Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Book Review: The Great Unknown

The Great Unknown
Seven Journeys to the Frontiers of Science
  • Paperback edition: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books

Marcus du Sautoy is a math professor at Oxford and an explorer of the numbers behind the universe.  In this book, he probes seven "edges," such as time and consciousness, where science has made great strides but has still more to learn - and may not, in the end, be able to learn everything.  He succeeded Richard Dawkins as the  Charles Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford, and he is, in my estimation, better at it, able to take concepts from the simple (a single toll of a die) to complex (causation, the beginnings of the universe, the unknowable) without losing the reader. (Also, while he is like Dawkins an atheist, he is able to discuss religious concepts without the sneering condescension of Dawkins.) This is a fascinating journey, beginning to end.  He even gets math across in a way I understand, which is something... 

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