Category: Books

The Chronicle: 4/13/2007: Why We Need Another Agricultural Revolution

04/10/07 | by hirby [mail] | Categories: Books

A number of commentaries over the last several years have reminded us of the importance of agriculture as the foundation of human civilization. In this article, David R. Montgomery, professor of earth and space sciences at the University of Washington, examines the conflicting trends of long-term population growth and the likely end of improvements in per-acre agricultural yield. Even as continued population growth removes ever more land from agricultural production, we are probably reaching the limits of our ability to improve agricultural productivity. Interesting and ultimately hopeful perspective based in the notion of "agroecology". The author's book Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations is forthcoming from the University of California Press.

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SUNDAY BOOK REVIEW - Laws of nature (LA Times)

08/03/06 | by Steve [mail] | Categories: Books

A century and a half ago, Charles Darwin sparked a scientific revolution. Now that revolution has become a culture war. But does the concept of “intelligent design” have validity as an alternative to evolution? Three new books look beyond the rhetoric.

Reviews by Robert Lee Hotz of three books analyzing (and largely rebuffing) the claims of intelligent design to be "scientific" in method and conclusions.

The books are:

The Reluctant Mr. Darwin:
An Intimate Portrait of Charles Darwin and the Making of His Theory of Evolution

David Quammen
Atlas Books/W.W. Norton: 304 pp., $22.95

Intelligent Thought:
Science Versus the Intelligent Design Movement

Edited by John Brockman
Vintage: 258 pp., $14 paper

Why Darwin Matters:
The Case Against Intelligent Design

Michael Shermer
Times Books/Henry Holt: 202 pp., $22

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The Final Frontiersman

06/07/05 | by Steve [mail] | Categories: Books

Heard a great book talk today at the Appleton Public Library. Speaker was James Campbell, author of The Final Frontiersman. It's the story of Heimo Korth, a native of Appleton who in 1975 at age 20, leaves Appleton for the Alaskan interior to subsist on fur trapping, hunting, and fishing. He's still there. Campbell lives in Wisconsin and lived for a time in Appleton; he is Korth's first cousin. In the audience were some who had known Heimo's family and some of his teachers at Appleton West. Sounds like a wonderful book, made more interesting by the notion that someone from Happy Valley could retreat to the arctic wilderness and remain there for thirty years when almost all the other Alaskan “mountain men” have given it up.

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