In the Light of Science: Our Ancient Quest for Knowledge and the Measure of Modern PhysicsPaperback
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- Publisher: Prometheus Books
- Format: Paperback | 250 pages
- Dimensions: 152mm x 226mm x 22mm | 280g
- Publication date: 12 November 2014
- Publication City/Country: Amherst
- ISBN 10: 1615922253
- ISBN 13: 9781615922253
The birth of science in ancient Greece had a historical impact that is still being felt today. Physicist Demetris Nicolaides examines the epochal shift in thinking that led pre-Socratic philosophers of the sixth and fifth centuries BCE to abandon the prevailing mythologies of the age and, for the first time, to analyze the natural world in terms of impersonal, rationally understood principles. He argues not only that their conceptual breakthroughs anticipated much of later science but that scientists of the twenty-first century are still grappling with the fundamental problems raised twenty-five hundred years ago. Looking at the vast sweep of human history, the author delves into the factors that led to the birth of science: urbanization, the role of religion, and in Greece a progressive intellectual curiosity that was unafraid to question tradition. Why did the first scientific approach to understanding the world take place in Greece? The author makes a convincing case that, aside from factors of geography and politics, the power of the Greek language and a cultural proclivity for critical thinking played a large role. "In the Light of Science" is a unique approach to the history of science revealing the important links between the ancient past and the present scientific endeavor to understand the universe.
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Demetris Nicolaides, PhD, is an award-winning professor of physics at Bloomfield College. He has authored many scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals and presented his research at conferences nationally. He is a member of the American Physical Society and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.
"A fascinating book for the nonspecialized reader interested in a broad and new interpretation of the history of science, as well as one who is curious about science itself. It discusses key developments of human culture (and their connection to the later development of science), including urbanization, the birth of civilization, and the evolution of religions, in a unique way. And via the birth of science, 2,600 years ago, it contemplates the mind-bending science of modern times. All in all, a must-read book!" --Klimis Ntalianis, PhD, assistant professor of engineering, Technological Educational Institute of Athens, Greece "The author explores the human desire to understand the most fundamental of questions about the universe by narrating a succinct history of our species since its evolution 200,000 years ago and by taking an exciting new approach in the comparison of ancient Greek philosophy with the theories of modern physics." --Ivana Djuric, PhD, professor of physics, Passaic County Community College "The thing I find most interesting is the discussions of how modern physics builds on and thus coincides in many ways with the philosophic speculations of the ancient Greeks." --Dennis Organ, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor of English, and Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, Harding University " "