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Book Cosmos: The Story of Cosmic Evolution, Science and Civilisation

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Cosmos: The Story of Cosmic Evolution, Science and Civilisation

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Cosmos: The Story of Cosmic Evolution, Science and Civilisation.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Carl Sagan(Author)

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* Spacecraft missions to nearby planets* The Library of ancient Alexandria* The human brain* Egyptian hieroglyphics* The origin of life* The death of the sun* The evolution of galaxies* The origins of matter, suns and worldsThe story of fifteen billion years of cosmic evolution transforming matter and life into consciousness, of how science and civilisation grew up together, and of the forces and individuals who helped shape modern science. A story told with Carl Sagan's remarkable ability to make scientific ideas both comprehensible and exciting.

** 'Enticing, imaginative, readable, iridescent * The New York TIMES * This book made me fall in love with physics, which - as I always hated science at school - is no mean feat. It looks at everything from ancient Egypt to the possibility of alien life. Pop science at its best -- Matt Haig Sagan was Dir. of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies & David Duncan Prof. of Astronomy & Space Sciences at Cornell University.He played a leading role in the Mariner, Viking & Voyage expeditions to the planets & was a recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for literature. He died in 1996.

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Book details

  • PDF | 416 pages
  • Carl Sagan(Author)
  • Abacus (August 11, 1983)
  • English
  • 8
  • Science & Math

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Review Text

  • By Nichanan Kesonpat on January 6, 2017

    What a privilege and joy it was to have read this book. I made my way through it rather slowly because it was so packed full of historical anecdotes, scientific findings, and thought-provoking insights that I needed a break every chapter or so to let ideas mentally sink in. In 13 chapters, Dr Sagan gives us a glimpse into all scales of space and time. From the Big Bang to the formation of the stars and the Earth, through the painstaking evolutionary process that resulted in human beings, to millenia beyond our time where interstellar travel may be a viable means of commute. From quarks to complex molecules to planets, supernovae and black holes, to the idea of an infinite hierarchy of universes, all nested within one another.This book is far beyond an ordinary astronomy general interest read. Its contents incorporate genetics, ancient history, chemical biology, sociology, religion, human psychology and philosophy... Dr Sagan weaves these realms together in the context of the Cosmos, and raises intriguing questions about hypothetical alternate turn of events as well as where we (humankind) go from here. He pays homage to the brilliant minds whose work and courage has contributed to our current technical capabilities. From Erastosthenes' astute calculation of the Earth's circumference, to Kepler’s observations, to Einstein's special theory of relativity (and those in between: Huygens, Brahe, Newton, Champollion etc.), Sagan not only highlights their contribution, but discusses the societal circumstances that these individuals found themselves in. In doing so, he invokes a scrutiny of our current societal climate and behaviors. Are we doing our best to build and maintain a society that values the pursuit of knowledge over one that may eventually crumble under self-destructive greed? Are we investing an adequate amount of resources (both monetary and intellect) on constructive, self-preserving causes? Sagan goes as far as to compare government spendings on military weapons with scientific research funding, and demonstrates how far will have still to go before our loyalties are united not just within nation-states, but as a species of Planet Earth.Dr Sagan’s intrigues are not limited to Western ways of thinking. Instead, he pays deep respect to the cultures, achievements, and creation myths around the world - this was done through anecdotes from ancient Chinese, Egyptian, and Indian history as well as various tribal accounts. By doing so, he demonstrates that human intrigue has more in common than we may first assume. The early civilizations around the Earth, long before they knew of one another, independently devised theories about how we came to be based on their observations of the heavens. These were passed on to their descendants through subsequent generations ultimately resulting in what we may believe or know of today.I wonder what Dr Sagan would have thought about the state of the world today… recent election results, SpaceX, virtual reality, artificial intelligence/machine learning, Kepler missions, CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing, instability in the Middle East, the Higgs Boson… My guess is that he would simultaneously be alarmed that we are STILL arguing whether or not climate change is a problem, and amazed at our technological achievements with the internet and a legitimate goal to visit Mars. I would without a doubt recommend this book to everyone. A scientific degree is not necessary to fully appreciate the lesson and message that this book conveys. Dr Sagan’s literary style is not only comprehensible but so finely depicts his deep passion for the sciences that it is almost poetic. After having read the book, one could truly dwell on what we can do to unify ourselves as citizens of Planet Earth, with a mutual interest of survival, pursuit of interplanetary/interstellar travel and constant discovery of what our universe has to offer.

  • By vikki on July 21, 2016

    I read this book when it was first published. Although many advancements have been made in the methods of viewing the universe, the content in this book remains relevant. Some answers to our questions have been answered only to lead to more questions. He thought that maybe most stars had planetary systems, and we now know that to be true. The possibility of trillions of planets leads us to believe many now have or have had intelligent beings. I like his books because he writes for the laymen and is easy to understand. It opens our eyes to the many wonders of our universe. It is very educational.Ruby Seifert(Vicki)

  • By Nojokes on February 16, 2018

    An old fart now, I read this book when it first came out a BILLION, BILLION years ago. I was young then. We had to slay dinosaurs for food. I was a Marine sergeant at the time and forced my young charges to watch the PBS series once a week on the barrack's TV. They loved it. In a lot of ways, Carl Sagan shaped my life. I had always been interested in astronomy and cosmology. My first memory as a young child is seeing the Moon in the sky. As a junior in high school biology I read his book "The Cosmic Connection", my first introduction to Sagan. I was hooked. I recently ordered this edition as a gift. I quickly read through it and was both relieved and dismayed that it hadn't been updated. It appears to be the same book. I was glad that Sagan's words hadn't been (apparently) changed. I do think that Tyson and Druyan might have added chapters that would highlight discoveries made since Sagan's death. I can't look at a picture of Mars or Jupiter without thinking of Carl Sagan. What would he have thought about the Cassini probe around Saturn, the Titan lander or New Horizons at Pluto? Uranus or Neptune? Or that his children have left the interplanetary domain and are now in interstellar space? I reordered this book again for moi. Welcome home, Carl.

  • By Abner Rosenweig on March 14, 2015

    Sagan is an incarnation of science at its best: inquisitive, rational, imaginative, honest, humble, and, most of all, full of awe at the vast splendor of the cosmos. Sagan moves back and forth through time to show the evolution of the cosmos as well as the human journey of evolving consciousness and a scientific method to understand the beauty of the natural world. One might think scientific poetry is a contradiction, but Sagan (among a few others, like Loren Eiseley) proves otherwise. Every page presents a grand tour of the cosmos almost as if we are striding through a grand version of St. Peter's Cathedral--one cannot help but emerge with an appreciation of the scale and beauty of the universe. Sagan ultimately stresses the nobility and significance of the human story within the vastness of the universe. We are the torch-bearers of consciousness, he observes, and it is our duty to the planet and all-that-is to overcome our petty conflicts and work in concert to advance into the stars. A beautiful sentiment.

  • By whj on November 11, 2017

    I also watched the video of Cosmos as I was reading this book to enhance my understanding of the subject. I am very grateful for the author as well as all the people involved in making the series. The book is superbly written, eloquent, educational, persuasive, a plea for knowledge and sanity, desperately lacking in our time of craziness and political and religions fanaticism. While I was reading, I couldn't help but feeling conflicted--finding intelligence and solace in his intelligence and sagacious mind, and then tremendous fear of current state of affairs, repeating destructive history, propelled and justified by political and religious manipulations.


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