To: Lonesome in Massachussets
Thanks for mentioning Koestler. The Sleepwalkers is a great read!!
posted on 09/09/2003 9:10:08 PM PDT
by moni kerr
(Lead, follow or get the hell out of the way)
To: moni kerr
>> The Sleepwalkers is a great read!!
Unfortunately it is very uneven. He avoids the breathlessly hagiographic style that mars so much of popular histories of science. (E.g., Dava Sobel). The accounts of Ptolemic and pre-Ptolemic astronomy are a little too superficial and muddled. I don't think he appreciates Ptolemy's accomplishments. He doesn't hit his stide until he gets to Copernicus. He's in love with Kepler and his treatment is superb. He tries to knock Galileo off his pedestal. It is interesting to see someone defending the Jesuits and the Pope and quite adroitly, at that. Tycho is underdeveloped, but the chapters on Newton and classical physics give the impression of being unfinished and modern physics, i.e., Einstein, are little more than a very rough outline.
Unlike so many popularizers of the history of science (e.g., Dava Sobel), he seems to have more than a rudimentary grasp of the subject. I agree, on balance, it's a great read.
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson