В книге известного популяризатора науки А. Азимова рассматривается сложный путь развития биологии с древних времен до наших дней. Автор уделяет внимание всем отраслям биологии, показывая их во взаимодействии со смежными науками. Читатель узнает о вкладе в биологию великих ученых всех времен - Гарвея, Левенгука, Геккеля, Дарвина, Пастера, Ивановского, Мечникова, Павлова и других. Написанная просто и доступно, книга будет интересным и полезным чтением для преподавателей высшей школы, учителей, студентов, школьников и для всех любителей естественных наук.
Isaac Asimov was a Russian-born, American author, a professor of biochemistry, and a highly successful writer, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books.
Professor Asimov is generally considered one of the most prolific writers of all time, having written or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards. He has works published in nine of the ten major categories of the Dewey Decimal System (lacking only an entry in the 100s category of Philosophy).
Asimov is widely considered a master of the science-fiction genre and, along with Robert A. Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke, was considered one of the "Big Three" science-fiction writers during his lifetime. Asimov's most famous work is the Foundation Series; his other major series are the Galactic Empire series and the Robot series, both of which he later tied into the same fictional universe as the Foundation Series to create a unified "future history" for his stories much like those pioneered by Robert A. Heinlein and previously produced by Cordwainer Smith and Poul Anderson. He penned numerous short stories, among them "Nightfall", which in 1964 was voted by the Science Fiction Writers of America the best short science fiction story of all time, a title many still honor. He also wrote mysteries and fantasy, as well as a great amount of nonfiction. Asimov wrote the Lucky Starr series of juvenile science-fiction novels using the pen name Paul French.
Most of Asimov's popularized science books explain scientific concepts in a historical way, going as far back as possible to a time when the science in question was at its simplest stage. He often provides nationalities, birth dates, and death dates for the scientists he mentions, as well as etymologies and pronunciation guides for technical terms. Examples include his Guide to Science, the three volume set Understanding Physics, and Asimov's Chronology of Science and Discovery.
Asimov was a long-time member and Vice President of Mensa International, albeit reluctantly; he described some members of that organization as "brain-proud and aggressive about their IQs" He took more joy in being president of the American Humanist Association. The asteroid 5020 Asimov, the magazine Asimov's Science Fiction, a Brooklyn, NY elementary school, and two different Isaac Asimov Awards are named in his honor.
Great book about science history. The content is getting more and more dense heading to the end to the book. I really enjoyed the book, the last parts were a bit hard to process. It was a good reflection what happened in biology until 70'.
This history of the science of biology reaches far into the past to days of Hippocrates and Aristotle. It follows the science from these beginnings up to the era of DNA. Along the way, Asimov makes note of the most important developments and scientists of each era. This is the third book of pure science writing by Asimov that I have read.
While this book shouldn't be consulted for any current data or knowledge, since it was written in the sixties, it does very faithfully follow the natural course of biology for the long time before. Asimov is a biochemist, so the portion of time he lavished on detailed studies of amino acids, protein structure, paper chromatography, and molecular biology makes itself known. But since I found it interesting, I didn't mind the sharp focus on these matters.
I give it three stars because it was simply fascinating. I started studying biology before I changed majors and I still am a fan. Three stars.
Libro davvero interessante ed estremamente accessibile anche a chi, come me, non si ricorda assolutamente nulla delle lezioni di biologia al liceo. Avere una visione d'insieme così concentrata di tutti i progressi che sono stati fatti da Talete agli anni sessanta (essendo stato scritto nel 1964 naturalmente mancano gli ultimi 50 anni di scoperte biochimiche - che non sono pochi) lascia davvero senza fiato e con una gran voglia di approfondire.
Это та самая книга, которую стоит использовать для преподавания биологии в школах: вместо вводного урока стоит давать прочесть ее на лето, чтоб ознакомить с основными идеями науки. Читается очень легко, буквально за пару вечеров. Самое то для научно-популярной литературы.
Two important things to note: (1) I had no idea who Isaac Asimov was before reading this. (2) For the past X number of years since my high school biology course, I have seriously hated bio.
Since I am into science, it has always annoyed me to hate a subject which I know very little about. So when I got this book from my *very old* physics professor, I figured I would give biology another chance.
It took me about a week to finish the book. It has made me appreciate Biology far more than I would have ever expected. This is a science history book, but it also explains, quite well, all of the biology terms that are brought up. So you dont need to know much before reading this. With Asimov's writing style, this book can be read with essentially no understanding of biology...All I knew about biology before this book were the WORDS: (not the functionality of) Protein, mitochondria, DNA, and evolution. So it’s safe to say you can probably read it too.
I firmly beleive that this little book should be a summer reading requirement for ALL high-schoolers getting ready to learn biology. If you think Biology is stale or if you know little about it...pick up this book, you will learn a lot without effort. Trust me, it's like 179 pages, just read it...(If you know a LOT about biology, but nothing about the HISTORY of it, you should enjoy this book even more so than us newbies.)
Finally, I give this book 4/5 because at the end (last 25 pages or so) Asimov got a bit too specific (for me) with biological explanations rather than history...If it weren't for me needing to skim over that last section, I would've given this book a 5/5
The book is interesting, and abridged in such a manner that can be quickly read. The major drawback of this book is that it is not coherent enough. This might be somehow inevitable as the growth of science in general, and biology in particular, has been some how exponential in the past two centuries. It does not supersede biology text books yet is written in such a manner that has something to offer to every non-biologist: it can rebuild the whole body of biology knowledge that you've most probably forgotten since your school days.
As advertised, a fast-paced review of the history of biology up to 1964. He just touches on the discovery of DNA and its importance. He focuses on the ongoing conflict between the vitalists and the mechanists. It's also interesting that he talks about the discovery of DDT and mentions the possible dangers such chemicals might have in the environment. This is a good book if you want an overview. All the names, dates, and discoveries are there. It's a good book to use in figuring out what you want to go into more deeply.
Asimov is fast becoming my favorite science writer. His ability to explain complex topics in a clear and engaging manner is absolutely stunning. I can't recommend this book enough for anyone interesting in getting a basic understanding of the major historical developments in the field of Biology. It is worth noting that the book was published in the sixties, so obviously it doesn't cover anything after that; Asimov is good, but he's not that good.
I read that during a trip in a four-wheel-drive Bus into the Outback of Australia. The reading pleasure was enormous. One of the better Asimovs, which says a lot. But I must admit adding to the pleasure was that the other passengers were regarding me as a freak.