The Big Picture by Sean Carroll

The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe ItselfThe Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself by Sean Carroll
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I disliked this book, but that’s probably slightly unfair. It’s not badly written. The research seems thorough and reliable. What bothers me is the arrogance of the author and the condescending style. He writes like he’s talking to 9-year-old who has just been rescued from a cult and living in the jungle. I skipped Jonestown, thank you, and don’t need to be told the basics everyone learns in junior high science class and the rest of life. It’s quite repetitive and I found myself wanting to say, “Well, duh!” multiple times per page. He uses stupid hypotheticals to illustrate obvious points. For example, he writes that if you were to step into your bathtub and find an accordion there, you would assume some one put it there, or there was another identifiable cause. “Well, duh!” It’s not that I disagree with him; at least I don’t think so. My world view is probably pretty similar to his, but I don’t like the attitude of, “Just forget everything you thought you knew, and I’ll tell you how to think about everything.” I skipped liberally to about page 120 or so and then jumped to the end, so I didn’t give it a full chance, but I read all I could stomach.

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