Monday, 26 October 2009

What We Believe But Cannot Prove (2006)

What We Believe But Cannot Prove: Today's Leading Thinkers on Science in the Age of Certainty, edited by John Brockman: 107 scientists and sometimes glancingly related individuals (Ian McEwan, for instance) answer the question 'what do you believe to be true even though you cannot prove it?' Some of them take a rigorous view of proof, in which case anything we believe to be true falls under this rubric. Others stick with non-falsifiable but plausible speculation about the past or the future, or about the infinity of the cosmos. But the elephant in the room is that by this evidence not a single one of the 107 believes (or is prepared to admit in public they believe) in God. Statistically that looks improbable, and since 'God' is the answer the question is evidently angling for it unbalances the whole.

Also, I see to have a red-colour copy, when all the copies I can find online seem to be blue, like this, this or this. Not sure what the significance of that might be, although the red cover has the hen shitting out 'Guardian', which must please that paper, where the blue cover has it shitting out 'proof', more intriguingly. Since 'proof', rather than 'belief', is the vulnerable term in that title.


Mike said...

What I believe, but cannot prove, is that the blue edition is the Free Press hardcover edition, and the red is the Pocket books paperback. But your guess is as good as mine

Mike said...

link fail

Adam Roberts said...

I'm gullible enough to believe this too, Mike.