In this rich, irreverent, and compelling history, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg takes us across centuries, from ancient Miletus to medieval Baghdad and Oxford, from Plato's Academy and the Museum of Alexandria to the cathedral school of Chartres and the Royal Society of London. He shows that the scientists of ancient and medieval times not only did not understand what we understand about the world--they did not understand what there is to understand or how to understand it. Yet over the centuries, through the struggle to solve such mysteries as the curious backward movement of the planets and the rise and fall of the tides, the modern discipline of science eventually emerged. Weinberg examines the historic clashes and collaborations that happened along the way between science and the competing spheres of religion, technology, poetry, mathematics, and philosophy.
An illuminating exploration of the way we consider and analyze the world around us, To Explain the World is a sweeping, ambitious account of how difficult it was to discover the goals and methods of modern science and the impact this discovery had on human knowledge and development.
We've sent an email with your order details. Order ID #:
To access this title, visit your library in the app or on the desktop website.
How the world created a Newton
- Gary "l'enfer c'est les autres"
The undiscovered country. Explain the world indeed
This book is worthy of your time and attention. There was of course a "scientific revolution" and evidence of this is our technological society. Man is not just a toolmaking creature, he is a creature that utilizes science and the modern scientific method as a means to understand and to change the world. But this was not always so, which is part of what makes this book significant. However, at the end of the 20th century a fundamental discovery must've had a profound effect on our societies great minds and scientific institutions. And our comfortable doctors of science will be hard pressed to explain that world.
Dr Weinburg is calm and patient and fair with the great natural philosophers of the past but he also critical and tells it like it is when they are not consistent or failed to do their homework. Now consider the present day, how do the great minds and great institutions see themselves in light of the discovery of the universe, the "96%" which they failed to notice? The acceleration of the expansion which they failed to predict? Now how do they explain the world?
Tom Perkins gives me the feeling I am in the presence of Dr Weinburg.
Even when Columbus stumbled into the "new world" he did not ever realize the impact of discovery. Nor did the society of the time. Not right away. But at the end of the 20th century a few men broke through a wall to the other side, and gave all the comfortable institutions and the great men with their titles and credentials something to think about. If we were this far off the mark with the expansion and composition of the universe, what else have we missed? Why are we so limited in our ability to anticipate or provide an explanation for the acceleration of the expansion of the universe? Explain the world indeed.
What a great time to read this book with this author. If modern theoretical physics is " the Emperor" then the emperor has no clothes and must feel very naked. I feel privileged to have witnessed it. Now let's consider how biology feels about a man who wrote a program creating a new form of living cell. That's not just discovering something that already existed, that's creation of something new. That's a new world to explain.
- Patrick "I'm a man of constant sorrow, I've seen trouble all my days. I said goodbye to Cudjoe Island, Where I was content and partly raised..."