The Mind of God, by Paul Davies
The self-imposed task of modern science was first formally described in the early 1600′s, when Francis Bacon suggested that a rigorous program of experimentally testing hypotheses about physical phenomena would prove far more effective than medieval scholasticism at discovering how the world really worked and finding the best ways to master nature. Over the ensuing 400 years, Bacon’s program has proved astonishingly fruitful and its successes have transformed the way we look at the universe.
Nevertheless, the undeniable fact that we are able to describe so well the way the world works cannot itself be understood in purely scientific terms. That irony is the underlying theme of Paul Davies’s The Mind of God. Davies is a well-known theoretical physicist who has written widely for both lay and professional audiences on subjects including quantum mechanics, relativity, and cosmology. His latest book explores such deep metaphysical conundrums as why the universe should be intelligible at all, how it is that the human brain can invent complex mathematical constructs, why these abstractions describe nature so well, and whether the answers to these questions imply that man actually has a special place in the universe.
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