Pedro Ferreira in Nature, April 25, 2013
download review: Nature review of TR 4-24-13
James Gleick in the New York Review of Books, June 6, 2013
Alan Lightman in the New York Times Book Review, May 5, 2013
New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, May 10, 2013
Dennis Overbye in the New York Times reflects on Time Reborn July 1, 2013
Ray Monk in The Guardian, June 6, 2013
Gillian Tett in the Financial Times, May 24, 2013
The Economist, May 25, 2013
Michael Berry in The Times Higher Education, June 27, 2013.
Frank Close in Prospect Magazine, May 22, 2013
Roger Highfield in The Telegraph, June 6, 2013
Philip Ball in The Guardian, June 10, 2013
Marcus Chown in The Rationalist Association, May 8, 2013
Big Think: book of the month
Alex Good in Quill and Quire
Tam Hunt in the Santa Barbara Independent
link to review
Manny Rayner in Goodreads.com
Andrew Zimmerman Jones on About.com
Clara Moskowitz on LiveScience.com
Dan Falk in the Globe and Mail
Nathan Whitlock in The Star, May 10, 2013
David Topper in the Winnipeg Free Press
Jay Elwes in Prospect Blogg
Raymond Tallis in The Guardian, May 27, 2013:
Philosophy isn’t dead yet.
A. C. Lee in The Stone, NY Times blog, May 7, 2013
Santi Tafarella in Prometheus Unbound
Steve Fuller in Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective
Brian Clegg in Popular Science
Peter Woit: review and discussion
Adam Frank on NPR
A distinguished physicist delivers a thoughtful, complex re-evaluation of the role of time in the universe.
Smolin (The Trouble with Physics: The Rise of String Theory, the Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next, 2006) points out that no one doubts that space is real. If the cosmos were empty, space would exist, but there would be no time. So time is inextricably bound up with the material universe, a real phenomenon at the heart of nature. This turns out to be controversial since the great thinkers from Plato to Newton to Einstein taught that time is an illusion that humans must transcend to achieve true understanding. Smolin disagrees, maintaining that embracing its reality is the key to solving the great problems in physics. He makes a case that Newton’s paradigm—knowing the forces acting on any system allows us, following natural laws, to predict its future state—is a fallacy. It works for limited areas and short periods but fails on universal scales. In fact, natural laws themselves are less immutable than time. For a straightforward popular introduction to time, read Sean Carroll’s From Eternity to Here (2010). Smolin has bigger fish to fry as he muses over great issues in his field as they relate to time, such as the stubborn refusal of relativity to mesh with quantum theory, pausing regularly for detours into cosmology, economics and climate change. This is a work as much of philosophy as science. Despite the absence of mathematics, it requires close attention, but readers who make the effort will absorb a flood of ideas from an imaginative thinker.
TIME REBORN: From The Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe
By Lee Smolin
April 23, 2013
Was Einstein wrong? At least in his understanding of time, Smolin argues, the great theorist of relativity was dead wrong. What is worse, by firmly enshrining his error in scientific orthodoxy, Einstein trapped his successors in insoluble dilemmas as they try to devise timeless laws explaining the origins and structure of the cosmos. How, Smolin asks, can such laws account for the highly improbable set of conditions that triggered the Big Bang jump-starting the universe? How, Smolin further wants to know, can scientists evn empirically test their timeless cosmic hypotheses? With rare conceptual daring, Smolin beckons toward a new perspective for doing cosmological theory, a perspective allowing Leibniz’s principle of sufficient reason to open surprising possibilities. This horizon not only readmits time as a reality; it enshrines time as the reality, the indispensable point of flux allowing everything else, including the laws of matter and energy, to evolve and change. Embracing time as real, Smolin asserts, will allow cosmologists to convert laws once regarded as timeless into the contingent data they need to develop testable new theories of galactic evolution. More immediately, Smolin anticipates that this paradigm shift will help climatologists understand global warming and economists to ameliorate financial turbulence. A thrilling intellectual ride!
— Bryce Christensen