The Universe Within
is paleontologist and evolutionary biologist Neil Shubin's exhilarating and accessible history of the universe for non-scientists, a grand tour of the 13.75 billion years from the Big Bang to speculation about the future of humankind, our planet and the cosmos. Shubin surveys inner and outer space he examines cells, genes and atomic particles, as well as global geological catastrophes and massive cosmic events. Though the trip is dizzying in scope, we keep our bearings because a central idea, one that Shubin repeatedly demonstrates and celebrates, steadies us: everything in the universe is connected to everything else, ourselves included. As Shubin explains, "Written inside us is the birth of the stars, the movement of heavenly bodies across the sky, even the origin of days themselves."
Beyond the Book
Neil Shubin describes The Universe Within
as a "timeline" covering great events and processes of the history of the cosmos, the planet and life on earth. But his is also a timeline of scientists and scientific discoveries that enlarged our understanding of the world. One scientist who stood out for me was Henrietta Leavitt (1868-1921).
Leavitt became interested in astronomy while a student at Radcliffe College. After graduation, an illness robbed her of her hearing and she became a researcher at the...