In the Beginning: The Birth of the Living Universe by John Gribbin
Is the Universe alive?
Drawing on the latest measurements of the ‘ripples in time’ that mark the birth of the Universe, John Gribbin goes beyond the Big Bang to address the questions of how and why the Universe came into being, and what its future evolution holds in store. His controversial contention is that the Universe itself can be regarded as a living entity which is not unique, but which has evolved through Darwinian selection among a multitude of rival universes, competing for existence in spacetime.
This vision of the Universe as a product of evolution by natural selection echoes and extends the idea that all the living things on Earth may form an interlocking web which can be regarded as a single living organism, Gaia. And on scales intermediate between that of a single planet and that of the entire Universe, whole galaxies of stars, like our Milky Way system, also show properties usually associated with living systems, and evidence of evolution.
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.
In the Beginning is Dr Gribbin’s tour de force – science writing at its best.
John Gribbin is an award-winning science writer best known for his book In Search of Schrodinger’s Cat. He studied astrophysics under Fred Hoyle in Cambridge, before working as a science journalist for Nature and later the New Scientist, and is now a Visiting Fellow in Astronomy at the University of Sussex.