10 NOVEMBER 1950, Page 5

Mr. Fred Hoyle's series of broadcasts on the universe we

live in attracted considerable attention, and in their printed form, ,The Nature of the Universe (Blackwell, 5s.) they are likely to attract more. I did not hear the broadcasts, but having read the book, with its series of startling, assured and dogmatic assertions, I found myself, as many other people uninstructed in this field must have, anxious to know how far the talks reflected the considered con- clusions of astronomers generally. The answer to that, or at any rate one answer, is given in last week's Listener by Dr. Herbert Dingle, Professor of the History and Philosophy of Science at University College, London. Professor Dingle, a physicist of note, who has been over a period of years both honorary secretary and- vice-president of the Royal Astronomical Society, carefully guards himself from saying that Mr. Hoyle does not know what he is talking about, but he makes it perfectly clear that in his view many of Mr. Hoyle's principal affirmations ought to be received with the utmost reserve—or not at all. Wherever, the absolute truth may he, the note of warning seems salutary.

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