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How It Ends: From You to the Universe Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 19, 2010
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Eminently readable. . . . Impey injects humor throughout. (Library Journal) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Chris Impey has and this book provides some interesting answers and reflection.
If you're an American or a citizen of another developed nation, your life will probably end as a result of cancer or heart disease. But don't be expecting to make it to 100 or more unless that's in your family history.
From the individual, Impey glides gently into our future as a species. Here is very helpfully guided by some great insight including from J. Richard Gott. Though Gott is a physicist, he's also a great thinker and in his book Time Travel in Einstein's Universe Gott came up with what he called the Copernican principle which says that if we're seeing something, odds are we're not in a very privileged position.
To be more clear, the Copernican principle posits that if we want to predict the future duration of a thing we assume that we are either observing that thing 2.5 percent into its life or more than 2.5 percent before it's demise. In this way, Gott predicts humanity will last at least another five thousand years and maybe as many as another 11 million years.
Of course, our fate is bound up with that of our planet and our biosphere. Here Impey draws on great insight from the likes of Peter Ward whose 2000 book Rare Earth shocked the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence Community by suggesting that Earth, and intelligent life along with it, might not just be rare but maybe even close to one of a kind. In terms of the future, what that means is that all the things that frustrate the emergence of life elsewhere might contribute to the likelihood of its demise here.Read more ›
It has to be said that focussed mental effort is needed to comprehend Impey, but also that the book is perhaps a uniquely informative account for non-experts of the state and history of our universe. Anyone who is (a) smart and (b) intellectually curious should certainly attempt it.
There is surely no more accessible and authoritative account for the lay person of how the universe came to be what it is. Some people may of course prefer the simpler story in Genesis.
Ironically, Chris Impey's How It Ends is really a quest to discover where we are going. Impey does this consistently by exploring the lives of larger structures such as the Fate of species, Beyond Natural Selection, The Web of Life, Threats to the Biosphere, Living in the Solar System, the Sun's Demise, Our Galactic Habitat and finally, How the Universe Ends.
We are immediately shaken by the reality that Impey bestows through his work. Yet, our eyes are opened to the vague concerns we all foster in the back of our minds. Of course, the amount of time involved for nature to carry out her demise is daunting to comprehend. But scientists are grappling with ever more unsettling ideas than things phasing out. Impey concludes that even though life may seem distressing, it's still great to know that we are alive.
What you get here is a perspective of our lives in relation with a life which is bigger, very much bigger than ours. Thus, the origin and the end of the universe is linked with our human existence so that you can experience both the tension and the extension of the rope. Therefore if everything takes part of the same source that vivificates the whole universe, then -anyway- everything is living and dying at different rates and without exceptions.
So as long as you leave behind the statistics in the first chapters about how we die today you are invited in the followings to see what is going to happen with our sun, our solar system, our galaxy and -last but not least- our universe.
In this particular moment you realize that this book was not a matter of comfort or solace, or a guide to a better living or a revelation about how to face the death penalty we all carry on our backs. It was not about that, it was about a possibility of looking the whole thing as a show. You are invited to see the big show of the very big ending, comfortably seated in London, Paris, Rome or wherever, before the telephone begin to ring or your kids begin to cry.
If you take a look at the table of contents you would say, what? "Beyond natural selection, The sun's demise, Aging of the Milky Way, How the universe ends..." among others.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's awesome, I've always been fascinated by death and this book is incredibly interesting, I found myself submerged in it way too oftebPublished 8 days ago by Amazon Customer
Trying to discover what happened just before or just after the farther most time point for which we just discovered what might have happened (past) or is going to happen (future)... Read morePublished 22 months ago by NJ
The title of this book is How It Ends and when you tack on the subtitle "from you to the universe", a reader has a pretty solid idea about what this book covers. Read morePublished on July 6, 2012 by Timothy Haugh
If you were ever curious to get an idea of how everything ends. This is THE BOOK. The author takes us through the end of human life on earth; then all life; then the end of our... Read morePublished on June 14, 2012 by Jay
I just finished reading this for the second time. There's an incredible wealth of knowledge in this book, and its interesting and fun because Chris Impey puts humor and commentary... Read morePublished on February 25, 2012 by Ren
The book was in great condition, arrived on time, and was as interesting as stated in all the reviews. Would definitely consider future purchases from this seller.Published on January 8, 2012 by STEVE
This book was a bit lopsided and haphazard in its treatment of the subject matter. The last chapters are the best and make science fiction seem dull by comparison. Read morePublished on January 27, 2011 by A. Reader
"How it Ends" is one of those books that is difficult to put down once started. It is well-written, informative, and tells a great story. Read morePublished on December 7, 2010 by Joseph Hilbe