The Joy of Science
This book, by a practicing and successful scientist, explores why questions arise in science and looks at how questions are tackled, what constitutes a valid answer, and why. The author does not bog down the reader in technical details or lists of facts to memorize. Instead, he places the questions in their historical and cultural context, ranging from the earliest intimations that the earth had a long history to current controversies, even describing the origins, challenges, and promises of modern molecular biology. Addressing issues as complex as radiocarbon dating and how we know that DNA is a double helix, he uses examples, illustrations, and descriptions that all students should be able to grasp ('Were there kangaroos in Noah's Ark?'; 'Molecular Biology Ain't Rocket Science'). He gives the reader a sense of why a scientist feels always 'like the child called to the stage to watch the magician do his trick'. The author's thesis is that scientific logic is an extension of the common human logic used by everyone on a daily basis, and that it can and should be understood by everyone.
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