By John D. Barrow
The origins of existence in the world, the workings of the human brain, the mysteries of the Universe itself--profound questions equivalent to those have been as soon as the province of philosophy and theology by myself. this present day they've got turn into the staple--and certainly the hallmark--of the best writing approximately technological know-how. And few technology writers have tackled the large questions as again and again and as insightfully as astronomer John Barrow.
Now, in Between internal house and Outer Space, Barrow brings jointly dozens of essays that supply a sweeping account of his explorations alongside the boundary strains of technology, philosophy, and faith. here's an invigorating travel of themes reminiscent of cosmology, evolution, Grand Unified Theories, complexity and chaos, the character of time, great string conception, quantum mechanics, particle physics, gigantic Bang idea, and lots more and plenty extra. Barrow's diversity is impressive. He examines, for example, what technology can let us know approximately our love of tune or why definite work entice us. He recounts the dramatic discoveries made through the satellite tv for pc COBE (Cosmic heritage Explorer) and divulges what those findings let us know in regards to the origins of the Cosmos. He discusses the talk over the character of the universe waged through Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose. And he bargains a considerate assessment of E.O. Wilson's Consilience, seconding Wilson's feedback of social scientists who stay particularly blind to the main insights made by way of the existence sciences.
Leavened with a sprightly humorousness, Between internal house and Outer Space illuminates smooth technology because it presents a lot nutrition for thought of life's final questions.
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Extra resources for Between inner space and outer space : essays on science, art, and philosophy
If possession of a certain propensity is more likely to lead to survival or fecundity then it will tend to be preferentially passed on to our children. However, the difficulty is that the passing on was mainly done millions of years ago, in environments quite dissimilar to those in which we now live. Our own behavioural biases are therefore likely to be by-products of adaptations to environmental conditions that no longer necessarily exist. html2010-2-15 23:35:57 next page > page_19 < previous page page_19 next page > Page 19 Chapter 4 Anthropic principles in cosmology The Universe; a device contrived for the perpetual astonishment of astronomers.
Towels retain more water the larger their surface area. So, a typical towel is not smooth. It has hundreds of tiny knots on its surface, which boost the area available for contact with wet surfaces. The size of brains If size matters in the living world we can ask whether it has anything to say about future ambitions to design and build artificial forms of intelligence. Are there limits to the size and capabilities of an artificial brain? At first you might think that the bigger the better. But stop and think what computers do, and what you do when you think about what they do.
But why is it so big as well as so old? The Universe is expanding: distant clusters of galaxies are rushing away from each other as if a cosmic explosion occurred long ago. This means that the age of the Universe determines its size. It is billions of light years in size because it has been expanding for billions of years. And so we can now see why our Universe is so big. If it were significantly smaller then it would be too young for stars to have produced the biochemical building blocks of life and we would not be here to wonder about it.