Saturday, April 12, 2008

The God Particle

This book is brilliant.

Its humor is at the level of Dave Barry. Its clarity is at the level of Isaac Asimov. Its science is at the level you would expect from an author who won the Nobel Prize in physics (Leon Lederman).

I originally saw it in the university bookstore yesterday, and I almost bought it. Then I decided to check it out of the library instead. That decision made sense, but now that I've read most of it, I plan to buy it.

One thing I find especially interesting about it is the perspective of a real scientist on the history and philosophy of science. It's quite different from anything I've read that was written by a historian or philosopher of science. The history, especially, is exactly what Thomas Kuhn wrote to oppose: the view that each revolution simply adds to what has gone before.

My feeling is that people in science studies need to study more of what the scientists say--whether they end up agreeing with the scientists or not--and not quite as much of what historians, philosophers, and even rhetoricians of science say.