The Knowledge Machine: How an Unreasonable Idea Created Modern Science

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Over the last three centuries, huge leaps in our scientific understanding and, as a result, in our technology have completely transformed our way of life and our vision of the universe. Why is science so powerful? And why did we take so long to invent it - two thousand years after the invention of philosophy, mathematics and other disciplines that are the mark of civilisation? 'The Knowledge Machine' gives a radical answer, exploring how science calls on its practitioners to do something not supremely rational but rather apparently irrational: strip away all previous knowledge - such as theological or metaphysical beliefs - in order to channel unprecedented energy into observation and experiment.