The Life of the Cosmos has ratings and 42 reviews. David said: Lee Smolin presents an interesting hypothesis that attempts to explain why the fundame. CHAPTER ONE. The Life of the Cosmos. By LEE SMOLIN Oxford University Press. Read the Review. LIGHT and LIFE. Science is, above everything else. The life of the cosmos / by Lee Smolin. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN X. ISBN (Pbk.) 1. Cosmology.

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Another thing that must strike us when we look around at the universe is that it seems to be structured hierarchically. I think the weirdness of the quantum world won’t be explained by anything other than QM. Paperbackpages. In summary, it is refreshing to have a work that provokes such deep thinking on the behalf of the reader. This contrasts with Smolin’s view that black holes are the central adaptation, and intelligent life a byproduct of selection.

The Life of the Cosmos Hardcover edition.

If the world suddenly became Newtonian it would take only a fraction of a second for most of the electrons to fall into the nuclei. So if Lee Smolin is correct, his name will be added to the short thr of scientific greats. The second part deals oc his hypothesis of cosmic natural selection which may seem interesting at first, but then gets very speculative and repetitive. So try to repress your inclination to dismiss him as a crackpot when you fir There are two books that I’ve read in my 48 years so far on this Earth which have blown my mind and completely changed my whole way of looking at things, and this is one of them.

An approach emolin physics that does not make the existence of life comprehensible must eventually give way to one that does. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Quantum physics, for all its intrinsic weirdness, gives us for the first time an opportunity to comprehend our relationship to the rest of the universe in a way that avoids both the Aristotelian fiction of lite absolute centrality and the Newtonian fiction of our absolute alienation.

I’m no stranger to pop-science books but this book opened my ths to some amazing possibilities. The weak form assumes that there are many universes, a few of which have physical laws that allow life while the rest do not.


My body stays at about the same temperature, no matter what the temperature of my environment might be, at least as long as I am healthy. Henry Tye, a string theorist from Cornell University, had told me of his computer program to produce new string theories. Cosmologist Lee Smolin offers a startling new theory of the universe that is at once elegant, comprehensive, and radically different from anything proposed before.

The general idea is thought-provoking. But no one tries to teach first year students to think about Shakespeare the way critics thought in the nineteenth century. Want to Read saving…. Similarly, to assert simply that the universe is alive is absurd. What is needed is a deeper understanding of what both life and the universe are that allows us to comprehend why it is natural to find one inhabited by the other.

Choose your country or region Close. The Life of the Cosmos is well written in a highly intellectual style. The result is a framework that illuminates many intractable problems, from the paradoxes of quantum theory and the nature of space and time to the problem of constructing a final theory of physics. He examines the philosophical roots of controversies in the foundations of physics, and shows how they may be transformed as science moves towardunderstanding the universe as an interrelated, self-constructed entity, within which life and complexity have a natural place, and in which “the occurrence of novelty, indeed the perpetual birth of novelty, can be understood.

The Life of the Cosmos – Lee Smolin – Google Books

I’m honored to know him. This page was last edited on 14 Mayat This is also thicker with physics, making it a slower go. Thus, it is not a coincidence that when we look up we see stars, just as it is not a coincidence that when we look around we see plants and trees Just as the plants produce the oxygen we breath, it is the stars that produced all the chemical elements out of which we, and the plants, are made.

Jan 03, Eric K.

The Life of the Cosmos

Light dosmos not only our medium of contact with the world; in a very real sense, it is the basis of our existence. This book reminds me of why, despite pseudo-deep 3am geek bull sessions freshman year of college about So Lee Smolin is like really fucking smart.

Not that it wouldn’t work, those rhetorical questions are totally angst! I’m looking forward to reading his other books! Smolin’s specific proposal might not be correct, there could be other ways to realize cosmological natural selection. Th of the light from distant stars affirms that the protons they are made of are exactly the same as those I am breathing now.


Natural selection may guide the appearance of the laws of physics, favoring those universes which best reproduce. Smolin does an excellent job describing the beauty and scale of order in the universe. The last part mostly about quantum mechanics and attempts at quantum gravity theories is a bit more hand-waving thhe weaker in my opinion, though there are interesting chapters in this part, too.

Over time, the stellar black holes in each galaxy merge with the supermassive black holes at the center of each galaxy, and all matter in each supergalaxy eventually becomes entrapped inside black holes. But it is the humanity and sharp clarity of his prose that offers access for the layperson to the mind bending space at the forefront of today’s physics.

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. John Stewart takes a broad evolutionary perspective extrapolating the trajectory of evolution. It also explains how different observers may relate to each other to describe the universe precisely, but not accurately. Hence if one changes a coupling constant or a particle mass, the number of black holes should lwe.

Although the consistent quantum theory of gravity is not yet known, some cosmologists believe that a multi-universe picture of the world will emerge as part of quantum gravity.

The World as a Network of Relations. Smolin writes in complex sentences, compounded by a generous sprinkling of grammatical errors, all of which conspire to make it a hard, slow, tedious read. It has just been abstracted, from eternal atoms to eternal laws. This is a much higher level book than I have been reading, although it is not technical or mathematical. Smolin dismisses these responses as well as 1 because 3 can be so simple. Cosmological natural selection is an extremely ambitious proposal, comparable to the one of Copernicus at his time that the Earth was not the center of the Universe.

There are about 20 parameters that can be varied.