Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sunday Book Review

This weeks suggestion is not for casual reader, though it should be. Daniel C. Dennett's "Darwin's Dangerous Idea" explores in depth the principals of Darwinian theory as well as its acceptance in society. Dennett is never one to for shallow thought, and this book's intellectual heft is felt from the opening paragraph.

I have heard people accuse science of robbing the meaning out of life. To some extent, once the scales of our skewed perceptions of our selves are lifted, it is hard to go back to imaging some higher calling or greater purpose. For that ailment, I offer this book. We have been given a wonderful gift as creatures; the ability to be self aware and aware of all manner of fantastic phenomena in the natural world. Take this book as a guide down the rabbit hole of science.

I find more comfort and peace knowing my role in the natural order of the world than any ethereal imaginings could ever hope to provide. I strive now to take my place as steward of an increasingly complex system I know I have no choice but to rely on.

Who knows where this book will take you? It is not a clean map to guide you down the rabbit hole, but rather a codex you can learn to use to find your own way. Dennett is arguably one of the greatest thinkers of our time. This book comes steeped in rich history and bulging with modern science. He makes cases for some of the most important and unusual theories of modern science, and does it with maddening ease and whimsy.

My advice, buy it. You will never be able to sort it all out in one read.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, MQ. This is an important book and deserves to be spotlighted. Often the natural material/rationalist view is presented piecemeal, but Dennett is a wonderful synthesizer as well as an original thinker and really brings it all together.