Top 10 Popular Science Books

1. Annals of a Former World, by John McPhee

In patient, lyrical prose, McPhee takes the reader on a geologic journey through the United States. This volume was originally published as 4 books; each is centered on a road trip the author took with a geologist, observing the earth next to Eisenhower’s great US highways for clues into its geologic past. Annals has this–no borders, idealistic, On the Road for geologists kind of feel (though a bit more grown-up.) I pick up Annals every once in a while when im in a relaxed mood, when im looking for a good example of literary science writing. Highly recommended as a companion for camping trips, if you can fit it into your pack.

2. Surely You’re Joking, Mr, Feynman, by Richard Feynman

A string of excerpts from Feynman’s life/career, Surely You’re Joking is probably the popular science book I have read through the most times, not because it is short, but because it is at once compelling, understated, and full of indispensable scientific concepts. Richard Feynman has an uncanny ability to make physics easily digestible, his lectures are a testament to that and Surely You’re Joking is no exception. Feynman’s easy prose makes the reader feel like physics is understandable, as if he has laid out a diagram of the universe on his living room floor–no one is an outsider. It’s delightful. Feynman’s in my ‘top 5 people I would give my right pinky finger to meet’ category.

3. A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson

The second heavy volume on the list, A Short History is packed with nearly everything. It takes a look at the science behind a lot of things–beauty, cells, evolution, the universe. Bryson rejects the traditional notion of a ‘textbook’ with this book, making science seem relevant in our daily lives AND putting this knowledge in the context of the universe–in space and time. Capturing the detailed nooks where science is often concentrated AND eliciting the wonder of the wider perspective is an accomplishment–savor it wherever you can find it. Great in audio book format.

4. The Richness of Life, collection of essays by Stephen Jay Gould

The idiosyncratic Gould has written articles in Natural History and many other science magazines for decades and is one of the most widely read modern science writers. In this collection of articles, Gould’s highly intellectual, witty, and pin-accurate prose explains evolutionary theory, racism or baseball with a scientist’s eye, but in a way that engages the layman. Gould’s dedication to science shows in every piece. Delightful.

5. The Canon, by Natalie Angier

Someone at the New York Times science desk once told me–“Natalie Angier is the queen of metaphor.” I have to agree. The Canon is the best example of her witty prose winding the reader through simple scientific questions with difficult answers. In this book, Angier tackles what she has deemed the basic scientific concepts everyone should know: thinking scientifically, probabilities, calibration, physics, evolutionary biology, chemistry, molecular biology, astronomy and geology. Phew. I have to say–this could have been very text-book, but because of her writing style, is masterful. I actually have had many non-scientist friend recommend this to me, which is always a good sign.

6. Universe in a Teacup, by K.C. Cole

Where can you find a book that successfully intertwines the discipline of mathematics, with the concepts of truth and beauty? Universe is just such a book; K.C.’s most popular and in some ways seminal volume. Metaphors she uses pack a punch. Her prose style is somewhat poetic, and in Universe, she proves adept at explain things like chaos or phase transitions are illuminating–not just because you finally understand some science concept that always seem so obscure, but because Cole has also given the you a new way to think about mathematics and the world alongside your new understanding. (Full disclosure–Cole was my academic mentor)

7. The Code Book, by Simon Singh

Packed with information about the history of codes, how to break them, and who figured it all out, this book has a kind-of James Bond appeal. Various scientists and politicians have acted as code-makers and code-breakers from antiquity until modern day, and codes are increasingly important in computer technology and national security. The stories behind the codes are so fascinating i hardly even realized that i was learning about the mathematics of code theory in the process.

8. Enduring Love, by Ian McEwan

Ok, so not everyone would categorize this as a popular science book, but Ill include it anyway. Enduring Love is a fiction book, partially written from the perspective of a former scientist, but more importantly, it is a suspenseful story that lets the author’s attitudes towards life bleed through each and every page. Ian McEwan is a well-know rationalist who believes that science is just as much a part of culture as anything else–a position with which I very much empathize. This is a literary tale, sure, but McEwan manages to mention scientific ideas all over the place, integrating science and its ways of thinking into the lives of his complex characters and slowly revealing situations. It’s a page-turner.

9. The Double Helix, by James Watson

Though scientist James Watson doesn’t have a Stephen Jay Gould command of language and metaphor, The Double Helix still stands as an absolutely riveting account of the series of events that lead up to the discovery of DNA’s structure. In the book, scientists Watson, Crick, Maurice Wilkens, and Rosalind Franklin become fascinating characters in a race to figure out what DNA looks like at a molecular level. Each has their own motivations. Each has their own complications. All but Franklin eventually received a Nobel Prize for this work (she died before the award could include her.) A quick, easy read.

10. In the Shadow of Man, by Jane Goodall

A classic book–easy read, no jargon. Goodall’s observations of chimpanzee’s in the wild first brought to light one of man’s most recent ancestors–the chimpanzee. This book chronicles some of Goodall’s groundbreaking research through her own observations about chimp behavior. Once immersed in the book, I couldn’t help but think–we are all just apes, evolved from or related to one another. Puts things in perspective.

Homo Entropicus and the Human Condition

The collapsing of the 20th Century scientific science of life worldview is now obvious. That world-view, governed by Einstein’s ‘Premier law of all science’, the ‘Universal heat death Law’, now embraces life-science concepts based upon fractal logic. Life-science now extends to a fractal infinity, rather than obeying the concept that all life in the universe must be condemned to a universal heat death extinction. Nanotechnology has revealed the functioning of fractal logic within the DNA responding to evolutionary information that has written the obituary of the horrific sentence of continual chaos that has been imposed upon global society for centuries.

For example. quantum biology scientists, Casati, Guaneri and Maspero from the International Centre for the Study of Dynamical Systems, in Italy, have been researching fluctuations of survival probability in an open quantum system. Now that the newly emerging quantum biological life-science chemistry has been rigorously associated with the Platonic world-view philosophy, as published by the NASA High Energy Astrophysics Division Library, an ancient crude human survival map reveals itself. As ‘the human condition’ holds the survival blueprint for humanity, this article asks, can the ancient map play a role to help upgrade the fractal model for environmental survival into a new practical medical science?

Medical scientists Tambasco, Eliasziw and Magliocco, have applied fractal analysis to breast cancer, categorising patients according to a scale of low, intermediate and high fractal dimension. Their findings argued that such medical methodology was more relevant for survival than the methodology used by standard prognosticators. From this observation it can be reasoned that fractal logic is the key to human well being. A life-energy discovery, selected for reprinting in 1990 by the world’s largest technological research institute, Washington’s IEEE SPIE Milestone Series, fully endorses that proposal.

During the 1980s two mathematical life-science papers, from the Science-Art Research Centre of Australia, now considered to have been based upon fractal logic geometrical logic, demonstrated that seashell evolution was governed by new physics forces governing optimum biological growth and development through space-time. A peer review investigation over of the Centre’s claim that the 20th Century world-view had been based upon false physics assumptions, was undertaken in 1997 by the United Nations University Millennium Project, Australasian Node. In 2010, Dr Paul Wildman, the Chair to that investigation, stated in writing that the President of the Institute for Basic research in the USA had observed from the published discovery, that the 20th Century scientific world-view was unable to generate healthy biological growth and development simulations through space-time, which gives credence to the above mentioned medical life-science findings.

Fractal geometry, which evolved out of chaos theory, can be described as self similarity at infinite scales. It is a dynamical system that balances order with complexity. Without order, increasing complexity becomes chaotic and malfunctions. Disease can be considered to be an entropic human malfunction. By upgrading the original Platonic life-science guidance map,well-being, on the other hand, is our natural human condition.

The healthy human appears to reflect a fractal wholeness down to sub-atomic particle movement dimensions. Sir Isaac Newton’s unpublished heresy papers, discovered last century, expressed such a fractal world-view, in which a “more profound natural philosophy existed to balance the mechanical (entropic) description of the universe”, based upon the principles of particle movement. That world-view completely challenges the logic upholding the now obsoltete 20th Century world-view. The former, derived from the Platonic life-science world-view, is important. It is consistent with the new Platonic-Fullerene fractal life science Chemistry now emerging throughout the world, in particular as the forte of the University of Florence’s prize winning New Measurement of Humanity Renaissance Project chemistry.

The idea of a Life Force that extends to infinity, has been common to many cultures for millennia, as the source of energy that promotes health and well being. The Chinese call it Chi; in India it is referred to as Prana. Today it is called quantum bio-energy, the auric force field, vortex energy and in many other terms. In the world of physics it is known as scalar or subtle energy and has also been referred to as time-reversed waves, non-hertzian waves, longitudinal waves, scalar waves, or zero-point energy.

In answering our question, what role does fractal logic play in the human condition survival data, the answer can be considered to be that, fractal logic is crucial in order to effect healthy human survival futuristic progression. The sooner humanity embraces the importance of fractal logic in our lives, the more chance Homo Entropicus has of making it to the next evolutionary level.

Biology – Why Are Penguins Birds If They Can’t Fly?

Everyone knows what a bird is, right? If I ask my seven-year-old son what a bird is, he’ll respond with something like “a bird is an animal that has a spine, wings, two feet, hollow bones, and can fly.” Or, if her remembers the little military chant his dad made for him, he might say, “hollow bones and scaly feet, feathered wings and goes tweet tweet.”

Well, penguins can’t fly. They have wings, feathers, two feet, and a spine, and they swim well but they cannot fly. Ostriches can’t fly either, but both penguins and ostriches are considered birds. How is that possible? What’s the deal?

It’s all in the definition

There’s a difference between the common usage of the word “bird” and the scientific use of the word. The common definition is based on features of the animal you can see with your eyes and discern with your other senses like feathers, wings, number of legs, and being warm-blooded. My seven-year-old son knows the common definition of the word “bird.”

Scientists use a slightly different definition.

Evolutionary birds

The scientific taxonomy of birds is a bit different than common usage. The scientific groups are made based on fossil evidence and other biological evidence such as DNA and mitochondrial DNA when the DNA can be obtained. Birds are in the Domain Eukaryotes, the Phylum Chordata meaning vertebrates, and the Class Avians. Avians have descended from theropod dinosaurs. More specifically, birds have descended from Archaeopteryx, which existed in the late Jurassic period.

Many scientists think of birds as the only type of dinosaur that didn’t go extinct 65 million years ago. In fact, my daughter who is obsessed with dinosaurs, calls birds “tiny dinosaurs.”

Scientifically, birds today are descended from dinosaurs, have feathers, a beak with no teeth, and they lay eggs with hard shells. Birds have a high metabolic rate, meaning they need to eat a lot to maintain their body temperature. (Some refer to them as warm blooded.) They have a four-chambered heart (like mammals), and they have lightweight, strong skeletons. Most birds can fly, but flying isn’t a requirement to be a bird.

And that’s the crux of it. The scientific definition of “bird” does not require the ability to fly.

Platonic Fullerene Science and World Peace

The national or tribal political will that puts modern science and technology to work, seeks to control economic employment for the masses and maintain a defence structure to ensure the continuation of political power. This can be done in the name of democracy, plutocracy, dictatorship, religion, monarchies, etc. All vie to develop emotional mind control spin-aesthetics to convince their subjects that they are better off than their competitor nations or tribes. It follows that the idea of a one world government must constitute a threat to such various mind control systems. However, it is possible to override this concern by using riorous science to develop a sustainable medical code of ethics, designed specifically to guide civilisation into a state of perpetual world peace rather than perpetual conflict. The only thing preventing this to occur is science itself.

As the full potential of nanotechnology emerges, nations with nuclear weapons at their disposal will begin to realise that they will soon be no longer protected by them. It is obvious that futuristic nano-machines will be able to mass produce undetectable nano-weapons of mass destruction and there are plenty of willing zealots who would be greatly honoured to use them against civilian populations. Some might declare this to be a natural culling of people on an overpopulated planet. There will be plenty of high-ranking military personnel determined to use nanotechnology to stop the religious zealots. On the other hand, nanotechnology has the potential to create anything from very little, including the construction of food and water. Without a responsible science those controlling nanotechnology will bring hell on earth. However, with a responsible science to guide them to it, utopia is possible. In order to obtain that utopia, the scientific will to create it must first exist.

The fanatic will to bring about violent destruction is not limited to religious zealots who inflict instant entropic destruction upon innocent civilians. This fanatical will is fundamentally basic to almost all highly trained scientists as well. The prevailing scientific world-view’s desire to move civilians toward entropic destruction is just as fanatical, but it operates in a slower and more organised manner. Scientists need to realise why this is an accurate depiction of the mainstream scientific mindset and to dissociate themselves from a inner compulsion to worship destructive chaos.

The Nobel Laureate Lord Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein used mathematics to convince themselves that people must worship chaos destruction. Russell’s most popular essay was entitled ‘A Freeman’s Worship’ in which he wrote that scientists must be governed by the physics law that Einstein called the premier law of all of the sciences, the law of universal chaos. At the very end, Russell wrote, all human creative genius will be utterly destroyed within a universe in thermodynamic ruin.This fanatical mindset cannot be emotionally negated by people continually telling each other to have a happy day. The time period for entropic human extinction, in nano-terms, is not at all linked to the lengthy one that Russell and Einstein predicted.

Arguing totally the opposite to the worshipping of Diabolic chaos, was the Platonic tradition of scientific philosophy that, during the 3rd Century BC, created the ‘Science for Ethical Ends’. One may well ask, what makes Platonic logic so important in this matter of human survival? The answer to that question is that Platonic logic defined ‘evil’ as a destructive property of unformed matter within the physical atom, which can emerge to destroy civilisation.

The same mathematical logic that predicted this threat of nuclear destruction also applies to the misuse of nanotechnology. One may then ask, who can you trust to guide ennobling ethical government for the benefit of all? Platonic ‘good’ was defined as being for the health of an infinite universe. Therefore, the answer is that you can trust a medical science based upon a sustainable infinite evolutionary ethic. The next question arises, how can you locate an infinite evolutionary ethic that functions for the health of the universe when modern mainstream physics prohibits it to exist?

The answer to that question is obvious. Nanotechnology has shown that the molecule of emotion discovered in 1972 by Dr Candace Pert is part of a complex dynamical fractal energy system extending its logic to a universal infinity in contradiction to Russell and Einstein’s world-view. The molecule of emotion continuously upgrades the structure of the endocrine fluids maintaining human health within an evolving infinite universe. That process is the basis of the emerging science of quantum biology, which entangles with the energies of chaos to evolve human consciousness. Quantum biology tells us that it is time to stop worshipping the god of chaos that the ancient Greeks called Diabolos.

Buckminster Fuller used the Platonic ethical mathematics to develop his synergistic model of the universe and the three 1996 Nobel laureates in chemistry named the basis of their new medical science as Fullerene Chemistry. Fuller wrote a book entitled ‘Utopia or Oblivion’ in which he postulated that we now have a choice to be governed by the law of chaos or by the Platonic engineering principles of creation. To the non-scientist this means living in a universe governed by Platonic love.

From Fuller’s balanced energy perspective, derived directly from Platonic mathematics, the necessary medical science can be envisaged in which nano-technology can be guided by an ethical Platonic Oath, upgrading the ancient Hippocratic one, used in medicine today. During the 18th and 19th Centuries, a PhD in science meant a doctorate in philosophy and the great philosophers of that time, who made the great electromagnetic discoveries, used the mathematics belonging to the Platonic ethical science to develop ethical electromagnetic physics. Any leading encyclopaedia will explain that the discoverer of the electromagnetic field, Hans Christian Oersted, wrote his doctoral dissertation, based upon the electromagnetic ethics postulated by the philosopher of science Emmanuel Kant.

Friedrich Schelling and Alexander Humboldt upgraded the electromagnetic ethic in terms compatible with recent discoveries made by nanotechnology. The Platonic tradition of philosophy classifies modern scientists as ignorant barbaric engineers, only fit to help engineer continual Diabolic chaos. Although Kant’s work is held to greatly influence 21st Century scientific culture, it is a good bet that extremely few scientists reading this article would have the faintest clue that anybody ever reasoned about any sort of electromagnetic ethic, or that scientists in the past wrote formulae to demonstrate how electromagnetic ethics balanced E=Mc2.

They might therefore ask themselves, is it true that I cannot even begin to reason about such things, even though my PhD confirms me to be a philosopher? Have I been taught that I cannot challenge Einstein’s entropic world-view? Am I aware that some scientists simply assume that the universe is infinite in order to derive practical solutions to complex engineering problems? Is it possible that I might be only be fit to accelerate entropic chaos in all of my reasoning unless I consider linking my hard earned knowledge to the holographic reality of quantum biology?

These question are rather serious ones. In emotional universal energy terms, there is little difference between a suicide bomber accelerating instant entropic chaos upon innocent people and the development of modern science doing the same thing in slow motion. By ignoring the existence of electromagnetic ethics within nanotechnology, huge machines are digging are up raw materials for entropic industrial development and huge fishing trawlers are netting dolphins as the nets rape the oceans. The perpetrators remain oblivious to the potential of nanotechnology to produce both the raw materials and food supplies from almost nothing.

It appears to be futile to try telling these things to a society hell bent on accelerating destructive chaos and fearful for job opportunities via an economy that converted Kantian ethics for world-peace on earth into an unattainable entropic cancerous economic growth concept. Could it become possible for scientists to allow their brilliant but unbalanced training to become entangled with the newly emerging quantum biology? People need to become aware of what they are doing when they feel obliged to remain in complete servitude to any of the dictates of 20th Century entropic mathematics, physics, politics, economics and religious certitude. Then they may be on the lookout for ethical opportunities in order to become a responsible part of the future nano-quantum biology supra-science.

Georg Cantor’s mathematics is now a fundamental part of modern science. It is time to stop adding to him being the most vilified mathematician in history because of his objective to use his infinity mathematics to bring about world peace. The reader is urged to download ‘Physics of life: The dawn of quantum biology’ on Google to read about NASA findings relevant to this article, as published in the journal Nature and containing two subheadings ‘Nature knows a few tricks that scientists don’t’ and ‘This might just give us a few clues in the quest to develop quantum biology’.

© Professor Robert Pope, Advisor to the President Oceania and Australasia of the Institute for Theoretical Physics and Advanced Mathematics (IFM) Einstein-Galilei for Theoretical Physics and Advanced Mathematics (IFM) Einstein-Galilei