Modern Cosmology and Philosophy / Edition 1

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Overview

"...engaging…a fascinating mix of opinion and scientific/philosophic discussion...quite readable and enjoyable...a book that should be in one’s library."-Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith Did the universe originate from a "big bang" as argued by leading astrophysicists and others? Or does some other theory more accurately describe its beginnings? Are there other forms of life in our universe? What about other universes? Was our universe specially formed to support life? Does our universe have a purpose? What are the conditions under which life begins, evolves, and how does it become extinct?

These questions propel Modern Cosmology & Philosophy as the leading text in this hotly debated area where science and philosophy meet. Edited with an introduction by noted scholar John Leslie, this volume offers superb selections on modern cosmology, relativistic theories of the universe, the Big Bang, the problem of God and creation, cosmology and verifiability, coincidences, origins and evolution, multiple universe theories, infinity, chaos, life forms, the end of time, and the limits of our knowledge.

This volume includes work by H. Bondi, William Lane Craig, Paul Davies, R. H. Dicke, G. F. R. Ellis, Stephen Jay Gould, Adolf Grunbaum, Heinz R. Pagels, Sir Martin Rees, Quentin Smith, Richard Swinburne, and others.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
The second edition of the 1990 book features 26 contributions discussing such issues as relativistic theories of the universe, the Big Bang, the problems of God and creation, cosmology and verifiability, coincidences, the origin and evolution of the universe, multiple universe theories, infinity, chaos, life forms, the end of time, and the limits of our knowledge. Many are accessible to the general reader. No index. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781573922500
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 3/28/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 330
  • Product dimensions: 5.39 (w) x 8.32 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

John Leslie (Guelph, Ontario) is professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of Guelph, and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
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Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition
Preface to the First Edition
Introduction 1
1 Is Philosophy Relevant to Cosmology? 35
2 Modern Cosmology 57
3 Relativistic Theories of the Universe 70
4 The Steady-State Theory of the Universe 76
5 The 13,000,000,000 Year Bang 81
6 Was There a Big Bang? 90
7 The Pseudo-Problem of Creation in Physical Cosmology 98
8 Cosmology and Verifiability 119
9 Dirac's Cosmology and Mach's Principle 127
10 Large Number Coincidences and the Anthropic Principle in Cosmology 131
11 On the Origin, Evolution and the Purpose of the Physical Universe 140
12 Argument from the Fine-Tuning of the Universe 160
13 A Cozy Cosmology 180
14 Mind and Supermind 187
15 Cosmological Fecundity: Theories of Multiple Universes 195
16 Beyond the End of Time 213
17 Is the Universe a Vacuum Fluctuation? 222
18 What Caused the Big Bang? 226
19 The Universe: Inflation Out Of Chaos 245
20 Possible Forms of Life in Environments Very Different from the Earth 254
21 Atmospheric Evolution, the Drake Equation, and DNA: Sparse Life in an Infinite Universe 262
22 Emerging Questions and Uncertainties 273
23 The Anthropic Principle Today 289
24 Our Place in the Universe 311
25 "What Place, then, for a Creator?": Hawking on God and Creation 319
26 Toward Infinity: The Far Future 339
Suggestions for Further Reading 353
Glossary 360
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