TIME’s List of the Best Science Reads

Here at darwinbookcats I celebrate some of the best things in life: scienceliterature, and cats.  Now TIME celebrates the best of two of these worlds with its list of the All-TIME 100 Best Nonfiction Books, including the Best Science Books.  The list includes some terrific reads, including The Double Helix by biologist James Watson, and The Selfish Gene by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins.  Enjoy! Continue reading

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Why A Politician’s Opinion of Evolution Matters

Since darwinbookcats is in part a blog about evolution, I’ve recently posted about the scientific opinions of the GOP presidential candidates.  One reason is because these candidates have decided to make their opinions on evolution known.  But a second reason is because these opinions are important.  In a new blog article for the Washington Post, biologist Richard Dawkins explains why. Continue reading

Book Review: The Pyramid, by Ismail Kadare

I am not usually a fan of historical  fiction, but I do like novels that use the past to illuminate events in the present — especially when those novels use ancient or biblical history.  Some of my favorites include Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses (which I’ve written about before) and Stefan Heym’s The King David Report.  Now I have a third novel to add to that list: Ismail Kadare‘s The Pyramid. Kadare is an Albanian writer that uses stories from Albanian and ancient history to illustrate oppression under a communist dictatorship.  The Pyramid is short and has a biting sense of irony and humor.  This is basically one of best novels you’ve never read, written by one of the best novelists you’ve never heard of. Continue reading

John Huntsman on Evolution: Call Me Crazy, But I Accept It!

The GOP presidential candidates have been in a race to announce either their acceptance or skepticism of scientific topics like evolution and global climate change.  I’ve previously commented on both Michelle Bachmann’s and Rick Perry’s stance on evolution.  Both Bachmann and Perry support teaching Intelligent Design Creationism in public schools, and so I’ve dumbed them IDiots.  Well, now former Utah Governor and US Ambassador John Huntsman made his position known via Twitter — and you’re in for a surprise! Continue reading

Book Review: The Satanic Verses, by Salman Rushdie

Last week I finished reading The Satanic Verses, by Salman Rushdie.  The book is Rushdie’s fourth novel, and largely deals with the issues of isolation and integration among Indian-born immigrants in England.  However, the book also includes two sections that depict the prophet Muhammad.  Some considered Rushdie’s depiction of Muhammad blasphemous, and as a result,  in 1989 the Supreme Leader of Iran issued a death sentence against him.  If you pick up this book hoping to learn more about this controversy, you’re bound to be disappointed.   But you should pick it up anyway, because this is an amazing — albeit daunting — read. Continue reading

Evolution, Genomics, and J. Craig Venter’s Vision for Your Future

Biologist J. Craig Venter

The Washington Post Magazine published an interesting profile yesterday of biologist J. Craig Venter: “Rad Scientist: Maverick biologist J. Craig Venter is in a race to save the planet.”  The profile discusses Venter’s company Synthetic Genomics, the J. Craig Venter Institute (JVCI), and his recent effort to create a new species of algae that can generate biofuels and process green-house gases.  Venter’s work is truly ground-breaking and will one day change our lives — in fact, it already has (see below).  The article by Susan Okie is terrific and is a must-read for anyone interested in genomics and the future of biotechnology. Continue reading

Caturday: My Cat for President

Since the presidential campaign season will soon be in full swing, I thought I would throw my cat’s name into the ring.

Like any cat overlord, he would rule with an iron fist.

But he would also provide neck scritches and snuggles.

It’s the best of both worlds!

Stephen Jay Gould Cat for Prez (photo by ctoquin).