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EVERYONE MAKES MISTAKES------
Even some of the greatest geniuses in history, as Mario Livio tells us in this marvelous story of scientific error and breakthrough. Charles Darwin, William Thomson (Lord Kelvin), Linus Pauling, Fred Hoyle, and Albert Einstein all made groundbreaking contributions to science—but each also stumbled badly. Darwin's theory of natural selection shouldn't have worked according to the prevailing beliefs of his time. Lord Kelvin gravely miscalculated the age of the earth. Linus Pauling constructed an erroneous model for DNA in his haste to beat the competition to publication. Astrophysicist Fred Hoyle dismissed the idea of a "Big Bang" origin to the universe (ironically, the name he gave to this event outlasted his erroneous objections). And Albert Einstein speculated incorrectly about the forces that hold the universe in equilibrium. These five scientists immeasurably expanded our knowledge of the universe, despite and because of their errors. As Mario Livio luminously explains, mistakes are essential to scientific progress.
"After reading Livio's account, I look on the history of science in a new way. In every century and every science, I see brilliant blunders." —FREEMAN DYSON, THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS