This offers a brief yet intensive discussion of major ideas in the development of the physical sciences from the earliest times to the present. Visualizing the growth of science as an important area in the play of man's creative imagination, and as an inseparable part of western culture that is fundamental to the molding of man's total perspective, the author does not treat the individual sciences per se, but rather discusses the scientific ideas he feels have had the greatest influence on the evolution of civilization. Thus he presents absorbing commentary on cosmology, mechanism, evolution, field theory, relativity, quantum mechanics, and other ideas, as well as on the men whose imaginations and experiments contributed to their elucidation. This book is an outgrowth of a series of lectures delivered to liberal arts students at the University of New Hampshire and can be conceived as a philosophical introduction to the physical sciences. In the light of the title choosen it is strange that there is not one reference to the writings of Lancelot Law Whyte, nor comment on the future direction of science. It is not a book for the average layman but is for all libraries having strong science sections, especially in college and university libraries.