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EPISODE # 221

Antonio Damasio — Feeling & Knowing: Making Minds Conscious

In recent decades, many philosophers and cognitive scientists have declared the problem of consciousness unsolvable, but Antonio Damasio is convinced that recent findings across multiple scientific disciplines have given us a way to understand consciousness and its significance for human life. In his latest work, Feeling & Knowing, Damasio helps us understand why being conscious is not the same as sensing, why nervous systems are essential for the development of feelings, and why feeling opens the way to consciousness writ large. He combines the latest discoveries in various sciences with philosophy and discusses his original research, which has transformed our understanding of the brain and human behavior.

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A NEW BOOK BY FRANK SULLOWAY

Darwin and His Bears — How Darwin Bear and His Galápagos Islands Friends Inspired a Scientific Revolution

Delightful and deeply informative, Darwin and His Bears by scientist and Darwin scholar Frank J. Sulloway imaginatively recounts the fabled adventure of Darwin’s first visit to “a shore fit for Pandemonium,” as Beagle Captain Robert FitzRoy described the Galápagos on their arrival in 1835. As Darwin marveled at swarms of “hideous-looking” marine iguanas, tame birds, giant land tortoises, lava, and spiny cactus, he asked himself: How had life first come to these harsh islands?

In Darwin and His Bears, Sulloway reveals a crucial — yet little known — link that led to Darwin’s development of the theory of evolution: sixteen brilliant little bears residing on the sixteen archipelago islands. As Sulloway brings to life the story of Darwin’s scientific triumph, he also reveals the critical conceptual steps by which Darwin reached his theory of evolution by natural selection.

Darwin and His Bears: How Darwin Bear and His Galápagos Islands Friends Inspired a Scientific Revolution (book cover)

hardcover
6⅛” × 9¼”
192 pages
90 color illustrations

“A brilliant summary and explanation of large swaths of evolutionary theory” (philosopher of science Philip Kitcher), Darwin and His Bears is a book for readers of all ages. Paleontologist Jack Horner, who was technical advisor for the Jurrasic Park films, has assigned the book in his college course on Darwin and evolution at Chapman University.

Ninety colorful drawings by the author introduce us to the whipsmart, magnanimous bears whose invaluable assistance helped Darwin to fully understand his evidence — and answer the heated scholarly debate that it met upon its completion — ultimately culminating in what we now celebrate as the Darwinian revolution.

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Praise for the book

“The ultimate guide to take on a voyage of your own Beagle.”
AMY TAN, author,
The Joy Luck Club

“Highly original, and it deserves wide attention…”
—Pulitzer Prize-winning scientist EDWARD O. WILSON

“The funnest science book I’ve ever read.”
JACK HORNER, author, How to Build a Dinosaur

About the Author

Frank J. Sulloway, PhD, is an adjunct professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. His PhD is in the history of science from Harvard University (1978), and he is a MacArthur Fellow (1984). Dr. Sulloway has published extensively on the life and theories of Charles Darwin as well as on the evolution and ecology of Darwin’s iconic Galápagos finches. His book Born to Rebel: Birth Order, Family Dynamics, and Creative Lives (1996) was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. He is also the author of Freud, Biologist of the Mind: Beyond the Psychoanalytic Legend (1979), which received the Pfizer Award of the History of Science Society.

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Retrospective

Skeptic cover art by Pat Linse

Art of the Skeptic

In celebration of Skeptic magazine’s 100th issue, we present sage graphic art advice for skeptical groups and a gallery of art reflecting more than 47 years of skeptical activism from Skeptic’s long time Art Director, Pat Linse

Detecting Baloney

Baloney Detection Kit Sandwich (Infographic) by Deanna and Skylar (High Tech High Media Arts, San Diego, CA)

The Baloney Detection Kit Sandwich (Infographic)

For a class project, a pair of 11th grade physics students created the infographic shown below, inspired by Michael Shermer’s Baloney Detection Kit: a 16-page booklet designed to hone your critical thinking skills.

FREE PDF Download

Wisdom of Harriet Hall

Top 10 Things to Know About Alternative Medicine

Harriet Hall M.D. discusses: alternative versus conventional medicine, flu fear mongering, chiropractic, vaccines and autism, placebo effect, diet, homeopathy, acupuncture, “natural remedies,” and detoxification.

FREE Video Series

Science Based Medicine vs. Alternative Medicine

Science Based Medicine vs. Alternative Medicine

Understanding the difference could save your life! In this superb 10-part video lecture series, Harriet Hall M.D., contrasts science-based medicine with so-called “complementary and alternative” methods.

FREE PDF Download

Top 10 Myths of Terrorism

Is Terrorism an Existential Threat?

This free booklet reveals 10 myths that explain why terrorism is not a threat to our way of life or our survival.

FREE PDF Download

The Top 10 Weirdest Things

The Top Ten Strangest Beliefs

Michael Shermer has compiled a list of the top 10 strangest beliefs that he has encountered in his quarter century as a professional skeptic.

FREE PDF Download

Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future (paperback cover)

Who believes them? Why? How can you tell if they’re true?

What is a conspiracy theory, why do people believe in them, and can you tell the difference between a true conspiracy and a false one?

FREE PDF Download

The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

Mind altering experiences are one of the foundations of widespread belief in the paranormal. But as skeptics are well aware, accepting them as reality can be dangerous…

FREE PDF Download

Top 10 Myths About Evolution

Top 10 Myths About Evolution (and how we know it really happened)

If humans came from apes, why aren’t apes evolving into humans? Find out in this pamphlet!

FREE PDF Download

Learn to be a Psychic in 10 Easy Lessons

Learn to do Psychic “Cold Reading” in 10
Easy Lessons

Psychic readings and fortunetelling are an ancient art — a combination of acting and psychological manipulation.

FREE PDF Download

The Yeti or Abominable Snowman

5 Cryptid Cards

Download and print 5 Cryptid Cards created by Junior Skeptic Editor Daniel Loxton. Creatures include: The Yeti, Griffin, Sasquatch/Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster, and the Cadborosaurus.

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