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God's Laughter: Man and His Cosmos (Kodansha Globe)

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1568360454
ISBN-10: 1568360452
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Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli
"Seven Brief Lessons on Physics" by Carlo Rovelli
This playful, entertaining, and mind-bending introduction to modern physics briskly explains Einstein's general relativity, quantum mechanics and the role humans play in this weird and wonderful world. Learn more | See related books
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Roving from subatomic quarks to black holes, German journalist Staguhn stakes out the vast abyss between modern science's knowledge and the human impulse to find meaning in the great cosmic spectacle. In an elegant, thoroughgoing, occasionally profound inquiry into cosmology and its relation to religion, he associates Einstein's belief in an impersonal God with the wisdom of ancient Taoist philosophers who anticipated discoveries later made by modern scientists. Scanning the attempts by physicists Max Planck and Werner Heisenberg to reconcile science and faith, Staguhn concludes that science, by its very nature, is incapable of unveiling ultimate secrets or telling us whether God exists. He provocatively critiques British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking as a "scientific mythopoet" who caters to the public's longing for new certainities and for a complete theory of the universe. Photos.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

God's Laughter is about humanity's search for meaning in the universe through both science and religion. After reviewing world views from the classical philosophers through Newton, Staguhn, a German journalist, centers on the perceptual shift from Newton's stable, mathematically described universe to Einstein's mathematically stable but relativistic universe, which cannot be truly comprehended except as a "cosmic religiousness." He then shows how this view is similar to Taoist and Buddhist world views. Our conception of the world has also been altered by quantum and particle physics. Staguhn says that physics and cosmology have entered the world of metaphysics, overlapping with religion, so that now physics requires as much faith as religion. He concludes with a discussion of recent cosmological theories such as the black holes. This book is similar to Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time (LJ 4/15/88) and will appeal to a broad audience of interested lay readers.
- Eric D. Albright, Galter Health Sciences Lib., Northwestern Univ. , Chicago
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Kodansha Globe
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha Amer Inc (December 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568360452
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568360454
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,474,845 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on July 18, 1999
Format: Paperback
I was flipping through the library stacks yet again on my continuous quest for knowledge. Just when I gave up, I spotted this strange,little book. I didn't think it would be much, being that it seemed to be one of those religious-type books, and anything that involves religion just turns me off. Boy, was I mistaken! "God's Laughter" turned out to be one of the most eye-opening books I have ever read. It not only gives a fascinating account of the history of metaphysics, but asks an interesting question: do the seemingly unrelated disciplines man has used to understand Ultimate Reality have more in common than we think? Are they really different points of view, or are they really pieces of an even larger puzzle? This question is at the heart of Staghun's book--to eradicate the prevailing Western prejudice that science and religion, two ways of seeing the world, are somehow mutually exclusive of each other. By finding and demonstrating commonalities in Zen Buddhism, Einstein's theory of relativity, and the discoveries of certain noted astronomers, Staghun makes a convincing argument that it is only when we combine science and religion in our search for our understanding of the universe that we will finally get any real answers. If you want a beginner's guide to metaphysics, especially one as moving and well-written as this (Staghun really wants you to see the world as beautifully as he does), get this book! It'll be worth your while!
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Bought the book to reread it after having read it back when first written. It's a little tough for a non-science major, but good to bring out some of the relationships between science, especially physics, and religion, especially broad religion, not sects or denominations. As my headline says, it's for the inquiring mind.
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Format: Paperback
Staguhn writes this book specificly for people who know little or nothing about science and religion but his insights and explanations are complete and thought provoking even for one who has studied both. If you have ever doubted G-d or Einstein, you should read this book.
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