How was it that a single "genesis event" could create billions of galaxies, stars and planets? This audiobook demonstrates how just six numbers, imprinted in the Big Bang, determine the essential features of the physical cosmos.
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This is familiar ground, though rarely so comprehensively explored. What makes Rees's book exceptional is his conviction that cosmology is as materialistic and as conceptually simple as any of the earth sciences. Indeed, "cosmology is simpler in one important respect: once the starting point is specified, the outcome is in broad terms predictable. All large patches of the universe that start off the same way end up statistically similar. In contrast, if the Earth's history were re-run, it could end up with a quite different biosphere."
Rees demonstrates how the cosmos is full of "fossils" from which we can deduce how our universe developed, as surely as we infer the earth's past from the relics found in sedimentary rocks. Rees's theme is nothing less than the colossal richness of the universe. It is an ambitious book, if anything, it deserves to be longer. --Simon Ings --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.