Books: Cautionary Gaieties

THE MOLECULE MEN by SIR FRED HOYLE and GEOFFREY HOYLE

255 pages. Harper & Row. $5.95.

Intellectual sightseers being guided around Cambridge, where one of the three-star attractions is Sir Fred Hoyle and his Institute for Theoretical Astronomy, are likely to be told a cautionary anecdote. It is the science don's equivalent of the Little Princes in the Tower. One day, goes the tale, a colleague rushed to Hoyle with the incomprehensible datum that variable star Alpha, though 1,000 times larger than star Beta, was pulsing 1,000 times faster. "Oh, but there's no mystery; the reason is obvious," said Hoyle, and...

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