A Short History of Nearly Everything Paperback – September 14, 2004

The Price has Dropped! But is it Cheap?

- The best price we've seen on Amazon in the past 7 months was on May 25, 2019. The current price is considered low and a good time to buy. It is 5% higher than the cost at its lowest.


Table of Contents

currently low price

38% Drop

Updated October 19, 2019

Available on

  Amazon

Price Checks

Current price is higher than the price on May 25, 2019.
Current price is low in the past 7 months.
Available used for a lower price.

Price Activity

DatePrice ActionChange %Price Level
28 Sep, 2019Price Drop-37.56%low
20 Sep, 2019Price Increase60.16%high
14 Sep, 2019Price Drop-37.56%low
12 Sep, 2019Price Drop-3.56%high
9 Sep, 2019Price Increase0.67%highest
Update on 19 Oct, 2019

Amazon.com price change % swings above and below average price

Showing: Area under 0 show price is cheaper than average. Above 0 shows higher price than average.

Best Alternative Recommendations

We also found 2 products that redditors have recommended that are the best alternative to this product or are related accessories.

Recommended in atheism

   
A Short History of Nearly Everything Paperback – September 14, 2004

Product Details

  • Amazon.com Sold on
  • 076790818X Amazon ASIN
  • Categories

    Nature & Ecology, Science & Math, Books

Reddit Reviews and Recommendations

  • 144 Reviews
  • Feb. 18, 2019 Last Review Date
  • April 8, 2013 First Seen Review Date
  • 68 Reviewed on Subreddits

    booksuggestions (14)
    AskScienceDiscussion (13)
    books (9)
    suggestmeabook (7)
    todayilearned (7)
    TrueAtheism (6)
    atheism (5)
    explainlikeimfive (5)
    history (5)
    AskReddit (3)
    and 58 more...

Discussion and Reviews on Reddit

I just finished reading 'Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind'. Can you recommend any similar book coz I loved reading it? [R]

8 months agoLovie311 posted submission on suggestmeabook.
Feb. 18, 2019
8 months agoLovie311 posted comment on suggestmeabook.
Feb. 18, 2019

Try this! One of the best books I’ve ever read.

A Short History of Nearly Everything https://www.amazon.com/dp/076790818X/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_pIXACbY3N7CZP

Gift ideas for someone that loves JRE? [R]

11 months agoCorndogginit posted submission on JoeRogan.
Nov. 20, 2018

He kinda does Keto. He's not real into martial arts. He likes the science talks and talks about them a lot.

Any thoughts?

The President’s Mental Deficiencies Have Been Normalized [R]

1 year agoReadingRainbowRocket posted submission on politics.
Sept. 20, 2018
1 year agoReadingRainbowRocket posted comment on politics.
Sept. 20, 2018

I have the perfect non-fiction book for you that is great history AND science/number-y to an insane degree!

​

Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything." The book is about what we know about our planet/reality and how we came to know it. Fucking fascinating. It can get a little dry in the middle with all the earth-measuring stuff but you might actually like that part.

​

You will be instantly drawn in with the beginning astronomy stuff and relative size/scale analogies.

​

​

​

Religious Person Here, Looking For Challenging Resources [R]

1 year, 2 months agogregbrahe posted submission on TrueAtheism.
Aug. 11, 2018

EDIT: Thank you all so much for your suggestions! I'll be slowly compiling a reading list (and a youtube list) and checking the /r/atheism FAQ. I didn't even think to look around there because I've had much better luck with the TrueTM subreddits. Again, thank you all for being so forthcoming. I'm really excited to dig into everything y'all posted!

 

I’ve been religious for most of my life in the dominant tradition in my area. I’m a pretty avid reader and have consumed lots of materials from other religions and philosophies in an attempt to be as removed from bias as possible because I realize that, statistically, my area of birth is the greatest factor in what religion (or lack thereof) that I am a part of. But I’ve never really engaged much with agnostic or atheistic authors because I began with the presupposition that there is, at the very least, some sort of God. This seems to me to be a pretty big blind spot. So, in an effort to be as critical as possible, I’d love for some of y’all’s favorite book recommendations. I assume I should start with Dawkins’ ‘The God Delusion’ but I am open to any and all suggestions. I have heard that Christopher Hitchens is good as well. They can be “New Atheists”, “anti-theists”, or even just agnostic. I’m not sensitive so lay it on me. I’m not here to argue, debate, or engage in apologetics. I just want to see what you all see and am willing to follow whatever evidence you all present wherever that may lead. So, any help would be much appreciated!

1 year, 2 months agogregbrahe posted comment on TrueAtheism.
Aug. 12, 2018

I'd like to add "a short history of nearly everything" by Bill Bryson to this list

Long Books (500+ pages) so good you consider it a quick read? [R]

1 year, 3 months agoAS76RL76 posted submission on suggestmeabook.
July 3, 2018
1 year, 3 months agoAS76RL76 posted comment on suggestmeabook.
July 4, 2018

Geology book recommendation for teenagers? [R]

1 year, 4 months agoRocknocker posted submission on geologycareers.
June 12, 2018

My niece is 14 and will be starting high school in the fall, and has always been interested in science and geology/mineralogy in particular. Is there a good and interesting (not a textbook) geology book I can encourage her to read over the summer break?

Ideally, I'm looking for something that will make her feel how awesome science is in general, but also perhaps highlight the differences between the various sub-fields (she has expressed interest/wonder about archaeology, anthropology, mineralogy) as well as teaching the basics (she hasn't had any chemistry in school yet).

I don't know that fiction vs. nonfiction is as important as long as it hits some of those points? Where there any particular books/movies that got you guys interested when you were at that impressionable age?

Thanks!

1 year, 4 months agoRocknocker posted comment on geologycareers.
June 13, 2018

Books for someone who has trouble staying focused on dry/verbose/antiquated writing, but still wants something intellectually stimulating and challenging [R]

1 year, 6 months ago00Deege posted submission on suggestmeabook.
April 21, 2018

In other words, complex and meaningful content but written in a way that's engaging and accessible. I have a disability that makes concentration difficult but still consider myself intuitive to complex themes and stories, and want something to engage that side of me

1 year, 6 months ago00Deege posted comment on suggestmeabook.
April 21, 2018

[A Short History of Nearly Everything] (https://www.amazon.com/Short-History-Nearly-Everything/dp/076790818X) by Bill Bryson. Fun, interesting, and informative.

What are some of the biggest discoveries made by amateurs in the last 100 years? [R]

1 year, 8 months agoTettamanti posted submission on AskScienceDiscussion.
Feb. 12, 2018
1 year, 8 months agoTettamanti posted comment on AskScienceDiscussion.
Feb. 13, 2018

Definitely not the biggest, but very impressive is Robert Evans, amateur astronomer, found a record number (42) of supernovae...with his 10” home telescope...in his backyard.

In Bill Bryson’s book, A Brief History of Nearly Everything, he discribes how incredibly hard this feat actually is. “To understand what a feat this is, imagine a standard dining room table covered in a black tablecloth and someone throwing a handful of salt across it. The scattered grains can be thought of as a galaxy. Now imagine fifteen hundred more tables like the first one — enough to fill a Wal-Mart parking lot, say, or to make a single line two miles long — each with a random array of salt across it. Now add one grain of salt to any table and let Bob Evans walk among them. At a glance he will spot it. That grain of salt is the supernova.”

Evans has also been quoted as saying "There's something satisfying, I think, about the idea of light travelling for millions of years through space and just at the right moment as it reaches Earth someone looks at the right bit of sky and sees it. It just seems right that an event of that magnitude should be witnessed."

We apparently have explored a lot of space [R]

1 year, 8 months agoSergeant_Hamlet posted submission on facepalm.
Jan. 22, 2018
1 year, 8 months agoSergeant_Hamlet posted comment on facepalm.
Jan. 23, 2018

My favorite quote is “The truth about space is that it is extremely well named, and rather dismayingly uneventful.”

Can’t remember who by.

Edit: found it. Bill Bryson. I cannot possibly recommend this book more highly. https://www.amazon.com/Short-History-Nearly-Everything/dp/076790818X

Book or gift ideas? [R]

1 year, 10 months agoBombatomba posted submission on entp.
Dec. 16, 2017

Hello ENTP’s!! My boyfriend is an ENTP and said he wants to start reading more so I thought I would get him some books for Christmas. Can you recommend any you enjoyed?

If by chance you have other gift ideas I would love to hear your input as well. He loves tech and gadgets! Since him and I are different personality types, I am still learning what really gets his gears going.

Thank you!!!

1 year, 10 months agoBombatomba posted comment on entp.
Dec. 17, 2017

Suggestions:

The only atheist on my team [R]

1 year, 10 months agobusterfixxitt posted submission on atheism.
Dec. 9, 2017

So I’m part of a personal development group. We’re all committed to excellence and being our best version which I strive to be!

But constantly many will bring up god is in control and they hear god through certain people. I cant help but think they’re so lost. Like what are they even talking about? I’m slowly losing interest because they bring up spiritual health often and last night on the video call, it was said

“people ask for proof, well I can’t prove it, but I just know” wtf does that mean?

I feel like I’m with a bunch of Looneys

1 year, 10 months agobusterfixxitt posted comment on atheism.
Dec. 9, 2017

It means that they have different definitions for words than you do. They are mistaking feelings of certainty with knowledge. So, what they're saying is:

>“people ask for proof, well I can’t prove it, but I just feel absolutely certain that it is true

You're not with Looneys, you're with adolescents. If you're able to, get the book 'A Short History of Nearly Everything' by Bill Bryson or its sequel 'A Really Short History of Nearly Everything' and mention it in glowing terms as life-changing.

It really is. It's a very accessible and enjoyable exploration of what we know and how we know it. If they want an audiobook version, let me know. I have an MP3 copy of the fantastic version narrated by William Roberts.

Books similar to "Astrophysics for People in a Hurry" for other science subjects? [R]

1 year, 10 months agoRowaan posted submission on neildegrassetyson.
Nov. 26, 2017

Neil's book really blew my mind and I really feel much smarter because of what I've learned in the few hours I read through it. I was wondering if anyone here could recommend similar science books that could give me a conversational grasp of other topics--chemistry, biology, psychology, chemistry---pretty much everything science-related.

1 year, 10 months agoRowaan posted comment on neildegrassetyson.
Nov. 26, 2017

Bill Bryson - A Short History Of Nearly Everything. Freaking fantastic book.

Intro Science Books [R]

1 year, 11 months ago96385 posted submission on AskScienceDiscussion.
Nov. 10, 2017

Looking for recommendations for good introductory books on science for my father. My entire life he has always told me how interesting he finds science and research, but the only science books I’ve ever seen him read are political or religious based. So, I thought for Christmas that I might get him a few legit books that he might actual enjoy/learn from.

Book for a timeline of the universe? [R]

1 year, 11 months agoyoucancallmejoey posted submission on ScienceParents.
Nov. 6, 2017

I want to do a unit about the timeline of the universe with my kids and ideally that would include reading from an episodic book about each step, from the big bang, to galaxy formation, to the formation of the solar system, to the first life, etc.

Any suggestions? Anything written at the lay level or lower would be fine.

1 year, 11 months agoyoucancallmejoey posted comment on ScienceParents.
Nov. 9, 2017

A Short History of Nearly Everything

Taking as territory everything from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization, Bryson seeks to understand how we got from there being nothing at all to there being us.

Recommend me a book to kickstart my passion to study astronomy. I am a doctor. [R]

2 years agoChargin_Chuck posted submission on suggestmeabook.
Oct. 5, 2017

IWTL how to be more articulate [R]

2 years agojoeblessyou posted submission on IWantToLearn.
Oct. 4, 2017

Hey reddit, just looking for some tips/exercises to help me become more articulate. thanks!

2 years agojoeblessyou posted comment on IWantToLearn.
Oct. 4, 2017

I would recommend more non-fiction that is written in prose form. There are many popular science books, like this one, or this one, that are written in a concise way and help build a rich vocabulary for explaining things, not to say fiction isn't important or helpful (but I'd think it wouldn't be as applicable to day to day conversations).

book for general history and or knowledge of the present world? [R]

2 years, 3 months agoHolisticReductionist posted submission on suggestmeabook.
July 8, 2017

I am looking for a book that will give general history of the world. For example, it might discuss the indonesian genocides, or maybe Pol Pot or Rwanda...all in one. I know there is plenty of independent books for these subjects.

Also, it does not necessarily have to be history - it can be sciences or any other topics that will cover the past few centuries if need be.

I would prefer the topics be about countries, for example what led to the formation of south sudan. I know this is somewhat vague but I am hoping someone might be able to guide me.

2 years, 3 months agoHolisticReductionist posted on suggestmeabook.
July 8, 2017

How long would I have to stare at the sun to go blind? [R]

2 years, 4 months agopoundt0wn posted submission on morbidquestions.
June 14, 2017
2 years, 4 months agopoundt0wn posted on morbidquestions.
June 14, 2017

I first read about it a couple months ago in a book called "A Short History of Nearly Everything" by Bill Bryerson. https://www.amazon.com/Short-History-Nearly-Everything/dp/076790818X

It's a great book if you like random trivia and it takes a casual conversation tone to just about everything and provides great insight into stuff we normally just don't think about. He talks a lot about various scientist and has a lot of good stories about how odd many of these people were.

If you are interested, some of the other amusing/interesting bits of info from the book include:

"Best remembered for coining the word Dinosaur, Richard Owen also gave us the modern concept of museums as places the common folk can visit and not just scientists. He was also one of the meanest persons in science history and the only person Darwin ever hated."

"Carl Wilhelm Scheele one of the founders of modern chemistry, had a habit of sniffing and tasting any new element or chemical he discovered including poisonous ones. He was found dead at the age of 43, killed by his last discovery."

"In the early days of pump and hose assisted diving, there was a dreaded phenomena called “the squeeze” where the diver’s entire body would be sucked into the hose and diving helmet, leaving just some bones and flesh in the diving suit. Ouch."

“In France, a chemist named Pilatre de Rozier tested the flammability of hydrogen by gulping a mouthful and blowing across an open flame, proving at a stroke that hydrogen is indeed explosively combustible and that eyebrows are not necessarily a permanent feature of one's face.”

What is a book with every war and historical event written in it? [R]

2 years, 5 months agoApril 23, 2017

[deleted]

2 years, 5 months agoSluumm posted on NoStupidQuestions.
April 23, 2017

This book might be the closest thing you can get. It is a great book.

Is there a book that covers the history, and evolution of the scientific process? [R]

2 years, 6 months agoThe_Dead_See posted submission on AskScienceDiscussion.
March 27, 2017

More specifically, the history of science as a practice and how it evolved from more of a philosophy to a rigours practice of developing a hypothesis, testing it, forming a theory, peer review, etc...

2 years, 6 months agoThe_Dead_See posted on AskScienceDiscussion.
March 27, 2017

There's a million books yep. Scientific methodology goes all the way back to the ancient Greek Natural Philosophers but it was Galen in the 2nd century that really kicked off scientific critical thinking. So if you're looking for the distant beginnings, just look for books on those.

After that things sort of migrated to the Islamic World while most of Europe sat in it's own crap through the dark ages. Then Copernicus came along with his heavenly spheres and the modern scientific revolution kicked into gear. For the early history of that you'll want biographies on folks like Galileo, Newton and Bacon.

If you want less of the details and more just a broad overview, I highly recommend Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything as a really entertaining introduction. Or if you want something a bit more scholarly A History of Natural Philosophy by Edward Grant.

Hope that helps!

[NeedAdvice]Looking For Some Advice..Might be a long post [R]

2 years, 7 months agoFoolness posted submission on getdisciplined.
Feb. 25, 2017

If its too long to read just read the last paragraph.

When I was younger since grade 1 to about the grade 10 I excelled in academics and had this dream of going abroad and becoming a doctor in some great university in the UK. However, I was a huge procrastinator, had some family issues and poor social skills. My procrastination was so bad that I lost my chance from going from pre IB to the IB program in grade 11 and 12 for faliure of completing a 2 year project which I started in the last couple of days. Ever since then it has been a down hill circle from there. I failed and failed mostly because I stopped trying and putting in effort. I lost the hobbies that once made me happy. I was upset about my lack of achievement and somehow became convinced in grade 12 that my faliures in life was due to some mental health issue. I always felt like I had no control over what I was doing and things felt unreal. I was so convinced by this notion that I cried to a social worker about it in my last year of high school until she got me a refferal to a psychologist, however I never went as my parents said that if this were to get on my record it would reduce my opportunities for careers like medicine in the future. Anyways long story short I somehow managed to get into University of Toronto Scarborough life science program with a 76-78% despite failing grade 12 physics. Around this time my family situation got better to but I would often wake up odd hours to get to university as I chose a campus 3 hours away by commute from my house because I beleived that I would transfer to a co-op program after getting good grades in the first year of university. But ofcourse that didn't happen I had a gpa of 2.4 and started mastrubating regularly and was ashamed. I also began to develop schizophrenia. I had some crazy delusions like that I had 2 genders, was suffering from overfocused adhd, had stalkers from my ib school, my parents were out to get me and auditory hallucinations for which I was hospitalized for. After coming out of my hospitalization, I dropped from doing five courses to two courses to three courses per semester and was on respiridone for a month lying to my doctor that the medication was working and not taking it. I was so upset by voices I also tried overdosing on my medication which I was hospitalized again for. I somehow managed to improve my grades through this process. However, I still suffered from procrastination and did extremely poor in my biology versus chemistry courses. I also changed my medication 3 times as the voices were not going away and about to take clozapine but now in the second semester of my second year the voices are mostly gone but my motivation is at an all time low. Through out this process all I did was eat and sleep and skip classes except for labs and stay at my home not interacting with the world. I don't even commute by myself my dad takes me everywhere even though I can go by myself. Now days I don't even study regularly. Even though things are better now I can't seem to find the motivation to do anything and find myself wasting time with self pleasure or surfing on the net. My mother has tried talking me through several times out of it but always gets upset by the end as she feels her words are not going anywhere. She keeps telling me how I should meditate and look for my passions and how my social worker said I was to rigid and the physicatrist in the first hospital said that medications don't really work well with mental disorders and only help people to calm down but a the end of the day it comes down to what one does for oneself. I have an exam this wednesday for organic chem coming up but have hardly been to any lectures and have only studied two days. I don't know what I am doing to be honest. I need some advice on how to get my life in order.

Summary: I don't have any motivation for anything. I don't have interest in anything. I am scared to think about my future and have stopped thinking about it entirely. I don't interact with anyone outside my family and skip classes at uni. All I do is eat and sleep more than 8 hours and wake up at odd times surfing the internet. I don't know what I am doing. I need advice on how to get my life in order. Thanks for reading.

2 years, 7 months agoFoolness posted on getdisciplined.
Feb. 25, 2017

For anxiety, I recommend Hope and Help for Your Nerves

I didn't post the Amazon link because there's a summary in that link of the steps (though the book does not portray it as steps)

> Here are Dr Weekes' 4 steps to overcoming anxiety:

> FACING the things you fear (instead of avoiding) – but in the right way, with appropriate help. (Fighting the fear, says Dr Weekes, will only add to your exhaustion and make the problem worse, by triggering more adrenalin.)

> ACCEPTING the symptoms, the fear, the situation. This will begin to reduce the triggering of adrenalin.

> FLOATING above or through the fear – not resisting or fighting.

> LETTING TIME PASS – allowing time for full recovery, because full recovery depends on repeated experiences of being in the situations you fear, and learning that you are ok, you can cope.

> Now, you might be tempted to dismiss this as too simple, or something you have heard before. But Dr Weekes explains each of these steps in a way that you can put into practice.

Mainly though it's more for your social worker so that they would be more tolerant of your present self. (I don't know what they mean by rigid but it sounds like they are trying to rush your recovery.)

Yeah perfectionism can be troublesome. The thing to look out for here is how would you achieve the perfect result? Sometimes you are on the right track and that's where you can do things in short bursts but you lose track of the right track (like the why behind your task) and end up getting distracted.

I'm not sure if you've seen this Simon Sinek TedTalk but at the core of perfect results is not the word perfect but the word results. How you define the ingredients for the word result will determine how prone or less prone you are to distractions because distractability is not a state, it's a rationalization and like all rationalization it can appear or disappear relative to the mindset you establish during that period of doing.

Realistically, even if you are distractable, there is so many happening right now in your thoughts that any short burst of productivity add up in the long term especially when it feels right regardless of how positive or negative you expect the results to be.

It all comes down to flow and bouncing forward. See the perfect results is like a signal. To you, there's a task that "feels right". That sends a signal that you are potentially sprinting towards a perfect result. That's flow. That's bouncing forward. That is the motivation or the clue to the motivation you are seeking.

But the signal gets buried under the noise over time. The worries start to creep in. The right to be ok gets replaced by the right to stay ok.

...but is staying ok really ok? For you, it doesn't seem that way.

And so you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. If you stay this way then you won't try too hard but you'll also be trying too hard to stay like this. If you don't get better then people might still care about you but then if you don't get better then people might grow tired of caring for you. What a vicious circle.

...but... (yeah I'm using but a lot but we're getting meta here)

Ask yourself: "must" you be in this vicious circle?

To quote Albert Ellis:

>"When you are upset, look for the must."

In this particular reply, ask yourself:

"must" you have an extrinsic motivation?

"must" you worry about trying hard?

"must" you worry that people will stop caring about you?

What are the worst case scenario and then note them down and check back on those worst case scenario "as you are" trying to be better and as you are getting better.

As for failing, do a Google search and you can see random articles listing how many successful people are actually failures. link example

It is because you are a failure that you can accomplish anything. Deep down you already know that. Why would you wait to take action if you don't believe you can take any action once everyone gets angry and fed up with you? Sure, a part of that is because you won't have a choice but a part of that is that you have a choice...but the choice gets rationalized externally when what you should be looking for is emotionally inside you and deep down inside of you, you believe that you can do something provided that everyone gets angry and fed up so why not simulate that inside of your head?

Nothing is preventing you from creating a role where everyone has already gotten angry and fed up with you. Then take that bottom down approach and appreciate every little piece of benefit that gets sent your way even the imperfect ones. Visualize and list down the qualities that your social worker for example may be fed up with concerning you and then if they do something contrary to that, now you visualize and imagine this is how they've gotten to be AFTER they got fed up and angry with you. Negatives don't always lead to negatives.

Sometimes negative thinking is necessary for starting over and then restarting over. That's why I keep using but. For every negative thought you have there is a but that can lead to realistic thinking. It all starts inside of you (even when most days it seems something external gets in the way).

For your passion, I recommend starting with a book or movie about a lost soul who found themselves. If you've seen Kumare it may either uplift you or depress you more but find something similar to this.

You could also try some interesting trivia books like A Short History of Nearly Everything or 64 Things You Need to Know Now for Then

If you are into audiobooks, check out autobiographies - those tend to be easy to consume. For now just explore and take your present situation in little by little. The more you are mindful of how you grow from day to day - the more finding your passion and honing it becomes easier. Even meditation when forced can be difficult to receive benefits from but mindfulness of your own existence - that is that precious thing that keeps you going.

What is that one book you cant stop suggesting? [R]

2 years, 8 months agojlm25150 posted submission on CasualConversation.
Feb. 20, 2017

Although we love some books, one book will stand off from crowd and would force to suggest to other. What is that one book you would suggest to read

2 years, 8 months agojlm25150 posted on CasualConversation.
Feb. 20, 2017

If you could suggest one History book that all "layman" would read, what would it be? [R]

2 years, 10 months agoNov. 23, 2016

[deleted]

2 years, 10 months agoILXXLI posted on AskHistory.
Nov. 24, 2016

A short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson.

It's kind of dated now, but still interesting.

This ancient Chinese bird kept its feathers, and colors, for 130 million years [R]

2 years, 11 months agogelinrefira posted submission on science.
Nov. 22, 2016
2 years, 11 months agogelinrefira posted on science.
Nov. 22, 2016

I think he is referring to A Short History of Nearly Everything. It is a good book and very readable, like all Bryson's books.

What are some physics books for a science newbie [R]

3 years, 1 month agoThe_Dead_See posted submission on AskScienceDiscussion.
Sept. 16, 2016

Hello, I have been interested in science and particularly physics since I was a kid and now I am 19 and looking to learn more about it. Are book from great minds like hawking and Einstein understandable for a newbie like me or should I try and start with something else? What would be a suggestion for a starter? Thank you.

3 years, 1 month agoThe_Dead_See posted on AskScienceDiscussion.
Sept. 16, 2016

Einstein I would say wait a little bit, he assumes a pretty decent mathematical background in his readers, so it can get a bit tricky.

Hawking, meh. The man's a genius but he's not good at explaining physics to laypeople imo. His books seem to state things without any indication of how physicists arrived at those conclusions, so they're a bit of a head scratcher for newbies.

I would say DeGrasse Tyson, Brian Cox and Michio Kaku are fairly easy jumping off points, but you'll soon get tired of hearing the same analogies. When that happens, move onto the slightly deeper books of Brian Greene and John Gribbin. Leave authors like Leonard Susskind, Roger Penrose and Max Tegmark until later, they're pretty heavy.

All of the above are pop science/astrophysics books that deal in exciting, puzzling things at the frontier of knowledge. If you're just looking for a grounding in more mundane everyday physics then you can do a lot worse than to take the free math and physics courses over at Khan Academy and then follow them up with the more advanced free ones at The Theoretical Minimum site. If you knuckle down through those you'll be at undergrad level physics by the end of it, which is honestly about as far as you can go with self teaching imo.

I found it useful to learn the history of things too. Understanding how conclusions were drawn makes the crazy-sounding theories much easier to comprehend. Bill Bryson's book "A Short History of Nearly Everything" is a great overview, and you can follow it up with books specific to the different eras of discovery... Recentering the Universe was a good one for the earliest eras of Copernicus and Galileo. James Gleick's Isaac Newton covers the classical mechanics era. Faraday, Maxwell and the Electromagnetic Field takes you the next step. Then you can get onto Einstein and relativity, of which there are a million and one choices. Then onto quantum mechanics, of which there are even more choices... :-)

Hope that helps.

Read and Learn. Extend Common Knowledge [R]

3 years, 1 month agoRessha posted submission on booksuggestions.
Sept. 5, 2016

I was watching Good Will Hunting and it motivated me to read some books that aren't novels. Maybe you have suggestions, especially history related stuff would interest me.

3 years, 1 month agoRessha posted on booksuggestions.
Sept. 5, 2016

Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything is an extremely readable tour through natural history and scientefic proccess from the very beginning of the planet. Probably my favoruite 'overview' non-fiction book.

If you want to read fiction that will make you more knowledgeable, read anything by Umberto Eco. The research he does on any time period his work is set in is outstanding and it really shows. I finished Prague Cemetery today by him, which is focuses on 19th century conspiracy theories, where every event and character that appears in the book apart from the main character is historically accurate. It's amazing how he blends a fascinating plot with historical accuracy.

Where to begin with learning science [R]

3 years, 2 months agoYosserHughes posted submission on exchristian.
Aug. 20, 2016

Where should I start with learning about science and how the world TRULY started? I recently left Christianity and as I posted before, I'm dumb on these subjects and I don't want to get suckered back in. Any advice on where to start? Any science for dummies? :p

3 years, 2 months agoYosserHughes posted on exchristian.
Aug. 20, 2016

Bill Bryson A Short History of Nearly Everything is a great place to start. Read his introduction in the Amazon preview and you'll get an idea of the books content.

Here's a typical review:

'A Short History of Nearly Everything is Bill Bryson's quest to find out everything that has happened from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization - how we got from there, being nothing at all, to here, being us. His challenge is to take subjects that normally bore the pants off most of us, and see if there isn't some way to render them comprehensible to people who have never thought they could be interested in science. It's not so much about what we know, as about how we know what we know. How do we know what is in the centre of the Earth, or what a black hole is, or where the continents were 600 million years ago? How did anyone ever figure these things out? On his travels through time and space, Bill Bryson takes us with him on the ultimate eye-opening journey, and reveals the world in a way most of us have never seen it before.'

Off to Yosemite next week, looking for some fun, engrossing reads for laying in the sun by the Merced River. [R]

3 years, 2 months agoNomis74 posted submission on booksuggestions.
Aug. 18, 2016

This is my favorite part of the year! No cell service, no TV, no nothin' but fresh air, babbling brooks and lots of beer (and crosswords). Last year I blasted through Bill Bryson's Walk in the Woods, cheryl strayed's Wild, and Augusten Burroughs Dry...

Am looking for something funny, entertaining, possibly nature-centric to bring along. I have All The Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy packed but think I could use something a little more light-hearted and fun as well. (AKA no Muir or Thoreau plz - though I love the guys)

Ideas?

3 years, 2 months agoNomis74 posted on booksuggestions.
Aug. 18, 2016

A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson. A fantastic read.

https://www.amazon.com/Short-History-Nearly-Everything/dp/076790818X

What is the rate at which animal species are going extinct? is it accelerating each year? [R]

3 years, 2 months agoThe_Dead_See posted submission on TrueAskReddit.
July 29, 2016

[removed]

3 years, 2 months agoThe_Dead_See posted on TrueAskReddit.
July 29, 2016

It may well be increasing although the exact rate is debated and differs greatly depending on what clades and kingdoms you include. We appear to be in the middle of possibly the largest extinction event since the K-T Extinction 66 MYA that ended the reign of the dinosaurs. Biodiversity scientists term the present era the Holocene Extinction event.

In Bill Bryson's book A Short History of Nearly Everything he closes with these thoughts on the subject:

>Because we are so remarkably careless about looking after things, both when alive and when not, we have no idea-- really none at all-- about how many things have died off permanently, or may soon, or may never, and what role we have played in any part of the process. In 1979, in the book The Sinking Ark, the author Norman Myers suggested that human activities were causing about two extinctions a week on the planet. By the early 1990s he had raised the figure to about some six hundred per week. (That's extinctions of all types-- plants, insects, and so on as well as animals.) Others have put the figure ever higher-- to well over a thousand a week. A United Nations report of 1995, on the other hand, put the total number of known extinctions in the last four hundred years at slightly under 500 for animals and slightly over 650 for plants-- while allowing that this was "almost certainly an underestimate," particularly with regard to tropical species. A few interpreters think most extinction figures are grossly inflated. The fact is, we don't know. Don't have any idea. We don't know when we started doing many of the things we've done. We don't know what we are doing right now or how our present actions will affect the future. What we do know is that there is only one planet to do it on, and only one species of being capable of making a considered difference. Edward O. Wilson expressed it with unimprovable brevity in The Diversity of Life: "One planet, one experiment." If this book has a lesson, it is that we are awfully lucky to be here

Life after Cosmos with NDT? [R]

3 years, 2 months agoThe_Dead_See posted submission on AskScienceDiscussion.
July 29, 2016

I'm a confirmed humanities guy, and I'm usually about five years behind the times. Cosmos was such a coherent and entertaining introduction to "science", writ large, and I'm almost done with it.

I particularly dug the astrophysics and history of science pieces, but was hoping someone could point me in the direction for some further layman-esque science communication pieces. Preferably somewhere relatively accessible, such as Netflix or Hulu or YouTube.

Obliged for any help.

3 years, 2 months agoThe_Dead_See posted on AskScienceDiscussion.
July 29, 2016

There are lots! Try Brian Greene's Fabric of the Cosmos series on Amazon. Both Netflix and Amazon have a huge amount of NOVA documentaries which are usually pretty good.

The movie Particle Fever (Netflix) is a great intro to the work of the LHC at CERN

Look up the BBC Christmas Lectures - there are lots of them. Every xmas famous scientists present a layman overview of a topic to kids at the famous Royal Institution. I grew up watching these and still love them today.

Prof Brian Cox is probably the UKs most recognizable face for bringing physics to the public these days. Europe's version of NDT. He's always a joy to watch and you'll be able to find many talks by him, and programs starring him, just by searching his name on Youtube.

For the history of science, you can't get more fun than Bill Bryson's book, A Short History of Nearly Everything. It's wildly entertaining.

Just a word of warning on the layman style documentaries and pop sci books... their very nature makes them have to avoid the math, which is where all of this stuff comes from in the first place. As a result the concepts they share often seem fantastical and speculative and can lead non-scientists to wonder about the veracity of science these days. It's important to remember these things all have a much less dramatic and exciting foundation usually in partial differential equations and other such complex math. If you want to get into that side of things, Leonard Suskind's free online lectures at The Theoretical Minimum are great.

What are some good book recommendations for the evolution of scientific understanding? [R]

3 years, 2 months agoThe_Dead_See posted submission on AskScienceDiscussion.
July 25, 2016

I've watched hours and hours of videos on Youtube with NDT or Michio Kaku on scientists like Albert Einstein, James Clerk Maxwell, Galileo Galilei, Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, etc. I would love to read about them as the understanding progressed, how they influenced each other, and tie everything I've learned about them together. I haven't been able to locate a book written this way so I would appreciate any recommendations! Thanks!

3 years, 2 months agoThe_Dead_See posted on AskScienceDiscussion.
July 25, 2016

A really fun one is Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything. If you can find the version on tape read by Bryson himself, it's really lively and funny.

John Gribbin's The Scientists is a bit more straightforward, very good though.

Quantum by Manjit Kumar is a fun look at the last century and the development of the Standard Model.

I'm reading a pretty good one right now that I picked up from a goodwill store, it's called Theories of the World by Michael Crowe.

Ok CC, For the first time I've got Ebay bucks to spend, so what to get for $8.14 or so? [R]

3 years, 3 months agoJuly 6, 2016

[removed]

3 years, 3 months agonunsinnikes posted on CasualConversation.
July 7, 2016

Can spacetime wrap in such a way that the universe would be finite with no border ? [R]

3 years, 4 months agoarfbrookwood posted submission on askscience.
May 25, 2016

Maybe something like a 4 dimensional sphere ?

3 years, 4 months agoarfbrookwood posted on askscience.
May 25, 2016

The first part of Bill Brysons "A Short History of Nearly Everything" explains this kind of thing: http://www.amazon.com/Short-History-Nearly-Everything/dp/076790818X#reader_076790818X

I just recently gave up Christianity and I have some questions... [R]

3 years, 5 months agoasielen posted submission on answers.
April 26, 2016

Ok so first no hate to any religious people most of my friends and family are and I love you guys you are great people.

Now for my question. I grew up in a Christian prep school and I received a way above average education in every field except evolutionary and cosmic science. does anyone know any books, videos, or sources where I can learn about Evolution, The Big Bang, ect.

I dont actually need any science credits in college at least so far (im about to be a sophomore) but i just like to learn about stuff outside of school. Thanks for thew help.

EDIT: Thanks so much for all the help you guys rock. Also I just want to say to the few people who seemed confused why I am no longer a Christian, I am not an Atheist I am still spiritual I have just been experiencing other faiths and I respect everyone's viewpoint.

3 years, 5 months agoasielen posted on answers.
April 26, 2016

FREE TALK FRIDAY - I woke up early edition! [R]

3 years, 6 months agowivikesfan posted submission on minnesotavikings.
April 8, 2016

Talk about things, and stuff.

3 years, 6 months agowivikesfan posted on minnesotavikings.
April 8, 2016

I'm reading this right now. Complete opposite of sci-fi, but it's fascinating.

It's helped me understand how relatively dumb I am, too. It's been a humbling exercise!

Become an adult and the government drops this one on you real quick. [R]

3 years, 7 months agobrzcory posted submission on AdviceAnimals.
March 21, 2016
3 years, 7 months agobrzcory posted on AdviceAnimals.
March 21, 2016

> © Bill Bryson, Reprinted with love.

Love me some Bill Bryson.

http://www.amazon.com/Short-History-Nearly-Everything/dp/076790818X/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Looking for a book on the most important historical developments (ie germs, gunpowder, steel, the longbow, the phalanx, sewers etc) [R]

3 years, 7 months agonickinkorea posted submission on history.
March 7, 2016

Hi everyone, I'm looking for a book or something of that nature that would detail the most important developments in politics, military strategy, science, economics, medicine etc, those that allowed civilization to move forward and develop in crucial ways for the future of the human project, any ideas? Also, if anyone wants to share their own thoughts on what some of the important development might be that would not be unwelcome. Thanks!

3 years, 7 months agonickinkorea posted on history.
March 7, 2016

A Short History of Nearly Everything. Essentially, Bryson describes the evolution of man through it's scientific advances. I think it will be a little less militarily focused than you want, but it seems pretty close.

LPT Request: How to gain general knowledge as an adult after a poor education [R]

3 years, 7 months agoMarch 6, 2016

[deleted]

3 years, 7 months agoPresidentYummy posted on LifeProTips.
March 6, 2016

Bate-Papo da Terça - O que você está lendo? - 01.03.2016 [R]

3 years, 7 months agokakaroto_BR posted submission on brasil.
March 1, 2016

Reservado para literatura. Que livros estão na sua cabeceira? Comente, faça reviews, participe!

3 years, 7 months agokakaroto_BR posted on brasil.
March 2, 2016

[A Short History of Nearly Everything] (http://www.amazon.com/A-Short-History-Nearly-Everything/dp/076790818X): livro para leigos curto e intrigante sobre as mais diversas áreas do conhecimento científico e casos interessantes sobre personalidades que fizeam a ciência ao longo dos séculos.

list request: A brief history of: [R]

3 years, 8 months agolonggoodknight posted submission on booklists.
Feb. 4, 2016

Hi,

I'm looking to complete a loose series of books(multiple authors and publishers) in the "A brief history of:" format.

Each book I have so far encountered has a specific way it displays the words near the top right, which visually helps to differentiate them, what with the common name.

Here is an example

Would anyone have, or know how to obtain a full list, so we could compare what we have, vs what we still need?

3 years, 8 months agolonggoodknight posted on booklists.
Feb. 4, 2016

Here you go: A Short History of Nearly Everything

Should cover all of your needs in one book.

But seriously it is worth a read.

TIL The element Phosphorus was discovered in 1669 by a German Alchemist who was trying to make gold out of urine. [R]

3 years, 8 months agostareatthesun442 posted submission on todayilearned.
Feb. 2, 2016
3 years, 8 months agostareatthesun442 posted on todayilearned.
Feb. 2, 2016

Bill Bryson talks about this in one of his books A Short History of Nearly Everything.

Among many other really interesting things regarding science and how we discovered things.

It's easily one of my favorite non-fiction books of all time. Pick it up, you wont regret it!

A young adult needs help progressing his intellectual journey. [R]

3 years, 8 months agoRelaxingOnTheBeach posted submission on InsightfulQuestions.
Jan. 29, 2016

Hello hopefully helpful reddites! I have a sort of broad request that I hope some of you could take the time to help me with. Thank you in advance!

I'm a 22 year old that, from my perspective, is just starting to grasp the string of truly intelligent thought. I feel like my mental ability is growing from young adult to adult, but I need fuel to keep this process going.

I am looking forward to starting college so I can break away from my current dismal social group and acquire the chance to converse and grow with fellow intellectual peers. However, I'm not there yet and want to start growing my perception of the world and developing my self perception before then.

I would adore any insight on genuinely meaningful books. I love reading though I admit I've mainly only dabbled in young adult fantasy till now. I'm really starting to understand the value of empowering my ability to think, and believe reading is a key element to doing so.

I'm hopeful for good suggestions on any intellectual subject that can simply expand my field of thought.

In short, I'm looking for books that can help me think good, ya dig? Once again, thank you for any help. :)

3 years, 8 months agoRelaxingOnTheBeach posted on InsightfulQuestions.
Jan. 30, 2016

A short history of nearly everything.

It's heavy on the science and math but also includes some history and philosophy. What's great about it is it doesn't just tell you the world is 4 billion years old, it tells you how we know that and goes over the evolution of human thought and how we got to where we are today in each subject. It's also easy to read and the audio book version can be finished in a week of just listening to it during your commute.

Telling someone with no philosophy background to try to read 900 pages of Kant is a recipe for frustration.

I know close to nothing about history...where do I start? [R]

3 years, 10 months agoLunasaG posted submission on history.
Dec. 22, 2015

Never was interested in history or geography in school for as long as I can remember. I only have a little knowledge on American history but not as much as I'd like. I'd like to learn about the middle east and how its in the mess its in now, the uprising of different religions, England history, different types of societies, pilgrims, native Americans, history of different financial systems, world wars, different countries civil wars, economics and policies of other nations, America's policy history and results, ancient Chinese history, ect....So much I need to learn, I feel so stupid whenever someone brings some place or historical event up and 9 times out of 10 I will just nod my head like a dog because I have no clue what they are talking about. Also, I'm fascinated by people who have sharp history and know their historical events...I'm pretty smart in all subjects except for this. I love politics, finance, and economics and debating them but whenever someone brings up history in a debate about this (which happens I lot), I'm just at loss of words because I'm so stupid in this area...Reddit, where do I start?

3 years, 10 months agoLunasaG posted on history.
Dec. 23, 2015

If you're up for an fun, easy read I'd suggest you start with 'A Short History of Nearly Everything' by Bill Bryson and see when you feel like exploring when you're done. - http://www.amazon.com/A-Short-History-Nearly-Everything/dp/076790818X

Looking for a well written, succinct book on the history of earth within the geologic time scale. [R]

3 years, 10 months agomargaret_thacher posted submission on geology.
Dec. 8, 2015

Doesn't really have to be succinct. Just want a book that focuses solely on this topic to reinforce these ideas as I continue my major in geology.

I would like the book to include all geologic aspects, including animal/plant life.

Thanks in advance for any & all suggestions!

My friend is really into science and I have no idea what to buy for christmas? I have nooo clue what to buy/make... [R]

3 years, 10 months agoBig_Time_Rug_Dealer posted submission on GiftIdeas.
Dec. 7, 2015

Or I'm gonna have to buy something from Zara again :S

Love Books About the History of Things [R]

3 years, 11 months agoCommanderKyle posted submission on suggestmeabook.
Nov. 5, 2015

Hi suggestmeabook!

I am new here and would appreciate some recommendations on books on the history of things. To clarify, these are the kind of books I love to read:

Periodic Tales: A Cultural History of the Elements, from Arsenic to Zinc

Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World

Salt: A World History

Papyrus: The Plant that Changed the World: From Ancient Egypt to Today's Water Wars

Rain: A Natural and Cultural History

Thank you and happy reading!

Edit: Thank you to everyone for the great suggestions :)

3 years, 11 months agoCommanderKyle posted on suggestmeabook.
Nov. 5, 2015

A Brief History of Nearly Everything would be right up your alley. Besides, Bryson is a very entertaining writer so the information is relevant AND fun to read about.

[TOMT][book] A book about the History of the World [R]

3 years, 12 months agopoloxamer posted submission on tipofmytongue.
Oct. 22, 2015

Hi there guys, I need your help finding a book for my friend. The title of the book has "History of the World" in it but is not the one published by Penguin. It's quite a thick book, maybe about 1000 pages. My friend recalls that the colour of the cover was green. It's contents deal with the general history of the world, covering topics like the World Wars and Hitler.

My friend also recalls that the book may have an association with the Singapore American School, or perhaps some other Singaporean publisher. The date of publication is around the 1990's.

I would appreciate it if anyone has some info on this book, since it is special for my friend. Thank you very much in advance.

3 years, 12 months agopoloxamer posted on tipofmytongue.
Oct. 22, 2015

And if you like that, you should also read "A Short History of Nearly Everything" by Bill Bryson: http://www.amazon.com/Short-History-Nearly-Everything/dp/076790818X/ref=sr1sc_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1445548455&sr=8-3-spell&keywords=a+briefy+history

I want to be smart [R]

4 years agoSept. 21, 2015

I recently had my birthday, and I've set an ambitious goal of reading 100 books this natal year. I love fiction, and have about 60 fiction books already on my to-read list. I'm looking for help building a list of nonfiction books to help make me a smarter, more well-rounded person. Topics I already have an interest in include outer space, dinosaurs, primate evolution, Human prehistory and the history of Psychiatry, Psychology and Medicine, but I'm open to suggestions of any interesting non-fiction book you feel made you a smarter person for having read it.

4 years agoninjanamaka posted on suggestmeabook.
Sept. 22, 2015

A short history of nearly everything is a book about the history of science and human curiosity told in a very witty way.

Recommendations of "well written" history books. [R]

4 years, 1 month agoswagnusinmypants posted submission on history.
Sept. 3, 2015

I have always found that is quite rare to find writers who are both excellent historians (i.e. their work is well-researched and convincing, not necessarily that they are ground-breaking academics) and excellent writers. I have recently been captivated by books by Tom Holland, Roger Crowley, and Andrew Roberts who I feel fulfill both criteria.

I was wondering if /r/history had any other recommendations of authors who write well (turning histories into page turners) and have done the homework to back it up!

Edit: thanks for all your recommendations!

4 years, 1 month agoswagnusinmypants posted on history.
Sept. 3, 2015

A short history of nearly everything by Bill Bryson is probably my favorite book of all time:

Link to buy on Amazon

Non-fiction books to read before going to sleep? [R]

4 years, 1 month agocelticeejit posted submission on booksuggestions.
Sept. 2, 2015

Do you guys know any good non fiction books to read before bed? I really enjoy reading fantasy before going to sleep. But now I want to try some non fiction before bed. I guess I prefer something philosophical, thought provokong, self-improving, but all suggestions are welcome! Only condition is that can't be too 'difficult', so my mind doesn't start racing (as it tends to do when I read books with complex content). Thank you!!

4 years, 1 month agocelticeejit posted on booksuggestions.
Sept. 2, 2015

Bill Bryson: A short history of Nearly Everything

Best non fiction I've had the pleasure to read

http://www.amazon.com/Short-History-Nearly-Everything/dp/076790818X/ref=sr11?ie=UTF8&qid=1441239640&sr=8-1&keywords=Bill+Bryson

ELI5: This quote from xkcd: "There will come a day when I'm either an ancestor to all living humans or to none of them" [R]

4 years, 1 month agoGlottisTakeTheWheel posted submission on explainlikeimfive.
Aug. 26, 2015

From: http://xkcd.com/1545/

Doesn't quite make sense to me. How is one of those outcomes guaranteed? I would think it would be possible for you to be an ancestor to less than all but more than zero humans for an infinite amount of time.

Edit: Obligatory RIP MY INBOX.

4 years, 1 month agoGlottisTakeTheWheel posted on explainlikeimfive.
Aug. 26, 2015

Would you like to know more? http://www.amazon.com/A-Short-History-Nearly-Everything/dp/076790818X

It really is quite excellent.

4 years, 1 month agoflavor_enhancer posted submission on worldnews.
Aug. 23, 2015
4 years, 1 month agoflavor_enhancer posted on worldnews.
Aug. 23, 2015

Museums are likely packed with mammoth tusks. I didn't know this, but most natural history museum's archives are so overwhelmingly stuffed with fossils, that it would take teams of paleontologists decades to sift through them all. There are literally thousands of fossils of undiscovered species sitting an drawers waiting to be found. From A short history of nearly everything.

Edit: grammar

Raised in a militantly Baptist environment in Atlanta. Received a crazy Christian education, took my first factual science class in college and I am just angry. [R]

4 years, 2 months agomothman83 posted submission on atheism.
Aug. 18, 2015

Raised by a super abusive Christian father (I compare him to a Pharisee) and a wonderful, kind Christian mother who did what she could to protect us kids from him. Physically and verbally abused throughout my entire childhood, and constantly in church services and bible studies. I know "god" is a joke but I was never given the hard science as to why. Since I was raised in Christian schools, taking a Bible class every semester of my school career before college and being taught that all atheistic scientific teachings were made up by liars who just want to prove that they're smarter than God, I would love some articles that prove evolution and disprove the Christian theory that all scientists are lying about discoveries they've made in the field of evolution. Articles that don't just discuss evolution but disprove the lies I've been told in school (the flood, Jesus, etc.) would also be appreciated and read.

Edit: the most common argument I hear is that all transitional fossils were just imagined by scientists from tiny fragments of bone, rendering these fossils moot.

Edit2: thanks to everyone who contributed. In the south, if you're raised Christian, everyone you know is also Christian and have a similar education. The few articles I've been able to read so far have been truly amazing. I don't understand why this information isn't easier to find, but I'm thrilled to have been shown. There is still a small, stubborn part of my subconscious that was raised to believe that God is a fact, so getting over this superstition with cold hard facts is a relief.

4 years, 2 months agomothman83 posted on atheism.
Aug. 18, 2015

the absolute best book I can recommend is Bill Bryson's " a short history of nearly everything". It doesn't debunk anything, instead it is an immensely readable history of the major scientifc findings including things like the age of the earth evolution etc.

The reason I recommend it so highly is because it just destroys the " conspiracy theory" view of science that is fed to people like you in enviroments like the one you found yourself in. It depicts scientists as what they are: curious honest people awestruck by nature and motivated to learn as much about it as possible, instead of anti- god conspiracists who fabricate evidence so they can " keep sinning"

TIL the inventor of leaded gasoline also invented Freon. Thomas Midgley, Jr. possessed "an instinct for the regrettable that was almost uncanny." and "had more impact on the atmosphere than any other single organism in Earth's history." [R]

4 years, 2 months agogentlemandinosaur posted submission on todayilearned.
Aug. 17, 2015
4 years, 2 months agogentlemandinosaur posted on todayilearned.
Aug. 17, 2015

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00039896.1965.10664229#.VdI39_knkR0

http://www.amazon.com/A-Short-History-Nearly-Everything/dp/076790818X

The Ethyl corporation still exists by the way, and they still make the product (The headquarters are in Richmond Va). They just sell it to other countries.

What are some lesser known atheist books? [R]

4 years, 3 months agojij posted submission on atheism.
July 14, 2015

Lesser known atheist books,poetry,music,resources,etc I've read a lot of the well known ones so I was curious if you guys had any recommendations. Thanks in advance

I am a 13 year old, looking to further my knowledge on science. [R]

4 years, 3 months agoAnecdotallyExtant posted submission on AskScienceDiscussion.
July 14, 2015

I'm currently going into the 8th grade, and I absolutely love science. What are some ways I can further my current (very limited, compared to most people) knowledge about science? Learning shouldn't be too difficult, so what are some places to start?

Throwaway for obvious reasons.

4 years, 3 months agoAnecdotallyExtant posted on AskScienceDiscussion.
July 14, 2015

I would start with some popular science books. Some can give you a great look at a wide range of fields and others can give a great in-depth look at something you're specifically interested in.

^* A Short History of Nearly Everything is just a masterful work that I can't really recommend highly enough.

ELI5:How do scientist know anything about things that are light years away? [R]

4 years, 3 months agoJuly 10, 2015

[deleted]

4 years, 3 months agoStuffDreamsAreMadeOf posted on explainlikeimfive.
July 10, 2015

I suggest you read this book. The short answer: we don't know shit about anything. Near or far. It is all just best guessing and observation.

http://www.amazon.com/A-Short-History-Nearly-Everything/dp/076790818X

The In Your Pants Book [Contest]! [R]

4 years, 3 months agoskalafurey posted submission on randomactsofamazon.
July 9, 2015

EDIT: Contest closed! All of the entries were amazing!

So, /u/doctor-kitten and I were playing In-Your-Pants this morning, and she came up with the idea to make it a contest!

Here's how to play:

  1. Pick a book that you want from your Amazon wishlist.
  2. Add "in your pants" or some variation thereof to it.
  3. Post it here with a link to it.

The funniest few will win the book (without it being in my pants, of course). There will be multiple winners, and the winners will be chosen on Friday in the evening at some point.

Example of how to play: "Everybody Poops" in their pants; or, "American Gods" in your pants.

Have fun!

TIL the "Loony Gas Building" was the name given to an old Standard Oil plant in 1924 after every single man who worked there was hospitalized for insanity... 5 of which died. The plant was manufacturing a new, breakthrough product: leaded gasoline additive. [R]

4 years, 3 months agoliquoranwhores posted submission on todayilearned.
July 8, 2015
4 years, 3 months agoliquoranwhores posted on todayilearned.
July 8, 2015

> A short history of nearly everything

For lazy people like me, the Amazon link.

TIL The mass of a teaspoon-size scoop of a neutron star would be 10 billion tons, equal to a mountain on Earth. [R]

4 years, 3 months agokapri123 posted submission on todayilearned.
July 6, 2015
4 years, 3 months agokapri123 posted on todayilearned.
July 6, 2015

book

This books has this and many other fascinating facts about nearly anything (without needed to have PhD)

How to help? My husband doesn't know science! [R]

4 years, 4 months agoThe_Dead_See posted submission on AskScienceDiscussion.
May 30, 2015

I posted this over in r/askscience, and they told me to post it over here. If this isn't the right place to post this, please let me know.

My husband has distanced himself from his strict religious upbringing (Mormon), but I still find him tripping over old thought patterns. He puts dinosaurs, ghosts, the Big Bang (and its timeline) and evolution (to name a few!) in the same "that's a cute theory" pile.

Please don't judge! He wants to learn, he really does! He is having a hard time resolving old thought patterns and in his words, "replacing the nonsense with fact."

We've decided to start small at the children's museum and old episodes of Bill Nye, but are there any other ways we can work on his understanding of the world? Thank you for any suggestions.

FWIW, I have a doctorate degree in the medical field and while my upbringing was also religious (Baptist), search for knowledge and truth was put above doctrine.

4 years, 4 months agoThe_Dead_See posted on AskScienceDiscussion.
May 30, 2015

One thing to talk about may be the enormous extent of study that has gone into our understanding of theories like evolution or the big bang. I notice that a lot of people who deny such theories seem to think they are just cute ideas that a few scientists came up with and the media and pop culture jumped on and spread. Such people have a tendency to not realize that these models have been tested and refined by thousands (even millions) of very highly educated people over the course of many, many decades... or over more than one and a half centuries in the case of evolution. Entire careers have been spent on developing, testing and refining every aspect of the models, and while human error and even hoax naturally finds its way in now and then, it's the very nature of the scientific method to explicitly try to disprove itself. That's how it moves forward. We reach a point, like we are now with evolution, where so many scientists, countless teams of them, have tried their very hardest to disprove it, to find flaws and fallacies within the model, and to offer better explanations wherever they find them.

The other thing some people neglect to realize is how theories like evolution and big bang don't exist in a vacuum. The reason they are so powerful is because the concepts in them ripple across countless other fields of science. Someone makes a discovery about a particular aspect of say, big bang theory, and all of a sudden pieces fall into place in fields that are even just distantly related to big bang theory. That works both ways too, discoveries in other fields funnel into the big bang models and basically support them with lots of circumstantial evidence.

Try your husband with a copy of Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything. It's a really fun read so he won't get bored. More importantly it illustrates the breadth and depth of how scientific models come about, showing how discoveries spread and build across so many individuals and teams. It also covers, well, almost everything, so it demonstrates very well how all the fields of science interweave and how nothing exists in a vacuum.

Hope that helps.

I'm a physics student who knows bugger all about history, what are some of the best ways I can learn? [R]

4 years, 4 months agoPadawanbater posted submission on history.
May 23, 2015

I live in the UK, so I guess European specific history may be of more use to me as opposed to American history. How can I inform myself? Is Wikipedia one of the best avenues? I don't have a load of time to read hundreds of pages of in-depth history books so how can I get super interesting and informative information about the most popular bits of history? I'm thinking that eventually that'll lead me down my own path and I'll manually be searching out my favourite bits of history...

4 years, 4 months agoPadawanbater posted on history.
May 24, 2015

Bro, do yourself a favor and buy Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything", it's $10 (£6.45) and is one of my favorite books on my shelf! It goes over a wide range of topics, from scientific discoveries in physics, biology, electricity, magnetism, vaccines, pretty literally, nearly everything. For me, this book did exactly what it sounds like you're looking for, opened my eyes to the awesome bits of existing, the amazing people that came before me, and it gave me a distinct sense of purpose as a kid with a lot of unanswered questions about the world.

If you have the money to spend, buy it on amazon, if not, enjoy the .pdf

:)

"In A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson trekked the Appalachian Trail—well, most of it. In A Sunburned Country, he confronted some of the most lethal wildlife Australia has to offer. Now, in his biggest book, he confronts his greatest challenge: to understand—and, if possible, answer—the oldest, biggest questions we have posed about the universe and ourselves. Taking as territory everything from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization, Bryson seeks to understand how we got from there being nothing at all to there being us. To that end, he has attached himself to a host of the world’s most advanced (and often obsessed) archaeologists, anthropologists, and mathematicians, travelling to their offices, laboratories, and field camps. He has read (or tried to read) their books, pestered them with questions, apprenticed himself to their powerful minds. A Short History of Nearly Everything is the record of this quest, and it is a sometimes profound, sometimes funny, and always supremely clear and entertaining adventure in the realms of human knowledge, as only Bill Bryson can render it. Science has never been more involving or entertaining."

http://www.amazon.com/A-Short-History-Nearly-Everything/dp/076790818X

http://cdn.preterhuman.net/texts/history/A%20Short%20History%20Of%20Nearly%20Everything.pdf

Mad Max Fury Road is getting rave reviews. Has anyone seen a preview screening yet and thinks it lives up to the hype? [R]

4 years, 5 months agoComedian70 posted submission on scifi.
May 12, 2015

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/mad_max_fury_road/

Critics Consensus: With exhilarating action and a surprising amount of narrative heft, Mad Max: Fury Road brings George Miller's post-apocalyptic franchise roaring vigorously back to life.

Edit: RT consensus.

4 years, 5 months agoComedian70 posted on scifi.
May 12, 2015

The geosciences community ignored, laughed off, and deliberately suppressed PT as a working theory for decades through the mid-1900s. There were college textbooks still in use in the 80's that suggested that the very idea was flat-out wrong.

If you're interested in this sort of thing (the state of the various scientific disciplines and their history) do yourself a BIG favor and read A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson That's a link direct to the US Amazon page. It's fantastic.

The world's brightest scientific minds posed for this 1927 photo after historic debates about quantum mechanics [R]

4 years, 6 months agoboilerdam posted submission on Physics.
April 22, 2015
4 years, 5 months agoboilerdam posted on Physics.
April 22, 2015

Well, there's also A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson which is a brilliant book as well.

Btw, following your comment, I just bought the Kindle version. I think I should put this picture on /r/funny coz the price for a hardcover edition is sure as hell funny!

What is the best resource for reading about the history of science? [R]

4 years, 6 months agoApril 5, 2015

I like science, and I've always enjoyed keeping up with our most recent discoveries and theories, but there are giant glaring holes in my understanding of science.

Is there a book or volume of books or random assortment of books that can kind of walk me through scientific discoveries chronologically? I realize that this is a huge undertaking and I don't expect to be able to read it all quickly or even comprehend it immediately. I've done some googling and found a good amount of books about science in different eras of history, but I was wondering if /r/askscience could weigh in on this topic and help me out! Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

4 years, 6 months agoSakinho posted on AskScienceDiscussion.
April 5, 2015

I think Bill Bryson's book A Short History of Nearly Everything does a fantastic job of covering a wide range of scientific areas in a close to chronological order with an interesting narrative. It's also very accessible to the layman, as Bryson considered himself to be one, but got fed up with it so he decided to spend a couple of years learning and writing a book about general science. It won't turn anyone into a scientifically literate person on its own, but it's an excellent place to start.

TIL Gin and Tonic were originally created by the British East India Company as a way to get soldiers to have quinine to prevent and treat malaria. Quinine (in tonic) was too bitter. In order to get them to drink the tonic officers added the solders' gin rations with sugar, lime and water. [R]

4 years, 6 months agoWILLYOUSTFU posted submission on todayilearned.
April 5, 2015
4 years, 6 months agoWILLYOUSTFU posted on todayilearned.
April 5, 2015

The book A Short History of Nearly Everything is loaded with great medical and scientific anecdotes, I highly recommend it.

TIL that in 2013 an abandoned Russian cruise ship began drifting through international waters. It was last seen 1,300 nautical miles off the coast of Ireland and is yet to be found. [R]

4 years, 6 months agoMarch 28, 2015

[deleted]

What is your favorite nonfiction audiobook? [R]

4 years, 6 months agoMarch 25, 2015

What is your favourite nonfiction audiobook? (Or favorites, if it is hard to decide)

4 years, 6 months agoebilgenius posted on audiobooks.
March 26, 2015

Questioning Christian here. What are some things you guys recommend that I read? [R]

4 years, 6 months agoerragodofmayhem posted submission on TrueAtheism.
March 24, 2015

EDIT: Thanks so much to everyone here for the recommendations. You've been a big help.

I've been having a lot of questions recently bouncing around in my head. Any help from you guys would be appreciated.

I guess what I'm most interesting in learning about are inconsistencies in the Bible (and with the Christian religion as a whole - like, any history that doesn't add up), philosophical arguments against Christianity, scientific arguments, etc.

I know I'm being pretty broad here, so I'm sorry if that's a problem! I just want to learn more. I'm planning on posting a similar question in the Christianity subreddit about the same stuff, in argument for Christianity.

I just want to feel that my beliefs are true, whether they be religious or not. Just searching for answers.

4 years, 6 months agoerragodofmayhem posted on TrueAtheism.
March 24, 2015

Read all the things!

Seriously though, I think the most important choice is deciding to approach any new information from a fresh, as unbiased as possible, perspective.

You want to find and know the truth ... let the truth show itself to you without you having any preconceived ideas of what the truth ought to be, or which truth would make you most comfortable.

Then read anything and everything that interests you.

If you're into science and want to know more about how we know what we know so far, read "A Short History of nearly Everything" by Bill Bryson.

If you like philosophical arguments and logical mind exercises, check out anything by Sam Harris (Lots of Youtube debates and speeches too).

If you want the above, but with buckets of passion, eloquence and English wit, check out Christopher Hitchens (again, many Youtube debates and speeches)

If you want to understand why atheists don't take to heart a lot of the Theist Arguments, check out Thunderfoot's "Why do creationists get laughed at" series.

IWTL about the universe [R]

4 years, 7 months agobirdsaresodumb posted submission on IWantToLearn.
March 17, 2015

Specifically more modern developments than the dated stuff I'd expect to find in books.

4 years, 7 months agobirdsaresodumb posted on IWantToLearn.
March 18, 2015

Bill Bryson has a great book that has a layman's explanation of the high points. http://www.amazon.com/A-Short-History-Nearly-Everything/dp/076790818X

IQ Boosting: 50,000 pages of non-fiction fun everybody should read and enjoy! It helped me want to know more... about everything! [R]

4 years, 7 months ago[deleted] posted submission on selfimprovement.
March 7, 2015

[removed]

4 years, 7 months ago[deleted] posted on selfimprovement.
March 8, 2015

This is wonderful thank you!

Highly recommended from my own bookshelves, in no particular order

[Shower Thought] KiA Should have a book-club. First recommendation? "Trust Me, I'm Lying." [R]

4 years, 8 months agoskyclown posted submission on KotakuInAction.
Feb. 5, 2015
4 years, 8 months agoskyclown posted on KotakuInAction.
Feb. 5, 2015

In no particular order

I'll stop for now, if you want any more message me.

Is anyone else depressed about how they weren't born in 2008-2015? Or even sometime in the relatively distant future? [R]

4 years, 9 months agoJan. 17, 2015

[deleted]

4 years, 9 months agokosmic777 posted on oculus.
Jan. 17, 2015

^^ This reminds me of A Short History of Nearly Everything. A good read btw.

I too sometimes worry about dying just when things are getting really good with all the awesome VR stuff that's surely coming. And I'm 50 years old, so I have a valid concern. If I was 21, I'd be feeling pretty good about getting to experience all the really good stuff.

I also somethings feel the "be careful and don't die" thing. In addition to that, I worry about going blind in one or both eyes. That would really suck too!

TIL that Thor Heyerdahl stated that ancient people from South America could have settled in Polynesia, but most anthropologists didn't believe him. So in 1947 he built a primitive raft and made the 101-day journey himself. [R]

4 years, 9 months agoSmarter_not_harder posted submission on todayilearned.
Jan. 7, 2015
4 years, 9 months agoSmarter_not_harder posted on todayilearned.
Jan. 7, 2015

In Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything" he makes a pretty good case that it is actually the exact opposite: that South America was settled by the Polynesians.

Obviously the Polynesians are incredible boaters, but what makes the most sense is that they initially sailed into the wind knowing that if they didn't find whatever it was they were looking for, the trip back home downwind would be much easier.

Most important skeptical books to read? [R]

4 years, 9 months agovencetti posted submission on skeptic.
Jan. 6, 2015

What are the most important skeptical books, in your view?

4 years, 9 months agovencetti posted on skeptic.
Jan. 6, 2015

Great Question. I was thinking about my own history. I wish there was a good single Codex, like handing out Bibles. I'd say read books broadly, read well, listen to debate, study the free MOOC courses online like edx.org. Always have a consciousness above what you are listening/reading that takes the mental exercise to evaluate: what works and what flaws there are in things, even ideas you love. I think books on Science history are especially helpful, like Byson's A Short History of nearly Everything or Boortin's The Discoverers

If there is one single book you would recommend that I read in my lifetime, which one would it be and why? [R]

4 years, 9 months agourban_ posted submission on booksuggestions.
Dec. 29, 2014

Well, thanks all for your suggestions, especially to those who have provided some explanations as to why the book they have recommended is an absolute must-read.

Here is the most up-to-date list of all the books you have suggested so far:

  • Dune by Frank Herbert

  • The Bible - Old and New Testament

  • The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

  • The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

  • Watership Down by Richard Adams

  • Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein

  • Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

  • 1984 by George Orwell

  • Warriors Don't Cry by Melba Patillo Beals

  • Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors by Carl Sagan

  • A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

  • The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck

  • Existence by David Brin

  • The Sea of Fertility by Yukio Mishima

  • The Martian by Andy Weir

  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

  • The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

  • The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

4 years, 9 months agourban_ posted on booksuggestions.
Dec. 29, 2014

Ex-Christians/Muslims/Hindus etc. What was it that convinced you of atheism/secularism? [R]

4 years, 10 months agoerragodofmayhem posted submission on TrueAtheism.
Dec. 17, 2014

I'm not usually one to post much online, whether it's Facebook, Reddit or whatever so I guess this is a bit of a big deal for me. Congratulations guys you've temporarily broken lurker habits. But other than breaking my usual passive online nature I'm here to try get some advice from you anonymous stranger. I need a place to start looking into the world and beliefs of atheists. I know this is probably a bit selfish and I'm not sure if anyone will ever read it all but if you're interested to know the "spiritual" upbringings of some dude you'll probably never meet, you're in the right place... you're a bit creepy for wanting to know about strangers but I guess that's my fault for posting here. So, go:

Background: In a nutshell I was a poster-boy for the Christian community. I was one of those kids raised in Kid's Church (Sunday school for the Americans) and went to two different Christian schools. As I grew up I became heavily involved in the church. Often I attended three services every week, played in youth and church bands, led and attended prayer/Bible study groups at school and socially... Ok so I was involved. Pretty heavily. You get the picture.

Now, since leaving the world of "30cm-rules" and "volunteering-for-eternal-rewards" I've found many a hole in the Sunday hype and prosperity way of living. The continual stress of questioning if I could be doing more for the kingdom coupled with the hypocrisy within the church results in greater burdens than freedoms. I've been told continually I'm free meanwhile I feel that I'm shackled to God's conditions and the churches expectations. And if they aren't met, go to hell (literally).

A close family member of mine has since "come-out" as an Atheist to our Christian family which has resulted in me doing a lot of questioning and soul-searching (which is an ironic phrase in this context). So I guess that's why I'm here reaching out to you humble reader of TrueAtheism. I'm wondering if there were there any particular sources/books/scholars that you've found very useful? Particularly when you began finding out about evolution, carbon dating, fossils, big bang etc. If so what/who are they? If you were previously religious, what was it that resulted in you moving away from your faith? I'd appreciate any amount of feedback, particularly if you were in a similar place to me growing up and have since embraced a non-spiritual view on the world.

tl;dr - I've been raised a Christian. Good beginner sources? Your story from spirituality to scepticism.

PS. I don't think I've use that many /, ", () and - before in my life. The punctuation is taking over.

EDIT - Holy balls guys! Thanks so much for reading my midnight ramblings. I've just woken up to get ready for work so I'll be reading through all of the responses I can and starting a list of resources once I get home. Thanks again!

EDIT 2 - Ok so I've read through most if not all of the replies and tried to copy most of the sources I found. I've put them all into order by type and alphabet so hopefully this can help others who are searching.

-----------Websites:

Apophenia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apophenia

CODYsaurusREX - http://www.reddit.com/r/exchristian/comments/1uo7fg/can_you_please_tell_me_why_you_became_an_atheist/cekf19g?context=3

Counter-apologetics wiki – www.ironchariots.org

Kendall Hobbs – Why I am No Longer a Christian http://infidels.org/library/modern/testimonials/hobbs.html

Paul Wright – Losing My Religion: Thoughts on Leaving Chrsitianity - http://www.noctua.org.uk/paul/losing.html

Paul Wright – Losing My Religion or the Truth About CICCU - http://www.noctua.org.uk/blog/2009/10/20/losing-my-religion-or/

Scientific Method - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method

-----------YouTube:

Christopher Hitchens Destroys Religion - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuI4Nzc07Io

Ken Ham and Bill Nye debate - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6kgvhG3AkI

-----------YouTube Channels:

The Atheist Experience – https://www.youtube.com/user/TheAtheistExperience

Bible Reloaded - https://www.youtube.com/user/TheBibleReloaded

Crash course – https://www.youtube.com/user/crashcourse

DarkViper8888 - https://www.youtube.com/user/darkviper8888

Minute Physics – https://www.youtube.com/user/minutephysics

Theoretical Bullshit - https://www.youtube.com/user/TheoreticalBullshit

Thunderf00t - https://www.youtube.com/user/Thunderf00t

-----------TV Shows and Documentaries:

Atheist Experience (TV)

Carl Sagan - Cosmos (TV)

Neil deGrasse Tyson – Cosmos (TV)

Kumare (Documentary)

-----------Reading Material:

Albert Einstein – Relativity : The Special and General Theory

Bertrand Russel - The Problems of Philosophy

Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything

Carl Sagan - Contact

Carl Sagan - Demon Haunted World

Carl Sagan - The Dragons of Eden

Carl Sagan - Pale Blue Dot

Christopher Hitchens - God is Not Great

David Quammen - The Reluctant Mr. Darwin

George Gamow - The Birth and Death of the Sun

George Gamow – Gravity

George Gamow - One, Two, Three... Infinity

Herald Fritzsch - Quarks: The Stuff of Matter

Jospeh Campbell - Hero with a Thousand Faces

Ken Daniels – Why I believed

Oliver Sacks – Hallucinations

Oliver Sacks - Seeing Voices

Penny Le Couteur and Jay Burreson - Napoleon's Buttons

Peter Boghossian - Manual for Creating Atheists

Richard Dawkins - The God Delusion

Richard Dawkins - The Greatest Show on Earth

Richard Dawkins – The Selfish Gene

Richard Feynman - QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter

Sam Harris - The End of Faith

Sam Harris - Letter to a Christian Nation

Stephen Hawking - A brief History of Time

Steve Wells - The Skeptics Annotated Bible

-----------Book Series:

George Gamow - Mr. Tompkins

Oxford University Press - A Very Short Introduction -Thermodynamics -Superconductivity -Magnetism.

-----------Other:

The Bible

The Qu'ran

The Bhagavad Gita

4 years, 10 months agoerragodofmayhem posted on TrueAtheism.
Dec. 17, 2014

I don't think I ever believed in a god.

Certainly I was there on Sundays and testified to my friends if they asked, I was a pretty decent missionary's kid. I participated when called on, but didn't ever initiate anything religious, just went with the flow.

Going to college was the first big step. Getting out of one bubble, but that got substituted for another containing a Christianity I didn't recognize. I stopped going to church, never liked it, even worse than school ... because I wasn't learning anything. Every sermon, class, lesson I heard over and over. In college, without parents to drag me out of bed, I started appreciating that sweet Sunday morning sleep a lot more instead.

(The singing was fun though)

I started questioning everything about my faith, for 2 years trying to make new information and new personal convictions fit into what I already believed. It became harder and harder to do. At first it was easy, some shifting and everything fit in perfectly. But that wasn't working anymore.

One night, I wanted to let it all go, start from scratch, but too terrified that I would change and wouldn't be the same "good" person I took myself for.

I decided that whatever was true would present itself when approaching it with a clear mind, just practice healthy skepticism, roll every new idea around in my head and see it from every possible angle, I was always good at thinking exercises, decent at deductions, the truth would present itself. I had to trust that.

Years went by and I realized how little religion was a part of my life, how little I cared for it. How little sense it made, especially after being gone for a while and going to a service ... it felt like a cult.

Being a moral person is about making that decision, not something that comes from faith, faith that if you don't do it the destination will be hell...

For a long time it was all I could think about, I took in books, debates, documentaries, anything that stirred the controversy. Now, it's just another (weird) thing on this planet that I get reminded of from time to time.

If you could erase one discovery or invention for the benefit of humanity, what would it be and why? [R]

4 years, 10 months agocandre23 posted submission on AskReddit.
Dec. 15, 2014

EDIT: This has blown up more than expected and hit the front page, some really fascinating responses from the micro to the universal. Keep them coming!

4 years, 10 months agocandre23 posted on AskReddit.
Dec. 15, 2014

Fun fact: Thomas Midgley, one of the guys who invented tetraethyl lead, also invented and promoted freon and other CFCs (the stuff that wrecked the ozone layer). Between his two "contributions" to commercial chemistry, he is probably the most environmentally-destructive individual organism ever to have lived.

It could be argued that if you had a time machine and a single bullet, you might do more for humanity by going back and killing Midgely instead of Hitler. It's a shame, because he certainly didn't intend for either of his inventions to do so much damage.

Luckily (in a way), he died before we found out what a disaster TEL and CFCs turned out to be. Not so luckily (but perhaps predictably), he was killed by yet another of his own inventions. Partially paralyzed by polio, he devised a complicated arrangement of ropes and pulleys to give him more mobility. He ended up getting tangled in the contraption and was strangled to death by the ropes.

EDIT: Since half a dozen people have suggested Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything" and something called "vsauce" as the potential source for this fun fact, I'm just going to mention here that I first learned this bit of trivia on QI. I have also read A Short History, but my first exposure to the inventive tragedy that is Thomas Midgley's career was courtesy of Stephen Fry. If you find facts like this fun, I strongly encourage you to watch QI (most of it is on youtube). I also encourage you to read Bill Bryson's book.

Hi, I'm new to...well...space [R]

4 years, 11 months agopatefacio posted submission on space.
Nov. 15, 2014

Hi all. I'm not sure if this is the appropriate way to ask this question, so if it violates any rules, please delete this.

Several years ago, I left my Christian religion for reasons that are too long to list here. As a child, I was restricted from many scientific beliefs and principles. This led to me not paying attention in science classes and ultimately ignoring everything that was being taught, although I was very curious, I was too sheltered and afraid to go about pursuing these curiosities. Just a couple of months ago, years after ignoring my former beliefs, I can now, at 25 years old, openly say that I am an atheist.

In doing so, I have ultimately opened my mind for the first time to the real world, and I crave...crave to find answers. Answers to life in general, it's origins, science in general, and, my favorite curiosity, space. This week, the Rosetta mission has absolutely exploded my interest in learning everything I can about space. I've watched the Science channel all week long (#spaceweek FTW!), but found that I do not know nearly enough about even the basics of our universe that a high school graduate should have learned. To be quite honest, it's embarrassing. This has sparked the interest of my wife as well, causing her to ask questions (just in general discussion) that I cannot answer.

The whole purpose of this is to ask if there is a place (for adults) that I can learn on a beginners level about the universe, space, and Earth? I want to learn everything I can get my hands on, but kind of feel overwhelmed, mindlessly clicking on pictures, articles, etc. with no real sense of direction.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this, and if you could, help me out!

4 years, 11 months agopatefacio posted on space.
Nov. 15, 2014

If I might recommend a book, Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything sounds like something you'd be interested in.

It's mostly about the origins and stories behind major scientific discoveries and theories that have shaped our view of the world and universe today. He starts at the Big Bang and goes from there. The book is quite accessible to those without formal scientific education (like myself). Bryson dumbs things down just enough so you can understand it while feeling enriched afterwards at the same time. I can definitely say that the book changed me for the better when I read it for the first time back as a teenager. It also has an awesome illustrated edition.

What are some specific and effective ways that one can improve oneself (in any area)? [R]

4 years, 11 months agoShlonch posted submission on DecidingToBeBetter.
Nov. 8, 2014

I have recently been very interested in self improvement, but I am really at a loss. My story:

Lately I have been feeling very ignorant. I spent seven years in College studying Psychology (achieving two master's degrees in it along the way), but while I was studying those, everything I had ever learned about geography, history, politics, etc. fell by the wayside. I am now feeling semi-educated in psychology and like a fourth-grader in every other topic. How, specifically, can I learn new things? What do you recommend? I also feel like I'm not particularly "good at" anything, and would like to learn how to "do" things better - anything, really. But, I'm not sure what or how to go about it.

Secondly, my personality. This is another area I would like to improve. I was raised by a single mother, absent father. My mother was neglectful and cold. I had no siblings and was lonely and ignored for much of my childhood. I grew up to be neurotic and anxious, with a hot temper. I am rarely "super-happy." I am married to a wonderful person and have a child of my own, so I would like to improve my personality for myself and for them....but am unsure of how to go about it.

Lastly, my appearance. I'm a female in my mid-thirties and it wasn't until the last year or so that my age started to really show in my appearance. I'm at a weight I'm satisfied with, but I just don't feel attractive. I'm looking for specific ways to improve my appearance. Here is why I wrote: I want to improve in multiple areas: education, skills, appearance, personality. Sure, I can google "how to be smarter" and spend a day on freerice.com or take a couple of lessons from excelexposure.com. However, I have so many self-improvement goals that I am spreading myself too thin trying to improve in all areas and am not seeing results.

I am really, really afraid this post will sink and not go anywhere, and hope to at least get some responses before this post tanks. I think my lack of self improvement is my main source of unhappiness, and it's so overwhelming trying to find ways to be better that it's resulting in little to no change.

Thanks for reading.

4 years, 11 months agoShlonch posted on DecidingToBeBetter.
Nov. 8, 2014

Going through a similar thing right now, while I'm no where near where I want to be, I've made some good improvements. Best tip I can give you from what I've learned is

Focus on one aspect first.

I've found whenever I start to feel like all these things are wrong with me (I'm not smart, I'm not funny, I'm not attractive), I tend to try and change things immediately. My next day will consist of a completely new minute-by-minute routine, new diet, new attitude, new me. However, the "perfect me" starts to cheat a little here and a little there, "I know it's time to exercise, but another 10 minutes on Reddit won't hurt..." Then in no time at all I'm back to just plain old me. The point is, a lot of change at once can be overwhelming.

If you start to feel that things need to be done right now and you feel like making drastic changes, more often that not, the thrill will quickly pass and you'll be left right where you started. Choose one thing you want to improve first and work on making that a routine.

Think of a stream of water pounding against a rock. It takes time before the rock begins to shape and feel the full force of the water, but it does feel it.

As for the learning to do things, I recently asked /r/suggestmeabook/ for recommendations on a book to increase my general intelligence and these were the recommendations. Currently reading through A Short History of Nearly Everything and loving it.

I know this isn't an all inclusive answer to all your problems, but I hope it helps. :)

TLDR: Focusing on changing too many things at once can be discouraging and leave you worse off than when you started. Read A Short History of Nearly Everything for brain power.

Edit:formatting

Random Discussion Thread for Late Night Owls and Early Morning Worshipers 11-10-2014 [R]

5 years agobatatavada posted submission on india.
Oct. 11, 2014

Share karo Mitron!!

5 years agorouge_oiseau posted submission on geology.
Sept. 24, 2014

There's a new astronomy or physics popsci book coming out what seems like every week. Are there any really good geology page turners?

*edit: Thanks everyone for your suggestions! I have not heard of most of these books so this has been very informative. In my searching I also found this book, and I am wondering if anyone has read it.

The Story of Earth: The First 4.5 Billion Years, from Stardust to Living Planet

5 years agorouge_oiseau posted on geology.
Sept. 25, 2014

Even though it's not exclusively about geology, A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson is a fantastic read.

Although it covers everything from the Big Bang to early humans, about 7 of it's 30 chapters are on geologic topics such as paleontology, tectonics, asteroid impacts, ice ages, etc. as well as the history of the development of those fields. It's one of those rare books that is very readable and informative without being too dumbed down.

Need help educating myself after religious homeschool "education" [R]

5 years agoSept. 22, 2014

[removed]

5 years agoTin-Star posted on TrueAtheism.
Sept. 22, 2014

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson is a good overview of the history of science. PDF (or MP3 audiobook) available online if you're OK with torrenting copyrighted stuff, but a hard copy wouldn't be a bad investment.

How did scientists (or geologists?) determine that the Earth was 4.5 billion years old? [R]

5 years, 1 month agooddsonicitch posted submission on askscience.
Aug. 27, 2014

I know it has something to do with measuring the amount of uranium left in a lead rock, or vice versa maybe. I'm just having trouble understanding the methods and reasoning that lead (ha) to the conclusion!

5 years, 1 month agooddsonicitch posted on askscience.
Aug. 27, 2014

This is also a good read: A Short History of Nearly Everything.

Secrets of the Sun / Nova (2012) It contains 99.9 percent of all the matter in our solar system and sheds hot plasma at nearly a million miles an hour. The temperature at its core is a staggering 27 million degrees Fahrenheit. It convulses, it blazes, it sings. [R]

5 years, 1 month agoDoodleVnTaintschtain posted submission on Documentaries.
Aug. 23, 2014
5 years, 1 month agoDoodleVnTaintschtain posted on Documentaries.
Aug. 24, 2014

My reccomendation would be The History of Science. Everything is available on YouTube in decent quality.

As a matter of overview, I would suggest Bill Bryson's a A Short History of Nearly Everything. It's a book, which requires reading, but there's an awesome illustrated version that's a good time. The book is as accessible as they come, and it's entertainingly written.

I would also suggest Cosmos, since you seem to be focused more on space. Both the original and the remake are available on Netflix. The original is my favorite, beucase Carl Sagan, but the remake is also a solid show, and probably more what you're looking for. There's also Through The Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, and a Stephen Hawking on the universe series which you might like. Pretty much everything is available on YouTube, just search "<show name>, long, hd".

Comet 67P compared to Los Angeles [R]

5 years, 2 months agoZerowantuthri posted submission on pics.
Aug. 19, 2014
5 years, 2 months agoZerowantuthri posted on pics.
Aug. 19, 2014

Did you really imagine it?

From Bill Bryson's book, A Short History of Nearly Everything (for geographic reference he is talking about an impact that happened in Manson, Iowa some 74 million years ago and left the biggest crater in the US (you couldn't tell if you went there...nothing to see crater-wise anymore without using special equipment to see underground):

>An asteroid or comet traveling at cosmic velocities would enter the earth's atmosphere at such a speed that the air beneath it couldn't get out of the way and would be compressed, as in a bicycle pump. As anyone who has used such a pump knows, compressed air grows swiftly hot, and temperature below it would rise to some 60,000 Kelvins or ten times the surface temperature of the Sun. In this instant of its arrival in our atmosphere, everything in the meteor's path - people, houses, factories, cars - would crinkle and vanish like cellophane in a flame.

>One second after entering the atmosphere, the meteorite would slam into the earth's surface, where the people of Manson (an impact site of such a collision millions of years ago) had a moment before been going about their business. The meteorite itself would vaporize instantly, but the blast would blow out a thousand cubic kilometers of rock, earth, and superheated gases. Every living thing within 150 miles that hadn't been killed by the heat of entry would now be killed by the blast. Radiating outward at almost the speed of light would be the initial shock wave, sweeping everything before it.

>For those outside the zone of immediate devastation, the first inkling of catastrophe would be a flash of blinding light - the brightest ever seen by human eyes - followed an instant to a minute or two later by an apocalyptic sight of unimaginable grandeur: a rolling wall of darkness reaching high into the heavens, filling an entire field of view and traveling at thousands of miles an hour. Its approach would be eerily silent since it would be moving far beyond the speed of sound. Anyone In a tall building in Omaha or Des Moines, say, who chanced to look into the right direction would see a bewildering veil of turmoil followed by instantaneous oblivion.

>Within minutes, over an area stretching from Denver to Detroit and encompassing what had been Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, the Twin Cities - the whole of the Midwest, in short - nearly every standing thing would be flattened or on fire, and nearly every living thing would be dead. People up to a thousand miles away would be knocked off their feet and sliced or clobbered by a blizzard of flying projectiles. Beyond a thousand miles the devastation from the blast would gradually diminish.

>But that's just the initial shockwave. No one can do more than guess what the associated damage would be, other than that it would be brisk and global. The impact would almost certainly set off a chain of devastating earthquakes. Volcanoes across the world would begin to rumble and spew. Tsunamis would rise up and head devastatingly for distant shores. Within an hour, a cloud of blackness would cover the planet, and burning rock and other debris would be pelting down everywhere, setting much of the planet ablaze. It has been estimated that 1.5 billion people would be dead by the end of first day. The massive disturbances to the ionosphere would knock out communications systems everywhere, so survivors would have no idea what was happening elsewhere or where to turn. It would hardly matter. As one commentator has put it, fleeing would mean "selecting a slow death over a quicker one. The death toll would be very little affected by any plausible relocation effort, since earth’s ability to support life would be universally diminished."

>The amount of soot and floating ash from the impact and following fires would blot out the sun, certainly for months, possibly for years, disrupting growing cycles. In 2001, researchers at the California Institute of Technology analyzed helium isotopes from sediments left from the later KT impact and concluded that it affected earth’s climate for about 10,000 years. This was actually used as evidence to support the notion that the extinction of dinosaurs was swift and emphatic - and so it was in geological terms. We can only guess how well, or whether, humanity would cope with such an event.

>And in all likelihood, this would come without warning, out of a clear sky.

EDIT: Added geographic info for context.

EDIT2: It is worth noting that there were no extinctions associated with this impact. As devastating as it was it was still not sufficient to completely end any species' time on the planet. Now consider what the one that put a sharp and definitive end to the dinosaurs must have been like!

What is the most interesting book you have ever read? [R]

5 years, 3 months agoshalafi71 posted submission on books.
July 14, 2014

It could be anything ranging from a Biography to a fictional novel or a book on the mutation processes of an octopus. What is the most interesting book you have ever read?

Edit: Wow! I am amazed at all your wonderful replies. I just got a library card here in Boston so I'm going to be checking out all of your suggestions. Thanks guys!

5 years, 3 months agoshalafi71 posted on books.
July 14, 2014

Easy one. A Short History of Nearly Everything.

It's largely a history of science. It was amazing finding out how long we've known certain things and how recently we found others. If I get wound up this'll turn into a novel. Just read it.

Seeking weird, informative non-fiction books, that change your perspective on the world [R]

5 years, 3 months agoThe_Thane_Of_Cawdor posted submission on booksuggestions.
July 8, 2014

Think books like Fast Food Nation, Stumbling on Happiness, I'm looking for your favorite book you wanted to tell your friends to read because it had an interesting view on life, something easy to digest and very binge worthy and you might have found yourself reading a few chapters more than you usually do on other books thanks.

5 years, 3 months agoThe_Thane_Of_Cawdor posted on booksuggestions.
July 8, 2014

A short History of Nearly Everything- http://www.amazon.com/A-Short-History-Nearly-Everything/dp/076790818X

>“Tune your television to any channel it doesn't receive and about 1 percent of the dancing static you see is accounted for by this ancient remnant of the Big Bang. The next time you complain that there is nothing on, remember that you can always watch the birth of the universe.

>It is a slightly arresting notion that if you were to pick yourself apart with tweezers, one atom at a time, you would produce a mound of fine atomic dust, none of which had ever been alive but all of which had once been you

What are some non-fiction books you think everyone should read? [R]

5 years, 3 months agoJuly 6, 2014
5 years, 3 months agobfevans19 posted on books.
July 7, 2014

Brief History of the World [R]

5 years, 3 months agobop999 posted submission on history.
July 3, 2014

Does anybody know of a book or series of books that provide a brief history of the world? I am looking to gain a broad sense of history upon which I can base further, more in depth, efforts.

5 years, 3 months agobop999 posted on history.
July 3, 2014

Check out A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. It's a good start and a humorous read as well.

How can i start learning more about geology? [R]

5 years, 4 months ago[deleted] posted submission on geology.
June 13, 2014

Im only 14, just about to go into high school, and really interested in geology. I watched the videos on khanacademy.com and found them really interesting and informative. What other ways can i learn more about geology?

5 years, 4 months ago[deleted] posted on geology.
June 13, 2014

Try this book: A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. It's basically a beginner's guide to science and extremely readable. I would suggest, as others have, to try reading instructive textbooks, but there's plenty of time for that.

Bryson's book covers the dawn of science, from early mathematics, chemistry, physics, astrophysics, geology, and, well, nearly everything! There are three or four chapters dedicated to geology and it covers the biggest breakthroughs in our science.

If you get that far and are still interested, try The Earth Through Time by Levin. It's basically a geological and paleontological description of every major period of time in Earth's history. Heavier, but learning and knowing Earth's history is incredibly important. You'd be surprised at how many geologists aren't familiar with it.

5 years, 4 months agoryeinn posted submission on ScienceTeachers.
June 5, 2014

I read The Disappearing Spoon and was amazed. The writing style made it accessible to non-science minds (like my mom's) and also taught so much. Have yall found any other books like this?

5 years, 4 months agoryeinn posted on ScienceTeachers.
June 5, 2014

The Disappearing Spoon was good. I've read a few more, but there are so many! I can't choose one. And these are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. I'd have to go check my home library for more.

A Short History of Nearly Everything. This one is pretty much the top of the top in my mind.

Ten Most Beautiful Experiments. Just what it says.

The Scientists. An indepth and weighty tome on the history of science from the start of science to about 10 years ago.

Death From the Skies. A fun look at the universe trying to kill us.

The Invention of Air. A look at the guy who discovered Oxygen.

Newton and the Counterfeiter. I loved this, but it focuses less on the science (about 1/3 of the book) than on Newton's contributions elsewhere (about 2/3rds).

Coming of Age in the Milky Way. A little dry at times, but a great history of our understanding of our place in the universe.

Feynman. A graphic novel of Richard Feynman's life. Plus some science.

The Day We Found the Universe. A history of the discovery of the size of our universe and how tiny we are. Some fun personalities.

Good books for World History as we know it? [R]

5 years, 4 months agoMay 25, 2014

I really don't know much but I want to get in to it.

Obviously specific books of specific places and eras would be best but are there any books that give a good overview? I really want to see how the world got to where it is today, then break it down from there (how countries got to where they are, how things were invented).

The hardest part is I want to get a feel for all the social/cultural norms and how the people felt as a whole.

5 years, 4 months agoThe_Thane_Of_Cawdor posted on AskHistory.
May 27, 2014

a short history of nearly everything. http://www.amazon.com/A-Short-History-Nearly-Everything/dp/076790818X/ref=sr11?ie=UTF8&qid=1401207968&sr=8-1&keywords=a+short+history+of+nearly+everything

What book(s) changed the way you think about the world and why? [R]

5 years, 5 months agoquestionr posted submission on exmormon.
May 21, 2014

This question is, of course, a ripoff of one of the top posts on Reddit right now. All of the books I could think of for that question were the ones that opened my mind to more critical thinking and self-reflection, culminating in my own personal pan apostasy. I thought it would be interesting to hear others' results from an exmo perspective.

Also, it could provide the TBM lurkers a nice list of books to ban in their households. Win/Win.

I'll post my own answer in the comments.

5 years, 5 months agoquestionr posted on exmormon.
May 21, 2014

Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything." It's a well-written, entertaining book about the history of science. It shows how scientists have addressed big questions (e.g. the age of the earth). One of the big takeaways for me was seeing how even though individual scientists or scientific ideas might be flawed, science as a whole had steadily progressed and improved and will continue to do so.

Do you vape 18mg? [R]

5 years, 5 months agoMay 8, 2014

I have a few bottles I'd like to give away so I can make room for some new purchases. They are a mix of high/low end liquids, some tobaccos, some fruits, etc.

Tell me what your favorite book is or recommend a book for me to read during summer vacation.

I'll pick a winner by Saturday evening CST and send everything on Monday. I'll cover shipping.

EDIT:Thank you to everyone who participated in this thread. I have a solid list of books to work through this summer--you all have excellent taste. It was very hard to pick a winner, but ultimately, I picked based on the book I most want to read now, which is DUNE!

The winner is Schweatty96! I will PM you for confirmation.

5 years, 5 months agonormgunderson posted on vapeitforward.
May 9, 2014

This is such a fun read. A Short History of Nearly Everything

Here is a pdf link I found. PDF

My world is turning upside down. [R]

5 years, 5 months agorubberslutty posted submission on atheism.
May 7, 2014

I grew up in a very strict Independent Fundamental Baptist church (think Bob Jones University). I'm not going to bore you all with the details as I'm sure you've read many accounts from people from this type of background.

I started becoming really disillusioned with my church and my faith my senior year in high school (9 years ago), and even more so after attending one year at BJU (which quite literally made me suicidal). Since then, I've avoided going to church or really worrying about my religious status at all - until recently.

January of this year I started doing some self-evaluation about my beliefs, trying to figure out if I still considered myself "Christian", "religious" or even the loosely defined "spiritual". My answer kept coming back as "I don't know". What I DID know, however, was that I no longer held the same beliefs as my parents' Baptist church, and in looking online I found blogs such as this one and this one. It took me from January till March to find those blogs and once I did it was like I could see the sun for the first time. There were other people like me trying to escape this indoctrination I'd grown up with.

Then I started watching Cosmos. I have a huge interest in science, but in watching this series, I realized that what I thought I knew is minuscule in comparison with what "normal" people understand about the world. Evolution? I was taught that it was this horrible theory - faith, if you will - where monkeys just all of a sudden turned into humans. Of course that explanation of humanity sounds absurd compared to a Creation-based science model especially at 5 years old.

Through watching Cosmos my whole perspective on the world has fundamentally shifted - and I don't know how to deal. Thinking about confiding in my parents or really any of my friends what's going on in my head quite literally makes me cry. I can't imagine the heartbreak it would put my parents through. And then there's the thought of death. Where I grew up we had the fear of hell driven into us on such a deep level, the thought of there being NOTHING after death - that I just cease to exist, is totally and completely terrifying.

That being said, I read the /r/atheism wiki and have started branching out on my own, trying to research more. But honestly, I'm feeling extremely overwhelmed. I don't know where to start my research. I feel like I have to re-learn my history, that I have a child's perspective on science as the rest of the world knows it. I don't know where to turn or what to focus on.

The child in me wants to have that simple faith back but that will never happen. I've learned too much and changed in too many ways to go back down that road. So, /r/atheism, this is my plea to you to please give me some guidance, as I'm drowning with information about what I don't know. Where do I start? What should I look at first? Will I ever feel confident about abandoning my faith-based comfort zone and moving on? I don't know how to come to terms with all of this.

5 years, 5 months agorubberslutty posted on atheism.
May 7, 2014

And if you find yourself more literary inclined, check our Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything. It is a great approach to science in general and will allow you discover what interests you (biology, physics, chem, etc).

What to read while in jail? [R]

5 years, 5 months agohulahulagirl posted submission on booksuggestions.
April 26, 2014

A friend of mine is in jail for the next year & asked me to post here. He would like recommendations on what he can read to improve his general knowledge overall & is especially interested in more recent books. He is a college graduate with a BA in Business Management. (Serious replies only please.)

ELI5: If evolution made us an intelligent species, why aren't any other species as intelligent as us? [R]

5 years, 5 months ago[deleted] posted submission on explainlikeimfive.
April 23, 2014
5 years, 5 months ago[deleted] posted on explainlikeimfive.
April 23, 2014

Check out A Short History of Nearly Everything. Bill Bryson does a great job of talking about evolution and sums it up with: "Life just wants to be; but it doesn't want to be much."

ELI5: How do we know what the universe looks like today when all the light we see is from millions or billions of years ago? [R]

5 years, 5 months agoimmortal-esque posted submission on explainlikeimfive.
April 22, 2014

Shouldn't the universe we see be like a fun house mirror with everything distorted? in fact, shouldn't it be worse than that? Wouldn't it be like looking at a fun house mirror, but in addition to everything being in the wrong place, your head might be your current age and your feet look like they did when you were a baby? The Milky Way is 120,000 light-years across, and that's just one galaxy. Can we really extrapolate through billions of years to get an accurate picture of the universe now?

EDIT: Thanks to everyone for all the great answers!

I just want to say that I think it's legitimate to ask what the universe looks like "now," even with the lightspeed barrier. Saying that it "doesn't matter" or that there is no "real now" or that "now has no meaning" because the idea of "now" is defined by what information can reach us at the speed of light, I think is a cop-out answer.

If we ever discover warp drive, or wormholes, or whatever, then it certainly WILL matter. Plus, things we can't see presumably do still exist. I don't see how the lightspeed barrier affects this.

Lots of things — quantum computers, nuclear fusion, teleportation, artificial intelligence – are beyond our scientific capabilities now (and perhaps forever), but it's still worth thinking about.

5 years, 5 months agoimmortal-esque posted on explainlikeimfive.
April 22, 2014

Not sure why I'm having such a hard time wrapping my head around this :)

I think I read somewhere (possibly this book) that we're still able to detect some of the very first microwave radiation (?) that was caused by the Big Bang eons ago, and I think that's what's confusing me: this really old "light" that was created shortly after whatever started the observable universe that's been happily traveling along rather quickly, occasionally bumping into stuff like planets and monitoring equipment where it can be observed...

So if the Big Bang happened way over THERE and everything we know including microwave radiation and what ultimately became us had to travel outwards away from that point until we ended up way over HERE a really long time later on (i.e. now), then why does this old microwave radiation only reach us now? Did it take a pit stop somewhere?

If that still doesn't make any sense I really don't blame you! Makes my head spin, lol.

COSMOS is kicking ass so far! The latest episode was about how fake corporation funded science can be extremely dangerous, while shining a light on one of the heroes of science that we seldom hear about. [R]

5 years, 6 months agoApril 22, 2014
5 years, 5 months agoTeledildonic posted on videos.
April 22, 2014

This book had a whole chapter about this guy and his two "contributions" and their eventual ban.

It's a great read. It's basically a history book that details the progress of our scientific discoveries. He also talks about the people behind them, and it turns out that many of our famous scientists and inventors were basically crazy people. Genius and insanity are separated by a very fuzzy line.

I grew up a member of a religious cult (homeschooled/homechurched) with an extremely censored almost violent approach to science as a whole. I need help starting my real education any recommendations? [R]

5 years, 6 months agoNFeKPo posted submission on AskScienceDiscussion.
April 16, 2014

This is hard for me to write as I have only in the last few months come to grips with the reality of the Universe.

I am at this time 27 years old, I was raised since birth in a Christian cult known as ATI/IBLP. Within this group my parents raised me in homeschool and homechurch (father was the pastor and we would hold church in our livingroom) with 100% conviction to know that the earth is only 8,000 years old and that light from distant stars is created light aged just like Adam was aged when he was created. Long story short I believed every word and looked at science through their filter they had placed in front of my eyes. I never questioned my parents teachings nor the books and papers they gave me to support these beliefs. My first exposure to real science was a show I would sneak and watch called "Connections" and it was the single beacon of light in the darkness of "God did it, so no need to look any further" that I was immersed in. Although I soaked it all up I still saw through the filter of "God" and "8,000 year old created light". I researched every vein of scientific theory that supported an 8,000 year old universe to the point of a theory consisting of God creating the universe as one solid mass of matter then turning on gravity causing massive collapse and fusion resulting in a White-hole spitting out all the matter in the universe. Since the Sol system was near the center grip of the White-hole the rest of the Universe would age billions of years while time passed over a 6 day period here on earth. It amazes me now how I could ever believe such a thing. But at the time it was the only plausible explanation…. because the Bible couldn't be wrong… could it?! If you are interested in hearing the silly science behind such a fantastical theory trying to solve how we can see starlight in a young (6,000 year old) universe I reccomend checking out http://www.amazon.com/Starlight-Time-Russell-Humphreys-Ph-D/dp/0890512027.

I didn't question many of this and especially never even considered evolution to be true. Fossils, mountains, erosion and geographical evidence for an old earth are just results from how traumatic the flood was on the earth.

I dont know if this is the case for others but my eyes were first opened while reading science fiction. In the last couple of years I have read.

Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card - 1985

Dune - Frank Herbert - 1965

Foundation - Isaac Asimov - 1951

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams - 1979

1984 - George Orwell - 1949

Stranger in a Strange Land - Robert A Heinlein - 1961

Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury - 1954

2001: A Space Odyssey - Arthur C Clarke - 1968

Starship Troopers - Robert A Heinlein - 1959

I, Robot - Isaac Asimov - 1950

Neuromancer - William Gibson - 1984

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep - Philip K Dick - 1968

Ringworld - Larry Niven - 1970

Rendezvous With Rama - Arthur C Clarke - 1973

Hyperion - Dan Simmons - 1989

Brave New World - Aldous Huxley - 1932

The Time Machine - H G Wells - 1895

Childhood's End - Arthur C Clarke - 1954

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress - Robert A Heinlein - 1966

The War of the Worlds - H G Wells - 1898

The Forever War - Joe Haldeman - 1974

The Martian Chronicles - Ray Bradbury - 1950

Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut - 1969

Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson - 1992

The Mote in God's Eye - Niven & Pournelle - 1975

Speaker for the Dead - Orson Scott Card - 1986

Jurassic Park - Michael Crichton - 1990

The Man in the High Castle - Philip K Dick - 1962

The Caves of Steel - Isaac Asimov - 1954

The Stars My Destination - Alfred Bester - 1956

Gateway - Frederik Pohl - 1977

Lord of Light - Roger Zelazny - 1967

Solaris - Lem Stanislaw - 1961

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - Jules Verne - 1870

A Wrinkle in Time - Madelein L'Engle - 1962

Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut - 1963

Contact - Carl Sagan - 1985

The Andromeda Strain - Michael Crichton - 1969

The Gods Themselves - Isaac Asimov - 1972

A Fire Upon the Deep - Vernor Vinge - 1991

Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson - 1999

The Day of the Triffids - John Wyndham - 1951

UBIK - Philip K Dick - 1969

Time Enough For Love - Robert A Heinlein - 1973

A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess - 1962

Red Mars - Kim Stanley Robinson - 1992

Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes

A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter M Miller - 1959

The End of Eternity - Isaac Asimov - 1955

The Diamond Age - Neal Stephenson - 1995

The City and the Stars - Arthur C Clark - 1956

Way Station - Clifford Simak - 1963

Old Man's War - John Scalzi - 2005

After Reading all that fiction I decided that science was amazing and dived into non-fiction. I just finished.

Carl Sagans "Cosmos"

The Ascent of Man - thirteen-part documentary television series - 1973

Richard Dawkins (1976). The Selfish Gene.

Richard Dawkins (1986). The Blind Watchmaker.

Richard Dawkins (1996). Climbing Mount Improbable.

Richard Dawkins (2006). The God Delusion.

Richard Dawkins (2009). The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution.

Carl Sagan: Pale Blue Dot

douglas Hofstadter: Gödel, Escher, Bach

The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature.


Of course after reading all of that I came to the conclusion that God isn't dead... he never was alive. I am the happiest I have ever been in my life. I want to scream at the top of my lungs "Free at last!! Free at last!! By science all mighty I am free at last!!!"

I have now hit an impasse. My limited knowledge of advanced physics and science is holding me back from exploring the cosmos for myself. I was never educated further than advanced algebra and I have no physics or chemistry education. Can anyone recommend a good place for me to pick up my education? I would rather not do the whole “Night School” thing as I find myself to be the best teacher of myself there is and I loathe the idea of scientific authority within education. The whole reason I am in this mess in the first place is because someone told me what to think. Can anyone recommend a few good books to further my education? I heard Hawking's books are good, anything else? You have to understand, I thought everything was only 8,000 years old, I have a TON of catching up to do.

Thank you in advance!

EDIT: Yes, I am looking into improving my grammar and writing skills as well. I find it extremely disrespectful to communicate with my cave-man like writing skills. Please know my poor grammar is because of child abuse through lack of education and you can write a well written letter to my father if you have any complaints.

EDIT2: The single most illuminating thing in my life would have to be that BBC show called "Connections". A few years later my older (by 25 years) atheist brother snuck me the entire Cosmos series on VHS when I was 17. It blew my mind and got me started down my current path more than any single catalyst. I still hear Carl Sagan saying "Billions upon billion" in my head. That single word "billions" is the greatest word I have ever heard. It just screams "I dare you to comprehend me!" I am also reminded of the "Total Perspective Vortex" from "The Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy". I imagined the sobering experience of sitting in the machine and felt the pure narcissism of Christianity melt away when I did.

EDIT3: If you are interested in learning more about the cult that I was forced to be a member of. Please google ATI, IBLP, Bill Gothard. The cult leader Bill Gothard has just last month resigned due to sexual allegations. I have only in the last few years come to grips with the emotional, sexual and physical abuse that went on with me personally and still am having flashbacks of the nightmares I would have because of my immortal soul being in danger... or worse yet the immortal souls of 99% of everyone who has ever lived burning in a lake of fire for all of eternity because God is love. I am reminded of the White Stripes song "It is always with love that the poison is fed with a spoon". They used my love and trust to do those things and I loved them the more for it. I am slowly trying to un-poison my mind, at least now I know I don't have to worry about cleaning a soul or some wispy ghost inside of me thank Science for that!

5 years, 6 months agoNFeKPo posted on AskScienceDiscussion.
April 18, 2014

I am sure you have heard a thousand things.
A Short History of Nearly Everything is a great read. It covers everything from our solar system/universe to geology. It's written in a easy to understand way and if there are sections that you don't find interesting (I didn't care for the geology section) you can easily skip them.

I grew up a member of a religious cult (homeschooled/homechurched) with an extremely censored almost violent approach to science as a whole. I need help starting my real education any recommendations? [R]

5 years, 6 months ago[deleted] posted submission on AskScienceDiscussion.
April 16, 2014

This is hard for me to write as I have only in the last few months come to grips with the reality of the Universe.

I am at this time 27 years old, I was raised since birth in a Christian cult known as ATI/IBLP. Within this group my parents raised me in homeschool and homechurch (father was the pastor and we would hold church in our livingroom) with 100% conviction to know that the earth is only 8,000 years old and that light from distant stars is created light aged just like Adam was aged when he was created. Long story short I believed every word and looked at science through their filter they had placed in front of my eyes. I never questioned my parents teachings nor the books and papers they gave me to support these beliefs. My first exposure to real science was a show I would sneak and watch called "Connections" and it was the single beacon of light in the darkness of "God did it, so no need to look any further" that I was immersed in. Although I soaked it all up I still saw through the filter of "God" and "8,000 year old created light". I researched every vein of scientific theory that supported an 8,000 year old universe to the point of a theory consisting of God creating the universe as one solid mass of matter then turning on gravity causing massive collapse and fusion resulting in a White-hole spitting out all the matter in the universe. Since the Sol system was near the center grip of the White-hole the rest of the Universe would age billions of years while time passed over a 6 day period here on earth. It amazes me now how I could ever believe such a thing. But at the time it was the only plausible explanation…. because the Bible couldn't be wrong… could it?! If you are interested in hearing the silly science behind such a fantastical theory trying to solve how we can see starlight in a young (6,000 year old) universe I reccomend checking out http://www.amazon.com/Starlight-Time-Russell-Humphreys-Ph-D/dp/0890512027.

I didn't question many of this and especially never even considered evolution to be true. Fossils, mountains, erosion and geographical evidence for an old earth are just results from how traumatic the flood was on the earth.

I dont know if this is the case for others but my eyes were first opened while reading science fiction. In the last couple of years I have read.

Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card - 1985

Dune - Frank Herbert - 1965

Foundation - Isaac Asimov - 1951

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams - 1979

1984 - George Orwell - 1949

Stranger in a Strange Land - Robert A Heinlein - 1961

Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury - 1954

2001: A Space Odyssey - Arthur C Clarke - 1968

Starship Troopers - Robert A Heinlein - 1959

I, Robot - Isaac Asimov - 1950

Neuromancer - William Gibson - 1984

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep - Philip K Dick - 1968

Ringworld - Larry Niven - 1970

Rendezvous With Rama - Arthur C Clarke - 1973

Hyperion - Dan Simmons - 1989

Brave New World - Aldous Huxley - 1932

The Time Machine - H G Wells - 1895

Childhood's End - Arthur C Clarke - 1954

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress - Robert A Heinlein - 1966

The War of the Worlds - H G Wells - 1898

The Forever War - Joe Haldeman - 1974

The Martian Chronicles - Ray Bradbury - 1950

Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut - 1969

Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson - 1992

The Mote in God's Eye - Niven & Pournelle - 1975

Speaker for the Dead - Orson Scott Card - 1986

Jurassic Park - Michael Crichton - 1990

The Man in the High Castle - Philip K Dick - 1962

The Caves of Steel - Isaac Asimov - 1954

The Stars My Destination - Alfred Bester - 1956

Gateway - Frederik Pohl - 1977

Lord of Light - Roger Zelazny - 1967

Solaris - Lem Stanislaw - 1961

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - Jules Verne - 1870

A Wrinkle in Time - Madelein L'Engle - 1962

Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut - 1963

Contact - Carl Sagan - 1985

The Andromeda Strain - Michael Crichton - 1969

The Gods Themselves - Isaac Asimov - 1972

A Fire Upon the Deep - Vernor Vinge - 1991

Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson - 1999

The Day of the Triffids - John Wyndham - 1951

UBIK - Philip K Dick - 1969

Time Enough For Love - Robert A Heinlein - 1973

A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess - 1962

Red Mars - Kim Stanley Robinson - 1992

Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes

A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter M Miller - 1959

The End of Eternity - Isaac Asimov - 1955

The Diamond Age - Neal Stephenson - 1995

The City and the Stars - Arthur C Clark - 1956

Way Station - Clifford Simak - 1963

Old Man's War - John Scalzi - 2005

After Reading all that fiction I decided that science was amazing and dived into non-fiction. I just finished.

Carl Sagans "Cosmos"

The Ascent of Man - thirteen-part documentary television series - 1973

Richard Dawkins (1976). The Selfish Gene.

Richard Dawkins (1986). The Blind Watchmaker.

Richard Dawkins (1996). Climbing Mount Improbable.

Richard Dawkins (2006). The God Delusion.

Richard Dawkins (2009). The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution.

Carl Sagan: Pale Blue Dot

douglas Hofstadter: Gödel, Escher, Bach

The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature.


Of course after reading all of that I came to the conclusion that God isn't dead... he never was alive. I am the happiest I have ever been in my life. I want to scream at the top of my lungs "Free at last!! Free at last!! By science all mighty I am free at last!!!"

I have now hit an impasse. My limited knowledge of advanced physics and science is holding me back from exploring the cosmos for myself. I was never educated further than advanced algebra and I have no physics or chemistry education. Can anyone recommend a good place for me to pick up my education? I would rather not do the whole “Night School” thing as I find myself to be the best teacher of myself there is and I loathe the idea of scientific authority within education. The whole reason I am in this mess in the first place is because someone told me what to think. Can anyone recommend a few good books to further my education? I heard Hawking's books are good, anything else? You have to understand, I thought everything was only 8,000 years old, I have a TON of catching up to do.

Thank you in advance!

EDIT: Yes, I am looking into improving my grammar and writing skills as well. I find it extremely disrespectful to communicate with my cave-man like writing skills. Please know my poor grammar is because of child abuse through lack of education and you can write a well written letter to my father if you have any complaints.

EDIT2: The single most illuminating thing in my life would have to be that BBC show called "Connections". A few years later my older (by 25 years) atheist brother snuck me the entire Cosmos series on VHS when I was 17. It blew my mind and got me started down my current path more than any single catalyst. I still hear Carl Sagan saying "Billions upon billion" in my head. That single word "billions" is the greatest word I have ever heard. It just screams "I dare you to comprehend me!" I am also reminded of the "Total Perspective Vortex" from "The Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy". I imagined the sobering experience of sitting in the machine and felt the pure narcissism of Christianity melt away when I did.

EDIT3: If you are interested in learning more about the cult that I was forced to be a member of. Please google ATI, IBLP, Bill Gothard. The cult leader Bill Gothard has just last month resigned due to sexual allegations. I have only in the last few years come to grips with the emotional, sexual and physical abuse that went on with me personally and still am having flashbacks of the nightmares I would have because of my immortal soul being in danger... or worse yet the immortal souls of 99% of everyone who has ever lived burning in a lake of fire for all of eternity because God is love. I am reminded of the White Stripes song "It is always with love that the poison is fed with a spoon". They used my love and trust to do those things and I loved them the more for it. I am slowly trying to un-poison my mind, at least now I know I don't have to worry about cleaning a soul or some wispy ghost inside of me thank Science for that!

5 years, 6 months ago[deleted] posted on AskScienceDiscussion.
April 18, 2014

> Could you recommend something covering the history of earth in general.

I recommend Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything. It's a great read, easy to follow, and gives a pretty decent overview of, well, everything. If you want details on the math and physics, look elsewhere as this is not a textbook. But it's a nice intro.

I think of it as the Sophie's World of science. (Another great book i'd highly recommend.)

Bill Bryson also has some other books covering various topics (mostly travel and history). I haven't read them all, but the ones i have are excellent.

I grew up a member of a religious cult (homeschooled/homechurched) with an extremely censored almost violent approach to science as a whole. I need help starting my real education any recommendations? [R]

5 years, 6 months agobjoeng posted submission on AskScienceDiscussion.
April 16, 2014

This is hard for me to write as I have only in the last few months come to grips with the reality of the Universe.

I am at this time 27 years old, I was raised since birth in a Christian cult known as ATI/IBLP. Within this group my parents raised me in homeschool and homechurch (father was the pastor and we would hold church in our livingroom) with 100% conviction to know that the earth is only 8,000 years old and that light from distant stars is created light aged just like Adam was aged when he was created. Long story short I believed every word and looked at science through their filter they had placed in front of my eyes. I never questioned my parents teachings nor the books and papers they gave me to support these beliefs. My first exposure to real science was a show I would sneak and watch called "Connections" and it was the single beacon of light in the darkness of "God did it, so no need to look any further" that I was immersed in. Although I soaked it all up I still saw through the filter of "God" and "8,000 year old created light". I researched every vein of scientific theory that supported an 8,000 year old universe to the point of a theory consisting of God creating the universe as one solid mass of matter then turning on gravity causing massive collapse and fusion resulting in a White-hole spitting out all the matter in the universe. Since the Sol system was near the center grip of the White-hole the rest of the Universe would age billions of years while time passed over a 6 day period here on earth. It amazes me now how I could ever believe such a thing. But at the time it was the only plausible explanation…. because the Bible couldn't be wrong… could it?! If you are interested in hearing the silly science behind such a fantastical theory trying to solve how we can see starlight in a young (6,000 year old) universe I reccomend checking out http://www.amazon.com/Starlight-Time-Russell-Humphreys-Ph-D/dp/0890512027.

I didn't question many of this and especially never even considered evolution to be true. Fossils, mountains, erosion and geographical evidence for an old earth are just results from how traumatic the flood was on the earth.

I dont know if this is the case for others but my eyes were first opened while reading science fiction. In the last couple of years I have read.

Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card - 1985

Dune - Frank Herbert - 1965

Foundation - Isaac Asimov - 1951

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams - 1979

1984 - George Orwell - 1949

Stranger in a Strange Land - Robert A Heinlein - 1961

Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury - 1954

2001: A Space Odyssey - Arthur C Clarke - 1968

Starship Troopers - Robert A Heinlein - 1959

I, Robot - Isaac Asimov - 1950

Neuromancer - William Gibson - 1984

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep - Philip K Dick - 1968

Ringworld - Larry Niven - 1970

Rendezvous With Rama - Arthur C Clarke - 1973

Hyperion - Dan Simmons - 1989

Brave New World - Aldous Huxley - 1932

The Time Machine - H G Wells - 1895

Childhood's End - Arthur C Clarke - 1954

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress - Robert A Heinlein - 1966

The War of the Worlds - H G Wells - 1898

The Forever War - Joe Haldeman - 1974

The Martian Chronicles - Ray Bradbury - 1950

Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut - 1969

Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson - 1992

The Mote in God's Eye - Niven & Pournelle - 1975

Speaker for the Dead - Orson Scott Card - 1986

Jurassic Park - Michael Crichton - 1990

The Man in the High Castle - Philip K Dick - 1962

The Caves of Steel - Isaac Asimov - 1954

The Stars My Destination - Alfred Bester - 1956

Gateway - Frederik Pohl - 1977

Lord of Light - Roger Zelazny - 1967

Solaris - Lem Stanislaw - 1961

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - Jules Verne - 1870

A Wrinkle in Time - Madelein L'Engle - 1962

Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut - 1963

Contact - Carl Sagan - 1985

The Andromeda Strain - Michael Crichton - 1969

The Gods Themselves - Isaac Asimov - 1972

A Fire Upon the Deep - Vernor Vinge - 1991

Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson - 1999

The Day of the Triffids - John Wyndham - 1951

UBIK - Philip K Dick - 1969

Time Enough For Love - Robert A Heinlein - 1973

A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess - 1962

Red Mars - Kim Stanley Robinson - 1992

Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes

A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter M Miller - 1959

The End of Eternity - Isaac Asimov - 1955

The Diamond Age - Neal Stephenson - 1995

The City and the Stars - Arthur C Clark - 1956

Way Station - Clifford Simak - 1963

Old Man's War - John Scalzi - 2005

After Reading all that fiction I decided that science was amazing and dived into non-fiction. I just finished.

Carl Sagans "Cosmos"

The Ascent of Man - thirteen-part documentary television series - 1973

Richard Dawkins (1976). The Selfish Gene.

Richard Dawkins (1986). The Blind Watchmaker.

Richard Dawkins (1996). Climbing Mount Improbable.

Richard Dawkins (2006). The God Delusion.

Richard Dawkins (2009). The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution.

Carl Sagan: Pale Blue Dot

douglas Hofstadter: Gödel, Escher, Bach

The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature.


Of course after reading all of that I came to the conclusion that God isn't dead... he never was alive. I am the happiest I have ever been in my life. I want to scream at the top of my lungs "Free at last!! Free at last!! By science all mighty I am free at last!!!"

I have now hit an impasse. My limited knowledge of advanced physics and science is holding me back from exploring the cosmos for myself. I was never educated further than advanced algebra and I have no physics or chemistry education. Can anyone recommend a good place for me to pick up my education? I would rather not do the whole “Night School” thing as I find myself to be the best teacher of myself there is and I loathe the idea of scientific authority within education. The whole reason I am in this mess in the first place is because someone told me what to think. Can anyone recommend a few good books to further my education? I heard Hawking's books are good, anything else? You have to understand, I thought everything was only 8,000 years old, I have a TON of catching up to do.

Thank you in advance!

EDIT: Yes, I am looking into improving my grammar and writing skills as well. I find it extremely disrespectful to communicate with my cave-man like writing skills. Please know my poor grammar is because of child abuse through lack of education and you can write a well written letter to my father if you have any complaints.

EDIT2: The single most illuminating thing in my life would have to be that BBC show called "Connections". A few years later my older (by 25 years) atheist brother snuck me the entire Cosmos series on VHS when I was 17. It blew my mind and got me started down my current path more than any single catalyst. I still hear Carl Sagan saying "Billions upon billion" in my head. That single word "billions" is the greatest word I have ever heard. It just screams "I dare you to comprehend me!" I am also reminded of the "Total Perspective Vortex" from "The Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy". I imagined the sobering experience of sitting in the machine and felt the pure narcissism of Christianity melt away when I did.

EDIT3: If you are interested in learning more about the cult that I was forced to be a member of. Please google ATI, IBLP, Bill Gothard. The cult leader Bill Gothard has just last month resigned due to sexual allegations. I have only in the last few years come to grips with the emotional, sexual and physical abuse that went on with me personally and still am having flashbacks of the nightmares I would have because of my immortal soul being in danger... or worse yet the immortal souls of 99% of everyone who has ever lived burning in a lake of fire for all of eternity because God is love. I am reminded of the White Stripes song "It is always with love that the poison is fed with a spoon". They used my love and trust to do those things and I loved them the more for it. I am slowly trying to un-poison my mind, at least now I know I don't have to worry about cleaning a soul or some wispy ghost inside of me thank Science for that!

5 years, 6 months agobjoeng posted on AskScienceDiscussion.
April 18, 2014

Bill Brysons "A Short History of Nearly Everything" is a good place to start.

http://www.amazon.com/A-Short-History-Nearly-Everything/dp/076790818X

I grew up a member of a religious cult (homeschooled/homechurched) with an extremely censored almost violent approach to science as a whole. I need help starting my real education any recommendations? [R]

5 years, 6 months agonostalgichero posted submission on AskScienceDiscussion.
April 16, 2014

This is hard for me to write as I have only in the last few months come to grips with the reality of the Universe.

I am at this time 27 years old, I was raised since birth in a Christian cult known as ATI/IBLP. Within this group my parents raised me in homeschool and homechurch (father was the pastor and we would hold church in our livingroom) with 100% conviction to know that the earth is only 8,000 years old and that light from distant stars is created light aged just like Adam was aged when he was created. Long story short I believed every word and looked at science through their filter they had placed in front of my eyes. I never questioned my parents teachings nor the books and papers they gave me to support these beliefs. My first exposure to real science was a show I would sneak and watch called "Connections" and it was the single beacon of light in the darkness of "God did it, so no need to look any further" that I was immersed in. Although I soaked it all up I still saw through the filter of "God" and "8,000 year old created light". I researched every vein of scientific theory that supported an 8,000 year old universe to the point of a theory consisting of God creating the universe as one solid mass of matter then turning on gravity causing massive collapse and fusion resulting in a White-hole spitting out all the matter in the universe. Since the Sol system was near the center grip of the White-hole the rest of the Universe would age billions of years while time passed over a 6 day period here on earth. It amazes me now how I could ever believe such a thing. But at the time it was the only plausible explanation…. because the Bible couldn't be wrong… could it?! If you are interested in hearing the silly science behind such a fantastical theory trying to solve how we can see starlight in a young (6,000 year old) universe I reccomend checking out http://www.amazon.com/Starlight-Time-Russell-Humphreys-Ph-D/dp/0890512027.

I didn't question many of this and especially never even considered evolution to be true. Fossils, mountains, erosion and geographical evidence for an old earth are just results from how traumatic the flood was on the earth.

I dont know if this is the case for others but my eyes were first opened while reading science fiction. In the last couple of years I have read.

Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card - 1985

Dune - Frank Herbert - 1965

Foundation - Isaac Asimov - 1951

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams - 1979

1984 - George Orwell - 1949

Stranger in a Strange Land - Robert A Heinlein - 1961

Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury - 1954

2001: A Space Odyssey - Arthur C Clarke - 1968

Starship Troopers - Robert A Heinlein - 1959

I, Robot - Isaac Asimov - 1950

Neuromancer - William Gibson - 1984

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep - Philip K Dick - 1968

Ringworld - Larry Niven - 1970

Rendezvous With Rama - Arthur C Clarke - 1973

Hyperion - Dan Simmons - 1989

Brave New World - Aldous Huxley - 1932

The Time Machine - H G Wells - 1895

Childhood's End - Arthur C Clarke - 1954

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress - Robert A Heinlein - 1966

The War of the Worlds - H G Wells - 1898

The Forever War - Joe Haldeman - 1974

The Martian Chronicles - Ray Bradbury - 1950

Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut - 1969

Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson - 1992

The Mote in God's Eye - Niven & Pournelle - 1975

Speaker for the Dead - Orson Scott Card - 1986

Jurassic Park - Michael Crichton - 1990

The Man in the High Castle - Philip K Dick - 1962

The Caves of Steel - Isaac Asimov - 1954

The Stars My Destination - Alfred Bester - 1956

Gateway - Frederik Pohl - 1977

Lord of Light - Roger Zelazny - 1967

Solaris - Lem Stanislaw - 1961

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - Jules Verne - 1870

A Wrinkle in Time - Madelein L'Engle - 1962

Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut - 1963

Contact - Carl Sagan - 1985

The Andromeda Strain - Michael Crichton - 1969

The Gods Themselves - Isaac Asimov - 1972

A Fire Upon the Deep - Vernor Vinge - 1991

Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson - 1999

The Day of the Triffids - John Wyndham - 1951

UBIK - Philip K Dick - 1969

Time Enough For Love - Robert A Heinlein - 1973

A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess - 1962

Red Mars - Kim Stanley Robinson - 1992

Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes

A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter M Miller - 1959

The End of Eternity - Isaac Asimov - 1955

The Diamond Age - Neal Stephenson - 1995

The City and the Stars - Arthur C Clark - 1956

Way Station - Clifford Simak - 1963

Old Man's War - John Scalzi - 2005

After Reading all that fiction I decided that science was amazing and dived into non-fiction. I just finished.

Carl Sagans "Cosmos"

The Ascent of Man - thirteen-part documentary television series - 1973

Richard Dawkins (1976). The Selfish Gene.

Richard Dawkins (1986). The Blind Watchmaker.

Richard Dawkins (1996). Climbing Mount Improbable.

Richard Dawkins (2006). The God Delusion.

Richard Dawkins (2009). The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution.

Carl Sagan: Pale Blue Dot

douglas Hofstadter: Gödel, Escher, Bach

The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature.


Of course after reading all of that I came to the conclusion that God isn't dead... he never was alive. I am the happiest I have ever been in my life. I want to scream at the top of my lungs "Free at last!! Free at last!! By science all mighty I am free at last!!!"

I have now hit an impasse. My limited knowledge of advanced physics and science is holding me back from exploring the cosmos for myself. I was never educated further than advanced algebra and I have no physics or chemistry education. Can anyone recommend a good place for me to pick up my education? I would rather not do the whole “Night School” thing as I find myself to be the best teacher of myself there is and I loathe the idea of scientific authority within education. The whole reason I am in this mess in the first place is because someone told me what to think. Can anyone recommend a few good books to further my education? I heard Hawking's books are good, anything else? You have to understand, I thought everything was only 8,000 years old, I have a TON of catching up to do.

Thank you in advance!

EDIT: Yes, I am looking into improving my grammar and writing skills as well. I find it extremely disrespectful to communicate with my cave-man like writing skills. Please know my poor grammar is because of child abuse through lack of education and you can write a well written letter to my father if you have any complaints.

EDIT2: The single most illuminating thing in my life would have to be that BBC show called "Connections". A few years later my older (by 25 years) atheist brother snuck me the entire Cosmos series on VHS when I was 17. It blew my mind and got me started down my current path more than any single catalyst. I still hear Carl Sagan saying "Billions upon billion" in my head. That single word "billions" is the greatest word I have ever heard. It just screams "I dare you to comprehend me!" I am also reminded of the "Total Perspective Vortex" from "The Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy". I imagined the sobering experience of sitting in the machine and felt the pure narcissism of Christianity melt away when I did.

EDIT3: If you are interested in learning more about the cult that I was forced to be a member of. Please google ATI, IBLP, Bill Gothard. The cult leader Bill Gothard has just last month resigned due to sexual allegations. I have only in the last few years come to grips with the emotional, sexual and physical abuse that went on with me personally and still am having flashbacks of the nightmares I would have because of my immortal soul being in danger... or worse yet the immortal souls of 99% of everyone who has ever lived burning in a lake of fire for all of eternity because God is love. I am reminded of the White Stripes song "It is always with love that the poison is fed with a spoon". They used my love and trust to do those things and I loved them the more for it. I am slowly trying to un-poison my mind, at least now I know I don't have to worry about cleaning a soul or some wispy ghost inside of me thank Science for that!

5 years, 6 months agonostalgichero posted on AskScienceDiscussion.
April 18, 2014

Check out "A Short History of Nearly Everything" by Bill Bryson. It's right up your alley. It's a history of science and scientific thought. It discussess almost all of the major scientific thought processes and when, how, and who was involved in their discoveries, the rival thoughts at the time, how it changed our world, and also covers scientists lost to time or scientists whose theories were taken by others. It's also really, really entertaining to read. It's like a really entertaining history book but about science and scientific thought. It's pretty dang accurate and specific, but not so precise as to wear you down or confuse you. Really approachable, REALLY informative, and perfect for someone who feels that their science AND history knowledge is lacking.

What are "quick and easy" books to expand my knowledge? [R]

5 years, 6 months agoda6id posted submission on AskAcademia.
April 14, 2014

I'm talking about books similar to Stephen Hawking's "A Brief History of Time", which is a book aimed at non-academics, but that explains the very basics of complicated high-level physics.

I was thinking that there probably are books for all kinds of fields like that, but I don't know which ones, and how to look for them. I'd love to have similar "quick primers" for History, Education/Pedagogy, International Politics, Economy, Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Astronomy, Computer Science, and whichever other ones you know.

5 years, 6 months agoda6id posted on AskAcademia.
April 14, 2014

This might be better suited to be asked in /r/books

I would recommend Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything for it's very clear writing and great breadth of science/science history.

Can Passion be developed? [R]

5 years, 7 months agoMarch 11, 2014

I have many interests. Art, science, language learning, science fiction. And yet no passion. The people who are passionate about their interests can spend 80 hours a week on it. Elon Musk for example loves space exploration and he devoted years of his life to building companies around that passion. I also have an interest in space exploration, but I'm not nearly interested in anything enough to put in years of study for a chance to work in that field one day.

I'm quite ashamed at my lack of passion. Do you think passion can be developed or is it something a person is born with?

5 years, 7 months agoGarinEtch posted on getdisciplined.
March 11, 2014

Here's an idea I think you'd be good at based on your interests: I'm reading a book now called A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. It's about how we came to understand the things we know about our planet and our universe. It's absolutely fascinating but it's super long. Condense some of that information down into a format more accessible for high school students. The universe is unfathomably incredible...like pants-wettingly amazing. But high school textbooks are the most boring possible medium ever for conveying that wonder. Turn it into some captivating format that blows kids' minds and makes them fall in love with science. Start a YouTube channel or something.

ELI5: How can the universe expand into nothing? What is nothing and how fast is it expanding? [R]

5 years, 8 months agomoiphy2 posted submission on explainlikeimfive.
Feb. 20, 2014
5 years, 8 months agomoiphy2 posted on explainlikeimfive.
Feb. 20, 2014

For a good ELI5 on pretty much anything science related I suggest reading Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything. While some of the information presented is not perfect, it does just what it intendeds to do and gives a pretty good idea about nearly everything.

Falling Into a Black Hole: A gas cloud named G2 is about to collide with Sagittarius A, the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy. [R]

5 years, 8 months agopenguin_2 posted submission on pics.
Feb. 18, 2014
5 years, 8 months agopenguin_2 posted on pics.
Feb. 18, 2014

I'm going to throw out a plug for this book. It's a great summary of most of modern scientific theory, written by a non-scientist. It has good explanations of how scientists know what they know, and includes a lot of really interesting stories about the scientists themselves.

Scientists of Reddit: Do we really know for sure that something is 231 million years old? [R]

5 years, 8 months agomiarolitic_cavity posted submission on Paleontology.
Feb. 7, 2014

It's hard to believe it can be determined with certainty that something is 1 million years old, let alone 231 million years old (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinosaur). I know about carbon and other forms of dating, but can we really say with certainty something is 231 million years old (let alone 231.4 million years which is what Wikipedia actually claims). Can we humans really grasp what 231 million years is?

5 years, 8 months agomiarolitic_cavity posted on Paleontology.
Feb. 9, 2014

No worries. It can get a bit complicated and confusing especially when you're just starting to research it. Also most articles are full of jargon which doesn't help. We do spend 3 or more years learning the language of our fields. I sometimes forget that concepts I learnt in my first year of study aren't common knowledge.

If you want to know more about radiogenic isotopes and dating this seems to be a good ~~book~~ article. A good resource is Bill Bryson's A short History of Nearly Everything

If you have questions feel free to ask. :)

Edit: changed the book for a better article

[TOMT][Book] Story about a physicist who was afraid of people, made a great discovery. [R]

5 years, 8 months agokrulos posted submission on tipofmytongue.
Feb. 5, 2014

Dark blue cover with a moon or something?

5 years, 8 months agokrulos posted on tipofmytongue.
Feb. 7, 2014

Doing a book report for school...looking for a good book to open peoples eyes [R]

5 years, 8 months agoJan. 23, 2014

anthem75: originalredditlink


I will be presenting to my class


Discourse level: 100%

Shills: 0%

5 years, 8 months agoconspirobot posted on conspiro.
Jan. 23, 2014

Doing a book report for school...looking for a good book to open peoples eyes [R]

5 years, 8 months agoMyconspiracyname posted submission on conspiracy.
Jan. 23, 2014

I will be presenting to my class

5 years, 8 months agoMyconspiracyname posted on conspiracy.
Jan. 23, 2014

Any novel/author suggestions to read while studying for the LSAT? [R]

5 years, 9 months agothelsattrainer posted submission on LSAT.
Dec. 29, 2013

Studying for the Feb LSAT, and I've got my PTs and Powerscore Bible's but I am looking for something to read (that would potentially be helpful) when taking breaks and during downtime.

Lots of people on here recommend reading The Economist consistently during their prep for the big test; I am wondering if anyone has had any luck with reading novels or anything else during their time studying. Would love to hear from you guys.

if someone wanted to get addicted to reading, what book would you suggest? [R]

5 years, 10 months agoDec. 22, 2013

[deleted]

5 years, 10 months agoCatchingRays posted on AskReddit.
Dec. 22, 2013

Bill Bryson - Start with A Short History of Nearly Everything

Best Bathroom Readers? [R]

5 years, 10 months agoDec. 22, 2013

[deleted]

5 years, 10 months agoiusedtoreadbooks posted on booksuggestions.
Dec. 22, 2013

A Short History of Nearly Everything is divided into short chapters on different subjects. Seems perfect.

This comment. [R]

5 years, 10 months agoMagicWishMonkey posted submission on woahdude.
Dec. 15, 2013
5 years, 10 months agoMagicWishMonkey posted on woahdude.
Dec. 16, 2013

Anyone who likes this should read Bill Bryson's The History of Everything link

Great book and he mentions this factoid in the preface.

I'm looking for a book that I can give to a family member to help them better understand my atheism. Any suggestions? [R]

5 years, 10 months agoMilhouseVanHouten posted submission on atheism.
Dec. 6, 2013

It needs to be a friendly and inviting book that won't scare theists away on sight. The person I'm giving it to (my mother) is a Christian and is uncomfortable with my views. We try to talk about what we believe in, but it usually ends in a fight. I just need a way to show her where I'm coming from and I thought a well written book could do the job.

Edit: Thanks for the suggestions everybody :)

I think I'm an atheist and I'm scared... [R]

5 years, 10 months agoefrique posted submission on TrueAtheism.
Dec. 2, 2013

I'm 17 and I live in a loving, conservative, young-earth creationist, family. All of my family and friends are Christians and I don't want to lose them. However, over the past few weeks, I've realized that I just don't believe in Christianity for a variety of reasons. And the truth is...

I'm scared.

My whole life I've been taught that an all powerful being is watching me. I've been taught that evolution is a lie. I've been taught that homosexuality is a sin, sex before marriage is a sin, drugs and partying is a sin, and that there is a heaven and a hell, and the whole universe is only 10,000 years old.

Take all that away, and all of a sudden my whole view of the world is staggeringly different. And I'm scared. I'm scared of losing my God, my family, my friends.

So scared in fact, that I guess I'll go on pretending, for now at least, that I still believe in all of those things. Some may call it cowardly, but this life is comforting.

However, my eyes have been opened, and I want to learn. I want to learn about life as it really is. I want to learn about evolution, natural selection, the big bang, and all the things that I've been told were lies.

Someday, I'd like to live without religion. But right now I'm feeling very overwhelmed and a little depressed. Does anybody have advice for a new, young, atheist? Also, does anybody have any reading material or websites about evolution, or science in general? Writing this out has really helped me get some things off my chest. Thanks to anyone who reads

Edit: Thanks for the advice and kind words everybody.

Edit 2: If I had the money, I'd buy you all reddit gold. You have no idea how much this means to me. Thanks

Edit 3: To everybody offering to send me books, I really do appreciate all the offers, but I'd hate to take people's books. I'll find the books you suggested online or at the library. Thanks again!

5 years, 10 months agoefrique posted on TrueAtheism.
Dec. 3, 2013

> I'm scared.

Nothing has actually changed about the state of the world; you're in the same actual world you were in a year ago or three years ago. The only thing that's different is your comprehension of it.

> I'm scared of losing my God

Was never there.

> my family, my friends.

Ultimately the way you deal with the changed circumstances are up to you. Certainly to begin with, you keep it to yourself, and you may need to do so for some time.

> I guess I'll go on pretending

This is wise; for starters, give yourself time. You are still working things out, for starters.

> Also, does anybody have any reading material or websites about evolution, or science in general?

A decent 'catch up' on science topics: Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything

How evolution works (and some of why creationism doesn't):

Dawkins' The Selfish Gene (a new edition came out fairly recently, try to get that one, but the old one will be okay)

Dawkins' The Blind Watchmaker

How we know evolution is true:

Jerry Coyne's Why evolution is true

Wikipedia has some reasonable basic information on evolution:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Introductiontoevolution

Also see:

http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIntro.shtml

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-intro-to-biology.html

Best Books on Science? [R]

5 years, 10 months agoNov. 30, 2013

[deleted]

5 years, 10 months agoNostromoXIII posted on booksuggestions.
Nov. 30, 2013

If you are interested in science then I might be a bit naive in recommending the perennial reddit favourite, A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson, which would cover all the bases.

If you want to be a bit more technical then I can also suggest The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing which is edited by Richard Dawkins. It contains many essays, articles and excerpts from many great scientific minds.

Lastly, I want to recommend Big Bang by Simon Singh, which is a thorough exploration on the history of the theory. A must read for any science fan.

How to best use GoodReads? [R]

5 years, 11 months agoNov. 16, 2013

I'm a member but it seems a bit complicated. Maybe I'm just stupid.....

Edit: Thanks for all the advise everyone. Getting to grips with it now. Creating all my own lists of books. Thanks!

5 years, 11 months agodkarlovi posted on books.
Nov. 16, 2013

I use it as so (the quoted names denote shelves on GR):

  • mark book "Read" to obtain recommendations
  • add books it recommends (and others I find around) to "Want to read" (to remember later on), for example found [this] (http://www.amazon.com/A-Short-History-Nearly-Everything/dp/076790818X) on Reddit, went to GR, found it there and added to "Want to read"
  • mark books as "Currently reading" (and mark finished, which moves them to "Read"), this takes note of the start/end date
  • I use calibre with Goodreads Sync plugin (by Grant Drake) which pulls the shelves to my local library

This way you get to see, for example * what books I've marked as read and also have available in local Calibre? * when did I read book X? * what books in my local library have I not read yet, sort by GR's "Want to read" first etc

TL;DR you add books to shelves and later use that as TODO/done with metadata.

HTH

5 years, 11 months agosnorktorqueandpork posted submission on books.
Nov. 16, 2013

[removed]

5 years, 11 months agosnorktorqueandpork posted on books.
Nov. 16, 2013

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson.

http://www.amazon.com/A-Short-History-Nearly-Everything/dp/076790818X

Books on Evolution of Birds from Dinosaurs [R]

5 years, 11 months agoPurpleturtlegirl posted submission on booksuggestions.
Nov. 6, 2013

Out of print stuff OK, I have access to a monster library. I guess I am looking for both histories of how the theory developed and then hardcore studies based on actual digs. Thanks!

5 years, 11 months agoPurpleturtlegirl posted on booksuggestions.
Nov. 6, 2013

This is covered pretty well in Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything. He lists some source information during his review of this particular evolution process. Could be a starting point?

What are some non-fiction books everyone should read? [R]

5 years, 12 months agoOct. 20, 2013
5 years, 12 months agojoanofarf posted on booksuggestions.
Oct. 20, 2013

Stunning Map Reveals World's Earthquakes Since 1898 [1024x618] [R]

6 years agoceepington posted submission on MapPorn.
Oct. 12, 2013
6 years agoceepington posted on MapPorn.
Oct. 12, 2013

Yep. I'm in the middle of A Short History of Nearly Everything, and it's pretty astounding reading about it. I just assumed we had known about it forever.

Even more amazing are the intra-plate quakes. They happen all the time almost everywhere and we have literally no idea what causes them.

I want to be more intelligent. [R]

6 years agoOct. 4, 2013

[deleted]

6 years agoelementalizer posted on self.
Oct. 4, 2013

A good book that is fun to read and has tons of anecdotes about scientific history is A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

In a similar vein, you can ponder the more mind-bending aspects of our Universe with Stephen Hawkings A Brief History of Time

Other than that you may find some interesting things in the works of Carl Sagan or Richard Dawkins (I personally recommend Dawkins's The Selfish Gene)

If you are sick of scientific titles you can also check out Freakonomics or The Worldly Philosphers

These Books are all written for a general audience so they go down pretty easy.

Deciding which major in College can be tricky - I was lucky since I knew exactly what I wanted to study before I left High School, but maybe some ideas in these books will pique your interest. My parents always told me to go to school to study something I love, and not to train for a job. I'm not so sure this advice carries through in "recovering" economy. You may want to factor in the usefulness of your degree post-college (but don't let that be the only thing you consider!).

Good Luck, and enjoy!

Hi, I'm a new Atheist [R]

6 years agothegools posted submission on TrueAtheism.
Sept. 27, 2013

So as the title says I’m a new atheist, I would rather not go into all the details why, but I will say I use to be a Christian and recently have lost my faith. Basically due to the fact that faith honestly seems to contradict reality; if everything is good then God is good, if everything is bad then God isn’t bad He’s just trying to teach you a lesson or trying to build your faith or whatever. The way I see it if the God of the Bible (or any god for that matter) is true they should be consistent in at least the way they treat their own people in my opinion.

So anyway the reason I came here is because in my experience most atheist I have met tend to be jerks, and I don’t see that as much around here. I really hate jerks, and I don’t think that anyone should demine or hate anyone for any reason: gender, ethnicity, or religious belief. Having been a Christian I do not seek to “unconvert” anyone, I want to be respectful to them and what they believe, I want to respect what anyone and everyone believes, having said that if asked why I don’t believe I will not be ashamed to say so.

Finally I come to this point, having been a Christian I have a really hard time accepting pure naturalism and that the universe came to be the way it is today by such means. I really would like resource materials to explain it as dumbly as possible, everything: astronomy, geology, evolution, especially evolution.

Here is what I understand, I understand species go through adaptation and specialization, I understand how species can and do change becoming new species and sub species. I don’t understand how evolution causes entire kingdoms, phylum, classes, orders, families, and genus to change; I honestly would like some scientific evidence that shows that they do and how we know they do. Obviously I accept we haven’t seen it as it’s supposed to take billions of years.

Lastly I’ve also hear of punctate equilibrium which to the best of my understanding is evolution, but on a much quicker scale. Is this possible or is evidence in the favor of Darwinism for example? I’m not trolling or anything I’m really trying to learn.

Thank you in advanced for your answers.

EDIT: Hey I just want to thank everyone for all your answers and the many video/book/education links you have provided. I have discovered that I mostly already understood and accepted evolution, but rejected it because it didn't fit in the confines of the Bible. I have read some really awesome evidence that support common decent and I'm going to continue to study as I find all of this so interesting :-D.

I suppose now one of the things I find most odd is that I don’t even feel wrong leaving the faith, like I kind of expected there to be some force driving me to want to keep on believing in God, but it’s just not there. I suppose though that makes sense if there is no God and the only way to accept him is by faith though.

Anyway again big thanks to everyone that helped today, I do have some other questions, but I’ll probably be going to /r/askscience or /r/explainlikeImfive.

6 years agothegools posted on TrueAtheism.
Sept. 27, 2013

A Short History of Nearly Everything - Bill Bryson

Honestly, for a few years after I left my faith behind I had little care for those "ridiculous theories" but then this book, which I just picked up because someone mentioned how well it was written, blew my fascination with evolution, big bang, anthropology, geology wide open, and IMO it's a good primer before you step headlong into any books on a specific subject.

Which non-fiction book(s) had the most profound positive affect on your life perspective? [R]

6 years, 1 month agobrandongiant posted submission on books.
Sept. 16, 2013

Non-fiction only. Which titles had the most profound affect on your life perspective / personal ethos? Which books helped you break through? What was your catalyst, and why?

6 years, 1 month agobrandongiant posted on books.
Sept. 16, 2013

'A Short History of Nearly Everything' by Bill Bryson. Explained the vastness of the universe and other pinnacles of science and nature in terms that I could understand, and got me extremely excited about science.

http://www.amazon.com/A-Short-History-Nearly-Everything/dp/076790818X

Current books for general knowledge? [R]

6 years, 1 month agoSept. 13, 2013

[deleted]

6 years, 1 month agofruitnmusic posted on books.
Sept. 15, 2013

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson.

Covers just about every topic of everything, in quite a scientific way, yet explained so well that everyone can understand. Dense, but absolutely amazing. You will come out of it knowing A LOT more about the world.

What is your absolute favorite book? Preferably non-fiction [R]

6 years, 1 month agoDirk_dingleberry posted submission on AskMen.
Sept. 8, 2013
6 years, 1 month agoDirk_dingleberry posted on AskMen.
Sept. 9, 2013

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. You'll learn and laugh, which is no easy accomplishment.

Best book from your chosen profession? [R]

6 years, 1 month agoSept. 4, 2013

I love learning about new things and studying books about new topics. I would be very interested to know which books from your chosen career or profession you would recommend to someone who knows little or nothing about it. Whether you are fully qualified or a student just starting out. Which book helped you the most?

6 years, 1 month agocapellablue posted on books.
Sept. 8, 2013

Sorry for the late reply, busy couple of days.

It seems that you have read a lot of books for a general audience, and you have actually picked out some really good authors. Honestly, if you read a lot of other their other books you will be in a good place. If you are interested, Bill Bryson wrote A Short History of Nearly Everything, which summarizes the history of science and how they all evolved together. He then cites a long list of great books on everything from cosmology to genetics to paleontology. I think his book is a good place to jump off.

If you want a more technical introduction into physics, I suggest any of David J. Griffiths three textbooks (quantum, electrodynamics and particle physics), he is one of the clearest textbooks writers ever. Chances are you will see his electrodynamics sooner or later.

Amazon announces Kindle MatchBook: Cheap or free ebooks for any physical book you've purchased from Amazon [R]

6 years, 1 month ago[deleted] posted submission on technology.
Sept. 3, 2013
6 years, 1 month ago[deleted] posted on technology.
Sept. 3, 2013

FINALLY! There is a book i've been wanting to buy but refuse to buy the print version. http://www.amazon.com/A-Short-History-Nearly-Everything/dp/076790818X/ref=sr13?ie=UTF8&qid=1378243580&sr=8-3&keywords=book+about+everything

Looking for an interesting history book. [R]

6 years, 1 month agoblack_omen6 posted submission on booksuggestions.
Aug. 25, 2013

I am looking for something thats not your typical history book. Something that in history that may not typically be discussed or something thats presented in a new angle that shows history in a new light. Hope you can help.

6 years, 1 month agoblack_omen6 posted on booksuggestions.
Aug. 25, 2013

If I understand correctly, I found that Bill Bryson had written a decent book. Of course, I may not have understood correctly.

Best single book for a summary of all history? [R]

6 years, 1 month agoSafariNZ posted submission on AskHistorians.
Aug. 23, 2013

I look at the book list for this subreddit but am still unsure where to start.

I am not well versed in history and I would like a single book to read that will basically summarize the entirety of human history.

So far I am thinking the History of the World by J.M. Roberts is my best bet?

thanks

6 years, 1 month agoSafariNZ posted on AskHistorians.
Aug. 23, 2013

This is a fun read and gives a good insight into the typical way history unfolds. http://www.amazon.com/A-Short-History-Nearly-Everything/dp/076790818X

What great books would you recommend to read that have been written in the last 15 years? [R]

6 years, 1 month agoAug. 21, 2013

Any new great literature out there?

6 years, 1 month agoOBear posted on AskReddit.
Aug. 21, 2013

A brief history of time - Stephen Hawking, what a wonderful book. Any suggestions on similar reading? [R]

6 years, 2 months agodelection posted submission on books.
July 26, 2013

I just finished reading this book from front to cover, and although there were some sections that were hard to comprehend; I definitely fell in love with this book. Does anyone else have any suggestions on other books related to this genre?

6 years, 2 months agodelection posted on books.
July 27, 2013

> A Short History Of Nearly Everything

I have never read this book, but from the book description on Amazon; it does look like it has similar topics.

http://www.amazon.com/A-Short-History-Nearly-Everything/dp/076790818X

Looking for some books or online videos [R]

6 years, 3 months agoJuly 20, 2013

[deleted]

6 years, 3 months agoSecond_Foundationeer posted on Physics.
July 20, 2013

I don't know about physics history books, but I really liked A Short History of Nearly Everything when I read it a couple years ago. It doesn't go into the how too much, but it gets behind the scientists and shows them as real humans? Is that kind of what you're looking for?

For the literary bros...know any good books? [R]

6 years, 3 months agoboxbeat posted submission on gaybros.
July 16, 2013

So I rocked through all the reading material I had set aside for my vacation 2 weeks early. You bros have a favorite book to recommend for me to unwind with after sightseeing all day? Let me know why it's good. Also, who else finds bookish guys sexy?

6 years, 3 months agoboxbeat posted on gaybros.
July 16, 2013

If you're looking for a fun, but enriching read, I highly recommend Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything". It's tough to put down and you're guaranteed to learn some amazing things.

Similarly, Bryson's "A Walk in the Woods" comes to mind, although I haven't read it in some time. Seems fitting for the gaybros since it's about hiking the Appalachian Trail - a dream of mine some day.

What are some "easy to read" yet analytic science books for a high schooler? [R]

6 years, 3 months agoJuly 9, 2013

I'm looking for some science books, general ones, and maybe more focused on evolutionary biology, physics, genetics, and neuroscience. I'd like something that doesn't require higher-level schooling to understand, ie a book for the masses, but that's still scientific and makes me think. Thanks! :)

6 years, 3 months ago[deleted] posted on books.
July 9, 2013

'A Short History of Nearly Everything' by Bill Bryson. Very easy to read and full of engaging science that a high schooler would be fine with I'm sure.

What challenging books could I suggest to my very precocious and intelligent 11-year-old niece? [R]

6 years, 3 months agofletch407 posted submission on booksuggestions.
June 22, 2013

She's reading two grade levels ahead of her class and is very curious about almost everything. She lives in a tiny town in MN and doesn't get to experience much outside of that world. What challenging books could I suggest to her to read over her summer break?

6 years, 3 months agofletch407 posted on booksuggestions.
June 22, 2013

If she is interested in science than Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything would be great for a summer read.

I'd like to expand my worldview. Any suggestions for good historical books/memoirs, scientific pieces, social, etc.? [R]

6 years, 4 months agomicrocosmic5447 posted submission on booksuggestions.
June 21, 2013

I'm going to try and make a queue. I'm open to suggestions from most any type of genre. I'd like to learn, but I want to have fun with it.

Thanks for any answers!

6 years, 4 months agomicrocosmic5447 posted on booksuggestions.
June 21, 2013

If you read one scientific/historical laugh-riot this year, make it: Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything.

"Mormon Doctrine" on Evolution [R]

6 years, 4 months agoelusive_one posted submission on exmormon.
June 18, 2013

Bruce wrote five pages against evolution. He cited both ancient and modern prophets. He dedicated a lot to this one. It's no fucking wonder that his son, Joseph F. McConkie, wrote a letter to BYU to try to get rid of the teaching of evolution in the school.

In fact, McConkie spent more time writing about things he knew nothing about, and spend very little time on things he should have known a lot about.

  • Evolution: 5 pages

  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: 1 page

  • God: 1/2 page

  • Jesus Christ: 1/2 page

  • Atonement: 3 pages + 1/2 page of an article quote

  • Gospel: 1.5 pages

  • Faith: 3.25 pages

  • Repentance: 1 page

  • Baptism: 1.5 pages

  • Holy Ghost: 1/2 page

  • Joseph Smith: 3/4 page

  • Bible: 3/4 page

  • Book of Mormon: 1 page


Here is a link of the 1968 edition. I was going to copy/paste, but that was just too much. It is a good read. Well, it's a terrible read, but it is good to see how two generations have been affected by it.

http://shalyce.com/wp-content/uploads/Mormon%20Doctrine%20%28Bruce%20R%20McConkie%29.pdf


Edit:

4blockhead had actually posted the text over a year ago, and was kind enough to provide us a link.

www.reddit.com/r/exmormon/comments/q4itm/mcconkies_mormon_doctrine_cain/c3v6oks

6 years, 4 months agoelusive_one posted on exmormon.
June 18, 2013

This is also an excellent book http://www.amazon.com/A-Short-History-Nearly-Everything/dp/076790818X

Can't recommend enough. I got the audio book version and the performance is awesome, I can listen to it while doing other stuff and still follow along, which I love in audio books.

An American commentating on cricket. [R]

6 years, 4 months agoSirSupay posted submission on videos.
June 15, 2013
6 years, 4 months agoSirSupay posted on videos.
June 16, 2013

"A short history of nearly everything" is a really good book where he tells about everything from the beginning of the universe to where we are now through science.

Can you guys recommend me a factual book for a long plane ride? [R]

6 years, 6 months agoApril 8, 2013

I love books chock full of facts, woven into a book for it to be awesome. Some books I have read:

Salt: A history

Naked Statistics

Eats, Shoots, and Leaves

And more...

Any factual book on history/economics or whatever is fine.