This book, by a practicing and successful scientist, explores why questions arise in science and looks at how questions are tackled, what constitutes a valid answer, and why. The author does not bog down the reader in technical details or lists of facts to memorize. Instead, he places the questions in their historical and cultural context, ranging from the earliest intimations that the earth had a long history to current controversies, even describing the origins, challenges, and promises of modern molecular biology. Addressing issues as complex as radiocarbon dating and how we know that DNA is a double helix, he uses examples, illustrations, and descriptions that all students should be able to grasp ("Were there kangaroos in Noah??'s Ark?"; "Molecular Biology Ain???t Rocket Science"). He gives the reader a sense of why a scientist feels always "like the child called to the stage to watch the magician do his trick." The author??'s thesis is that scientific logic is an extension of the common human logic used by everyone on a daily basis, and that it can and should be understood by everyone. The book should provide an antidote for students who have suffered through "science for non-scientists" courses that were long lists of names to memorize; and it should prove enlightening for any citizen who has been perplexed by the meaning, relevance, and moral or political implications of scientific headlines or commercial efforts, or anyone who has cast or will cast a vote influenced by a scientific presumption.
Chapter 1: The Origin of the Earth and of Species of Animals and Plants as Seen Before the Enlightenment.- Chapter 2: The Seashells on the Mountaintop.- Chapter 3: Aristotle's and Linnaeus' Classifications of Living Creatures.- Chapter 4: Natural Selection: the Second Half of Darwin's Hypothesis.- Chapter 5: Darwin's Hypothesis.- Chapter 6: The stuff of Inheritance: DNA, RNA, and Mutations.- Chapter 7: The Story of our Planet.- Chapter 8: Competition Among Species.- Chapter 9:The Importance of Disease.- Chapter 10: The Evolution of Humans
From the reviews: "The Joy of Science" is an illustrated guide to critical thinking based on the principles of scientific inquiry. This book is written primarily for the non-scientist, but scientists and teachers will be interested in the clever analogies, fascinating facts and classic stories. It provides an outstanding guide for teachers and students to understand the origins and value of scientific reasoning. J. Marie Hardwick, Johns Hopkins University, Schools of Public Health and Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA "The Joy of Science" is a book that might change your understanding of "Science" and "View of Life" in a substantial way. Richard Lockshin makes complex elements easy to grasp and more importantly, he is teaching the right way to approach biology and its influence in modern thinking. There are no specific prerequisites to reading and understanding this book. "The Joy of Science" is one of the most rewarding books on scientific methodology and evolution. It should be read not only by scientists or students but by anyone with a basic background in biology and a willingness to stretch their minds. Mauro Piacentini, Professor of Cellular and Developmental Biology, University of Rome "Tor Vergata", Rome Italy. This textbook is a liberal approach to the teaching of Natural Science. Author and Professor Richard Lockshin demonstrate that the learning of science must be accompanied by learning about science. Students who use the text with a supportive teacher and teaching environment will increase their general science literacy with respect to Natural Science content, particularly the topic of evolution, as well as their literacy with respect to how the scientific enterprise works. This book should well serve the needs for a first course in college science, particularly for non-science majors. Dr. Daniel J. Brovey,Professor Emeritus, Science and Technology Eduatio, Queens College, CUNY, New York, USA "Using evolution as the focus, this book explores how scientists ask questions and what constitutes a robust and valid answer. Who is it for? Primarily for the non-scientist or those wishing for a refreshing perspective on `science for the non-scientist'. Presentation It provides lots of analogies, metaphors, facts and stories about science. Would you recommend it? This is an interesting and lively text on evolution and the history of the Earth." (Times Higher Education, May, 2008) "The Joy of Science is indeed a joy to read. It is well organized, concise, and informative. Though this book is geared for one- or two-semester courses for nonscience students, it has aspects appropriate for other intellectually diverse programs. ... Excellent supportive graphic materials are found throughout the work. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through graduate students." (J. N. Muzio, Choice, Vol. 46 (2), October, 2008) "The Joy of Science is a textbook on evolution ... . wrote for university students, but we may also hypothesize some uses in high school. ... Each chapter ends with a series of good `essay style' questions to be used in consolidating learning. An index helps in locating particular arguments in the book. ... Richard Lockshin's endeavor to present scientific explanations as problem solving in their historical context is very interesting and realized in The Joy of Science." (Emanuele Serrelli, Evolution: Education & Outreach, Vol. 2 (4), December, 2009)