Pulitzer-winning science writer Angier (Woman: An Intimate Geography) has written a book that explores all the basics of science, or rather the things most people have forgotten well after high school. In her book The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science, she guides the readers through physics, chemistry, biology, geology and astronomy. She even digresses on the rundowns of atomic theory and evolution, scientific thinking, probability and measurement, all which constitute the basis of a scientific examination of the world.
For one to understand science, one must first understand these principles. Once learned, Angier argues, words like “theory” have new meaning. Critics have praised her writing, saying the reading is never ‘dry’ but well explained by her love for language. Her passion for her subject leads her to pull that indifferent reader into both a deeper and broader understanding for science. Hopefully one might come to appreciate it, for one cannot appreciate that which is not understood first.
Science is important for understanding objective criteria, for it is a subject similar to that of art in that it works with ideas that are built upon another, and both require an educated mind to ‘grasp’ fully. It’s not just about science, but the importance of objective criteria that can thereby help push us past our own subjective views in the natural world and begin to analyze a little more clearly.
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