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Struggle to Understand: A History of Human Wonder & Discovery

Corben, Herbert C.

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ISBN 10: 1591023858 / ISBN 13: 9781591023852
Published by Prometheus Books 2008-03-14, 2008
New Condition: New Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Struggle to Understand: A History of Human ...

Publisher: Prometheus Books 2008-03-14

Publication Date: 2008

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:New

About this title


"A highly readable history of human ideas, Corben's book traces the development of modern scientific concepts from antiquity to the present. His primary theme is the ultimate triumph of truth over misguided intellectual despotism, both secular and sacred." -Booklist
"For thousands of years, our ancestors pursued the spiritual and intellectual quests of trying to understand the world that surrounds us and the world that lies within . . . We shall trace these . . . ideas through their successes and failures, through brilliant developments obstinately opposed or ignored, the lucky guesses, the incorrect hypotheses strongly clung to, and the personal dangers that were the rewards of many scholars who struggled to understand them . . .

"Our ancestors made serious mistakes in their efforts to understand natural phenomena; they got hung up for centuries on what we see as ridiculous ideas, and carried out research (as we do, even if very careful) with one hand tied by their own prejudices and the other bound by the beliefs of their contemporaries. But they were just as smart as people are today. They did not have the benefit of a modern education, and even now those who have had that opportunity and have not learned from it are back with them in the Dark Ages of superstition, peddling their beliefs in astrology, numerology, and the literal truth of every word in the book of Genesis . . .

"Just as surely as democracy is wary of dictators, so intellectual democracy must be wary of intellectual dictators who destroy freedom of thought in themselves and their own children and would like to do the same thing to others." - FROM THE PREFACE

From Library Journal:

Corben, a retired theoretical physicist, attempts to present the entire history of religion, superstition, and science in this one volume. Such an ambitious goal unfortunately leads to information overload at the expense of cogent analysis. Corben's version of the human quest for knowledge is long on names, dates, and places but short on reasons, meanings, and insights. Insufficient space is given to explaining why religion and science have such a peculiar history of mutual antagonism. Since much of the material in this book is taken from some of the standard reference works in science, religion, and Western history, most libraries will do well to skip this well-intentioned but superfluous treatise.
- Eric Hinsdale, Simmons Coll. Graduate Sch. of Management Lib., Boston
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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