Review – Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs

Posted July 12, 2021 by Nicky in Reviews / 2 Comments

Cover of Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs by Lisa RandallDark Matter and the Dinosaurs, Lisa Randall

Welp. This book is a lot of dark matter, and not much dinosaurs. Which is more or less what I expected, of course: the title is a really obvious gimmick. And yet, I think I’d have enjoyed it more if it had just been billed honestly. Dark matter itself is fascinating — why do we need to drag the dinosaurs into it?

Well, the author’s contention is that dark matter may explain the alleged periodicity of Earth impacts by meteorites (a theory which I believe is actually in question and has always been a bit of a niche theory — at least in the pop science I’ve read before). She takes a great deal of time explaining the solar system and the formation of the universe, then a bit of time explaining meteorites, then finally gets round to explaining dark matter. By this point, two thirds of the book are done, and she finally introduces her own theory. Finally, in the very last chapter, we finally hear why she’s linking dark matter and dinosaurs.

It’s not badly explained or uninteresting, it’s just very badly titled. I was pretty sure there would not be much by way of dinosaur content, but you do have to live up to this kind of title a bit better than that, to avoid confusion. In the end, it wasn’t quite what I was hoping for — too much time spent on the “this is how the universe came about” which I’ve read eleventy-three different times, and at least twice this very year. Randall doesn’t have the charisma to really carry that off, for me.

Rating: 3/5

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2 responses to “Review – Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs

  1. Arbie

    Her other book, Warped Passages, was terrible; self-contradictory, so badly explained that I couldn’t follow her explanations of things I already knew, inane song lyrics for quotes heading chapters, obvious and abject failure of an attempt to project a public image of being “cool.” The same problem of title vs. subject matter. She’s a Feynman wannabe who doesn’t have one tenth the talent, wit or charisma.

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