This fills a gap -- wedge it in between Buckminster Fuller and Isaac Asimov -- in scientifically documenting a lot of the...

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CHILDREN OF THE UNIVERSE

This fills a gap -- wedge it in between Buckminster Fuller and Isaac Asimov -- in scientifically documenting a lot of the popular, neo-religious blather about cosmic harmonies and such, or, if you prefer, in making a post-modern conception of the universe accessible to the layman, and his children, for it's not really clear which audience was intended. Adults presumably do not need to be introduced to Copernicus and the carbon cycle, and especially not with cute little pedagogical techniques (in 300 years ""our oxygen supply will run out and the entire crew of Spaceship Earth will be threatened with suffocation,"" ha ha, you forgot the plants); but we have no idea what a child would make of comments on science as metaphysics, or parallel teasers about the forlorn situation of earthly life ""marooned in a universe which is infinitely large and infinitely dead"" (science now says it isn't so, ha ha). A from-scratch, simplified presentation of the cosmic economy as it evolved, with tandem reference, as required, to the history of science -- fascinating stuff -- extended with photos, diagrams, ""little mental models"" of the if-the-earth-were-the-size-of-a-grapefruit variety, apologetics for space exploration, and attitudinizings (which remind us that Von Ditfurth's science is psychiatry) about the relationship between our astronomical assumptions and our mental health. This last is a point well taken, though not much improved with argument.

Pub Date: April 22, 1974

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1974