Until the End of Time
Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A captivating exploration of deep time and humanity's search for purpose, from the world-renowned physicist and best-selling author of The Elegant Universe.
"Few humans share Greene’s mastery of both the latest cosmological science and English prose." —The New York Times
Until the End of Time is Brian Greene's breathtaking new exploration of the cosmos and our quest to find meaning in the face of this vast expanse. Greene takes us on a journey from the big bang to the end of time, exploring how lasting structures formed, how life and mind emerged, and how we grapple with our existence through narrative, myth, religion, creative expression, science, the quest for truth, and a deep longing for the eternal. From particles to planets, consciousness to creativity, matter to meaning—Brian Greene allows us all to grasp and appreciate our fleeting but utterly exquisite moment in the cosmos.
Greene (The Hidden Reality), director of Columbia University's Center for Theoretical Physics, translates sophisticated science topics into an accessible and illuminating survey. His achievement is particularly remarkable given the cerebral subject the "fundamental transience of everything" in the universe, and of the universe itself. Greene digests the latest scientific thinking on how the universe began; on molecular Darwinism, the "chemical combat" believed to have triggered the transformation of inanimate collections of atoms into life; and on the nature of consciousness. Greene effectively illustrates his points with understandable examples, as when he uses pennies, all arranged heads-up, to explain entropy; shaking the coins will flip some of the coins to tails, thus increasing disorder, but is highly unlikely to return them all to the ordered state of all-heads. He concedes that some profound questions "Why is there something rather than nothing?" are currently unanswerable, though he is convinced that "there is no grand design," and that people must construct their own meaning. Curious readers interested in some of the most fundamental questions of existence, and willing to invest some time and thought, will be richly rewarded by his fascinating exploration.