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Bones, Rocks and Stars: The Science of When Things Happened

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Bones, Rocks and Stars: The Science of When Things Happened Cover

ISBN13: 9781403985996
ISBN10: 1403985995
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Understanding how we pinpoint the past is crucial to putting the present in perspective and planning for the future. Now, for the first time, journalist and geologist Chris Turney explains to the non-specialist exactly how archaeologists, paleontologists, and geologists "tell the time". Each chapter explores one famous event or object from the past, walking readers step by step through the detective work used to determine when things happened.

From the Ice Age to the pyramids, from human evolution to the Shroud of Turin, Turney reveals how written records, carbon, pollen, constellations, DNA sequencing, and more all play a part in solving the mystery of the true age of objects and events. As we struggle to manage current environmental threats and conservation troubles, we ignore or misunderstand these techniques and their results at our peril.

Review:

"In the tradition of Malcolm Gladwell, geologist Turney provides an absorbing look into the ways humans reckon time both in their daily lives and in their view of the past. Bringing together science and history in a populist, intellectual adventure, Turney takes on an eclectic roster of world-class mysteries, from the identity of King Arthur and the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin to the age of the cosmos. Turney presents his arcane topics-such as the effect of earth's orbital irregularities on the construction of the pyramids-with the ease and affability of your favorite college professor, and narrates the history of these mysteries with a keen sense of drama. Although each of the chapters seems at first glance to be distinct from the rest (the calendar, comets, ice ages, megafauna, the Missing Link, and dinosaurs among them), the work is actually a single investigation broken into many parts, whose underlying unity emerges gradually. Though Turney means for the book to provide a refutation of Creationism (which he feels has no place in scientific discourse or education), he limits his engagement with the issue to the introduction and epilogue, wisely letting his subject matter speak for itself. This book will appeal to a wide audience, particularly those who got a kick out of Blink or Freakonomics." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"A fabulous, entertainingly written account of the amazing science behind calendars, dates and dating objects. Essential reading for anyone interested in prehistory." Professor Tim Flannery, Director of the South Australian Museum

Review:

"A rollicking run through the story of telling the time — lively and well-researched, with many fascinating stories." Professor Michael Benton, author of When Life Nearly Died

Review:

"If you like detective stories, you'll love this book. It should satisfy the hungriest of infovores."- New Scientist

Synopsis:

From pyramids to dinosaurs, comets to King Arthur, Chris Turney explains how we pinpoint when things happened in a way everyone can grasp

Synopsis:

Understanding how we pinpoint the past is crucial to putting the present in perspective and planning for the future. Now, for the first time, journalist and geologist Chris Turney explains to the non-specialist exactly how archaeologists, paleontologists, and geologists "tell the time". Each chapter explores one famous event or object from the past, walking readers step by step through the detective work used to determine when things happened. From the Ice Age to the pyramids, from human evolution to the Shroud of Turin, Turney reveals how written records, carbon, pollen, constellations, DNA sequencing, and more all play a part in solving the mystery of the true age of objects and events. As we struggle to manage current environmental threats and conservation troubles, we ignore or misunderstand these techniques and their results at our peril.

Synopsis:

"What is the Turin Shroud? When were the Pyramids built? Where are the branches on the human family tree? Why did the dinosaurs die out? How did the Earth take shape? With questions like these, says Chris Turney, time is of the essence. And understanding how we pinpoint the past, he cautions, is crucial to putting the present in perspective and planning for the future.
In ten chapters, each focusing on a well-known dating controversy (from the existence of King Arthur to the last Ice Age), Turney reveals the leg-work behind the headlines. Drawing on years of professional experience, most recently with the celebrated 'Hobbit' fossil of Indonesia, Turney explains how written records, carbon, pollen, tree rings, constellations, and DNA sequencing can help archaeologists, paleontologists and geologists to 'tell the time'. We ignore or misunderstand these techniques and their results at our peril, he concludes."

About the Author

Chris Turney did the radiocarbon dating on the recent "Hobbit" fossil and is a geologist at the University of Wollongong, Australia. He lives in Australia.

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables

List of Permissions and Figure Sources

Acknowledgements

Introduction

The Ever-changing Calendar

A hero in a dark age

The Forged Cloth of Turin

The Pyramids and the Bear's Groin

The Volcano that Shook Europe

The Mandate from Heaven

The Coming of the Ice

The Lost Worlds

And Then there was One

The Hole in the Ground

Towards the Limits of Time

Epilogue: Time's up for Creationism

Further Reading

Index

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

dramaqween21495, November 24, 2006 (view all comments by dramaqween21495)
good
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 8 readers found this comment helpful)
Thomas Kirby, November 21, 2006 (view all comments by Thomas Kirby)
This book shows us how dates are arrived at using the scientific method. Not just radiocarbon dating and tree ring chronology, but also written historical records are used, as demonstrated in the author's discussion of when the legend of King Arthur appeared. The best parts of the book, in my opinion, were the sections where the author explained processes for refining date estimates.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(5 of 13 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781403985996
Subtitle:
The Science of When Things Happened
Author:
Turney, Chris
Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan
Subject:
Earth Sciences
Subject:
Time
Subject:
Earth Sciences - General
Subject:
Science Reference-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
MacSci
Publication Date:
20071226
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
200
Dimensions:
8.07 x 5.4 x 0.775 in

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General Medicine
History and Social Science » Military » Weapons » General
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy
Reference » Science Reference » General
Science and Mathematics » Geology » Earth Sciences
Science and Mathematics » Geology » General
Science and Mathematics » Physics
Science and Mathematics » Physics » General

Bones, Rocks and Stars: The Science of When Things Happened Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 200 pages MacMillan - English 9781403985996 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In the tradition of Malcolm Gladwell, geologist Turney provides an absorbing look into the ways humans reckon time both in their daily lives and in their view of the past. Bringing together science and history in a populist, intellectual adventure, Turney takes on an eclectic roster of world-class mysteries, from the identity of King Arthur and the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin to the age of the cosmos. Turney presents his arcane topics-such as the effect of earth's orbital irregularities on the construction of the pyramids-with the ease and affability of your favorite college professor, and narrates the history of these mysteries with a keen sense of drama. Although each of the chapters seems at first glance to be distinct from the rest (the calendar, comets, ice ages, megafauna, the Missing Link, and dinosaurs among them), the work is actually a single investigation broken into many parts, whose underlying unity emerges gradually. Though Turney means for the book to provide a refutation of Creationism (which he feels has no place in scientific discourse or education), he limits his engagement with the issue to the introduction and epilogue, wisely letting his subject matter speak for itself. This book will appeal to a wide audience, particularly those who got a kick out of Blink or Freakonomics." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "A fabulous, entertainingly written account of the amazing science behind calendars, dates and dating objects. Essential reading for anyone interested in prehistory."
"Review" by , "A rollicking run through the story of telling the time — lively and well-researched, with many fascinating stories."
"Review" by , "If you like detective stories, you'll love this book. It should satisfy the hungriest of infovores."-
"Synopsis" by ,
From pyramids to dinosaurs, comets to King Arthur, Chris Turney explains how we pinpoint when things happened in a way everyone can grasp

"Synopsis" by ,
Understanding how we pinpoint the past is crucial to putting the present in perspective and planning for the future. Now, for the first time, journalist and geologist Chris Turney explains to the non-specialist exactly how archaeologists, paleontologists, and geologists "tell the time". Each chapter explores one famous event or object from the past, walking readers step by step through the detective work used to determine when things happened. From the Ice Age to the pyramids, from human evolution to the Shroud of Turin, Turney reveals how written records, carbon, pollen, constellations, DNA sequencing, and more all play a part in solving the mystery of the true age of objects and events. As we struggle to manage current environmental threats and conservation troubles, we ignore or misunderstand these techniques and their results at our peril.

"Synopsis" by , "What is the Turin Shroud? When were the Pyramids built? Where are the branches on the human family tree? Why did the dinosaurs die out? How did the Earth take shape? With questions like these, says Chris Turney, time is of the essence. And understanding how we pinpoint the past, he cautions, is crucial to putting the present in perspective and planning for the future.
In ten chapters, each focusing on a well-known dating controversy (from the existence of King Arthur to the last Ice Age), Turney reveals the leg-work behind the headlines. Drawing on years of professional experience, most recently with the celebrated 'Hobbit' fossil of Indonesia, Turney explains how written records, carbon, pollen, tree rings, constellations, and DNA sequencing can help archaeologists, paleontologists and geologists to 'tell the time'. We ignore or misunderstand these techniques and their results at our peril, he concludes."
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