Brief Answers to the Big Questions

Brief Answers to the Big Questions

Large Print - 2018
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Stephen Hawking was recognized as one of the greatest minds of our time and a figure of inspiration after defying his ALS diagnosis at age twenty-one. He is known for both his breakthroughs in theoretical physics as well as his ability to make complex concepts accessible for all, and was beloved for his mischievous sense of humor. Hawking not only unraveled some of the universe's greatest mysteries but also believed science plays a critical role in fixing problems here on Earth. Now, as we face immense challenges on our planet--including climate change, the threat of nuclear war, and the development of artificial intelligence--he turns his attention to the most urgent issues facing us. Will humanity survive? Should we colonize space? Does God exist? These are just a few of the questions Hawking addresses in this wide-ranging, passionately argued final book from one of the greatest minds in history. Featuring a foreword by Eddie Redmayne, who won an Oscar playing Stephen Hawking, an introduction by Nobel Laureate Kip Thorne, and an afterword from Hawking's daughter, Lucy, Brief Answers to the Big Questions is a brilliant last message to the world.
Publisher: [New York] : Random House Large Print, [2018]
ISBN: 9781984887269
1984887262
Branch Call Number: LP 500 HAWKING
Characteristics: 316 pages (large print) ; 21 cm
large print,rda

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c
carolwu96
Oct 16, 2019

⁣Is there a god? Is time traveling possible? Will artificial intelligence outsmart us? These are some of the questions world renowned physicist Stephen Hawking raises and answers in this book. ⁣⁣
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The first chapters of Brief Answers are a little slow for me, as they include many scientific terms like cosmic strings and supertranslation as Hawking explains the current theories, which I had never heard of. He also talks about more familiar concepts like entropy and the Uncertainty Principle, which are high school materials that have since faded from my memory (oops).⁣⁣
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But the book picked up after a few chapters, as Hawking discusses ideas such as black holes, space colonization and AI. I found myself nodding to many of his ideas, especially those around why further AI developments could be dangerous and possible candidates for space colonization. ⁣
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Part of the reason his answers resonate so much is probably that his ideas have been so promulgated through his works, so that I have come across them repeatedly despite never having read his works. ⁣⁣
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Overall, I think Hawking has touched on some fascinating topics and am glad I powered through despite the weak beginning.

For more book reviews, visit me on Instagram @ RandomStuffIRead !

f
fred98115
Oct 16, 2019

Last thoughts of the cosmologist / physicist who applied logic and scientific processes to the questions of today, including God and our future as a planet.

r
Ron@Ottawa
Aug 01, 2019

In his final book Prof. Hawking shares his thoughts on several major questions, including the existence of God. On this particular question I applaud his courage in putting forth a science-based answer, without concern on backlash from various religious groups. There is repetition in the chapters - some points are repeated over and over again. And some concepts will be alien to anyone who is not a physicist, such as myself. Still, I find the book easy to read and I manage to grasp most of the key points. I hope this book will reach a wide audience, including young readers. As he pointed out, we don't need to be all scientists, but we need to be familiar and feel comfortable with it.

2
21288004246712
Jul 20, 2019

hopefully 10 dimensional space is not the optimal solution, four (including time) seems to have been sufficient so far

m
mclarjh
Mar 30, 2019

Good, if opinionated.

a
amanoletters99
Mar 21, 2019

Okay now I have a better understanding of black holes, thanks Steven. Don't think I want to meet one any time soon. I never realized that many of my thoughts on the subjects in this book paralleled Mr. Hawking's. He does bring up an interesting idea; If there was nothing before the big bang, where did "God" come from? Let the debate begin...As for time travel? Forget about it. Only the good Doctor Who knows for sure.

I will explain all those prophecies that supposedly came true to Thecryingprophet. Many of them come from people who retrofit events onto some prophecy in the Bible, when you never would have looked at the prophecy, and associated it with the actual future event. Notice that when these people predict something based on the Bible, like the end of the world, it never happens. Many more have the peculiar circumstance that the only evidence of the prophecy coming true, is also in the Bible, which ought to raise a big red flag right there.

Let me point out also that many people will tell you the same thing about the prophecies of Nostradamus. Are they right too?

As Feynman said, you must be careful not to fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.

t
Thecryingprophet
Jan 16, 2019

Sadly, Hawking died denying the existence of God. As a pure scientist it should have been almost impossible for him to come to this conclusion.

The rigors of scientific study, research, measurements, and absolute black or white conclusions, should have made it impossible for him to end with this denial of truth. Thousands of Pure Scientist who for years were trained atheists have seen an unprecedented number of conversions to Christianity as they have applied all the rigors of science to The Holy Bible and found it to be, by far, the most historically accurate book in existence. In addition as they have applied the process of measuring the odds against just 5 of the first prophecies in the bible actually occurring, let lone in sequential order, entirely out of the realm of existence. More than 100+ HAVE OCCURED IN SEQUENTIAL ORDER...PLEASE, SOMEBODY EXPLAIN THIS TO ME? The more you apply these lenses to the Living Word of God it becomes even more baffling. Please, do not take my word for it. Reference for me, if you will, a man named Dale Tackett, a former commanding general of NORAD who served under many Presidents, a pure Astrophysicist, who is one of the best known men to convert.

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SEELOCHAN BEHARRY
Jan 04, 2019

This book is really a great read and lives up to the title. It is easy to read. Really enjoyed reading the thoughts of Hawking on the various big questions. Hawking managed to simply the knowledge of the various sciences to bear on the questions he attempted to answer shed light on. Highly recommended.

Seelochan Beharry
The Prehistories of Baseball

t
The_Thin_Man
Dec 31, 2018

"It's the book every thinking person worried about humanity's future should read." - NPR
"Hawking argues that we are setting ourselves up for catastrophic failure. The rapid increase of the global population with the consequent need for ever more energy and food, our unstoppable encroachment into natural habitats, the huge amounts of air pollution due to the burning of fossil fuels, growing income disparity, cultural entrenchment — all of these combine into an explosive formula for disaster." - NPR. Also, Yi-An read this book. If you read it, LinkedIn her and let her know your thoughts.

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