Great Feuds in Science: Ten Disputes that Shaped the World

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Flesh wounds, beheadings, exile and disgrace may be the outcomes of great historical feuds. No less dangerous, however—to the mind, if not the body—are the great feuds in science. They result in more than regime change or the settling of political scores; they can engender new paradigms for our knowledge of the world.

Hal Hellman tells the stories of ten of the most crucial scientific disputes of the past four centuries—seismic clashes of ideas, wills, and personalities that led...

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New York 1998 NF in NF jacket Green paper over boards with green quarter binding, in green and brown illustrated wraps, 8vo. xv+240pp. Index, bibliography, notes. ... Galileo/Church, Wallis/Hobbes, Newton/Leibniz, Voltaire/Needham, Huxley/Wilberforce, Kelvin/Geologists, Cope/Marsh, Wegener/Geologists, Johanson/Leakeys, and Freeman/Mead. Book has creases from former dogears on pp.3-8. Jacket has touches of surface loss to upper tips only. All else fine: bright, tight, sharp and unmarked. In Brodart. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Flesh wounds, beheadings, exile and disgrace may be the outcomes of great historical feuds. No less dangerous, however—to the mind, if not the body—are the great feuds in science. They result in more than regime change or the settling of political scores; they can engender new paradigms for our knowledge of the world.

Hal Hellman tells the stories of ten of the most crucial scientific disputes of the past four centuries—seismic clashes of ideas, wills, and personalities that led to landmarks in the history of science: Galileo’s observations of the heavens put him dangerously at odds with Pope Urban VIII and the teachings of the Catholic Church; the claims and counterclaims of Newton and Leibniz to have invented calculus drew battle lines that lasted for generations; the “evolution wars” were touched off by fierce debates between Darwin’s impassioned ally Thomas Henry Huxley and his adversary, Bishop Samuel “Soapy Sam” Wilberforce, inflaming first Oxford and then religious and scientific communities everywhere.

But there are many less well-known but no less important disputes to be found here, among them: Edwin Cope versus Othniel Marsh in what came to be called the “Fossil Feud;” Alfred Wegener versus almost everybody, once he proposed the theory of continental drift; and more recently, Derek Freeman’s accusations of bias and flawed methodology in Margaret Mead’s celebrated research on Samoa.

Science is rarely as dull as it is portrayed. Neither are the scientists who wrestle with each other over the largest questions and play for the highest stakes. Great Feuds in Science records the friction, heat, and electricity of ten such encounters

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780760792216
  • Publisher: Barnes & Noble
  • Publication date: 5/26/2007
  • Pages: 256

Meet the Author

Hal Hellman is an acclaimed science writer with more than two dozen books to his credit, including Great Feuds in Mathematics, Great Feuds in Technology, and Great Feuds in Medicine.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2008

    Societal Terrorism Conspiracy

    The first few chapters deal with the pursuit of comparing science and how ancient (Early 1600¿s) society treated the enlightened ones and their scientific achievements. An intriguing look back at how politics and superstitions shaped early society. By the time you get to the ¿Darwin¿ chapter, the true meaning of the book comes to light. The book is nothing more than a paranoid essay emphatically promoting the ¿theory¿ of evolution as the only real, factual, intellectual, logical, and scholarly offering of which only the enlightened ones from the halls of academia could fully appreciate and comprehend. This is, I¿m sure, the author¿s best attempt to try and enlighten the great unwashed, despite our ignorance. Anyone that doesn¿t agree with 'his theories', fall into the ranks of, and I quote, ¿racists, nurturists, eugenicists, and the worst demons of all, Christian Societal Terrorists' that the world would be much better off without. And Hal, get a book on correct punctuation! It might help if you decide to write a real book.

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