The God Impulse [EPUB]
07 February 2015, 20:39
2011 | EPUB | 0.5MB
Why do people have near-death experiences? Are there physical explanations for those out-of-body sensations and tunnels of light? And what about moments of spiritual ecstasy? If Buddha had been in an MRI machine and not under the Bodhi tree when he attained enlightenment, what would we have seen on the monitor? In The God Impulse, Kevin Nelson, a neurologist with three decades' experience examining the biology behind human spirituality, deconstructs the spiritual self, uncovering its origin in the most primitive areas of our brain.
Through his revolutionary studies on near-death experience, Nelson has discovered that spiritual experience is an incidental product of several different neurological processes acting independently. When we feel close to God or sense the presence of departed relatives, we may believe that we are standing at the border of this world and the next as individual, autonomous, rational creatures-touching God. The reality is far different: our brain function resembles a Cubist painting by Picasso or Braque, and the experiences we regard as the height of our humanity are in fact produced by primal reflexes.
The God Impulse takes us on a journey into what Nelson calls the borderlands of consciousness. The book offers the first comprehensive, empirically-tested, peer-reviewed examination of the reasons we are capable of near-death experience, out-of-body experience, and the mystical states produced by hallucinogenic drugs.
The Man Who Touched His Own Heart [EPUB]
07 February 2015, 20:35
2015 | EPUB | 4.99MB
The secret history of our most vital organ--the human heart
The Man Who Touched His Own Heart tells the raucous, gory, mesmerizing story of the heart, from the first "explorers" who dug up cadavers and plumbed their hearts' chambers, through the first heart surgeries-which had to be completed in three minutes before death arrived-to heart transplants and the latest medical efforts to prolong our hearts' lives, almost defying nature in the process.
Thought of as the seat of our soul, then as a mysteriously animated object, the heart is still more a mystery than it is understood. Why do most animals only get one billion beats? (And how did modern humans get to over two billion-effectively letting us live out two lives?) Why are sufferers of gingivitis more likely to have heart attacks? Why do we often undergo expensive procedures when cheaper ones are just as effective? What do Da Vinci, Mary Shelley, and contemporary Egyptian archaeologists have in common? And what does it really feel like to touch your own heart, or to have someone else's beating inside your chest?
Rob Dunn's fascinating history of our hearts brings us deep inside the science, history, and stories of the four chambers we depend on most.
Darwin's Pictures: Views of Evolutionary Theory [EPUB]
07 February 2015, 19:47
2010 | EPUB | 10.32MB
In this first-ever examination of Charles Darwin’s sketches, drawings, and illustrations, Julia Voss presents the history of evolutionary theory told in pictures. Darwin had a life-long interest in pictorial representations of nature, sketching out his evolutionary theory and related ideas for over forty years. Voss details the pictorial history of Darwin’s theory of evolution, starting with his notebook sketches of 1837 and ending with the illustrations in The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals (1872). These images were profoundly significant for Darwin’s long-term argument for evolutionary theory; each characterizes a different aspect of his relationship with the visual information and constitutes what can be called an “icon” of evolution. Voss shows how Darwin “thought with his eyes” and how his pictorial representations and the development and popularization of the theory of evolution were vitally interconnected.
Voss explores four of Darwin’s images in depth, and weaves about them a story on the development and presentation of Darwin’s theory, in which she also addresses the history of Victorian illustration, the role of images in science, the technologies of production, and the relationship between specimen, words, and images.