Emory Valley lies on the eastern edge of the city, and the Clinch River runs through it. It's a beautiful spot to sit and study the world - so let's do that. Here's the Emory Valley Center for Evolutionary Studies...
Books for the curious
- Anything at all by Richard Dawkins
Richard Dawkins is a brilliant author. He writes lucidly and with great enthusiasm. Moreover, he's a wonderful teacher.The Selfish Gene was a classic, and The Blind Watchmaker is perhaps the best, most cogent argument against Intelligent Design out there. River Out of Eden is a simple to understand, almost lyrical explanation of what "Darwinism" actually is. Unweaving the Rainbow, in Dawkins's own words, "specifically attacks the idea that a materialist, mechanist, naturalistic worldview makes life seem meaningless. Quite the contrary, the scientific worldview is a poetic worldview, it is almost a transcendental worldview." A Devil's Chaplain is a collection of essays you might not find somewhere else, most of them enlightening and a few of them enrapturing. And his latest, The Ancestor's Tale, is a tour-de-force of wonder, taking us back concestor (his term for the that individual who is the ancestor of two lines) by concestor on "A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution"... Dawkins is astounding.
Check out Darwin's Dangerous Disciple, an interview with Dawkins
- Darwin's Dangerous Idea by Daniel Dennet. He's not an evolutionary biologist, or any kind of biologist, for that matter - he's a philosopher. What his book is about is why evolution is threatening, and how it transformed everything it touched. Must reading to understand why creationists are so scared, and why you shouldn't be.
- Stephen Gould - but pay attention. Gould has a tendency to create straw men to argue against. Punctuated equilibrium is at most a refinement on Darwinism, and Gould never meant that he should end up a darling of creationists. Read with care, he's a good writer, and his essays are delightful.
- The Red Queen by Matt Ridley. This is a look at sex and its effect on evolution - and evolution's effect on sex. Starting with, why is there sex in the first place? Ridley's another engaging, clear writer.
- Not By Genes Alone, by Peter J. Richerson and Robert Boyd. This book's more rigorous - it's aimed at people withsome understanding of the social sciences. What they're examining is culture - and how it influences the evolution of humans.
- Mendel's Demon: Gene Justice and the Complexity of Life, by Mark Ridley (no relation to Matt). An exploration the ways the selfish gene is kept in check, and complex life is allowed to evolve and continue to develop.
And of course
- Darwin - the man himself. Origin of Species and Descent of Man are both surprisingly readable.
Stickers | Just a Theory | Pseudoscience | Books | Asimov | Dawkins Creationism
Dawkins Atheist | Politics No Excuse | 'Creations' | Sagan | Dennet | Bison | Tiktaalik
Dover: Decision | Final Day | Why It's Unconsitiutional | Assault on Science
Chapel | Musings | Magic | Evolution
Greenbelt | Emory Valley | Pellissippi Parkway Bear Creek Road | Key Springs Road | Snapping Turtle Pond
Ridges | Walden | Pine | Black Oak | Little Pine | Chestnut | Haw