Billie Pritchett's Reviews > The Grand Design

The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking
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Jan 26, 15

bookshelves: favorites, science
Read in June, 2011

Stepehen Hawking's book The Grand Design is a popular science digest of what contemporary physics has to offer human beings about the underlying nature of the world. Some of the astonishing theories are the following. (1) Multiple universes did, do, or will exist that arose, are arising, or will arise from quantum jitters, at least one of such occurrence created the universe human beings inhabit and which is (obviously) conducive to life. (2) The world as we know it has no definite history but several possible histories, some more probable than others. The state of any physical system now or in the future is also at most only probabilistic as well. (3) Multiple dimensions exist, perhaps as many as ten (10), but humans of course perceive only three (3) spatial dimensions. (4) There is no guarantee that the world exists as humans perceive it, since we evolved to perceive the world as we do because perception of objects as extended in space, colored, possessing traits/qualities like hardness, warmth, and so forth are all advantageous to our perceptual system. Riding close on the coat-tails of the previous claim, (5) model-dependent realism is the best we have to understand the world, which involves taking as given input to the human perceptual system and constructing better and better theories so that we could more optimally align the theories and the observable data to create sounder explanations and more accurate predictions of phenomena. The book was almost perfectly comprehensible except for the last chapter, in which it was difficult to understand the aspects of a game analogy (read for yourself) to the creation of the world; it read as though it was a little hurriedly produced too. Nevertheless, I would recommend this book, and it is now one of my new favorite books.
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