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A breathtaking and beautiful exploration of our planet, this groundbreaking book accompanies the acclaimed BBC TV series, providing the deepest answers to the simplest questions.
How did life on Earth begin?
What is the nature of space and time?
What are the chances that we will discover life on other worlds?
Forces of Nature takes you from the mid-Atlantic ridge in Iceland, the volcanoes of Indonesia and the precipitous cliffs in Nepal, to the manatees off the coast of Florida and the northern lights of the Arctic, in search of the fundamental laws that govern our world.
These universal laws shape everything, from the structure of snowflakes to the elegant spirals of the galaxies. By seeking to understand the everyday world – the colours, structure, behaviour and history of our home – we can step beyond the everyday and approach the Universe beyond.
Think you know our planet? Think again !
Auteur(s): Brian Cox, ... Taal: Engels. Pagina's: 300. Uitgave: 2017. Harper Collins.
- Forces of nature Recensie door Michael Lumsden
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Some of the reasons for recommending this book are as follows: firstly, for a book primarily about physics it is accessible. I am not a physicist and my O level maths is from 40 years ago but most of the content was clear. In addition there are parts where great detail is given – but seeking to follow the more advanced maths is optional, and I was able to skip those parts and rejoin the discussion.
They say pictures are worth 1,000 words and the illustrations are not only beautiful but the diagrams make the concepts understandable – you can see what he is getting at. And the approach is refreshingly different – being one of a guided journey or exploration. The book is marketed as a science book but it is much better than that. There is a holistic approach combining philosophy, history and even theology. This is as it should be because pure science is only one aspect of the quest for truth and the author is to be commended for the breadth of approach..
I liked the explanation that science operates by the development of theories which are then tested/reviewed and amended in the light of new data. This means that truth in general is contingent and it is okay to speculate far beyond the currently available data. However, I did think there was a danger of some confusion arising for readers between theories held by the author and facts (accepted by the broad sweep of the scientific community).
The author is an expert physicist but the scientific content is much more than physics. Generally it seemed to me that when writing about things other than physics the content was not of a lower standard. However, as a biologist I think I detected that there was a lack of awareness of the vast gulf that separates living and non-living systems. In particular I thought Louis Pasteur was not treated with sufficient respect and the author rushed to the assumption that life could arise spontaneously when the reality is that there is still a lack of evidence for this. More could have been written about the general assumptions that prevailed before Pasteur’s brilliant work (concluded in 1862). This is probably not a fair criticism because books could always be longer.
The fact that there are areas of the book which I personally disagree with is a good thing. If the book dealt only with agreed facts it would be much blander and bland it is not!
Having given the book 5 stars I should end on a positive. The author is driven by a search for truth and is passionate that others should be as thrilled as he is by the quest. He is delighted by the work of the ancients who began the exploration and would be very comfortable with Newton’s comments about standing on the shoulders of giants. He longs for people who “want to know, rather than want to be proved right”. A final positive for those of you who like pictures of Brian Cox – there are quite a lot of them...... (Geplaatst op 29-03-2017)
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