- File Size: 4510 KB
- Print Length: 256 pages
- Publisher: Profile Books; Main edition (July 9, 2010)
- Publication Date: July 9, 2010
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0031WHC28
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #857,653 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
13 Things That Don't Make Sense: The Most Intriguing Scientific Mysteries of Our Time Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
There is a Nobel Prize waiting for the person who figures out cold fusion, but until someone can actually reproduce the experiments there is no "thing" to be baffled by. Occam's razor does not suggest an alien transmission is the best explanation for SETI's "Wow" signal. The "Wow" signal was a onetime event. It is scientific frustration that we don't have more data from the event, but it isn't one of the most baffling mysteries in science.
The situation gets even worse when the author moves on to free will and homeopathy. I was hoping for a book about the frontiers of science. This was not it. Failing to prove negatives does not constitute scientific mystery.
Halfway through the book I identified the formulaic pattern by which nearly every chapter seems to have been manufactured. It goes something like this. 1) Identify some topic which the vast majority of scientists that specialize in it have reached a consensus of their general understanding of how it works. 2) Introduce crank "scientist" that has radical ideas about said topic that challenge the consensus. 3) Gain reader's trust by acknowledging a few of the more obvious arguments against the radical ideas and insincerely admit that the crank scientist might actually be wrong. 4) Spend the rest of the chapter a) promoting the radical ideas and b) ignoring, or merely giving lip service to, the more fundamental arguments that demonstrate how patently absurd the ideas actually are and c) painting the scientific community as a closed-minded dogmatic bunch of good-old-boys who don't like outsiders challenging their beliefs.
I was genuinely surprised that there wasn't a chapter titled "Evolution", as the author's pattern of attacking science seems to come directly from the play book of the Discovery Institute. In fact, it would seem that the author co-opted the "Wedge Strategy" of the DI for his own purposes.
Upon finishing the book, I concluded that the author's overarching agenda was to champion homeopathy.Read more ›
MUCH better is Nine Crazy Ideas in Science: A Few Might Even Be True
No doubt the most famous astronomer of the 20th century was Edwin Hubble. Pretty well any popular science book dealing with astronomy or the universe discusses his discoveries. He was of course an American who lived and did his scientific work in the US; he also spent a few years, in his youth, studying at Oxford. It is puzzling indeed that this author thinks he was an Englishman. One asks the question: if you got that elementary point wrong, what else is wrong? I do not propose to multiply examples of what seemed to me to be serious errors; but his explanation of what won Einstein the Nobel Prize is surely quite misleading.
It is surely not asking much to expect that the publisher hire a competent editor to weed out obvious bloopers. in
4. There is no evidence that cold fusion has occurred, and to say that cold fusion is impossible is just stupid. Being dishonest is not the way to go when writing a book. 5. We don't have free will, that has never been a controversy, a world with free will would be impossible. 6. Sexual reproduction is perfectly explained by evolutionary theory, sexual reproduction is the only way to increase genetic diversity and it makes organisms the ability to change faster - following drastic changes in nature. A species can change a lot more and a lot faster if it has two sets of DNA to work on and intermingle, there's a reason why asexual species stay almost unchanged for millenia. 7. The universe is expanding, yes. 8. The placebo effect has been explained, and it makes perfect sense for any biochemist.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really liked this book. I learned many things I did not know and enjoyed the story telling aspect used by the author with background and personalities. Read morePublished 1 month ago by keh
Answered questions I had. Brought up things I hadn't heard or thought about before. Worth it at twice the price but since I've already re-read it, it's even more of a bargain. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sailing In The VI
Behold the Socratic paradox. Socrates said I know that I know nothing. Well, allegedly he said that, at least according to Plato's account of Socrates life. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Mia
A great little intro to some confounding issues to modern science. I liked the length of each chapter, just enough to convey the point, not overwritten. Read morePublished 7 months ago by MarcP
Worth a read, but I cannot agree with all of the author's conclusions, and think he is seriously mistaken about some things. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Darby M'Graw
Review of ‘13 things that don’t make sense‘ by Michael Brooks
CITATION: Brooks, M. (2008). Read more