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The Goldilocks Enigma: Why Is the Universe Just Right for Life?

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Overview

The Goldilocks Enigma is Paul Davies’s eagerly awaited return to cosmology, the successor to his critically acclaimed bestseller The Mind of God. Here he tackles all the "big questions," including the biggest of them all: Why does the universe seem so well adapted for life?

In his characteristically clear and elegant style, Davies shows how recent scientific discoveries point to a perplexing fact: many different aspects of the cosmos, from the properties of the humble ...

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The Goldilocks Enigma: Why Is the Universe Just Right for Life?

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Overview

The Goldilocks Enigma is Paul Davies’s eagerly awaited return to cosmology, the successor to his critically acclaimed bestseller The Mind of God. Here he tackles all the "big questions," including the biggest of them all: Why does the universe seem so well adapted for life?

In his characteristically clear and elegant style, Davies shows how recent scientific discoveries point to a perplexing fact: many different aspects of the cosmos, from the properties of the humble carbon atom to the speed of light, seem tailor-made to produce life. A radical new theory says it’s because our universe is just one of an infinite number of universes, each one slightly different. Our universe is bio-friendly by accident—we just happened to win the cosmic jackpot.

While this "multiverse" theory is compelling, it has bizarre implications, such as the existence of infinite copies of each of us and Matrix-like simulated universes. And it still leaves a lot unexplained. Davies believes there’s a more satisfying solution to the problem of existence: the observations we make today could help shape the nature of reality in the remote past. If this is true, then life—and, ultimately, consciousness—aren’t just incidental byproducts of nature, but central players in the evolution of the universe.

Whether he’s elucidating dark matter or dark energy, M-theory or the multiverse, Davies brings the leading edge of science into sharp focus, provoking us to think about the cosmos and our place within it in new and thrilling ways.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Paul Davies' Cosmic Jackpot is a truly mesmerizing book, no matter which you universe you may inhabit!"—Michio Kaku, prof. of theoretical physics, author of Hyperspace and Parallel Worlds
From the Publisher

"Paul Davies' Cosmic Jackpot is a truly mesmerizing book, no matter which you universe you may inhabit!" --Michio Kaku, prof. of theoretical physics, author of Hyperspace and Parallel Worlds
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547053585
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 4/29/2008
  • Edition description: None
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 676,231
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

PAUL DAVIES is an internationally acclaimed physicist, cosmologist, and astrobiologist at Arizona State University. He is the author of more than twenty books, including The Mind of God, About Time, How to Build a Time Machine, and The Goldilocks Enigma.

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments ix A Note on Numbers xv 1. The Big Questions 1 2. The Universe Explained 18 3. How the Universe Began 49 4. What the Universe Is Made of and How It All Holds Together 85 5. The Lure of Complete Unification 103 6. Dark Forces of the Cosmos 116 7. A Universe Fit for Life 129 8. Does a Multiverse Solve the Goldilocks Enigma? 151 9. Intelligent and Not-So-Intelligent Design 191 10. How Come Existence? 222 Afterword: Ultimate Explanations 261 Notes 273 Bibliography 293 Index 297

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

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2 Star

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1 Star

(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 5, 2014

    Great summary of the conundrum we live in.

    Good review of the strange fact that life exists at all! the odds are greatly stretched that our universe exixts at all that has all the laws of physics just right for life.

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  • Posted July 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Disappointed in Author's Ethics

    Having written many Amazon reviews in the past, I was prepared to write a five star review for the Goldilocks Enigma. As a fan of Davies since the 80's I was really excited about this book when I spotted it in the bookstore. As with every Davies book it was easy to read and totally mesmerizing.

    However, before I wrote my review (opinion actually) I read some of the other reviews. I was disturbed to read the review by Randolph T. McCourt. I investigated his claim that the Cosmic Jackpot was the same book. Indeed it is! Word for word.

    I might be able to understand a author that has a poorly selling book repackaging it in a new cover with a jazzed up title but I can not see this being done with a book that is already selling very well. You can check out the sales rank yourself on both books. I would kill for scores such as these. Which brings me to the conclusion that this was published only for greed. I will not buy another Davies book.

    With 100 reviews written, this is my first one (1) star.

    As Randolph McCourt said, please be warned.

    Michael L. Gooch

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

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