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N. Beale (London, England)
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God the Failed Hypothesis: How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist
God the Failed Hypothesis: How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist
by Victor J. Stenger
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.48

4 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I'm afraid Stenger is a scientific fraud, 29 Dec 2012
I'm afraid Stenger is a scientific fraud. Never having made much of a success as a scientist, Stenger has in retirement found niche telling atheists what they want to hear. Real scientists generally ignore him because what he says is so absurd, and no responsible scientific body endorses it. However a brilliant young astrophysicist called Luke Barnes actually went though and checked some of his claims and I'm afraid they would amount to scientific fraud were they published in a reputable journal as opposed to a popular book.

You can see a commentary on this at starcourse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/gems-from-luke-barnes.html and Barnes' paper is at arxiv.org/pdf/1112.4647.


Mastering Chinese: The complete course for beginners (Master Languages) (Audio CDS)
Mastering Chinese: The complete course for beginners (Master Languages) (Audio CDS)
by Catherine Hua Xiang
Edition: Paperback
Price: £28.79

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best resouce I have found, 18 Aug 2012
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Having been visiting China on business for a year I've tried various approaches to learning Chinese (2 PC courses, a web-based course, some apps) but my daughter went on the LSE course run by this author and came back with the book. It is the best resource I have found and my Chinese is coming on leaps and bounds. Strongly recommended.


Statistical Models (Cambridge Series in Statistical and Probabilistic Mathematics)
Statistical Models (Cambridge Series in Statistical and Probabilistic Mathematics)
by A. C. Davison
Edition: Paperback
Price: £35.41

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb - deeply interesting, beautifully written & fun to read, 1 Jan 2010
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Superb - deeply interesting, beautifully written & fun to read. Some of this is reminding me what I learned at Cambridge 30+ years ago, much of it is new, all is brilliantly communicated. There are delightful touches, such as mini-biographical sketches in the margin of the mathematicians named in the text. The aphorism: "Nowadays it is very easy to make graphs. Unfortunately it is even easier to make bad graphs" should be dunned into everyone.

Another gem: (p62) "I am uncertain about what will happen when I next roll a die, about the exact amount of money at present in my bank account, about the weather tomorrow, and about what will happen when I die. Does uncertainty mean the same thing in all these contexts? For which is variation due to repeated sampling meaningful, do you think?"

And who could resist the shipwrecked statistician (p88) who, "marooned on a desert island...decides to realise his lifelong ambition of memorizing values of the normal integral; he hopes to make himself more attractive to the statisticienne of his dreams. His statistical tables have been ruined by salt water, but washed up on the beach he finds a solar-powered calculator..."?


God's Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science
God's Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science
by James Hannam
Edition: Paperback

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, illuminating and much needed, 17 Aug 2009
This is a fascinating book, correcting the false impressions many of hus have about the Middle Ages, whilst bringing to our attention a whole host of amazing people who laid the foundations for the great advances of Copernicus, Galileo, Newton and others.

It is highly illuminating and a much needed corrective to the distortions and propaganda that have been put about since the Rennaissance by people who for various reasons want to downplay the Middle Ages. It is also beautifully written. I enjoyed it, admire it and learned from it. What more can one ask?


God is Back: How the Global Rise of Faith is Changing the World
God is Back: How the Global Rise of Faith is Changing the World
by John Micklethwait
Edition: Hardcover

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Incisive and insightful, 14 Jun 2009
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10-20 years ago a few perceptive observers were suggesting that we were moving to a post-secular society (try googling it) and Alister McGrath wrote of The Twilight of Atheism: The Rise and Fall of Disbelief in the Modern World, but this book, by the Editor of the Economist and their US Editor, shows clearly that this is happening, on a global basis.

If they are right, and China soon becomes the world's largest Christian country, the implications will be immense. Their arguments are compelling, their range remarkable and their insights will astonish those who are mesmerised by the "post-Christian" narrative. If you want to understand the 21st Centurty world you have to take on board the insights in this book.


The Mathematics of Love
The Mathematics of Love
by Emma Darwin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.30

4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful thought-provoking, 12 April 2009
This is a beautiful and thought-provoking book. The two levels of narrative gently but persuasively suck you in and you really feel that you are encountering real people.

The interlacing of real history and fiction is skilfully handled, and although you learn most about the human heart you also feel that you have entered into people's worlds. And had a gripping double-tale.


A Secret Alchemy
A Secret Alchemy
by Emma Darwin
Edition: Hardcover

10 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing, enjoyable and makes you think on many levels, 15 Nov 2008
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This review is from: A Secret Alchemy (Hardcover)
This is a very clever and absorbing book, and certainly makes me want to know more about that fascinating period in history. Emma Darwin really brings her three central characters alive, and she draws the contemporary and historical strands of her narrative together in a satisfying way. If you want a rich and rewarding book, exploring many facets of history, love, relationships and family, absorbing, enjoyable and making you think on many levels, this is a great book to read.


Darwin's Angel: An Angelic Riposte to "The God Delusion"
Darwin's Angel: An Angelic Riposte to "The God Delusion"
by John Cornwell
Edition: Hardcover

14 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wit, Truth and Imagination, 11 Sep 2007
This is a superb debunking of "The brilliant popular expositor of zoology, Professor Richard Dawkins, whom I endeavour to take as seriously as he does himself", done with wit, truth and imagination. Not for nothing is the author director of the Science and the Human Dimension project at Camrbidge - poor Dawkins misses the Human Dimension completely - nor does he understand that the greatest living scientists appreciate (eg Marin Rees, Stephen Hawking) that there can never be a scientific Theory of Everything. Read, enjoy and open your minds. And laugh at the arrogant pretentiousness that it gently but firmly puts in its place.


The Dawkins Delusion?: Atheist Fundamentalism and the Denial of the Divine
The Dawkins Delusion?: Atheist Fundamentalism and the Denial of the Divine
by Alister McGrath
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

52 of 133 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scholarship and sense beats rhetoric & bluster, 22 Feb 2007
Although Dawkins is a good biological science writer, his forays into philosophy and religion are almost laughable. McGrath, who unlike Dawkins has first-class degrees and doctorates in both disciplines, does a fine job of demonstrating the illogicalities, inconsistencies and lack of evidence and scholarship in Dawkins' atheistic rant. The idea that belief in God is a mistake is intellectually respectable: the idea that it is a "Delusion" is ludicrous and quite indefensible from a scientific or scholarly point of view, and the McGraths show why.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 2, 2013 8:43 AM GMT


The God Delusion
The God Delusion
by Richard Dawkins
Edition: Hardcover

43 of 107 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Overblown rhetoric without logical substance, 25 Nov 2006
This review is from: The God Delusion (Hardcover)
This book is overblown rhetoric without logical substance. Dawkins does not engage with serious modern Christian thinkers, but uses his own homespun "definition" of God and simplistic summaries of deep arguments - as Prof Terry Eagleton has rightly said this is like "someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is The Book of British Birds" Dawkins arguments are flimsy at best, and some break down completely if a proper philosophical definiton of God (like Ultimate Creator) is used (see eg [...] for details).

In addition Delusion is a defined scientific term. According to DSM-IV a Delusion must be sustained "despite what almost everybody else believes" and "incontrovertible and obvious proof or evidence to the contrary", and "not one ordinarily accepted by other members of the person's culture or subculture" - on all three criteria, whether or not belief in God is a mistake, it is scientifically incorrect to call it a delusion.

His "747 Gambit" is a blatant statistical howler, as is obvious if you try to state it in terms of conditional probabilities, and the argument about "skyhooks" and "cranes" is a simple case of assuming what you are trying to prove.

Dawkins admits that Quantum Mechanics is deep and paradoxical and hard to understand - it never seems to occur to him that God might be as well.


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