Wednesday, June 11, 2008

My Library

Just doing some house cleaning, folks. I figure this will make the side bar less tedious to look at. All links are included, where applicable.

Currently in My Library - Design:
Darwin on Trial - Phillip E. Johnson
Darwin Strikes Back - Thomas Woodward
Darwin's Black Box - Michael J. Behe
The Design Matrix: A Consilience of Clues - Mike Gene
The Design Revolution - William A. Dembski
Doubts About Darwin - Thomas Woodward
Mystery of Life's Origin - Charles B. Thaxton, Walter L. Bradley, Roger L. Olson
Nature, Design, and Science: The Status of Design in Natural Science - Del Ratzsch
The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design - Jonathan Wells
The Privileged Planet - Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay Richards

Currently in My Library - Engineering:
Design Paradigms: Case Histories of Error and Judgment in Engineering - Henry Petroski
Structures: Or Why Things Don't Fall Down - J.E. Gordon
To Engineer Is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design - Henry Petroski

Currently in My Library - Evolution:
The Edge of Evolution - Michael J. Behe
Punctuated Equilibrium - Stephen Jay Gould

Currently in My Library - Christian:
The Abolition of Man - C.S. Lewis
The Case for a Creator - Lee Strobel
The Case for Christ - Lee Strobel
The Case for Faith - Lee Strobel
The Case for the Real Jesus - Lee Strobel
Know Why You Believe - Paul E. Little
Mere Christianity - C.S. Lewis
The Screwtape Letters - C.S. Lewis

Currently in My Library - Fiction:
Animal Farm - George Orwell
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien
Lord of the Rings Trilogy - J.R.R. Tolkien
The Silmarillion - J.R.R. Tolkien
State of Fear - Michael Crichton

Possible Future Additions to My Library:
1984 - George Orwell
The Chronicles of Narnia series - C.S. Lewis
The Descent of Man - Charles Darwin
Endless Forms Most Beautiful - Sean Carroll
Evolution: A Theory in Crisis - Michael Denton
The Funeral of A Great Myth (from Christian Reflections) - C.S. Lewis
Information Theory, Evolution, and the Origin of Life - Hubert Yockey
Invention by Design: How Engineers Get From Thought to Thing - Henry Petroski
On the Origins of the Species - Charles Darwin
Summer For the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion - Edward J. Larson
The Trouble With Physics: The Rise of String Theory, The Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next - Lee Smolin
What Darwin Got Wrong (scheduled for 2009 release) - Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini


  1. I like the layout.

    Might I recommend Anthem by Ayn Rand?

  2. ...
    Which begins...

    "It is a sin to write this. It is a sin to think words no others think and to put them down upon a paper no others are to see. It is base and evil. It is as if we were speaking alone to no ears but our own. And we know well that there is no transgression blacker than to do or think alone. We have broken the laws. The laws say that men may not write unless the Council of Vocations bid them so. May we be forgiven!"

  3. I see now why your view of evolutionary theory is constricted. And reading Darwin won't expand it enough -- Darwin is 150 year-old science. His basic concepts -- mainly common descent and natural selection -- survive, but now must be seen in the context of a much richer and elaborated set of theoretical structures. I suggest Dawkins' The Selfish Gene, David Sloan Wilson's Evolution for Everyone, Shubin's Your Inner Fish, and Sean Carroll's Endless Forms Most Beautiful as starting places to enter the literature via several major areas of emphasis -- the gene centric view, paleontology and comparative anatomy, and evo-devo among them. Gould's Punctuated Equilibrium is OK for his view of one domain of interest in evolution, but don't neglect the other areas of theory and evidence.

  4. WW, thanks for the recommendation. So many books, so little time...

    rbh, of all the books you listed, Sean Carroll's book interests me the most since IMO it is the most recommended for learning about evo-devo.

    I will grant that my "evolutionary theory" is limited, but only by what I've been exposed to by mainstream media and by what I will call the Dawkins Dinosaur Camp. For now, I will avoid reading Dawkins since, IMO, his worldview is one the way out.

    I am much more interested in the works by Carroll and Fodor/Piateli-Palmarini, as well as what comes out from the "Altenberg 16 Summit". The engines of evolution alluded to by Allen MacNeil sounds intriguing, as well. Thus, reading Darwin (and possibly Julian Huxley) should suffice for learning about the "old Darwinian" theory, IMO.

  5. Hi JJS,

    Might I recommend David Hart's The Doors of the Sea to your Christian section? It is the best thing on the problem of evil I have ever read (including C. S. Lewis) and is an absolute delight to read. It has some interesting theological insight on the design debate, as pertains to "natural evil", as well.

    By the way, I reviewed Mike Gene's book here.

  6. I've read work by a number of the people invited to the Altenberg meeting, and judging by that reading, anything that comes out of it will be extensions of, and elaborations on, current threads of theoretical and empirical work in variation and evolvability (e.g., Kirschner & Gerhart's The Plausibility of Life), modularity in evo-devo (e.g., Wagner's Modularity in Development and Evolution (edited volume)), phenotypic plasticity and the integration of complex systems (e.g., Pigliucci's Phenotypic Integration (edited volume)), and so on.

    There is some very interesting work there, though it's scattered around, and I look forward to the papers that come out of the meeting if they manage to integrate some of that scattered work. People like Denyse O'Leary, who apparently looks for a wholesale abandonment of current evolutionary theory to result from the meeting, will be sorely disappointed: every participant in that meeting about whom I know anything is an "evolutionist." In the work they've published they have been extending evolutionary theory, not replacing it.

  7. Fortunately, Anthem is a very short book (unlike some other books by Ayn Rand).

  8. WW, I'll download it and give it a quick read. I've heard some good things about Ayn Rand, so I'll give Anthem a chance.

    Wonders, thanks for the recommendation. I have indeed read your review of Design Matrix at your site. Following the conversations at Telic Thoughts has been rewarding and has also made me want to read Design Matrix so I don't fall too far behind in the conversation (but it looks like it'll have to wait until I finish Darwin's Black Box, which I started last night).

    rbh, like you, I would expect any new synthesis that comes out of the Altenberg 16 Summit will keep the NDES as a foundation. The big result I am expecting is the relegation of natural selection to the sidelines of evolution instead of being the "creative force" as Dawkins likes to espouse.

    At this point, I am concentrating on "hallmark" books on both sides. Granted, I am not nearly familiar with the books on the evolution side as the design side, but I am always willing to take suggestions.

  9. If you want to get up to speed quickly on the arguments for and against Dembski's muddled math, there is no better book than Sahotra Sarkar's Doubting Darwin. Sarkar is a biologist and a philospher, holding joint appointments in those departments at the University of Texas. In a cogent and lucid manner he skewers the pretensions of the Explanatory Filter, Irreducible Complexity, and all of the other pseudo-scientific pretensions of the neo-creationists.

    It's short, but readable, and eminently scientific.

  10. Just added The Trouble With Physics by Lee Smolin

  11. Just added Information Theory, Evolution, and the Origin of Life by Hubert Yockey