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Heavens be praised: here is a scientist who respects religion and relates it to the same impulse that drives scientific inquiry-an aspiration to the true and the real. Astrophysicist Frank is a lover of the skies with sufficient experience of awe to understand there's more than one way to tell the truth. His history of ideas is real science braided with myth and metaphor-the titular "constant fire" comes from poet Wallace Stevens. He's an engaging storyteller, as might be expected from someone who has published in Scientific American and Discover magazines. He can explain quantum physics and also dismiss woo-woo votaries who produce movies and books based on spurious science. He can relate mythic creation stories to the development of Big Bang theory. Light years beyond the stale standoff between uninspired scientific materialism and unscientific intelligent design, this vision of coexistence appreciates the heavenly music of the spheres. (Jan.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.