Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution

Author: Neil deGrasse Tyson,Donald Goldsmith

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393345777

Category: Science

Page: 352

View: 1356

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“Who can ask for better cosmic tour guides to the universe than Drs. Tyson and Goldsmith?” —Michio Kaku, author of Hyperspace and Parallel Worlds Our true origins are not just human, or even terrestrial, but in fact cosmic. Drawing on recent scientific breakthroughs and the current cross-pollination among geology, biology, astrophysics, and cosmology, ?Origins? explains the soul-stirring leaps in our understanding of the cosmos. From the first image of a galaxy birth to Spirit Rover's exploration of Mars, to the discovery of water on one of Jupiter's moons, coauthors Neil deGrasse Tyson and Donald Goldsmith conduct a galvanizing tour of the cosmos with clarity and exuberance.
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Life on a Young Planet

The First Three Billion Years of Evolution on Earth

Author: Andrew H. Knoll

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691120294

Category: Science

Page: 277

View: 2642

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Knoll explores the deep history of life from its origins on a young planet to the incredible Cambrian explosion, with the very latest discoveries in paleontology integrated with emerging insights from molecular biology and earth system science. 100 illustrations.
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Space, Time, and Aliens

Collected Works on Cosmos and Culture

Author: Steven J. Dick

Publisher: Springer Nature

ISBN: 3030416143

Category: Science

Page: 799

View: 6956

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In this comprehensive and interdisciplinary volume, former NASA Chief Historian Steven Dick reflects on the exploration of space, astrobiology and its implications, cosmic evolution, astronomical institutions, discovering and classifying the cosmos, and the philosophy of astronomy. The unifying theme of the book is the connection between cosmos and culture, or what Carl Sagan many years ago called the “cosmic connection.” As both an astronomer and historian of science, Dr. Dick has been both a witness to and a participant in many of the astronomical events of the last half century. This collection of papers presents his reflections over the last forty years in a way accessible to historians, philosophers, and scientists alike. From the search for alien life to ongoing space exploration efforts, readers will find this volume full of engaging topics relevant to science, society, and our collective future on planet Earth and beyond.
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Cosmos & Culture

Cultural Evolution in a Cosmic Context

Author: United States Govt Printing Office

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Astronomy

Page: 602

View: 6094

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From GPO Bookstore's Website: Authors with diverse backgrounds in science, history, anthropology, and more, consider culture in the context of the cosmos. How does our knowledge of cosmic evolution affect terrestrial culture? Conversely, how does our knowledge of cultural evolution affect our thinking about possible cultures in the cosmos? Are life, mind, and culture of fundamental significance to the grand story of the cosmos that has generated its own self-understanding through science, rational reasoning, and mathematics? Book includes bibliographical references and an index.
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Evolution and the Emergent Self

The Rise of Complexity and Behavioral Versatility in Nature

Author: Raymond L. Neubauer

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231521685

Category: Science

Page: 320

View: 7472

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Evolution and the Emergent Self is an eloquent and evocative new synthesis that explores how the human species emerged from the cosmic dust. Lucidly presenting ideas about the rise of complexity in our genetic, neuronal, ecological, and ultimately cosmological settings, the author takes readers on a provocative tour of modern science's quest to understand our place in nature and in our universe. Readers fascinated with "Big History" and drawn to examine big ideas will be challenged and enthralled by Raymond L. Neubauer's ambitious narrative. How did humans emerge from the cosmos and the pre-biotic Earth, and what mechanisms of biological, chemical, and physical sciences drove this increasingly complex process? Neubauer presents a view of nature that describes the rising complexity of life in terms of increasing information content, first in genes and then in brains. The evolution of the nervous system expanded the capacity of organisms to store information, making learning possible. In key chapters, the author portrays four species with high brain:body ratios—chimpanzees, elephants, ravens, and dolphins—showing how each species shares with humans the capacity for complex communication, elaborate social relationships, flexible behavior, tool use, and powers of abstraction. A large brain can have a hierarchical arrangement of circuits that facilitates higher levels of abstraction. Neubauer describes this constellation of qualities as an emergent self, arguing that self-awareness is nascent in several species besides humans and that potential human characteristics are embedded in the evolutionary process and have emerged repeatedly in a variety of lineages on our planet. He ultimately demonstrates that human culture is not a unique offshoot of a language-specialized primate, but an analogue of fundamental mechanisms that organisms have used since the beginning of life on Earth to gather and process information in order to buffer themselves from fluctuations in the environment. Neubauer also views these developments in a cosmic setting, detailing open thermodynamic systems that grow more complex as the energy flowing through them increases. Similar processes of increasing complexity can be found in the "self-organizing" structures of both living and nonliving forms. Recent evidence from astronomy indicates that planet formation may be nearly as frequent as star formation. Since life makes use of the elements commonly seeded into space by burning and expiring stars, it is reasonable to speculate that the evolution of life and intelligence that happened on our planet may be found across the universe.
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Galaxy

Mapping the Cosmos

Author: James Geach

Publisher: Reaktion Books

ISBN: 1780233965

Category: Science

Page: 256

View: 5480

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Each night, we are able to gaze up at the night sky and look at the thousands of stars that stretch to the end of our individual horizons. But the stars we see are only those that make up our own Milky Way galaxy—but one of hundreds of billions in the whole of the universe, each separated by inconceivably huge tracts of empty space. In this book, astronomer James Geach tells the rich stories of both the evolution of galaxies and our ability to observe them, offering a fascinating history of how we’ve come to realize humanity’s tiny place in the vast universe. Taking us on a compelling tour of the state-of-the-art science involved in mapping the infinite, Geach offers a first-hand account of both the science itself and how it is done, describing what we currently know as well as that which we still do not. He goes back one hundred years to when scientists first proved the existence of other galaxies, tracking our continued improvement in the ability to collect and interpret the light that stars in faraway galaxies have emitted through space and time. He discusses examples of this rapidly accelerating research, from the initial discovery that the faint “spiral nebulae” were actually separate star systems located far beyond the Milky Way to the latest observations of the nature of galaxies and how they have evolved. He also delves into the theoretical framework and simulations that describe our current “world model” of the universe. With one hundred superb color illustrations, Galaxy is an illuminating guide to the choreography of the cosmos and how we came to know our place within it that will appeal to any stargazer who has wondered what was beyond their sight.
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Neil deGrasse Tyson

Author: Jennifer Culp

Publisher: The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc

ISBN: 1477776923

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Page: 112

View: 5383

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A black teenager in the ‘70s-era Bronx was fascinated by space and frequently took his telescope up to the rooftop. But his neighbors were frightened, thinking he was an armed burglar. They called the police. In the mid-1990s, this same person was named Director of the American Museum of Natural History’s world-renowned Hayden Planetarium. This enthralling biography of Neil deGrasse Tyson, America’s favorite astrophysicist, takes the reader from the hardscrabble streets of the inner city to the hallowed halls of science to the outer reaches of our galaxy and beyond. As this inspiring volume attests, Tyson’s life beautifully illustrates the maxim “through adversity to the stars.”
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Time Travel in Einstein's Universe

The Physical Possibilities of Travel Through Time

Author: J. Richard Gott

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 9780618257355

Category: Science

Page: 291

View: 1094

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A leading astrophysicist takes time travel science fiction to science fact, speculating on the real possibility that temporal navigation might be within the grasp of humanity. Reprint.
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Religions in the Making

Whitehead and the Wisdom Traditions of the World

Author: John B. Cobb

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 1621894843

Category: Religion

Page: 250

View: 3331

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Whitehead had a place for God in his comprehensive cosmological vision, and his theism has long attracted interest from some Christian theologians. But Whitehead's ideas have much wider use. Some Buddhists have found help in articulating their nontheistic vision and relating it to the current world of thought and action. In this book religious writers in seven different traditions articulate how they can benefit from Whitehead's work. So this volume demonstrates that various features of his thought can contribute to many communities. According to his followers, Whitehead shows that the deepest convictions and commitments of the major religious communities can be complementary rather than in conflict. Readers of this book will see how that plays out in some detail. A Whiteheadian Hindu can recognize the truth in a Whiteheadian Judaism, and both can appreciate the insights of Chinese Whiteheadians committed to their classical thinking. Perhaps a new day in interreligious understanding has come.
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Einstein's Greatest Blunder?

The Cosmological Constant and Other Fudge Factors in the Physics of the Universe

Author: Donald Goldsmith

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674242425

Category: Science

Page: 216

View: 2765

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The Big Bang: A Big Bust? The cosmos seems to be in crisis, and you don't have to be a rocket scientist to see it. How, for instance, can the universe be full of stars far older than itself? How could space have once expanded faster than the speed of light? How can most of the matter in the universe be "missing"? And what kind of truly weird matter could possibly account for ninety percent of the universe's total mass? This brief and witty book, by the award-winning science writer Donald Goldsmith, takes on these and other key questions about the origin and evolution of the cosmos. By clearly laying out what we currently know about the universe as a whole, Goldsmith lets us see firsthand, and judge for ourselves, whether modern cosmology is in a state of crisis. Einstein's Greatest Blunder? puts the biggest subject of all--the story of the universe as scientists understand it--within the grasp of English-speaking earthlings. When Albert Einstein confronted a cosmological contradiction, in 1917, his solution was to introduce a new term, the "cosmological constant." For a time, this mathematical invention solved discrepancies between his model and the best observations available, but years later Einstein called it the "greatest blunder" of his career. And yet the cosmological constant is still alive today--it is one of the "fudge factors" employed by cosmologists to make their calculations fit the observational data. Theoretical cosmologists, shows Goldsmith, continually reshape their models in an honest (if sometimes futile) effort to explain apparent chaos as cosmic harmony--whether their specific concern is the age and expansion rate of the cosmos, hot versus cold "dark matter," the inflationary theory of the big bang, the explanation of large-scale structure, or the density and future of the universe. Engagingly written and richly illustrated with photographs taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, Einstein's Greatest Blunder? is a feast for the eye and mind.
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