Cosmos

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RETURNING TO TELEVISION AS AN ALL-NEW MINISERIES ON FOX
 
Cosmos is one of the bestselling science books of all time. In clear-eyed prose, Sagan reveals a jewel-like blue world inhabited by a life form that is just beginning to discover its own identity and to venture into the vast ocean of space. Cosmos retraces the fourteen billion years of cosmic evolution that have transformed matter into consciousness, exploring such topics as the origin of life, the human brain, Egyptian hieroglyphics, spacecraft missions, the death of the Sun, the evolution of galaxies, and the forces and individuals who helped to shape modern science.
 
Praise for Cosmos
 
“Magnificent . . . With a lyrical literary style, and a range that touches almost all aspects of human knowledge, Cosmos often seems too good to be true.”The Plain Dealer
 
“Sagan is an astronomer with one eye on the stars, another on history, and a third—his mind’s—on the human condition.”Newsday
 
“Brilliant in its scope and provocative in its suggestions . . . shimmers with a sense of wonder.”The Miami Herald
 
“Sagan dazzles the mind with the miracle of our survival, framed by the stately galaxies of space.”Cosmopolitan
 
“Enticing . . . iridescent . . . imaginatively illustrated.”The New York Times Book Review

NOTE: This edition does not include images.
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In the final book of his astonishing career, Carl Sagan brilliantly examines the burning questions of our lives, our world, and the universe around us.

These luminous, entertaining essays travel both the vastness of the cosmos and the intimacy of the human mind, posing such fascinating questions as how did the universe originate and how will it end, and how can we meld science and compassion to meet the challenges of the coming century? Here, too, is a rare, private glimpse of Sagan’s thoughts about love, death, and God as he struggled with fatal disease.

Ever forward-looking and vibrant with the sparkle of his unquenchable curiosity, Billions & Billions is a testament to one of the great scientific minds of our day.

Praise for Billions & Billions

“[Sagan’s] writing brims with optimism, clarity and compassion.”—Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel

“Sagan used the spotlight of his fame to illuminate the abyss into which stupidity, greed, and the lust for power may yet dump us. All of those interests and causes are handsomely represented in Billions & Billions.”—The Washington Post Book World

“Astronomer Carl Sagan didn’t live to see the millennium, but he probably has done more than any other popular scientist to prepare us for its arrival.”—Atlanta Journal & Constitution

“Billions & Billions can be interpreted as the Silent Spring for the current generation. . . . Human history includes a number of leaders with great minds who gave us theories about our universe and origins that ran contrary to religious dogma. Galileo determined that the Earth revolved around the Sun, not the other way around. Darwin challenged Creationism with his Evolution of Species. And now, Sagan has given the world its latest challenge: Billions & Billions.”—San Antonio Express-News

“[Sagan’s] inspiration and boundless curiosity live on in the gift of his work.”—Seattle Times & Post-Intelligencer

“Couldn’t stay awake in your high school science classes? This book can help fill in the holes. Acclaimed scientist Carl Sagan combines his logic and knowledge with wit and humor to make a potentially dry subject enjoyable to read.”—The Dallas Morning News
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Additional Information

Publisher
Ballantine Books
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Published on
Jul 6, 2011
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Pages
352
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ISBN
9780307800985
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Science / Cosmology
Science / Earth Sciences / Meteorology & Climatology
Science / Reference
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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This is a book about the mystery and the passion, the imagination, religion, and poetry, the philosophy, the intellectual flights—and, above all, the people—that have created the science of astronomy, from Thales of Miletus predicting eclipses in the sixth century B.C. to today’s scientists probing the cosmic significance of the mysterious “black holes” discovered in 1970.  With authority and charm, the distinguished Harvard astronomer Charles A. Whitney here re-creates the lives and temperaments of the great astronomers and retraces the ingenious arguments, the feats of observation and deduction, and the leaps of intuition by which they have gradually unveiled a picture of the universe and have brought us to an understanding of our own planet’s place in it.  Among them:
 
KEPLER, searching the solar system for visible evidence of the transcendent order he believed in
GALILEO, constructing the first telescope and proposing the concept of universal gravitation
NEWTON, paragon of logic, paradoxically driven by an unshakable belief in himself as God’s appointed prophet to create a world of mathematical certainty and thus expose the wonder of his Father in Heaven
WILLIAM HERSCHEL, the nineteenth-century German who may well be considered the father of modern astronomy, first man to chart the nebulae
EDWIN HUBBLE, in the present century, discovering and exploring galaxies beyond our own
 
Finally, Professor Whitney makes clear for the layman the fascinating problems astronomers wrestle with today: the mysterious nature of quasars, strange cosmic bodies discovered in 1963; the unknown forces behind cataclysmic explosions recently glimpsed in other galaxies; the elusive nature of “interstellar dust”; the eternal question of how it all began.
A prescient warning of a future we now inhabit, where fake news stories and Internet conspiracy theories play to a disaffected American populace

“A glorious book . . . A spirited defense of science . . . From the first page to the last, this book is a manifesto for clear thought.”—Los Angeles Times

How can we make intelligent decisions about our increasingly technology-driven lives if we don’t understand the difference between the myths of pseudoscience and the testable hypotheses of science? Pulitzer Prize-winning author and distinguished astronomer Carl Sagan argues that scientific thinking is critical not only to the pursuit of truth but to the very well-being of our democratic institutions.

Casting a wide net through history and culture, Sagan examines and authoritatively debunks such celebrated fallacies of the past as witchcraft, faith healing, demons, and UFOs. And yet, disturbingly, in today's so-called information age, pseudoscience is burgeoning with stories of alien abduction, channeling past lives, and communal hallucinations commanding growing attention and respect. As Sagan demonstrates with lucid eloquence, the siren song of unreason is not just a cultural wrong turn but a dangerous plunge into darkness that threatens our most basic freedoms.

Praise for The Demon-Haunted World

“Powerful . . . A stirring defense of informed rationality. . . Rich in surprising information and beautiful writing.”—The Washington Post Book World

“Compelling.”—USA Today

“A clear vision of what good science means and why it makes a difference. . . . A testimonial to the power of science and a warning of the dangers of unrestrained credulity.”—The Sciences

“Passionate.”—San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle
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