Origins: The Scientific Story of Creation

Origins: The Scientific Story of Creation

Origins: The Scientific Story of Creation

Origins: The Scientific Story of Creation

Synopsis

What is the nature of the material world? How does it work? What is the universe and how was it formed? What is life? Where do we come from and how did we evolve? How and why do we think? What does it mean to be human? How do we know? There are many different versions of our creation story. This book tells the version according to modern science. It is a unique account, starting at the Big Bang and travelling right up to the emergence of humans as conscious intelligent beings, 13.8 billion years later. Chapter by chapter, it sets out the current state of scientific knowledge: the origins of space and time; energy, mass, and light; galaxies, stars, and our sun; the habitable earth, and complex life itself. Drawing together the physical and biological sciences, Baggott recounts what we currently know of our history, highlighting the questions science has yet to answer.

Excerpt

What is the nature of the material world? How does it work? What is the universe and how was it formed? What is life? Where do we come from and how did we evolve? How and why do we think? What does it mean to be human? How do we know?

These questions, many others just like them, and many subsidiary questions that logically follow are, collectively, the ‘big questions’ of human existence. They are questions that we have been asking ourselves for as long as we have been capable of rational thought.

We weave what answers we can discover or contrive into a creation story, and such stories have formed an essential foundation for every human culture throughout history. We have a seemingly innate and rather insatiable desire to want to comprehend our own place in the universe, to understand how we and everything around us came to be. This is a desire driven in part by simple curiosity. But I suspect it is also driven by a deeper emotional need to connect ourselves meaningfully with the world which we call home.

There are many different versions of our creation story. This book tells the version according to modern science. It is the result of an enterprise which has involved (and continues to involve) thousands of scientists struggling to piece together parts of the puzzle, constantly speculating, hypothesizing, testing, debating, and revising. These scientists strive to ensure that the . . .

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