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Natural History of Time

Natural History of Time

ISBN 9780226712888
Edition 1
Publication Date
Publisher University of Chicago Press
Author(s)
Overview
For most of history, people trusted mythology or religion to provide an answer to the pressing question of the earth's age, even though nature abounds with clues. In A Natural History of Time, geophysicist Pascal Richet tells the fascinating story of how scientists and philosophers examined those clues and from them built a chronological scale that has made it possible to reconstruct the history of nature itself.The quest for time is a story of ingenuity and determination, and like a geologist, Pascal Richet carefully peels back the strata of that history, giving us a chance to marvel at each layer and truly appreciate how far our knowledge— and our planet—have come.“Richet is fascinated by every speculation in the entire history of Western thought that bears upon the question of the earth's antiquity. The wonderful thing is that he succeeds in changing what might have been dry recitation into an almost Dickensian world of characters in conflict and in love.— William Bryant Logan, Globe and Mail “The story of how the age of the earth was determined is a marvelous concatenation of red herrings and presuppositions from which the truth eventually emerges. . . . I cannot imagine a better attempt at such a broad sweep through science and history. . . . Richet's natural history is—dare I say it?—timely.—Richard A. Fortey, Times Literary Supplement
Overview
For most of history, people trusted mythology or religion to provide an answer to the pressing question of the earth's age, even though nature abounds with clues. In A Natural History of Time, geophysicist Pascal Richet tells the fascinating story of how scientists and philosophers examined those clues and from them built a chronological scale that has made it possible to reconstruct the history of nature itself.The quest for time is a story of ingenuity and determination, and like a geologist, Pascal Richet carefully peels back the strata of that history, giving us a chance to marvel at each layer and truly appreciate how far our knowledge— and our planet—have come.“Richet is fascinated by every speculation in the entire history of Western thought that bears upon the question of the earth's antiquity. The wonderful thing is that he succeeds in changing what might have been dry recitation into an almost Dickensian world of characters in conflict and in love.— William Bryant Logan, Globe and Mail “The story of how the age of the earth was determined is a marvelous concatenation of red herrings and presuppositions from which the truth eventually emerges. . . . I cannot imagine a better attempt at such a broad sweep through science and history. . . . Richet's natural history is—dare I say it?—timely.—Richard A. Fortey, Times Literary Supplement

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