“This elegantly written, meticulously researched and thought-provoking book provides a window into how science actually works, and is sure to spur intense debate.” –New Scientist
“A boundless enthusiasm resounds through this homage to the outstanding problems of science.”
“You will be amazed and astonished you when you learn that science has been unable to come up with a working definition of life, why death should happen at all, why sex is necessary, or whether cold fusion is a hoax or one of the greatest breakthroughs of all time.”
–Richard Ellis, author of The Empty Ocean and Tuna: A Love Story
“Fascinating. . . . Brooks expertly works his way through . . . hotly debated quandaries in a smooth, engaging writing style reminiscent of Carl Sagan or Stephen Jay Gould.”
–Anahad O’Connor, author of Never Shower in a Thunderstorm
1 THE MISSING UNIVERSE
We can only account for 4 percent of the cosmos
2 THE PIONEER ANOMALY
Two spacecraft are flouting the laws of physics
3 VARYING CONSTANTS
Destabilizing our view of the universe
4 COLD FUSION
Nuclear energy without the drama
Are you more than just a bag of chemicals?
NASA scientists found evidence for life on Mars. Then they changed their minds.
7 THE WOW! SIGNAL
Has ET already been in touch?
8 A GIANT VIRUS
It’s a freak that could rewrite the story of life
Evolution’s problem with self-destruction
There are better ways to reproduce
11 FREE WILL
Your decisions are not your own
12 THE PLACEBO EFFECT
Who’s being deceived?
It’s patently absurd, so why won’t it go away?
Notes And Sources