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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A basic primer, well presented...
Stephen Hawking is widely acknowledged as one of the most intelligent persons on the planet, often seen as the intellectual successor to Einstein in reputation if not in actual adherence to theories. This book by David Filkin is a companion to book to a BBC/PBS series by the same name, highlighting different aspects and ideas that came from the television production...
Published on 22 Nov. 2004 by Kurt Messick

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Brief Explanations and Pretty Pictures
I have no doubt that Stephen Hawking is a genius. I also have no doubt that he knows what he is talking about. However, given the reputation that precedes him, I was not terribly impressed with the explanations found in this book. I suppose given the fact that the book was meant to compliment the television series, I should not expect too much explanatory detail...
Published on 17 Jan. 1999


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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read, Simple as That, 21 May 1999
By A Customer
First, Stephen Hawking did not write this book. A journalist wrote it, as a history of the development of our understanding through the sciences and key players of the respective times, culminating in our time and key player, Stephen Hawking.
Second, it is an excellent explanation of how we got to where we are in understanding.
What I like about it most, is what I found in it that is absent in most such books - an honest admitting that, at every turn and at every new development, more questions were generated than answers, and the possible answers have not yet been able to eliminate the possiblity of randomness or creative divinity at the beginning.
In addition, it shows clearly that scientists have made as many mistakes as the religious (i.e. the use of radio-active material at its earliest use in society).
Most importantly, there is a documented record of the historal view that the big bang was a Christian contribution that does not destroy the idea of God, but was supportive of the idea of God, through science. The whole story of Einstein's criticism of Newton's physics (the foundation of astronomy for hundreds of years); the implications of the Hubble expanding universe discovery and Lemaitre's reasoning back to the day before which there was not; this history, so conveniently overlooked in so much of the literature, is the line upon which Stephen Hawking's work with black holes rests.
The theories, the conjectures, the politics, the pride and competition, all these issues are a part of the history of the development of our current understanding, far from the image of scientists as noble altruistic champions in the search for absolute truth that we'd be lead to believe.
And finally, the concept of "faith" is not the property of the religious. This book makes faith a key element in the work of the scientists who believe things they can't see or empirically experience. Faith then becomes the catalyst for the direction in which one searches, and the template of interpretation once something is found.
In this, all people are one, in that, whatever we do, faith must be a component thereof.
Hats off to David Filkin.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 18 Mar. 2012
Thank you. Service was excellent, you kept me up to date about the whereabouts of my order and it arrived sooner than I thought.
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Stephen Hawking's Universe
Stephen Hawking's Universe by David Filkin (Hardcover - 8 Sept. 1997)
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