Long before the European Enlightenment, scholars and researchers working from Samarkand in modern-day Uzbekistan to Cordoba in Spain advanced our knowledge of astronomy, chemistry, engineering, mathematics, medicine and philosophy.From Musa al-Khwarizmi, who developed algebra in ninth-century Baghdad, to al-Jazari, a 13th-century Turkish engineer whose achievements include the crank, the camshaft and the reciprocating piston, Ehsan Masood tells the amazing story of one of history's most misunderstood yet rich and fertile periods in science, via the scholars, research, and science of the Islamic empires of the Middle Ages.
If you want to find more meaning in your life or are searching for a deeper understanding of why we believe what we believe, then this book can lead to an exciting transformation in the way you see and understand the world around you. With cutting-edge research and provocative case studies, renowned behavioral neurologist provides insights to some of the most curious spiritual questions of mortality.
"What happens when we die? Does the light just go out and that's that--the million-year nap? Or will some part of my personality, my me-ness persist? What will that feel like? What will I do all day? Is there a place to plug in my lap-top?" In an attempt to find out, Mary Roach brings her tireless curiosity to bear on an array of contemporary and historical soul-searchers: scientists, schemers, engineers, mediums, all trying to prove (or disprove) that life goes on after we die.
A new edition covering the latest scientific research on how the brain makes us believers or skeptics
Recent polls report that 96 percent of Americans believe in God, and 73 percent believe that angels regularly visit Earth. Why is this? Why, despite the rise of science, technology, and secular education, are people turning to religion in greater numbers than ever before? Why do people believe in God at all?
These provocative questions lie at the heart of How We Believe , an illuminating study of God, faith, and religion. Bestselling author Michael Shermer offers fresh and often startling insights into age-old questions, including how and why humans put their faith in a higher power, even in the face of scientific skepticism. Shermer has updated the book to explore the latest research and theories of psychiatrists, neuroscientists, epidemiologists, and philosophers, as well as the role of faith in our increasingly diverse modern world.
Whether believers or nonbelievers, we are all driven by the need to understand the universe and our place in it. How We Believe is a brilliant scientific tour of this ancient and mysterious desire.
Galileo, Copernicus, Newton, Niels Bohr, Einstein. Their insights shook our perception of who we are and where we stand in the world, and in their wake have left an uneasy coexistence: science vs. religion, faith vs. empirical inquiry. Which is the keeper of truth? Which is the true path to understanding reality?After forty years of study with some of the greatest scientific minds, as well as a lifetime of meditative, spiritual, and philosophic study, the Dalai Lama presents a brilliant analysis of why all avenues of inquiry--scientific as well as spiritual--must be pursued in order to arrive at a complete picture of the truth. Through an examination of Darwinism and karma, quantum mechanics and philosophical insight into the nature of reality, neurobiology and the study of consciousness, the Dalai Lama draws significant parallels between contemplative and scientific examinations of reality. This breathtakingly personal examination is a tribute to the Dalai Lama's teachers--both of science and spirituality. The legacy of this book is a vision of the world in which our different approaches to understanding ourselves, our universe, and one another can be brought together in the service of humanity.
In 1666, sixteen years after his death, the bones of Rene Descartes were dug up in the middle of the night and transported from Sweden to France under the watchful eye of the French Ambassador. This was only the beginning of the journey for Descartes' bones, which, over the next 350 years, were fought over, stolen, sold, revered as relics, studied by scientists, used in seances, and passed surreptitiously from hand to hand. But why would anyone care so much about the remains of one long-dead philosopher? The answer lies in Descartes' famous phrase cogito, ergo sum: I think, therefore I am. At the root of this statement are skepticism and the world-shattering notion that one could look to facts that could be proved for truth rather than relying on the Church's teachings and tradition. In the years that followed, this powerful idea and Descartes' physical remains became intertwined with many of the major forces that define the modern era, influencing everything from the religious wars of the seventeenth century and the rise of democracy to today's greatest conflicts, such as the struggle between Islamic fascism and the Western world.
Rupert Sheldrake, one of the world's preeminent biologists, has revolutionized scientific thinking with his vision of a living, developing universe--one with its own inherent memory. In The Rebirth of Nature, Sheldrake urges us to move beyond the centuries-old mechanistic view of nature, explaining why we can no longer regard the world as inanimate and purposeless. Sheldrake shows how recent developments in science itself have brought us to the threshold of a new synthesis in which traditional wisdom, intuitive experience, and scientific insight can be mutually enriching.
Throughout history, arguments for and against the existence of God have been largely confined to philosophy and theology, while science has sat on the sidelines. Despite the fact that science has revolutionized every aspect of human life and greatly clarified our understanding of the world, somehow the notion has arisen that it has nothing to say about the possibility of a supreme being, which much of humanity worships as the source of all reality. This physicist and author contends that, if God exists, some evidence for this existence should be detectable by scientific means, especially considering the central role that God is alleged to play in the operation of the universe and the lives of humans. Treating the traditional God concept, as conventionally presented in the Judeo-Christian and Islamic traditions, like any other scientific hypothesis, Stenger examines all of the claims made for God's existence. He considers the latest Intelligent Design arguments as evidence of God's influence in biology. He looks at human behavior for evidence of immaterial souls and the possible effects of prayer. He discusses the findings of physics and astronomy in weighing the suggestions that the universe is the work of a creator and that humans are God's special creation. After evaluating all the scientific evidence, Stenger concludes that beyond a reasonable doubt the universe and life appear exactly as we might expect if there were no God.