A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I don't think it is either fair or right that I rate this book, but alas I did. Why unfair? Because I hardly understood most of it at all! That being said, from what I could understand I felt like Hawking is hardly the God-hating cold-hearted scientist that some may strive to portray him as. Actually, reading and listening to "A Brief History of Time" strengthened my testimony and conviction in a higher power. I loved the discussion around the conflicting perspectives of the theory of relativity and the uncertainty principle of quantum mechanics. There is so much to this tension that speaks to other conflicts and ideas in other fields.
I rated this book as "I liked it" or 3 stars because I really did like it. I enjoyed how it helped me see myself in perspective. When it comes to the physical reality we live in, I am truly "less than the dust of the earth" as the Bible and Book of Mormon teach. The sheer size and scope of what exists beyond this little rock we live on is beyond comprehension, not to mention the mind-bending concepts of time and light that Hawking discusses (and I really can't pretend to understand). It is for my lack of understanding and education that I did not give this 5 stars, I could hardly love the thing if I couldn't really grasp the core of what was being said! However, I did comprehend enough to see how God might exist outside of time and space in our human construction of those terms. He rules through laws, and each decade it seems we make a few baby steps towards understanding what those laws entail. I don't think we are as close to solving them as Hawking suggests near the end of the book, but I think we are moving closer and will only continue to do so if we include God in our pursuit of truth and knowledge.
This was not an easy read for me, and certain does not make for light reading. But I am grateful I took the plunge and did battle with some of the ideas and tried my best to engage with Hawking's insights to my fullest ability. Indeed I feel like if I did this more often I would be a much better person and perhaps begin to understand the complexities of the universe in a more rich and holistic way.
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I am a graduate student in Instructional Psychology and Technology at Brigham Young University. I enjoy writing, hiking, and spending time with my family.