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: 829
Latest Activity: Aug 18

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

The Last Blade of Grass

Started by Robert Brown May 7. 0 Replies

Top 5 Books on Atheism

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

Why do they all have "happy endings"

Started by Cory D Wells. Last reply by sk8eycat Jan 22. 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

Atheism books (beyond Hitchens, Dawkins, & Harris)

Started by Dr. Thoss. Last reply by Kelli Evans Nov 24, 2012. 52 Replies

Robert Jordan "Wheel of Time" fans?

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

Currently Reading: American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Started by The Big Blue Frog. Last reply by Cory D Wells Jul 24, 2012. 8 Replies

The Atheist Book Club @GoodReads.com

Started by Donegal. Last reply by Jessica Mar 28, 2012. 8 Replies

Comment Wall

Comment

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Comment by Ken on June 14, 2009 at 7:33pm
Based on multiple recommendations and references I decided to read Francis Collins’ book “the Language of God”. Francis Collins is a gifted doctor and scientist, and is most famous for his role as the head of the American genome project. His book and delivery are sincere and thoughtful.

In addition to being a brilliant chemist and biologist, Collins has distinguished himself through his unwavering belief in a benevolent, supernatural, God. The juxtaposition of these typically exclusive belief bases is enough to make the book a compelling read. I personally was intrigued and wanted to see how someone who has based their professional life on rational thought and scientific method would defend a belief in magic and the supernatural.

In full disclosure, I do not believe in magic, the supernatural, or Gods – benevolent or otherwise. i.e. I am not an unbiased or wavering reader. That said, I also consider myself open to any evidence or argument that is based in logic and reason.

The title of the book and the central theme is that existence of evolution, cloning, dna, science, etc does not eliminate the reality that God exists, and in fact it is through this chemistry and biology that God has acted on the universe.

Collins spends the majority of the book defending scientific method and evolution from religion. His arguments for the age of the universe, the earth, and the role of Darwinian evolution are well constructed and logical. He repeatedly chastises, and warns, on religions assigning God to any concept that is not currently understood. Collins’ term, the “God of the Gaps” is his wording for this thinking pattern, and he warns that this pattern creates a situation where advancing science and knowledge will consistently show religion as false ( the story of Copernicus) and do more harm than good to faith.

Collins arguments for the existence of God are clustered around two concepts, the “moral law” and “the desire for God”. In his first argument, Collins posits that people know right from wrong, and exhibit moralistic thought and behavior even when it is not personally beneficial, therefore God must have implanted this law. His second argument is that the desire for a God must mean there is a God, “why else would we have “evolved” such a desire?”

I found Collins case for God much less reasoned than his argument for evolution. He is inconsistent in his use of the “God can do anything” argument, sometimes arguing that science is real because of the evidence, at other times arguing that God could do anything because he is all powerful. Collins own words and logic constructions provide ample argument for evolution as the source of both the moral law and the desire for a God. Even bacteria exhibit benevolent “moral” behaviors in the interest of the collective species. This behavior is self reinforced and rewarded by selective pressures. Collins second argument on the desire for God seems much more a personal statement, and at times came across as desperate and naïve, lacking the logical construction of his other positions.

I recommend this book to all readers regardless of position on science or faith. It is full of interesting information, and alternate ways of looking at the natural world and religion. It is guaranteed to offend all, from the faithful to the atheist – which is good. I believe we benefit from being challenged in our thinking patterns.
Comment by Chris Highland on June 14, 2009 at 6:28pm
Wondering if anyone has read a bit of John Burroughs (Accepting the Universe; Light of Day; Leaf and Tendril, etc.)? I'm teaching a course in environmental ethics and find Burroughs a useful bridge for theists to (cautiously) cross over to non-theism. His scientific/naturalistic/philosophical influence on Muir, Roosevelt and classrooms full of schoolchildren warrants his "resurrection!"
Comment by Travis McFarland on April 21, 2009 at 4:23am
@Dallas: TSD is pretty economic, but they way Klein writes she makes it easy to follow. It definitely is giving me a different perspective on America's involvement in the world. Especially about things that are not covered in the news or that are just so filtered that the original content is virtually lost.
Comment by Stephen Goldin on April 17, 2009 at 7:31pm
Dorothy Fontana, story editor for Star Trek, once told me that screenwriters envy prose writers for that. I can write 3 words: "The world ended." To do that on screen costs millions of dollars.

@IMAOZI: SF and fantasy readers are also welcome at the Science Fiction/Fantasy Atheists group.
Comment by IMAOZI on April 17, 2009 at 7:12pm
I usually read Sci-Fi but I did read The DaVinci Code and saw the movie. I was disappointed with the movie though. My imagination is always better that the directors.
Comment by IMAOZI on April 17, 2009 at 6:45pm
I am reading "Angels & Demons"
Comment by Travis McFarland on April 13, 2009 at 4:36am
I'm currently reading The Shock Doctrine (The Rise of Disaster Capitalism) By: Naomi Klein. This book is intense.
Comment by Mack Fuller on April 12, 2009 at 2:00pm
The library at my University has all of Dawkins' work. Great stuff. I actually listened to The Audio Book of the God Delusion which was cool since it's was read by both Richard and his wife.
Comment by Cheryl on April 11, 2009 at 7:28pm
I just started reading "Atheist Universe" by David Mills. It is a great intro into Atheism and a very easy read.
Comment by Mack Fuller on April 9, 2009 at 10:14am
Books, I can't say enough about them. I can never have to many and I always have one with me. I've managed to make the book trade the focus of my Masters Degree research. I enjoy a drink like most folks, but books are my drug of choice
 

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