J. Taylor

Top Reviewer Ranking: 9,531
Helpful votes received on reviews: 91% (458 of 504)
Location: Poole, UK


Top Reviewer Ranking: 9,531 - Total Helpful Votes: 458 of 504
The Believing Brain: From Spiritual Faiths to Poli&hellip by Michael Shermer
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Shermer's central message: "People form beliefs before they form explanations for them" is a real game changer, but not an intuitive conclusion. However, this message is well justified by experiment. It has profound implications for how intelligent people can hold opposite (sometimes ridiculous) opinions.

Many great authors have given insight into belief generation and self deception, including Shermer himself. In my opinion this 406 page book now usurps the rest because I find it the most comprehensive and wonderfully compelling account of belief. It is (crucially) grounded in neuroscience experiments - Chapter 6 of 14, for which I admit command of high school biology makes… Read more
Ecology: Principles and Applications by J. L. Chapman
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Despite 15 years passing since this book was written, I was pleased to find the principles and applications contained, to be still completely relevant and a very close approximation of ecology today. (Though going by the figures on p292, we have since lost 10% of the world's rainforest.)

It was necessary to have a book of this size to communicate the sheer variety of living organisms which interact in so many unforeseen ways. Only by establishing the degree of complexity and fragility to change, can the reader appreciate the impact of change to stable habitats.

Sadly the inevitable conclusion (in the last two chapters,) is that the chief culprit for damage is mankind… Read more
Allies and Enemies: How the World Depends on Bacte&hellip by Anne Maczulak
Bacteria may be obscure and too small to see, but it takes an author like Maczulak to clearly reveal their influence on life at every level. This book is concise, and much more than a collection of interesting facts; it helps the reader fathom the extent of our interdependence. The prospect of scientists manipulating these relationships in favour of people in real life is intriguing.

Microbial history is exposed as a chequered affair. Bacteria blindly provided the atmosphere we rely on, and their ancestors live inside (and are vital to) every cell in our bodies. However, their treacherous side manifests in the selfish acquisition of resources for their own survival, even… Read more

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