Making Sense of Evolution by Massimo Pigliucci+

Making Sense of Evolution: The Conceptual Foundations of Evolutionary Biology by Massimo Pigliucci, Jonathan Kaplan
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Overview: Making Sense of Evolution explores contemporary evolutionary biology, focusing on the elements of theories-selection, adaptation, and species-that are complex and open to multiple possible interpretations, many of which are incompatible with one another and with other accepted practices in the discipline. Particular experimental methods, for example, may demand one understanding of “selection,” while the application of the same concept to another area of evolutionary biology could necessitate a very different definition.

Spotlighting these conceptual difficulties and presenting alternate theoretical interpretations that alleviate this incompatibility, Massimo Pigliucci and Jonathan Kaplan intertwine scientific and philosophical analysis to produce a coherent picture of evolutionary biology. Innovative and controversial, Making Sense of Evolution encourages further development of the Modern Synthesis and outlines what might be necessary for the continued refinement of this evolving field.
Genre: Non-Fiction > Educational

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Phenotypic Plasticity by Massimo Pigliucci

Phenotypic Plasticity: Beyond Nature and Nurture by Massimo Pigliucci
Requirements: .PDF reader, 7 Mb
Overview: For more than two decades the concept of phenotypic plasticity has allowed researchers to go beyond the nature-nurture dichotomy to gain deeper insights into how organisms are shaped by the interaction of genetic and ecological factors. Phenotypic Plasticity: Beyond Nature and Nurture is the first work to synthesize the burgeoning area of plasticity studies, providing a conceptual overview as well as a technical treatment of its major components.

Phenotypic plasticity integrates the insights of ecological genetics, developmental biology, and evolutionary theory. Plasticity research asks foundational questions about how living organisms are capable of variation in their genetic makeup and in their responses to environmental factors. For instance, how do novel adaptive phenotypes originate? How do organisms detect and respond to stressful environments? What is the balance between genetic or natural constraints (such as gravity) and natural selection? The author begins by defining phenotypic plasticity and detailing its history, including important experiments and methods of statistical and graphical analysis. He then provides extended examples of the molecular basis of plasticity, the plasticity of development, the ecology of plastic responses, and the role of costs and constraints in the evolution of plasticity. A brief epilogue looks at how plasticity studies shed light on the nature/nurture debate in the popular media.

Phenotypic Plasticity: Beyond Nature and Nurture thoroughly reviews more than two decades of research, and thus will be of interest to both students and professionals in evolutionary biology, ecology, and genetics.
Genre: Non-Fiction > Educational

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Philosophy of Pseudoscience by Massimo Pigliucci+

Philosophy of Pseudoscience: Reconsidering the Demarcation Problem by Massimo Pigliucci, Maarten Boudry
Requirements: .PDF reader, 1.6 Mb
Overview: What sets the practice of rigorously tested, sound science apart from pseudoscience? In this volume, the contributors seek to answer this question, known to philosophers of science as "the demarcation problem." This issue has a long history in philosophy, stretching as far back as the early twentieth century and the work of Karl Popper. But by the late 1980s, scholars in the field began to treat the demarcation problem as impossible to solve and futile to ponder. However, the essays that Massimo Pigliucci and Maarten Boudry have assembled in this volume make a rousing case for the unequivocal importance of reflecting on the separation between pseudoscience and sound science. Moreover, the demarcation problem is not a purely theoretical dilemma of mere academic interest: it affects parents’ decisions to vaccinate children and governments’ willingness to adopt policies that prevent climate change. Pseudoscience often mimics science, using the superficial language and trappings of actual scientific research to seem more respectable. Even a well-informed public can be taken in by such questionable theories dressed up as science. Pseudoscientific beliefs compete with sound science on the health pages of newspapers for media coverage and in laboratories for research funding. Now more than ever the ability to separate genuine scientific findings from spurious ones is vital, and The Philosophy of Pseudoscience provides ground for philosophers, sociologists, historians, and laypeople to make decisions about what science is or isn’t.
Genre: Non-Fiction > Faith, Beliefs & Philosophy

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Catholicism and Citizenship by Massimo Faggioli

Catholicism and Citizenship: Political Cultures of the Church in the Twenty-First Century by Massimo Faggioli
Requirements: .ePUB reader, 700 KB
Overview: The beginning of the twenty-first century has provided abundant evidence of the necessity to reexamine the relationship between Catholicism and the modern, global world. This book tries to proceed on this path with a focus on the meaning, legacy, and reception in today’s world of the ecclesiology of Vatican II, starting with Gaudium et Spes: “This council exhorts Christians, as citizens of two cities, to strive to discharge their earthly duties conscientiously and in response to the Gospel spirit.” Catholicism and Citizenship is a call for a rediscovery of the moral and political imagination of Vatican II for the Church and the world of our time.
Genre: Non-Fiction > Faith, Beliefs & Philosophy

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Denying Evolution by Massimo Pigliucci

Denying Evolution: Creationism, Scientism, and the Nature of Science by Massimo Pigliucci
Requirements: .PDF reader, 66 Mb
Overview: Denying Evolution aims at taking a fresh look at the evolution-creation controversy. It presents a truly "balanced" treatment, not in the sense of treating creationism as a legitimate scientific theory (it demonstrably is not), but in the sense of dividing the blame for the controversy equally between creationists and scientists–the former for subscribing to various forms of anti-intellectualism, the latter for discounting science education and presenting science as scientism to the public and the media. The central part of the book focuses on a series of creationist fallacies (aimed at showing errors of thought, not at deriding) and of mistakes by scientists and science educators. The last part of the book discusses long-term solutions to the problem, from better science teaching at all levels to the necessity of widespread understanding of how the brain works and why people have difficulties with critical thinking.
Genre: Non-Fiction > Educational

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A Handbook for New Stoics by Massimo Pigliucci +

A Handbook for New Stoics: How to Thrive in a World Out of Your Control-52 Week-by-Week Lessons by Massimo Pigliucci, Gregory Lopez
Requirements: PDF Reader 4.31 MB
Overview: A pragmatic philosophy more popular than ever-here are 52 ancient lessons to help you overcome adversity and find tranquility in the modern world
Stress often comes from situations that are beyond our control-such as preparing for a meeting, waiting for test results, or arguing with a loved one. But we can control our response to these everyday tensions-through the wisdom and practice of Stoicism.
Stoicism is an ancient pragmatic philosophy that teaches us to step back, gain perspective, and act with intention. In A Handbook for New Stoics, renowned philosopher Massimo Pigliucci and seasoned practitioner Gregory Lopez provide 52 week-by-week lessons to help us apply timeless Stoic teachings to modern life.
Whether you’re already familiar with Seneca and Marcus Aurelius, or you’re entirely new to Stoicism, this handbook will help you embrace challenges, thrive under pressure, and discover the good life!
Genre: Non-Fiction – Health, Fitness & Medical – Self-Help

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