Cosmogenesis

Author: R. Laurence Moore
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198022213
Format: PDF
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Religion in America is up for sale. The products range from a plethora of merchandise in questionable taste--such as Bible-based diet books (More of Jesus. Less of Me), Rapture T-shirts (one features a basketball game with half its players disappearing in the Rapture--the caption is "Fast Break"), and bumper stickers and frisbees with inspirational messages--to the unabashed consumerism of Jim Bakker's Heritage USA, a grandiose Christian theme park with giant water slide, shopping mall, and office complex. We tend to think of these phenomena--which also include a long line of multimillionaire televangelists and the almost manic promotion of Christmas giving--as a fairly recent development. But as R. Laurence Moore points out in Selling God, religion has been deeply involved in our commercial culture since the beginning of the nineteenth century. In a sweeping, colorful history that spans over two centuries of American culture, Moore examines the role of religion in the marketplace, revealing how religious leaders have borrowed (and invented) commercial practices to promote religion--and how business leaders have borrowed (and invented) religion to promote commerce. It is a book peopled by a fascinating roster of American originals, including showman P.T. Barnum and circuit rider Lorenzo Dow, painter Frederick Church and dime novelist Ned Buntline, Sylvester Graham (inventor of the Graham cracker) and the "Poughkeepsie Seer" Andrew Jackson Davis, film directors D.W. Griffith and Cecil B. DeMille, Norman Vincent Peale and Bishop Fulton J. Sheen. Moore paints insightful portraits of figures such as Mason Locke Weems (Weems's marriage of aggressive marketing and a moral mission--in such bloodly, violent tales as The Drunkard's Looking Glass or God's Revenge Against Adultery--was an important starting point of America's culture industry), religious orator George Whitefield (who transformed church services into mass entertainment, using his acting talents to enthrall vast throngs of people), and Dwight Moody, a former salesman for a boot-and-shoe operation who founded a religious empire centered on the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago (and who advertised his meetings in the entertainment pages of the newspaper). Moore also shows how the Mormons pioneered leisure activities (Brigham Young built the famed Salt Lake Theater, seating 1,500 people, months before work on the Tabernacle started), how Henry Ward Beecher helped the ardent Protestant became the consummate consumer (explicitly justifying the building of expensive mansions, and the collecting of art and antique furniture, as the proper tendencies of pious men), and how the First Amendment, in denying religious groups the status and financial solvency of a state church, forced them to compete in the marketplace for the attention of Americans: religious leaders could either give in to the sway of the market or watch their churches die. Ranging from the rise of gymnasiums and "muscular Christianity," to the creation of the Chautauqua movement (blending devotional services with concerts, fireworks, bonfires, and humorous lectures), to Oral Robert's "Blessing Pacts" and L. Ron Hubbard's Church of Scientology, Selling God provides both fascinating social history and an insightful look at religion in America.

Constructing the Universe

Author: David Layzer
Publisher: W H Freeman & Company
ISBN: 9780716750031
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Traces the history of theories about the nature of the universe, looks at the contributions of scientists from Copernicus to Einstein, and summarizes current theories of cosmic evolution

Journey of Faith Journey of the Universe

Author: Ivan Nicoletto
Publisher: Liturgical Press
ISBN: 081464774X
Format: PDF, Docs
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One of the most surprising discoveries of our time is that the universe is an unfolding and highly creative story: a cosmogenesis. In Journey of Faith, Journey of the Universe, Br. Ivan Nicoletto reveals how very insightful the Scripture and its commentary tradition are to these deep and cosmic perspectives, thus surprising even seasoned Bible-hearers with fresh understanding. It will serve as rich nourishment to anyone involved in the ministry of preaching or who wants to explore the lectionary in a new way. The distinction of the book is Br. Ivan’s capacity to speak with depth and originality on both the Scripture readings and the cosmic spirituality, in fact, to blend them usefully, insightfully. This selection of homilies offered on various Sundays and holy days of the three-year lectionary cycle offers fresh insights on the readings for the day to those who are also open to the challenge to theology and Scripture that comes from new cosmology.

Evolution and the Emergent Self

Author: Raymond L. Neubauer
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231521685
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Evolution and the Emergent Self is an eloquent and evocative new synthesis that explores how the human species emerged from the cosmic dust. Lucidly presenting ideas about the rise of complexity in our genetic, neuronal, ecological, and ultimately cosmological settings, the author takes readers on a provocative tour of modern science's quest to understand our place in nature and in our universe. Readers fascinated with "Big History" and drawn to examine big ideas will be challenged and enthralled by Raymond L. Neubauer's ambitious narrative. How did humans emerge from the cosmos and the pre-biotic Earth, and what mechanisms of biological, chemical, and physical sciences drove this increasingly complex process? Neubauer presents a view of nature that describes the rising complexity of life in terms of increasing information content, first in genes and then in brains. The evolution of the nervous system expanded the capacity of organisms to store information, making learning possible. In key chapters, the author portrays four species with high brain:body ratios—chimpanzees, elephants, ravens, and dolphins—showing how each species shares with humans the capacity for complex communication, elaborate social relationships, flexible behavior, tool use, and powers of abstraction. A large brain can have a hierarchical arrangement of circuits that facilitates higher levels of abstraction. Neubauer describes this constellation of qualities as an emergent self, arguing that self-awareness is nascent in several species besides humans and that potential human characteristics are embedded in the evolutionary process and have emerged repeatedly in a variety of lineages on our planet. He ultimately demonstrates that human culture is not a unique offshoot of a language-specialized primate, but an analogue of fundamental mechanisms that organisms have used since the beginning of life on Earth to gather and process information in order to buffer themselves from fluctuations in the environment. Neubauer also views these developments in a cosmic setting, detailing open thermodynamic systems that grow more complex as the energy flowing through them increases. Similar processes of increasing complexity can be found in the "self-organizing" structures of both living and nonliving forms. Recent evidence from astronomy indicates that planet formation may be nearly as frequent as star formation. Since life makes use of the elements commonly seeded into space by burning and expiring stars, it is reasonable to speculate that the evolution of life and intelligence that happened on our planet may be found across the universe.

The Cosmic Code

Author: Heinz R. Pagels
Publisher: Courier Corporation
ISBN: 0486485064
Format: PDF, Docs
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" This is one of the most important books on quantum mechanics ever written for lay readers, in which an eminent physicist and successful science writer, Heinz Pagels, discusses and explains the core concepts of physics without resorting to complicated mathematics. "Can be read by anyone. I heartily recommend it!" -- New York Times Book Review. 1982 edition"--

Roald Hoffmann on the Philosophy Art and Science of Chemistry

Author: Roald Hoffmann
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199755906
Format: PDF, Docs
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"Roald Hoffmann's contributions to chemistry are well known; this Nobel laureate has published more than 500 articles and two books. As an "applied theoretical chemist," he has made significant contributions to our understanding of chemical bonding and reactivity, and taught two generations of chemists how to use molecular orbitals for real chemistry. Less well known, however, are Hoffmann's important and insightful contributions to the areas of scholarship surrounding chemistry. Over a career that spans nearly fifty years, Roald Hoffmann has thought and written copiously about the broader context of chemistry and its relationship to the arts and poetry. This book contains Hoffmann's essays and is organized around several major themes: chemical reasoning and explanation, writing and communicating in science, ethics, art and science, and chemical education. A few are unpublished lectures that are valuable additions to the volume. The editors have the full cooperation of Roald Hoffmann in this project. Most of the published work will be reprinted verbatim, but a few of the essays will be revised to eliminate redundancy. The unpublished lectures will also be edited since they were originally intended to be delivered orally at specific occasions. The editors will provide an introduction to the book, and some introductory material for each section. In introducing the material, they will highlight the intrinsic importance and interest of the ideas, as well as the places where Hoffmann's thought makes novel contributions to cognate areas"--

The Architecture of the Jumping Universe

Author: Charles Jencks
Publisher: Academy Editions Limited
ISBN:
Format: PDF, ePub
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Charles Jencks has the uncanny capacity to announce a new movement in architecture before it has begun. With Post-Modernism, he was looking to the past. Now, for the first time, with his new book on morphogenesis he is taking a look at the future. There is no question that his argument will have an important critical effect on architecture at the beginning of the new millennium. Peter Eisenman. Architect A new paradigm is sweeping through science, changing both our view of the universe and of mankind. Charles Jencks is one of a handful of thinkers with the courage to embrace the emerging paradigm and interpret it architecturally. This inspired synthesis of art, design, science and philosophy charts a bold new course not only for architecture, but for Post-Modern thought. Paul Davies, Professor of Natural Philosophy, University of Adelaide, author of The Cosmic Blueprint, Superforce, The Mind of God and other books on contemporary science. Who else could have written a book that opens up such cosmic perspectives and still make such neat, sharply focused comments on particular architects and particular styles of architecture? Who else could range with such zest, ease and elegance from Chaos to Bruce Goff, from Coleridge to Frank Gehry, from Complexity Theory to Green Buildings? The old question of in which style should we build can never be addressed in the same way again. Charles Jencks has brought purpose back into architecture. His teleology may transcend what architects are used to, but Jencks manages to make far more sense out of our contemporary architectural dilemmas than practically all the other books in the RIBA book shop. Francis Duffy, Chairman of DEGW International Ltd

At Home in the Universe

Author: Stuart Kauffman
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019976185X
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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A major scientific revolution has begun, a new paradigm that rivals Darwin's theory in importance. At its heart is the discovery of the order that lies deep within the most complex of systems, from the origin of life, to the workings of giant corporations, to the rise and fall of great civilizations. And more than anyone else, this revolution is the work of one man, Stuart Kauffman, a MacArthur Fellow and visionary pioneer of the new science of complexity. Now, in At Home in the Universe, Kauffman brilliantly weaves together the excitement of intellectual discovery and a fertile mix of insights to give the general reader a fascinating look at this new science--and at the forces for order that lie at the edge of chaos. We all know of instances of spontaneous order in nature--an oil droplet in water forms a sphere, snowflakes have a six-fold symmetry. What we are only now discovering, Kauffman says, is that the range of spontaneous order is enormously greater than we had supposed. Indeed, self-organization is a great undiscovered principle of nature. But how does this spontaneous order arise? Kauffman contends that complexity itself triggers self-organization, or what he calls "order for free," that if enough different molecules pass a certain threshold of complexity, they begin to self-organize into a new entity--a living cell. Kauffman uses the analogy of a thousand buttons on a rug--join two buttons randomly with thread, then another two, and so on. At first, you have isolated pairs; later, small clusters; but suddenly at around the 500th repetition, a remarkable transformation occurs--much like the phase transition when water abruptly turns to ice--and the buttons link up in one giant network. Likewise, life may have originated when the mix of different molecules in the primordial soup passed a certain level of complexity and self-organized into living entities (if so, then life is not a highly improbable chance event, but almost inevitable). Kauffman uses the basic insight of "order for free" to illuminate a staggering range of phenomena. We see how a single-celled embryo can grow to a highly complex organism with over two hundred different cell types. We learn how the science of complexity extends Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection: that self-organization, selection, and chance are the engines of the biosphere. And we gain insights into biotechnology, the stunning magic of the new frontier of genetic engineering--generating trillions of novel molecules to find new drugs, vaccines, enzymes, biosensors, and more. Indeed, Kauffman shows that ecosystems, economic systems, and even cultural systems may all evolve according to similar general laws, that tissues and terra cotta evolve in similar ways. And finally, there is a profoundly spiritual element to Kauffman's thought. If, as he argues, life were bound to arise, not as an incalculably improbable accident, but as an expected fulfillment of the natural order, then we truly are at home in the universe. Kauffman's earlier volume, The Origins of Order, written for specialists, received lavish praise. Stephen Jay Gould called it "a landmark and a classic." And Nobel Laureate Philip Anderson wrote that "there are few people in this world who ever ask the right questions of science, and they are the ones who affect its future most profoundly. Stuart Kauffman is one of these." In At Home in the Universe, this visionary thinker takes you along as he explores new insights into the nature of life.

A Dictionary of Construction Surveying and Civil Engineering

Author: Christopher Gorse
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199534462
Format: PDF, Docs
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The latest addition to the Oxford Paperback Reference series, this A to Z is the most up-to-date dictionary of building, surveying, and civil engineering terms and definitions available. Written by an experienced team of experts in the respective fields, it covers in over 9,800 entries the key areas of construction technology and practice, civil and construction engineering, construction management techniques and processes, and legal aspects such as contracts and procurement. Illustrations complement entries where necessary and other extra features include a bibliography, appendices providing a list of commonly used conventions, formulae, and symbols, as well as entry-level web links, which are listed and regularly updated on a companion website. Its wide coverage makes it the ideal reference for students of construction and related areas, as well as for professionals in the field.

The Intellectual Journey of Thomas Berry

Author: Heather Eaton
Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 0739185918
Format: PDF
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Thomas Berry was an intellectual giant and cultural visionary of extraordinary stature. His vast knowledge of history, religions, and expertise as a cultural historian, united with his concern for the future of the planet is a unique blend revealing a genuine original thinker. Many know of his proposal for a new story, and a vital Earth sensitive spirituality. Few know the intellectual journey, because he presented his thoughts as a seamless and studied synthesis. This book is about the intellectual journey of Thomas Berry: of the roots and insights that are hidden within his ecological, spiritual proposal.