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The Ascent of Science


The Ascent of Science Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the revolutionary discoveries of Galileo and Newton to the mind-bending theories of Einstein and Heisenberg, from plate tectonics to particle physics, from the origin of life to universal entropy, and from biology to cosmology, here is a sweeping, readable, and dynamic account of the whole of Western science. In the readable manner and method of Stephen Jay Gould and Carl Sagan, the late Brian L. Silver translates our most important, and often most obscure, scientific developments into a vernacular that is not only accessible and illuminating but also enjoyable. Silver makes his comprehensive case with much clarity and insight; he locates science as the apex of human reason, and reason as our best path to the truth. For all readers curious about--and especially those perhaps intimidated by--what Silver calls "the scientific campaign up to now" in his Preface, The Ascent of Science will be fresh, vivid, and fascinating reading.

Book News Annotation:

Silver (chemistry, Israel Institute of Technology) views science from a social perspective, seeing it as a series of ideas that have changed whole areas of thought, and altered the individual's relationship to society, idea of God, and image of himself. He describes basic aspects of the major breakthroughs and battles in science in terms of their historical context and parallel developments in art, literature, music, politics, and philosophy.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)


Includes bibliographical references (p. [513]-518) and index.

About the Author

Brian L. Silver was Professor of Physical Chemistry at the Techion, or Institute of Technology, in Israel. He died in 1997, just prior to the publication of this book.

Table of Contents




1. Newton Gets It Completely Wrong

2. I Believe

3. Thomas Aquinas versus Neil Armstrong

4. The Second Law

5. Predicting Catastrophe

6. From Newton to De Sade: The partial Triumph of Reason

7. From Rousseau to Blake: The Revolt against Reason

8. Lodestone, Amber, and Lightning

9. Belief and Action

10. The Demise of Alchemy

11. The Nineteenth Century

12. The Material Trinity: The Atom

13. The Stuff of Existence

14. Scipio's Dream

15. Making Waves

16. The Ubiquity of Motion

17. Energy

18. Entropy: Intimations of Mortality

19. Chaos

20. The Slow Birth of Biology

21. In a Monastery Garden

22. Evolution

23. The Descent of Man

24. The Gene Machine

25. The Lords of Nature?

26. Life: The Molecular Battle

27. The Origin of Life? Take Your Choice

28. The Inexplicable Quantum

29. New Ways of Thinking

30. The Land of Paradox

31. The Elementary Particles

32. Relativity

33. Cosmology

34. The Cosmos and Peeping Tom

35. The Impossibility of Creation

36. The Tree of Death

37. "What the Devil Does It All Mean?"

38. The Future

Annotated Bibliography


Product Details

Silver, Brian
Oxford University Press
Silver, Brian L.
null, Brian L.
New York :
Life sciences
History, Other | History of Science
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
85 linecuts
10 x 7 x 1.7 in 2.55 lb

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Reference » Science Reference » General
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » General

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