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Books, Journals, New Media
October 28, 1998

KnowledgeConsilience: The Unity of Knowledge

Author Affiliations
 

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media

 

Not Available

 

by Edward O. Wilson, 332 pp, $26, ISBN 0-679-45077-7, New York, NY, Alfred A Knopf, 1998.

JAMA. 1998;280(16):1455. doi:10.1001/jama.280.16.1455

This splendid book will seem more congenial to physicians, and its subject matter less difficult, than to almost any other group. Premedical requirements almost always include courses in physics, chemistry, biology, and college-level mathematics. Physicians will thus rather readily accept the idea of the unity of the natural sciences. Matter and energy are interchangeable through Einstein's theory of relativity, everything in biology consists of chemical components, and all forms of life seem pretty much the same thing in the light of Darwin's theory of evolution. Unless they wish to dispute Einstein and Darwin, physicians are educated to accept the unity—the consilience—of the natural world and every bit of its contents.

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