The Life Era: Cosmic Selection and Conscious Evolution

Eric Chaisson, Author Atlantic Monthly Press $0 (259p) ISBN 978-0-87113-062-4
This provocative ""book length essay'' is the second in a projected trilogy, following Cosmic Dawn, which examined the origins of matter and life and pointed the way to the Chaisson's view that, as matter grew out of cosmic energy, so in our time this process of ``cosmic selection'' has led to a ``Life Era'' that will see humans, through technology, give creative direction to evolutionincluding, perhaps, that of the cosmos. The author, an associate professor at Harvard and a researcher in astrophysics at MIT, is caught up in those ultimate questions that distinguish philosophers and theologians such as Kant, Descartes, Teilhard, Tillich, and he is in the tradition of moderns like Carl Sagan, J. S. Trefil, George Wald, Jacques Monod and others who urge science into new dimensions. Chaisson is a bedrock scientist, however, and what some might dismiss as mysticism disguised as freewheeling physics is, in fact, hard science with enriching overtones. His study of cosmic change is followed by an appended ``mathematical guide'' that is dazzling. Macmillan Book Clubs alternate. (June 26)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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