Books

The Sparks That Lit the West

Fragile Flame: The Uniqueness and Vulnerability of Scientific and Technological Civilisation by Hal G.P. Colebatch Acashic, 2013, 620 pages, $39.95   Hal Colebatch has brought his lifelong love of history to bear on a big question: Why have science and technology reached take-off only once? That take-off, happily, occurred in our own era and culture. Western Christianity was the creator, midwife and guardian of our unique scientific and technological civilisation, he says. The feats of the Egyptians, Greeks, the Romans, the Chinese, the Arabs, the Aztecs and Incas all petered out. From a sunken Greek ship near the island of…

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