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The demonstration that no possible combination of known substances, known forms of machinery, and known forms of force can be united in a practicable machine by which men shall fly for long distances through the air, seems to the writer as complete as it is possible for the demonstration of any physical fact to be.
astronomer S. Newcomb, 1906
13 Things That Don't Make Sense
The book, published in August 2008, explores 13 anomalies, the things that science can’t explain, and uses historical examples to show how these anomalies are likely to lead us to the next scientific revolutions. The purpose of this website is to provide a discussion forum for the issues raised. Scientific evidence is ever-changing, and the web provides the perfect place to keep up to date with the latest evidence and ideas about these topics.
Praise for 13 Things...
A fascinating and humbling perspective on humanity's vaunted scientific wisdom. The book's chapters are arranged with beautiful logic on a continuum of topics that begins with physics and cosmology, proceeds through biology, and ends, more or less, in consciousness studies. Concise historical backstory and vivid portraits of researchers offer a true sense of the Great Work of science and the still-murky dark corners of its realm. Read full review
- Paul Di Filippo, Spotlight Review on BarnesandNoble.com
This elegantly written, meticulously researched and thought-provoking book provides a window into how science actually works, and is sure to spur intense debate.
- New Scientist
A boundless enthusiasm resounds through this homage to the outstanding problems of science
– SEED magazine
Brooks expertly works his way through... hotly debated quandaries in a smooth, engaging writing style reminiscent of Carl Sagan or Stephen Jay Gould. At times, as I was deeply engrossed in parts of this book, I found myself as captivated and wide-eyed as I was decades ago when I picked up my first science books and found my calling. Mr Brooks has the ability to make his readers forget their surroundings – in my case a hectic newsroom – and train their minds' eyes on images as foreign as a vast Martian landscape or as distant as a roiling, infant universe. Every mystery is brought to life in vivid detail, and wit and humor are sprinkled throughout
– Anahad O'Connor, THE NEW YORK TIMES Science Times 'Really?' columnist and author of NEVER SHOWER IN A THUNDERSTORM