Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species (publ. 1859) is a pivotal work in scientific literature and arguably the pivotal work in evolutionary biology. The book’s full title is On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. It introduced the theory that populations evolve over the course of generations through a process of natural selection. It was controversial because it contradicted religious beliefs which underlay the then current theories of biology. Darwin’s book was the culmination of evidence he had accumulated on the voyage of the Beagle in the 1830s and added to through continuing investigations and experiments since his return.
Wells, H. G.
Wells considered this book one of his most important, a natural follow-up to such works as his Man of the Year Million and The Time Machine. His goal was to get people to think and act in new ways. The book starts with a look at how humans get along socially and how they carry out their business ventures. It then discusses how these elements influence others, such as politics, the world of work, and education. H. G. tried to make clear how the current social order was disintegrating without preparing another to take its place. He then traced the roots of democracy, which in its present state he saw as unworkable. Instead, he proposed a new republic. He also critiqued modern warfare.
The happiness of all human beings, men and women, depends largely on their rational solution of the sexual problem. Sex and the part it plays in human life cannot be ignored.
Gardening expert Steve Solomon has written extensively on gardening techniques for the home gardener. Water conservation is the focus of this work, along with more information on how to have the healthiest plants in your garden through "fertigation", appropriate plant rotation, and soil preparation.
Bryant, Walter W.
This biography of Johannes Kepler begins with an account of what the world of astronomy was like before his time, then proceeds to a look at his early years. Two chapters deal with his working relationship with Tycho Brahe. These are followed by a look at Kepler's laws and his last years.
This book, a reprint of a successful English publication, has been so enlarged as to be to all intents and purposes new. It has been carefully revised by a Reverend gentleman, who for some time filled the chair of Physics and Chemistry in one of our colleges. Recent inventions and improvements are described in a simple, popular style, so as to be easily understood by all, and short notices are given of prominent inventors and scientists. The paragraphs relating to doctrinal matters conform in every respect to the teachings of the Church. A feature which will commend the book to every teacher is the definitions of difficult words and terms, following the paragraphs in which such words occur.
An account given of the lives of five great naturalists (Hippocrates, Aristotle, Galen, Vesalius and Harvey) will not be found devoid of interest. The work of each one of them marked a definite advance in the science of Biology.
There is often among students of anatomy and physiology a tendency to imagine that the facts with which they are now being made familiar have all been established by recent observation and experiment. But even the slight knowledge of the history of Biology, which may be obtained from a perusal of this little book, will show that, so far from such being the case, this branch of science is of venerable antiquity. And, further, if in the place of this misconception a desire is aroused in the reader for a fuller acquaintance with the writings of the early anatomists the chief aim of the author will have been fulfilled.
This is a series of late-19th Century essays about Florida's flora and fauna written by a Massachusetts-based naturalist.
Doubleday chronicles the history of everyday inventions that form the foundation of technology now common through the world. While some of the inventions are no longer used, each example shows how inventors contributed to technology through perseverance, inspiration and clever observations. In each chapter, he gives a clear, understandable background of the technology.
Many of the now outdated inventions may have inspired later inventions by meeting emerging demands. For example, Edison's filament bulb is now being phased out by more efficient CFL's, but Edison's contribution to indoor lighting likewise removed the need for inefficient gas-burning lamps. While trains for carrying mail and freight have largely been replaced by more nimble semi trailers, one example shows how technology can translate from ground to air travel. Trains with curved pipes that scooped water to refill reservoirs could be controlled from the train engine-cab without stopping, and mirrors the in-flight refueling systems that keep aircraft flying without the need to land. Although computers have replaced typewriters, word processing programs and web browsers justify text with similar algorithms.
United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency
This is a concise yet thorough explanation of what might happen to our world in the aftermath of a nuclear war. The myriad of potential effects will be global and wide-spread.
Buzz, buzz, buzz. A fascinating and beautifully written explanation of the life of the honey bee. Maeterlinck, who won the Noble Prize for Literature, wrote a more scholarly work called The Life of the Bee but then rewrote it in simpler terms so that children could appreciate what goes in a hive. The book describes in simple language the inner workings of a hive from its beginning with a swarm to the fully functional hive with thousands of workers, drones and a queen busily building, repairing and gathering.
A $10,000 prize lures Tom into competing at a local aviation meet at Eagle Park. Tom is determined to build the fastest plane around, but his plans mysteriously disappear, which means Tom must redesign his new airplane from the beginning.
Huxley, T. H.
Thomas H. Huxley, an English biologist and essayist, was an advocate of the theory of evolution and a self-proclaimed agnostic. A talented writer, his essays helped to popularize science in the 19th century, and he is credited with the quote, "Try to learn something about everything and everything about something." In The Advance of Science in the Last Half Century, he presents a summary of the major developments in Physics, Chemistry and Biology during the period 1839-1889 and their impact on society, within the historical context of philosophical thought and scientific inquiry going back to Aristotle. Huxley’s clear and readable prose makes this subject equally enjoyable for both the student of scientific history and the casual listener alike.
“The Letters contained in this little Volume embrace some of the most important points of the science of Chemistry, in their application to Natural Philosophy, Physiology, Agriculture, and Commerce. Some of them treat of subjects which have already been, or will hereafter be, more fully discussed in my larger works. They were intended to be mere sketches, and were written for the especial purpose of exciting the attention of governments, and an enlightened public, to the necessity of establishing Schools of Chemistry, and of promoting by every means, the study of a science so intimately connected with the arts, pursuits, and social well-being of modern civilised nations.” –Justus Liebig, August 1843
James, C. C.
This is a paper on the history of farming in Ontario. It take the reader through the early settlement from 1783 to the modern period of 1888-1912. We see how farming and farm industries developed and how the population was distributed during these times. We see the trends of settlers moving into the Urban centers instead of rural and how the farm industries (making cheese, butter, wool, etc) move off the farm to the city factories.
Excerpt: “The farmer’s wife in those days was perhaps the most expert master of trades ever known. She could spin and weave, make a carpet or a rug, dye yarns and clothes, and make a straw hat or a birch broom. Butter, cheese, and maple sugar were products of her skill, as well as bread, soap, canned fruits, and home-made wine. In those days the farm was a miniature factory or combination of factories."
The Anatomy of Melancholy is a book by Robert Burton, first published in 1621. On its surface, the book is a medical textbook in which Burton applies his large and varied learning in the scholastic manner to the subject of melancholia (which includes what is now termed clinical depression).
Though presented as a medical text, The Anatomy of Melancholy is as much a sui generis work of literature as it is a scientific or philosophical text, and Burton addresses far more than his stated subject. In fact, the Anatomy uses melancholy as the lens through which all human emotion and thought may be scrutinized, and virtually the entire contents of a 17th-century library are marshalled into service of this goal.
Burton is forthright about his intentions in writing the Anatomy — "I write of melancholy by being busy to avoid melancholy," he concedes. This acknowledged desire to distract and amuse himself motivated Burton to produce a wide-ranging document, containing digressions and commentary. Whatever its strengths as a medical text or as a historical document, it is the Anatomy's vast breadth — addressing topics such as digestion, goblins, the geography of America, and others — and the particularly characteristic voice of its author that are most commonly cited by its admirers as the main sources of its appeal. Both satirical and serious in tone, the Anatomy is "vitalized by (Burton's) pervading humour", and Burton's digressive and inclusive style, often verging on a stream of consciousness, consistently informs and animates the text.
In 1623, Francis Bacon expressed his aspirations and ideas in New Atlantis. Released in 1627, this was his creation of an ideal land where people were kind, knowledgeable, and civic-minded. Part of this new land was his perfect college, a vision for our modern research universities. Islands he had visited may have served as models for his ideas.
In this work, Kropotkin points out what he considers to be the fallacies of the economic systems of feudalism and capitalism, and how he believes they create poverty and scarcity while promoting privilege. He goes on to propose a more decentralised economic system based on mutual aid and voluntary cooperation, asserting that the tendencies for this kind of organisation already exist, both in evolution and in human society.
Shackleton's most famous expedition was planned to be an attempt to cross Antarctica from the Weddell Sea south of the Atlantic, to the Ross Sea south of the Pacific, by way of the Pole. It set out from London on 1 August 1914, and reached the Weddell Sea on January 10, 1915, where the pack ice closed in on the Endurance. The ship was broken by the ice on 27 October 1915. The 28 crew members managed to flee to Elephant Island, bringing three small boats with them. Shackleton and five other men managed to reach the southern coast of South Georgia in one of the small boats (in a real epic journey). Shackleton managed to rescue all of the stranded crew from Elephant Island without loss in the Chilean's navy seagoing steam tug Yelcho, on August 30, 1916, in the middle of the Antarctic winter.
The famous physicist Sir Isaac Newton lectured on optics from 1670 - 1672. He worked on refraction of light into colored beams using prisms and discovered chromatic aberration. He also postulated the corpuscular form of light and an ether to transmit forces between the corpuscles. His "Opticks", first published 1704 contains his postulates about the topic. This is the fourth edition in English, from 1730, which Newton corrected from the third edition before his death.
Fort, Charles Hoy
The Book of the Damned was the first published nonfiction work of the author Charles Fort (first edition 1919). Dealing with various types of anomalous phenomena including UFOs, strange falls of both organic and inorganic materials from the sky, odd weather patterns, the possible existence of creatures generally held to be mythological, disappearances of people under strange circumstances, and many other phenomena, the book is historically considered to be the first written in the specific field of anomalistics.
Burgess, Thornton W.
Peter Rabbit goes to school, with Mother Nature as his teacher. In this zoology book for children, Thornton W. Burgess describes the mammals of North America in the form of an entertaining story, including plenty of detail but omitting long scientific names. There is an emphasis on conservation.
Burgess, Thornton W.
The Burgess Bird Book for Children is a zoology book written in the form of a story featuring Peter Rabbit. Peter learns from his friend Jenny Wren all about the birds of North America, and we meet many of them in the Old Orchard, the Green Meadow, and the Green Forest.
Thomson, J. Arthur
The Outline of Science, Volume 1 was written specifically with the
man-on-the-street in mind as the target audience. Covering
scientific subjects ranging from astronomy to biology to elementary
physics in clear, concise and easily understood prose, this
popular science work is largely as relevant today as when first
published in 1922. Special emphasis is given to the principles
of biological adaptation and evolution, especially how they relate to
the rise of the human species from lower orders. Also included are
the basics of the (then) fairly new concept of relativity and its impact
on emerging scientific theories.
Since first posted at Project Gutenberg in 2006, the text of
The Outline of Science, Volume 1 has consistently ranked in the
"Top 100 EBooks" category.
Thomson, J. Arthur
In The Outline of Science, Thomson gives us a window into scientific thinking as it stood in 1922 on the big, the little, and the biological. With straightforward language intended for a general audience, this book covers astronomy from the Solar System to the Milky Way, the submicroscopic makeup of matter from protons and electrons, and the evolution of simple living beings into the varied fauna of the world today. Thomson cites many examples that would have been familiar to his readers of the day and notes where scientific understanding leaves off and conjecture begins. He clearly shows how the accumulation of observation and experiment stacked up to form the body of knowledge reported in the book. For even the scientifically well-versed, there will be interesting nuggets, for investigation into how the world came to be as it was, was both wide and deep.
To a modern listener, what was not known may be as interesting as what was. With the 100-inch Mt. Wilson reflector the largest telescope in the world, the existence of galaxies outside the Milky Way was suspected but not confirmed. Neutrons, soon to become important in the field of nuclear energy and atomic bombs, were as yet unguessed-at, yet the prospect of liberating the immense energy of the atom was already a keen interest. Although the famous Michaelson-Morley experiment had already been seen as disproof of an all-pervading "ether" which facilitated the flow of energy across empty space, scientists still retained ether as a place-holder for properties they could measure but not explain - an approach very similar to the "dark matter" of modern cosmology.
Regardless of your personal sentiments on Darwin's theory of evolution, Thomson provides well-chosen examples that illustrate why this theory arose. He examines not only the fossil record but the evidences present in modern living beings that the process of evolution is by no means finished, but ongoing.
Even at that time, Thomson worried over the future of energy sources. He contemplated the exhaustion of the coal fields and indeed, the eventual exhaustion of all usable energy in the universe, foreshadowing our concept of entropy.
Summary by Mark F. Smith.
Fabre, J. Henri
Jean-Henri Casimir Fabre (December 22, 1823 - October 11, 1915) was a French entomologist and author. He was born in St. Léons in Aveyron, France. Fabre was largely an autodidact, owing to the poverty of his family. Nevertheless, he acquired a primary teaching certificate at the young age of 19 and began teaching at the college of Ajaccio, Corsica, called Carpentras. In 1852, he taught at the lycée in Avignon.
A handbook of Egyptian archaeology, issued by the British Museum, considered suitable for British tourists traveling to Egypt in the 19th Century.
Brooks, David Marshall
Plain speaking is necessary in any discussion of religion, for if the freethinker attacks the religious dogmas with hesitation, the orthodox believer assumes that it is with regret that the freethinker would remove the crutch that supports the orthodox. And all religious beliefs are "crutches" hindering the free locomotive efforts of an advancing humanity. There are no problems related to human progress and happiness in this age which any theology can solve, and which the teachings of freethought cannot do better and without the aid of encumbrances.
Robert Williams Wood
How do you tell apart a parrot from a carrot? A plover from a clover? A bay from a jay? Although there are several ways of differentiating, R. W. Wood’s use of pun and rhyme is one of the most entertaining!
The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man. Population, when unchecked, increases in a geometrical ratio. Subsistence increases only in an arithmetical ratio. A slight acquaintance with numbers will show the immensity of the first power in comparison with the second (Malthus).
Serviss, Garrett P.
Astronomy is known as the oldest of the sciences, and it will be the longest-lived because it will always have arcana that have not been penetrated."-Excerpt from the Preface of Curiosities of the Sky by Garrett Serviss
Muir, M. M. Pattison
A light journey through the history of chemistry, from its start in the obscure mysteries of alchemy to what was, for the author, the cutting edge of the development of modern atomic theory ... and whose developing blind ends we can now see with the advantage of hind sight.
Powell, John Wesley
John Wesley Powell was a pioneer American explorer, ethnologist, and geologist in the 19th Century. In 1869 he set out to explore the Colorado and the Grand Canyon. He gathered nine men, four boats and food for ten months and set out from Green River, Wyoming, on May 24. Passing through dangerous rapids, the group passed down the Green River to its confluence with the Colorado River (then also known as the Grand River upriver from the junction), near present-day Moab, Utah. The expedition's route traveled through the Utah canyons of the Colorado River, which Powell described in his published diary as having …wonderful features—carved walls, royal arches, glens, alcove gulches, mounds and monuments. From which of these features shall we select a name? We decide to call it Glen Canyon. (Ironically, now almost completely submerged by Lake Powell, behind the Glen Canyon Dam.) One man (Goodman) quit after the first month and another three (Dunn and the Howland brothers) left at Separation Rapid in the third, only two days before the group reached the mouth of the Virgin River on August 30 after traversing almost 1,500 km. The three who left the group late in the trip were later killed—probably by Indians.
Powell retraced the route in 1871-1872 with another expedition, producing photographs, an accurate map, and various papers, including ethnographic reports of the area's Native Americans and a monograph on their languages.
Whitehead, Alfred North
In The Concept of Nature, Alfred North Whitehead discusses the interrelatedness of time, space, and human perception.
The idea of objects as 'occasions of experience', arguments against body-mind duality and the search for an all-encompassing 'philosophy of nature' are examined, with specific reference to contemporary (Einstein, with whose theory of relativity he has some complaints) and ancient (Plato, Aristotle) approaches.
Walsh, James Joseph
Dr. Walsh's Old-Time Makers of Medicine chronicles the history and development of modern medicine from ancient times up to the discovery of America. Throughout this historical guide, Dr. Walsh shows numerous examples of practices thought to be entirely modern that were clearly anticipated hundreds or thousands of years ago. Ancient healers sought to use the body's natural healing ability, rather than rely exclusively on external cures. Physicians even in ancient times relied on what is now recognized as the placebo effect.
Dr. Walsh also addresses training and certification in medicine. Medieval universities anticipate our modern medical textbooks with consolidated records of all research and independent investigations, to provide uniform training for students. Likewise, the reader will find that the ancients reacted to unsuccessful treatment in similar degrees to what might now be called medical malpractice suits.
The book is organized chronologically, beginning with the fall of the Roman Empire and growth of the early Christian Church. From there, Dr. Walsh details the development of medical knowledge and practice in Arabia, to Medieval and Renaissance Europe. The reader will also discover how modern cultures based much of their medical knowledge on ancient Greek teachings. The chapters on Arabian Physicians and Medieval Universities also discuss knowledge exchanged between Arabic and European cultures. Dr. Walsh exposes several misconceptions and misinterpretations of history, especially restrictions of medical research stemming from religious prohibitions.
Langstroth, L. L.
Langstroth revolutionized the beekeeping industry by using bee space in his top opened hive. In the summer of 1851 he found that, by leaving an even, approximately bee-sized space between the top of the frames holding the honeycomb and the flat coverboard lying above, he was able to quite easily remove the latter, which was normally well cemented to the frames with propolis making separation hard to achieve. Later he had the idea to use this discovery to make the frames themselves easily removable. He found that, if he left a small space (less than 1/4 inch or 6.4 mm) between the combs, or between the combs and the sides of his hives, the bees would fill it with propolis thus cementing the combs into the hive. On the other hand, when he left a larger space (more than 3/8 inch or 9.5 mm) the bees would fill it with comb which had a similar effect.
In contrast to Scott's South Pole expedition, Amundsen's expedition benefited from good equipment, appropriate clothing, and a fundamentally different primary task (Amundsen did no surveying on his route south and is known to have taken only two photographs) Amundsen had a better understanding of dogs and their handling, and he used of skis more effectively. He pioneered an entirely new route to the Pole and they returned. In Amundsen's own words: "Victory awaits him who has everything in order -- luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck." Short accounts by other members of the party are appended.
56 flavors of Pi proudly produced by Volunteers to celebrate Pi Day, 2008. (3/14) Don't worry, you don't have to listen to an infinite string of numbers: each reader presents just the first 50 digits in styles of their own choosing.
In light of the spirit of this occasion (and the might of our spirited community), this LibriVox offering makes a gentle exception to the policy of faithfully presenting just the text. This is the real Pi, but served up with a side of sillies -- it's Pi a la volunteer.
Mill, John Stuart
Part 1 lays out the framework for Positivism as originated in France by Auguste Comte in his Cours de Philosophie Positive. Mill examines the tenets of Comte's movement and alerts us to defects. Part 2 concerns all Comte's writings except the Cours de Philosophie Positive. During Comte's later years he gave up reading newspapers and periodicals to keep his mind pure for higher study. He also became enamored of a certain woman who changed his view of life. Comte turned his philosophy into a religion, with morality the supreme guide. Mill finds that Comte learned to despise science and the intellect, instead substituting his frantic need for the regulation of change.
Church, Richard William
This investigation of Bacon the scholar and man of letters begins with a look at the early days ang progresses to his relationships with Queen Elizabeth and James I. It includes accounts of his positions as solicitor general, attorney-general, and chancellor. The book concludes with Bacon's failure, his overall philosophy, and summaries of his writings.
Zahm, John Augustine
A history of woman's role in science through the ages and the many contributions she has made.
Morley, Margaret Warner
Through delightful outings with her students, a teacher introduces her class to the fascinating world of insects. She encourages her students to observe and ask questions. This is a wonderful science text for young children.
This book takes its origin in a course of lectures on the history and progress of Astronomy arranged for Sir Oliver Lodge in the year 1887. The first part of this book is devoted to the biographies and discoveries of well known astronomers like Copernicus, Brahe, Kepler, Galileo and Newton. In the second part, the biographies take a back seat, while scientific discoveries are discussed more extensively, like the discovery of Asteroids and Neptune, a treatise on the tides and others.
This book, with the subtitle "Across the Continent of South America" describes the scientific expedion of 1867 to the equatorial Andes and the Amazon. The route was from Guayaquil to Quito, over the Cordillera, through the forest to Napo, and, finally, on the Rio Napo to Pebas on the Maranon. Besides this record, the expedition - under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institute - collected samples of rocks and plants, and numerous specimen of animals. The scientists also compiled a vocabulary of local languages and produced a new map of equatorial America. James Orton (1830 - 1877) was Professor in Natural History in Vassar College, and corresponding member of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia.
Weather Explained: Fog, clouds, rain, haze, thunder, cyclones, dew point and how to count dust motes are just a few of the 35 topics covered in short, easy to read and understand chapters in this book published in 1905.
Yard, Robert Sterling
Robert Sterling Yard was an American writer, journalist, and wilderness activist. Born in Haverstraw, New York, Yard graduated from Princeton University and spent the first twenty years of his career in the editing and publishing business. In 1915, he was recruited by his friend Stephen Mather to help publicize the need for an independent national park agency. Their numerous publications were part of a movement that resulted in legislative support for a National Park Service (NPS) in 1916. Yard worked to promote the national parks as well as educate Americans about their use. Creating high standards based on aesthetic ideals for park selection, he also opposed commercialism and industrialization of what he called "America's masterpieces". In 1935, he became one of the eight founding members of The Wilderness Society and acted as its first president from 1937 until his death eight years later. Yard is now considered an important figure in the modern wilderness movement.
In the preface to this book, published in 1919, he writes, "In offering the American public a carefully studied outline of its national park system, I have two principal objects. The one is to describe and differentiate the national parks in a manner which will enable the reader to appreciate their importance, scope, meaning, beauty, manifold uses and enormous value to individual and nation. The other is to use these parks, in which Nature is writing in large plain lines the story of America's making, as examples illustrating the several kinds of scenery, and what each kind means in terms of world building; in other words, to translate the practical findings of science into unscientific phrase for the reader's increased profit and pleasure, not only in his national parks but in all other scenic places great and small."
The first half of this book describes the devastating earthquake that hit San Francisco in 1906, and the subsequent destruction caused by fire. Various eyewitnesses and victims give their account on the tragedy.
In the second half, a number of different other earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are retold, like the eruption of the Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeij or the explosion of the Krakatoa, together with scientific explanations for the causes of earthquakes and the eruption of volcanos.
Slosson, Edwin E.
Slosson reviews the transformation of alchemistry from an obscure and imprecise practice to the science of chemistry. Along the way, he explains how the modern industrial world now relies on fertilizers, explosives, textile materials, polymers and metals.
By exploring the properties of a once undervalued element, the high strength of vanadium steel made the Ford car possible. Another element, cerium, appears in butane lighters and was once seen as a threat to the match industry in France.
In his chapter on oils, Slosson reviews the development of hydrogenated oils, especially during WWII, in the search for a way to reuse otherwise discarded components of corn and cottonseed. Through the revolutionary reaction of hydrogenation, waste materials became a stable product that wouldn't spoil when packaged or carried without refrigeration. Once thought of as a miracle, shoppers were once willing to pay more for fully hydrogenated oils than their natural, unsaturated forms. Only in recent years has evidence of health risks checked their popularity and given them the image of cheap, unhealthy fillers.
Elisha Gray (August 2, 1835 – January 21, 1901) was an American electrical engineer who co-founded the Western Electric Manufacturing Company. Gray is best known for his development of a telephone prototype in 1876 in Highland Park, Illinois and is considered by some writers to be the true inventor of the variable resistance telephone, despite losing out to Alexander Graham Bell for the telephone patent.
This is a textbook on the science of blood and bloodwork by (1908) Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Paul Ehrlich. Should appeal to hematologists, phlebotomists, and just plain folks interested in how our bodies work.
This book tells of a girl named Alice falling through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures.