COSMOS Reading List – Episode 2: Some of the Things That Molecules Do

Last Sunday’s episode was all about the evolution of life on our world. Did it spark your interest in learning more about evolution, natural and artificial selection, and the Tree of Life?

Did you attend our viewing party at Mobius Science Center and hear Dr. Kamesh Sankaran speak about comets and asteroids and are now curious about learning about them more in-depth?

Awesome!

Here is a brief list of books to get you started (and once again those that can be found in some of our local bookstores have a note about that next to them):

 

The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution by Richard Dawkins (Auntie’s Bookstore)
“Dawkins sifts through rich layers of scientific evidence—from living examples of natural selection to clues in the fossil record; from natural clocks that mark the vast epochs wherein evolution ran its course to the intricacies of developing embryos; from plate tectonics to molecular genetics—to make the airtight case that “we find ourselves perched on one tiny twig in the midst of a blossoming and flourishing tree of life and it is no accident, but the direct consequence of evolution by non-random selection.”” (amazon.com)

What Evolution Is by Ernst Mayr (Auntie’s Bookstore)
“At once a spirited defense of Darwinian explanations of biology and an elegant primer on evolution for the general reader, What Evolution Is poses the questions at the heart of evolutionary theory and considers how our improved understanding of evolution has affected the viewpoints and values of modern man.” (amazon.com)

Comet by Carl Sagan
“Comet begins with a breathtaking journey through space astride a comet. Pulitzer Prize-winning astronomer Carl Sagan, author of Cosmos and Contact, and writer Ann Druyan explore the origin, nature, and future of comets, and the exotic myths and portents attached to them. The authors show how comets have spurred some of the great discoveries in the history of science and raise intriguing questions about these brilliant visitors from the interstellar dark.” (amazon.com)

Asteroids by Curtis Peebles
“Covering all aspects of asteroid investigation, Curtis Peebles shows how ideas about the orbiting boulders have evolved. He describes how such phenomena as the Moon’s craters and dinosaur extinction were gradually, and by some scientists grudgingly, accepted as the results of asteroid impacts. He tells how a band of icy asteroids rimming the solar system, first proposed as a theory in the 1940s, was ignored for more than forty years until renewed interest and technological breakthroughs confirmed the existence of the Kuiper Belt. Peebles also chronicles the discovery of Shoemaker-Levy 9, a comet with twenty-two nuclei that crashed into Jupiter in 1994, releasing many times the energy of the world’s nuclear arsenal.” (amazon.com)

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