From physicist and creator of the YouTube series “Science without the Gobbledygook,” a book that takes a no-nonsense approach to life’s biggest questions, and wrestles with what physics really says about the human condition.
Ms. Hossenfelder can mostly avoid straying beyond science because the questions she addresses are more metaphysical than existential ... She is less persuasive when she encroaches on philosophical territory, brusquely brushing aside the possibility of free will ... The most surprising and interesting feature of the book is the claim that many of her physicist peers are as guilty of bringing speculation and belief into their scientific thinking as theologians and New Age mystics ... Frustratingly, Ms. Hossenfelder doesn’t apply the distinction between unscientific and ascientific consistently, sometimes giving both labels to the same idea ... Ms. Hossenfelder breaks up her text with four interviews with physicists to provide 'other voices.' Their main effect is to confirm stereotypes of eccentricity ... an informed and entertaining guide to what science can and cannot tell us. If Ms. Hossenfelder is sometimes a little too opinionated, the reader will quickly forgive her. Anyone capable of bridging the concerns of the human world and the baffling complexities of physics has earned the right to be indulged a little.
Hossenfelder elegantly illustrates complex ideas in straightforward, lay-friendly language ... Hossenfelder takes readers on a riveting cerebral journey through surprisingly confounding differences between scientific method and storytelling ... In addition to her own powerful voice, Hossenfelder includes enlightening interviews with David Deutsch, Roger Penrose, and Zeeya Merali, all luminaries in the field ... spectacular, and a must-read for all who ponder the purpose of existence.