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I have owned this book since 1983. I bought it because of my great interest in science. I bought so many, however, that many of them have sat on my shelves for a long time. I found I had read only a few bits of this one. Over the last couple of years, however, it has been fun to read through them, with a pick of topics from my own shelves, supplemented by new purchases in a planned reading program.
It was interesting and informative to read this book of science published in 1964. The author vividly reviews the development of modern knowledge and the scientific approach. His story is not a catalogue of facts, but an exciting adventure of discovery and reflection on the implications for practical life.
North Atlantic Timescape
He originally wrote the book in German, and it was then translated into English. I do not see many science books translated from German into English. This seems to indicate the esteem in which this writer was held.
This book is like a glimpse into the past to see how they viewed things "back then." Much has been discovered and great breakthroughs have occurred in various areas of science since the 1960s, but I was surprised to see how full the foundation of knowledge was at that time, when I was just beginning to explore the world of knowledge in mature detail.
Boschke does not focus on any supposed conflict between the Bible and science, but uses the Genesis story of creation only as a reference framework for perspective. It provides a basic literary device show how ideas changed and how society reacted to new and revolutionary discoveries, out of the ignorance of their cultural worldview.
Boschke writes as a proficient scientist and interpreter of the domain. It is a pleasant experience seeing how competently he handles and interprets equally well all the range of scientific investigation and learning. There were several interesting insights and bits of information I did not remember ever knowing.
I enjoyed reading more about geology, and found details in this work that I had not focused on before. The author covers the story of exploration of the continent of Antarctica. I had not realized that the continent had not been mapped until in the 1950s.
He discusses the continental plates and theory of continental drift, including much about the topography of the ocean and continents. In considering the components of life, there was a lot of detail about experiments with amino acids and attempts to create proteins, in testing the theories of the origin of organic life.
The Physics of Learning
During 2006 I read about the bio-chemistry of learning and memory, and how amino acids are used to create proteins on demand as we think, learn, imagine and remember. Seeing the basics of life through Boschke's portrayal gave a perspective on how amazing and wonderful life is. The simplest action or thought is a marvel.
Every few years, science seems to break through to another new level of a whole new micro-world to discover. Reading information like this is literally a focus of worship for me. I learn these details and perspectives about our life, our world and our selves with a real sense of awe and thanks to the Creator.
Non-Carbon Based Life Forms
Boschke looks at several animals, mostly in the ocean, that also have metabolisms based on other than iron and carbon. I was also fascinated by his discussion of bacteria that eat petroleum and live only in oxygen-free environments.
The author also presents information on several meteorites which contained organic materials. This was another area I only vaguely remembered hearing about. I also appreciated the time he spent on marine life, which is so often ignored in science writing.
This book provides many photos which help to interpret the topics and events Boschke so competently brings back to life to the active reader. I hope you can read this book for your own enjoyment, not to mention how informative it will be.
See related articles on this site:
God, Heaven and Human Knowledge
Mapping Human Origins
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Many other books have review notes with the entry
First notes written 29 July 2006
Expanded and finalized for posting on Thoughts and Resources 25 December 2006
Last edited 8 November 2007
Reviewed on Amazon 3 March 2009
Orville Boyd Jenkins, EdD, PhD
Copyright © 2006 Orville Boyd Jenkins
Permission granted for free download and transmission for personal or educational use. Other rights reserved.