Search results for: loren-eiseley-collected-essays-on-evolution-nature-and-the-cosmos

Loren Eiseley Collected Essays on Evolution Nature and the Cosmos Vol 1 LOA 285

Author : Loren Eiseley
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An eminent paleontologist with the soul and skill of a poet, Loren Eiseley (1907–1977) was among the twentieth century’s greatest inheritors of the literary tradition of Henry David Thoreau, Charles Darwin, and John Muir, and a precursor to such later writers as Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Dawkins, and Carl Sagan. After decades of fieldwork and discovery as a “bone-hunter” and professor, Eiseley turned late in life to the personal essay, and beginning with the surprise million-copy seller The Immense Journey (1957) he produced an astonishing succession of books that won acclaim both as science and as art. Now for the first time, the Library of America presents his landmark essay collections in a definitive two-volume set. This first volume begins with Eiseley’s debut collection, which displays his far-reaching knowledge and boundless curiosity about the mysteries of the natural world. Here are vivid accounts of prehistoric ecosystems, the origins of consciousness, the search for “living fossils” at the bottom of the sea, and the complexities of our evolutionary inheritance. Here too are literary qualities and aspirations that led many to hail Eiseley as a “modern Thoreau”: his quest for the ultimate meanings and cosmological significance of natural phenomena, along with his immense expressive gifts. The Firmament of Time (1960), a lyrical and meditative tour de force, looks back at the many ways in which the sciences have been shaped by the changing cultures in which they developed. Examining the role of metaphor in scientific thought, anticipations of scientific discoveries in the works of poets and novelists, and the “unconscious conformity” of scientific theory to prevailing orthodoxies, Eiseley argues provocatively for the ongoing relevance to scientific progress of dreams, the imagination, and the irrational. In his wide-ranging collection The Unexpected Universe (1969), Eiseley turns to the theme of the voyage of discovery: accounts of the mythical and historic journeys of Odysseus, Captain Cook, and Darwin frame his own more modest wanderings in the environs of Philadelphia. Sometimes he travels no farther than the local dump: and yet, like Homer’s hero or these great explorers, he continually finds a universe “not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.” As an added feature, this volume presents a selection of Eiseley’s uncollected prose, including early autobiographical sketches, vivid and haunting entries from his private notebooks, and his 1957 lecture “Neanderthal Man and the Dawn of Human Paleontology.” A companion volume presents The Invisible Pyramid (1970), The Night Country (1971), and the essays gathered after his death in The Star Thrower (1978). LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.

Collected Essays on Evolution Nature and the Cosmos

Author : Loren C. Eiseley
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"A paleontologist with the spirit of a poet."--Publisher.

Loren Eiseley Collected Essays on Evolution Nature and the Cosmos Vol 2 LOA 286

Author : Loren Eiseley
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An eminent paleontologist with the soul and skill of a poet, Loren Eiseley (1907–1977) was among the twentieth century’s greatest inheritors of the literary tradition of Henry David Thoreau, Charles Darwin, and John Muir, and a precursor to such later writers as Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Dawkins, and Carl Sagan. After decades of fieldwork and discovery as a “bone-hunter” and professor, Eiseley turned late in life to the personal essay, and beginning with the surprise million-copy seller The Immense Journey (1957) he produced an astonishing succession of books that won acclaim both as science and as art. Now for the first time, the Library of America presents his landmark essay collections in a definitive two-volume set. This second volume begins with The Invisible Pyramid (1970), a book of meditations on the origins and possible futures of humankind set against the backdrop of the Apollo 11 landings. As Western civilization attains new heights of scientific awareness and technological skill, is it also blind to its own limits, doomed to destroy itself like the lost civilizations of the ancients or other “spore-bearers” in our evolutionary past? Eiseley makes an urgent, environmentalist plea in these essays: we must protect the planet from which we emerged against our unchecked power to overpopulate and pollute and consume it. The essays in The Night Country (1971) look not to the stars but backward and inward: to the haunted spaces of Eiseley’s lonely Nebraska childhood and to those moments, often dark and unexpected, when chance observations disturb our ordinary understandings of the universe. The naturalist here seeks neither “salvation in facts” nor solace in wild places: encountering an old bone, or a nest of wasps, he recognizes what he calls “the ghostliness of myself,” his own mortality, and the paradoxes of the evolution of consciousness. Shortly before his death, Eiseley made plans for what would be his last book, published posthumously as The Star Thrower (1978). Here are late essays on the life and legacy of Henry David Thoreau, the writer to whom he turned more often than any other; thoughts on the “two cultures” he sought to bring together throughout his career; and on the relations between hard science and “awe before the universe.” Of particular interest are two early stories discovered among his papers, “The Dance of the Frogs” and “The Fifth Planet.” A companion volume gathers The Immense Journey (1957), The Firmament of Time (1960), The Unexpected Universe (1969), and a selection of Eiseley’s uncollected prose. LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.

The Unexpected Universe

Author : Loren Eiseley
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“No one has ever managed to make the pursuit of knowledge feel more soulful or more immediate than Loren Eiseley . . . ” —Ben Cosgrove, The Daily Beast At the height of a distinguished career as a paleontologist, Loren Eiseley turned from fieldwork and scientific publication to the personal essay. Here, in The Unexpected Universe, he displays his far-reaching knowledge and searching curiosity about the natural world, and the qualities that led many to hail him as a “modern Thoreau.” Fascinating accounts of the journeys of Odysseus, Captain Cook, and Charles Darwin frame Eiseley’s more modest wanderings as a suburban naturalist, attentive to the lives of small creatures. Sometimes he travels no further than the local dump. And yet, like Homer’s hero or these great explorers, he continually finds a universe “not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.”

Elemental Architecture

Author : Phillip James Tabb
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Elemental Architecture presents a new and refreshing approach to sustainable architectural practice. Going beyond the standard performance-based and quantitative sustainable measures, it incorporates a broader framework of considerations, including the more poetic and noetic possibilities of environmental design. The book is structured around the ancient Greek and medieval alchemists’ system of the Five Temperaments: fire, earth, air, water, and ether. Phillip James Tabb examines how these elements produce both positive and negative environmental forces which have an impact on architectural design – from drinking water and fresh air to torrential floods and tornados. He shows how responding to or enhancing these forces can help us to create a more sustainable, healthy, and purposeful architecture. To illustrate this, each chapter draws on seminal contemporary works of architecture, from Peter Zumthor’s Bruder-Klaus Field Chapel to Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece at Fallingwater. These examples are accompanied by over a hundred high-quality illustrations. Expanding the discussion of sustainability to include phenomenological as well as qualitative considerations, Elemental Architecture is ideal for students and researchers with an interest in sustainable architecture and architectural theory.

The Night Country

Author : Loren Eiseley
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One of America’s most beloved naturalists reflects on the “fallibility of science, the mystery of evolution, and the surprise of life” in this fascinating essay collection (Time) Weaving together memoir, philosophical reflection, and his always keen observations of the natural world, Loren Eiseley’s essays in The Night Country explore those moments, often dark and unexpected, when chance encounters disturb our ordinary understandings of the universe. The naturalist here seeks neither “salvation in facts” nor solace in wild places: discovering an old bone or a nest of wasps, or remembering the haunted spaces of his lonely Nebraska childhood, Eiseley recognizes what he calls “the ghostliness of myself,” his own mortality, and the paradoxes of the evolution of consciousness.

The Firmament of Time

Author : Loren Eiseley
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A lyrical and meditative tour de force that traces the evolution of man and science, including the rise of scientific inquiry In The Firmament of Time—nominated for a National Book Award—Loren Eiseley offers a series of brilliant, provocative excursions through the history of science. A paleontologist with the soul and skill of a poet, he reflects on the many ways in which the quest for knowledge has been shaped by the changing cultures in which it emerged and developed. Examining the role of metaphor in scientific thought, anticipations of scientific discoveries in the works of poets and novelists, and the “unconscious conformity” of scientific theory to prevailing orthodoxies, he argues for the ongoing relevance of dreams, the imagination, and the irrational to scientific progress.

Searching for the Limits of Human Physical Performance

Author : Thomas Rowland
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What is it that limits how fast we can run, or how long we can row, cycle, or swim without tiring? What is exercise fatigue? One dares to say that not a single human being has not experienced those unpleasant feelings of physical exhaustion when taxed by some form of exercise. These effects are common and obvious, but, despite many years of research efforts, still unexplained. This book examines, from an historical perspective, the quest to decipher the underlying factors responsible for—and, indeed, simply the definition of—exercise fatigue. This story is told in the context of those researchers who have led this search for understanding. Some have been motivated by a search for an epiphany-like insight that would define the mechanisms by which living beings can be limited in their functional capacity, and some have sought this answer relative to socio-political issues surrounding human limitations in labor. Others have even been driven by a need to understand resistance to physical fatigue in humans engaged in war. Today, most such efforts to explain the nature and determinants of exercise fatigue involve optimizing performance in athletes and enhancing both the preventive and therapeutic health outcomes of exercise. The picture provided here is that of a multi-factorial nature of exercise fatigue, the determinants of which may be specific to the type, nature, and duration of the exercise involved. A more contemporary viewpoint, however, would suggest that the interaction between physiological factors may best define one’s ceiling of exercise performance. The implication of such a viewpoint would hold that factors defining exercise fatigue may be even more complicated than previously appreciated, meaning that this is a fascinating mystery waiting to be unraveled.

The Invisible Pyramid

Author : Loren Eiseley
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This important and urgent environmentalist text examines the origins and possible futures of humankind within the context of the Space Age To read Loren Eiseley is to renew a sense of wonder at the miracles and paradoxes of evolution and the ever-changing diversity of life. In this brilliant collection, he considers the cosmological significance and ultimate meanings of our evolutionary history, offering a series of profound, lyrical meditations on the origins and possible futures of humankind against the backdrop of the Apollo landings. As Western civilization attains new heights of scientific awareness and technological skill, he asks, is it also blind to its own limits and destructive capacities? Always a fond observer of the natural world, Eiseley makes a newly urgent, environmentalist plea in The Invisible Pyramid: we must protect the fragile “world island” against our unchecked power to pollute and consume it.

Nature Writing and America

Author : Peter A. Fritzell
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Fritzell (English, Lawrence U.) investigates the unique evolution of nature writing in America--first exemplified by Thoreau's Walden, and later refined and amplified in the works of Aldo Leopold, Loren Eiseley, Edward Abbey, and Annie Dillard, among others. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR