Friday, July 5, 2013

Brilliant Blunders From Darwin to Einstein: Colossal Mistakes by Great Scientists That Changed Our Understanding of Life and the Universe, by Mario Livio

Brilliant Blunders
From Darwin to Einstein: Colossal Mistakes by Great Scientists That Changed Our Understanding of Life and the Universe
Author: Mario Livio
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: May 14, 2013
Perhaps "blunders" is too strong a word for some of the mistakes Mario Livio talks about in this book, and I think "colossal mistakes" is way too far. Darwin's ideas about evolution, for instance, were not necessarily fully realized nor did they reflect all of the scientific knowledge we have today, but that's not exactly a "blunder." It's just the beginning of an idea that would change the course of scientific thought. But I guess that's the point of this book. A lot of so-called "blunders" actually result in scientific knowledge being furthered in new and unexpected directions.

As for the actual science in the book, it's a little beyond my university physics and chemistry classes in some places (or maybe it wasn' was kind of a long time ago), but I didn't find it all that difficult to follow. Mostly it was the story of what happened and why it was significant that was important, rather than the specifics of the science. Or, again, maybe it wasn't and I just wasn't following along with the details. I have been known to zone out a bit when things get too math-y. (It's why my job as a math tutor didn't go well.)

Disclaimer: I received a digital galley of this book free from Edelweiss (Above the Tree Line). I was asked to write an honest review, though not necessarily a favourable one. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.

Darwin's Ghosts
What Einstein Told His Cook

A Little History of Science
The Violinist's Thumb

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