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What is the ultimate destiny of our universe? That is the striking question addressed by James Gardner in The Intelligent Universe.
Traditionally, scientists (and Robert Frost) have offered two bleak answers to this profound issue: fire or ice.
The cosmos might end in fire-a cataclysmic Big Crunch in which galaxies, planets, and life forms are consumed in a raging inferno as the universe contracts in a kind of Big Bang in reverse.
Or the universe might end in ice-a ceaseless expansion of the fabric of space-time in which matter and energy are eternally diluted and cooled; stars wither and die, , and the cosmos simply fades into quiet and endless oblivion.
In The Intelligent Universe, James Gardner envisions a third dramatic alternative-a final state of the cosmos in which a highly evolved form of group intelligence engineers a cosmic renewal, the birth of a new universe.
Gardner's vision is that life and intelligence are at the very heart of the elegant machinery of the universe. It is a viewpoint that has won outspoken praise from an array of leading scientists, including Sir Martin Rees, Britain's Astronomer Royal, and Templeton Prize winner Paul Davies.
The Intelligent Universe is both a look into the past and a road map for the future of the universe. It explores the mysteries of the universe and of consciousness, and provides a frank and fascinating look at where our minds are taking us.