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I loved the idea and was hoping for something much more creative and intelligent. As it turned out I was quite disappointed. It felt immature and more about the artists than what they were seeking to visually express. I suspect most were not well suited to this particular task and what it could be.
Looking at the cover art on The Where, The Why, and the How one would expect first class artwork inside this hard cover volume discussing some of the most intriguing mysteries of science; however, the art work is terrible. The artwork shown on the cover is not representative of the drawings within. In fact, it is an outright misrepresentation. The artwork inside this book is not just bad, it is appalling.
But that isn't the weakest part of the book. The discussion of each of these mysteries is remarkably short and the book contains false, outdated, and discredited information. The descriptions have one page for each subject, opposite the artwork, with margins inches wide. The discussions are so short they fail in any sense to really explain the depths of each of the mysteries. This is a book that starts out with a good idea but totally fails in the execution. I was undeniably suckered on this one... badly. But another flaw renders the book hopelessly poor.
In the reviews of the issues at least two include discredited concepts. Question 24 cites studies in England telling how a certain moth "evolved" to a darker color during the early industrial revolution because soot from the local industries turned the trees and leaves black, so the moth, the studies said, turned from a light color to nearly black in a adaptation. Wrong. These studies have been discredited for YEARS. The moth in question only comes out at night, so any color change was certainly not associated with soot on the trees. In addition, the "researchers" admitted gluing the moth (dead of course) onto trees to take photos in the day. These studies were a TOTAL FRAUD, and citing this example discredits everything else in the book. In the second instance the book, on Question 25 "Where Did Life Come From?" the authors allude to studies done in the 1950's - the so called Urey-Miller Experiment - which was supposed to show how conditions on the early earth could have caused the formation of critical amino acids thus leading to life. Wrong again. These studies were debunked over 20 years ago. The young earth conditions used by Urey-Miller were totally wrong; thus, the outcome of the experiment was junk. In fact, the early earth conditions were poisonous to life including the amino acids needed to form the chains predicted by Urey-Miller. This has been well known for decades.
A book published in 2012 and claiming to put forth the latest unsolved mysteries of science and citing these false and discredited studies seriously damages the credibility of the authors and the book editors at Chronicle Books. Very sloppy work at best, and outright lie at its worst.