Saturday, 10 March 2012

Book #25 The Never-Ending Days Of Being Dead by Marcus Chown

The Never-Ending Days Of Being Dead

The Never-Ending Days Of Being Dead by Marcus Chown has some crossover content with Michio Kaku's Parallel Worlds which I read in January. Both books tackle the possibility of the existence of parallel universes, both books use the mortality of Elvis by way of example and both books make reference to the short story All The Myriad Ways by Larry Niven.

Where the books differ is that Chown goes on to discuss different implications of quantum theory from the Kaku. Topics Chown covers include the possible existence of Extra Terrestrial Life,  whether the universe is in fact the result of a computer program what happens to us when we die, what happens to us when the universe dies, what binary, pi and the omega point can tell us, and the problem of mass.

Between the Kaku and the Chown, I felt Chown's was the more accessible work. I understood it, as a lay person who didn't get on with Physics well at school better than I did the Kaku. I struggled significantly with the section on Mass but that's just an issue of personal deficit in knowledge than a reflection on Chown's writing.

As with Parallel Worlds, I found it incredibly heartwarming that unlike many atheists who use the Big Bang Theory to illustrate that "God" did not create the world, many physicists on the cutting edges of latest theories look to the existence of some sort of "Creator" as the only means to explain the unexplainable; and that physics at its most theoretical has more in common with theology than many would like to believe.

Some of the theories presented in this book are mindblowing and lead to much existential philosophising. I remember I asked a friend once whether he thought we might just be a really, really big game of "The Sims" and somewhat dishearteningly quantum theory by no means rules this out. Who are we, and why are we here? This book doesn't answer that question but it opens the door to many possibilities to be considered. I will certainly read more of Chown's books. 9/10

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