REFERENCES AND SUGGESTED READING

This list is by no means intended to be complete. There will be others added as we continue to review books brought to our attention. In the study of evolution, however, there are certain titles which present their case with startling clarity: the books which you see below belong on that list. Each contains concepts which hit you square, and change your way of thinking about everything else. Each will suggest other authors or titles of great value, which you may wish to explore. We highly recommend each of these books. Each will lead you to strike out in further directions with your reading, as fits each of you the best. They are presented in alphabetical order, not necessarily in order of importance or preference. As you read each of them, your world will change.

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For your convenience, we've added links to online sellers of the books below, so you can get more information on them or purchase them if you'd like. These links are to Amazon, but you can also get them through sites such as Best Book Buys. Some of these will be at your local library as well.

1) CARL SAGAN: Cosmos
The enormity of the universe is brought forcibly to us – and conversely – the miniscule importance of our own lives in the big scheme of things. (• hardcoverpaperback •)

2) MARCUS J. BORG: Conflict, Holiness and Politics in the Teachings of Jesus
The teachings of Jesus are completely misunderstood unless they are seen in the context of the social and political climate of his day. (• hardcoverpaperback •)

3) MARCUS J. BORG: Meeting Jesus Again For the First Time
The teachings of Jesus are directly opposite to most of the things the gospels and churches say about him. (• hardcoverpaperbackdigital •)

4) JANET BROWNE: Charles Darwin: Voyaging
He was obsessive about details and eager to explore everything; but had no idea as to the significance of what he saw and recorded. He wasn't even the one supposed to go on the Beagle for a trip around the world. (• hardcoverpaperback •)

5) JANET BROWNE: Charles Darwin: The Power of Place
After studying barnacles for seven years, he finally realized what he was seeing. Even then he might not have written “The Origin of Species” had not one of his colleagues beaten him to the punch with a publication on the concept of natural evolution. (• hardcoverpaperback •)

6) THOMAS CAHILL: How the Irish Saved Civilization
The progress of knowledge, artistry and understanding has many stops and starts on its road. Sometimes there is downright regression to a more ignorant and primitive life. Sometimes it is saved only by a single thread. (• hardcoverpaperbackdigital •)

7) JOSEPH CAMPBELL: The Hero With a Thousand Faces
Myths flood through our lives and influence every single thing that we do. Each of us creates our own set of myths that we use to guide our lives. (• hardcoverpaperbackaudio download •)

8) JOHN DOMINIC CROSSAN: Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography
He was in the middle, between brothers and sisters. His mother was not a virgin. He was an illiterate, itinerant Jewish peasant, who was not born in Bethlehem. He did rebel against the oppression of the Roman empire, and he had charisma. His appeal to women was probably what powered the early Christian church. Most everything else we are told about him cannot be trusted.
(• hardcoverpaperback •)

9) CHARLES DARWIN: The Origin of Species.
It is inappropriate to discuss the natural evolution of life without having read the original. It is overwhelmingly complete. Every possible objection is recognized and addressed. He got it right.
(• hardcoverpaperbackdigitalaudio download •)

10) RICHARD DAWKINS: The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design
This book is a remarkable apology for the theory of natural evolution. It is exquisitely complete and direct. Other Dawkins books belabor the point incessantly. This one is brilliant. Bats can see with their ears! (• paperbackaudio cassette • )

11) JARED DIAMOND: Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
The civilization that is the most advanced does not necessarily win in a confrontation. The civilization that has the best agricultural support, the best weapons and the worst germs is the one that wins.
(• hardcoverpaperback •)

12) BRIAN GREENE: The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory
Our universe has 11 dimensions? Everything that we see and feel around us is just energy? Everything is just made of infinitesimally small vibrating strings? This is far out, man – yet it has a ring about it which makes us believe that we are as yet woefully ignorant about the world where we live. (• hardcoverpaperback •)

13) BARBARA G. WALKER: Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets
When Jesus told Simon, son of Jonah, he was naming him Peter, the rock upon whom he would build his church, he was either making a dirty joke, calling him a phallic symbol; or else it was a forgery, inserted by the papacy at a later date, so that they would hold the keys of power. The forgery worked. This book is a remarkable compendium of the myths that forge every aspect of our lives.
(• hardcoverpaperback •)

If you are in the mood to read something right away, try a digital file or audio download, such as those at Fictionwise. They have a selection of non-fiction readings, including topics such as religion, science, history, politics, etc.

Enjoy! If you know of a work of literature that you'd recommend, let us know.

 
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