Renowned cosmologist Stephen Hawking in his posthumous publication Brief Answers to the Big Questions addresses some of the questions he must have been asked perennially. “Is there a God?”. “How did it all begin?”, “Can we predict the future?”, “Is time travel possible?”, “Will artificial intelligence outsmart us?”, or “Will we survive on Earth?”
With a calm tone he makes it very clear that he is only interested in finding a rational framework to understand the universe. It is this rational tone with which he contemplates the big questions. When he discusses time travel he makes it seem like a perfectly acceptable question to answer. His logical explanation that just nudges the boundary of the known does not rule out the possibility of time travel according to “our present understanding”. He is unafraid to challenge knowledge as known today and to be constantly curious — a trait he attributes all humanity with. But he does caution humans with the exponential growth that technological advancement has brought, much of which he had never dreamed he would witness in his lifetime! Every chapter in this book is a crisp attempt at answering these questions.
It is befitting that a scientist and a thinker like Hawking is now buried in Westminster Abbey between two of his heroes — Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin.
Brief Answers to the Big Questions is a stupendous book for it will make one think — a lot! Don’t miss reading this book.
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18 Oct 2018