Matty's Reviews > The Grand Design

The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking
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Aug 10, 11

Imperfect Creation by Marcelo Gleiser and The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow

Marcelo Gleiser in his book Imperfect Creation has attempted to reconcile science with god, something that leaves a rather bitter taste in my obviously biased mouth. His attempts are disguised loosely in a shroud of science but unfortunately it seems Gleiser stopped researching scientific theory in the 1980's at some point and has failed to keep up with modern discovery which puts him at serious disadvantage.

Not only is Gleiser in ignorance of the modern theories put forward by science but it is evident that he is also ignorant of the established scientific principle, what’s more he seems to be happy to continue the habit as he states “our need to believe trumps all evidence against that belief”. I found it somewhat insulting that Gleiser took it upon himself to put words and thoughts in the mouths and minds of posthumous scientists insisting Kepler would not deny the existence of god if he could see his laws work across the cosmos and suggests Laplace was merely joking when he famously told Napoleon that god was not needed to account for planetary motion.

I could continue to poke holes in Imperfect Creation; instead I am offering an alternative to quench the thirst for the pop science reader. The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow has just been published and in it the two authors also argue that there may not be one unifying law that describes our universe; however, here we are offered scientific theory, theory that has been established after observation and analysis, theory that is testable and accountable. The Grand Design introduces us to M Theory. M Theory is a new take on quantum mechanics that does not claim to be an all encompassing single law but rather a series of laws that have overlap to form a continuum that can be applied.

Hawking and Mlodinow execute this book wonderfully, with intelligence, insight and humour. Philosophy is inserted back into science cleverly and unashamedly exploring what is meant by the term ‘reality’, explaining it is a model construct and that other less conventional models can be used so long as they meet the criteria. Although the concepts are at the forefront of modern science and require abstract thinking to understand, the authors here write with such elegance as to simplify the ideas without condescension. The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow is essential reading for anyone curious about the workings of the universe, reach over Imperfect Creation and pick up The Grand Design.
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