Saturday, June 14, 2014

We're the Center of the Universe: Science's Biggest Mistakes About Astronomy and Physics

One of the great things about science is that it is a method by which we get to seek answers to the really big questions. Of course, science gets it wrong, a lot, along the way to getting it right. When I was young, a science teacher once introduced himself and then immediately apologized for lying. He said he didn't mean to, but that when you taught science, it was pretty much guaranteed that something the scientific community supported would eventually be proved wrong, but that was okay. Science gets new data, reforms it's ideas, adapts and moves on to solve bigger questions. That's why science is cool.

In that spirit, Christine Zuchora-Walske's book, We're the Center of the Universe: Science's Biggest Mistakes About Astronomy and Physics really makes me smile. It sums up not only the ideas of yore, but why they made sense to the people who came up with them. I like it because it makes me feel like the kid who reads this is going to say "so even if I get the science wrong, there's something to gain from the process of seeking the solutions." I like that.

I like this book because it approaches the history of ideas and illustrates that what seems like the common heiliocentric view of a vast universe we inhabit, in a relatively unpopulated solar system is a very recent concept. These are important ideas and they're presented in a fun and accessible voice. 

This was a fun read and I can think of about ten of my nieces and nephews who  need to read it.

I received a free eARC of this title for review purposes. I have not been compensated in any other way for my review, which was not swayed in any way by the free nature of said ARC.

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