Book Book Review, Title What Is Life?, Author Erwin Schrödinger, Rating 4.5,
What Is Life?
I recently re-read portions Erwin Schr√∂dinger's amazing little book What is Life, which was a post-war stimulus for a number of physicists to switch from physics to biology and look hard for a physical understanding of living organisms.
Flora of the Pacific Northwest, by Hitchcock and Cronquist, is an excellent dichotomous key of indigenous Pacific Northwest flora. It served as one of my texts for a class in Systematic Botany at Oregon State University, which I feared would be deathly dull (and so proved the lectures), but the laboratory turned out to be a memorable exploratory journey.
Book Book Review, Title The Global Public Square, Author Os. Guinness, Rating 2.5,
The Global Public Square
Os Guiness' The Global Public Square oscillates between a Utopian call for a universal human rights and a sectarian application of those rights, as if the author was of two minds, wrestling with the views of Roger Williams and James Dobson.
We each are given a precious life and can choose to do with it what we will. We can act in our natural self-interest and seek safety, material wealth and pleasure, or we can act outside of our direct interests, enriching our lives through the consideration of others. Our lives¬†are most meaningful and worthwhile when we love others.¬†The elements of life to be¬†savored most are those that are founded on the humble idea that we are all human beings who are worthy of consideration.
Book Book Review, Title When I Was a Child I Read Books, Author Marilynne Robinson, Rating 4.0,
When I Was a Child I Read Books
Marilynne Robinson shines in her latest essays: When I Was a Child I Read Books. In them she lays out her vision of the American Dream, celebrating the strengths of the American way of life, marked by its liberality, sense of community, and generosity, her view informed by a non-sectarian Christian respect for the soul.
Book Book Review, Title What Paul Meant, Author Garry Wills, Rating 4.0,
What Paul Meant
In What Paul Meant, Garry Wills translates the authentic Pauline letters himself, and combines a careful translation of the koiné Greek with modern scholarship to suggest that Paul, who is the modern intellectual's favorite whipping boy as the man who distorted Jesus' message, is in fact a faithful interpreter of the Jesus of the Gospels.
Book Book Review, Title The Origins of Modern Science, Author Herbert Butterfield, Rating 4.0,
The Origins of Modern Science
Herbert Butterfield tells the story of the development of modern science from the late Middle Ages until the advent of the French Revolution, emphasizing the development of the modern understanding of motion. This is a brilliant choice, as it was the construction of a robust physical and mathematical model of motion that allowed Newton to unite terrestrial and astronomical physics into a universal set of physical laws describing mechanics, and critically informed the modern pursuit of science.