The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos
From the bestselling author of The Drunkard's Walk and Subliminal, this is the inspiring and illuminating story of how we have come to understand the world, from the invention of the very first tools to the mind-bending theories of quantum physics. Leonard Mlodinow guides us through the critical eras and events in the development of science, all of which, he demonstrates, were propelled forward by humankind's collective struggle to know. From the birth of reasoning and culture to the formation of the studies of physics, chemistry, biology, and modern-day quantum physics, we come to see that much of our progress can be attributed to simple questions - why? how? - bravely asked. Mlodinow profiles some of the great philosophers, scientists, and thinkers who explored these questions - Aristotle, Galileo, Newton, Darwin, Einstein and Lavoisier among them - and makes clear that just as science has played a key role in shaping the patterns of human thought, human subjectivity has played a key role in the evolution of science. At once authoritative and accessible, and infused with the author's trademark wit, this deeply insightful book is a stunning tribute to humanity's intellectual curiosity.
The Upright Thinkers playfully tracks the evolution of man's understanding of the world over millions of years... An accessible and engaging read that brings science's brilliant minds to life Financial Times Mlodinow never fails to make science both accessible and entertaining -- Stephen Hawking, author of A Brief History of Time An entrancing tale of scientific history... Mlodinow provides many cultural touchstones and tells personal stories, both poignant and amusing, about his experiences as a theoretical physicist to draw us even closer to the history Washington Post Mlodinow is an engaging narrator who leavens the proceedings with a mischievous wit Wall Street Journal An audacious encapsulation of our species' trek from savannah to city Nature Mlodinow vividly traces the revolutions in thought and culture that define our civilization and, as a bonus, presents a stimulating overview of the history and majestic sweep of modern science -- V. S. Ramachandran, author of The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist's Quest for What Makes Us Human An enjoyable and readable introduction to the history of western science, beginning with the first stone tools and ending in the era of quantum physics. Mlodinow takes us on a tour of some of the high points of scientific discovery from Egyptian and Mesopotamian mathematics, to Pythagoras and Aristotle, to the classical era of Galileo and Newton, and finally to the strange worlds of Einsteinian relativity and the uncertainty principle, which taught us how to study worlds beyond the reach of our everyday senses David Christian, co-author of Big History: Between Nothing and Everything