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Topic Title: A Book Review
Topic Summary: Decline in language usage is hampering scientific progress
Created On: 28 January 2015 10:18 AM
Status: Read Only
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 28 January 2015 10:18 AM
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kengreen

Posts: 437
Joined: 15 April 2013

A Book Review

This is not intended as a personal criticism. It represents my view of the regression in Science, and its presentation, during the last century.

This book (A Universe From Nothing by Lawrence M. Krauss) is undoubtedly well written, is well crafted and maintains a good pace. It fails however in its blinkered view that Science is the almost exclusive product of American experimenters and thinkers. I find it disagreeable that many historical facts, that were taught to me before the day of his birth, are now slotted into recent American history!

Mr. Krauss' first chapter is devoted to the basic constructions of modern classical Physics but he (in my opinion) uses his writing skills to cover the cracks in his historical drama. For example he pushes forward the contention that the red-shift in Light from distant sources is the result of the Doppler effect but totally suppresses the fact that a Doppler effect depends on the interaction between any motion of a Source and a propagation medium (it is common practice to ignore the linked effect of relative motion between any receiver and the medium - the subjective effects are identical but the mechanisms involved differ considerably.) Although I do not believe his story it would be more convincing if he introduced some of the contrary hypothese.

I learned also of the Micholson-Morley brilliant experiment but, at that time, its stated purpose was to measure the speed of the Earth through the Aether (through Space). The extraordinary and shocking results were inexplicable in terms of the accepted Physics but that did not prevent the schoolboy spirit from deducing explanations even more shocking . It was upon such bonkers reasoning that Einstein began his work and so it is not to his discredit that he produced that extraordinary equation E = mc².

That symbol c represents the perceived maximum speed at which Light can propagate and it has always seemed to me to be preposterous to assign its square as a natural constant?

The author champions also the hypothese of a Big Bang and of a Universe which is supposed to be expanding without provision of the necessarily required dimensions? He does not caution his Reader that the proposed Big Bang comes into being as a result of abusing the very mathematics that we have invented.

Of course the above is but an outline of the steady decline in education and literacy throughout my lifetime; it is causing huge waste in ventures such as the LHC which aim at glory and profit where search for the humble truth would be more appropriate!

At my introduction to the scientific method there was emphasis on the need to say exactly what you meant and a similar need to mean exactly what you said. When first I applied for membership to the (then) British Institute of Radio Engineers I was required to show proof of expertise in the English language. It is rare today to find an establishment that attempts, or even to understand, that there is much much more to our language than a collection of four-letter words!
 22 June 2016 01:14 PM
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SarahHarris

Posts: 2
Joined: 26 May 2016

I think that your book review is good. As for me, I usually try to use some help with book reviews (like Link Removed ), however. There is always a place for improvement, so develop your writing skills and keep up with a good work.

Edited: 22 June 2016 at 01:21 PM by SarahHarris
 28 June 2016 03:15 PM
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johnnmann

Posts: 61
Joined: 18 October 2006

An interesting post Ken. The assertion that red shift is caused by doppler effect has always puzzled me since it clearly conflicts with relativity theory. It does leave the question - clearly there IS red shift so what causes it?

Maybe this is all over my head!
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