rating: 5 of 5 stars
The topic that attracted me to this book was homeopathy, and wouldn’t you know, it was covered in the very last chapter of the book. I do, however, enjoy reading about various topics in science, so it was no chore to read the entire book. In fact, Michael Brooks does a fine job of describing what can be very complicated scientific subjects in such a way that the lay person (me!) can understand them.
The book is targeted at explaining 13 mysteries of science and the stories behind why these particular things cannot yet be explained. All of the topics chosen are fascinating and touch on our very existence as human beings.
What quickly becomes apparent, and can easily be described as another theme of the book, is that many scientists don’t particularly care to have their paradigms shifted. In my estimation, they tend to behave like a pack of wild dogs, taking down whoever comes up with a new theory or better scientific explanation with viciousness.
I appreciated the author’s balanced approach to the topics presented, showing the pros and cons of the various theories that have been put forth to explain these as-yet unexplainable dilemmas. I was particularly pleased with how he covered homeopathy, which most doctors and scientists would dismiss as pure hokum. His analysis of homeopathy being a hit-or-miss affair within the realm of scientific studies squares with my experience with homeopathy. I’ve taken some remedies to great effect, and others that had no affect whatsoever. Plus, his suggestion that the Materia Medica (a book that lists all the remedies with their supposed effects) may be part of the problem in proving homeopathy’s efficacy is dead on.
All in all, this is an excellent book and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in science. There’s a little something in this book for everyone, no matter what scientific discipline you are attracted to.