Asimov's Chronology of Science & Discovery

Asimov's Chronology of Science & Discovery

by Isaac Asimov
     
 

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Isaac Asimov's innovative exploration of the relationship between science and society over the past 4 million years.

Author Biography: To list Isaac Asimov's honors, as to list his books, would be excessive. Let it simply be noted that Isaac Asimov was the most famous, most honored, most widely read, and most beloved science fiction author of all time. In his

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Overview

Isaac Asimov's innovative exploration of the relationship between science and society over the past 4 million years.

Author Biography: To list Isaac Asimov's honors, as to list his books, would be excessive. Let it simply be noted that Isaac Asimov was the most famous, most honored, most widely read, and most beloved science fiction author of all time. In his five decades as an author, he wrote more than four hundred books, won every award his readers and colleagues could contrive to give him, and provided pleasure and insight to millions. He died in 1992, still at work.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Combining world history with scientific discoveries and inventions, Asimov illustrates, in chronological order, how science and cultural, social, and political events have affected each other. A good reference for the general reader. No bibliography. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062701138
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
01/28/1994
Pages:
800
Product dimensions:
(w) x (h) x 1.78(d)
Lexile:
1250L (what's this?)

Read an Excerpt

Science in Prehistory

(4,000,000 B.C.--3500 B.C.)

The earliest human technological advances--the fashioning of stone tools and the capture of fire were made long before Homo sapiens sapiens (modern man) evolved. Curiosity and need drove our hominid ancestors to learn about the natural world and to use it to their advantage--for food, for warmth, for protection. As early as 2,000,000 B.C.,Homo habilis not only used tools but also made them sharp-edged flints employed as knives, scrapers, and the tips of spears. Around 500,000 B.C., Homo erectus, who had improved on the first stone implements and was able to hunt mammoths and other large animals, learned how to use fire. With the control of this potent natural force, early humans gained much more than a source of warmth; they could now keep predators away and clear land, cook food, and dry hides and wood. Homo erectus also built the first crude homes. Modern man stepped onto the evolutionary stage about 50,000 B.C. By 20,000 B.C., people had invented oil lamps and were hunting with bows and arrows. By about 10,000 B.C., as the glaciers of the most recent ice age receded, human habitation had expanded to nearly all parts of the globe. In 10,000 B.C., the Earth's population was approximately 3 million. As the practice of herding animals increased and as agriculture improved, the number of humans grew to about 5 million by 8000 B.C. It is from this point on, a period of about 10,000 years, that civilization as we know it has developed. The domestication of animals (12,000 B.C.) meant that hungry humans no longer had to follow migrating herds; they could now decide wherethey would live. The cultivation of wheat and barley (8000 B.C.) gave them a food supply beyond the available local vegetation, while irrigation (5000-B.C.) expanded the areas suitable for growing. Around 7000 B.C., the invention of pottery gave rise to a new form of cooking; instead of just roasting, now there was boilingand the stew was born. Pottery was eventually made by a wheel, a device that, may have suggested the wheeled cart, first used around 13500 B.C. At roughly the same time, ploughs provided a better way to prepare the ground for growing, and river boats expanded the means and ease of transport. The earliest form of writing had evolved by 3500 B.C. This innovation was of monumental importance. In the, short term, writing meant that records could be kept, and it facilitated commerce and communication. More important, it allowed learning and literature to be accumulated and passed down from generation to generation. With the invention of Writing, the era of recorded history began.

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