Saturday, December 31, 2011

Awaiting a weighty book

At the end of my blog post of 16 July 2011 entitled State of things [display], I suggested that readers might sit down quietly for an hour to watch a splendid talk by an outstanding American theoretical physicist, 57-year-old Lawrence Krauss.

I've just been pleasantly surprised to learn—in a note from Krauss himself, published yesterday [display]—that this talk actually took place some two years ago, at the instigation of Richard Dawkins and Robin Elisabeth Cornwell [Executive Director of the US branch of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science]. Later, the Foundation decided to post the talk video to YouTube… and it went on to log over a million views. This doesn't surprise me at all, since the subject is awesome.

Not surprisingly, friends of Krauss soon got around to convincing him that he should write a book on this fascinating subject of the way in which "nothingness" transforms itself constantly (with no help from any gods, just pure science) into "somethingness". When you think about it, it's a bloody good pretext for a book, to say the least: the sort of stuff that the Holy Bible would refer to as "good news". (I'm joking, of course. The authors of the poor old Bible wouldn't know what the fuck we were talking about.)

This momentous book will be coming out on 10 January 2012. Meanwhile, you can download (from the above Foundation link) the text of a splendid Afterword written by Dawkins for the imminent Krauss book. Inspired by the famous biblical words "Jesus wept" [John 11-35], I feel like summarizing the situation: Dawkins wondered. Wondered in awe at the words of a fellow scientist… without claiming that he (or many of us, for that matter) might be capable of following all the mathematics and physics that culminate in such mind-boggling conclusions. In any case, the words of the science poet Dawkins (who speaks from my level) are beautifully inspiring. And I'm awaiting eagerly the weighty words of Krauss.

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