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Hotline to the ineffable (aka wishful thinking*)
on 6 November 2014
Oh dear, oh dear - another scientist takes to the pulpit. This is a tissue of platitudes and piety; a renowned physicist, outside his comfort zone Turok sounds wide-eyed. He finds it 'remarkable' that two plus two equals four 'whether you are Mexican or Nigerian'. Leonardo's paintings, he tells us with confident authority, are 'some of the finest ever made'. (Nice to get that cleared up.) The first insight appears on page 16. It is from Einstein - who tells us, in effect, that reality is not ultimately knowable; that is not, though, a license for believing anything! - and there are better ways of accessing Einstein. Turok's hushed tone admits nothing like J Robert Oppenheimer writing to his brother Frank in 1935 (cited Bernstein: Quantum Leaps) 'Einstein is completely cuckoo'
* Actually Turok cautions against wishful thinking (p19), which he couples with greed - he's agin 'em both - so shall we call it wistful thinking on his part?