The Hidden Reality

Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos

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Author: Brian Greene

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 184614535X

Category: Science

Page: 384

View: 7828

In this exhilarating new book, Brian Greene explores our most current understanding of the universe, its deepest laws of nature, and our continuing quest to know more. The Hidden Reality reveals how major developments in different branches of fundamental theoretical physics-relativistic, quantum, cosmological, unified, computational - have all led us to consider one or another variety of parallel universe. In some, they are separated from us by enormous stretches of space or time, in others they're hovering millimetres away, in others still the very notion of their location proves to be a concept beyond our reach. Most extraordinarily, Greene shows how all of these parallel universe proposals emerge unbidden from the mathematics of theories developed to explain conventional data and observations of the cosmos. This is a life-changing book that gives us a true sense of the astounding possibilities of modern scientific investigation.

Evolution and the Emergent Self

The Rise of Complexity and Behavioral Versatility in Nature

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Author: Raymond L. Neubauer

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231521685

Category: Science

Page: 320

View: 7998

Evolution and the Emergent Self is an eloquent and evocative new synthesis that explores how the human species emerged from the cosmic dust. Lucidly presenting ideas about the rise of complexity in our genetic, neuronal, ecological, and ultimately cosmological settings, the author takes readers on a provocative tour of modern science's quest to understand our place in nature and in our universe. Readers fascinated with "Big History" and drawn to examine big ideas will be challenged and enthralled by Raymond L. Neubauer's ambitious narrative. How did humans emerge from the cosmos and the pre-biotic Earth, and what mechanisms of biological, chemical, and physical sciences drove this increasingly complex process? Neubauer presents a view of nature that describes the rising complexity of life in terms of increasing information content, first in genes and then in brains. The evolution of the nervous system expanded the capacity of organisms to store information, making learning possible. In key chapters, the author portrays four species with high brain:body ratios—chimpanzees, elephants, ravens, and dolphins—showing how each species shares with humans the capacity for complex communication, elaborate social relationships, flexible behavior, tool use, and powers of abstraction. A large brain can have a hierarchical arrangement of circuits that facilitates higher levels of abstraction. Neubauer describes this constellation of qualities as an emergent self, arguing that self-awareness is nascent in several species besides humans and that potential human characteristics are embedded in the evolutionary process and have emerged repeatedly in a variety of lineages on our planet. He ultimately demonstrates that human culture is not a unique offshoot of a language-specialized primate, but an analogue of fundamental mechanisms that organisms have used since the beginning of life on Earth to gather and process information in order to buffer themselves from fluctuations in the environment. Neubauer also views these developments in a cosmic setting, detailing open thermodynamic systems that grow more complex as the energy flowing through them increases. Similar processes of increasing complexity can be found in the "self-organizing" structures of both living and nonliving forms. Recent evidence from astronomy indicates that planet formation may be nearly as frequent as star formation. Since life makes use of the elements commonly seeded into space by burning and expiring stars, it is reasonable to speculate that the evolution of life and intelligence that happened on our planet may be found across the universe.

Religion and Reality

An Exploration of Contemporary Metaphysical Systems, Theologies, and Religious Pluralism

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Author: Darren Iammarino

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 1620322447

Category: Religion

Page: 300

View: 9535

This book argues for the reality of multiple religious ultimates rather than just one. This entails that all the religions are not the same; they describe different religious objects, and they each provide unique forms of salvation. The immediate advantage of this approach is that it explains how all religions are equally valid without glossing over the real differences that define them. Put differently, each religion has correctly identified a piece of the puzzle that makes up Ultimate Reality. There is, however, a limit to the plurality, and thus five distinct religious ultimates are identified: the Forms, God, A World, Creativity, and the Receptacle. One or two of these five ultimates are found within all of the world's religions, as evidenced by religious scriptures and religious experiences. Based upon these five religious ultimates, this book puts forth a novel philosophical and religious system: cosmosyntheism, a word emphasizing the likelihood that in the beginning, there was more than just God. Quite possibly, there may have been five ultimates, each sacred in its own way, none of which could have existed without the reality of the others.

Theologies of Creation

Creatio Ex Nihilo and Its New Rivals

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Author: Thomas Jay Oord

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134659490

Category: Religion

Page: 142

View: 5354

Humans have long wondered about the origin of the universe. And such questions are especially alive today as physicists offer metaphysical theories to account for the emergence of creation. Theists have attributed the universe’s origin to divine activity, and many have said God created something from absolute nothingness. The venerable doctrine of creatio ex nihilo especially emphasizes God’s initial creating activity. Some contributors to this book explore new reasons creatio ex nihilo should continue to be embraced today. But other contributors question the viability of creation from nothing and offer alternative initial creation options in its place. These new alternatives explore a variety of options in light of recent scientific work, new biblical scholarship, and both new and old theological traditions.

The Cosmos

Astronomy in the New Millennium

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Author: Jay M. Pasachoff,Alex Filippenko

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 110768756X

Category: Science

Page: 599

View: 6441

An exciting introduction to astronomy, using recent discoveries and stunning photography to inspire non-science majors about the Universe and science.

Worlds Without End

The Many Lives of the Multiverse

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Author: Mary-Jane Rubenstein

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 023152742X

Category: Science

Page: 360

View: 7614

"Multiverse" cosmologies imagine our universe as just one of a vast number of others. While this idea has captivated philosophy, religion, and literature for millennia, it is now being considered as a scientific hypothesis—with different models emerging from cosmology, quantum mechanics, and string theory. Beginning with ancient Atomist and Stoic philosophies, Mary-Jane Rubenstein links contemporary models of the multiverse to their forerunners and explores the reasons for their recent appearance. One concerns the so-called fine-tuning of the universe: nature's constants are so delicately calibrated that it seems they have been set just right to allow life to emerge. For some thinkers, these "fine-tunings" are evidence of the existence of God; for others, however, and for most physicists, "God" is an insufficient scientific explanation. Hence the allure of the multiverse: if all possible worlds exist somewhere, then like monkeys hammering out Shakespeare, one universe is bound to be suitable for life. Of course, this hypothesis replaces God with an equally baffling article of faith: the existence of universes beyond, before, or after our own, eternally generated yet forever inaccessible to observation or experiment. In their very efforts to sidestep metaphysics, theoretical physicists propose multiverse scenarios that collide with it and even produce counter-theological narratives. Far from invalidating multiverse hypotheses, Rubenstein argues, this interdisciplinary collision actually secures their scientific viability. We may therefore be witnessing a radical reconfiguration of physics, philosophy, and religion in the modern turn to the multiverse.

Cosmic Heritage

Evolution from the Big Bang to Conscious Life

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Author: Peter Shaver

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 3642202616

Category: Science

Page: 268

View: 2688

This book follows the evolutionary trail all the way from the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago to conscious life today. It is an accessible introductory book written for the interested layperson – anyone interested in the ‘big picture’ coming from modern science. It covers a wide range of topics including the origin and evolution of our universe, the nature and origin of life, the evolution of life including questions of birth and death, the evolution of cognition, the nature of consciousness, the possibility of extraterrestrial life and the future of the universe. The book is written in a narrative style, as these topics are all parts of a single story. It concludes with a discussion on the nature and future of science.

Time Reborn

From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe

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Author: Lee Smolin

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 0547511728

Category: Science

Page: 319

View: 868

A theoretical physicist and author of the controversial best-seller The Trouble with Physics describes his new approach for thinking about the reality of time and explains his theory about the laws of physics not being timeless but rather capable of evolving.

Vast Universe

Extraterrestrials and Christian Revelation

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Author: Thomas O'Meara

Publisher: Liturgical Press

ISBN: 0814680488

Category: Religion

Page: 96

View: 6402

If we have learned anything from recent advances in cosmology and astronomy, it is that we have only barely begun to comprehend the vastness of our universe and all that it contains. For Christians, this raises some fascinating questions: If there are intelligent beings out there, what would be their relationship to what Christianity claims is a special history on Earth of life with God? Would the fact of persons on other planets banish or modify our understanding of God? Would it reduce the importance of Jesus? What role might goodness and evil play in extraterrestrial civilizations? Might God have incarnated himself among other races of creatures, as he became incarnate as Jesus among us? Respectful of the sciences that disclose the reality of the universe, Thomas O'Meara wonders about good and evil, intelligence and freedom, revelation and life as they might exist in other galaxies. In this book, one possible aspect of the universe we live in meets the perspective of Christian revelation.

Unraveling the Mysteries of The Big Bang Theory (Updated Edition)

An Unabashedly Unauthorized TV Show Companion

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Author: George Beahm

Publisher: BenBella Books, Inc.

ISBN: 1941631134

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 256

View: 5855

REVISED, UPDATED, AND EXPANDED! The Big Bang Theory – CBS’s surprise hit sitcom – was recently renewed through 2017 after pulling in 19 million weekly viewers in its most recent season. Any fan who tunes in week to week wasn’t surprised. The quirky show does what so few shows manage to do: straddle the fence between cult hit and mega-popular award-winner. Now, in Unraveling the Mysteries of The Big Bang Theory, longtime sf fan and author George Beahm has put together a guide with photographs for all fans of the show – mainstream tv viewers, sf and comics fans, and science enthusiasts alike. Whether you’re a Penny or a Sheldon, whether you’ve just tuned in or been watching all along, this companion book will help you appreciate The Big Bang Theory to the fullest. Unraveling the Mysteries of The Big Bang Theory offers a full, comprehensive look at the series: from an analysis of the awful original pilot (that viewers may never get to see) to a tour of the real Cal Tech (which serves as one of the show's main settings), from a fandom terminology guide to enlightening analyses of the endearingly original main characters, all the show’s quirkiest and most appealing elements are put under the microscope. This updated edition includes a focus on the show's female characters in addition to bringing the content up to date through the show's seventh season.