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WAS THE UNIVERSE MADE FOR MAN?
Is our universe the only one of its kind or are there others? Is it just a coincidence that life evolved on Earth or are the remarkable and unusual set of circumstances that brought about the emergence of humankind part of some deeper mystery that reveals an as yet unknown cosmic purpose?
A PROVOCATIVE SEARCH THROUGH SPACE AND TIME FOR A COSMIC BLUEPRINT—AND THE SOURCE OF LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE
In this intriguing exploration of our relationship with the universe, eminent physicist Martin Rees and acclaimed science writer John Gribbin search for the grand design of the universe—and the meaning of the so-called coincidences that allow life to exist on our planet. Rees and Gribbin present the advances in understanding the nature of dark matter (which controls the dynamics, structure, and eventual fate of the universe), explore mini and massive black holes, brown dwarfs, and novel forms of matter such as quark nuggets. Along the way they fascinate us with what scientists have already discovered about cosmic strings, superstrings, and the elusive TOE (theory of everything). They also speculate on the possibility of the existence of other universes and of other intelligent life in our own. An expert, exhilarating tour of cosmic evolution and human destiny. Cosmic Coincidences' investigation sheds new light on the monumental questions of why our universe is the way it is and why we are here.
JOHN GRIBBIN, science writer and cosmologist, is the author of many books, including In Search of Schrödinger's Cat, In Search of the Big Bang, In Search of the Double Helix, and The Omega Point.
MARTIN REES is a professor of astronomy and a colleague of Stephen Hawking's at Cambridge University. He is one of the world's leading theorists in the field of astrophysics.
"A brilliant and highly readable tour through the Universe.... This is an authoritative and challenging book. It will spark hot debate among scientists and grasp the reader from start to finish"
—F. David Peat, Ph.D., author of Synchronicity
"A lucid and exciting guide... An evenhanded appraisal of the controversial 'anthropic principle.'"
— Nick Herbert, author of Quantum Reality
As a followup to his other popular science books, including the bestselling In Search of Schrodinger's Cat , astrophysicist Gribbin now collaborates with astronomer Rees for a New Age look at science's recent discoveries about the universe. Aided by charts, diagrams and M. C. Escher graphics, the authors range from the subatomic activity of what they call the ``particle zoo'' to quasars, black holes and superstring theory. Their favorite topic, though, is the perplexing question of dark matter: the gravity needed to form galaxies and keep them in motion requires a mass 10 times greater than that which can be observed. Although most of the book is able, straightforward science writing, the mystery of the missing mass is a keystone leading to the proposition that our carbon-based life was not haphazardly arrived at, but the deliberate end of a universe ``tailor made for man.'' Yet the writers' sense of perspective (admitting that this may be a ``parochial'' view of cosmic events) and clearly reasoned argument render their volume a knowledgeable introduction for believers and skeptics alike.