The Accidental Universe: The World You Thought You Knew

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9781482955941: The Accidental Universe: The World You Thought You Knew
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[Read by Bronson Pinchot]

From the acclaimed author of Einstein's Dreams and Mr. g comes a meditation on the unexpected ways in which recent scientific findings have shaped our understanding of ourselves and our place in the cosmos.

With all the passion, curiosity, and precise yet lyrical prose that have marked his previous books, Alan Lightman here explores the emotional and philosophical questions raised by discoveries in science, focusing most intently on the human condition and the needs of humankind. He looks at the difficult dialogue between science and religion, the conflict between our human desire for permanence and the impermanence of nature, the possibility that our universe is simply an accident, the manner in which modern technology has separated us from direct experience of the world, and our resistance to the view that our bodies and minds can be explained by scientific logic and laws. And behind all of these considerations is the suggestion -- at once haunting and exhilarating -- that what we see and understand of the world is only a tiny piece of the extraordinary, perhaps unfathomable whole.

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Review:

Guest Review of “The Accidental Universe,” by Alan Lightman

By Jon Kabat-Zinn

Jon Kabat-Zinn is the author of eight more books, including Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness and Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life.

He holds a Ph.D. in molecular biology from MIT , and is the founding executive director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare, and Society. He has also helped to organize dialogues between the Dalai Lama and Western scientists to promote deeper understanding of different ways of knowing and probing the nature of mind, emotions, and reality.

A Walden for our digital, cosmological, and quantum age from a modern-day Thoreau. Not since Fred Hoyle in another era (and universe) has anyone dared to cover such a sweeping domain, and no one so elegantly, so parsimoniously, and so personally. From the triumph of the Higgs boson to the underlying discomfort of multiverses, from the question of God to the erosion of embodied presence via digital self-distraction, Lightman explores with wistful irony, lyricism, and insight his relationship as a theoretical physicist, a cosmologist, a novelist, a humanist, and a human being to the ever-changing and mysterious interior and exterior universes we all inhabit, knowingly or not. Any one of these essays invites deep reflection. Together, they disturb, inform, inspire, and delight.

 

About the Author:

ALAN LIGHTMAN is the author of six novels including Einstein's Dreams which was an international bestseller, and The Diagnosis, a finalist for the US National Book Award. He is also the author of two collections of essays, and several books on science. His work has appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, Granta, the New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, and Nature, among many other publications. A theoretical physicist as well as a writer, he has served on the faculties of Harvard and MIT, where he was the first person to receive a dual faculty appointment in science and the humanities. He lives in the Boston area.

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9780345805959: The Accidental Universe: The World You Thought You Knew

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ISBN 10:  034580595X ISBN 13:  9780345805959
Publisher: Vintage, 2014
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Pantheon, 2014
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9781472109187: The Accidental Universe: The World You Thought You Knew

Corsair, 2013
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