No Way: The Nature of the Impossible

Philip J. Davis, Editor, David Park, Editor W.H. Freeman & Company $17.95 (325p) ISBN 978-0-7167-1813-0
Impossibility is a concept of which one should be wary. With the discovery of carnivorous mushrooms (one species eats worms) and square bacteria, most biologists would hesitate to deny the possibility that any conceivable species could exist. Turning to mathematics, parallel lines can intersect in some geometrical systems; the seemingly impossible, time and again, is converted into a useful, logical system. This collection of essays opens with a mountain climber's attempt to scale the west ridge of Mt. Everest, ""enormous symbol of the death of the impossible.'' In that adventurous spirit, the contributors explore the idea of impossibility in such fields as music, poetry, technology, government, child-rearing, law, philosophy and medicine. Combining literary elegance with startling insights, these essays lead the reader to exclaim, with Tertullian, ``It is certain because it is impossible.'' (March 15)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1987
Release date: 03/01/1987
Paperback - 978-0-7167-1966-3
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