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I. M. Oderberg

Robert Nadeau and Menas Kafatos

The non-local Universe

Many people have sought a mystical side to the new discoveries in physics, in particular in quantum theory. I think of these attempts as a mostly harmless amusement, but I have to say that I felt that The non-local universe possibly wasn't so harmless. Maybe the later parts of the book aren't so bad. The authors speculate about the evolution of the mind - a bit of a just-so story perhaps, but interesting and readable. The last part of the book gets on to the postmodern take on science. The authors clearly think that there's something wrong with this, but don't want to insult the postmodernists - I thought it was rather funny really.

It's the first part of the book, on quantum theory and non-locality which I found worrying. One of the authors is a professional physicist, and the book seems to be describing accepted physics, but I found it rather muddled in several places. For example the following sentences on Bohm's theory (p76): 'One problem with these so called local realistic classical theories is that they cannot be verified in experiments. Another is that they predict a totally different result for the correlations between the two photons in experiments testing Bell's theorem'. Well firstly Bohm's theory isn't local. Secondly we're talking quantum rather than classical. And thirdly the second sentence contradicts the first.

Also the book doesn't really have much about the relationship of the mind to the new physics, so I'd advise you to give it a miss.  |  Chronon Critical Points  |  Recent Science Book Reviews