Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Grand Design

Thinking. Philosophers, theologians and physicists all ask the really big questions, like why do we exist? In the new book, The Grand Design, Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow present a brief and readable perspective on the theories that lead them to conclude that we expect because our planet is in just the right location to support life, and that this could have occurred without any divine intervention. The authors explore the developments in M-theory, a unified set of theories that answer the questions about why the universe behaves the ways it does. As a non-physicist, I found this book readable, although I expect that while I understood the words, I still don’t quite get it. Nonetheless, it’s rewarding to be exposed to the thinking of these scientists in an accessible way, and to think along with them about those really big questions.

Rating: Three-star (Recommended)
Click here to purchase The Grand Design from amazon.com.

1 comment:

  1. In "The Grand Design" Stephen Hawking postulates that M-theory may be the Holy Grail of physics...the Grand Unified Theory which Einstein had tried to formulate, but never completed. It expands on quantum mechanics and string theories.

    In my e-book on comparative mysticism is a quote by Albert Einstein: “…most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and most radiant beauty – which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive form – this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of all religion.”

    E=mc², Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity, is probably the best known scientific equation. I revised it to help better understand the relationship between divine Essence (Spirit), matter (mass/energy: visible/dark) and consciousness (f(x) raised to its greatest power). Unlike the speed of light, which is a constant, there are no exact measurements for consciousness. In this hypothetical formula, basic consciousness may be of insects, to the second power of animals and to the third power the rational mind of humans. The fourth power is suprarational consciousness of mystics, when they intuit the divine essence in perceived matter. This was a convenient analogy, but there cannot be a divine formula.