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More lists for best new science books of 2013

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(in addition to Darwin’s Doubt)

Further to “Retract that, sir, or face the consequences! Er, maybe”, “Gag order? Intelligent design? Will “design” stop being a swear word if we just keep using it?” and “Top ten stories of 2013 from science news media, here are some other lists found, with callouts of stuff we might prefer to lumps of coal or even cans of chocolate biscuits:

From Andrew Zimmerman Jones at About.com Physics

5. Time Reborn by Lee Smolin

… He argues for treating time as a physically “real” property of the universe and claims that the current approach to time within physics suffers from real conceptual problems which only add to the confusion existing within theoretical physics. This is a fascinating book and well worth the read, but I really can only recommend this to someone who is well-versed in the theoretical physics concepts involved. For the novice, it would be hard to distinguish Smolin’s intriguing speculations and philosophical concerns from claims made based on actual scientific evidence.

That sounds like a masterful way of saying, this is fun but don’t mistake it for science.

6. Beyond the God Particle by Leon Lederman and Christopher Hill

This book presents a detailed explanation of the Higgs boson, by the same author (Nobel laureate Leon Lederman) who coined the term “the god particle.” … As the title suggests, Lederman and Hill project into the future of physics, discussing the possible paths available for future high energy physics research, including the prospects for new particle accelerators, should the United States and other governments find it worthwhile to invest money in research in basic science … which, Lederman and Hill argue, is the only thing which has ever driven economic growth on a large scale.

Interesting argument. Is it true that investing in basic science is the only thing that has ever driven economic growth on a large scale?

From The Independent’s best Christmas books for 2013,

Of course, not all scientific writing focuses on the everyday, and in Lisa-ann Gershwin’s eye-opening book Stung! On Jellyfish Blooms and the Future of the Ocean (University of Chicago Press, £19.50), the subject matter is distinctly alien. Although the book is unmistakably aimed at academics it’s the jellyfish themselves that make it fascinating. Our overfishing and pollution of the ocean have created perfect conditions for mass jellyfish spawns and now these creatures, unchanged biologically for half a billion years, are staging a potentially deadly comeback.

The first item in New Scientist’s list is

Big Data: A revolution that will transform how we live, work and think by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Kenneth Cukier

Everything, from where you are sitting right now to how kind you are, can be digitised and “datafied” thanks to cheaper storage, faster processing and better algorithms. And not just your data, but everyone’s. This is important for us all, but for science, it’s a revolution, argue the authors – and one that is coming our way soon.

If so, it’ll be interesting to see how materialist theory fares in a world where information so obviously rules. And expect the mother of all civil rights battles as granny faces off against Nanny.

Number nine in Publishers Weekly’s Top Ten is

… dinosaur fanatic Brian Switek investigates the tension between dinosaurs as scientific objects and pop culture icons as he introduces readers to the giant beasts in My Beloved Brontosaurus: On the Road with Old Bones, New Science, and Our Favorite Dinosaurs. He questions what we’ve long held true about these creatures, as it’s only by piecing together the clues they left behind that we can begin to understand ourselves.

It sounds quite interesting, and we remember Switek from, for example, “Paleontologists chided for ancestor worship. ” Fact is, however, we would get on about the same with understanding ourselves if the dinosaurs had never existed,and the world had been run by reptiles instead.

And Happy New Year!

2 Replies to “More lists for best new science books of 2013

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Happy New Year UD bloggers and posters! 🙂

    Seeing as the New Year is almost upon us, I guess I would like to reflect on #5:

    5. Time Reborn by Lee Smolin

    … He argues for treating time as a physically “real” property of the universe and claims that the current approach to time within physics suffers from real conceptual problems which only add to the confusion existing within theoretical physics.,,,

    Smolin is certainly fighting an uphill battle. Especially with the likes of the following breakthrough:

    Bohemian Gravity – Rob Sheldon – September 19, 2013
    Excerpt: Quanta magazine carried an article about a hypergeometric object that is as much better than Feynman diagrams as Feynman was better than Heisenberg’s S-matrices. But the discoverers are candid about it,
    “The amplituhedron, or a similar geometric object, could help by removing two deeply rooted principles of physics: locality and unitarity. “Both are hard-wired in the usual way we think about things,” said Nima Arkani-Hamed, a professor of physics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., and the lead author of the new work, which he is presenting in talks and in a forthcoming paper. “Both are suspect.””
    What are these suspect principles? None other than two of the founding principles of materialism–that there do not exist (instantaneous) “spooky-action-at-a-distance” forces, and that material causes are the only ones in the universe.,,,
    http://rbsp.info/PROCRUSTES/bohemian-gravity/

    LIVING IN A QUANTUM WORLD – Vlatko Vedral – 2011
    Excerpt: Thus, the fact that quantum mechanics applies on all scales forces us to confront the theory’s deepest mysteries. We cannot simply write them off as mere details that matter only on the very smallest scales. For instance, space and time are two of the most fundamental classical concepts, but according to quantum mechanics they are secondary. The entanglements are primary. They interconnect quantum systems without reference to space and time. If there were a dividing line between the quantum and the classical worlds, we could use the space and time of the classical world to provide a framework for describing quantum processes. But without such a dividing line—and, indeed, with­out a truly classical world—we lose this framework. We must ex­plain space and time (4D space-time) as somehow emerging from fundamental­ly spaceless and timeless physics.
    http://phy.ntnu.edu.tw/~chchan.....611038.pdf

    Physicists continue work to abolish time as fourth dimension of space – April 2012
    Excerpt: “Our research confirms Gödel’s vision: time is not a physical dimension of space through which one could travel into the past or future.”
    http://phys.org/news/2012-04-p.....space.html

    Of interest to this undermining of the 4-D space-time of General Relativity as the ‘real’ description of the universe, Einstein was asked (by a philosopher):

    “Can physics demonstrate the existence of ‘the now’ in order to make the notion of ‘now’ into a scientifically valid term?”

    Einstein’s answer was categorical, he said:

    “The experience of ‘the now’ cannot be turned into an object of physical measurement, it can never be a part of physics.”

    Quote was taken from the last few minutes of this following video:
    Stanley L. Jaki: “The Mind and Its Now”
    https://vimeo.com/10588094

    The preceding statement was an interesting statement for Einstein to make since ‘the now of the mind’ has, from many recent experiments in quantum mechanics, undermined the 4-D space-time of Einstein’s General Relativity as to being the absolute frame of reference for reality. i.e. ‘the now of the mind’, contrary to what Einstein thought possible for experimental physics, and according to advances in quantum mechanics, takes precedence over past events in time. Moreover, due to advances in quantum mechanics, it would now be much more appropriate to phrase Einstein’s answer to the philosopher in this way:

    “It is impossible for the experience of ‘the now of the mind’ to ever be completely divorced from physical measurement, it will always be a part of physics.”

    i.e.

    “It will remain remarkable, in whatever way our future concepts may develop, that the very study of the external world led to the scientific conclusion that the content of the consciousness is the ultimate universal reality” –
    Eugene Wigner – (Remarks on the Mind-Body Question, Eugene Wigner, in Wheeler and Zurek, p.169) 1961 – received Nobel Prize in 1963 for ‘Quantum Symmetries’

    But I do have sympathies for Smolin’s fretting over the disrespect time has nowadays from physics. We all do live our lives as though time was a real commodity do we not? i.e. time is money?,,, But much like money, methinks that time, as a ‘real’ entity, has far less importance than many people may believe. This quote from a near death experience beautifully sums it up:

    ‘In the ‘spirit world,,, instantly, there was no sense of time. See, everything on earth is related to time. You got up this morning, you are going to go to bed tonight. Something is new, it will get old. Something is born, it’s going to die. Everything on the physical plane is relative to time, but everything in the spiritual plane is relative to eternity. Instantly I was in total consciousness and awareness of eternity, and you and I as we live in this earth cannot even comprehend it, because everything that we have here is filled within the veil of the temporal life. In the spirit life that is more real than anything else and it is awesome. Eternity as a concept is awesome. There is no such thing as time. I knew that whatever happened was going to go on and on.’
    Mickey Robinson – Near Death Experience testimony – video

    ‘Earthly time has no meaning in the spirit realm. There is no concept of before or after. Everything – past, present, future – exists simultaneously.’
    – Kimberly Clark Sharp – NDE Experiencer

    As to somewhat clearing up the ‘timeless’ physics of Quantum Mechanics and the Space-Time of Relativity, what the physics of relativity does show us is that time, as we understand it temporally, would come to a complete stop at the speed of light. To grasp the whole ‘time coming to a complete stop at the speed of light’ concept a little more easily, imagine moving away from the face of a clock at the speed of light. Would not the hands on the clock stay stationary as you moved away from the face of the clock at the speed of light? Moving away from the face of a clock at the speed of light happens to be the same ‘thought experiment’ that gave Einstein his breakthrough insight into e=mc2.

    Albert Einstein – Special Relativity – Insight Into Eternity – ‘thought experiment’ video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/6545941/

    “The laws of relativity have changed timeless existence from a theological claim to a physical reality. Light, you see, is outside of time, a fact of nature proven in thousands of experiments at hundreds of universities. I don’t pretend to know how tomorrow can exist simultaneously with today and yesterday. But at the speed of light they actually and rigorously do. Time does not pass.”
    Richard Swenson – More Than Meets The Eye, Chpt. 12

    Also of note; It is also very interesting to point out that the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’, reported in many Near Death Experiences(NDEs), is also corroborated by Special Relativity when considering the optical effects for traveling at the speed of light. Please compare the similarity of the optical effect, noted at the 3:22 minute mark of the following video, when the 3-Dimensional world ‘folds and collapses’ into a tunnel shape around the direction of travel as a ‘hypothetical’ observer moves towards the ‘higher dimension’ of the speed of light, with the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ reported in very many Near Death Experiences: (Of note: This following video was made by two Australian University Physics Professors with a supercomputer.)

    Approaching The Speed Of Light – Optical Effects – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5733303/

    And this effect is also witnessed in NDE’s:

    “I started to move toward the light. The way I moved, the physics, was completely different than it is here on Earth. It was something I had never felt before and never felt since. It was a whole different sensation of motion. I obviously wasn’t walking or skipping or crawling. I was not floating. I was flowing. I was flowing toward the light. I was accelerating and I knew I was accelerating, but then again, I didn’t really feel the acceleration. I just knew I was accelerating toward the light. Again, the physics was different – the physics of motion of time, space, travel. It was completely different in that tunnel, than it is here on Earth. I came out into the light and when I came out into the light, I realized that I was in heaven.”
    Barbara Springer – Near Death Experience – The Tunnel – video
    https://vimeo.com/79072924

    So, although Smolin may want time to be ‘real’, in so far as ‘realness’ can be assigned to temporal time (or even space for that matter) Smolin will have to settled for temporal time being a mere subset of a ‘more real’ eternal time:

    A Surreal Look at Time – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDnt-JnatxY

    Verse and Music

    James 4:13-14
    Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.

    Chicago – Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBuUUBrC9eQ

  2. 2
    Dov Henis says:

    On The Nature And Origin Of The Universe…
    Classical Science Replaced By 2013 Gravity Comprehension !!!

    ??? ???? ????? ?? ????
    New Science 2013 versus classical science
    http://universe-life.com/2014/02/24/gravity/
    Attn classical science hierarchy ( including Darwin and Einstein…)
    “I hope that now you understand what gravity is and why it is the monotheism of the universe…DH”
    =================================
    Gravity is the natural selection of self-attraction by the elementary particles of an evolving system on their cyclic course towards the self-replication of the system. Period
    ( Gravitons are the elementary particles of the universe. RNA genes and serotonin are the elementary particles of Earth life)

    ?? ??????
    ?? ?????? ??? ?????? ?????? ???????? ????? ?? ?????? ????? ?? ????? ?????? ????? ???????? ???????? ???? ???????. ?????
    ( ????????? ??? ????? ????? ?? ?????. ?????, ???????????? ?? ????? ??????????? ?????????? ?? ???????? ???????? ?? ??? ???? ????) Dov Henis (comments from 22nd century)
    http://universe-life.com/2013/.....s-science/
    http://universe-life.com/2013/.....ed-theory/

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