A Short History of Nearly Everything
One of the world’s most beloved writers and New York Times bestselling author of A Walk in the Woods and The Body takes his ultimate journey—into the most intriguing and intractable questions that science seeks to answer.
In A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson trekked the Appalachian Trail—well, most of it. In A Sunburned Country, he confronted some of the most lethal wildlife Australia has to offer. Now, in his biggest book, he confronts his greatest challenge: to understand—and, if possible, answer—the oldest, biggest questions we have posed about the universe and ourselves. Taking as territory everything from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization, Bryson seeks to understand how we got from there being nothing at all to there being us. To that end, he has attached himself to a host of the world’s most advanced (and often obsessed) archaeologists, anthropologists, and mathematicians, travelling to their offices, laboratories, and field camps. He has read (or tried to read) their books, pestered them with questions, apprenticed himself to their powerful minds. A Short History of Nearly Everything is the record of this quest, and it is a sometimes profound, sometimes funny, and always supremely clear and entertaining adventure in the realms of human knowledge, as only Bill Bryson can render it. Science has never been more involving or entertaining.
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In the words of the astronomer Clark Chapman: “Most people think that
astronomers get out at night in observatories and scan the skies. That's not true.
Almost all the telescopes we have in the world are designed to peer at very tiny
It is very tiny: just one-quarter of 1 percent as massive as Earth. If you set it down
on top of the ... it means that our planetary system consists of four rocky inner
planets, four gassy outer giants, and a tiny, solitary iceball. Moreover, there is
It is a remarkable thought that that distant tiny twinkle has enough gravity to hold
all these comets in orbit. It's not a very strong bond, so the comets drift in a stately
manner, moving at only about 220 miles an hour. From time to time some of ...
To grow from a tiny cluster of grains to a baby planet some hundreds of miles
across is thought to have taken only a few tens of thousands of years. In just 200
million years, possibly less, the Earth was essentially formed, though still molten
Some tiny bag of chemicals twitched and became animate. We were on our way.
Four billion years later people began to wonder how it had all happened. And it is
there that our story next takes us. PART || THE SIZE OF THE EARTH God said, ...
What people are saying - Write a review
Review: A Short History of Nearly EverythingUser Review - Richard Maddocks - Goodreads
I wanted to love it because I thought the premise was so interesting. I felt the book jumped from mind mindbogglingly fascinating to mind mindbogglingly dull and back then back again. I should add ... Read full review
Review: A Short History of Nearly EverythingUser Review - NinjaK - Goodreads
What an awesome book! I loved Bryson's humor scattered throughout, and I loved how he was able to make very complicated scientific concepts simple enough for a layperson to understand without once being condescending about it. Everyone should read this! Read full review
Other editions - View all
Genes and Behavior: Nature-Nurture Interplay Explained
Sir Michael Rutter
No preview available - 2006