Paul Davies' The Mind of God: Science and the Search for Ultimate Meaning explores how modern science is beginning to shed light on the mysteries of our existence.
Is the universe - and our place in it - the result of random chance, or is there an ultimate meaning to existence? Where did the laws of nature come from? Were they created by a higher force, or can they be explained in some other way? How, for example, could a mechanism as complex as an eye have evolved without a creator?
Paul Davies argues that the achievement of science and mathematics in unlocking the secrets of nature mean that there must be a deep and significant link between the human mind and the organization of the physical world. In this quest for an ultimate explanation of the universe, he examines the origin of the cosmos, the possibility of other universes and the claim that we inhabit a kind of gigantic computer. The universe is, he concludes, no mere quirk of fate but a meaningful place for thinking beings. Through science, we can truly glimpse the mind of God.
'Makes us re-examine the great questions of existence'
The New York Times
'The greatest achievement of the book is to provide an insight into the nature of science itself and the uncertainties that lie in the physical realm'
John Gribbin, Sunday Times
'For those brought up on a diet of Adam and Eve, The Mind of God will make surprising reading'
Paul Davies is Director of the BEYOND Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science, and co-Director of the Cosmology Initiative, both at Arizona State University. An internationally-acclaimed physicist, writer and broadcaster, Davies is the author of some twenty award-winning books, including The Eerie Silence: Searching for Ourselves in the Universe, The Goldilocks Enigma: Why is the Universe Just Right for Life? and About Time: Einstein's Unfinished Revolution.
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.
Part 1 Reason and belief: the scientific miracle; human reason and common sense; thoughts about thought; a rational world; metaphysics - who needs it?; time and eternity - the fundamental paradox of existence. Part 2 Can the universe create itself?: was there a creation event?; creation from nothing; the beginning of time; cyclic world revisited; continuous creation; did God cause the Big Bang?; creation without creation; mother and child universes. Part 3 What are the laws of nature?: the origin of law; the cosmic code; the status of the laws today; what does it mean for something to "exist"?; in the beginning. Part 4 Mathematics and reality: magic numbers; mechanizing mathematics; the uncomputable; why does arithmetic work?; Russian dolls and artificial life. Part 5 Real worlds and virtual worlds: simulating reality; is the universe a computer?; the unattainable; the unknowable; the cosmic programme. Part 6 The mathematical secret: is mathematics already "out there"?; the cosmic computer; why us?; why are the laws of nature mathematical?; how can we know something without knowing everything?. Part 7 Why is the world the way it is?: an intelligible universe; a unique theory of everything?; contingent order; the best of all possible worlds? beauty as a guide to truth; is God necessary?; a dipolar God and wheeler's cloud; does God have to exist?; the options; a God who plays dice. Part 8 Designer universe: the unity of the Universe; life is so difficult; has the universe been design by an intelligent creator?; the ingenuity of nature; a place for everything and everything in its place; is there need for a designer?; multiple realities; cosmological Darwinism. Part 9 The mystery at the end of the universe: turtle power; mystical knowledge; the infinite; what is man?.