Cover image for Our improbable universe : a physicist considers how we got here
Our improbable universe : a physicist considers how we got here
Mallary, Michael.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Thunder's Mouth Press, [2004]

Physical Description:
vii, 227 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QB981 .M254 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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From the most practical point of view, we really are "star children": the iron in the blood of our veins originated in a stellar explosion billions of years ago. How likely is it that all the myriad conditions for life would come together so precisely? Without positing or denying the existence of a creator behind it all, the answer to that question is humbling and fascinating. Along the way, Michael Mallary summarizes the latest findings in cosmology -- including string theory, high-energy physics, and relativity.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Is there any scientific argument for Intelligent Creation? Mallary (formerly, Northeastern Univ.) does not jump to an answer but presents Creation as a reasonable explanation of the undoubted fact that the physical characteristics of stars and planets and even of our whole universe seem remarkably, perhaps even improbably, favorable to the development of intelligent life. Arguments of this kind are called anthropic, and a large part of the book is a history of the universe showing how its continued ability to create a beneficent environment depends sensitively on the sizes of numbers pertaining to the universe considered as a home for life. Number after number is presented with no indication of how it was measured, and unverified hypotheses of modern physics are reported as if they were established facts. The author accepts the evolution of living creatures, as well as modern estimates of the universe's age and arrangement. The emphasis is on its origin, and readers are left to evaluate the relevance and accuracy of what they have been told and draw their own conclusions. The book is carelessly produced and lacks an index. Suitable for general readers and lower-division undergraduates. ^BSumming Up: Not recommended. D. Park emeritus, Williams College