Science Corner: Christmas Reading

Is this your ideal post-Christmas scenario? (Photo by ninocare)

Get any good science-related books or gifts for Christmas? I got a copy of Viruses as Complex Adaptive Systems by Ricard Solé and Santiago F. Elena that I’m looking forward to digging into. I got my son a copy of The Cell: A Visual Tour of the Building Block of Life by Jack Challoner that he seems excited about. He also received copies of Molecules: The Elements and the Architecture of Everything and Reactions: An Illustrated Exploration of Elements, Molecules, and Change in the Universe that he has previously enjoyed from the library; both are by Theodore Gray and Nicholas Mann. My daughter prefers applying chemistry over reading about it, so she got recipe books and baking supplies. Feel free to share what you are enjoying this holiday season in the comments below.

And if you have some extra time for a holiday or winter break and are looking for something to read, allow me to remind you of the books we’ve discussed over the past year.

  • We had a chapter-by-chapter discussion of When Science & Christianity Meet edited by David C. Lindberg and Ronald L. Numbers, a history of the conversation between scientists and Christian theologians (including the internal conversations of scientist-theologians) throughout the Christian era.
  • For summer reading, I recommended Strange Survivors by Oné Pagán, a lively description of some of the more creative and unusual solutions to life’s basic challenges.
  • Earlier this fall, I reviewed Scientism and Secularism by J. P. Moreland, a philosophical look at the limits of science and the value of philosophy as another means for seeking truth.
  • Shortly thereafter, I also reviewed Can a Scientist Believe in Miracles? by Ian Hutchinson, comprising his answers to over two hundred questions he has fielded at public lectures on faith & science, some of which touch on similar topics to Moreland from another perspective.
  • I didn’t give it a full review, but in a recent Advent post I referred to Douglas Estes’ Braving the Future, a discussion of how Christians can approach new and upcoming technology with cautious optimism and faithfulness to Christian traditions.
  • I wrote a book, Faith across the Multiverse, exploring how to use science fiction stories and scientific concepts to think about topics in Christian theology from different perspectives.

That’s my very nonrandom sample of book coverage from the year. I’d also love to hear from you about any books, new or new to you, that you discovered this year and would recommend to others. And I look forward to discovering another year of science-related books and news with you, starting next week.

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Andy Walsh

Andy has worn many hats in his life. He knows this is a dreadfully clichéd notion, but since it is also literally true he uses it anyway. Among his current metaphorical hats: husband of one wife, father of two elementary school students, reader of science fiction and science fact, enthusiast of contemporary symphonic music, and chief science officer. Previous metaphorical hats include: comp bio postdoc, molecular biology grad student, InterVarsity chapter president (that one came with a literal hat), music store clerk, house painter, and mosquito trapper. Among his more unique literal hats: British bobby, captain's hats (of varying levels of authenticity) of several specific vessels, a deerstalker from 221B Baker St, and a railroad engineer's cap. His monthly Science in Review is drawn from his weekly Science Corner posts -- Wednesdays, 8am (Eastern) on the Emerging Scholars Network Blog. His book Faith across the Multiverse is available from Hendrickson.

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