Tag Archive: nonfiction


I finally figured out how to make the booklist in the format I wanted it in! Unfortunately, this means I found out how to do so at the expense of my booklist. 😦 I opened my booklist while viewing the booklist Freak0Nature sent me… And Microsoft automatically put it in a compatability mode to make sure the two documents had the same features available in Word. This meant that my list was reconfigured, and the information was scrambled. I literally had hundreds of books, so I can’t just rewrite it from memory. I’ve got some series that have 1 book instead of 6, or that have 20+ books instead of 4. I’m going to have to start from scratch, because unfortunately, I can’t simply turn off compatibility mode; it’s a conversion to the document that I don’t know how to undo. I’ve also been playing with the idea of including what I have on my bookshelves and color-marking them as read or unread, then as I write reviews for them, make them links. Sounds like a lot of work, but it would be absolutely great in my opinion… If only there was a site to do this for me!

Well, there kind of is. For those of you who haven’t discovered it yet, Goodreads.com has thousands of books on file, and you can put them on ‘shelves’ to keep track of them, and write reviews. Unfortunately, you can’t group things by series in shelves without going in and manually rearranging them, and you also cannot generate lists of shelves as plain text. Both would be fantastic features, IMHO. Another great feature I’d love to see them add is a way to Auto-arrange the books. By genre (and wouldn’t it be great if they added genres to the books instead of letting users tag the books as whatever genre they please?), alphabetically by author, alphabetically by series, however! But alas, they do not. So I am stuck with struggling through making a book list myself. 😦 And I just messed it up. I’m still open for ideas for books if you would like to share! Chances are though, I have it on my list already. 🙂

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I actually bought this book accidentally when looking for The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. After realizing my mistake, I was keen on returning it for the book I wanted. However, having a new book in my hands, I had to read it. And you know what? I’m glad I did.

Being on the opposite side of the spectrum of the book I was looking for, The God Theory by Bernard Haisch is a legitimate scientific theory on the existence of a ‘God’, or as he terms it, ‘an infinite conscious intelligence’. However, this book is not a bible-thumping, age-old argument spouting, narrow-minded piece of work spouted by an evangelist. This book was written by an astrophysicist, who does not believe in mass religion, and one who took the time to write a theory on how  ‘God’ could exist without breaking any scientific evidence.

With that being said, I want to remind you that this is a legitimate scientific theory. This is not a book for light reading, or a novel to take you away on the wings of creativity. This is a scientific essay. The arguments provided are well-founded, and based in research. A lot of these went well over my head, even after doing hours of research to gain the back knowledge needed to read this book. All in all, I spent more time researching previous work, theories, research, events, and scientific laws that are referenced in the book than I did reading the book. If you are not scientifically-minded, interested in non-fiction, or willing to research scientific achievements and references for hours on end, this book is not for you.  On the flip side, if you are convinced there is not a god, and would like to read (probably the first) a logical argument as to why god may exist, or are unsure, or even if you believe in god but not mass religion; if you enjoy learning new things, and enjoy finding out random tidbits of scientific theories and works that us lay-men have never heard of, you’ll probably enjoy this book.

With that being said, let’s move on. This book contains both a preface and an introduction, which, if you’re in the habit of skipping (I know I skip them when it’s simply another writer praising the book or reading sub-conscious “meanings” in a novel) I suggest you think again. They outline the entirety of the book, and set the premises for the arguments. As should be, considering this is a scientific essay. Oh, and in case you didn’t catch that, this book is a scientific essay. There are a couple extremely basic arguments covered in preface and introduction that are not repeated later on, most likely because they are basic and do not require repeating or going more in-depth. Even in the preface, I had to look up and research such things as ‘quantum fluctuations’, ‘quantum laws’, ‘string theory’ (which I think everyone knows a little about, but nothing like what you can read about it when you actually look into it), ‘inflation fields’ and find the definitions for things such as ‘neuro-physiological epiphenomenon’, or ‘philosophical centrists’. This is not even ten pages into the book.

The chapters are titled, and then further broken up into segments. The first chapter is titled “Personal Journey”, and details his professional life. This lends credence to his arguments, giving him both a background in religion and science. The sub-chapters (I’m not sure what else to call them) are titled “From Archabbey to Astrophysics”, “Launching a Career’, “Age of discovery”, and “Return of the Astronomer-Priest”. Please be aware (unlike my dolt of a friend I tried to convince to read this – unsuccessfully) that Bernard Haisch is an Astrophysicist. Meaning he studies the branch of astronomy that deals with the physics of the universe (and yes, I looked that up. 😛 ). He is not one of those new-age hippies who calls himself an astronomer and makes predictions based on the angle of Venus to Jupiter. That is just for clarity (I get annoyed with idiots very fast). Anyways, this first chapter details his religious background, his change into the scientific world, his professional achievements, research, and theories, and finally, the merging of his concept of ‘God’ and science.

The second chapter is “Asking Fundamental Questions”, which includes “The God Theory and Creation”, “The God Theory, Karma, and the Golden Rule”, “The God Theory and Reductionism”. Chapter three is titled “Explaining Creation”. The sub-chapters are “Creation by Subtraction”, which actually holds the strongest piece of imagery/argument (for me) in the entire book. The others in the chapter are “Polarity” and “The God Theory and Consciousness.” Chapter four is “Reductionism and a Spiritual Worldview”, detailing “Superstrings and the Supernatural”, “A Spiritual Worldview”, and “No Need for Intelligent Design”. Now that you have an idea of the types of chapters and sub-chapters in the book, I’d like to share that there are a total of eleven chapters, not including the Preface, Introduction, or Bibliography.

A lot of those probably sounded extremely detailed and way too complex to grasp. This is why I said that there will be a lot of research that goes into reading the book. At the same time, however, many of the arguments and sections that are brought up are well-explained, and require little to no background study to understand them. Such as the following excerpt from the Preface:

“Science today is based on the premises of materialism, reductionism, and randomness. Materialism is the belief that reality consists solely of matter and energy, the things that can be measured in a laboratory or observed by a telescope. Everything else is illusion of imagination. Reductionism is the belief that complex things can be explained by examining the constituent pieces, such as the illusion of consciousness arising from elementary chemical processes in the brain. Randomness is the conviction that natural processes follow the laws of chance within their allowed range of behavior.”

This information is provided in a clear, straight-forward manner, which is not difficult at all to comprehend. I suppose with the correct background in scientific study, the entire book would be clear and concise, but I’m afraid to those of us who read textbooks in our spare time (Wait, you mean you don’t? :O ) rather than having a formal eduction, a lot of this is very complex. Even looking into theories mentioned in passing, you have to read about the theory, then read more information on the theories that the initial theory was based on, and so on and so forth until you finally reach information you can comprehend, and then work backwards. It’s a lovely challenge; I loved spending time trying to reason things out and teach myself cutting-edge scientific theories.

My favorite section, and the one that stuck with me the best, is the “Creation by Subtraction”. The section is too long for me to type out, but I will sum it up the best I can. Think about a computer screen, or a projector. When it is on, there will be a plain, white light. By laying filters over this light, you can create images; since white light contains all of the colors, in order to create images, you simply have to filter out the undesired colors in the proper places. To create a photo of a family on vacation is not done by chance, it is done by intelligent subtraction. Further, to create a motion picture, a two-dimensional replica of our world, you simply have to show frames of movement at the right speed, using the filters to create each frame. Thus the white light does not change, the filters do, and the sum becomes more than the individual pieces. In this way, ‘God’ is the infinite, and to create our world, a filter was placed over, to give the desired result. So rather than an infinite number or realities with an infinite number of possibilities over the infinite number of realities, there is one reality, with an infinite number of possibilities depending on the filter used. Please note that this is all paraphrasing, and I am in no way taking credit for this, and in fact, I may have misinterpreted what the author was trying to say (although how I have interpreted it makes perfect sense to me 😛 ).

In conclusion (I feel I’ve been rambling for a while), this book is definitely worth the read. I have always been strictly a non-believer, but if there were to be a ‘God’, and they could prove its existence, then this is how I believe that ‘God’ would exist. However, I still don’t believe in mass religions, or go to church, anything of the sort. I would still consider myself atheist, and I will until the scientific community walks up to me and slaps me in the face with some proof. However, this book was a real eye-opener, refreshing to read due to its professionalism, and fascinating in every aspect. I highly recommend this.

First published in 1934, this book was subsequently banned from being imported into the US. BY 1938, it had also been added to the list of banned books in Canada as well. In the UK, the only copies available were smuggled into the country. I have always been a fan of banned books, because usually the controversy is over political or religious views. But in the case of this book, it is due to the blatant vulgarity, obscenity, and profanity. This is not a masterpiece with revolutionary ideas hidden inside that world leaders refused to have available to the public. In fact, the only claims to fame this book has is being banned due to obscenity, and the fact that it is one of the most horridly written books on the face of the planet.  This is the review I wrote of this a few months ago:

Started this before I moved, and lost the book. It was found and sent to me, and it’s time to finish reading it. So far, I’ve thought it was very messily written, jumping from one idea to another to another, until you’ve lost the original thought and then crashing back into the original idea, in a shattering, lose-your-train-of-thought way. It doesn’t hold your attention, in that it seems to be trying to make you lose where you were, but the parts that make sense and flow smoothly are enough to make you lose yourself in it for a few minutes until the jarring writing snaps you back into wondering what’s happening. One of the strangest books I’ve ever read, I’m not sure whether this is interesting and engaging, or a worthless waste of time and money. I suppose it takes some level of genius to write a book people aren’t sure whether they should put it down and never pick it up again, but keep reading to the finish. Very strange indeed.

Even now, I think this is a pretty accurate description. The thing I hate most about the book is the fact that the ideas jump from one place to another, back and forth, or will go off on a tangent, then jump back to an idea 5 or 6 pages beforehand. It’s like wading through the mind of a man who has gone insane, and then been shaken so hard everything in his mind crashes together into a huge jumble. I will agree with other reviewers in that this book is a brutally honest look into one man’s life, but at the same time, this is more a drunken rambling of sexual exploits and god knows what else I missed.

So bottom line: Don’t read this book. If you want to read it for the vulgarity or obscenity, pick up a woman’s romance instead (I swear those books are most women’s equivalent to porn). If you’re in it because it’s a banned book, there are much more intelligent books that have caused widespread controversy waiting for you to read them.