9780684127323 / 0684127326

The Invisible Pyramid: A Naturalist Analyses the Rocket Century


Publisher:Macmillan Pub Co



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About the book:

In July 1969, American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin landed on the surface of the moon, a feat millions of earthbound observers cheered. Loren Eiseley, an ecologist and conservationist, saw little cause for celebration in the astronauts' arrival, however. In a series of lectures delivered at the University of Washington later in 1969 and collected in this slender volume, Eiseley took the occasion of the lunar landing to consider how far humans had to go in understanding their own small corner of the universe, their home planet, much less what he called the "cosmic prison" of space. Likening humans to the microscopic phagocytes that dwell within our bodies, he grumpily remarks, "We know only a little more extended reality than the hypothetical creature below us. Above us may lie realms it is beyond our power to grasp." Science, he suggests, would be better put to examining that which lies immediately before us, although he allows that the quest to explore space is so firmly rooted in Western technological culture that it was unlikely to be abandoned simply because of his urging. Eiseley's opinion continues to be influential among certain environmentalists, and these graceful essays show why that should be so. --Gregory McNamee

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