Summary and Info
There are some fun-to-read essays on the nature of consciousnes, cosmos, biology, religion. Time travel and carbon based life excluded. The book is packed with short contributions from neuroscientists, computer scientists and psychologists. The essays on computer-science were a bit complex and hard to follow for non-experts.
On page 199 there is an essay concerning the value of future predictions on society. The author holds the opinion that social science disciplines and humaniora contribute little of value to our understanding of the world or even their own research fields. And further below: A history professor is no more of a scholar than a cabdriver is. No example is given to substantiate these claims, except illfounded predictions on how the stock market will look next year.
I think we all can agree that social science is not fortune telling, nor is it ment to be, at least when we're dealing with serious research. I find it strange that none of the other reviews have made this point. Stranger still is the inclusion of a somewhat ill-informed and insulting text-piece in a book concerning the edge of knowledge. "Brilliant thinkers" are not only restricted to experimental science.