The Most Perfect Thing: Inside (and Outside) a Bird's Egg [EPUB]
08 April 2016, 02:34
2016 | EPUB | 3.05MB
'I think that, if required on pain of death to name instantly the most perfect thing in the universe, I should risk my fate on a bird's egg'
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, 1862
How are eggs of different shapes made, and why are they the shape they are? When does the shell of an egg harden? Why do some eggs contain two yolks? How are the colours and patterns of an eggshell created, and why do they vary? And which end of an egg is laid first – the blunt end or the pointy end?
These are just some of the questions A Bird's Egg answers, as the journey of a bird's egg from creation and fertilisation to its eventual hatching is examined, with current scientific knowledge placed within an historical context. Beginning with an examination of the stunning eggs of the guillemot, each of which is so variable in pattern and colour that no two are ever the same, acclaimed ornithologist Tim Birkhead then looks at the eggs of hens, cuckoos and many other birds, revealing weird and wonderful facts about these miracles of nature. Woven around and supporting these facts are extraordinary stories of the individuals who from as far back as Ancient Egypt have been fixated on the study and collection of eggs, not always to the benefit of their conservation.
Firmly grounded in science and enriched by a wealth of observation drawn from a lifetime spent studying birds, A Bird's Egg is an illuminating and engaging exploration of the science behind eggs and the history of man's obsession with them.
Dawkins' God: From The Selfish Gene to The God Delusion, 2nd Edition [EPUB]
01 April 2016, 09:13
2014 | EPUB | 0.3MB
A fully updated new edition of a critically acclaimed examination of the theories and writings of Richard Dawkins by a world-renowned expert on the relation of science and religion
- Includes in-depth analysis of Dawkins’ landmark treatise The God Delusion (2006), as well as coverage of his later popular works The Magic of Reality (2011) and The Greatest Show on Earth (2011),and a new chapter on Dawkins as a popularizer of science
- Tackles Dawkins’ hostile and controversial views on religion, and examine the religious implications of his scientific ideas including a comprehensive investigation of the ‘selfish gene’
- Written in an accessible and engaging style that will appeal to anyone interested in better understanding the interplay between science and religion
Signals: Evolution, Learning, and Information [EPUB]
08 March 2016, 19:01
2015 | EPUB | 0.71MB
Brian Skyrms presents a fascinating exploration of how fundamental signals are to our world. He uses a variety of tools – theories of signaling games, information, evolution, and learning – to investigate how meaning and communication develop. He shows how signaling games themselves evolve, and introduces a new model of learning with invention. The juxtaposition of atomic signals leads to complex signals, as the natural product of gradual process. Signals operate in networks of senders and receivers at all levels of life. Information is transmitted, but it is also processed in various ways. That is how we think – signals run around a very complicated signaling network. Signaling is a key ingredient in the evolution of teamwork, in the human but also in the animal world, even in micro-organisms. Communication and co-ordination of action are different aspects of the flow of information, and are both effected by signals.