ALPHABETICAL BRAIN™ VOCABULARY
HUMANIST GALAXY
OF SECULAR SCIENCE STARS
WILLIAM H. CALVIN

March 26, 2021

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Note = William Calvin is a neurobiologist at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle and President of the CO2 Foundation. He is the author of many scientific books, including A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE MIND: From Apes to Intellect and Beyond; THE CEREBRAL SYMPHONY: Seashore Reflections on the Structure of Consciousness; and THE RIVER THAT FLOWS UPHILL: A Journey from the Big Bang to the Big Brain.

In addition, Calvin wrote about climate change in the book, Global Fever:
    "The climate doctors have been consulted; the lab reports have come back. Now it is time to pull together the Big Picture and discuss treatment options. At a time when architects are thinking ahead to more efficient buildings and power planners are extolling the virtues of renewable energy, the climate modelers have discovered that long-term planning will no longer suffice. Our fossil fuel fiasco has already painted us into a corner such that, if we don't make substantial near-term gains before 2020, the long-term is pre-empted, the efforts all for naught. We are already in dangerous territory and have to act quickly to avoid triggering widespread catastrophes. The only good analogy is arming for a great war, doing what must be done regardless of cost and convenience."

    And Calvin's climate talk in Beijing at the Great Hall of the People is available in streaming video as are other recent lectures at NASA and Rice University.

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    The outlines and reviews of two of William Calvin's influential books about evolution are linked on this website:

    The first book, A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE MIND, speculates about the simpler versions of mental life in apes, Neanderthals, and our other proto-human ancestors, back before our burst of human creativity started 50,000 years ago. If you cannot think about the future in detail, you are trapped in a "here-and-now" existence with no "What if" and "Why me?"

    The second book, THE CEREBRAL SYMPHONY, speculates about what we have now and then explains why we are nearing a crossroads, where our minds shift gears again. The mind's "big bang" came long after our brain size stopped enlarging. Calvin assumes that the development of long sentences what modern children do in their third year was the most likely trigger. To keep a half-dozen concepts from blending together like a summer drink, you need some mental structuring. In saying 'I think I saw him leave to go home,' you are nesting three sentences inside a fourth. We also structure plans, play games with rules, create structured music and chains of logic, and have a fascination with discovering how things hang together --- think recursively! Our long metaphorical train of connected thoughts is why our consciousness is so different from what came before human behavior in the history of evolution by dissent.

    These two books should be read throughout the Humanist Galaxy by free thinking educated adults and discussed with their children!
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    [Book #1:] A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE MIND: From Apes to Intellect and Beyond by William H. Calvin. Oxford University Press, 2004 (i-xx, 219 pages)
AND
    [Book #2:] THE CEREBRAL SYMPHONY: Seashore Reflections on the Structure of Consciousness by William H. Calvin. Bantam Books, 1989 (i-xx, 219 pages)

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Click or Tap To Outlines and Reviews

Book #1:
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE MIND:
From Apes to Intellect and Beyond


OR

Book #2:
THE CEREBRAL SYMPHONY:
Seashore Reflections on the
Structure of Consciounsness


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William Calvin

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OF SECULAR SCIENCE STARS


ALPHABETICAL BRAIN VOCABULARY

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