February 15, 2008

Book Review: Nothing Happened

The Big Bang Never Happened by Eric J. Lerner (Vintage Books, 1992, ISBN 0-679-74049-X)

This book was written by: Eric J. Lerner, who holds a BA in physics from Columbia University. He is also an avid wikipedia editor, although he is no longer allowed to make changes to his own biography.

What is in this book: Similes, metaphors, and other comparative devices used to associate the present day with the fall of the Roman empire, the dark ages just before the Renaissance, and even Germany's Weimar republic (read: Hitler). This is because "there can be no doubt that the development and advance of global society has halted, that the current dominant society, capitalist society, has reached its ultimate limits," (p.413) held back by the repressive tyranny of the Big Bang Theory. We may take heart, though, because "quietly, without much fanfare, a new revolution is beginning which is likely to overthrow many of the dominant ideas of today's science" (p3). These sentiments are as true today as they were when originally written in 1991.
While Mr. Lerner has “personally contributed to the development of plasma cosmology, this book is overwhelmingly about the work and ideas of others” (p.vii). His book describes the infinitely old universe theory "to explain these new ideas to the general reader, one who is interested in the crucial issues of science but who has no special training in the subject" (p.5).

What is not in this book: Large Italian men in tailored suits and too much cologne who tell you that "You didn't see any Big Bang, capisce?," but it should be noted that Mr. Lerner's offices are in New Jersey.

Would you recommend this book to Dr. Bunsen Honeydew? I can tell you that Dr. Honeydew is much more interested in string theory.

Would you recommend this book to Vice President Dick Cheney? Actually, I'd recommend that the author study Cheney to learn more about using coercion, intimidation, threats, and "disappearances" to convince people that specific events never happened, because all of those methods are more effective than publishing a book.

What was interesting about this book? Edward L. Wright has taken exception to the theories advanced in this book, and published what he perceived to be a list of errors. Mr. Lerner's response escalated the matter into the kind of full-scale catfight showing all the heated passions and colorful language one would expect of two people passive-aggressively posting open letters and never directly addressing one another.

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