The Matter Myth: Dramatic Discoveries That Challenge Our Understanding of Physical Reality

Author Davies, Paul Gribbin, John
ISBN 978-0-7432-9091-3
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Review

Perhaps I would have been warned off from this book had I known beforehand that Gribbin’s co-author, Paul Davies, is a recipient of the dubious Templeton Award, given by the odious and eponymous Foundation to a scientist who blurs the borders between science and its antithesis, religion. I’ve greatly enjoyed some of Gribbin’s other books, where he explains cosmology and quantum physics with colourful metaphors and ample cautions and warnings to the reader lest they come away thinking that the nature of reality is more comprehensible than it truly is—echoes of Feynman (maybe apochryphal, but very much in style): If you think you understand quantum physics, you don’t understand quantum physics.

The Matter Myth, though, feels on some level like it’s trying harder to mystify than to explain. It’s not a terrible book, but you’ll get better explanations (and plenty of genuine mystery and wonder) if you skip it and read some other books—maybe some of Gribbin’s own, earlier works; maybe some Hawking or Greene.

Notes