In the Beginning by John Gribbin

Dr. John Gribbin proposes that we take a different look at our understanding of the universe: that the Universe itself can be regarded as a living entity that has evolved through Darwinian selection.

Gribbin draws on the latest measurements of the Universe through the COBE satellite and our current understanding of the Big Bang to address the questions of how and why the Universe came into being, and what its future evolution holds in store.

The COBE provided evidence of the long-theorized “ripples in the fabric of spacetime” (brief fluctuations in microwave radiation still echoing from the first trillionth of a second after the cataclysmic birth of creation), which prompted Gribbin to explore the significance of this discovery and synthesize his proposed theory of the Universe.

Though controversial, his portrait gives us a glimpse of the Universe’s first birth pangs, the nature of life and the way evolution works, the geography of the Universe and all it contains, and the way in which the “black hole bounce” enables the Universe to reproduce itself.

Along the way we learn why the laws of physics should be as they are and whether human beings have a special place in the living Universe.

His analysis unravels the riddle of anthropic cosmology, the vision of the Universe as a product of evolution by natural selection, echoing and extending the Gaia principle that all the living things on earth form an interlocking web which can be regarded as a single living organism.

Gribbin also contends that whole galaxies of stars, like our own Milky Way system, can be seen to possess properties usually associated with living systems and to show signs of evolution.

Dr. John Gribbin trained as an astrophysicist at Cambridge before becoming a full-time science writer.

He is the author of over thirty books, including the bestselling In Search of Schrodinger’s Cat, Unveiling the Edge of Time, and, with Michael White, Stephen Hawking.

John Gribbinstudied physics at the University of Sussex and went on to complete an MSc in Astronomy at the same University before moving to the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge, to work for his PhD. After working for the journal Nature and New Scientist, he has concentrated chiefly on writing books. His books have received science-writing awards both in the UK and the US. Since 1993, Gribbin has been a Visiting Fellow in Astronomy at the University of Sussex, chiefly working on the problem of determining the age of the Universe.

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Posted in Non-Fiction.