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Paperback review: Farewell to Reality, By Jim Baggott

A principled approach to 'fairytale physics'

It's always good when a book of popular science has a clear line to argue, and Jim Baggott's line is very clear indeed: modern physics has become "fairytale physics", full of dazzling concepts, such as string theory and the multiverse, which are based solely on mathematics rather than empirical content, and have no predictive power.

Such wacky ideas make for great TV – but don't really tell us anything about the nature of the universe we live in. I'm not remotely qualified to judge whether Baggott is right or not, but his polemic feels persuasive. And I now understand the difference between the weak anthropic principle and the strong anthropic principle, which I didn't before.