Closer to Truth: Challenging Current Belief

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9780071359962: Closer to Truth: Challenging Current Belief

The most cutting-edge ideas of today are being generated from the scientific community. Now more than ever, scientists are reaching out to the general audience, seeking vehicles through which they might communicate their revolutionary ideas. Harnessing the intellectual energy of more than 50 of our most influential and distinguished scientists, scholars and thinkers, this book challenges current belief and conventional wisdom, to seek "truth" wherever it may be found. This is the first in a series of annual companion books. Beginning in th early spring of 2000, this television series presents 28 half-hour episodes in five categories: brain and mind, health and sex; creativity and thinking, technology and society, and universe and meaning. The book will be organised according to episode, with 28 chapters making up to 5 sections. In each episode, moderator Robert Lawrence Kuhn facilitates and synthesises a lively round-table discussion of today's most profound issues. Presented here in transcript, each chapter goes further than the television show, with commentary by Kuhn, and additional dialogue and "out-takes" not available on TV. With bios placing each contributor into the "big picture" context, this work is a veritable Who's Who of our most renowned scholars and where they stand on the "knowledge" issues that are most important today. Each year, as a new season of the television series airs, we will present a new volume of "Closer Truth", the companion book, building an entire library. These books, like the TV series, will entertain, enlighten and inspire while revealing the mysteries of mind, matter, and the meaning of it all.

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From the Back Cover:

An insatiable desire to fathom the workings of the natural world and the meaning of existence is as fundamental to our species as walking upright or having the capacity to love. Yet, throughout most of human history, only a select handful of people in each generation had the ability and good fortune to participate in the grand discourses of philosophy and science.

Closer to Truth harnesses the intellectual energy of more than fifty of today's most influential minds to offer an exciting, in-depth exploration of today's most important trends in science, philosophy, and human understanding. Over the course of twenty-eight lively roundtable discussions, these scientists, philosophers, and visionaries share their intriguing insights on a vast array of timely intellectual issues ranging from consciousness to cosmology, sexuality to soul, evolution to education. No other source brings you inside the major debates now raging within lecture halls and research labs around the world with such immediacy or candor. Nor does any feature such an impressive roster of contributors.

In orchestrating Closer to Truth­­both the public television series and the book­­Dr. Robert Lawrence Kuhn has assembled a veritable Who's Who in the world of ideas, from the mainstream to the avant-garde, all brought together in electric combinations that spark with light and heat. In so doing, he has provided us with an unparalleled opportunity to watch these intellectual all-stars in action and discover where each stands on many of today's most controversial "knowledge" issues, including the workings of the brain and mind, genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, longevity, sex and gender, the beginnings and endings of the universe, the nature of consciousness, and the beauty of quantum physics.

Closer to Truth is pioneering a new genre of media called "Knowledge Affairs," and is the program of record for new knowledge. While this book does not claim to provide ultimate answers to the great questions, by affording a unique opportunity to sample from the "competitive marketplace of ideas," it will bring you Closer to Truth.

From the Inside Flap:

CONTRIBUTORS Paul R. Abramson W. French Anderson Francisco Ayala Gregory Benford Barry Beyerstein Edward de Bono Todd Boyd Warren S. Brown Charles Buchanan Vern Bullough Stephen J. Cannell David J. Chalmers Bruce Chapman Patricia Smith Churchland Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Arthur S. De Vany Edward Feigenbaum Timothy Ferris Wendy Freedman Robert Freeman Francis Fukuyama George Geis Rochel Gelman Barbara Marx Hubbard Rhoda Janzen Saru Jayaraman John Kao Steven Koonin Bart Kosko George Kozmetsky Ray Kurzweil Leon Lederman Andrei Linde John H. McWhorter Marvin Minsky Graham T. Molitor Richard Mouw Nancey C. Murphy Bruce C. Murray Sherwin Nuland Clifford Penner Joyce Penner Dean I. Radin Marilyn Schlitz John R. Searle Todd Siler Brian Skyrms Gregory Stock Charles Tart Frank J. Tipler Allan J. Tobin James Trefil Neil de Grasse Tyson Roy Walford Fred Alan Wolf

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