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Broca's Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science (Anglais) Poche – 12 février 1986

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Détails sur le produit

  • Poche: 416 pages
  • Editeur : Ballantine Books; Édition : Reprint (12 février 1986)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0345336895
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345336897
  • Dimensions du produit: 10,8 x 2,8 x 17,4 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
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Première phrase
IT WAS A MUSEUM, in a way like any other, this Musee de l'Homme, Museum of Man, situated on a pleasant eminence with, from the restaurant plaza in back, a splendid view of the Eiffel Tower. Lire la première page
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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index
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Par Suzy le 10 décembre 2012
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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Amazon.com: 68 commentaires
88 internautes sur 92 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Writing that is almost religious in power 13 juin 2001
Par Charles Ashbacher - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
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.
66 internautes sur 70 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
It's Sagan, for heaven's sake! 6 novembre 2001
Par M. Nichols-Haining - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
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.
37 internautes sur 38 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Cosmology at its best 18 décembre 1998
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
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.
21 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Re: the Velikovsky debunking 16 juillet 2000
Par Gordon R Cameron - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
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.
17 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The antidote to science class 9 juillet 2007
Par Jeanne Tassotto - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
Most of us who have been educated in the American public school system quickly learned to dread science classes as one of the more boring times of the day. The study of science class in elementary school was usually a teacher reading the text and often being reluctant to address any questions that were not covered in the teacher's edition. In high school the teacher (often hired more for their coaching expertise than academic considerations) would assign reading from the text and not welcome questions not covered in the teacher's edition. Learning was considered accomplished when the students could relate facts memorized from the text. Along the way most of us lost the desire to ask 'why' and simply calculated the time until we could escape as we memorized what was necessary to pass the next test.

Dr Sagan has managed to make science interesting again, to awaken the spark of curiosity that has sadly been extinguished in so many. His writing is clear and eloquent as he invites his readers to share his love of asking 'why?' He explains how scientists look at problems, how to question authorities and determine their worth. In short he manages to undo some of the damage inflicted by years of boring science classes.

This is a compilation of articles Sagan wrote for various magazines (including PLAYBOY - maybe sometimes it was purchased for the articles) during the mid to late 70's. The overlying theme is the general allure of science but also it provides a description of how scientists think about the world around them. The topics covered range from popular science fiction, mythology, frauds and pseudoscience and the 'current state' of scientific research. The age of the various articles has in some cases obscured the work - few readers today have heard of Velikovsky, a charletan who had a wide following in the 1940's and 50's, for example. In other instances the passage of time has added a new dimension to the article - we can see how well the then planned scientific research was carried out and what the results have been so far.

The format of short articles that can be read in any order lends itself to reading in short bursts (as opposed to settling in for a few uninterrupted hours) making this a perfect book to take along to fill in those odd minutes on the morning commute, or waiting to pick up the kids. Each article takes just a few minutes to read but will provide plenty to think about long after.
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