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182 of 192 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If this book doesn't jump start your interest in science, you just might be a redneck...., April 15, 2008
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This review is from: The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing (Hardcover)
Dawkins' frequently claims that there is a much richer contemplative nature to a scientific view of the universe than in a view dominated by a "notion of a 'supreme being'." This anthology delivers the punch to this claim and does so with an amazing spectrum of ideas. If science were the basis of theology, this anthology contains the kind of writing one might read. This is not a collection about science theory, it is a collection of scientific ideas and dreams. It is prose for any lover of science, by some of the most eloquent and ardent scientists of our times (sans any topical contributions by Dawkins himself, by his own omission, though he nicely introduces each of the authors in the anthology and explains some of the reasons why they were chosen). Spanning many disciplines within the scientific community, not merely Dawkins' own field of biology, this anthology explores the many implications that make suffering through learning scientific fundamentals so very worthwhile. While I thoroughly loved reading this book as a middle-aged science buff, I would think this volume would be an equally great read for the scientifically minded college-bound-high-school student who has yet to decide which scientific discipline they may wish to specialize within. It is a collection that specializes in those blow-your-hair-back kind of answers we often got in science class, when frustrated with learning the basics, and dared to ask the professor, "why do I need to learn this stuff anyway?" It is precisely the kind of anthology one would imagine coming from a professorship that focuses on the *public understanding* of science. It is a fully accessible volume that demonstrates just how elegant and numinous the thoughts of strictly material and humanistic minded people are without abandoning the scientific discipline itself.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 16, 2009 7:39:13 AM PST
Your Mother says:
I'm not sure what the meaning of the headline of this review is. Are we to take it that in our culture where so many people have a fear or dislike for science because they have to think logically that rednecks are the worst offenders? i haven't read this book but if it teaches us about good science writing it will certainly point out, in some way, that playing to stereotypes isn't good science writing. In fact stereotypes are anathema to science. Perhaps New Age where appeals to non-scientific thinking are part of the dogma would be a more appropriate group to think of as being anti-science. I am looking for something to help my students learn to write. Unfortunately this review, in trying to be stylishly hip, with vague phrases such as "blow-your-hair-back kind of answers" (which I tell them to avoid at all costs because they are so easy to be misinterpreted) doesn't really help me decide if this book could be useful to someone looking for examples of good science writing. But I will say that with pompously worded sentences such as, "It is a fully accessible volume that demonstrates just how elegant and numinous the thoughts of strictly material and humanistic minded people are without abandoning the scientific discipline itself" is such a good negative example of what shouldn't be in science writing that I can use this review in class. Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 13, 2009 11:36:13 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 9, 2009 7:28:35 PM PDT
After being offended by my seemingly insensitive remark that implied rednecks can't recognize good science writing, you promptly mistake my BOOK REVIEW as an example of science writing. I hate to tell you, but my writing is not an example of good or bad science writing - it's not science writing at all....and with all your venom spilling out because you misunderstood my homage to the humor of the Redneck comedian, Jeff Foxworthy. The irony here is just so apparent, I think your words just might develop rust. I can already infer that you are likely a person with little to no sense of humor, but I have to thank you anyway. I don't think I have had the opportunity to laugh in someone's face quite this hard in a long while.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 26, 2010 12:14:55 AM PST
Jose says:
Oh it's a homage to Redneck comedian Jeff Foxworthy! AHAHAHAHA! Gosh I totally missed that. I really should keep in touch with every aspect of pop culture so I can get references like this, otherwise I run the risk of looking absolutely stupid when I misunderstand written communication on the Internet.

Well, good review. Looking forward to getting this book.

Posted on Dec 23, 2012 6:01:39 PM PST
I am a retired science techno geek with 5 degrees and 2 masters from MIT.

Religious fundamentalists of all flavors treat their holy books as the literal, inerrant word of
god. For American pseudo Christians, this translates into a 6000 year old Earth and an Adam and Eve that saddle up
T-Rex to go to the 7-11. And it also means a God that created the Universe in 6 days.

They can believe anything they like, but if you know anything about a person named Jesus. you know He was a God of Love and Compassion.

Our Dixie fundamentalists hate science, public education, labor unions, Gays, non-whites, immigrants, legal abortion, Planned Parenthood, birth control, feminists,
government and President Obama. Doesn't sound much like Jesus to me.
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