The Joy of Science: An Examination of How Scientists Ask and Answer Questions Using the Story of Evolution as a Paradigm / Edition 1

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Overview

This book, by a practicing and successful scientist, explores why questions arise in science and looks at how questions are tackled, what constitutes a valid answer, and why. The author does not bog down the reader in technical details or lists of facts to memorize. Instead, he places the questions in their historical and cultural context, ranging from the earliest intimations that the earth had a long history to current controversies, even describing the origins, challenges, and promises of modern molecular biology. Addressing issues as complex as radiocarbon dating and how we know that DNA is a double helix, he uses examples, illustrations, and descriptions that all students should be able to grasp ("Were there kangaroos in Noah's Ark?"; "Molecular Biology Ain't Rocket Science"). He gives the reader a sense of why a scientist feels always "like the child called to the stage to watch the magician do his trick". The author's thesis is that scientific logic is an extension of the common human logic used by everyone on a daily basis, and that it can and should be understood by everyone. The book should provide an antidote for students who have suffered through "science for non-scientists" courses that were long lists of names to memorize; and it should prove enlightening for any citizen who has been perplexed by the meaning, relevance, and moral or political implications of scientific headlines or commercial efforts, or anyone who has cast or will cast a vote influenced by a scientific presumption.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
From the reviews:

"The Joy of Science" is an illustrated guide to critical thinking based on the principles of scientific inquiry. This book is written primarily for the non-scientist, but scientists and teachers will be interested in the clever analogies, fascinating facts and classic stories. It provides an outstanding guide for teachers and students to understand the origins and value of scientific reasoning. J. Marie Hardwick, Johns Hopkins University, Schools of Public Health and Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

"The Joy of Science" is a book that might change your understanding of "Science" and "View of Life" in a substantial way. Richard Lockshin makes complex elements easy to grasp and more importantly, he is teaching the right way to approach biology and its influence in modern thinking. There are no specific prerequisites to reading and understanding this book. "The Joy of Science" is one of the most rewarding books on scientific methodology and evolution. It should be read not only by scientists or students but by anyone with a basic background in biology and a willingness to stretch their minds. Mauro Piacentini, Professor of Cellular and Developmental Biology, University of Rome "Tor Vergata", Rome Italy.

This textbook is a liberal approach to the teaching of Natural Science. Author and Professor Richard Lockshin demonstrate that the learning of science must be accompanied by learning about science. Students who use the text with a supportive teacher and teaching environment will increase their general science literacy with respect to Natural Science content, particularly the topic of evolution, as well as their literacy with respect to how the scientific enterprise works. This book should well serve the needs for a first course in college science, particularly for non-science majors. Dr. Daniel J. Brovey,Professor Emeritus, Science and Technology Eduatio, Queens College, CUNY, New York, USA

"Using evolution as the focus, this book explores how scientists ask questions and what constitutes a robust and valid answer. Who is it for? Primarily for the non-scientist or those wishing for a refreshing perspective on ‘science for the non-scientist’. Presentation It provides lots of analogies, metaphors, facts and stories about science. Would you recommend it? This is an interesting and lively text on evolution and the history of the Earth." (Times Higher Education, May, 2008)

"The Joy of Science is indeed a joy to read. It is well organized, concise, and informative. Though this book is geared for one- or two-semester courses for nonscience students, it has aspects appropriate for other intellectually diverse programs. … Excellent supportive graphic materials are found throughout the work. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through graduate students." (J. N. Muzio, Choice, Vol. 46 (2), October, 2008)

“The Joy of Science is a textbook on evolution … . wrote for university students, but we may also hypothesize some uses in high school. … Each chapter ends with a series of good ‘essay style’ questions to be used in consolidating learning. An index helps in locating particular arguments in the book. … Richard Lockshin’s endeavor to present scientific explanations as problem solving in their historical context is very interesting and realized in The Joy of Science.” (Emanuele Serrelli, Evolution: Education & Outreach, Vol. 2 (4), December, 2009)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402060984
  • Publisher: Springer Netherlands
  • Publication date: 11/28/2007
  • Edition description: 2007
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 440
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

PART 1: HOW SCIENCE WORKS

Chapter 1: Science is an ELF

PART II: ORIGIN OF THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION: TIME AND CHANGE

Chapter 2: The origin of the earth as seen before the Enlightenment

Chapter 3: The seashells on the mountaintop

Chapter 4: Were there kangaroos on Noah’s Ark?

Chapter 5: Aristotle’s and Linnaeus’ classifications of living creatures

Chapter 6: Darwin’s world. Evidences of glaciation

Chapter 7: The Voyage of the Beagle

Chapter 8: Is the earth old enough for evolution?

PART III: ORIGIN OF THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION: SOCIAL ASPECTS

Chapter 9: Evaluating data

Chapter 10: The Industrial Revolution

Chapter 11: Natural selection: The second half of Darwin’s hypothesis

Chapter 12: Darwin’s Hypothesis

Chapter 13: The crisis in evolution

PART IV: THE MOLECULAR BASIS OF EVOLUTIONARY THEORY

Chapter 14: The chemical basis of evolution and the origins of molecular biology

Chapter 15: The stuff of inheritance: DNA, RNA, and mutations

Chapter 16: The genetic code

PART V: THE HISTORY OF THE EARTH AND THE ORIGIN OF LIFE

Chapter 17: The story of our planet origin of life

Chapter 18: The appearance of oxygen

Chapter 19: The conquest of land

Chapter 20: The great ages of our planet

Chapter 21: Return to water and to land

Chapter 22: The forces of evolution: continental drift

Chapter 23: The violence of the earth: rainshadows, volcanism, and meteorites

PART VI: THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES

Chapter 24: Competition among species

Chapter 25: Sexual selection

Chapter 26: Coevolution

Chapter 27: The importance of disease

Chapter 28: The AIDS murder mystery

PART VII: THE EVOLUTION OF HUMANS

Chapter 29: Evolution of humans

Chapter 30: Science and religion

Chapter 31: The impact of evolutionary theory

Chapter 32: Social policy and evolution; evaluating population measurements

Chapter 33: Conclusions

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