Friday, May 1, 2020

Book Report This Idea Must Die

The book that I chose for my book report was This Idea Must Die edited by John Brockman who collaborated with 175 different great minds. He asked many people from different disciplines what scientific ideas must be retired. The great minds that he asked gave a brief explanation of the scientific idea that they feel needs retirement and why it should be. There were many different topics throughout the book, some were easy to understand and some were not. There were many ideas that needed to die that interested me, I've chosen three that were my favorite.
The first idea I’ve chosen is The Big Bang was the First Moment of Time written by Lee Smolin, a physicist. In his section, he writes about how the idea that the first moment in time was the big bang theory. He does not believe that it was, he basically says that there is not enough evidence to support the theory. By supporting the theory you are saying that there was nothing before our universe and therefore leave many questions about our universe that can not be answered. Instead of believing this, there are a few other theories that have falsifiable hypotheses, like that the big bang was a transition from a different era. Thinking this way leads to investigations that will not leave as many questions unanswered. 
The next idea that I enjoyed reading about was Infinity written by Max Tegmark, a physicist, and cosmologist. Max Tegmark claims that “it’s an untested assumption”, he begs the question if it even exists. How can something that is not proven be real? He claims that physics can not answer questions about probability in the future because the answer will also be infinity. There is no evidence of infinity and it is not needed to do physics. He suggests that “infinity-free questions” need to be developed and used to determine the laws of physics, however the only way to do this is to forget about infinity. 
Finally, the third idea that I have chosen is Fully Random Mutations written by Kevin Kelly. He believes that there is no such thing as random mutations, nor is there evidence for it. In fact, there is evidence that mutations are not random and that they follow a pattern. He believes that by retiring the idea that mutations are random that it will lead to scientific breakthroughs like being able to cure the disease caused by mutations. 
I enjoyed reading the book and would definitely recommend it. Most of the concepts that I read about were easy to read and understand, however, there were a few that were more difficult and required a lot of thought. And there were some that I just did not comprehend, but overall I thoroughly enjoyed the book and liked looking at certain ideas in a new way.

No comments:

Post a Comment