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The Sciences

One book to educate them all

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanFebruary 20, 2006 3:56 AM


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OK, a question. Imagine that you are the only adult left in the world and everyone else is under the age of 6. Assume helper robots obviate the need to micromanage the lives of the children, toddlers and infants in your care.

You can choose one book from each of the disciplines of humanity to educate these children

. Ignoring your own field of specialization, which book would you choose for "science"? You have 30 seconds! My answer: I initially considered The Principia by Isaac Newton, but upon 15 seconds of reflection concluded that that might be too high of a level and the tome might turn into a "sacred" text which blocks rather than spurs intellectual development. The greatest minds of England in Newton's own age had great difficulty with his ideas. So, the second choice which I settled upon The Elements by Euclid because of its use of axiomatic methods in mathematics.

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