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The upright thinkers : the human journey from living in trees to understanding the cosmos

Author: Leonard Mlodinow
Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 2016. ©2015
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : First Vintage books editionView all editions and formats
Summary:
Presents a history of science, focusing on its influence in the transition from humanity's primitive beginnings up to the modern day, with profiles of famous scientists responsible for some of the world's greatest scientific discoveries. --Publisher's description.
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Details

Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Leonard Mlodinow
ISBN: 0345804430 9780345804433
OCLC Number: 915120328
Notes: "Originally published in hardcover in the United States by Pantheon Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York, in 2015"--Title page verso.
Description: viii, 340 pages : illustrations, maps ; 21 cm
Contents: Our drive to know. A starving man's hunger for knowledge ; The human odyssey of discovery --
Curiosity. Lizards don't ask questions ; From handy man to wise man ; What infants ask, but chimps don't --
Culture. Humanity's first church ; Knowledge, ideas, and values go viral ; Human and primate culture --
Civilization. From the Savannah to the city ; How the charms and headaches of neighbors led to the new arts of writing and arithmetic ; The invention of law, from peasant (Don't vomit in streams) to planet (Don't stray from your orbit) --
Reason. Bad crops and angry gods ; A new framework for looking at the world ; The mystery of change and the tyranny of common sense ; Aristotle, the one-man Wikipedia --
A new way to reason. Trusting your eyes over your ancestors ; Castrated boars and universal laws of motion ; The tactless Professor Galileo --
The mechanical universe. The good, the bad, and the ugly : Isaac Newton ; The bet that turned Newton from alchemy to authoring the greatest scientific treatise ever written ; The force of Newtonian thinking --
What things are made of. From embalming to alchemy ; The similarities between burning and breathing ; Lavoisier loses his head ; Mendeleev and his periodic table --
The animate world. Cells and the complexity of life ; A recipe for making mice and the revolution of the microscope ; Tragedy, illness, and Darwin's secret research --
The limits of human experience. The billion billion tiny universes in a drop of water ; Cracks in the Newtonian worldview ; Accepting an unseeable reality ; Planck and Einstein invent the quantum --
The invisible realm. The insights of a dreamer ; The crazy ideas of a pale and modest young man ; The early quantum laws, "awful nonsense, bordering on fraud" --
The quantum revolution. Heisenberg's new physics ; The bizarre reality of the quantum universe ; The empowering and humbling legacy of a new science --
Epilogue. The advance of human understanding as a succession of fantasies ; The importance of critical and innovative thinking ; Where we are and where we are going.
Responsibility: Leonard Mlodinow.

Abstract:

Presents a history of science, focusing on its influence in the transition from humanity's primitive beginnings up to the modern day, with profiles of famous scientists responsible for some of the world's greatest scientific discoveries. --Publisher's description.

"Leonard Mlodinow takes us on a passionate and inspiring tour through the exciting history of human progress and the key events in the development of science. In the process, he presents a fascinating new look at the unique characteristics of our species and our society that helped propel us from stone tools to written language and through the birth of chemistry, biology, and modern physics to today's technological world. Along the way he explores the cultural conditions that influenced scientific thought through the ages and the colorful personalities of some of the great philosophers, scientists, and thinkers: Galileo, who preferred painting and poetry to medicine and dropped out of university; Isaac Newton, who stuck needlelike bodkins into his eyes to better understand changes in light and color; and Antoine Lavoisier, who drank nothing but milk for two weeks to examine its effects on his body. Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg, and many lesser-known but equally brilliant minds also populate these pages, each of their stories showing how much of human achievement can be attributed to the stubborn pursuit of simple questions (Why? How?), bravely asked."--Publisher's Web site.

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