Read New Theories of Everything by John D. Barrow Free Online
Book Title: New Theories of Everything|
The author of the book: John D. Barrow
Edition: Oxford University Press, USA
The size of the: 481 KB
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Loaded: 2376 times
Reader ratings: 4.9
Date of issue: August 1st 2007
ISBN 13: 9780192807212
Format files: PDF
Read full description of the books:
I have enjoyed Barrow’s previous works -- I was so enthralled with Barrow and Tipler’s 1988 book The Anthropic Cosmological Principle that I read every word of its 736 pages multiple times. Barrow’s latest book, New Theories of Everything, does not disappoint. In this wide-ranging work, Barrow examines the notion of viewing science as the search for algorithmic compression of observed data. In other words, the best scientific theory is the one that explains the most data precisely in as crisp a manner as possible.
Barrow examines this proposition from many different angles, including physics, cosmology, mathematics, mathematical logic, computer science, biology, history, philosophy and religion. This material is so well organized, and so lucidly written, that readers are bound to learn many things of interest, no matter what their backgrounds. Advanced knowledge of these fields is not required (although it will help).
Here is one excerpt from this fascinating work:
[pg 231:] In practice, the intelligibility of the world amounts to the fact that we find it to be algorithmically compressible. We can replace sequences of facts and observational data by abbreviated statements which contain the same information content. These abbreviations we often call ‘laws of Nature.’ If the world were not algorithmically compressible, then there would exist no simple laws of nature. Instead of using the law of gravitation to compute the orbits of the planets at whatever time in history we want to know them, we would have to keep precise records of the positions of the planets at all past times; yet this would still not help us one iota in predicting where they would be at any time in the future. This world is potentially and actually intelligible because at some level it is extensively algorithmically compressible. At root, this is why mathematics can work as a description of the physical world. It is the most [pg 232:] expedient language that we have found in which to express those algorithmic compressions.
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Read information about the authorJohn D. Barrow is a professor of mathematical sciences and director of the Millennium Mathematics Project at Cambridge University and a Fellow of the Royal Society.
He was awarded the 2006 Templeton Prize for "Progress Toward Research or Discoveries about Spiritual Realities" for his "writings about the relationship between life and the universe, and the nature of human understanding [which] have created new perspectives on questions of ultimate concern to science and religion".
He is a member of a United Reformed Church, which he describes as teaching "a traditional deistic picture of the universe", and live in Cambridge, UK.
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