The Individual and the Natural World

Featured Readings

Click on a title for more information about that book.

Encounters with the Archdruid

Encounters with the Archdruid is a book by John McPhee which several instructors in LAEC330 are using as a core text. This link will take you to a collection of pages on which we are entering our thoughts about the book, making bibliographical notations, and creating links to related Web pages. We are using McPhee's book as a focal point for developing our own ideas -- and helping students develop theirs -- about the Individual and the Natural World.

Our Stolen Future

Colborn et al's book, Our Stolen Future: Are We Threatening Our Fertility, Intelligence, and Survival?--A Scientific Detective Story, shifts the course focus to another world than the observable environment visited by John McPhee and David Brower in Encounters with the Archdruid. Instead of big mountains and long rivers, we focus on imperceptibly small molecules. Instead of dealing with structures which were formed over thousands of years, we examine entities which never existed in the natural world until human chemists created them over the past century. With our senses alone, we can't detect the presence of many of these synthetic chemicals, which through the pollution process have spread globally.

Science and its Ways of Knowing

Science and its Ways of Knowing is a collection of essays edited by Hatton and Plouffe. Suggesting the general theme of the book the authors begin by quoting Carl Sagan (in Broca's Brain): "Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge."