3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
An excellent book putting science into everyday terms.,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Science of Discworld (Hardcover)
A lot of people (mainly Pratchett fans) are going to be buying this book with the expectation that it's another Discworld story. Well, it's not, so they may be disappointed. There is a Discworld story (about the wizards' latest antics at Unseen University) running through the book, but this story is not the point of the book.
Rather, the book uses elements of the story, presented in alternate chapters, as launching points for discussions of science and Nature in our (non-magical) Universe. The authors more or less go over the current understanding of the "Epic of Evolution", beginning with the Big Bang, through the formation of the solar system, to the emergence of life and then intelligence. However, the authors make it quite clear that these are not tenets of some materialistic religion (as some opponents of science would have us believe), but are instead rather sophisticated "lies-to-children", the human-made ideas we have developed about how Nature works, with those ideas judged on the basis of how well they explain what Nature is actually doing.
All in all, this is an excellent book which discusses science at the popular level, and I'm going to be recommending it to lots of people who're interested in science, whether they're Discworld fans or not. I very much hope that the book will soon become available in the United States, where it is very much needed...