The Seeds of Life: From Aristotle to da Vinci, from Sharks' Teeth to Frogs' Pants, the Long and Strange Quest to Discover Where Babies Come From by Edward Dolnick

The Seeds of Life: From Aristotle to da Vinci, from Sharks' Teeth to Frogs' Pants, the Long and Strange Quest to Discover Where Babies Come From

Why cracking the code of human conception took centuries of wild theories, misogynist blunders, and ludicrous mistakes Throughout most of human history, babies were surprises. People knew the basics: men and women had sex, and sometimes babies followed. But beyond that the origins of life were a colossal mystery. The Seeds of Life is the remarkable and rollicking story of...

Title:The Seeds of Life: From Aristotle to da Vinci, from Sharks' Teeth to Frogs' Pants, the Long and Strange Quest to Discover Where Babies Come From
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0465082955
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:320 pages

The Seeds of Life: From Aristotle to da Vinci, from Sharks' Teeth to Frogs' Pants, the Long and Strange Quest to Discover Where Babies Come From Reviews

  • The Irregular Reader
    Jun 03, 2017

    For the entirety of our existence, we have wondered “where do babies come from?” Yet this question proved to be so incredibly complicated and intricate, that only in the last century and a half have we been able to discover answers with any sort of surety. Seeds of Life examines the scientific pursuit of the origin and continuation of life from the 16th century through the 19th. Scientific giants such as da Vinci, Leeuwenhoek, and Harvey would find themselves stymied by this question. In an age

    For the entirety of our existence, we have wondered “where do babies come from?” Yet this question proved to be so incredibly complicated and intricate, that only in the last century and a half have we been able to discover answers with any sort of surety. Seeds of Life examines the scientific pursuit of the origin and continuation of life from the 16th century through the 19th. Scientific giants such as da Vinci, Leeuwenhoek, and Harvey would find themselves stymied by this question. In an age of scientific enlightenment and accomplishment, the inability to answer such a seemingly basic question was frustrating to the extreme. The pursuit of this answer led to bitter feuds and rivalries, and at times split the scientific community asunder.

    Dominick does a great job of bringing this story to life in an engaging and easy to follow way. It is no mean feat to cover such a topic over such a broad time frame, but Dolnick sets the story as a form of detective novel, with various players entering the fray, only to crash on the shoals of an unanswerable question. Dolnick makes the story easy to follow, and adds welcome (and some would say, inevitable) humor to the topic.

    Folks who enjoy their nonfiction with a dash of humor will enjoy this book. If you’re a fan of Mary Roach (indeed, Bonk is a great follow up to this book), or were entertained by Unmentionable by Therese Oneill, this is a great book for you. Even if you aren’t usually a nonfiction person, this is the perfect book for dipping a toe into the genre. It may not be an explosion-laced extravaganza, but it is an entertaining and fast reading true story. You’re bound to have fun with this book.

    An advance copy of this book was provided by the publisher via Goodreads Giveaways in exchange for an honest review.

  • The Irregular Reader
    May 27, 2017

    For the entirety of our existence, we have wondered “where do babies come from?” Yet this question proved to be so incredibly complicated and intricate, that only in the last century and a half have we been able to discover answers with any sort of surety. Seeds of Life examines the scientific pursuit of the origin and continuation of life from the 16th century through the 19th. Scientific giants such as da Vinci, Leeuwenhoek, and Harvey would find themselves stymied by this question. In an age

    For the entirety of our existence, we have wondered “where do babies come from?” Yet this question proved to be so incredibly complicated and intricate, that only in the last century and a half have we been able to discover answers with any sort of surety. Seeds of Life examines the scientific pursuit of the origin and continuation of life from the 16th century through the 19th. Scientific giants such as da Vinci, Leeuwenhoek, and Harvey would find themselves stymied by this question. In an age of scientific enlightenment and accomplishment, the inability to answer such a seemingly basic question was frustrating to the extreme. The pursuit of this answer led to bitter feuds and rivalries, and at times split the scientific community asunder.

    Dominick does a great job of bringing this story to life in an engaging and easy to follow way. It is no mean feat to cover such a topic over such a broad time frame, but Dolnick sets the story as a form of detective novel, with various players entering the fray, only to crash on the shoals of an unanswerable question. Dolnick makes the story easy to follow, and adds welcome (and some would say, inevitable) humor to the topic.

    Folks who enjoy their nonfiction with a dash of humor will enjoy this book. If you’re a fan of Mary Roach (indeed, Bonk is a great follow up to this book), or were entertained by Unmentionable by Therese Oneill, this is a great book for you. Even if you aren’t usually a nonfiction person, this is the perfect book for dipping a toe into the genre. It may not be an explosion-laced extravaganza, but it is an entertaining and fast reading true story. You’re bound to have fun with this book.

    An advance copy of this book was provided by the publisher via Goodreads Giveaways in exchange for an honest review.

  • Riaz Rizvi
    Jul 21, 2017

    Excellent story about the process of scientific discovery, specifically here on how we determined the secret of fertilization over the centuries. Obviously better instrumentation is a key player, microscopes and their improvements. What stood out for me though was the importance of metaphors available to society at large. The author made a convincing case to me that without the prevalence of automated systems, like automatons and mechanized pianos, it was hard for scientists before the 18th cent

    Excellent story about the process of scientific discovery, specifically here on how we determined the secret of fertilization over the centuries. Obviously better instrumentation is a key player, microscopes and their improvements. What stood out for me though was the importance of metaphors available to society at large. The author made a convincing case to me that without the prevalence of automated systems, like automatons and mechanized pianos, it was hard for scientists before the 18th century to propose a model for life that was self-directed.

  • Sara
    Jul 08, 2017

    Where do babies come from?

    This is an exploration into the discoveries that lead to fertilization's discovery. Though I did find a few chapters a little tedious I think overall this book hit the mark.

    The author is very clear on not being judgmental on the lack of foresight of the scientists' centuries long discovery into life and treats them with some reverence. I do wonder if this book could have been divided into more discoveries on specialization, puberty, development in the womb, but maybe

    Where do babies come from?

    This is an exploration into the discoveries that lead to fertilization's discovery. Though I did find a few chapters a little tedious I think overall this book hit the mark.

    The author is very clear on not being judgmental on the lack of foresight of the scientists' centuries long discovery into life and treats them with some reverence. I do wonder if this book could have been divided into more discoveries on specialization, puberty, development in the womb, but maybe he will write another?

    The author does a good job infusing wit, commentary, characterization (Buffon and Leeuwenhoek especially), and occasional drawings to highlight and energize the story. Some of the best ones where the pants on frogs 🐸 story in the title and the 'slap your forehead' near discoveries and odd logic of the old scientists.

    This is a good book for the history and science nerds. It's not overly dense so even a history fan who didn't enjoy science in school might still enjoy.

  • Kathryn
    Jun 22, 2017

    A fascinating journey through misogynistic scientists (the author is very apologetic about that, it's sweet) fumbling in the dark to discover just what DOES need to happen for a baby to be created. Mr. Dolnick's sharp wit (and oh, he has some zingers, I had to share his comment about Columbus 'discovering' the clitoris with everyone I know) and his insightful commentary make what could be a dry (or simply patently awful) subject a delight.

    This book is one of the most entertaining history of sci

    A fascinating journey through misogynistic scientists (the author is very apologetic about that, it's sweet) fumbling in the dark to discover just what DOES need to happen for a baby to be created. Mr. Dolnick's sharp wit (and oh, he has some zingers, I had to share his comment about Columbus 'discovering' the clitoris with everyone I know) and his insightful commentary make what could be a dry (or simply patently awful) subject a delight.

    This book is one of the most entertaining history of science books I've read, helped in part by the ridiculous experiments biologists concocted in an attempt to discover the origins of life. (There are, in fact, frogs in pants and I think that's DELIGHTFUL.)

  • Jim
    Jun 29, 2017

    The mystery of how babies are born took centuries to unravel. This is the story of all the missteps and harebrained theories develped and discarded along the way, told in a clear and fascinating manner. For example, did you know that people believed for a long time that all future generations of a person, from Eden to the end of time, were created all at once and were carried inside the body, Each one smaller than the next, down to infinate smallness?

  • Bob T
    Jul 09, 2017

    The basic story is very interesting and well documented. The many tangents are a bit distracting.

  • Michael Norwitz
    Jul 16, 2017

    Sprightly, informative book on the history of science, showing the numerous dead ends and near-misses scientists too as they sought to answer one of the most basic questions.

Top Books is in no way intended to support illegal activity. We uses Search API to find the overview of books over the internet, but we don't host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners, please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them. Read our DMCA Policies and Disclaimer for more details.