Accessibility has been a stumbling block for the propagation of scientific thought and empirical reason since the enlightenment. Furthermore, the speed, accuracy, and efficiency that information can be shared are at the very foundation of what life is. It is not just about modern thinking of what information is. The success and failure of how information is shared is as important on the level of an amino acid as it is in a classroom. A successful copy means a new life; an unsuccessful copy means a new life form. According to Chaos Theory, change is at the core of the universe. After eons of change, life on Earth has advanced to the stage of self-awareness. We know that we are here, but we do not know why or how. Science is laying the bricks to human understanding. Surely, this obelisk will tower to an unimaginable level. But for some, with the constantly increasing level of information required to grasp so many novel concepts, the uncompleted peak is already too tall to observe.
World-renowned biologist Richard Dawkins, considered by some to be today’s Charles Darwin, has released a new book called The Magic of Reality. The goal of his latest book is to build a metaphorical elevator in which the curious can get a boost in their understanding of nature’s observable wonder. Other works have tried previously. Only the truly hardcore actually seek out and finish things like The Origin of Species. Not to undercut the miraculous observation made by our scientific forefathers, but without a burning desire, razor-sharp intellect, and a lifetime of work can one examine the totality of a single subject in the realm of science. Dawkins successfully bridges this gap with this new, no-nonsense look into the core of our wonderful world.
The book succeeds so well because of its highly interactive nature. The hard-copy is beautifully illustrated. There is also a revolutionary application for the iPad which includes charming animations by David McKean and interactive games throughout. In each chapter, Dawkins first examines the “myths” associated with certain realms of scientific thought, and then outlines what science has observed so far in each case. Be forewarned, the book has no bibliography. This means that you are on your own if you want to research further topics; albeit, the work is formatted for a younger audience. Not to say that adults could not benefit from this engaging first look into mystifying topics like the nature of DNA, evolution, gravity, energy, the sun, planets, and plate tectonics.
The nature of the work is diverse. It is best taken as “kindling” to light the fire of curiosity for a children or anyone who just wants to know. This book begins to answer “what”, and “how”, so maybe one day we will know “why”.
As far as information sharing goes, we as humans perpetually find ourselves at a crossroads. Do we ask hard, sometimes uncomfortable questions or do we merely accept the answers we have been provided? One path could lead us to the stars, but the other will certainly take us back to the cave.