The Accidental Universe by Alan Lightman

Book Review

 


The Accidental Universe: The World You Thought You KnewBook Genre: Non-Fiction, Science, Audio Book

Book Series: N/A

Released: 1/14/14 by Blackstone Audiobooks

Pages:157  Price: $13.35 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I actually own this book, but I ended up listening to the audio book from my library.

Book Synopsis:

From the acclaimed author of Einstein’s Dreams and Mr g, a meditation on the unexpected ways in which recent scientific findings have shaped our understanding of ourselves and our place in the cosmos.

With all the passion, curiosity, and precise yet lyrical prose that have marked his previous books, Alan Lightman here explores the emotional and philosophical questions raised by discoveries in science, focusing most intently on the human condition and the needs of humankind. He looks at the difficult dialogue between science and religion; the conflict between our human desire for permanence and the impermanence of nature; the possibility that our universe is simply an accident; the manner in which modern technology has separated us from direct experience of the world; and our resistance to the view that our bodies and minds can be explained by scientific logic and laws. And behind all of these considerations is the suggestion—at once haunting and exhilarating—that what we see and understand of the world is only a tiny piece of the extraordinary, perhaps unfathomable whole.

My Review:

I tried to read this little book a while back but just couldn’t get into it.  While I am interested in the topics this book discusses I am not that bright when it comes to science and math.  Much of it was a struggle to understand.  Simply put it was too much work…  I’ve been enjoying listening to non-fiction audio books recently, especially those with a science leaning, so when I saw this one was available and not that long I decided to listen rather than read this book.  So. much. easier.

This isn’t a very long book and is a collection of essays really on philosophy and physics.  Much of the science still went over my head but I did appreciate the philosophical discussion related to the advances in technology and knowledge.  I know I just finished listening to it so the chapter is freshest in my mind, but I enjoyed the last chapter the best which delved into how technology is changing the way we interact with not only each other but the world around us.  The idea of the virtual world not so slowly replacing the importance of the real world was fascinating and most likely true.

I’m glad I made it through this one, even if I had to listen to it.  The book provided a lot of food for thought and would be another great book to listen to with someone who you could debate the topics further with.  If this one crosses your path why not give it a listen too.

My Rating: 3 Stars

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