Talk:A Short History of Nearly Everything

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number of cells[edit]

My copy of the book has a footnote at the end of the sentence containing the "erronious" number of cells that explains that the number is less than the figure given. What the "ten thousand trillion" refers to is the mathematical amount of cells that would be reached if none died in that amount of time (which Bryson admits that they do- in the footnote). I feel like the article is being somewhat unfair toward Bryson on this point and suggest amending the section. How do you all feel about that? -Kanogul (talk) 02:54, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

New cover.[edit]

There is a new version of this out, the illustrated version. I happen to have it and would be willing to provide a picture of the cover if anyone thinks it would prove useful. JohnCub 20:03, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Supercooled liquid.[edit]

I seem to recall from my science class days that glass is a supercooled liquid in just the way that Bryson has described, therefor the error is an error. Fetu's dad 04:34, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

  • The footnote to this error links to an article which does not dispute that glass is a liquid - it merely dispels the notion that old windows are thicker at the bottom as a result and, in fact, supports the idea that glass is a flowing liquid, albeit one that takes a much longer time to flow than Bryson suggests. If the reference is correct, then Bryson is half right and the error listed here is half wrong. -- Leo 06:30, 30 October 2007 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)
    • While the reference does conclude that the glass does not flow signifigantly, it does not conclude that glass is a solid. Glass is in fact an amorphous solid, and a reference to "glass vs supercooled liquid" section of the glass article would be more appropriate. --Tyranoctonus (talk) 05:09, 3 January 2008 (UTC)


I'm concerned that there's no list of errata for this book. I haven't found many, but there are a few, such as the footnote about the Hindenberg, attributing the explosion to the hydrogen rather than the materials which made up the skin of the airship, which are now used as solid rocket-booster fuel. Would an Errata list be appropriate in this page? -- 04:46, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

-I'd say this is as good of a place as any so long as references are cited. JohnCub 09:44, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
-Indeed : sounds like an interesting section for the article. Some more examples of mistakes in the book can be found [1] --OscarTheCattalk 10:11, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

I think the errors for this book should be be put up here, it is worthwhile information. Especially because the author points out nearly every chapter myths and inaccuracies in other text books or popular books written by experts in the field. Also an error he made that I did not catch in the above mentioned article (i may have missed it i merely scanned it) is that glass is a slow moving solid. This is widely known as a myth [2] --Baumstev 02:53, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Regarding the glass thing, I have a 2004 Black Swan edition which carries the following footnote: " the summer of 2003, after this book came out, Science News reported a study by Prof. E. D. Zanotto of Brazil suggesting that the flow of glass, however venerable the plane, is actually much too slow to be detected by the naked eye." Zanotto has his own Wiki entry, regarding his glass lectures. I'm not sure if that helps or simply confuses more! Black 2 10:02, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

The whole glass as a liquid thing can be very confusing, because there have been studies to show glass flow, however it is at a much slower rate than can be seen in 400 years of glass windows. So then we get into the definition of a solid vs. a liquid, and what does flow really mean etc. Anyway, what is certain is that Bryson's version glass flowing in cathedral windows making them thicker at the bottom is a myth.D-rew 20:24, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

Just to note that the section of the book on Charles Darwin (at least the version in my local library) contains remarkable inaccuracies, thus leading to the need for this correction. The book also makes the claim that after the Beagle returned, Darwin never left England: as author of Notes from a Small Island, Bryson should have known better! ...dave souza, talk 14:02, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

Errors section.[edit]

I have removed the errors section, which consisted of a number of nitpicks, some of which are unsourced, and others pretty minor, the kinds of spelling corrections that get fixed in second editions. ProhibitOnions (T) 08:33, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

Your repeated removal of the list of errors in the book is in my opinion censorship and vandalism of Wikipedia material. Stop it. Do you not want any criticism of the book published for financial reasons? This book claims to be a history of everything, and it contains errors. Those errors need to be pointed out. Yes, all books of this type contain errors. So what? THEY ALWAYS NEED TO BE POINTED OUT!!!! If you want to edit the Errors section for style and brevity, then go ahead. But actually removing mention of the books errors is to enter a editing war which I will not let you win. I like this book, and recommend it to others, but suppression of valid criticisms (as you have now repeatedly attempted) is not on.

And there are absolutely no "spelling corrections" in the errors section at all... so exactly what are you talking about, anyway? Was substituting "fifty thousand light years" for "427 light years" a spelling error?

Grant Gussie (talk) 21:13, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

OK... more info for DudeSleeper.

The Errors in the Book section is NOT a "vendetta". It is a list of errors in an otherwise factual book. Finding and presenting such errors is important... otherwise why would there even be such things as editors and fact checkers in publishing? But the errors in the list obviously got past the fact checkers. So people reading the book will be misinformed by certain of the book's passages and this section attempts to set the record straight. Hopefully the author will fix the errors in a future edition.

Nor are the errors mentioned trivial or nitpicking. The error I included (I'm an astronomer) regarding the distance to Betelgeuse is an error of two orders of magnitude. Hardly insignificant. And the error in fact completely negates the author's point, which as you would see if you read the chapter is "Don't worry, supernovae are dangerous, but we are far too far away from Betelgeuse for it to hurt us". But at 427 light years away, Betelegeuse is NOT too far away to be dangerous (if it explodes). It will not likely devastate the Earth biologically, but it will certainly disrupt our communications by ionizing the upper atmosphere. Any astronauts outside of the atmosphere will probably die too. A nitpick? Not to an astronaut.

And I am sure that a biologist would consider the difference between "Thiamine" and "Thymine" to be significant too (although that one could in fact be just a spelling mistake).

The purpose of the "Errors in the book" section (as is all constructive criticsim) is to make the book better. Not denigrate it.

Personally, I recommend this book to my astronomy class, but only with the qualification that there are a few errors in it, and "You should check out Wikipedia for a list". If the error list is gone, I will no longer recommend it.

Grant Gussie (talk) 11:25, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia is WP:NOT a list of indiscriminate information. ProhibitOnions (T) 16:27, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Its not censored either.

If you want to edit, then edit. If you want to supress unflattering information, live in a police state.

Grant Gussie (talk) 21:10, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Please look at WP:NPA and WP:CIVIL. ProhibitOnions (T) 22:42, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, the errors section should be deleted. It reads really awkwardly and seems woefully incomplete. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:54, 22 March 2008 (UTC) \

If it is incomplete, add to it. If it reads awkwardly, reedit it. How is either problem an argument for deletion?Grant Gussie (talk) 15:30, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

It reads awkwardly from the stand point of that it looks incomplete. Oh I'd add to it, but I'm not a scientist like you are. If you would like, make your own web page to discuss the problems of this book.

Wikipedia is not a collection of all knowledge, but encyclopedically pertinent knowledge. Knowing that Bryson misspelled Thymine or whatever, not really that important. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:51, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

The claim that wikipedia is not a collection of knowledge is somewhat at odds with the definition of the word "encyclopedia". Is it "pertinent" information? Well, the errors in a book are of course pertinent to the topic of that book (that should be obvious). And if the mistake of replacing "thymine" with "thiamine" didn't change the meaning of the word, it would be a simple spelling mistake, but it is obviously not. And finally, as explained above, in some cases the mistakes listed in the errrors section negate the point the author was trying to make, so instead of being a simple error in a point of fact, the author's conclusion is also wrong. And that of course is "really that important".Grant Gussie (talk) 14:34, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

If this were a collection of criticisms in the book, it would be cool. But its not, its a collection of errors. It is very trivial. Lists of facts are not what wikipedia is all about. I know, I used to love trivia sections and then i was told trivia sections are frowned upon. Sucks I know. I'm sorry you won't be able to recommend the book anymore. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:03, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Its a trivia section? Well the exact same argument could be applied to the "Awards and reviews" section. It has the same point-form writing style as the errors section. And at least the errors section deals directly with the book's contents, and not its public reception, which of course is at most a peripheral subtopic. Grant Gussie (talk) 15:46, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Look at it as if it were a movie. It would be significant if it one the academy award, but a list of errors contained in the film is secondary. If errors were listed, it would be examples of errors showing a problem, not every single error

It's not half as bad as it was a few weeks ago. Credit to Grant Gussie, he did trim it a lot not too long ago. - Dudesleeper / Talk 18:10, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
That just proves the point. What errata did he take out? How did he decide what was trivial information and what wasn't? How is the misspelling of thymine encyclopedic? I really feel that the new version is a compromise everyone can live with, otherwise this errors section will be 40 items long. One of the links on the website already lists like 10 errors that aren't listed on this page. Do you want to include those? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:21, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Methinks you need to calm down and get a Wikipedia account (or at least learn how to sign your comments). In that order. - Dudesleeper / Talk 18:23, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry if my questions seem like I'm animated. I'm not. I'm just trying to figure out what are the criteria for what errors need to be included in an article? How big does an error need to be for it to be considered encyclopedic?
Below one of the commentors mentioned creating a section that mentions that the book contains some factualy errors. That seems like a good compromise to me. What does everyone think? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:13, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

In response to the question "What errata did he take out?" ... I took out those that contained no reference and that I could find no suitable reference for. I also took out the assertion that the book exagerated the number of species in tropical rainforests, as it was quite lengthy and clearly "original research", and so in contravention of Wikipedia guidelines (my apologies to its author... if you could shorten it and provide a reference I would be happy to see it return). I did not remove simple spelling errors, because the section never contained any. Grant Gussie (talk) 19:03, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Errors Section redux.[edit]

Ok, I've recently tried to delete the errors section because, as prohibitonions writes below it does not follow the style guideline. Two users, DarkFalls and RyRy5 almost instantly changed the article back. I would like to solicite comments and find out from editors if this follows the guideline, and I don't want an edit war. I want to have a discussion abut what to do. So what do we do about this erors section? Does it conform to wiki style guidelines? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:38, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

It would be *far* more appropriate to rewrite it so that it does follow style guidelines. Deleting it is tossing out the baby with the bathwater.  This flag once was red  07:47, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
How would you re-write this? I mean aside from writing that some scientists have found errors in the book, which even the author refers to in the introduction, I don't see a way of this working itself out. Btw, how did you find out about this discussion. I'm new to wikipedia and still trying to figure out how it works. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:52, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
I'd leave it alone. If I couldn't think how I'd rewrite it I'd leave it for other editors. Sorry to be so abrupt, but that's honestly how I'd handle it.
As to how I found it, I browse a lot! Also, the "recent changes" link (probably to your left) often throws up interesting stuff, and I have a few Administrators' Noticeboards on my watchlist... which is a long-winded way of saying "I don't remember" :-)  This flag once was red  08:31, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

And yet again.[edit]

An anon editor just deleted the errors section. I spotted this doing recent changes patrol, read the deleted stuff and decided that it looked correct, so reverted it. He posted on my talk page asking how I knew about it so quickly, and by implication what my agenda was here.

No agenda, beyond trying to preserve true facts that are relevent to articles, and on casual examination this material seemed to fit in both of those categories. I was not aware there was discussion on this section, and I have no desire to be involved in it. I would reiterate the comment above: rewrite to match style guidelines if it for some reason does not currently, but do not throw out valid book errata simply because they fail some arbitrary article style guideline. Authors of technical books publish errata for their works online all the time these days. The author of this book may be denying these are errors for all I know; that doen't change facts, it would merely add a fact of authorial disagreement (if it exists). Loren.wilton (talk) 07:57, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

I wasn't chalenging your "agenda", I'm clearly new to wikipedia and trying to figure out how this works. If people change something instantly, it makes me curious.

A lot of these errors seem really minor to me, and i want to know the process to get a vote on these articles. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:03, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

There's no vote process; it's by consensus. As in "if everyone is telling you to calm down, you might want to calm down" :-)  This flag once was red  08:32, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
I know there is a vote process because I've sen it take place on wikipedia. And only one person is arguing in favor of the errors section, because he is an astronomer. At least one other person thinks the errors section is ridiculous, and one of the editors who changed it felt that deleting the section was the right move as well. So it isn't just one person in this discussion.

I personally think roving "anti-vandalism" editors need to be more careful in the future. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:01, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Consensus, not voting, is the norm. And I've reviewed my actions, and the actions of others, and feel that reverting deletions without comment was and is appropriate. That's not to say that I agree with the errors section, simply that I don't believe it should be deleted wholesale - and especially not without explaining why it was deleted. Incidentally, I don't feel "because he's an astronomer" is grounds to dismiss someone's view! I'd suggest that you should work with, rather than against, the astronomer. Try and find common ground; a short paragraph noting that the work contains errors (and listing some pertinent ones) might be one solution.  This flag once was red  09:10, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
I know consensus is the norm, and it isn't because he is an astronomer that I want the section deleted. I want it deleted because it contains trvial knowledge that, if truly expanded to its proper size would contain 30 to 40 errors, many just basic spelling errors. His being an astronomer comes into play because the errors section right now is focused on astronomy, and its citations are weak.
Do you believe wikipedia should list comon spelling errors in books? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:48, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Two more quick things. One, I used to think errors sections like this should be included. I used to love trivia sections. But I've learned, the hard way, that they are to be discouraged and I understand now why that is. They will get unwieldy, trivial, and hard to read. Secondly, I'm going to rewrite the article like you suggested. But if you've read GrantGussie's above comments, he wants a full and complete list of the erros in the book so he can reccomened it to his students.
You want it deleted because "if expanded it would contain 30 to 40 errors"? Can you not think of other ways to prevent the list expanding, other than deleting it?
No, I do not believe Wikipedia should list common spelling errors - or even spelling errors in general - in books. However if one editor deemed the number of spelling errors in one book notable I would not simply delete their contributions without comment - I would work to a consensus solution.
I agree with you completely about trivia sections. I have read GrantGussie's comments above. I don't believe either prevent you and Grant reaching a compromise position that mentions errors without skewing the article away from a general article about the book.
Incidentally, I haven't reverted your edits on the article, but at least three other editors have. At least two of them have explained their reasoning on either their or your talk pages. I honestly feel you could have avoided much of this simply by paying closing attention to their responses - in particular by giving edit summaries when you delete large sections of text - instead of dismissing them as "roving anti-vandalism editors".
 This flag once was red  18:54, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

I totally agree with what you are saying. The main reason my contribs got deleted were because I was deleting a source section without an explanation. After looking at the situation, I agree with you. If there are numerous errors in the book, something should be mentioned about this. I rewrote and submitted such an article based of your suggestion and others and it really is a compromise. I tried to submit it and it got reverted. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:04, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Do you believe wikipedia should list comon spelling errors in books? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:48, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
No, I don't think it should. But because the errors section is not nor never has been a list of common spelling errors, or even contained a single such a one, the point is moot. "Thiamine" vs "thymine" is not a spelling error any more than "apricot" vs "apples" would be a spelling error... they are very different molecules. Grant Gussie (talk) 19:11, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

It is a spelling in error in the sense that I assume Bill bryson thought he was reffering to genetic component not the vitamin, and that he probably mis-typed it. Anyways, doesn't that seem minor to you? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:08, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
No, it does not seem minor in the sense that the error changes the meaning of the word. If the text said for example "thimine" rather than "thymine" then that would be a minor spelling error. But if you want my honest opinion, yes I do agree that many of the errors in the list do seem minor TO ME. For example, I don't give a rat's ass whether Einstein's first wife was Hungarian or Serbian. But then the differences between Balkan ethnicities are of no interest to me. Recent history has shown, however, that they are of great interest to other people. So if an error is minor or not depends a great deal on who is making the judgement. I am sure that a biochemist would think that the switching the words "thiamine" and "thymine" is an important a mistake as a book on cats switching the words "cougar" and "cheetah". Grant Gussie (talk) 22:20, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
On page 405 of the first edition of the book, the word thymine is written three times, in relation to the other nucleotides. If in later pages of the book thiamine is written, it is clearly a typo. To continue your analogy, if a book contained a chapter about jaguars wrote the word jagurs, it would be assumed to be a typo. Clearly, that was the authors intent. And it further indicates this section had no business of ever being on this page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:37, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
Then we should write that the book contains some factual errors, nd link to a source that says that. We shouldn't have an all encompassing list of the factual erros in the book. Is this suitable for you? This is the solution put forward by the above commenter and I agree with it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:37, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
If an errata for this book existed elsewhere in the internet, and the article linked to it, then sure that would be fine. But I know of no such erratta besides this one. Grant Gussie (talk) 22:51, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Just because an errata for this book isn't available doesn't mean it has to be published on wikipedia. And if there isn't an errata already available on the internet, how did the errata section even come into existence? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:40, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
"how did the errata section even come into existence?" Ummm... we wrote it. Grant Gussie (talk) 14:07, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

Grant Gussie (talk) 14:00, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Solution to the errata problem.[edit]

This website has had an ongoing problem with the errata section. Originally cited as a problem by Prohibit Onions, Grant Gussie defended the errata as crucial to the article and likened deleting it to censorship.

Anyways, i deleted the section and a number of new editors jumped on board to discuss the changes. Mainly, I deleted the text without citing the reason and they considered it vandalism. I decided to try a compromise (basically an article containing a statement that some people believe the article contains factual errors). Basically this was ignored. Dudesleeper restored the old version and no one responded to my questions about a compromise.

But basically, GrantGussie is the guy fighting for the Errata section. But today, GrantGussie said as long as somewhere on the internet there existed an errata for the book, he would be fine with deleting it form this article. Luckily such a place exists.

Wikibooks has an errata section (, specifically designed as a place to list errors in published works. Frankly, it sounds like a perfect place for the errata for this book.

For A short History of NEarly Everything's errata go here —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:25, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

For future reference, it might have been better to wait before moving the text, to give people a chance to discuss it. However... this sounds like it should be a good compromise, and you should be congratulated for sticking it out and trying to reach a compromise. Don't read too much into people not responding to your questions; this page (and many other talk pages) are pretty hard to follow sometimes (that's why I've moved this section to the bottom - it's normal for new sections to go at the bottom - and why I've indented my response with a ":"). Cheers,  This flag once was red  10:06, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
This solution is fine, and is the way the page should be. This doesn't change the fact that this section had no business ever being on this page. Errata sections, or lists of trivial mistakes in books, have no business being on wikipedia. They belong in another site, and I dont care what it is, but not here. As I showed above, one of the mistakes is a simple typo. My whole stance on this is ironic because I think this book is filled with mistakes. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:38, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
The solution as agreed to simply didn't work. The errata was summarily removed from wikibooks as well... no discussion and the entire page was deleted, and made impossible to restore. Clearly there are people out there with a strong interest in not seeing any critical information on this book appear on the web. We owe it to ourselves to not let these censors win. The errors section has been restored and I will keep restoring it against any further deletions in the future. Grant Gussie (talk) 13:32, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
Could you ease up on the conspiracy theories for a moment and consider the notion that the errors section is simply inappropriate? Wikibooks decided to delete all such error pages. [3] However, there is a new wiki devoted entirely to errors at [4], based on some of those deleted from Wikibooks (although this book is not among them). ProhibitOnions (T) 15:06, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
This is a science book with errors. Those errors need correcting. They are corrected here.Grant Gussie (talk) 16:31, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

This has been covered and agreed upon. please do not revert this page again. Also, a new website for errata has been created here in response to this problem: Finally, Grant Gussie, thiamine is speeled correctly in the very chapter you reference. it is a simple spelling mistake. (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 20:06, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

One more time... the errata stays. A consenus was agreed upon to move it to wikibooks with the understanding that this was a viable location for it. However, the errata was then almost immediately removed from there as well, without hope of recovery. So all that did was give the censors a way to remove critical information on this book without the ability of having their censorship undone. And, who are you? Why not sign your work? What is your motivation for removing this section? Grant Gussie (talk) 14:32, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

There is an alternate website to include your information. put it there. Its not encyclopedic to include trivia sections like this. Also, a consensus was reached, you need to reverse it. Also,please don't personally attack me again. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:15, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

I didn't attack you. I asked you three simple questions. Wikipedia etiquette requires edits, and especially deletions, to be signed. Yet you refuse to sign your deletions. I asked why. And once again, mistakes of three orders in magnitude in a supposedly factual book can not in any way shape or form be considered trivia. And, just one more time, wikibooks is not a safe place for this very necessary errata, as the complete page was simply deleted by someone like yourself. Get it?Grant Gussie (talk) 14:00, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Grant Gussie "If an errata for this book existed elsewhere in the internet, and the article linked to it, then sure that would be fine." Use (talk)

The errata and corrigenda is now at -- Jeandré, 2008-07-09t19:05z

Category:2004 books?[edit]

Is the book really published in 2004? Article Bill Bryson had the year 2003 in the bibliography list until someone changed it to 2004. According to the publishing date was 2003-05-06. 15:09, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

The book must be from 2003: footnotes no. 2 and 4 of the article support this, along with some other sources ([5]). I'll replace the information in this article and the Bill Bryson article. 20:59, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Bill bryson a short history.jpg[edit]

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BetacommandBot (talk) 04:45, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Article Errors[edit]

This is a nitpick, but the title has <i> before and after it. Can this be removed? — Preceding unsigned comment added by SrCarlos (talkcontribs) 10:32, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

Book title[edit]

The title of the paperback I have is "[Image from space of partial Earth]*". At the bottom of the cover is the note "* A Short History of Nearly Everything". This appears on the spine as well, with the "*" coming before the image of Earth rather than after. Rgrds. -- (talk) 10:40, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Negative Reviews[edit]

There is currently a statement in the article that those those already familiar with the history of science may find the book uninteresting. While this idea may be a worthwhile one put a slightly different way, it does not follow from the article cited.

The author of the review does suggest that the non-groundbreaking nature yet exploratory tone may come across as patronizing and irritating to those already familiar with the facts. However, later in the article the author also suggests that the stories of the discoveries (and discoverers) covered by the book are well told, and to the point that those already familiar may enjoy them yet.

I'm not sure how this nuanced distinction can be appropriately included in the article, except perhaps to say that it is a book written for laypersons, and as such, may not hold the same informative value for experts (the same article could be used as a citation for this statement). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:43, 27 April 2014 (UTC)

That statement is a pov with anything but a source to support. Bryson is now in the Royal Society mainly for this book, a strong evidence that scientific audience found it quite amusing and well written. Michele Gardini (talk) 20:17, 24 September 2015 (UTC)