THIS much-advertised work is clearly printed, copiously illustrated, and makes effortless reading. Some small errors on points of fact are of secondary importance; so also is the quality of the writing, which is not of the high standard to be expected of the editorsthough this defect is mitigated by the fact that the original part consists largely of short connecting-links between quotations. What concerns us most is the avowed object of the book. “The editors of this Outline try to fill the role of middlemen between the specialists on the one hand, and on the other the plain man who wants to get at the gist of the thing.” Following this we read of “modern scienceso unlike the dry-as-dust science of old”. “The old astronomy told us about the sun, the stars, the planets, their place in the heavens, their move ments, revolutions, their nature and peculiarities; the new astronomy goes far beyond that when it speaks about the birth and death of suns and stars, how they are born and why they die; about the mystery of the immense nebulae from which the stars are born, and about whence came the nebulae.” “The old science of physics dealt with energies light, heat, electricity, and gravitation, all a little boring to the general reader.” “The recent development of Physics has been called ‘the most exciting episode in the history of science”. We cannot help noticing that the alleged uninteresting subject-matter is all concerned with trustworthy knowledge, while the interesting things are matters of sheer speculation. The provision of excitement for minds bored by truth is not an undertaking likely to attract many scientific readers.
Outline of Modern Belief: Modern Science, Modern Thought, Religious Thought.
Edited by J. W. N. Sullivan Walter Grierson. (To be completed in about 24 fortnightly Parts.) Part 1. Pp. viii + 64. (London: George Newnes, Ltd., 1934.) 1s. each Part.