On Being

On Being : A scientist's exploration of the great questions of existence

3.52 (155 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

In this scientific 'Credo', Peter Atkins considers the universal questions of origins, endings, birth, and death to which religions have claimed answers. With his usual economy, wit, and elegance, unswerving before awkward realities, Atkins presents what science has to say. While acknowledging the comfort some find in belief, he declares his own faith in science's capacity to reveal the deepest truths.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 128 pages
  • 130 x 196 x 11mm | 141g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0199660549
  • 9780199660544
  • 81,745

Table of contents

Prologue ; 1. Creation ; 2. Evolution ; 3. Birth ; 4. Death ; 5. Ending ; Epilogue
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Review Text

Review from previous edition Few can match the chiselled beauty of Peter Atkins's prose as he reflects on the nature of life and death, of beginnings and endings, urging us to put away comforting myths, and face into the keen wind of understanding which only science can bring. Richard Dawkins
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Review quote

An effortless read - a real page turner. * BBC Focus * Peter Atkins answers...succinctly and elegantly. * Nature * genuine enjoyment * Times Higher Education Supplement * a paean to science * Times Literary Supplement * On Being is crisp with good sense, clear with scientific knowledge effortlessly imparted, and delicious with the sort of wit that makes you stop and put the book down just to enjoy it the more fully: the heaven of believers as 'a kind of celestial Poundbury', for example. It presents a vision of life and death, of matter and space and time, that is honest and consistent and miracle-free, except for the living and totally material miracle that is science and
the scientific method. There's a level, unpretending, translucent nobility in this vision, and I admire it enormously. * Philip Pullman * On Being is a delight to read. Who else can cover the grand sweep of existence with such clarity and wit as Peter Atkins? The text sparkles with lively metaphors and arresting insights. Even death comes alive in the hands of this master expositor! * Paul Davies * Review from previous edition Few can match the chiselled beauty of Peter Atkins's prose as he reflects on the nature of life and death, of beginnings and endings, urging us to put away comforting myths, and face into the keen wind of understanding which only science can bring. * Richard Dawkins *
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About Peter Atkins

Peter Atkins is the author of about 70 books, including the world-renowned and widely used Physical Chemistry, now in its 10th edition. He won the Grady-Stack award for science journalism in 2016. After graduating from the University of Leicester and a post-doctoral year in the University of California, Los Angeles, he returned to Oxford in 1965 as Fellow of Lincoln College and University Lecturer (later Professor) in physical chemistry. He retired in 2007,
but continues to write and lecture worldwide.
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Rating details

155 ratings
3.52 out of 5 stars
5 21% (33)
4 33% (51)
3 29% (45)
2 11% (17)
1 6% (9)
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