The Origin of (Almost) Everything

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The Origin of (Almost) Everything

Origin of (Almost) Everything, The - Hardcover - UK - 1st Edition.jpg

Hardcover - UK - 1st edition.

Author Graham Lawton
Published 2016-10-25
Type Non-fiction
Genre Educational
Themes History, Science
Age Group Adult

The Origin of (Almost) Everything is a popular science book by Graham Lawton and published on 2016-10-25. It gives a brief account of the origin of over 50 different topic, from the universe and atoms, to dogs and penicillin.


Read?Audiobook read by David Thorpe.

I'm always eager to learn more about science, so I read this book.





  • As the title suggests, the author describes the origin of a myriad of things, which is interesting, and he does so in an enjoyable manner, which is even more interesting.
  • The book dispels several common myths about the history of science and technology. For example, the Wright brothers didn't build the first powered aircraft, and Alexander Fleming, though he discovered it, wasn't responsible for turning penicillin into a useful antibiotic.


  • Some of the origins don't go into nearly enough depth. For example, in the chapter on the origin of the universe, the author explains that quantum mechanics teaches us that the universe has a net value of zero, and that "nothing" is unstable, and always breaks into something. This is presented without any evidence or data to back it up, or any detailed explanation for what that means.
  • There are occasional claims that sound very suspect. For example, in the section on possessions, the author claims that animals don't keep possessions, not because they're not intelligent enough to do so, but because they don't have language. No evidence is given for why, if we were to breed a highly intelligent animal without language, it wouldn't keep possessions, or why all animals with language must therefore keep possessions.


  • Nothing.




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