Brilliant blunders : from Darwin to Einstein - colossal mistakes by great scientists that changed our understanding of life and the universe



We All Make Mistakes Nobody S Perfect Not Even Some Of The Greatest Geniuses In History, As Mario Livio Tells Us In This Marvelous Story Of Scientific Error And Breakthrough Charles Darwin, William Thomson Lord Kelvin , Linus Pauling, Fred Hoyle, And Albert Einstein Were All Brilliant Scientists Each Made Groundbreaking Contributions To His Field But Each Also Stumbled Badly Darwin S Theory Of Natural Selection Shouldn T Have Worked, According To The Prevailing Beliefs Of His Time Not Until Gregor Mendel S Work Was Known Would There Be A Mechanism To Explain Natural Selection How Could Darwin Be Both Wrong And Right Lord Kelvin, Britain S Leading Scientific Intellect At The Time, Gravely Miscalculated The Age Of The Earth Linus Pauling, The World S Premier Chemist Who Would Win The Nobel Prize In Chemistry Constructed An Erroneous Model For DNA In His Haste To Beat The Competition To Publication Astrophysicist Fred Hoyle Dismissed The Idea Of A Big Bang Origin To The Universe Ironically, The Caustic Name He Gave To This Event Endured Long After His Erroneous Objections Were Disproven And Albert Einstein, Whose Name Is Synonymous With Genius, Speculated Incorrectly About The Forces That Hold The Universe In Equilibrium And That Speculation Opened The Door To Brilliant Conceptual Leaps These Five Scientists Expanded Our Knowledge Of Life On Earth, The Evolution Of The Earth Itself, And The Evolution Of The Universe, Despite And Because Of Their Errors As Mario Livio Luminously Explains, The Scientific Process Advances Through Error Mistakes Are Essential To Progress Brilliant Blunders Is A Singular Tour Through The World Of Science And Scientific Achievement And A Wonderfully Insightful Examination Of The Psychology Of Five Fascinating Scientists.Brilliant blunders : from Darwin to Einstein - colossal mistakes by great scientists that changed our understanding of life and the universe

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  • Audio CD
  • Brilliant blunders : from Darwin to Einstein - colossal mistakes by great scientists that changed our understanding of life and the universe
  • Mario Livio
  • English
  • 01 October 2018
  • 9781469286044

10 thoughts on “Brilliant blunders : from Darwin to Einstein - colossal mistakes by great scientists that changed our understanding of life and the universe

  1. says:

    Errare humanum est This is a research book commenting about blunders by some of the biggest minds of the two last centuriesDarwin and Kelvin 19th Century Einstein, Pauling and Hoyle 20th Century While some of them may be unknown to you, their achievements have been introduced so deep into popular culture that you may be surprised to know that one of them was the responsible to create them.However, they were human and so, not matter how brilliant they were, they were exposed to make blunders just like any of us I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world Neil Gaiman I think that making mistakes isn t the issue here, BUT their attitudes to them And you will realize that each of those great scientists reacted in different ways once realized about the mistakes on their works CHARLES DARWIN It s very likely that everybody knows our good fellow, Charles Darwin, and his famous theory about evolution through natural selection His blunder is highly remissible since when he postulated his theory, there weren t studies about genetics However, when he knew about his mistakes at least the ones already exposed while he was still alive he did his best to do key edi...

  2. says:

    This is an insightful book about five great scientists, their discoveries and their mistakes Each of these scientists Darwin, Kelvin, Pauling, Hoyle, and Einstein made enormous contributions to science Their discoveries were very influential on biology, chemistry and physics However, each one made some mistakes after all, they were all human but their mistakes were all for different reasons, with different repercussions.Mario Livio makes an excellent investigation into the nature of each of their mistakes, with some interesting conclusions Livio does not fault any of these scientists for not having scientific understanding that was not yet available For example, Darwin s error was not that he lacked a good understanding of genetics Mendel s recent findings were unavailable to Darwin, as they were published in an obscure foreign journal Instead, Darwin s error was that his theory was contradicted by the faulty state of genetics at the time Well his theory turned out to be correct anyway So, was it a blunder Livio shows that in many cases, a brilliant scientist knows what evidence to believe, and what to ignore Livio mentions the fin...

  3. says:

    Five mistakes by five of the greatest minds in science Charles Darwin, Lord Kelvin, Linus Pauling, Fred Hoyle, and Albert Einstein Each error advanced science, the theme of the book Livio injects original research and a unique point of view into familiar material His style is simple and direct, the concepts accessible and the reading pleasurable Livio expanded my understanding and provided new insights Below are brief recaps of the five.Darwin s blunder was putting forth natural selection without a supporting theory of inheritance The only accepted theory at the time was that inherited traits were blended, which would quickly mitigate any change due to natural selection Only after Mendel would we understand that traits were inherited intact and even if hidden in the next generation would reappear again in subsequent generations While Darwin did not accept the latency of inherited traits believing that the same traits simply reappeared due to the same forces that created them the first time, he did realize that individual traits survived without blending He thought new traits were acquired due to environmental impact on the body Fortunately Darwin s misunderstanding of genetics didn t impede his discovery of natural selection.Lord Kelvin William Thomson , an exceptional mathematician who calculated absolute zero, blundered in his assumptions regarding the uniformity of heat convection in the earth that he used to calculate its age Despite this error that put earth s age at...

  4. says:

    Description Drawing on the lives of five renowned scientists, Mario Livio shows how even these geniuses made major mistakes and how their errors were an essential part of the process of achieving scientific breakthroughs.We all make mistakes Nobody is perfect And that includes five of the greatest scientists in history Charles Darwin, William Thomson Lord Kelvin , Linus Pauling, Fred Hoyle, and Albert Einstein But the mistakes that these great luminaries made helped advance science Indeed, as Mario Livio explains, science thrives on error, advancing when erroneous ideas are disproven.As a young scientist, Einstein tried to conceive of a way to describe the evolution of the universe at large, based on General Relativity his theory of space, time, and gravity Unfortunately he fell victim to a misguided notion of aesthetic simplicity Fred Hoyle was an eminent astrophysicist who ridiculed an emerging theory about the origin of the universe that he dismissively called The Big Bang The name stuck, but Hoyle was dead wrong in his opposition.They, along with Darwin a blunder in his theory of Natural Selection , Kelvin a blunder in his calculation of the age of the earth , and Pauling a blunder in his model for the structure of the DNA molecule , were brilliant men and fascinating human beings Their blunders were a necessary part of the scientific process Collectively they helped to dramatically further our knowledge of the evolut...

  5. says:

    I wouldn t tell anyone _not_ to read this book I think there is great knowledge to be gleaned there it just doesn t correspond to the author s thesis The first problem is the very nature of empirical thinking and the notion of experimentation When an experiment is conducted, it s purpose is to _gain_ knowledge not to confirm one s intellectual superiority over whomever might call one wrong There are always plenty of people to do this If the experiment shows something _other_ than you expected, you ve still _gained_ knowledge even if it _wasn t_ what you expected All these people were fallible I m silly for just saying that, but then I ve learned to live with my handicap If we look to Einstein because we think he ll never be wrong, then we re looking to Einstein for the wrong reason Werner Heisenberg kicked his patooty, but Werner did his homework, too Also, Einstein just _might_ have spaced it that day People often point to Charles Goodyear because he stumbled and spilled raw latex on a stove First of all, when would this have happened to any of you You d have to be carrying around buckets of raw latex and have a hot stovetop nearby I m lucky nobody called me in the middle of the night to tell me that Goodyear w...

  6. says:

    Once, after my extremely tech savvy engineer husband had struggled to trouble shoot our sound system for about an hour, I wandered over and pointed out an unplugged wire that was the source of the problem The man is a genius with electronics Almost every machine in our house is wirelessly connected and operated through another instrument in ways I only imagined could be done in futuristic sci fi shows.But his vision is sometimes clouded by his focus on his specialty, which means that an uninformed mind like mine is likely to catch sight of simple issues that are causing problems This book is about that tunnel vision It profiles a few great minds who were so devoted to their fields and theories that they were unable to see the flaws that marred them For some of them, it was simply because technology hadn t reached where it needed to be for the theory to be proved, whereas for others it was simply starting from a faulty base that kept them from seeing the truth.But this book isn t about knocking the geniuses from their pedestals Their work still forms the basis of much of the science we use today, even if they were not able to see its full potential when they were formulating their theories Instead, in a way, it seems that this...

  7. says:

    An author setting out to write a book of this kind can expect to either brilliantly synthesize diverse topics in an unexpected way or produce a grab bag of trivia equal only to the sum of its parts Brilliant Blunders, while interesting enough, fits the latter description It s a book that isn t quite sure what it wants to be Is it a history A pop sci account of five rather disparate theories A pop psy attempt to cut great thinkers down to size by analyzing the sources of what are, in two out of five cases, not even genuine errors on their part Darwin, Livio argues, blundered by failing to take into account the blending theory of heredity which prevailed prior to the work of Mendel This is essentially the same as arguing that Newton blundered by failing to take into account Descartes s theory of vortices Yes, Darwin did genuinely go awry in promoting pangenesis, but this error is not Livio s focus Moreover, Livio s expectations of the scientific competence of his readers fluctuate wildly he spends pages and chapters explaining what atoms are and how evolution works, while elsewhere assuming nontrivial familiarity with thermodynamics and astronomy This struck me as odd.Overall, though, this was a pleasant read that taught me a few new things The bits abo...

  8. says:

    I can t recall what I originally read or heard that made me want to read this book, so by the time I started on it I was going off of the title Brilliant Blunders From Darwin to Einstein Colossal Mistakes by Great Scientists that Changed Our Understanding of Life and the Universe Based on this title I thought that the mistakes were the things that changed our understanding of Life and the Universe a la Goodyear, latex and rubber and the process of vulcanization is born No, that s not it at all The word that should be replaced by who The Great Scientists changed our understand, not these mistakes Darwin s Theory of Evolution isn t changed by his blunder , neither is Einstein s theory of special or general relativity Kelvin, Pauling and Hoyle theories were wrong and consequently didn t change our understanding of anything Now I can argue that I could have avoided my annoyance with this detail if I had read the book jacket, except, this is a work of non fiction At the very least shouldn t the title accurately reflect the contents Moving on from that I wonder where was the editor Was there an editor This is the third or fourth book I ve read in the last couple of years that I have wondered about editing Talk about burying the lead On t...

  9. says:

    I wanted to blow my tiny brain out after reading this book I was upset that I had not been truly curious about anything that mattered in 23 years.Even as I was listing down the insects I can compare my intellect with, I could not help but be amazed by this book This was science I studied in school which I understood partially then and forgot completely now These are scientists whom almost everybody in the world knows and to whom half the population probably owe their existence But I was looking at them and their work in a whole new light.The biggest achievement of Mario Livio in this book is that he erased the image of a typical scientist people have in mind Scientists are fiercely competitive, egotistic, very opinionated and gutsy people No, they are not shabby suit wearing introverts surrounded by conical flasks Textbooks need to be written this way to get students to like science The problem now is we are given all the answers before we ask the questions And it takes...

  10. says:

    Cartea e adresata mai degraba celor care studiaza in facultate domeniile respective Nu e o carte de popularizare a stiintei, contrar copertei si titlului nu e nimic amuzant in ea Totul e al naibii de serios.Iti indica o eroare a i...

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