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God and the New Physics (Penguin Science) Paperback – 25 Oct 1990


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God and the New Physics (Penguin Science) + The Mind of God: Science and the Search for Ultimate Meaning (Penguin Press Science) + The Goldilocks Enigma: Why is the Universe Just Right for Life?
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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; Reprint edition (25 Oct. 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014013462X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140134629
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 289,717 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Review

`A List of the topics to which he refers would constitute an outline for
the dictionary of contemporary scientific excitement . His style is clear,
interesting, chatty' -- Times Higher Education Supplement

`One of the finest science writers of his generation' -- Independent

`Paul Davies is our best guide to this strange new world' -- Observer

About the Author

Paul Davies is an internationally acclaimed physicist, writer and broadcaster, now based in South Australia. He is the author of some twenty award-winning books, including About Time and The Fifth Miracle: The Search for the Origin of Life.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME on 1 Mar. 2006
Format: Paperback
Paul Davies, a professor of theoretical physics, has written extensively both for the scientific and the popular audiences on topics of current interest in physics and cosmology. In particular, he concentrates on issues to do with quantum theories, relativity and beginning/end of the universe issues.
In his book 'God and the New Physics', Davies continues a new tradition in which physicists particularly and scientists more generally write about their fields in philosophical, nearly theological terms discussing first causes, ultimate meanings, and the place of God and humanity in the overall scheme of the universe. Our understanding of the universe has changed dramatically in the last century, having been a fairly stable image for the past several hundred years. This has understandably made the philosophic and anthropomorphic considerations of the universe change dramatically as well.
'Science and religion represent two great systems of human thought. For the majority of people on our planet, religion is the predominant influence over the conduct of their affairs. When science impinges on their lives, it does so not at the intellectual level, but practically, through technology.'
Davies explores first the idea of genesis of the universe, exploring the intricacies of the big bang theory. This is a theory that has difficulties philosophically, that a purely scientific approach does not have an answer to, not least of which because it isn't asking the same question. Essentially, according to the big bang theory, the universe began as a singularity, essentially an infinitely small point from which all space and time (and all that is in it) emerged in an explosion-like phenomenon.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Ian Bates on 23 Jun. 2002
Format: Paperback
A good introduction to the more thought provoking aspects of modern science.I read this book,along with others,to brush up on the general theories in science of the origins of the universe,life, and our place in it,and was quite suprised by the author`s lucid style and ability to explain complex theories in a simple manner.The book gives an overview of the current understanding of how our universe began and of how it may eventually end,and looks at our place within this.The author examines the nature of life,and how this can give rise to the mental world of consciousness.The big questions are all here;Is there a God?How could there be a God?Why is there a universe,how was it brought about and how did it become so organised in the way that it is?Why these laws of nature?Is consciousness a biological product or do we have a soul?What is the nature of time?Is all of this an accident or a design?And finally a view of nature as a physicist sees it is presented.
I really came away from this book with a much clearer understanding of the way in which our material,and for that matter non material world is built up.I understand much more about modern quantum theory,the nature of time,how it all began and how it will all end,and our place in this seemingly alien and fundamentally strange universe.I can now see the direction in which modern physics is progressing and why.
An excellent introduction to the direction in which physics is heading.I have now ordered all of Mr Davies`books and look forward to delving a lot deeper.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A. Gothorp VINE VOICE on 13 July 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is all about considering how at the forefront of human science there is still room for God. Davies deals with some of the really big concepts that have come out of modern Physics and how those concepts match up with theology and religion and especially how the scientific approach could make room for the existence of God.

Initially published in 1990, so if you are looking for something from the current forefront of scientific thinking, then some developments, especially in particle physics won't be covered here.

Davies looks at Genesis, Creation and the Big Bang. We consider that cause does not necessarily precede effect and that the Big Bang does not necessitate an external influence. We try and grasp the concept of how God could exist outside of space and time that is our own physical universe. We touch on some really hard to grasp concepts such as a primordial force acting just billionths of a second after the big bang, timewarps and singularities. We look at order and disorder and the teleological argument for the existence of God, matter and antimatter, particles and quantum physics. He then examines Life itself and the concept of mind. So you can see that as a reader you cover a lot of ground here and not all of it is easy going.

Some of the physics presented here is hard to grasp. Not because Davies uses complex mathematics but because the concepts are a bit tricky to understand. I am not sure if the lack was in the explanation or in my understanding. There is the problem of translating a precise mathematical theory into the imprecise language that we all read and speak. In the majority Davies does a splendid job of explaining some complex science in terms that a layman can understand and appreciate.
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