Lee Smolin's speculative book is revolutionary.
For him, physics are not mathematics, but biology. Cosmology is a question of natural selection. This selection happens via black holes, where universes are created with slightly different random new values for the parameters of the standard model in physics.
There are no eternal laws, only worlds which are the result of random and statistical processes of self-organization.
I agree, there are a lot of ifs in this book, with a crucial one on p. 93: 'If quantum effects prevent the formation of singularities ... then time does not end in the centre of black holes, but continues into some new region of space-time.'
Smolin explains that behind the central principles of relativity and quantum mechanics lies the essential fact that 'All properties of things in the world are only aspects of relations among real things, so that they may be decribed without reference to any absolute background structures.' (p.259)
For Smolin, the future of physics is to find a solution for the tension between the atomist description of elementary particles, and their relational use in the gauge principle. He believes that string theory is part of the solution.
Smolin's point of view is partly shared by the late Nobel Prize winner Ilya Prigogine in his difficult book 'The End of Certainty'.
Even if his theory is falsified, this book is a real bargain, because it contains magnificently clear (a real bonus) explanations of the 4 basic forces in physics, the gauge principle, symmetry breaking, quantum mechanics, gravity, the second law of thermodynamics, the theory of natural selection, Leibniz's philosophy, the reason why mathematical and logical truths may be eternal ... I could go on.
Into the bargain, it contains a deadly attack on determinism and a very polite but definitive refutation of the anthropic principle.
A great book by a true and free humanist.