Friday, November 11, 2011

Known by the company you keep

I first became aware of Leonid Molidnow as co-author of Stephen Hawking for his recent popular book The Grand Design, which has received negative reviews. The other day while browsing books in a Sydney airport bookstore I also discovered Molidnow has co-authored a book with Deepak Chopra,  The War of World Views: Science vs. Spirituality.
Two bestselling authors first met in a televised Caltech debate on “the future of God,” one an articulate advocate for spirituality, the other a prominent physicist.  This remarkable book is the product of that serendipitous encounter and the contentious—but respectful—clash of worldviews that grew along with their friendship.    
In War of the Worldviews these two great thinkers battle over the cosmos, evolution and life, the human brain, and God, probing the fundamental questions that define the human experience.
You can read on Wikipedia why Chopra is a "magnet for criticism." I find it deplorable the manner in which he tries to use quantum physics to support his ideas about New Age spirituality and "medicine."

I would not describe Molidnow as "a prominent physicist". I had not heard of him until he co-authored the popular book with Hawking. Various publicity material for the books states Molidnow "is at Caltech" which gave me the impression that he was a faculty member. However, his own webpage at Caltech states he is there as a guest.

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