I don’t generally gravitate to non-fiction science books (a byproduct of my (mis)adventures with Jan in Mr. Doran’s 10th Grade biology class, I’m sure.) But I’m glad I did. Sean Carroll writes in a conversational and entertaining style–so much so that my old (outdated and erroneous) “tapes” about my science ineptitude have vanished. In fact, Sean Carroll has piqued my curiosity for a new genre of books, as well as the broader disciplines of science. (Thank you, Sean!)
The Big Picture explores what we know about the universe — and what we don’t. It is both scientific and philosophical. Astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology, philosophy–you’ll find it all here. And you may be surprised like I was, how entirely “digestible” it all is–entertaining, in fact. Mostly I love this book because it is truly thought-provoking–not just about the universe but about oneself:
“One is our tendency to give higher credences to propositions that we want to be true. This can show up at a very personal level, as what’s known as self-serving bias”
Or, another favorite quote about naturalism:
“We don’t know how the universe began, or if it’s the only universe. We don’t know the ultimate, complete law of physics. We don’t know how life began, or how consciousness arose. And we certainly haven’t agreed on the best way to live in the world as good human beings.”
I’m glad I picked up this book. I’m a different person for it.