What Is Your Dangerous Idea? Today's Leading Thinkers on the Unthinkable

ISBN-10: 0061214957
ISBN-13: 9780061214950
Edition: 2007
List price: $14.99 Buy it from $3.00
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Description: From Copernicus to Darwin, to current-day thinkers, scientists have always promoted theories and unveiled discoveries that challenge everything society holds dear; ideas with both positive and dire consequences. Many thoughts that resonate today are  More...

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Book details

List price: $14.99
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 7/29/2014
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 336
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.550
Language: English

From Copernicus to Darwin, to current-day thinkers, scientists have always promoted theories and unveiled discoveries that challenge everything society holds dear; ideas with both positive and dire consequences. Many thoughts that resonate today are dangerous not because they are assumed to be false, but because they might turn out to be true. What do the world's leading scientists and thinkers consider to be their most dangerous idea? Through the leading online forum Edge (www.edge.org), the call went out, and this compelling and easily digestible volume collects the answers. From using medication to permanently alter our personalities to contemplating a universe in which we are utterly alone, to the idea that the universe might be fundamentally inexplicable, What Is Your Dangerous Idea? takes an unflinching look at the daring, breathtaking, sometimes terrifying thoughts that could forever alter our world and the way we live in it.

Richard Dawkins writes about such topics as DNA and genetic engineering, virtual reality, astronomy, and evolution. Dawkins was educated at Oxford University and taught zoology at the University of California and Oxford University, holding the position of the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science. He is a member of the International Academy of Humanism. Dawkins' books include The Selfish Gene, The Extended Phenotype, The Blind Watchmaker, River Out of Eden, and Climbing Mount Improbable. His book, entitled The God Delusion, shows how religion fuels war, foments bigotry, and abuses children. Dawkins supports his points with historical and contemporary evidence. His title An Appetitie for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist made The New York Times Best Seller List for 2013.

Steven Arthur Pinker (born September 18, 1954) is a Canadian-born U.S. experimental psychologist, cognitive scientist, linguist, and popular science author. He is a Harvard College Professor and the Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. Pinker is the author of several non-fiction bestsellers including: The Language Instinct (1994), How the Mind Works (1997), Words and Rules (2000), The Blank Slate (2002), and The Stuff of Thought (2007). and The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century. Pinker was named one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people in the world in 2004 and one of Prospect and Foreign Policy's 100 top public intellectuals in both years the poll was carried out, 2005 and 2008; in 2010 and 2011 he was named by Foreign Policy magazine to its list of top global thinkers. His research in cognitive psychology has won the Early Career Award (1984) and Boyd McCandless Award (1986) from the American Psychological Association, the Troland Research Award (1993) from the National Academy of Sciences, the Henry Dale Prize (2004) from the Royal Institution of Great Britain, and the George Miller Prize (2010) from the Cognitive Neuroscience Society. He has also received honorary doctorates from the universities of Newcastle, Surrey, Tel Aviv, McGill, and the University of Troms�, Norway. He was twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, in 1998 and in 2003. On May 13, 2006, he received the American Humanist Association's Humanist of the Year award for his contributions to public understanding of human evolution.

Preface: The Edge Question
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Contributors
We Have No Souls
The Rejection of Soul
The Evolution of Evil
The Differences Between Humans and Nonhumans Are Quantitative, Not Qualitative
Groups of People May Differ Genetically in Their Average Talents and Temperaments
The Genetic Basis of Human Behavior
Marionettes on Genetic Strings
Francis Crick's Dangerous Idea
Being Alone in the Universe
Life as an Agent of Energy Dispersal
We Are Entirely Alone
Science May Be Running Out of Control
Why I Hope the Standard Model Is Wrong About Why There Is More Matter Than Antimatter
The Idea That We Understand Plutonium
The Idea That We Should All Share Our Most Dangerous Ideas
The Idea That Ideas Can Be Dangerous
The Fight Against Global Warming Is Lost
Think Outside the Kyoto Box
Our Planet Is Not in Peril
The Effect of Art Can't Be Controlled or Anticipated
A "Grand Narrative"
Our Universal Moral Grammar's Immunity to Religion
Bertrand Russell's Dangerous Idea
Hodgepodge Morality
We Will Understand the Origin of Life Within the Next Five Years
Understanding Molecular Biology Without Discovering the Origins of Life
The Problem with Super Mirrors
Cyberdisinhibition
Brains Cannot Become Minds Without Bodies
What Are People Well Informed About in the Information Age?
More Anonymity Is Good
A New Golden Age of Medicine
Using Medications to Change Personality
Drugs May Change the Patterns of Human Love
A Marriage Option for All
Choosing the Sex of One's Child
The Idea of Ideas
The Human Brain Will Never Understand the Universe
The World May Be Fundamentally Inexplicable
The "Landscape"
Seeing Darwin in the Light of Einstein; Seeing Einstein in the Light of Darwin
The Multiverse
What Twentieth-Century Physics Says About the World Might Be True
It's a Matter of Time
A Radical Re-evaluation of the Character of Time
It's OK Not to Know Everything
The End of Insight
When Will the Internet Become Aware of Itself?
Democratizing Access to the Means of Invention
Mind Is a Universally Distributed Quality
The Forbidden Fruit Intuition
The Posterior Probability of Any Particular God Is Pretty Small
Science Must Destroy Religion
The Self Is a Conceptual Chimera
The Greatest Story Ever Told
Science as Just Another Religion
This Is All There Is
A Science of the Divine?
Science Will Never Silence God
Religion Is the Hope That Is Missing in Science
Myths and Fairy Tales Are Not True
Parental Licensure
Zero Parental Influence
The Focus on Emotional Intelligence
A Cacophony of "Controversy"
Applied History
Tribal Peoples Often Damage Their Environments and Make War
Nothing
Everything Is Pointless
There Aren't Enough Minds to House the Population Explosion of Memes
Unspeakable Ideas
Anty Gravity: Chaos Theory in an All-Too-Practical Sense
Navigating by New Scientific Principles
A Political System Based on Empathy
Social Relativity
There Is Something New Under the Sun -Us
A Spoon Is Like a Headache
Projection of the Longevity Curve
The Near-Term Inevitability of Radical Life Extension and Expansion
The Domestication of Biotechnology
Public Engagement in Science and Technology
Suppose Faulkner Was Right?
What If the Unknown Becomes Known and Is Not Replaced with a New Unknown?
Where Goods Cross Frontiers, Armies Won't
Government Is the Problem, Not the Solution
The Free Market
Modern Science Is a Product of Biology
No More Teacher's Dirty Looks
We Are All Virtual
Runaway Consumerism Explains the Fermi Paradox
Simulation Versus Authenticity
Culture Is Natural
The Human Brain Is a Cultural Artifact
Free Will Is Exercised Unconsciously
Free Will Is Going Away
The Limits of Introspection
What We Know May Not Change Us
Telling More Than We Can Know
The Quick-Thinking Zombies Inside Us
The Banality of Evil, the Banality of Heroism
Open-Source Currency
Is the West Already on a Downhill Course?
Technology Can Untie the United States
Democracy May Be on Its Way Out
Marx Was Right: The State Will Evaporate
Following Sisyphus
How Can I Trust, in the Face of So Many Unknowables?
A Twenty-Four-Hour Period of Absolute Solitude
Afterword

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