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A brief review of Fairy Tales : The End of Science and the Resurrection, by Dr I R Durrani.Published by Melrose Books, Ely (UK), 2010 (412 + xvi pp)
An elegantly written and thought-provoking book, its themes encompass parts of physics as well as metaphysics. Avowedly written to examine what it means to do scientific research, the book ventures into fields of enquiry covering larger questions. The statement in the book's Introduction, viz. "Newton's laws were not formulated for the purposes of engineering applications, but to reveal the non-teleological mechanism of our universe" , is a fair illustration of the author's approach to scientific discovery. The author engages comprehensively, inter alia. with problems that fall outside the purview of classical science, e.g. his treatment of "from old wars to new wars and and global terrorism" (Chapter 2). The author takes a quasi-scientific approach in dealing with such questions - and his very well-referenced coverage shows that he is fully aware of the current thinking in these fields. Themes such as "fluctuation of dust grains in dusty plasma (Chapter 5) may not, at first sight, promise to throw much light on global terrorism; but the author proceeds, boldly, to examine " continuity equations" that apply to such plasmas, on his way to illustrating their application to analogous fields. Dr Durrani concludes that : "The topics covered here, of cohesion and resistance as measurable social forces in 'human behaviour' ... leave open researchable questions. ....Human capacities for structural cohesion, for example, support cultural differentiation of groups. Transition thresholds characterize evolutionary bouts of scale-up in group size through central authority, oscillating against resistance from egalitarian preferences for autonomy". Such combinations and interactions of human with atomistic entities, and their analysis in terms of proto-scientific procedures and concepts, offers much food for thought to minds that are not oversaturated and clogged up with conventional fare. The book frequently questions 'received wisdom', challenges earnestly-held but little-probed beliefs, and prods the reader to abdicate his featherbed and plunge into a patch of nettles that prickle his well-cocooned body of beliefs.
Reviewed by: Saeed A Durrani, PhD (Cantab.). DSc, F Inst P, F TWAS, HEC's Distinguished National Professor
University of Birmingham, England. January 2011