Electronic/World Wide Web>Internet Article:  Lovelock, James (8 May 1998), A Book For All Seasons, Science, Vol. 280 no. 5365 pp. 832-833, Retrieved on 2011-03-29
  • Source Material [www.sciencemag.org]
  • Folksonomies: science knowledge civilization perseverence

    Memes

    29 MAR 2011

     We Have No Book That Captures the Basic, Most Important R...

    As individuals, we are amazingly ignorant and incapable. How many of us, alone in a wilderness, could make a flint knife? Is there anyone now alive who knows even a tenth of everything there is to know in science? How many of those employed in the electricity industry could make any of its components, such as wires or switches? The important difference that separates us from the social insects is that they carry the instructions for nest building in their genes. We have no permanent ubiquitou...
      1  notes

    If civilization were to collapse, we would have no book by which to rebuild our scientific knowledge and how we came to it.

    29 MAR 2011

     Requirements for a Science Bible

    Creating a permanent record of our civilization may not be as difficult as we imagine. What we need is a primer on science, clearly written and unambiguous in its meaning—a primer for anyone interested in the state of the Earth and how to survive and live well on it. One that would serve also as a primary school science text. It would be the scientific equivalent of the Bible. It would contain practical information such as how to light a fire, and things to wonder about when it was lit. It ...
     1  1  notes

    What are some of the most basic and important things that would need to go into a completely introductory book on Science?

    29 MAR 2011

     The Need for a Scientific Monastary

    In the Dark Ages, the religious orders of monasteries were the bearers of our culture. Much of this knowledge was contained in books, and the monks took care of them and read them as part of their discipline. Sadly, science is no longer a calling where scientists are the guardians of knowledge, but rather has become a narrowly specialized employment. Apart from a few isolated institutions, like the National Center for Atmospheric Research, science has no equivalent of the monasteries. So, who...
      1  notes

    There needs to be an essential science book cataloging the most basic principles of science and some kind of order of monks to treasure it.

    29 MAR 2011

     Humans Are Strong, Civilization is Fragile

    We have confidence in our science-based civilization and think it has tenure. In so doing, I think we fail to distinguish between the life-span of civilizations and that of our species. In fact, civilizations are ephemeral compared with species. Humans have lasted at least a million years, but there have been 30 civilizations in the past 5000 years. Humans are tough and will survive; civilizations are fragile. It seems clear to me that we are not evolving in intelligence, not becoming true Ho...
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    Humans will survive the death of civilization, which has happened 30 times over the centuries.

    29 MAR 2011

     Humans Aren't Especially Smart, It's Just that We Swarm

    I prefer sociobiologist E. O. Wilson's view of us as unfortunate tribal carnivores that have acquired intelligence. Our evolution is more like that of social insects; the advances in knowledge and understanding that we prize are more a property of the human nests we call civilization than of its individual members. The nest is always more powerful than a collection of individuals. Who dares disturb the hornet's nest? Small bees easily destroy the huge and powerful but solitary Japanese horne...
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    Humans are like other social insects. Our power doesn't come from our brains, but our ability to collaborate.