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Thirteen modern-day scientific anomalies
Description Narrator: James Adams
Duration: 8 hrs and 58 mins
In '13 Things That Don't Make Sense', Michael Brooks heads to the scientific frontier to meet thirteen modern-day anomalies and discover tomorrow's breakthroughs, for example:
-Homeopathic remedies seem to have biological effects that cannot be explained by chemistry
-Gases have been detected on Mars that could only have come from carbon-based life forms
-Cold fusion, theoretically impossible and discredited in the 1980s, seems to work in some modern laboratory experiments
-It's quite likely we have nothing close to free will
-Life and non-life may exist along a continuum, which may pave the way for us to create life in the near future
-Sexual reproduction doesn't line up with evolutionary theory and, moreover, there's no good scientific explanation for why we must die
'13 Things' opens at the twenty-third Solvay physics conference, where the scientists present are ready to throw up their hands over an anomaly: is it possible that the universe, rather than slowly drifting apart as the physics of the big bang had once predicted, is actually expanding at an ever-faster speed? From Solvay and the mysteries of the universe, Brooks travels to a basement in Turin to subject himself to repeated shocks in a test of the placebo response. No study has ever been able to definitively show how the placebo effect works, so why has it become a pillar of medical science? Moreover, is 96 percent of the universe missing? Is a 1977 signal from outer space a transmission from an alien civilization? Might giant viruses explain how life began? Why are some NASA satellites speeding up as they get farther from the sun - and what does that mean for the laws of physics?
Spanning disciplines from biology to cosmology, chemistry to psychology to physics, Brooks thrillingly captures the excitement, messiness, and controversy of the battle over where science is headed.