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U.S. and other countries did during and after World War II to develop methods of biological warfare. With the aid of the Freedom of Information Act, he obtained more than 2,000 pages of formerly secret U.S. government documents on the subject. They form the foundation of this account, which traces the U.S. biological weapons program from its inception in 1942 to its termination by President Richard Nixon in 1969 ... By then, according to Regis, ‘the U.S. Army had officially standardized and weaponized two lethal biological agents, Bacillus anthracis and Francisella tularensis, and three incapacitating biological agents, Brucella suis, Coxiella burnetii, and Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus. The Army had also weaponized one lethal toxin, botulinum, and one incapacitating toxin, staphylococcal enterotoxin B.’ Notwithstanding all this activity ... nations have so far avoided serious biological warfare. Regis thinks the reason is that biological weapons lack ‘the single most important ingredient of any effective weapon, an immediate visual display of overwhelming power and brute strength.’

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The Blind Watchmaker; Why the evidence of evolution reveals a universe without design. By Richard Dawkins. (Norton, 331 pp, 1986) GFBR ***** Teen-Adult. This book “is an astonishingly lucid exposition of Darwinism. The obvious design of organisms and other apparent objections to Darwin’s theory are met head on, but with such clarity of though and lucid prose that no reader will be thwarted. Dawkins is a born writer with an unmatched gift for the brilliant metaphor, the inspired syntactic switch, and the relevant zoological detail. {it} is entertaining as well as engrossing: Dawkins’ most wonderful book!”  

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The Botany of Desire: A Plants’-Eye View of the World. By Michael Pollan. (Random House, 271 pp, 2001) GFBR *****. Teen-adult. “Working in his garden one day, Michael Pollan hit pay dirt in the form of an idea: do plants, he wondered, use humans as much as we use them? While the question is not entirely original, the way Pollan examines this complex coevolution by looking at the natural world from the perspective of plants is unique. The result is a fascinating and engaging look at the true nature of domestication. In making his point, Pollan focuses on the relationship between humans and four specific plants: apples, tulips, marijuana, and potatoes. … he explains how a global desire for consistently perfect French fries contributes to both damaging monoculture and the genetic engineering necessary to support it. Pollan has read widely on the subject and elegantly combines literary, historical, philosophical, and scientific references with engaging anecdotes, giving readers much to ponder while weeding their gardens.”

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Climbing Mount Improbable. By Richard Dawkins. (Norton, 340 pp, 1996) GFBR **** HS-Adult. Dawkins, an untiring popularizer of Darwinian evolution, shows how creatures that seem miraculously designed for the lives they lead, actually evolved gradually, almost infinitely slowly, up the gentle paths of Mount Improbable, rather than adapting in sudden leaps or by design from an intelligent creator

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Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life By Daniel Clement Dennett (Touchstone, 672 pp, 1996) General Audiences. “One of the best descriptions of the nature and implications of Darwinian evolution ever written, it is firmly based in biological information and appropriately extrapolated to possible applications to engineering and cultural evolution. Dennett's analyses of the objections to evolutionary theory are unsurpassed. Extremely lucid, wonderfully written, and scientifically and philosophically impeccable. Highest Recommendation!”

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Deadly Feasts: Tracking the Secrets of a Terrifying New Plague. By Richard Rhodes. (Simon & Schuster, 259 pp, 1997) GFBR ***** General Audiences. “The British epidemic of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or "mad cow" disease, is only one in a series of mysterious and often fatal afflictions that have baffled scientists for more than 40 years. Deadly Feasts

Science and Math Books You Can Read – page 9 out of 30

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