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For the monument to Newton’s pebble-collecting child is no less than the modern world.

This sentence is extracted from the Economist. I googled and found that A is no less than B means A and B are both in a high importance or they are both in a high quantity. And usually A can compare with B because they are in a same or a similar catalog.

However, in this sentence, I don't see the monument is a similar thing with the modern world. And I found it is meaningless if this sentence means that the monument and the modern world is in a same importance to Newton's pebble-collecting. Given the context, I thought that it means the whole modern world is one of the most important monument of Newton’s pebble-collecting child. Am I correct? If so, how to understand the meaning of no less than?

The whole paragragh is

Does it all matter, a cynic might ask? Will humans really be better off for knowing such things? The answer, written on the tomb, in St Paul’s Cathedral, of Newton’s contemporary, Sir Christopher Wren, is: “If you seek his monument, look around you.” For the monument to Newton’s pebble-collecting child is no less than the modern world.

This is the link of the article.

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In this context, "no less than" has a slightly more idiomatic meaning. It is meant to actually equate the two things. It is stating that the modern world is the monument to Newton's pebble-collecting child.

You might expect the monument to be something smaller or less impactful, which is why the phrase "no less than" is used.

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I think you are on the right track in understanding this. In this sentence, no less than is a slightly less common way of saying nothing less than. "Nothing less than" is a way of saying "truly" or "nothing other than", which is a way of emphasizing the truth of an identity.

So the meaning, in the context of the paragraph, is

The monument to Newton's pebble-collecting child is nothing other than the modern world - that is, the modern world is the monument to Newton's child.

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