[Book Review] Who Built the Moon by Christopher Knight (Watkins, London)

Who Built the Moon is an adroitly handled, simply rendered, and wonderfully argued jaunt through a science that will challenge how open-minded you think you are.

Who Built The Moon?Who Built The Moon? by Christopher Knight
Watkins Publishing, London, 2005. Reprinted 2011.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Christopher Knight and Alan Butler’s story is an intriguing scientific journey. While the very title of the book, Who Built the Moon?, may cause your hackles to rise with indignation, it’s at once a challenge to your open-mindedness, and extremely ballsy.

Knight and Butler became curious about the origins of the moon. Their quest to discover the moon’s origins took them (and subsequently, you, as you read this book) to some far out, apparently unrelated, and yet deeply interesting places. You will learn about units of Sumerian measurement, and why they are central to understanding astronomical anomalies. You will learn, as you read, to unravel your own prejudices and follow the path of exploration.

I know very well that those who staunchly defend Science will instantly guffaw at the notion of the moon being built, it is those self-same people who ought to be able to follow the evidence in all of its forms, and be curious about the outcome. At its heart, scientific enquiry requires a sense of adventure and a good imagination.

It’s a difficult subject, and Knight and Butler handle it with clarity, simplicity, and skill. When we got into discussions about quantum mechanics, mobius twists, and the nature of what I will render as ‘multiverses’ rather than ‘multiple universes’, that’s really the only point in the book wherein the content became challenging enough to exercise my brain to the point where it hurt. The remainder of the subject matter was adroitly handled, with a careful simplicity that deserves applause.

But I do have questions. I question the notion of a human-created moon, because it would suppose that at some point we will come to a place where the moon is either threatened or does not exist. I wonder whether anybody has picked up where Knight and Butler have left off, mapping genomes to pixels. I am curious to know what impact this work, and the hypothesis (and results) it presents, have had any impact on communities at all. And if it hasn’t, why hasn’t it?

You can tell I haven’t started querying the internet yet.

The only irritating thing with this book, given its beautiful framework of argumentation, was the unnecessary and annoying gaps in the proofing. It’s tough to give a lot of credit to a work wherein the word ‘physicist’ is repeatedly misspelled. Still, we plough onwards. The work is good enough that we can overlook this.

I’m not going to cast here the argumentation in the book. Instead, I will merely exhort you to find it and read it. It’s easily enough read in one sitting, if you have the luxury of uninterrupted time.

To conclude this piece, I’ll take a quote from the book:

“…if someone refuses to look at obvious patterns because they consider a pattern should not be there, then they will see nothing but the reflection of their own prejudices.”

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