THE FABRIC OF REALITY by David Deutsch. New York, NY: The Penguin Press, 1997. 366 pages, index and bibliography. Hardcover; $29.95.
One interpretation of the science of quantum mechanics is the theory of multiple universes. One interpretation of the science of biology is Darwinism, specifically as described and discussed by Richard Dawkins. David Deutsch takes these two interpretations, and, intertwining them with discussions of epistemology and the theory of computation concludes that not only are these interpretations "true," but that they are true in the sense that they describe the very "fabric of reality," and, hence, are leading us close to a "Theory of Everything."
The book comes with words of high praise by Paul Davies, Frank Tipler, Douglas Adams and others. Richard Dawkins and Frank Tipler are cited in the acknowledgements section.
The book's subtitle is "The Science of Parallel Universes -- and Its Implications." Following an introductory chapter, in which the book's goals are set forth, Deutsch begins his arguments by a truly magnificent description of the famous quantum light experiment, concluding that only a "multiverse" explanation can possibly fit the observed data. As the book progresses, he argues well for this particular explanation being the cornerstone of an ultimate TOE (more than the relatively simple TOE that physicists seek).
Whatever one thinks of the multiverse explanation, this book is worth reading and ought to be in all college libraries. It is well-written, interesting and entertaining. The author, a researcher at Oxford University, has the credentials to be heard.
John W. Burgeson
IBM Corporation (retired)
Published in PERSPECTIVES, the quarterly journal of the ASA,
in Volume 50, #2, June 1998.
ASA's web site is www.ASA3.ORG
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