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The Goldilocks Enigma: Why Is the Universe Just Right for Life? Paperback – Bargain Price, April 29, 2008
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"Davies is courageous, entertaining, and persuasive." (Nature )
"Very readable indeed...This is Doctor Who, but for real." (Guardian )
About the Author
The asteroid 1992OG was officially renamed Pauldavies in his honor. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona.
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Top Customer Reviews
In summary, see reviews of cosmic jackpot.
The first part of "The Goldilocks Enigma" is cosmology 101, but already here, Davies asks the mischievous question *why* the natural laws look like they do, and why the universe seems to be "just right" for life. This "fine-tuning" of the universe is known as the anthropic principle, and is often used by Christians as an argument for God's existence (see Patrick Glynn's book "God: The Evidence" for a typical example). Small wonder cosmologists attempted to avoid the issue for decades! The reasons are clearly ideological.
As the book progresses, it becomes progressively more interesting. In one section, Davies takes on the idea of a "multiverse". The multiverse theory in all its exotic permutations is an obvious attempt to break free from the theistic implications of the anthropic principle. Davies points out that the multiverse concept, in its worst versions, actually resembles pagan polytheism, with highly advanced "creators" generating fake universes, Matrix-like, with the aid of super-computers! One sure wonders what's wrong with science, if the "naturalist" explanations are more bizarre than the theistic ones they are supposed to overcome?
Davies, however, isn't satisfied with theistic Intelligent Design either.Read more ›
This book discusses the propositions that the conditions of our universe are "just right" for life to exist: hence Goldilocks. This idea is known as the anthropic principle which is the philosophical consideration that observations of the physical Universe must be compatible with the conscious life that observes it. Davies summarizes the current state of knowledge in cosmology and provides a 101 introduction to particle physics.
Davies explores numerous theories which may explain this "just right" condition including multiverses. He seems to sum up his own opinion with what he calls a "life principle" in the cosmos. Of course he recognizes that this "is something I feel more in my heart than in my head."
The main gist of this book, like many other Davies works, always boils down to the main question: Does the design of the universe imply the existence of an intelligent designer?
I would not describe the book as a page turner as one reviewer has. Too much of this material is in his other books; therefore, there is never the surprise around the bend. Davies used his own `intelligent design' to weave these pages from former works of the same arena. So, you don't feel the need to race through the book just as fast as your feet can fly.
Davies always writes in a concise and elegant style and his books are fun to read whether you really `get' the science behind the talk or not.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was very impressed by Paul Davies' thoughtful analysis of a fascinating issue. This book discusses the propositions that the conditions of our universe are "just right"... Read morePublished 29 days ago by J. Davis
The title immediately tells you where the author stands on how advanced life on Earth came to be. While I disagree with him, he gives an excellent overview of the main theories on... Read morePublished 4 months ago by P. Castronovo
Davies does a good job of outlining a number of the "fine-tuning" parameters in a simple and explanatory way. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Jmoss
Actually I am still reading this. It is informative and insightful. It does require some serious attention as you read it however, so I don't think it is for the casual reader. Read morePublished 8 months ago by John P
An excellent book that deals with the question of why the physical fundamentals are 'just right' for life. Concepts are really well explained for the non-physicist reader. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Rob Hooft
Davies does it again, posing the most interesting and basic questions for the lay reader to think about.Published 11 months ago by Robert J. Schuckit
Fascinating and mind-expanding. A bit more philosophical and less rigidly scientific than others I have read.Published 13 months ago by Eleanor Straub
Lots of good theoretical physics, but the final conclusion that eventual intelligent life is one of the constants set in the Big
Bang's initial configuration is pretty weakly... Read more