File Size: 4143 KB
Print Length: 252 pages
Publisher: Reed Business Information Ltd; 1 edition (March 26, 2014)
Publication Date: March 26, 2014
“The Big Questions" is an intellectually stimulating and accessible book on the big philosophical questions. This interesting collection of short essays is brought to you by New Scientist and addresses nine main questions. This enlightening 252-page book includes the following chapters/questions: 1. Reality, 2. Living, 3. God, 4. Consciousness, 5. Life, 6. Moment, 7. Self, 8. Sleeping, and 9. Death.
1. A fun and accessible book. It is well written and organized.
2. An amazing topic, the big philosophical questions.
3. Excellent format. The book is broken out by nine big questions. Each chapter includes a series of topical essays.
4. The authors do a reasonably good-job of letting readers really know what we do know and when do not know.
5. What constitutes reality from a scientific perspective? Fascinating perspectives: our senses, make a difference, math, information and awareness.
6. Living. Some ideas resonate with me. “Something is the more natural state than practically nothing. ”
seven. Not afraid to discuss some far out ideas. “The holographic idea is just a hypothesis, supported by some special cases, ” he says. Further evidence can come from a recently completed tool at Fermilab called the Holometer, which will make the first direct measure of the graininess of space-time. ”
eight. Interesting facts. “The cells lining your gut, for instance , are replaced about every five days. The outer layer of your epidermis turns over every two weeks and you get a new set of red blood cells every four months. ”
9. God is the question not the answer. Perhaps the most fascinating question of all of them.
10. Victor Stenger offers my favorite essay. “The universe is not fine-tuned for us all. We are fine-tuned to the universe. ”
11. Hard question of consciousness. “In humans the three brain areas implicated in consciousness : the thalamus, lateral prefrontal cortex and posterior parietal cortex – share a distinctive feature: they have more connections to each other, and elsewhere in the brain, than any other region. ”
12. A look at artificial intelligence. “The interesting question is, why do we feel? ”
thirteen. How did simple cells get around the situation of evolving into more intricate forms? Find out.
14. Time. “Several strands of evidence now converge on the multiverse, leading many cosmologists to take the idea seriously. In a multiverse, some universes would have arrows of time although many more would not. We should not get surprised to find ourselves in the one which does, since that is the only kind of universe that could give surge to life. ” A few interesting ideas on time.
15. The mind’s greatest trick, the self. The three fundamental beliefs concerning who our company is. Interesting tricks like the rubber hand illusion.
16. The difficulty of understanding sleep and why that is so. “While sleep researchers have not yet managed to reach a consensus on why we sleep, they have a pretty good idea of how we do it. ”
17. A look at death. “Most archaeologists now accept that modern humans, Neanderthals and possible other archaic hominins were employed in mortuary practices well before 40, 000 years ago. ”
18. Defining when we are dead. Three conditions in which it makes sense to feel fear.
1. No supplementary material provided. No records or bibliography.
2 . not The essays differ in quality. Some are excellent while some disappoint.
3. Meant to be for the masses and it shows. A few of the essays are simplified to a fault.
4. This book is more an appetizer than the key course. You're able to sample the food selection although not given the key course.
5. Not necessarily as challenging and though-provocative as I would have liked.
In summary, this was an enjoyable and light read on the big questions. It’s an excellent appetizer for non-philosophy majors to get a bite out of many of these big questions. The book is well set out and covers eight fascinating topics. The book is simplified to a fault and does not offer supplementary material to gratify the hunger but a fresh fun summer read. I recommend it.
Further recommendations: “The Big Questions: The Universe” by Stuart Clark, " The God Question” by way of a. C. Grayling, “Why Does the World Exist” by Jim Holt, “Immortality” by Stephen Cave, “Death” by Shelly Kagan, “The Wonders of Life” and “Wonders of the Universe” by Brian Cox, “The Fallacy of Fine-Tuning” by Victor J. Stenger, “The Thinking Brain” by Michael Shermer, “About Time” by Mandsperson Frank, “The Cosmic Landscape” by Leonard Susskind, “50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God” by Guy Harrison, “An Appetite for Wonder” by Richard Dawkins, “Demon-Haunted World” by Carl Sagan, “This Explains Everything” edited by John Brockman, “Who’s Within Charge” and “Human” by Michael S. Gazzaniga, and “A Universe From Nothing” by Laurence M. Krauss., I find these New Scientist Collections of articles to be very interesting to read. As you can see on the cover, this matter is divided into various topics such as, what is reality? What is Our god? What is time? What is the nature of sleep? It is an interesting collection of matters. The articles in each topic are short, so don’t expect much specific coverage. These articles provide light, interesting reading on each subject material.
There are quite a number of New Scientist issues available on number of interesting topics. I’ve read several of them so far., Covers a wide range of subjects, going into some detail without becoming too technical. It paints a broad brush perspective on the current thinking about all aspects of reality and invites further reading in the topics it address., This is a collection of short articles concerning questions about existence, consciousness, life and death, etc. Since the articles are short, they are not the definitive answer to these questions, but they provide a kick off point on the latest issues at the frontiers of technology, so if you wish to know about the latest discoveries of leading scientists and scientific research, this book is a good kick off point., A whole lot of food for thought contained within.
If you are a fan of this type, some will be no surprise, but if you are curious a lot of this stuff borders on the fantastic and amazing.
Although there are literally no cement answers, there are many questions and the viewer is nudged in the direction of his or her own conclusions concerning the theories that are espoused.... overall very interesting and informative., A very enjoyable read. Many of the unanswered " Huge Questions" are seemingly guaranteed commonplace, such as: what exactly is time? why do we sleep? Obviously the answers are complex, subtle, and frustratingly incomplete. Great food for thought, and motivation for reading further., A few very thoughtful, insightful essays, and some fairy boring. Suffers throughout from lack of detailed explanations and source citations, but still an enjoyable read., This guide promises the moon but delivers moldy cheese. Even though the aim is grand (chapter heads include Reality, Living, God, Consciousness, Life, Moment, Self, Sleep (? ) and Death), the real contents are trite and trivial; very short pieces with only a pair of exceptions delivered airily and with forget about thought or serious content than a superficial abstract from your Wikipedia article. Except for a couple of the pieces the articles are the lightest kind of magazine hack work, usually concluding pretentiously with a saying from the Dean Martin school of philosophical analysis (" Ain't That A Kick In the Head" ). If I hadn't already read it I actually would ask for a refund.
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