The Beginning of All Things: Science and Religion

By Hans Küng; John Bowden | Go to book overview

Chapter I
A Unified Theory of Everything?

Physicists can be proud of all the results of their research that have been discovered, reflected on, and confirmed by experiments. In fact, all scientists have to keep returning to this basic science, which investigates and analyzes the elementary particles and basic forces of material reality. So we can understand that on the basis of the indisputable triumphant successes that have been achieved, some physicists expect that one day it will be possible to decipher our universe. How? By finding a theory for “all things,” for all the natural forces, for everything that is: a formula for the world that could solve the deepest riddles of our cosmos, our universe, and explain the whole of reality by physics.


1. The Riddle of Reality

The Greek word cosmos has a long history. Originally it meant “order”; the earliest mention in Homer in the eighth century B.C.E. refers to the army drawn up in order. Then it meant “decoration”; this meaning is attested for the first time by Pythagoras in the sixth century B.C.E. Finally, at the beginning of our era, it meant “harmony,” related to the universe, and later was used in the same way as we use “world order” and “universe” today. So “cosmos” denotes the world as an ordered whole, cosmos as opposed to chaos.

The word “universe” means “turned into one,” from the Latin unus

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The Beginning of All Things: Science and Religion
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Let There Be Light! xi
  • Chapter I - A Unified Theory of Everything? 1
  • Chapter II - God as Beginning? 43
  • Chapter III - Creation of the World or Evolution? 85
  • Chapter IV - Life in the Cosmos? 129
  • Chapter V - The Beginning of Humankind 161
  • Epilogue - The End of All Things 199
  • A Word of Thanks 207
  • Index 209
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