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    Lost Discoveries: The Multicultural Roots of Modern Science from the Babylonians to the Maya (Hardback) By (author) Dick Teresi

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    Description"Lost Discoveries," Dick Teresi's innovative history of science, explores the unheralded scientific breakthroughs from peoples of the ancient world -- Babylonians, Egyptians, Indians, Africans, New World and Oceanic tribes, among others -- and the non-European medieval world. They left an enormous heritage in the fields of mathematics, astronomy, cosmology, physics, geology, chemistry, and technology. The mathematical foundation of Western science is a gift from the Indians, Chinese, Arabs, Babylonians, and Maya. The ancient Egyptians developed the concept of the lowest common denominator, and they developed a fraction table that modern scholars estimate required 28,000 calculations to compile. The Babylonians developed the first written math and used a place-value number system. Our numerals, 0 through 9, were invented in ancient India; the Indians also boasted geometry, trigonometry, and a kind of calculus. Planetary astronomy as well may have begun with the ancient Indians, who correctly identified the relative distances of the known planets from the sun, and knew the moon was nearer to the earth than the sun was. The Chinese observed, reported, dated, recorded, and interpreted eclipses between 1400 and 1200 b.c. Most of the names of our stars and constellations are Arabic. Arabs built the first observatories. Five thousand years ago, the Sumerians said the earth was circular. In the sixth century, a Hindu astronomer taught that the daily rotation of the earth on its axis provided the rising and setting of the sun. Chinese and Arab scholars were the first to use fossils scientifically to trace earth's history. Chinese alchemists realized that most physicalsubstances were merely combinations of other substances, which could be mixed in different proportions. Islamic scholars are legendary for translating scientific texts of many languages into Arabic, a tradition that began with alchemical books. In the eleventh century, Avicenna of Persia divined that outward qualities of metals were of little value in classification, and he stressed internal structure, a notion anticipating Mendeleyev's periodic chart of elements. Iron suspension bridges came from Kashmir, printing from India; papermaking was from China, Tibet, India, and Baghdad; movable type was invented by Pi Sheng in about 1041; the Quechuan Indians of Peru were the first to vulcanize rubber; Andean farmers were the first to freeze-dry potatoes. European explorers depended heavily on Indian and Filipino shipbuilders, and collected maps and sea charts from Javanese and Arab merchants. The first comprehensive, authoritative, popularly written, multicultural history of science, "Lost Discoveries" fills a crucial gap in the history of science.


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    Title
    Lost Discoveries
    Subtitle
    The Multicultural Roots of Modern Science from the Babylonians to the Maya
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Dick Teresi
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 453
    Width: 163 mm
    Height: 242 mm
    Thickness: 36 mm
    Weight: 1 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780684837185
    ISBN 10: 0684837188
    Classifications

    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T8.0
    B&T Merchandise Category: GEN
    B&T Book Type: NF
    BIC E4L: SCI
    BIC subject category V2: PDX
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 05
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 01
    B&T General Subject: 710
    BISAC V2.8: SCI034000
    B&T Approval Code: A50120000
    BISAC V2.8: HIS002000
    LC subject heading: , ,
    DC22: 509.3
    DC21: 509.3
    LC classification: Q124.95 .T47 2002, Q124.95.T4
    Publisher
    SIMON & SCHUSTER
    Imprint name
    SIMON & SCHUSTER
    Publication date
    01 November 2002
    Publication City/Country
    New York
    Review quote
    Leon Lederman Winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics and coauthor of "The God Particle" Wow, Teresi's "Lost Discoveries" is a romp through the history of mathematics, astronomy, cosmology, physics, geology, chemistry, and technology. Teresi must have pored through tons of ancient manuscripts and scholarly compendia to unearth a rich mine of historical achievements of largely non-Western civilizations that preceded and enabled the Golden Age of Greece. For science buffs who are curious about 'How do we know?' and 'How did we learn?' this is a spectacular canvas, and it illuminates the power of cultural diversity. Yes, there were peaks in the progress of science, but today science is the only universal culture, the same in the West, East, North, and South. Teresi's important book helps to explain why.