Review of “The Final Theory” rejected with the reason that: “… the comments you submitted did not review the title itself. Instead, your comments focused on another reviewer and were more suited to a chat room discussion.”
Review of “The Final Theory” submitted to Amazon.com yesterday, the 5th of June around 1 PM.
As described earlier, I’ve been trying to post a review of the crackpot book “The Final Theory” by Mark McCutcheon. My review appeared on the website of Amazon.com on May 7th, only to disappear a few hours later. I’m sure this was because my review was a one-star review. As this review was deleted, I’ll try posting a new one and include it here, so that the author of this book, at least, – or whoever else – cannot make it disappear into oblivion 😉
“The Final Theory” (by Mark McCutcheon)
This book is “not even wrong” (to use a famous quote of physicist Pauli). I’ll explain what that is supposed to mean.
A meaningful statement can be said to be either correct, or wrong. “The Final Theory” is full of so many meaningless and wrongful statements, that I consider it to be not even wrong. And I cannot consider it as being anything else.
First of all, it does not contain any valid physical arguments. Plainly speaking, it misrepresents current theory again and again. For example, it argues that gravity violates the law of conservation of energy, because it causes kinetic energy. As an example, the author asks: “How does it [gravitation] cause falling objects and orbiting planets without drawing on any known power source?”. This is simply explained by the fact that it is the kinetic plus the potential energy which is conserved – a falling object decreases its potential energy as it increases its kinetic energy.
Secondly, the author confuses the basic concepts of work and energy (which you normally learn about in elementary school). For example, it is postulated that if you want to move an object, you must spend energy, and that this is the only way how energy may be invested. This is obviously wrong. When you try to push a wall, no work is done – since the displacement is zero – but surely it costs energy!
Thirdly, the book relies on what one could call “common sense appeals”. The author seem to think that science shouldn’t be mysterious or hard to understand. From common sense we have learned many “important” things: that women are less intelligent than men, that homosexuality is “unnatural”, that the earth is flat, that the earth is the center of the universe, that airplanes cannot fly etc. etc. Serious scientist never use common sense as a guiding principle.
Amazingly, the book argues that modern physics – including the pillars of the special and general theories of relativity, and quantum mechanics – is incorrect. The actual situation is that the validity of the special theory of relativity and quantum mechanics has been experimentally established beyond any reasonable doubt; and there are numerous positive tests of the general theory of relativity.
The most complicated thing you’ll find in this book is the “Geometric Orbit Equation”, or
v^2 x R = K,
where v is the velocity, R is the distance separating two bodies and K is a universal constant. I find it very hard to believe that the fundamental workings of the universe can be understood from such a simple equation.
There is basically only one correct, and in the slightest degree, important statement in this book: It is, that we – including the author – do not know everything, or understand everything yet. But we physicists definitely know enough to say that this book is not even wrong.
Finally, let me mention something quite suspisious about the other reviews of this book. As of today (the 31st of May, 2006), there is a total of 95 reviews. 71 of these are 5-star reviews. This is – of course – quite stunning. Out of the 71 reviews, 63, or 90%, have written only one review in total; furthermore, one person wants to give a 1-star review, but is being counted as a 5-star review, twice; another person is counted with a 1-star and a 5-star review, and yet another 5-star review is counted twice. One top-10 reviewer grants the book another 5 stars, but as far as I can tell, all of this persons reviews (which there are more than 2500 of) are 5-star reviews.
If you really want to learn about modern physics, I recommend books by Weinberg, Randall, Greene or Hawking.
In conclusion, I cannot give this book anything more than one star. And sadly enough, nothing less.