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Section 1: The Essence of Everything VOCABULARY and REVIEW QUESTIONS
Terms in this set (11)
a positively charged subatomic particle (xi)
a neutrally charged subatomic particle (xi)
a negatively charged subatomic particle (xi)
- an unofficial force similar to a military, but not overseen or officially recognized by the government (xiii)
Great Leap Forward
a wave of new human behavioral innovations such as the introduction of complex language, the first cave art, the origins of religious ritual, and the beginning of trade via bartering (xiv)
- present or appearing in many places (xv)
What are the seven elements that the author argues have shaped human society more than any others?
The author believes that iron, carbon, gold, silver, uranium, titanium, and silicon have all shaped human society more than any other element. (xii-xiv)
What is the personal context that guided the author's interest in writing about the influence of seven specific elements on humanity?
The author spent time during his teenage years in Iran, surrounded by oil fields and the other industrial elements associated with oil. He became fascinated by the process of the atoms combining to form oil, which then produced energy that transformed society. His fascination with the path of small, seemingly simple elements having significant impacts both positive and negative on society continued as he became an executive in the oil industry. (xii-xiii)
How does the author describe the contrast in positive and negative impacts of the seven elements on humanity?
The author briefly explains that the seven elements have brought economic and social prosperity in places such as China and Azerbaijan, but they have also wrought destruction on human society by fueling greed, pollution, fear, anger, human division, and even war. (xiii)
What is the author's purpose in exploring the impact of the seven elements on humanity?
The author's purpose is to explain how humans have harnessed the natural powers of the seven elements to dramatically transform the world economically, socially, and culturally. (xvii)
What is the author's professional background?
The author has worked in the oil industry for most of his adult life, and his father before him also worked in or with the oil industry. (xi-xvii)
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