The Human Instinct

Author: Kenneth R. Miller
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1476790280
Size: 12.92 MB
Format: PDF
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A radical, optimistic exploration of how humans evolved to develop reason, consciousness, and free will. Lately, the most passionate advocates of the theory of evolution seem to present it as bad news. Scientists such as Richard Dawkins, Lawrence Krauss, and Sam Harris tell us that our most intimate actions, thoughts, and values are mere byproducts of thousands of generations of mindless adaptation. We are just one species among multitudes, and therefore no more significant than any other living creature. Now comes Brown University biologist Kenneth R. Miller to make the case that this view betrays a gross misunderstanding of evolution. Natural selection surely explains how our bodies and brains were shaped, but Miller argues that it’s not a social or cultural theory of everything. In The Human Instinct, he rejects the idea that our biological heritage means that human thought, action, and imagination are pre-determined, describing instead the trajectory that ultimately gave us reason, consciousness and free will. A proper understanding of evolution, he says, reveals humankind in its glorious uniqueness—one foot planted firmly among all of the creatures we’ve evolved alongside, and the other in the special place of self-awareness and understanding that we alone occupy in the universe. Equal parts natural science and philosophy, The Human Instinct is a moving and powerful celebration of what it means to be human.

Only A Theory

Author: Kenneth R. Miller
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9780143115663
Size: 59.67 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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A well-regarded scientist who offered expert testimony at the high-profile 2005 trial over the teaching of evolution in Dover, Pennsylvania, presents an argument against intelligent design that reveals how refuters of evolution are compromising the nation's ability to continue its history of competitive scientific achievements. Reprint.

Finding Darwin S God

Author: Kenneth R. Miller
Publisher: Harper Perennial
ISBN: 9780061233500
Size: 39.20 MB
Format: PDF
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From a leading authority on the evolution debates comes this critically acclaimed investigation into one of the most controversial topics of our times

The Consciousness Instinct

Author: Michael S. Gazzaniga
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 0374128766
Size: 78.47 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
View: 4688
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“The father of cognitive neuroscience” illuminates the past, present, and future of the mind-brain problem How do neurons turn into minds? How does physical “stuff”—atoms, molecules, chemicals, and cells—create the vivid and various worlds inside our heads? The problem of consciousness has gnawed at us for millennia. In the last century there have been massive breakthroughs that have rewritten the science of the brain, and yet the puzzles faced by the ancient Greeks are still present. In The Consciousness Instinct, the neuroscience pioneer Michael S. Gazzaniga puts the latest research in conversation with the history of human thinking about the mind, giving a big-picture view of what science has revealed about consciousness. The idea of the brain as a machine, first proposed centuries ago, has led to assumptions about the relationship between mind and brain that dog scientists and philosophers to this day. Gazzaniga asserts that this model has it backward—brains make machines, but they cannot be reduced to one. New research suggests the brain is actually a confederation of independent modules working together. Understanding how consciousness could emanate from such an organization will help define the future of brain science and artificial intelligence, and close the gap between brain and mind. Captivating and accessible, with insights drawn from a lifetime at the forefront of the field, The Consciousness Instinct sets the course for the neuroscience of tomorrow.

Monopolizing Knowledge

Author: Ian Hutchinson
ISBN: 0983702306
Size: 24.49 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Can real knowledge be found other than by science? In this unique approach to understanding today's culture wars, an MIT physicist answers emphatically yes. He shows how scientism --- the view that science is all the knowledge there is --- suffocates reason as well as religion. Tracing the history of scientism and its frequent confusion with science, Hutchinson explains what makes modern science so persuasive and powerful, but restricts its scope. Recognizing science's limitations, and properly identifying what we call nature, liberates both science and non-scientific knowledge.

Evolution Of Consciousness

Author: Robert Ornstein
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 0671792245
Size: 39.16 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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A summation of research on the structure and function of the brain presents new ideas on how the human mind evolved in adaptation to a world that no longer exists

Race And Human Evolution

Author: Milford H. Wolpoff
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 0684810131
Size: 45.95 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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Drawing on a close examination of the fossil record and DNA evidence, this authoritative work by leading researchers challenges the popular "Eve" theory of human origins and posits a bold, controversial new account of human evolution and racial differences. Wolpoff is a professor of human anthroplogy and Caspari is an assistant research scientist. Maps and illustrations.

Rationality Consciousness Free Will

Author: David Hodgson
Publisher: OUP USA
ISBN: 0199845301
Size: 11.48 MB
Format: PDF, Docs
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In this challenging book, David Hodgson takes a fresh approach to the question of free will, contending that close consideration of human rationality and human consciousness shows that together they give us free will, in a robust and indeterministic sense, and in a way that is consistent with what science tells us about the world.

The Death Of Adam

Author: Marilynne Robinson
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 9780618002061
Size: 13.34 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Ten essays explore a range of social, political, religious, and cultural issues of the present day, sharing the author's thoughts on Darwinism, McGuffey readers, and the religious right.

Turning Points

Author: Kostas Kampourakis
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN: 1633883302
Size: 29.65 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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An accessible introduction to core concepts in evolution for lay readers, which shows that random events have played a critical role in the development of life Critical historical events--or "turning points"--have shaped evolution and continue to have a decisive effect on individual lives. This theme is explored and explained in this lucid, accessible book for lay readers. The author argues that, although evolution is the result of unpredictable events, these events have profound influences on subsequent developments. Life is thus a continuous interplay between unforeseeable events and their decisive consequences. As one example, the author cites the fusing of two chromosomes, which differentiated the human species from our closest animal relatives about 4 to 5 million years ago. This event was not predictable, but it had a profound effect on the evolution of our species thereafter. By the same token, certain unpredictable circumstances in the past enabled only Homo sapiens to survive to the present day, though we now know that other human-like species also once existed. The author contrasts such scientific concepts grounded in solid evidence with prevalent misconceptions about life: specifically, the religious notion that there is a plan and purpose behind life, the widespread perception that intelligent design governs the workings of nature, the persistent belief in destiny and fate, and the attribution of an overly deterministic role to genes. This excellent introduction for laypersons to core ideas in biology goes a long way toward dispelling such misconceptions and presents current scientific research in clearly understandable, jargon-free terms.