In this strikingly original book, a world-renowned cosmologist and an innovative writer of the history and philosophy of science uncover an astonishing truth: Humans actually are central to the universe. What does this mean for our culture and our personal lives? The answer is revolutionary: a science-based cosmology that allows us to understand the universe as a whole and our extraordinary place in it.
A God That Could Be Real
Author: Nancy Ellen Abrams
Publisher: Beacon Press
A paradigm-shifting blend of science, religion, and philosophy for agnostic, spiritual-but-not-religious, and scientifically minded readers Many people are fed up with the way traditional religion alienates them: too easily it can perpetuate conflict, vilify science, and undermine reason. Nancy Abrams, a philosopher of science, lawyer, and lifelong atheist, is among them. And yet, when she turned to the recovery community to face a personal struggle, she found that imagining a higher power gave her a new freedom. Intellectually, this was quite surprising. Meanwhile her husband, famed astrophysicist Joel Primack, was helping create a new theory of the universe based on dark matter and dark energy, and Abrams was collaborating with him on two books that put the new scientific picture into a social and political context. She wondered, “Could anything actually exist in this strange new universe that is worthy of the name ‘God?’” In A God That Could Be Real, Abrams explores a radically new way of thinking about God. She dismantles several common assumptions about God and shows why an omniscient, omnipotent God that created the universe and plans what happens is incompatible with science—but that this doesn’t preclude a God that can comfort and empower us. Moving away from traditional arguments for God, Abrams finds something worthy of the name “God” in the new science of emergence: just as a complex ant hill emerges from the collective behavior of individually clueless ants, and just as the global economy emerges from the interactions of billions of individuals’ choices, God, she argues, is an “emergent phenomenon” that arises from the staggering complexity of humanity’s collective aspirations and is in dialogue with every individual. This God did not create the universe—it created the meaning of the universe. It’s not universal—it’s planetary. It can’t change the world, but it helps us change the world. A God that could be real, Abrams shows us, is what humanity needs to inspire us to collectively cooperate to protect our warming planet and create a long-term civilization. From the Hardcover edition.
"Most people assume either that Earth was created as-is a few thousand years ago, or else that it's a lonely rock in endless space--although both assumptions are wrong. Meanwhile, global problems like climate destabilization, economic chaos, religious-justified violence, and exhaustion of planetary resources are escalating. These facts are connected. The new universe picture described in this book provides a believable new origin story and cosmic context, which help us to think for the first time on large enough time and size scales to see how to keep Earth and the human species healthy long into the future"--
Author: Peter D. Ward, Donald Brownlee
What determines whether complex life will arise on a planet, or even any life at all? Questions such as these are investigated in this groundbreaking book. In doing so, the authors synthesize information from astronomy, biology, and paleontology, and apply it to what we know about the rise of life on Earth and to what could possibly happen elsewhere in the universe. Everyone who has been thrilled by the recent discoveries of extrasolar planets and the indications of life on Mars and the Jovian moon Europa will be fascinated by Rare Earth, and its implications for those who look to the heavens for companionship.
Cycles of Time
Author: Roger Penrose
This groundbreaking book presents a new perspective on three of cosmology’s essential questions: What came before the Big Bang? What is the source of order in our universe? And what cosmic future awaits us? Penrose shows how the expected fate of our ever-accelerating and expanding universe—heat death or ultimate entropy—can actually be reinterpreted as the conditions that will begin a new “Big Bang.” He details the basic principles beneath our universe, explaining various standard and non-standard cosmological models, the fundamental role of the cosmic microwave background, the paramount significance of black holes, and other basic building blocks of contemporary physics. Intellectually thrilling and widely accessible, Cycles of Time is a welcome new contribution to our understanding of the universe from one of our greatest mathematicians and thinkers.
Galileo's New Universe
Author: Stephen Maran, Laurence Marschall
Publisher: BenBella Books, Inc.
Galileo's New Universe
In the bestselling literary tradition of Lewis Thomas's Lives of a Cell and James Watson's The Double Helix, Poetry of the Universe is a delightful and compelling narrative charting the evolution of mathematical ideas that have helped to illuminate the nature of the observable universe. In a richly anecdotal fashion, the book explores teh leaps of imagination and vision in mathematics that have helped pioneer our understanding of the world around us.
The Copernicus Complex
Author: Caleb Scharf
Publisher: Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Longlisted for the 2015 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award Short-listed for Physics World's Book of the Year The Sunday Times (UK) Best Science Book of 2014 A Publishers Weekly Top 10 Science Book of Fall 2014 An NBC News Top Science and Tech Book of 2014 A Politics & Prose 2014 Staff Pick In the sixteenth century, Nicolaus Copernicus dared to go against the establishment by proposing that Earth rotates around the Sun. Having demoted Earth from its unique position in the cosmos to one of mediocrity, Copernicus set in motion a revolution in scientific thought. This perspective has influenced our thinking for centuries. However, recent evidence challenges the Copernican Principle, hinting that we do in fact live in a special place, at a special time, as the product of a chain of unlikely events. But can we be significant if the Sun is still just one of a billion trillion stars in the observable universe? And what if our universe is just one of a multitude of others-a single slice of an infinity of parallel realities? In The Copernicus Complex, the renowned astrophysicist Caleb Scharf takes us on a scientific adventure, from tiny microbes within the Earth to distant exoplanets, probability theory, and beyond, arguing that there is a solution to this contradiction, a third way of viewing our place in the cosmos, if we weigh the evidence properly. As Scharf explains, we do occupy an unusual time in a 14-billion-year-old universe, in a somewhat unusual type of solar system surrounded by an ocean of unimaginable planetary diversity: hot Jupiters with orbits of less than a day, planet-size rocks spinning around dead stars, and a wealth of alien super-Earths. Yet life here is built from the most common chemistry in the universe, and we are a snapshot taken from billions of years of biological evolution. Bringing us to the cutting edge of scientific discovery, Scharf shows how the answers to fundamental questions of existence will come from embracing the peculiarity of our circumstance without denying the Copernican vision. With characteristic verve, Scharf uses the latest scientific findings to reconsider where we stand in the balance between cosmic significance and mediocrity, order and chaos. Presenting a compelling and bold view of our true status, The Copernicus Complex proposes a way forward in the ultimate quest: determining life's abundance, not just across this universe but across all realities.
Author: Boris Kriger
Author: Stephan Martin
Publisher: Red Wheel/Weiser
Have you ever looked up at the night sky and wondered "What is the universe?" In this lively and engaging collection of interviews, astronomer Stephan Martin talks with some of today's most innovative and cutting-edge thinkers on the nature of the universe and our relationship to it. Scientists, mystics, indigenous elders, and cultural creatives all share their unique voices on the nature of reality, the interplay of science and religion, the future of humanity, and the role of each person in a mysterious and evolving universe. Filled with rich insight, dynamic discussion, and penetrating wisdom, Cosmic Conversations asks the fundamental questions about the universe many of us have wondered about, yet few have explored in-depth, questions such as: Do time, space, and matter really exist? Can the universe be inside us, outside us, or both? Is the universe alive, conscious, and intelligent? Where are we in the cosmic evolutionary picture? A compelling journey from the farthest reaches of outer space to the innermost realms of the human heart, Cosmic Conversations will change the way you look at the universe (and yourself) forever.
Conceptual Integrated Science
Author: Paul G Hewitt, Suzanne Lyons, John Suchocki
Publisher: Pearson Learning Solutions
From the author of the number one textbooks in physical science and physics comes the eagerly awaiting new text, Conceptual Integrated Science. Hewitt's critically acclaimed conceptual approach has led science education for 30 years and now tackles integrated science to take student learning to a new level. Using his proven conceptual approach, accessible writing, and fun and informative illustrations, Hewitt and his team of science experts have crafted a text that focuses on the unifying concepts and real-life examples across physics, chemistry, earth science, biology, and astronomy.The book includes best-selling author Paul Hewitt's proven pedagogical approach, straight-forward learning features, approachable style, and rigorous coverage. The result is a wide-ranging science text that is uniquely effective and motivational. Conceptual Integrated Science is accompanied by an unparalleled media package that combines interactive tutorials, interactive figures, and renowned demonstration videos to help students outside of class and instructors in class.
Principles of Abundance for the Cosmic Citizen translates the principles of quantum physics into practical tools that we can use to transform ourselves and our communities. Dr. Riddle brings together insights from physics, cosmology, biology, economics, psychology, and metaphysics to confirm our cosmic interconnectedness and our basic motivation to cooperate rather than to compete. She weaves a compelling portrayal of ourselves as part of an ever-evolving and abundant (though not unlimited) universe.
Jesus and the Cosmos
Author: Denis Edwards
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
At the end of the twentieth century we began to understand that the earth is vulnerable, that it is like a tiny garden in space, under threat on all sides. Jesus and the Cosmos is an attempt to think theologically about the ecological crisis we face in the light of the great Christian tradition. Our theological tradition has been shaped within the worldview of a static universe. By contrast, we are told today that the universe began with a cosmic explosion called the Big Bang, that we live in an expanding universe with galaxies rushing away from us at an enormous rate, that we human beings are part of an evolutionary movement on the earth, and that we are intimately linked with the health of delicately balanced life-systems on our planet. Not only has modern science given this age a new cosmology, but contemporary historical studies have provided us with a new approach to the historical Jesus. Critical biblical study has allowed us to know far more about the Jesus who brought joy and liberation into people's lives. In Jesus and the Cosmos, Denis Edwards tells the story of the cosmos, the story of Jesus of Nazareth, and shows their connections. Ultimately, he will assert "Jesus of Nazareth, risen from the dead, IS the dynamic power at the heart of the cosmic process."
Religions in the Making
Author: John B. Cobb
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
Whitehead had a place for God in his comprehensive cosmological vision, and his theism has long attracted interest from some Christian theologians. But Whitehead's ideas have much wider use. Some Buddhists have found help in articulating their nontheistic vision and relating it to the current world of thought and action. In this book religious writers in seven different traditions articulate how they can benefit from Whitehead's work. So this volume demonstrates that various features of his thought can contribute to many communities. According to his followers, Whitehead shows that the deepest convictions and commitments of the major religious communities can be complementary rather than in conflict. Readers of this book will see how that plays out in some detail. A Whiteheadian Hindu can recognize the truth in a Whiteheadian Judaism, and both can appreciate the insights of Chinese Whiteheadians committed to their classical thinking. Perhaps a new day in interreligious understanding has come.
Edge of the Universe
Author: Paul Halpern
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
An accessible look at the mysteries that lurk at the edge of the known universe and beyond The observable universe, the part we can see with telescopes, is incredibly vast. Yet recent theories suggest that there is far more to the universe than what our instruments record—in fact, it could be infinite. Colossal flows of galaxies, large empty regions called voids, and other unexplained phenomena offer clues that our own "bubble universe" could be part of a greater realm called the multiverse. How big is the observable universe? What it is made of? What lies beyond it? Was there a time before the Big Bang? Could space have unseen dimensions? In this book, physicist and science writer Paul Halpern explains what we know—and what we hope to soon find out—about our extraordinary cosmos. Explains what we know about the Big Bang, the accelerating universe, dark energy, dark flow, and dark matter to examine some of the theories about the content of the universe and why its edge is getting farther away from us faster Explores the idea that the observable universe could be a hologram and that everything that happens within it might be written on its edge Written by physicist and popular science writer Paul Halpern, whose other books include Collider: The Search for the World's Smallest Particles, and What's Science Ever Done For Us: What the Simpsons Can Teach Us About Physics, Robots, Life, and the Universe