Who’s that out there?

Ian Stewart

  • The Mind’s Sky by Timothy Ferris
    Bantam, 281 pp, £16.99, March 1992, ISBN 0 593 02644 6

‘Science does not customarily pose big questions. It poses small questions.’ It may seem odd to find such a statement in a book whose main questions have to do with Mind and the Cosmos, the twin mysteries of human existence, and whose answers are based upon current scientific understanding. The statement, however, embodies an important truth, upon which the entire book rests. Science does not answer the big questions directly: it provides a frame in which the human mind can tackle them. ‘The world is a fantasy,’ said the astrophysicist Dennis Sciama, ‘so let’s find out about it.’

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