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Broca's Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science
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Broca's Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science [Format Kindle]

Carl Sagan
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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Carl Sagan, writer and scientist, returns from the frontier to tell us about how the world works. In his delightfully down-to-earth style, he explores and explains a mind-boggling future of intelligent robots, extraterrestrial life and its consquences, and other provocative, fascinating quandries of the future that we want to see today.

From the Paperback edition.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Science as methodology 10 décembre 2012
Par Suzy
Format:Poche|Achat vérifié
This is a magnificent and a most delightful masterpiece for entertainment. Rarely have I had so much pleasure in reading continuously following chapters on diverse, yet still loosely connected topics and commentend on in strictly scientific fashions. After each chapter one could close the book in the best of humours. Just wonderful!
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Writing that is almost religious in power 13 juin 2001
Par Charles Ashbacher - Publié sur
Carl Sagan is so widely known for his popularization of science that his thoughts on the philosophy of science are easily forgotten. Which is unfortunate, because he also shines in this area. This is never more aptly demonstrated than when he discusses the ideas of Immanuel Velikovsky. The ideas themselves are “explanations” of many of the ancient myths created by invoking rather extreme and unusual astronomic phenomena. While the explanations are clearly preposterous, Sagan does not simply dismiss them, but subjects them to a thorough critical examination. Along the way he also criticizes some of his scientist colleagues, pointing out that the role of science is not to make preconceived value judgements, but to subject all ideas to the ruthless meritocratic critical analysis that makes science work. His reasoned arguments against Velikovsky’s ideas and against some who rejected them using attacks beyond the normal bounds of legitimate criticism, is the best explanation of how science should work that you will ever find.
The title of the book is derived from his finding the preserved brain of Paul Broca in a French museum. Broca is best known for discovering the previously unsuspected fact that the brain is compartmentalized into functional regions. Broca’s brain is preserved in a jar of formalin and when he finds it, Sagan asks some questions that go to the heart of what makes humans what they are and what we become after death. His simple question, “How much of that man known as Paul Broca can still be found in this jar?” is a very profound one. If you possess a religious nature, the answer is probably “nothing.” However, if you follow modern studies of how the brain functions, there is the fascinating thought that since memories seem to be stored in proteins, it may be theoretically possible to “recreate” a dead person by manipulating their memory proteins. Such thoughts could also be used to argue in favor of life after death, in that we live on if our protein patterns live on. The soul of a human could then be considered as a permanent record of these patterns, that are continually updated as a person generates new memories.
The first book by Carl Sagan that I ever read was Intelligent Life In The Universe, which he co-wrote with I. S. Shklovski. I struggled through the book when I was still in elementary school, being overwhelmed with the science but so enthralled with the writing and subject matter that I refused to quit until I completed it. He was clearly the most lucid, readable and passionate expositor of what science is that his generation produced. His passing left a void that is not easily filled.
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 It's Sagan, for heaven's sake! 6 novembre 2001
Par M. Nichols-Haining - Publié sur
At some point in my life, much of what Sagan wrote became "common knowledge" and much less interesting to read, because I stopped learning from him.
Then I realized: he had done his job. Sagan excited me, thrilled me, MADE me go out and learn more because I couldn't stand not knowing.
Carl Sagan was a master at distilling science to the masses; he made physics, biology, cosmology, math...he made it all so thrilling that the masses barely knew they were learning.
If you're not already a Sagan fan, try starting with his fiction (Contact--the book is a thousand times better than the movie), and then moving on to his nonfiction. You'll discover from Sagan why we are where and who we are.
Read it. Learn it. Then outgrow it. You'll be honoring Sagan, and you'll be honoring your own humanity.
35 internautes sur 36 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Cosmology at its best 18 décembre 1998
Par Un client - Publié sur
Carl Sagan established his reputation as a writer with three works: Cosmos, Broca's Brain, and Contact. Cosmos is renowned as one of the century's best non-fiction works and Contact became a top-grossing, award-winning film. Broca's Brain meets the standard of Sagan's more famous pieces. Even were you to only read one chapter, the book would still be worth purchase. I especially recommend this book to those who have read John F. Haught (theologian) or Stephen Hawking (physicist) and assume that science and religion are locked in a death match.
23 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Don't miss this! 23 décembre 2000
Par "" - Publié sur
Broca's Brain may not be as famous as other works such as Cosmos or Contact, but it's every bit as engaging. In particular, the chapter entitled "A Sunday Sermon" contains tidbits I believe every person on this planet, whatever their religious beliefs or lack therof are, can gain important insight from. He manages to tackle this difficult subject with grace and dignity, without lambasting any view. As he says (paraphrased) "I believe that those beliefs that can't survive scrutiny aren't worth having. Those that do, have at least a kernal of truth within them". So true, Mr. Sagan.
Some of the chapters are simply fun; the chapter on how heavenly bodies are named, and the opening chapter on Paul Broca, and his brain, are like this. You do not need a science degree to enjoy/understand this book. I do possess one, however I read it in early high school, and it's just as relevant to me now.
Carl Sagan performed a difficult feat: to make science interesting and accessable to an entire generation. I am in science, loving every minute of it, due in part to Mr. Sagan's efforts. Don't miss this important and fascinating book that covers an amazing array of subjects.
18 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Re: the Velikovsky debunking 16 juillet 2000
Par Gordon R Cameron - Publié sur
The chapter entitled "Venus and Dr. Velikovsky" is a masterpiece of pseudo-science debunking. Sagan rightly deplores efforts by mainstream scientists to suppress Velikovsky, both because they were dishonest, and because (as noted by another reviewer) they made Velikovsky a martyr when he might otherwise just have been forgotten. Sagan's dissection of Velikovsky's thesis is painfully specific, precise, methodical, exhaustively researched, utterly polite, and totally relentless. This is the way to take on pseudo-science: with not a trace of snobbery or arrogance, but with simple, devastating logic.
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