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Brilliant Blunders: From Darwin to Einstein - Colossal Mistakes by Great Scientists That Changed Our Understanding of Life and the Universe

Brilliant Blunders: From Darwin to Einstein - Colossal Mistakes by Great Scientists That Changed Our Understanding of Life and the Universe - Mario Livio This book is really "Brilliant Blunderers", or, in a less catchy but more accurate phrase, "Smart People sometimes make stupid mistakes". Which is not exactly news. But it does make the greats of science seem more human.

I felt during the whole book that the author was really reaching for his thesis, desperately labeling things "blunders" that don't really qualify as such. After finishing, I felt that the main reason the author sat down to write it in the first place is that he wanted to set the record straight about whether Einstein ever actually used the phrase "biggest blunder" to refer to the cosmological constant. Hence his dwelling for way too long on a detail that is not important to the history of science nor most readers. He also had a long discussion trying to sort out whether Darwin ever read Mendel. Yawn. He's trying to sort out historical mysteries, but not important ones.

This book is written in a scholarly manner, which is sometimes good, but mostly very dry. Some of the stories were told well. But on the whole it is not what I was hoping for.