I couldn't think of anything to write about, so I chose something dull and pointless. And, incidentally, something about which I know next to nothing.
A few years ago, Dr Prof (Emiritus) Stephen Hawking dictated a book called "A Brief History of Time". Not a bad book at all. Went into some stuff about cosmology. Easy stuff, that everyone could understand. Black holes and exciting things like that. Event horizons. Remarkable drawings of toruses (tori?) and where light goes when space bends.
At the end of the book, Hawking indicates that there is some sort of God, who was/is/will be responsible for the Big Bang, when a great big pile of not much turned into an even bigger pile of hydrogen, which got very hot, and turned itself into helium, then argon, neon, nitrogen, oxygen, berylium, strontium 90, uranium, McDonald's Big Mac and Fries, Nectar Points and, eventually, people.
Every schoolboy knows that the universe is expanding, and that the further away you get from the middle (I don't understand this bit, for I don't know exactly where the middle is) the faster it expands. Everybody knows, also, that the speed of light is the only constant, and that the outside bits of the universe are expanding approximately twice as fast as that. Which is clearly cobblers.
So, I can understand this. Even the guitarist from Queen can. Jolly fun.
But, near the end of the this book, Hawking goes into explaining string theory. This, in itself, is not too difficult to understand. But in order for "what the fuck is happening" to fit the theory, it needs a bit more embellishment. Superstring theory. P-Branes. Vibrating wotsits that have to purr around a good half-dozen dimensions to work at all, and in at least 26 to work properly.
Fair enough, I say. At this point, I sort of give up. I can work in dimensions, in the same way as I can work with the imaginary number i, even though it isn't a real thingy.
The last sentence of this book finishes: "we will know the mind of God".
No, we won't, Stevie Boy. No. I knew that at the time. But NOW, Mr Hawking has come up with another theory, which is based entirely on the last theory, except that he has got a huge hole in it.
Now, a chap called Ptolemy, who was a famous mathematician and astronomer in Greece (or wherever he was from, I don't do research), a few thousand years ago, worked out that all the planets, and the sun, went round the earth. Fair. He was standing on the earth, and we are egocentric. If you're not, let me know, and I'll explain why you're wrong.
He spent a lot of time outside doing plotting of where the planets were, relative to him, and found that they were not entirely in proper orbits. Proper being where he would've liked them to be. So he invented all sorts of constants and bodges and kludges to put them right. He was hailed a hero.
Hawking, and all of the clever chaps, would like everything to fit into their model. They would have liked to have a GUT (Grand Unified Theory) of everything, explaining why everything does what everything does. But it doesn't go like that. It DOES, however, if you invent dimensions, and try to shove the results into those frameworks. It DOES.
So, sadly, the latest theory has been born. Trust me, there will be another one in my lifetime. If not many more. When the observed data won't fit, the boundaries will change, another squiggle will be invented, and Yay! It will all fit again.
Look. It is what it is. I don't need to know any more. And you clever bods probably don't know very much more than me in the grand scheme of things.
What we DON'T need, at this cycle in the development of "I've got a God and he's better than your one so we're going to start a fucking WAR" humanity, is someone like you agreeing with the prick Dawkins and starting yet ANOTHER bloody spate of man-against-man stupidity.
So I won't be buying your new book.