COSMOS Paperback – 11 August 1983 by Carl Sagan (Author)

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  • COSMOS Paperback – 11 August 1983 by Carl Sagan (Author)


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      COSMOS Paperback – 11 August 1983 by Carl Sagan (Author)


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      Product description


      This book made me fall in love with physics, which – as I always hated science at school – is no mean feat. It looks at everything from ancient Egypt to the possibility of alien life. Pop science at its best — Matt Haig

      ** ‘Enticing, imaginative, readable, iridescent ― The New York TIMES

      Book Description

      * The story of cosmic evolution, science and civilisation
      Dimensions 2.8 × 12.9 cm
      Publisher ‏

      ‎ Abacus; Latest Edition (11 August 1983)

      Language ‏

      ‎ English

      Paperback ‏

      ‎ 416 pages

      ISBN-10 ‏

      ‎ 0349107033

      ISBN-13 ‏

      ‎ 978-0349107035

      Item Weight ‏

      ‎ 324 g

      Dimensions ‏

      ‎ 20 x 2.8 x 12.9 cm

      Country of Origin ‏

      ‎ United Kingdom

      Based on 10 reviews

      4.22 Overall
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      10 reviews for COSMOS Paperback – 11 August 1983 by Carl Sagan (Author)

      1. M Umar

        There is nothing much to hate it. It’s The Best and most beautiful book I’ve ever read. This book takes you on a voyage from the big band to the evolution of civilization to the end of life and beyond. Definitely recommend for Science Lovers.

      2. Sushil Roy

        Amazingly written and is good to read and to know how minuscule we are and our earth in this universe and hence will make you understand that we are not as important as we think and hence we should take ourselves lightly and should enjoy our life to the fullest as we are lucky to be born on this earth.

      3. Anand

        Interesting but quite difficult read..

      4. Rana Pratap Singh

        I’m all inspired by Carl Sagan’s TV series COSMOS. That’s why I’m going to read this book too..Cover is nice but paper and printing quality is below average.

      5. mashhood

        A a book with lots of information related to science and evolution

      6. Ashok Krishna

        We humans have come a long way. From the days we were wandering the planet looking little different from our primate cousins, to these modern times where we take for granted technologies that would have been equated to magic just a century or so ago, we humans have made amazing progress. Science is what brought us here and science is what is going to help us evolve in the days ahead too. Science helped us see things as they are, dispelled our fears, gave us hope, made us discover fire and invent the wheel – two of the most important findings till today.While science may not have solved all our queries yet – and raises as many demons as it lays to rest – it makes genuine, continuous efforts to arrive at the Truth. Armed with science, we humans have started exploring all around us. From the microcosmic wonders of atoms to the mega marvels of Universe, science has lifted many veils and shown us things beyond our limited understanding. Scientists like Carl Sagan have played an important role in lifting those veils, not only by their direct contribution to the sciences, but also through their ability to communicate such esoteric wisdom to the masses, to laymen that are keen on understanding their surroundings but limited in their ability to do so.Books like ‘The Origin of Species’ remain special, not just because they tell us about groundbreaking discoveries, but also due to their telling it in a language that we, the laypersons, can understand. While ‘Cosmos’ by Carl Sagan may not be as earth-shattering as ‘The Origin of Species’, it is special by its own right. Written nearly four decades ago, co-developed with a television series of the same name, this book was produced with the idea of popularizing the sciences, especially astronomy, among the masses. To the uninitiated but curious mind, this book is the ideal beginning into the wonderous realms of the cosmos. This book is to the budding astronomer what the alphabets and the arithmetic are to the young child.From the ancient budding of scientific thoughts at the Ionian islands to the then-latest launching of space missions like Voyager-2, Carl Sagan takes each stage in the evolution of science as we know it, elaborates on the circumstances prevailing at those times, enumerates important contributions by various scientists. The real fun is his doing all this in an interesting, pacey manner, without letting the reader feel bored even once. After helping us navigate the unimaginably vast expanse of our Universe and showing us the wonders of our solar system, stars, planets, galaxies and the bleak black holes along the way, Sagan ends the book with philosophical musings on the future of mankind on this nuclear era and the possibilities of our encountering extra-terrestrial intelligence.This is not just a book on astronomy. Burgeoning with interesting details on history, evolution, atomic science and mathematics, this is one complete book that every mind passionate about learning must possess.

      7. Shikha

        Good one !! Must have for a cosmology lover.

      8. Avaneet Soni

        Very poor quality paper and equally bad quality print.

      9. “Dr. Z” Richard Zeile

        Too Religious for MeFish are surrounded and sustained by water and thus take no notice of it. Similarly, humans often overlook that in which they live and move and have their being. One of the most brilliant of these is Carl Sagan, author of “Cosmos”, one of the best-selling science books of the last century.This volume grew out of the 13 episode series made for PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) which featured doctored/colorized photos and depictions of outer space. I don’t mean that they are faked: but just as a geologist polishes a rock to reveal a pattern, or as a woodworker uses stain to bring out the grain of wood (adding color that was not there before) , so these space photos were prepared for visual brilliance. But the content of the book may be best described as science-fiction, beginning with solid and established science, then speculation based off of that, and then imagination- what could have happened. Here, the conceivable is mistaken for evidence.The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition defines “cosmology” as:1) The study of the physical universe considered as a totality of phenomena in time and space;2) The astrophysical study of the history, structure, and constituent dynamics of the universe; and3) A specific theory or model of this structure and these dynamics.Note the assumption that the physical universe is “a totality,” a questionable or at least an unclear idea in view of the “Light Cone” concept, popularized by Stephen Hawking, the idea that no event can be affected by things beyond its light cone (since nothing can travel beyond the speed of light). Furthermore, the concept of history and even dynamics can at best be inferred and the quality of those inferences may be open to question, based on scientific theories. Again, as Hawking pointed out, all we know about physics is based on two theories, relativity and quantum mechanics, and these are inconsistent (they contradict each other is certain aspects).Our Author imagines that his conception of the universe is greater than that of religion because he has learned to count higher than than others. He is impressed that he has discovered billions of galaxies and is sure that some of them have intelligent life. He assumes that the laws of physics are everywhere the same, a useful assumption but how much does this reveal about physics on/in the sun? And if conditions so close to home are inexplicable (though there are theories), how can we assume with as much confidence (con-with; fidence- faith) as our Author manifests that our understanding of physics apply light years away? Our understanding of physics necessarily presumes metaphysical assumptions, to which our Author is oblivious (at least in this book) as is the fish to water.One example is the eternity of matter, a useful assumption, but this presumes a metaphysic and assumes the cosmos is a closed system where energy/matter cannot be created or destroyed. Can this be tested, the criterion of true science that our Author posits as the true validation of science? It cannot, not without leaving the closed system and then the would-be tester becomes a fish out of water (figuratively speaking) which cannot live outside the system that sustains him.Since test-ability is our Author’s own measure for science, much of what he asserts in the book falls short of this. Much of the speculation both as to the past and the future is not testable and qualify as fiction. It may be compelling fiction, appealing to some of our deepest sensibilities, wonder, awe, beauty, resonating with deep primal instincts, but here we have left the realm of rational science and wandered into myth, the realm of the subjective. It was all too religious for me.This is a prime example of what I have sometimes referred to as “PBS paganism,” the popularization (at public expense) of post-Christian values and beliefs, the dismissal of the latter as outmoded and the glamorization of the former. The unspoken assumption is that of progress. We know more and can do more than we could before. This increase in power does change the conditions in which we live. The shift from muscle power prior to the industrial revolution to machine power afterward enabled an economic parity for women who could operate a machine as easily as a man, and thus a movement for social equality. Whether this is progress or not depends on what is counted as evidence, what we are measuring, what pre-formed concepts we bring.One of the pre-formed concepts exhibited in Cosmos is the notion of science as empiricism, and the argument that the ancient Ionian Greeks pioneered this type of thought. Yet in 1942 Oxford professor F. M. Cornford pointed out the dogmatic features of Ionian science, such as Anaximander’s doctrine that heated things expand and cooled things contract. We may applaud this insight, except that he specifically applied this to water which he could have tested by placing a jar of it outside on a frosty night, and observed that it, in fact, expanded and broke the jar. This is not to deny the Ionian achievement, recognized by Aristotle, of examining physis (the nature of a thing) utilizing math to identify patterns (ratio/rational), the same chain of insights which led to the affirmation of monotheism rather than polytheism’s anthropomorphic/mythological explanations of phenomena. But the Ionian “science” is not what Cosmos claims it is, grounded in observation and tested by experience/experiment. Our Author credits the Ionians with coming up with the concept of the atom, but fails to note that their concept was that atoms were irreducible parts of matter, a concept we have long discarded in favor of sub-atomic particles and atom splitting.Toward the end of the book, our author waxes eloquent about multiple universe-theory and arguments that there are many (infinite!) parallel worlds, a clear case of the boundary between imagination and reality becoming permeable, if not overlooked altogether. We return to the path from which we departed, that of mythology based on imagination and speculation about what is fundamentally untestable. When science becomes religion, it loses its perspective, though it may address some of the human longings for faith and wonder which traditional religion satisfies, but certain intellectual elites deny themselves on principle. Though I learned some science from this volume, it was altogether too religious for me.I listened to the audio book narrated by many readers but largely by LeVar Burton of PBS “Reading Rainbow.” His pace and clarity were excellent but just a mite cloying at times when the text called for enthusiasm, wonder, or fervor.

      10. Chuck Durang

        Lyrical and illuminating!Rereading this marvelous book àfter all these years reminded me of the joys of science and poetry, and curiosity. Cautioñary but inspiring.

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