Reviews from 04/2015

The Dominant Animal

Book reviewed by Rob Mason on 18 April 2015

In the Dominant Animal Paul and Anne Ehrlich offer a vivid and unique exploration of our origins, our evolution, and our future.

Belief Systems – edited extract from ‘The Dominant Animal’

Clearly there isn’t a one-for-one correspondence between “what’s out there” and what we perceive because our perceptions are an interaction between the external world and the evolved characteristics of the human nervous system; we miss a great deal that is detectable by other organisms.  Our brains are also programmed to let us see what we…Read

The Language Instinct

Book reviewed by Rob Mason on 13 April 2015

In this classic, the world's expert on language and mind lucidly explains everything you always wanted to know about language: how it works, how children learn it, how it changes, how the brain computes it, and how it evolved.

The opening paragraph: As you are reading these words, you are taking part in one of the wonders of the natural world.  For you and I belong to a species with remarkable ability: we can shape events in each other's brains with exquisite precision.  I am not referring to telepathy or mind control or…Read

What is Life

Book reviewed by Rob Mason on 4 April 2015

What is Life? is a book by Ed Regis: an American philosopher, educator and author who specializes in books and articles about science, philosophy and intelligence.  

What is life?: the question remains unanswered and the more technological telescoping we do, the more difficult it is to find a unifying theory for life. Ed Regis emphasizes the work of Erwin Schrödinger who proposed in a 1944 paper that life’s spark is not a mystery but rather a knowable, even reproducible, phenomenon involving physics and chemistry.  The Austrian physicist helped spread the now-commonly…Read