Musings on Beginnings and Endings
The acclaimed author of Einstein's Dreams tackles "big questions like the origin of the universe and the nature of consciousness ... in an entertaining and easily digestible way" (Wall Street Journal) with a collection of meditative essays on the possibilities--and impossibilities--of nothingness and infinity, and how our place in the cosmos falls somewhere in between.
Can space be divided into smaller and smaller units, ad infinitum? Does space extend to larger and larger regions, on and on to infinity? Is consciousness reducible to the material brain and its neurons? What was the origin of life, and can biologists create life from scratch in the lab?
Physicist and novelist Alan Lightman, whom The Washington Post has called "the poet laureate of science writers," explores these questions and more--from the anatomy of a smile to the capriciousness of memory to the specialness of life in the universe to what came before the Big Bang.
Probable Impossibilities is a deeply engaged consideration of what we know of the universe, of life and the mind, and of things vastly larger and smaller than ourselves.
About this Author
ALAN LIGHTMAN is the author of seven novels, including the international best seller Einstein's Dreams and The Diagnosis, a finalist for the National Book Award. He has taught at Harvard and at MIT, where he was the first person to receive a dual faculty appointment in science and the humanities. He is the host of the public television series Searching: Our Quest for Meaning in the Age of Science. He is a professor of the practice of the humanities at MIT.
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