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I like big books.

13 Things That Don't Make Sense: The Most Baffling Scientific Mysteries of Our Time

13 Things That Don't Make Sense: The Most Baffling Scientific Mysteries of Our Time - Michael Brooks A great introduction to the problems facing modern science, but I felt like it could have been so much more. The great thing about 13 Things is that the chapters can stand alone, and a reader can delve into the mysteries that interest them while avoiding some of the others that may be boring. Some chapters are definitely better than others. The best of them include: Free Will, the Placebo Effect, the Wow Signal and the chapter on the Pioneer anomaly.

The long and short of it is that Brooks uses Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions as a framework for discussing how each of the anomalies could have the potential for major paradigm shifts in the sciences. It's an interesting idea, but not one that I think meshes well with ALL of the topics he mentions. Moreover, while the anomalies are interesting and hint to some tantalizing fact or law just beyond our current understanding, Brooks falls into a pattern-theme of orthodoxy vs. "real" scientific work, in which the big names of mainstream science crush the results of scientists whose results make them feel uncomfortable. The implication is, "If only they'd listen, we'd know the truth." As I've said, that might be true in some cases, but it starts to sound downright conspiratorial when repeated too often and in so many different facets of science.

Anyway, it's a short read, and a great jumping off point for interest in some of the anomalies. If nothing else its a neat summation of different arguments concerning some problems in modern science. The bibliography was disappointingly thin. I was hoping to be able to mine some of his resources for some more information, but so far, there's been nothing beyond what Brooks presents in the book.