Nexus Book Club

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Nexus Book Club

A group for those of us who like reading and books. Fiction, non-fiction, drama, poetry... everything goes.

Members: 813
Latest Activity: Jun 2

Welcome to the Nexus Book Club!

Hello to all our new (and old) members! We'd love to hear from you; please take the time to introduce yourself either on the forum or the wall.

Feel free to discuss the books you're reading at the moment, your favorite authors or works, and so on. I'm sure everyone has a book they think others here might find interesting!

Also, don't forget to check out the page Books by A|N Members Who are Published Authors, located just under the members section on your right.


Books of Interest to Atheists and Skeptics
Breaking The Spell by Daniel Dennett
A Devil's Chaplain, by Richard Dawkins
The End of Faith, by Sam Harris
The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins
God is Not Great, by Christopher Hitchens
Godless, by Dan Barker
Letter to a Christian Nation, by Sam Harris
Why I am not a Christian, by Bertrand Russell

Sites for Bibliotaphs
Audible.com
BookCrossing.com
BookMooch.com
The Internet Archive
LibraryThing.com
LibriVox.org
Project Gutenburg
Shelfari.com

Discussion Forum

Question about The Dresden Files.

Started by Joseph P Oct 11, 2016. 0 Replies

The Last Blade of Grass

Started by Robert Brown May 7, 2015. 0 Replies

Top 5 Books on Atheism

Started by Steph S.. Last reply by Gerald Payne Apr 30, 2015. 5 Replies

Why do they all have "happy endings"

Started by Cory D Wells. Last reply by sk8eycat Jan 22, 2015. 5 Replies

New books on the secular life

Started by Nick Bottom. Last reply by Randall Smith Oct 23, 2014. 1 Reply

POLLY AND THE ONE AND ONLY WORLD

Started by Don. Last reply by Don Sep 13, 2014. 1 Reply

Haruki Murakami

Started by Nick Bottom. Last reply by Michael Mann Sep 7, 2014. 1 Reply

"Cli-fi"

Started by Don. Last reply by Don Aug 31, 2014. 4 Replies

top 10

Started by Jeffrey. Last reply by Nick Bottom Aug 23, 2014. 17 Replies

book recommendations?

Started by Fester75. Last reply by Joseph P Jan 11, 2014. 5 Replies

Robert Jordan "Wheel of Time" fans?

Started by Jenn Wiffen. Last reply by Joseph P Sep 10, 2012. 1 Reply

Comment Wall

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Comment by Joseph P on June 2, 2018 at 7:12pm

It wasn't any real digging, in this case.  I just tried a few different combinations of words, plugged into Google.  A.N. Wilson hasn't written many books, and if I remember correctly, that book was the only one that had anything to do with Darwin.  The article criticizing it popped up in the same Google search.

The thing that tipped me off in this case is my reading of several Christian apologetic books, as well as watching reviews of a dozen or so more.  The claims of this A.N. Wilson guy sounded a lot like the ad hominem arguments I've read in the books of many Christian apologists.  Just the ones that Randall listed in his comment matched that stuff.

That made me immediately doubt pretty much everything A.N. Wilson said, without a corroborating source.  Christian apologists lie pretty much nonstop, whenever they speak about biological evolution, biblical criticism, and biblical archaeology, among many other fields.  It's safe to assume that anything in a Christian apologetics book is a lie, until you discover otherwise.

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 23, 2018 at 8:51pm

Joseph, you are becoming this groups finder of "fatally flawed, mischievous, and ultimately misleading" authors." When you "do a little digging," where do you begin? 

I want to do better at finding the suspicious ones!

Comment by Joseph P on April 13, 2018 at 11:14am

No problem, Randall.  The stuff in that book summary sounded suspiciously like the ad hominem arguments that creationists try to slime Darwin with, because they think that if they can show that Darwin was a mean person, all of his scientific work is disproven.  It made me immediately suspicious of this guy's intentions and intellectual rigor.

Some creationists don't seem to get that evolutionary theory is based more upon the 150-something years following the publication of Darwin's book, rather than being based directly upon Darwin's work.  I've talked to creationists who actually think that research into evolution is done by studying Origin in greater depth, trying to glean new insight from Darwin's book.  They don't understand how scientific research works, on a fundamental level.

I doubt that most of them are quite that stupid, but they're definitely out there.

Comment by Plinius on April 13, 2018 at 10:52am

Happy reading Randall, you won't regret it.

Comment by Randall Smith on April 13, 2018 at 6:46am

Thanks, Joseph, for the information. As I said, the Wilson book is controversial and full of misleading statements.

Chris, I'll check for The Lunar Men, on your recommendation.

Comment by Joseph P on April 1, 2018 at 2:03pm

Oh, here we go.  I just did a little digging.  Do you mean the one covered in this article, in The Guardian?  https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/aug/30/charles-darwin-victor...

That article was the second item in the list, when I did a search for A.N. Wilson, following his Wikipedia article.

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._N._Wilson#Critiques_of_Wilson's_work:

Wilson's biography Charles Darwin, Victorian Mythmaker, (2017), was criticised by John van Wyhe in the New Scientist for confusing Darwin's theory of natural selection with Lamarckism at one point, as well as other scientific, historical and editorial errors. Kathryn Hughes in The Guardian wrote it is "cheap attempt to ruffle feathers", with a dubious grasp of science and attempted character assassination. In The Evening Standard, Adrian Woolfson says that "..while for the greater part a lucid, elegantly written and thought-provoking social and intellectual history" Wilson's "speculations on evolutionary theory," produce a book that is "fatally flawed, mischievous, and ultimately misleading". Steve Jones, an emeritus of University College London, commented in The Sunday Times: "In the classic mould of the contrarian, he despises anything said by mainstream biology in favour of marginal and sometimes preposterous theories." The geneticist and former editor of Nature, Adam Rutherford, called the book "deranged" and said Wilson "would fail GCSE biology catastrophically.
Comment by Joseph P on April 1, 2018 at 1:55pm

Does anyone really think that Darwin came up with biological evolution completely on his own?  His contribution is the synthesis of Natural Selection as the driving mechanism ... or as we know now, ONE of the driving mechanisms.

And sure, he made plenty of errors, which have since been cleared up by later scientists.  Who is this A.N. Wilson guy, and to which book are you referring?

Comment by Plinius on April 1, 2018 at 8:42am

Plagiarize is perhaps a little strong. Charles' grandfather Erasmus Darwin and his friends among others were already debating evolution, and Alfred Russell Wallace was working on it at the same time as Charles - you could say that the time to work out evolution was there. Many people were sleeping in church but groups of others formed hotbeds in which ideas grew. A very interesting book about this time is The Lunar Men by Jenny Uglow. A must-read, I think. 

Writing good English is difficult today, I hope I make sense.

Comment by Randall Smith on April 1, 2018 at 7:37am

Sadly, one of my heroes has been vanquished.

According to A.N. Wilson, Charles Darwin has been exposed as a fraud (subtitle: "Victorian Mythmaker"). Wilson convincingly argues that not only did Darwin plagiarize previous exponents of evolution, but he presented many errors in his writings. The bottom line is, he did not "discover" evolution.

Yes, his The Origin of Species  (1859) exposed the evolutionary idea, and changed the minds of the educated world. Yes, Darwin was one of the greatest naturalists who ever lived. But, as Wilson declares, "Darwin was wrong".

You'll have to read the book to make your own decision.

Comment by Bertold Brautigan on December 21, 2017 at 10:59am

I'm totally addicted to Crais' novels; it's an automatic purchase every time a new one comes out. He has a whole string of them with a regular character named Elvis Cole who's the quintessential LA detective.

 

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