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Cosmic Blueprint: New Discoveries In Natures Ability To Order Universe Paperback – April 28, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Templeton Press (April 28, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932031669
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932031669
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #735,481 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Science expositor and physics professor Davies has written a fascinating book in which he examines the centuries-old conflict between holism and reductionism: What is the source of the universe's creative potency? He argues that the basic stuff of the universematter and energyis not simply inert, but has the ability to self-organize. Drawing on recent discoveries from biology, fundamental physics, cosmology, and brain research, Davies argues that the universe is developing an essential, unfolding pattern and order. While highly debatable, this is a provocative book that should be widely read. Strongly recommended for public libraries. Robert Paul, Dickinson Coll., Carlisle, Pa.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Paul Davies is professor of natural philosophy in the Australian Centre for Astrobiology at Macquarie University. His research has spanned the fields of cosmology, gravitation, and quantum field theory, with particular emphasis on black holes and the origin of the universe. He is currently working on the problem of the origin of life and the search for life on Mars. He is a well-known author, broadcaster, and public lecturer and has written over twenty-five books. Among his better-known works are God and the New Physics, The Mind of God, About Time, The Fifth Miracle, and How to Build a Time Machine. In recognition of his work as an author, he was elected as fellow of The Royal Society of Literature in 1999.

His contributions to science have been recognized by numerous awards, including the 2002 Michael Faraday Prize by the Royal Society and the 2001 Kelvin Medal and Prize from the U.K. Institute of Physics. In April 1999 the asteroid 1992 OG was officially named (6870) Pauldavies in his honor. His most significant award was the 1995 Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, the world’s largest prize for intellectual endeavor.

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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Wesley L. Janssen VINE VOICE on July 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
This (2004 edition) is an updated re-publication of Davies' 1988 book. In the new preface, Davies (mathematical physicist, prolific writer, recipient of the Faraday Prize, the Kelvin Medal, and the Templeton Prize) suggests the possibility of something quite outlandish--that if humanity can somehow survive the full future of the universe, that upon the universe's thermodynamic and quantum demise, our descendants might scramble into a new universe of their own manufacture. The assertion brings several thoughts to mind, we might begin with, well, let's say, idea-heisting [I'll not say plagiar_sm, that would be a bit harsh]. (Frank Tipler famously envisioned this kind of scenario in a universe headed for a "big crunch." The big crunch has currently fallen out of favor with astronomers and theorists, and Davies' invented universe envisions the currently favored thermodynamic "big fade away" scenario.) It also might strike us as unrealistic or even arrogant; but, foolish or not, Davies' reason for such 'optimism' is unveiled in the following 200 pages.

What follows is a fast-paced and critical tour-de-force of the state of current and emerging scientific theories and prospects (promising and otherwise) for the future. There are many outstanding discussions, one centered on the mathematics of self-similar scaling -- the "Mandelbrot set" being a famous example. Davies believes that, in principle, science will one day explain, comprehensively, how the world works. Don't hold your breath, we're not exactly close to that day just yet. In some significant areas, notably the deepest theoretical understandings of biological and mind sciences, there seems to have been rather little progress at all.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By "toscoreadens" on July 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Besides being, like many others of Davies' books, a little masterpiece of scientific vulgarization, this is a deeply honest enterprise under a strict, intellectual standpoint. But one which, while clinging to a crystalline sense of science's autonomy, aims at promoting a persuasion: reductionism (something called by the less merciful critics "this ritual nothingbuttery") is no more viable as a means of convincing explanation for natural phenomena, especially for those of a higher, more complex order, like living systems, human beings and, on top of all, human conscience and intelligence, both as individual and social processes.
The book strikes a perfect balance - not in the sense of compromise at all costs but in that, more useful and enlightening, of creative dialectical synthesis - between a steady faith in the capacity of science to investigate and eventually unveiling natural truths and a sort of rational and humane optimism which makes one feel that our universe is a formidable work-in-progress with a built-in, but not mechanistic inclination at producing new principles and meaning.
Mystery and freedom (and that flavour of "philosophic poetry" associated with them!) are preserved in the frame of a non-deterministic worldview, because no precise and mandatory evolutionary path seems to have been established at the "beginning", which Davies assumes, like the majority of today's cosmologists, to have been the Big Bang, the "moment" at which all - space, time, matter and energy - broke into being. Rather a potentiality for progress which in the course of billions of years has reached and will reach numerous transition points, from where the universe can branch out into a wide choice of meaningful possibilities.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By sqwark.com on May 28, 2003
Format: Hardcover
In 1987, James Gleick released Chaos, which was regarded as a seminal work in the subject, but in the same year, a much less popularised book by Paul Davies - The Cosmic Blueprint was also released - a vastly wider-ranging and advanced introduction to the theory of Complexity, as chaos came to be known.
Davies' book clearly explains the fundamental concepts and ties them all in - emergence, nonlinearity, the second law, self-organization, stochastic structures, complex and dynamic systems, darwinism and creativity - in all their cosmological and terrestial implications, with excellent philosophy to back it.
This is an absolute must-read for anyone interested in contemporary science. It still stands as a classic explication of an emerging new scientific paradigm which is now in full swing, and which Davies called and contextualized years ahead of his time.
If you read one science book in your life, this should be it.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Payman Saghafi on October 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
Davies has the unique ability to integrate various scientific ideas into a cohesive whole. Rather than dodging questions, he addresses them directly. There is a resistance to many of his ideas partly because some scientists are fearful that creationists will use his arguments to denigrate contemporary science.

I hope Davies will continue to do what he does best-- analyze, synthesize and share his ideas.
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More About the Author

Paul Davies is an internationally acclaimed physicist, cosmologist, and astrobiologist at Arizona State University, where he runs the pioneering Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science. He also chairs the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Post-Detection Taskgroup, so that if SETI succeeds in finding intelligent life, he will be among the first to know. The asteroid 1992OG was officially renamed Pauldavies in his honor. In addition to his many scientific awards, Davies is the recipient of the 1995 Templeton Prize--the world's largest annual prize--for his work on science and religion. He is the author of more than twenty books, including The Mind of God, About Time, How to Build a Time Machine, and The Goldilocks Enigma. He lives in Tempe, Arizona.