Epic of Evolution: Seven Ages of the Cosmos / Edition 1

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$80.75
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $2.38
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 97%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (15) from $2.38   
  • New (4) from $7.00   
  • Used (11) from $2.38   

Overview

How did everything around us-the air, the land, the sea, and the stars-originate? What is the source of order, form, and structure characterizing all material things? These are just some of the grand scientific questions Eric J. Chaisson, author of the classic work Cosmic Dawn, explores in his enthralling and illuminating history of the universe. Explaining new discoveries and a range of cutting-edge ideas and theories, Chaisson provides a creative and coherent synthesis of current scientific thinking on the universe's beginnings. He takes us on a tour of the seven ages of the cosmos, from the formless era of radiation through the origins of human culture. Along the way he examines the development of the most microscopic and the most immense aspects of our universe and the complex ways in which they interact.

Drawing on recent breakthroughs in astrophysics and biochemistry, Chaisson discusses the contemporary scientific view that all objects-from quarks and quasars to microbes and the human mind-are interrelated. Researchers in all the natural sciences are beginning to identify an underlying pattern penetrating the fabric of existence-a sweepingly encompassing view of the formation, structure, and function of all objects in our multitudinous universe. Moreover, as Chaisson demonstrates, by deciphering the scenario of cosmic evolution, scientists can also determine how living organisms managed to inhabit the land, generate language, and create culture.

Epic of Evolution offers a stunning view of how various changes, operating across almost incomprehensible domains of space and nearly inconceivable stretches of time and through the evolutionary combination of necessity and chance, have given rise to our galaxy, our star, our planet, and ourselves.

Columbia University Press

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Columbus Dispatch - Gary Budzak

In clear prose, Chaisson simplifies complex subjects.

Astronomy Now - Bill Barlow

A vivid picture... Even the most knowledgeable of readers can learn... This is one epic I can recommend without hesitation.

Northeastern Naturalist

A current and coherent exploration of ideas.

Booklist

Greatly appealing for exuding the scientific spirit that asks not merely what things exist but why they exist.

Columbus Dispatch
In clear prose, Chaisson simplifies complex subjects.

— Gary Budzak

Astronomy Now
A vivid picture... Even the most knowledgeable of readers can learn... This is one epic I can recommend without hesitation.

— Bill Barlow

Science Books and Film

A thoroughly enjoyable read, and I recommend it highly.

Science Books & Film

A thoroughly enjoyable read, and I recommend it highly.

Publishers Weekly
Chaisson attempts to explain the origin of the universe and the evolution of everything in it, in nontechnical terms. With such a huge topic, it's hardly surprising that he paints with broad strokes and glosses over specifics. Nonetheless, his writing is clear and his overview will both educate and entertain the average reader. Chaisson (The Hubble Wars), head of the Wright Center for Science Education at Tufts, structures his book by following the chronology of change and development in the universe, beginning with the creation of atomic particles 15 billion years ago at the time of the Big Bang. Subsequent chapters describe the evolution of galaxies, stars, planets, chemical interactions, life and human culture. Chaisson does a good job of explaining two overarching concepts. First, "all ordered systems seen in nature differ not in kind but only in degree, namely, the degree of complexity." Second, he repeatedly and articulately describes the nature of the scientific method, demonstrating how science differs from other ways of understanding the world. Given the never-ending public controversy over evolution, this point is particularly appropriate for the generalist audience. Photos and illus. (Dec.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231135603
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 11/16/2005
  • Series: Columbia Guides to Literature since 1945
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 504
  • Product dimensions: 6.44 (w) x 9.38 (h) x 1.21 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Chaisson holds research professorships in the departments of physics, astronomy, and education at Tufts University, where he directs the Wright Center for Science Education. He is the author of Cosmic Dawn: The Origins of Matter and Life; Cosmic Evolution: The Rise of Complexity in Nature; and several other titles. He lives in Concord, Massachusetts.

Columbia University Press

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Prologue : cosmological overview 1
1 Particle epoch : simplicity fleeting 47
2 Galactic epoch : hierarchy of structures 79
3 Stellar epoch : forges for elements 132
4 Planetary epoch : habitats for life 190
5 Chemical epoch : matter plus energy 248
6 Biological epoch : complexity sustained 298
7 Cultural epoch : intelligence to technology 369
Epilogue : a whole new era 433
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)