Book Review: The Grand Design, by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow
by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow
Reviewed by Adam Andreotta
Philosophy is dead!
Asserts a statement found on the opening page of ‘The Grand Design’ from best selling physicist and author Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow.
The profound affirmation immediately makes the book’s intentions clear; that science has surpassed previous attempts at explaining our world which were once only answered by philosophy and theology and that our world we inhabit can now be understood by science.
Beginning with the exploration of early mythology ‘The Grand Design’ briefly explores the varied history of early civilisations and their revered creation myths to reveal the great strides scientific enquiry has made in the past few thousand years, from the earliest Greek philosophers to the experiments of Galileo all the way up to Einstein and the present, which does a admirable job of presenting a concise history
Moving from our earliest attempts of making sense of our complex existence, the pair go on to introduce the reader to a wide variety of key concepts and models that show how theories in science actually work and how they can be tested to determine if they are valid or just speculation, allowing the reader to gain a greater appreciation of the overall procedure.
While not an overall long read the book manages to have a substantial amount of content and varied subject matter which encapsulates the basics on how our universe works with enough simplicity and poise to reach even a newcomer to the topic. Those familiar with Hawkins work will recognise tantalizing wit that is present throughout and the for those worried about getting lost in a whirlwind of mathematical formulae, figures and long winded expressions, may breathe a sigh of relief as the book is goes out of its way to simplify matters with diagrams to and illustrations.
Once the book has armed its reader with the all of these key concepts it eventually gets around to postulating a conclusion, namely that it is not necessary to invoke god or a creator to ‘get the whole thing started’ ; inferring the unversed can create itself out of nothing.
While the book's conclusions and overall tone is bound to challenge conventional ideas about our creation, our universe and how we got here, the majority of readers will find the book succeeds in answering certain questions that were once only tackled by theologians and philosophers.
So while Hawkins and Mlodinow may be exaggerating about the state of philosophy, 'The Grand Design' never the less provides a short, entertaining and scientific account of where we’ve come from, where we are and where we're going, proving Science has more than a few things to say about the big questions that define our human existence.
About the author: Finishing his schooling in 2001, Adam Andreotta attended Edith Cowan university and completed a degree in computer science. In the years following he undertook a drafting position at a civil engineering company. Adam resides in Perth, Western Australia. Follow Adam at his blog, Orbital Book Reviews. Orbital Book Reviews.
|You may like...|
|What's in a Tea Leaf||
|Of Two Minds: Mindfulness and Depression||Movie Review: Food Inc|