that will you be comfortable with techniques for modelling climate behaviour, the strengths and limitations of models and the variables which feed into it, etc.
Gould made a lot of enemies in science, for sure. Not all his fault, though, disagreement in fields like evolutionary biol, etc is obviously common but the newness of the research meant a lot of non-science types thought old theories he bagged were just outright wrong when he was, as part of the process of inquiry, just naturally refining them, asking questions and criticising.
Gotta have a thick skin to be in science. Bloodsport, man.
Hah yea, seen that before. Depressingly accurate.
Or, go directly from the laptop to the NYT. Only works well if your discovery is really outlandish.
haha, love that reaction, did it when I was at Uni for a Science Week demo. So cool.
What's not cool is the mercury which gets evolved from the decomposition of Mercury Sulfide. Breathing apparatus and a fume cupboard, people!
Just got around to watching the first 2 episodes of "Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking". So damn good. And the voice over was really well done by Benedict Cumberbatch.
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