What We Believe But Cannot Prove

Ed. Brockman, John
HarperPerennial 2006
ISBN 0-06-084181-8
252pp
Date finished: 2006-05-11

The editor of Edge magazine asked a number of different scientists, authors, and commentators to discuss something that they believe to be true but cannot currently prove. Once past the shamelessly self-congratulatory introduction, this turns out to be a remarkable collection of concisely expressed opinions. There are a bunch of respondents who believe that there is no god, another bunch who believe that there is life elsewhere in the universe, and a lengthy and mostly boring set of essays on the problem of consciousness. (I find a lot of writing about consciousness is vague and human-centric, and the problem itself is not a very interesting or useful one.) There are also a number of unique suggestions. John McWhorter thinks that three human languages have been influenced by cross-species linguistic interaction, Haim Harari believes that quarks and electrons will prove to be divisible, Craig Venter thinks panspermia is correct, Susan Blackmore suggests that the human self does not exist, and Donald Williamson thinks the Cambrian Explosion was caused by many different hybridizations that created chimeras. A great book with an extremely high density of thought-provoking and startling material.

Tagged: essays, science

Permalink: http://books.amk.ca/2006/05/What_We_Believe.html

%T What We Believe But Cannot Prove
%E Brockman, John
%G ISBN 0-06-084181-8
%@ 2006-05-11
%P 252pp
%I HarperPerennial
%K science, essays
%D 2006
%* *

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