Coming of Age in the Milky Way (Google eBook)

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Harper Collins, Jul 6, 2010 - Science - 512 pages
26 Reviews

From the second-century celestial models of Ptolemy to modern-day research institutes and quantum theory, this classic book offers a breathtaking tour of astronomy and the brilliant, eccentric personalities who have shaped it. From the first time mankind had an inkling of the vast space that surrounds us, those who study the universe have had to struggle against political and religious preconceptions. They have included some of the most charismatic, courageous, and idiosyncratic thinkers of all time. In Coming of Age in the Milky Way, Timothy Ferris uses his unique blend of rigorous research and captivating narrative skill to draw us into the lives and minds of these extraordinary figures, creating a landmark work of scientific history.

  

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Review: Coming of Age in the Milky Way

User Review  - Subowal - Goodreads

The most fascinating journey in the history of mankind is the journey of the mind - the attempt by us to make sense of the world around us, to detect patterns in the apparent jumble and to create ... Read full review

Review: Coming of Age in the Milky Way

User Review  - Jake - Goodreads

This review of the journey from early astronomy to modern day astrophysicists was more entertaining that I would have thought. Small anecdote and the idiosyncrasies of the various scientists (along ... Read full review

Contents

SPACE
17
The Dome of Heaven
19
Raising and Lowering the Roof
33
The Discovery of the Earth
47
The Sun Worshipers
61
The World in Retrograde
83
Newtons Reach
103
A Plumb Line to the Sun
123
Sermons in Stones
217
The Age of the Earth
231
The Evolution of Atoms and Stars
255
CREATION
283
The Quantum and Its Discontents
285
Rumors of Perfection
301
The Axis of History
335
The Origin of the Universe
349

Deep Space
143
Island Universes
161
Einsteins Sky
177
The Expansion of the Universe
205
TIME
215
The Persistence of Mystery
381
Addendum to the Perennial Edition
389
INDEX
495
Copyright

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Popular passages

Page 55 - And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time, to recover the remnant of His people...
Page 239 - There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the creator into a few forms or into one; and that, while this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
Page 76 - Ring out, ye crystal spheres ! Once bless our human ears (If ye have power to touch our senses so), And. let your silver chime Move in melodious time ; And let the bass of heaven's deep organ blow; And with your ninefold harmony Make up full consort to the angelic symphony.
Page 245 - I asserted — and I repeat — that a man has no reason to be ashamed of having an ape for his grandfather. If there were an ancestor whom I should feel shame in recalling it would rather be a man — a man of restless and versatile intellect — who, not content with an equivocal success in his own sphere of activity, plunges into scientific questions with which he has no real acquaintance...
Page 223 - And when we consider the infinite power and wisdom of the Maker, we have reason to think, that it is suitable to the magnificent harmony of the universe, and the great design and infinite goodness of the architect, that the species of creatures should also, by gentle degrees, ascend upward from us toward his infinite perfection, as we see they gradually descend from us downwards...
Page 223 - ... in all the visible corporeal world, we see no chasms or gaps. All quite down from us the descent is by easy steps, and a continued series of things, that in each remove differ very little one from the other.
Page 101 - Solicit not thy thoughts with matters hid ; Leave them to God above, him serve and fear...
Page 238 - Therefore, during the modification of the descendants of any one species, and during the incessant struggle of all species to increase in numbers, the more diversified the descendants become, the better will be their chance of success in the battle for life.
Page 31 - ... what you have discovered is a recipe not for memory, but for reminder. And it is no true wisdom that you offer your disciples, but only its semblance; for by telling them of many things without teaching them you will make them seem to know much, while for the most part they know nothing; and as men filled, not with wisdom, but with the conceit of wisdom, they will be a burden to their fellows.
Page 5 - If it were fill'd with your most high deserts ? Though yet, heaven knows, it is but as a tomb Which hides your life and shows not half your parts. If I could write the beauty of your eyes And in fresh numbers number all your graces, The age to come would say ' This poet lies ; Such heavenly touches ne'er touch'd earthly faces.

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About the author (2010)

Timothy Ferris's works include Seeing in the Dark, The Mind's Sky (both New York Times best books of the year), and The Whole Shebang (listed by American Scientist as one of the one hundred most influential books of the twentieth century). A fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Ferris has taught in five disciplines at four universities. He is an emeritus professor at the University of California, Berkeley and a former editor of Rolling Stone. His articles and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Vanity Fair, National Geographic, Scientific American, The Nation, The New Republic, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Book Review, and many other publications. A contributor to CNN and National Public Radio, Ferris has made three prime-time PBS television specials: The Creation of the Universe, Life Beyond Earth, and Seeing in the Dark. He lives in San Francisco.

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