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The Fire in the Equations

Kitty Ferguson

66 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0553405934 / ISBN 13: 9780553405934
Published by Bantam Books, 1995
Condition: Good Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Fire in the Equations

Publisher: Bantam Books

Publication Date: 1995

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition: Good

Edition: New Ed.

About this title


“ In this beautifully and intelligently written book, Ferguson not only reports on some of the intellectual tremors jolting the world of thinking women and men, but also considers the basic questions with penetrating analysis, yet at a very readable level. . . . An excellent book.”Choice

Heralded for its readability and scholarship, The Fire in the Equations offers a fascinating discussion of scientific discoveries and their impact on our beliefs. The book’s title is derived from Dr. Stephen Hawking’s pondering, “What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe?”

Originally published in the U.S. in 1995, it provides an excursion through new theories of quantum physics and cosmology, ranging from the nature of time, the big bang, the “unreasonable effectiveness” of mathematics, laws of nature and their possible relation to God, chaos theory, black holes, Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, particle physics, Darwin's theory of evolution, and the role of God in all these equations. It even raises such questions as “how God might answer prayers” from the point of view of physics.

While she gives no absolute answers, Kitty Ferguson takes the reader through a world of paradoxes and improbabilities, explaining how it is possible to believe both in a pre-determined universe and in free will as a theory of human behavior. She concludes that what we know about science doesn't necessarily make God inevitable, but does not rule God out either.

From the Back Cover:

Since the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species in 1859, many have found science and belief in God irreconcilable. Now, in the final decade of the twentieth century, stunning advances in physics, biology, and the new fields of chaos and complexity have brought the conflict to a crucial stage. More and more, scientists have begun to look for a single fundamental law or truth that underlies the beginning of the universe and its continued existence. But can we truly find either God or a scientific theory that will erase once and for all the notion of God? This strikingly original book expertly yet clearly encapsulates the various cosmological arguments from science, religion, and philosophy for the nonspecialist. Called "a brilliant intermediary between the thinking of the physicist and the thinking of ordinary people" by a German radio commentator, Kitty Ferguson provides a tour de force review of the modern search for fundamental truth, writing in simple, readable prose and using relevant analogies. The result is a provocative, sometimes mind-bending challenge to reconsider the way we think about ourselves, our origin, and our destiny. Moving beyond Stephen Hawking's quest (in A Brief History of Time) "to know the mind of God", Ferguson takes us one step nearer the answer to science's ultimate question: What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe?

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