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Volume 95 | Number 1 | January-February 2007


All Strung Out?

Joseph Polchinski

A review of The Trouble with Physics: The Rise of String Theory, the Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next by Lee Smolin, and Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String Theory and the Search for Unity in Physical Law, by Peter Woit. Two new books contend that string theory has turned out to be a dead end for theoretical physics

Natural Selection for Everyone

Douglas Erwin

A review of The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution, by Sean B. Carroll. Carroll uses a wide range of examples from developmental biology to convey the impressive explanatory power of natural selection

A Garden of Eden

Antonia Baum

A review of The Human Experiment: Two Years and Twenty Minutes Inside Biosphere 2, by Jane Poynter. Poynter recounts the time she spent as part of an unusual ecological experiment

In the Shadow of Los Alamos

David Kaiser

A review of The Nuclear Borderlands: The Manhattan Project in Post-Cold War New Mexico, by Joseph Masco. Los Alamos National Laboratory, a sprawling nuclear weapons research complex, has played a central role in the economy, culture and recent history of New Mexico

Our Aversion to the Unfamiliar

Judy Illes, Vivian Chin

A review of Brain and Culture: Neurobiology, Ideology, and Social Change, by Bruce E. Wexler. Wexler argues that early wiring in the brain makes it hard for people later to accept novelty and that this explains conflicts between human societies

Historic Innovations

Thomas Hughes

A review of Power, Speed, and Form: Engineers and the Making of the Twentieth Century, by David P. Billington and David P. Billington, Jr. In these explorations of the achievements of a variety of inventors, the authors attempt to convey an appreciation both for numerical thinking and for engineering approaches to problem solving

Principles-and-Parameters Redux

Edward Edsten, Peter Richerson

A review of Moral Minds: How Nature Designed Our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong, by Marc D. Hauser. Using ideas borrowed from linguistics, Hauser argues that humans have genetically evolved an innate sense of morality, but he may underestimate the less subtle influence of cultural forces, say Edsten and Richerson

Primate Passions

Alison Jolly

A review of Jane Goodall: The Woman Who Redefined Man, by Dale Peterson. This leisurely and highly complimentary biography explains in great detail both the importance of Goodall's work and the personal hardships she has endured

A Paradise of Choice?

Brian Hayes

A review of The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More, by Chris Anderson. Anderson maintains that it is now easier to sell one copy each of a million things than to sell a million copies of one thing. But has the sales curve really changed its shape to reflect a wider spectrum of interests?

A Defense of Atheism

David Baltimore

A review of The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins. Dawkins, who is bent on skewering religion by putting it to the test of rationality, is perhaps too quick to dismiss the possibility that it fills a deep-seated need in people


Total Records : 11


 

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