Lost Discoveries: The Ancient Roots of Modern Science--from the Babylonians to the Maya

Teresi, Dick

Published by Simon & Schuster, 2003
ISBN 10: 074324379X / ISBN 13: 9780743243797
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Synopsis: Boldly challenging conventional wisdom, acclaimed science writer and Omni magazine cofounder Dick Teresi traces the origins of contemporary science back to their ancient roots in an eye-opening account and landmark work.
This innovative history proves once and for all that the roots of modern science were established centuries, and in some instances millennia, before the births of Copernicus, Galileo, and Newton. In this enlightening, entertaining, and important book, Teresi describes many discoveries from all over the non-Western world -- Sumeria, Babylon, Egypt, India, China, Africa, Arab nations, the Americas, and the Pacific islands -- that equaled and often surpassed Greek and European learning in the fields of mathematics, astronomy, cosmology, physics, geology, chemistry, and technology.
The first extensive and authoritative multicultural history of science written for a popular audience, Lost Discoveries fills a critical void in our scientific, cultural, and intellectual history and is destined to become a classic in its field.

Review: Did Nicolas Copernicus steal his notion that the earth orbited the sun from an Islamic astronomer who lived three centuries earlier? "The jury is still out," writes Dick Teresi, whose intriguing survey of the non-Western roots of modern science offers several worthy arguments that Copernicus in fact ripped off Nasir al-Din al-Tusi. Common belief is that Westerners have been the mainspring of most scientific and technical achievement, but in Lost Discoveries Teresi shows that other cultures had arrived at much of the same knowledge at earlier dates. The Babylonians were using the Pythagorean theorem at least 15 centuries before Pythagoras drew his first triangle, and in A.D. 200 a Chinese mathematician calculated an incredibly accurate value for pi. The Mayans and other Mesoamericans were outstanding sky watchers and stargazers. The greatest advances occurred in math and astronomy, though Teresi also devotes chapters to physics, geology, chemistry, technology, and even cosmology. Sometimes he is a bit overeager to ascribe great thoughts to long-dead people (he casually suggests that "many ancient cultures had inklings of quantum theory"), but on the whole his book is a reliable and fascinating guide to the unexplored field of multicultural science. --John J. Miller

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Title: Lost Discoveries: The Ancient Roots of ...
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 2003
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Used: Very Good

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