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The Watershed: A Biography of Johannes…
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The Watershed: A Biography of Johannes Kepler (1959)

by Arthur Koestler

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Science Study Series (S16)

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Absorbing reading as Koestler takes you in to the minds and lives of Kepler and those close to him. Today we think of Kepler as a "scientist" -- he is listed in all the school texts as the one who discovered that the planets moved around the sun in elliptical orbits and postulated our modern laws of planetary motion. What is fascinating from Koestler's biography is that Kepler discovered such things not through our understanding of the scientific method, but by default after spending years striving to find the proof of classical spherical shaped orbits that had more to do with the ancient idealization of shapes and patterns than with science. But what pushed him finally to accept that such patterns were not the reality was his hard-nosed honesty and perseverence with the evidence: that all recorded observations led to the conclusion of a one degree discrepancy in the orbit of Mars. It was his refusal to fudge that little bit of data to fit his fanciful theories that finally led to his breakthrough. Perhaps one can say his deeper contribution to science was his brutal honesty with evidence, even the slivers of evidence that many found so easy to put down to human error or such without further reflection and examination.
1 vote neilgodfrey | Oct 17, 2006 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Arthur Koestlerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Durston, JohnForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Larkin, R. PaulIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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