From Publishers Weekly
In the tradition of Malcolm Gladwell, geologist Turney provides an absorbing look into the ways humans reckon time both in their daily lives and in their view of the past. Bringing together science and history in a populist, intellectual adventure, Turney takes on an eclectic roster of world-class mysteries, from the identity of King Arthur and the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin to the age of the cosmos. Turney presents his arcane topics-such as the effect of earth's orbital irregularities on the construction of the pyramids-with the ease and affability of your favorite college professor, and narrates the history of these mysteries with a keen sense of drama. Although each of the chapters seems at first glance to be distinct from the rest (the calendar, comets, ice ages, megafauna, the Missing Link, and dinosaurs among them), the work is actually a single investigation broken into many parts, whose underlying unity emerges gradually. Though Turney means for the book to provide a refutation of Creationism (which he feels has no place in scientific discourse or education), he limits his engagement with the issue to the introduction and epilogue, wisely letting his subject matter speak for itself. This book will appeal to a wide audience, particularly those who got a kick out of Blink or Freakonomics.
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"If you like detective stories, you'll love this book. It should satisfy the hungriest of infovores."--New Scientist
"absorbing...will appeal to a wide audience, particularly those who got a kick out of Blink
" --Publishers Weekly
"A fabulous, entertainingly written account of the amazing science
behind calendars, dates and dating objects. Essential reading for anyone
interested in prehistory." Professor Tim Flannery, Director of the South Australian Museum
"A rollicking run through the story of telling the time - lively and well-researched, with many fascinating stories." Professor Michael Benton, author of When Life Nearly Died
"This delightful introduction successfully fuses history, prehistory and earth science. It captures the imagination from its first page, and then takes the reader on a fun and fact-filled world tour through the past."-- Professor Tim White, University of California at Berkeley
"What I like best about the book: It's a scientist clearly explaining what he does for a living and why it is important, at a level that any literate person can understand. Not an easy accomplishment." --scienceblogs.com/pharyngula
"5/5: a book that tackles [these] issues is welcome indeed--that it succeeds so brilliantly is a wonderful surprise." --Peter Andrews of the Natural History Museum, BBC Focus Magazine
"Well researched and covers a lot of ground in a splendidly personal style. Highly recommended" --Quaternary Australasia