Mar 21, 2011 | By

Biology and Evolution

The list below is a small handful of sources dealing with an incredibly complex and evolving subject. The science of biology has exploded in recent years, as has the controversy associated with applying some aspects of the science to human issues.

Articles

Carl Zimmer, “100 Trillion Connections”. January 2011 Scientific American p59. An article looking at the complexity of the human brain.

Reuben Bell, “Intelligent Design” Isn’t Very Intelligent Without the New Philosophy. January-June 2011 issue of The New Philosophy journal p.967. A critical article on the debate between scientific materialists and intelligent design scientists from a Swedenborgian perspective.

John Templeton Foundation: “Altruism and Evolution: A New Theory”, from The Templeton Foundation Newsletter, September 23, 2010.   A review of the paper published August 2010 in Science by E.O. Wilson, Martin Nowak, and Corina Tarnita, which claims that eusociality can be explained within the bounds of ordinary natural selection theory.

Melinda Moyer: “Moral Animal”, a column in the August 2010 issue of Scientific American p.51. A discussion of the roots of morality in the context of evolution.

Stephen Hall: “Revolution Postponed”, in the October 2010 issue of Scientific American p.60. A survey of the slow progress in developing personalized medicine from the uncoding of the Human Genome and a critique of the “common variant” hypothesis.

Books

Bruce Lipton,  The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter and Miracles. Hay House 2005. Abstract – Dr. Bruce Lipton is a former medical school professor and research scientist. His experiments, and that of other leading edge scientists, have examined in great detail the processes by which cells receive information. The implications of this research radically change our understanding of life. It shows that genes and DNA do not control our biology; that instead DNA is controlled by signals from outside the cell, including the energetic messages emanating from our positive and negative thoughts. Dr. Lipton’s profoundly hopeful synthesis of the latest and best research in cell biology and quantum physics is being hailed as a major breakthrough showing that our bodies can be changed as we retrain our thinking.

Mehmet Oz,  Healing from the Heart: A Leading Surgeon Combines Eastern and Western Traditions to Create the Medicine of the Future, with Ron Arias, Dean Ornish, 1999. Abstract: A thoughtful book exploring Dr. Oz’ life and his career transition from western medicine to the frontiers of what is known as integrative medicine, which looks at the benefits to patients and health from alternative therapies including meditation and prayer.

Francis Collins, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief. 2006.
In this deeply personal book, Francis Collins tackles the “science vs. religion” debate. Since at least Immanuel Kant, we have known that this is a false dichotomy. However, modernity has in effect turned a deaf ear to Kant. In this book, Collins follows in the footsteps of the Kantian tradition, attempting the great synthesis of the empirical and the spiritual, the pure reason and the practical reason. Like Kant before him, Collins is sure to raise the ire of both sides of the aisle. And that is usually a good sign one is doing something right.

David Sloan Wilson, Darwin’s Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and The Nature of Society. 2002. One of the great intellectual battles of modern times is between evolution and religion. Until now, they have been considered completely irreconcilable theories of origin and existence. David Sloan Wilson’s Darwin’s Cathedral takes the radical step of joining the two, in the process proposing an evolutionary theory of religion that shakes both evolutionary biology and social theory at their foundations.

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