Biocosm: The New Scientific Theory of Evolution: Intelligent Life Is the Architect of the Universe

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9781930722224: Biocosm: The New Scientific Theory of Evolution: Intelligent Life Is the Architect of the Universe
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Publisher's description: Biocosm challenges both sides of the controversy over evolution and creationism. This carefully reasoned book proposes that life and intelligence have not emerged as a series of random accidents, as Darwinists like Stephen Jay Gould have maintained, but are hardwired into the cycle of cosmic creation, evolution, death, and rebirth. Gardner's theory of an exponential coevolution of biological and electronic intelligence, designed and directed, offers an extraordinary vision of a universe of point and purpose.

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Review:

For many years, traditional cosmologists and proponents of faith-based "intelligent design" have fought over the origin of the universe. One side maintains that pure chance can explain everything; the other that there must be a God. In Biocosm, James Gardner examines the evidence and finds a third hypothesis, one that has the approval of a number of noted skeptics and scientists. He calls it the "Selfish Biocosm," in a nod to Richard Dawkins, and outlines it in this homage to Charles Darwin. Gardner states his hypothesis:

The basic idea is that the anthropic, or life-friendly, qualities that our universe exhibits are logical and predictable consequences of a cosmic reproduction cycle in which a cosmologically extended biosphere, developed and evolved over billions of years to unimaginable levels of sophistication, serves as the device by which our cosmos duplicates itself and propagates one or more "baby universes."

Like many of the sentences in Biocosm, this one requires multiple readings before its meaning and ramifications sink in. This is not an easygoing, blow-your-mind look at the universe. Gardner is meticulous in outlining his ideas, explaining their falsifiability and scientific rigor, and offering deep chaos theory to support them. Did our universe create intelligent life in order to ensure its own reproduction? Gardner thinks so, though he knows his position will irk many cosmologists exhausted from battling pseudoscientists and creationists. His impressive list of scientific supporters includes Sir Martin Rees (Britain's Astronomer Royal), Michael Shermer (publisher of Skeptic magazine), and John Casti (Santa Fe Institute honcho). Biocosm synthesizes many disciplines and theories in its conclusions, offering much food for cosmological thought. --Therese Littleton

About the Author:

James N. Gardner is an accomplished science essayist and complexity theorist whose peer-reviewed articles on cosmology and evolution have been published in prestigious scientific journals. He has written articles for WIRED, The Wall Street Journal, and Nature Biotechnology. Gardner is a former U.S. Supreme Court law clerk and a former Oregon state senator. He currently reviews science books for The Sunday Oregonian.

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