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    Editor, PACIFIC REVIEW

    Pacific Book Review - Look up at the night sky on a clear evening and if you're far enough away from any ambient light, the enormity of the cosmos is engulfing, much like the subject matters in this book. An in-depth discourse on astronomy by the author is matched by and delved into the intricacies of evolutionary biology. The understanding of these two sciences develops through a discussion of how both have unfolded for centuries - with an understanding of the connections between the physical and biological worlds. Every chapter in Astronomy & Natural History Connections from Darwin to Einstein embraces and promotes these concepts. Scientific insight grew out of a desire to understand our place in the universe. This book is for those who are curious about natural selection, red giants, neutron stars stars, pulsars, galaxies, the big bang theory, and dark matter. Not only will the reader learn about these topics and many more, but also about the earliest scholars, theorists and philosophers who were the first to try and understand the world around them. From the ancient Greece to present day, the impact of theories from Pythagoras, Plato, Socrates, Galileo, Sir Isaac Newton, Darwin and Einstein is examined and analyzed in a manner that is straightforward and accessible. As a teacher, Mr. Boyce has spent a lifetime educating. He's good at it, plus he has spent much of his life teaching outside of the classroom, conducting hands-on, up- close-and-personal experiences in locations around the world. This book also takes the reader on a journey through the latest in astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology and to the cusp of the proverbial universe of new discoveries -- the search for life, the future of manned and robotic missions outside of the solar system and, for those who dream about space travel, the colonization of Mars. Interspersed throughout are full-color astrophotography and nature images taken by the author. The most valuable aspect to this book is that it inspires us to get more connected to all that is around and above us, to open our minds to the significance of every wondrous facet of the cosmos and of this pale blue dot in the universe we call Earth. I recommend this book to anyone that has looked up at the night sky and wondered. SUSAN BROWN
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    Fascinating !!

    As an always-curious-but-not-very-knowledgeable fan of natural history and the sciences, I found myself drawn into this book on numerous levels. Firstly, the author is highly amusing and makes his vast field of information accessible. Secondly, his book is fascinating, tying together disparate ideas from disparate fields that I had never previously connected. Barry Boyce manages to convey profound and complicated relationships in a straightforward and understandable way. Thirdly, he makes me think. It is taking me a while to read it as I want to think things over as I go. I can’t imagine a better way for anyone to learn a huge amount about the earth, the sky and the history of civilization as is available in this book. It’s a masterpiece, a diamond in the raw full of sparkle and shine and a goldmine of information. I’d highly recommend this book for anyone interested in the wonders of our earth and the universe in which we exist.
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    For Laymen and Science Students Alike!

    Astronomy & Natural History Connections from Darwin to Einstein is a science course in a book, adopting the unusual approach of blending astronomy with natural history in a survey that successfully draws important connections between the two disciplines. It's not only unusual to see the different disciplines thoroughly covered in a single volume; but the addition of scientist biographical sketches from classical Greek to modern times creates an approach that cements scientific developments with insights on individual pursuits and social history. Astronomy & Natural History Connections covers basic principles but focuses on what thinkers such as Darwin did and did not say. Classroom discussion and individual study are more detailed than memorizing dates and theories, encouraging reflection on how ideas developed, were debated, and how they apply to lasting scientific pursuits, pinpointing moments that were epiphanies and breakthroughs in conventional thinking. As the discussion weaves back and forth between astronomy and natural history, connections are created which solidify not only basic concepts, but points of disharmony and contention and how these were addressed, providing far more depth than the traditional linear presentation of either subject. It should be warned that many casual and conventional lay impressions of scientific development, processes, and theory will be challenged during the course of Barry Boyce's associative process. Among these concepts is the contention that evolution is not necessarily an adaptive process; that 'species' is a term that should be questioned; and that migratory processes may be seen as only breeding strategy in a mix of options. It should also be mentioned that Boyce's appeal to lay audiences is strengthened by his adoption of a chatty tone that clearly explains matters to lay readers. Concluding statements summarizing the important concepts of each chapter clarify the basics with material for classroom discussion or independent reader reflection. The key descriptor of this piece lies in its "connections" portion. Astronomy & Natural History Connections doesn't just summarize major findings, but moves back and forth as it links the two subjects. This fluidity allows for an unexpectedly wide-ranging survey of the future challenges of science, such as the pros and cons of colonizing and terraforming Mars or the search for answers about galaxy expansion processes. Most scientific discussions come from either teachers or scientific researchers. Barry Boyce was a graduate student in the neurosciences, but spent 30 years teaching natural history and astronomy on expedition voyages to the Galápagos Islands and the Antarctic, so his experience with worlds outside the traditional classroom or lab structures affords a different focus and lingo that nicely explain and exploring these worlds, employing a more engrossing, dramatic touch than most. Readers seeking a treatise for self-study will be delighted by the book's accessibility and ability to turn technical discussions into understandable ideas, while teachers looking for a more 'user-friendly' volume emphasizing interdisciplinary approaches and research processes will delight in the special approach of Astronomy & Natural History Connections, a work highly recommended for laymen and science students alike.
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