Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Reading List

This weekend, I was a guest speaker at ReasonCon 3 in Hickory, NC. I had a great time and met some wonderful people.

I'd like to start by thanking the convention committee for inviting me to be a speaker. They gave this rookie the opportunity to play in the big leagues with some heavy hitters such as Aron Ra, Shelley Segal, Matt Dillahunty and Dr. Lawrence Krauss.

I'd also like to thank all the other speakers for being so friendly and gracious.

Most of all, I'd like to thank all the participants for making me feel like I deserved to be one of the speakers. Your reactions and your comments have made me feel really special.

Towards the end of the conference, I was asked if I'd put together a reading list on some of the topics I'd covered in my talk. I'm going to try to put them in categories and include others that have been very helpful. Wherever possible, if it's available on line, I'll try to post a link. I'm also going to include some websites. You might want to check back from time to time because I may occasionally update this list.

But there's one book that belongs in a category all its own. That's Mark Twain's "Letters from the Earth." Back when I realized I was an atheist in 1981, it was one of the two books on this list that was available. It was one of the most influential books I've ever read and helped me put my life and beliefs in perspective.

Logic and Contemporary Rhetoric

Evolutionary Theory

  • "On the Origin of Species" by Charles Darwin
  • "The Greatest Show on Earth" by Richard Dawkins
  • "Evolution vs. Creationism: An Introduction" by Eugenie C. Scott
  • "Your Inner Fish" by Neil Shubin
  • "Why Darwin Matters" by Michael Shermer
  • "Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters" by Donald R. Prothero

Atheism and Religion

  • "Letters from the Earth" by Mark Twain
  • "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins
  • "god is Not Great" by Christopher Hitchens
  • "Fighting God" by David Silverman

1Chapter 12, "The Fine Art of Baloney Detection" is what I call "the owner's manual for the human brain."