The Goldilocks Enigma: Why is the Universe Just Right for Life?

Front Cover
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008 - Religion - 315 pages
25 Reviews
Cosmic Jackpot is Paul Davies’s eagerly awaited return to cosmology, the successor to his critically acclaimed bestseller The Mind of God. Here he tackles all the "big questions," including the biggest of them all: Why does the universe seem so well adapted for life?

In his characteristically clear and elegant style, Davies shows how recent scientific discoveries point to a perplexing fact: many different aspects of the cosmos, from the properties of the humble carbon atom to the speed of light, seem tailor-made to produce life. A radical new theory says it’s because our universe is just one of an infinite number of universes, each one slightly different. Our universe is bio-friendly by accident -- we just happened to win the cosmic jackpot.

While this "multiverse" theory is compelling, it has bizarre implications, such as the existence of infinite copies of each of us and Matrix-like simulated universes. And it still leaves a lot unexplained. Davies believes there’s a more satisfying solution to the problem of existence: the observations we make today could help shape the nature of reality in the remote past. If this is true, then life -- and, ultimately, consciousness -- aren’t just incidental byproducts of nature, but central players in the evolution of the universe.

Whether he’s elucidating dark matter or dark energy, M-theory or the multiverse, Davies brings the leading edge of science into sharp focus, provoking us to think about the cosmos and our place within it in new and thrilling ways.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
6
4 stars
12
3 stars
5
2 stars
1
1 star
1

Review: The Goldilocks Enigma: Why Is the Universe Just Right for Life?

User Review  - Andrew - Goodreads

takes a very roundabout approach to the question digressing through a quick tour of most post newtonian physics to get where it's going. However does elucidate various interesting positions even if getting no closer to any sense of a 'right answer' Read full review

Review: The Goldilocks Enigma: Why Is the Universe Just Right for Life?

User Review  - Karen - Goodreads

As a non-scientist this was just about fathomable, but as the book progressed I was increasingly glad of the key points at the end of each chapter. I appreciate science books written for the ... Read full review

Related books

Contents

IV
1
V
2
VI
3
VII
18
VIII
49
IX
85
X
103
XI
116
XIII
151
XIV
191
XV
222
XVI
261
XVII
273
XVIII
293
XIX
297
Copyright

XII
129

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

New Theories of Everything
John D. Barrow
No preview available - 2007
All Book Search results »

About the author (2008)

PAUL DAVIES is an internationally acclaimed physicist and cosmologist now at Arizona State University, where he is setting up a pioneering center for the “study of life, the universe, and everything.” In addition to his many scientific awards, he is the recipient of the 1995 Templeton Prize—the world’s largest annual prize—for his work on science and religion. He is the author of more than twenty books, including The Mind of God, About Time, The Origin of Life, and How to Build a Time Machine. He also chairs the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence postdetection committee, so that if SETI succeeds in finding intelligent life, he will be among the first to know.
The asteroid 1992OG was officially renamed Pauldavies in his honor. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona.

Bibliographic information