Customer Reviews for

The Grand Design

Average Rating 3.5
( 717 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

57 out of 76 people found this review helpful.

My thoughts pre-read

I realize that most theists will try to debunk this as much as they can before ever actually ever reading this book but I want to make a few things clear before they start.

I don't think this book will claim there is no chance at god at all, it will simply debunk th...
I realize that most theists will try to debunk this as much as they can before ever actually ever reading this book but I want to make a few things clear before they start.

I don't think this book will claim there is no chance at god at all, it will simply debunk the argument that "something" had to create the universe, and that something must be God. He will simply be arguing, no, actually what we know now in science (or at least what we think) shows that you don't need a god to start the big bang or to explain anything else that would require God's existence.

I think his argument will simply be not that there is no god, for there could be one even if it wasn't required we have one, rather he will be making the case that god isn't needed to explain the universe.

posted by CoryLuLu on September 3, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

10 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

Regurgitated Science, Anti-religious Rantings

To pick up a book by Stephen Hawkings, a reader probably already has an interest in science, and in the universe in particular. For someone like me, a high school physics and math teacher and a student of space science my entire life, I found this book to merely repeat ...
To pick up a book by Stephen Hawkings, a reader probably already has an interest in science, and in the universe in particular. For someone like me, a high school physics and math teacher and a student of space science my entire life, I found this book to merely repeat much of the material on a "Theory of Everything" that I have read elsewhere. Unlike other books I have read, I felt like, for the derogatory "general" reader to which this book refers as its audience, it does a paultry job of explaning the theories on which the authors' new assertion are based. I was even more disappointed to discover that the only new material I read in this book constituted only 10 out of a 180 pages (and I feel I am being generous in giving the authors that many). In those 10 pages, much of what the authors discussed I have read in Scientific American articles.

The authors also spend an inordinate amount of time bashing religion. This is unnecessary in a science book and degrades from the validity of the authors' message. If the science is good, it will address the religious asssertions without wasting ink- for the mere 180 pages in this book, I would have preferred more science and less atheist propaganda.

SAVE YOURSELF SOME TIME: BUY THE SEPTEMBER 2010 ISSUE OF SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN AND READ THE AUTHORS' ASSERTIONS. Unless you're a science teacher who could use some of the additional illustrations in class, the book isn't worth the money. A better book for pictures is Hawking's "The Illustrated Universe in a Nutshell."

posted by Kel14 on January 15, 2011

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Page 1 of 37
  • Posted September 3, 2010

    My thoughts pre-read

    I realize that most theists will try to debunk this as much as they can before ever actually ever reading this book but I want to make a few things clear before they start.

    I don't think this book will claim there is no chance at god at all, it will simply debunk the argument that "something" had to create the universe, and that something must be God. He will simply be arguing, no, actually what we know now in science (or at least what we think) shows that you don't need a god to start the big bang or to explain anything else that would require God's existence.

    I think his argument will simply be not that there is no god, for there could be one even if it wasn't required we have one, rather he will be making the case that god isn't needed to explain the universe.

    57 out of 76 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Brilliant

    This is, by far, Hawkings best prose showing yet. Well written and well argued, this book sets out his most recent thoughts on how the universe began in a comprehensive manner. For such a short book (Roughly 110 pages) there is a lot to take in. But it's presented in a way that the layman can understand it.

    Highly recommended!

    23 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Brilliant

    I don't have the words to adequately describe Mr Hawking's book -- or any other of his books. I do know that I am in awe of everything he writes.
    He doesn't throw ideas out -- he proves them. I've never had such a positive and emotional reaction reading anything by anyone else other than him.

    15 out of 30 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 3, 2010

    :D

    Stephen Hawkings is the Einstein of today, it would be irresponsible to not read this book

    BTW: CoryLuLu's review is a must read.

    12 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 15, 2011

    Regurgitated Science, Anti-religious Rantings

    To pick up a book by Stephen Hawkings, a reader probably already has an interest in science, and in the universe in particular. For someone like me, a high school physics and math teacher and a student of space science my entire life, I found this book to merely repeat much of the material on a "Theory of Everything" that I have read elsewhere. Unlike other books I have read, I felt like, for the derogatory "general" reader to which this book refers as its audience, it does a paultry job of explaning the theories on which the authors' new assertion are based. I was even more disappointed to discover that the only new material I read in this book constituted only 10 out of a 180 pages (and I feel I am being generous in giving the authors that many). In those 10 pages, much of what the authors discussed I have read in Scientific American articles.

    The authors also spend an inordinate amount of time bashing religion. This is unnecessary in a science book and degrades from the validity of the authors' message. If the science is good, it will address the religious asssertions without wasting ink- for the mere 180 pages in this book, I would have preferred more science and less atheist propaganda.

    SAVE YOURSELF SOME TIME: BUY THE SEPTEMBER 2010 ISSUE OF SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN AND READ THE AUTHORS' ASSERTIONS. Unless you're a science teacher who could use some of the additional illustrations in class, the book isn't worth the money. A better book for pictures is Hawking's "The Illustrated Universe in a Nutshell."

    10 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 14, 2010

    Great book but not on the Nook

    The diagrams and illustrations in this book are unreadable on the Nook, even with type increased to extra large. This inhibits our understanding of the complex principles explained and detracts from the beauty of the book. I don't know if this is inherent in the Nook format or just a problem with this book, but this is one to purchase on paper.

    9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    THE FIRST SCAN OF THE BOOK: LOTS OF GREAT TAKING POINTS

    I enjoy the reference to the Hitchhikers Guide to the galaxy. Not "42" for the meaning of life and every thing. Even it tried to Get rid of God. But, God can take care of Him/Her self. But that is another topic. Science is for on going exploring, to reason out and rethinking the galaxy's unknown. Let the debate start and all will learn.

    9 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2010

    Quite a Book!

    If you've ever wanted to understand more about all there is, this is the book to have. Set aside some time and go through it, at least once.

    8 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2010

    More of the same muddled thinking - down the rabbit hole again

    It would be nice if eminent scientists would stop misusing the word "nothing". When the authors of this book use that word, they must mean a special kind of nothing that has potential universes hidden in it. But wait - if nothing exists then there is no "it", no "then", no potential for anything, no laws of gravity or any laws at all, nothing to fluctuate or change states. Saying the universe spontaneously arose out of nothing doesn't answer anything because the idea is based on a bad assumption - namely that "nothing" really means a little "something" - just enough something that lets us ignore the real problem and get on with our theories. This kind of thinking has been in physics and cosmology books for years, and it doesn't seem to be getting any better.

    7 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 3, 2010

    Thought-provoking, even if not a "philosophy killer"

    Good, thought-provoking read, even if it is not the "philosophy killing" argument that the authors claim it to be. Part of the fun of reading it, though, is the sheer audacity displayed as the authors build their argument. Compelling.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 29, 2010

    Review of synopsis

    Looking forward to reading the book. However, this gem from the synopsis caught my eye:
    What is the "Grand Design" that made it possible for us to have found a home in the one universe, out of zillions, where human life is possible?
    Is the synopsis writer serious? Perhaps he would also like to pose such deep thoughts as how extraordinarily lucky that desert animals live in deserts while fish live in water, because otherwise they would both die. How lucky that snow happens only in cold areas. How does water know to flow through river beds rather than atop mountains.
    Perhaps the deep thinking should be left to Hawking.

    6 out of 51 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 7, 2011

    A brilliant summation of the role of science and reason

    Ignore the naysayers who have obviously not even read the book. This book in no way attempts to "disprove" anything or "attack" religion. In fact Hawking clearly states that "neither [a God-created or big bang-created] model can be said to be more real than the other". Instead, he simply states the obvious fact that science must follow the scientific method, accepting or rejecting theories as necessary based on sound scientific method, reason, and proven fact. The current accepted model, he explains, is simply the best one we have, which most accurately predicts and explains observable phenomena. The laws of physics cannot and will not change, no matter how much some would like them to, and no matter how much faith one has in their own model of life, the universe, and everything. Hawking uses simple, clear language to describe physical laws and scientific method, giving many examples of how an open-minded, unbiased approach to science is the only approach which will allow us to someday find the truth of the whys and hows of our existence. Free of heavy scientific jargon and complex mathematical proofs, The Grand Design is written as a way to explain physical laws and theories to those who are not familiar with the world of science, and it does so very well. A must read for anyone interested interested in seeking an answer to life's great questions.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2011

    A Must Read for anyone interested in the origins of the universe

    Very thought provoking book for the general reader. Having no formal education in advanced mathematics or physics I appreciate the lack of complex mathematical equations in this book. The concepts are presented in a way that is relatively easy to understand although you may have to read parts of the book more than once to get it! Prior to purchasing this book I had heard that its main purpose was to disprove the existence of God. I'm not sure how one proves or disproves the existence of God and in any event that's not what the book is about. My advice is to buy the book and read it. It will expand your intellect at least a little, maybe alot!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 17, 2010

    crap

    I don't know if the book is good or not. Barnes and Noble downloads only part of it. 115 of 208 pages. nook is a rip-off

    4 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 13, 2010

    Poor Quality Hardcover

    The Grand Design was the poorest quality hardcover book I have ever purchased. As soon as I began to look at the book the binding came apart. I'm returning the hardcover and waiting for the paperback edition to come out to see if it's made any better.

    4 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2011

    Avoid

    A retread of ideas covered much better and more entertaining in his other books. Library card stuff if you just gotta read it.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2010

    Good book, not Hawking's greatest

    I am not a physicist, I can't proclaim that I understood all of the reasoning. For sure we are far away of understanding the grand design today as much as we were a century ago

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 15, 2010

    Great read for the entry level cosmologist.

    As usual, Stephen Hawking brings one of the most confusing and difficult subjects into focus for the layperson. He touches on just the right amount of history to whet your appetite for more while keeping on you on the subject and on course to the end of the book.

    Although I found it a pleasurable read, it was mostly a quick overview of the last centuries' discoveries in physics and cosmology. The point of the book showing that the universe didn't need an "intelligent designer" is somewhat overblown. And anyway, if someone needs to believe in an intelligent designer, they will, no matter what Stephen says.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 2, 2010

    Design

    Just a thought from a common lay-person. A design must always have a designer.

    3 out of 30 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2012

    Too atheistic

    I know that most theoretical physicists are either an atheist or an agnostic. God is real bro. There is no crap theory that can explain the universe. In other words, read the bible and get a life

    2 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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