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  • The theme of this book is to track the confirmation and development of the atomic theory from Leucippus through the discovery of the Higgs boson and to show how atoms and void have prevailed despite continuous opposition by religious and idealist thinkers. This is a lot to cover, and I, as a non-scientist, am interested in the topic mainly to try to understand how the ancient physics of Epicurus compares to modern physics. I see this book as a good reference book for someone interested in the s…
  • Rather than attempt to outline the book or try to present any specific theories of physics, I’d like to attempt to relate current thinking as I understand it from this book to the Twelve Fundamentals of Nature in order to provide a platform for further discussion. Any mistakes are purely mine; I’m trying to figure this out as I go! If discussion follows, this might best be moved to the various forum threads under The Fundamentals of Nature; I’m listing them here to have them in one place for cl…
  • Being somewhat unsatisfied regarding the cosmological questions, I just finished reading The Dancing Universe: From Creation Myths to the Big Bang, by Marcelo Gleiser. I found it to be an excellent complement to God and the Atom. Where God and the Atom deals with, yes, atomism, The Dancing Universe deals with, well, the universe. The book begins by categorizing various types of creation myths, then proceeds through the history of physics through the Big Bang. Where Stenger is an experimental ph…
  • Excellent question. Basically his point in the book is that we don't know, but that there are various mathematical models which fall into a limited number of categories. To the question of "is there a beginning" he provides the following five categories: 1) Yes. Creation from something. 2) Yes. Creation from nothing. 3) Yes. Order out of chaos. 4) No. Eternal existence. 5) No. Rhythmic universe. From the book's final chapter, "Beginnings:" "Two of the open 'origins' questions that are particula…
  • Cassius, I was thinking after I posted that you might make points such as these , and I agree with what you're saying. I read the book as an Epicurean, and for me it provides an interesting basis from which to go back and review Lucretius and the letters of Epicurus. I expect to have a richer understanding afterwards. A committed Christian, Muslim, spiritualist or the like might find a "god of the gaps" in there, although Gleiser does explicitly reject that position as anti-scientific. The reas…