Read Fire In The Mind: Science, Faith, and the Search for Order by George Johnson Free Online
Book Title: Fire In The Mind: Science, Faith, and the Search for Order|
ISBN 13: 9780679411925
The author of the book: George Johnson
Date of issue: August 29th 1995
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 7.77 MB
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Reader ratings: 5.6
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Fire in the Mind is one of those books that make you want to read ten others. His main point is that the truth that you see in the world depends on the filter you’re looking through, and that both agnostic scientists and practicers of religion are struggling to impose their own sense of order on a messy universe. He delves into quantum mechanics and cosmology on one hand, and the intricacies of Southwestern religion (both Catholic and indigenous) on the other. He helped me to see that science is not this absolute edifice of truth that we sometimes take it to be.
On the other hand, Johnson describes the research of a set of scientists who believe there is order in the universe where mainstream scientific thought thinks there is none: in the origin and evolution of life. Their work hints that the arrival of complexity in the universe, and particularly in the form of life, is not necessarily the fluke it is sometimes made out to be, and that life in some form or another is inherent in the very structure of the universe. They are not anti-Darwinian, but they don’t think that Darwinian theory is sufficient to explain the diversity and complexity of life. I read the book primarily for these sections and I found them fascinating, particularly since Johnson doesn’t try to come down on either side.
Some of the science described in this book can be a little difficult if you are rusty – I had trouble with the descriptions of quantum mechanics and I think Johnson isn’t the best in presenting unusual concepts in an easy to understand way. But I got enough out of his book to make it worth reading, and I plan to find a layperson’s introduction to quantum mechanics to clear my confusion.
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George Johnson (born January 20, 1952) is an American journalist and science writer. He is the author of a number of books, including The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments (2008) and Strange Beauty: Murray Gell-Mann and the Revolution in 20th-Century Physics (1999), and writes for a number of publications, including The New York Times.
He is one of the co-hosts (with science writer John Horgan) of "Science Saturday", a weekly discussion on the website Bloggingheads.tv, related to topics in science. Several prominent scientists, philosophers, and bloggers have been interviewed for the site.