Monday, November 28, 2005
God's Debris: free e-book
Why is it Free? Frankly, this is the hardest book in the world to market. When it first came out in hardcover, booksellers couldn’t decide if it was fiction or nonfiction. Was it philosophy or religion? It’s a religion/science book written by a cartoonist, using hypnosis techniques in the writing. It’s a thought experiment. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever read. How do you sell something that can’t be explained? Imagine that you meet a very old man who knows literally everything. Imagine that he explains for you the great mysteries of life—quantum physics, evolution, God, gravity, light, psychic phenomenon, and probability—in a way so simple, so novel, and so compelling that it all fits together and makes perfect sense.
Why don't organisms evolve to become more simple? Adams ponders. Well, they do all the time. The tape worm is an excellent example of a creature that has gotten simpler rather than more complex.
Why aren't creatures evolving now in a way we can see? Probably because evolution tends to move slowly. However, in the last 100 years, a new species of mosquito has evolved in the London Underground and some rattle snakes have developed a new organ which allows them to sense the presence of warm-blooded animals.
This is highschool level biology. Did Adams do any research whatsoever?
And predictably, because Adams didn't worry at all about his characters, the smartest person on earth is (wait for it) a man! he's replaced by ... a man! who is in turned replaced by . . . a man! Maybe it's because men "want to feel useful" whereas women "just want men to make sacrifices." With such universal and awe-inspiring revelations about gender, Adams certainly can tell that only men have what it takes to be the smartest people.
This book is so bad that I almost don't want to read Dilbert anymore. All of Adams works are tainted by the terribleness of his "novel."
"The description of reality in God’s Debris isn’t true, as far as I know, but it’s oddly compelling. Therein lies the thought experiment:
Try to figure out what’s wrong with the simplest explanations.
The central character states a number of scientific “facts.” Some of his weirdest statements are consistent with what scientists generally believe. Some of what he says is creative baloney designed to sound true. See if you can tell the difference. "
It might be worth it if the main point of the thought experiment was truly compelling and original and was never addressed in better science fiction. This is not the case. In stead it's a plea for intelligent design wrapped in a blandly sexist frame story.
Oh and this comment may include inaccuracies which you may disagree with. But you may find the main idea of my comment here to be worth thinking about.
Why do I think that
Mr. Pickover wrote it
under a pseudonym?
The Avatar has approached the
god-formation paradigm in reverse time.
This is analytically interesting,
but less efficatious than allowing
the neophite to bond, & meld.
After all, if we once were one,
will eventually be one,
and are now troubled
simply by blindness to our unity,
the Avatar (in the story)
has exhibited hubris,and exclusion,
to simply confound poor Doug Heffernan.
He might more effectively presented himself as an irresistable young woman, seducing the deliveryman,
igniting thereby,Sixth Level phase change.
There is in fact NOT just a single avatar.
perhaps you now realize this.
At any rate, the book is obviously
a screenplay for "King of Queens-The Movie", and I wish Mr."Adams" good luck approaching Lorimar with it!
It certainly IS fiction, just as the author claims. It also DOES have some factual inaccuracies (just as the author also claims.) But, of course, factual inaccuracies are par for the course in fiction, are they not?
Rock on Scotty!
"However, in the last 100 years, a new species of mosquito has evolved in the London Underground and some rattle snakes have developed a new organ"
I heard about a species of moth that turned from predominantly off-white colored with some gray-colored oddballs, to vice versa, during the industrial revolution, because the soot was a sudden and massive change in the environment - any moth displaying the gray-coloured gene had a better chance of hiding from predators. It's an excellent example of evolution at work - I'm sure it's googleable.
However, I think you were a bit harsh on poor ol' Douglas Adams. He wrote Dilbert! And the book's not THAT bad, although I admit I've only read a couple chapters so far.