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The Way of Science: Finding Truth and Meaning in a Scientific Worldview [Kindle Edition]

Dennis R. Trumble
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

How science can convey a profound sense of wonder, connectedness, and optimism about the human condition.

This book makes a compelling case that now more than ever the public at large needs to appreciate the critical-thinking tools that science has to offer and be educated in basic science literacy. The author emphasizes that the methods and facts of science are accessible to everyone, and that, contrary to popular belief, understanding science does not require extraordinary intelligence. He also notes that scientific rationality and critical thinking are not only good for our physical well-being but also are fully in sync with our highest moral codes. He illustrates the many ways in which the scientific worldview offers a profound sense of wonder, connectedness, and optimism about the human condition, an inspiring perspective that satisfies age-old spiritual aspirations.

At a time of daunting environmental challenges and rampant misinformation, this book provides a welcome corrective and reason to hope for the future.


From the Trade Paperback edition.


Editorial Reviews

Review

“Trumble [is] a gentler version of Richard Dawkins... In lieu of what he perceives to be fanciful explanations of phenomena once inexplicable but now within the “purview” of scientific understanding, Trumble offers this well-articulated, fact-based worldview, all in clear, accessible language.”
-Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Dennis R. Trumble (Pittsburgh, PA) is a project scientist in the Circulatory Support Laboratory and an adjunct professor of biomedical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. He is the holder of many patents for biomedical devices and has published numerous research articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Product Details

  • File Size: 839 KB
  • Print Length: 355 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1616147555
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (July 16, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BH0VPEC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #623,774 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating and stimulating read September 20, 2013
Format:Paperback
Anyone who enjoys good science writing will love Dennis Trumble's The Way of Science. Thoughtful, provocative and erudite, this book is a lively combination of intelligence and moral passion. It is both perceptive and candid, funny and moving. The Way of Science is easily among the best books in the genre. In my book--and on my bookshelf--it has earned a place alongside Sam Harris's The End of Faith, Daniel Dennett's Breaking the Spell, and Carl Sagan's The Demon Haunted World.

Where the so-called "new atheists" directly challenge (and in some cases ridicule) religion, though, Trumble gently but powerfully demonstrates a point that, in the long run, may better serve the cause of enlightenment. Specifically, Trumble argues that "to have a true sense of right and wrong, one must first know what is true." The latter requires scientific literacy, and so, too, does the former.

By scientific literacy, Trumble does not mean mere familiarity with the contents of science textbooks. Too often taught as a collection of facts to be memorized, science is, above all, a fascinating process of testing and refining our beliefs. His insight--and it goes back to Socrates--is that the critical testing of ideas is as important to ethical living as it is to scientific discovery. This idea may have a 2400-year pedigree, but its timeliness and relevance have not diminished in the slightest. "The way of science" may prevail (in part) in the realm of facts, but it is far from having achieved its rightful dominion in the realm of meaning and values.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dennis Trumble - blatant Homo Sapiens August 3, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In The Way of Science: Finding Truth and Meaning in a Scientific Worldview, Dr. Trumble waltzes through the wonderful world of science, not with Terpsichore in his arms, but with Athena at his side. In simple, easy to understand language, Dr. Trumble plumbs the depths of the most feared subject in America - Science.

I fear, though, that Brother Dennis is preaching to the choir. Those who need this book most will be put off by a title that includes any reference to Science. Readers who understand where Dr. Trumble is navigating will have already plotted their course. Getting on to the Good Ship Science isn't a mystery. It's a voyage that attempts to solve mysteries, and all are welcome aboard. To paraphrase that English guy "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, then are dreamt of in your science", and Dr. Trumble does a wonderful job in explaining the process of understanding those delightful puzzles. It's a process that we can, and should, use in our daily lives.

I recommend this book to all, but in particular to the younger generation. Science doesn't have to be frightening, or difficult. This book explains how to adopt the Scientific Method in most situations that any person will encounter. We are, after all, homo sapiens, are we not? Perhaps a different title for Dr. Trumble's tome would help. Perhaps Psy-enz, Like Totes. I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin' . . .

This book shows that the "Two Buck Chuck" version of Science that we can enjoy every day is equally as important and enjoyable as the "'62 Chateau Margaux" variety. Go get yourself a dozen copies or so! Give them to your friends!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Account of The True Nature of Science October 19, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Author gives an excellent insight into the philosophical essence of modern science from the perspective of a successful working scientist. Well written and the best introdution for the layman I know.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars science as part of the mind's eye December 8, 2013
Format:Paperback
Science writer and engineer Dennis Trumble presents a joyful perspective of the advantages gained by adopting a scientific worldview. Written with fluid grace and lyrical prose the realm and culture of science is shown to be the key to explaining and comprehending perplexing phenomena. Fortunately the book is not a duel between creationism and science, there is room for both faith and reason as our various senses demand. Where the inexplicable formerly led to superstition and dogma, reasonable examination employing current knowledge leads to breakthroughs in understanding. Examining the beliefs of past and present philosophers as well as scientists from Darwin to Sagan as examples, he shows that faith and science can and do coexist. Nonetheless, living in our global environment it is essential that the public be aware of the importance and efficacy of scientific awareness and the rational approach to problems. Unfortunately, too many of the public find it fashionable to advertise a hostility to or fear of science, for this reason I would recommend this book as required reading with full discussion to general studies students. For the science enthusiasts, this will be a welcome library addition.
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More About the Author

Dennis R. Trumble is an engineer, educator, and science writer who has lived and worked in the city of Pittsburgh since 1988. Though now a confirmed city-dweller, he grew up in a small town in upstate New York where farm animals outnumbered village residents by a wide margin and snowmobiles were a common mode of transportation in the winter months. Following high school he attended the University of Notre Dame where he worked the sidelines of the 1981 Sugar Bowl and earned two degrees in Electrical Engineering (BS/MS) before heading to the Artificial Heart Lab at Penn State to complete a second master's degree, this one in Bioengineering. After working twenty-plus years as a research scientist, he completed his PhD at Carnegie Mellon University where he currently teaches Medical Devices and directs the Clinical Practicum program for the Biomedical Engineering Department.

The first part of Dr. Trumble's professional career was spent at Allegheny General Hospital where he met his wife Kathleen and worked with surgeons to develop better ways to capture muscle power for long-term circulatory support. It was here, amid a thriving surgical research program, that he gained a profound appreciation not only for the importance of this work in alleviating human suffering, but also for the animals that served as a test bed for the lifesaving procedures developed in the lab.

Having been raised in a farming community and schooled in the best Protestant tradition, Dennis was very familiar with the biblical doctrine that all animals were created specifically for human use and that "every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you" (Genesis 9:3). Still, as a researcher in the life sciences he couldn't help wondering whether, in modern times, science might offer a more reliable appraisal of our moral obligations toward our fellow creatures. It was this question that prompted him to begin writing The Way of Science, first as a personal meditation on the question of animal welfare and, ultimately, as a way to share what he came to understand in the process; namely, that scientific rationality and critical thinking are not only good for our physical well-being but also good for the soul--and essential to our achieving the kind of global stewardship worthy of our spiritual aspirations.

When Dennis is not working to advance artificial heart technologies or pondering the larger implications of the scientific worldview, he enjoys traveling, winemaking, vegetarian cooking, ballroom dancing, and playing hoops.

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