A Meaningful World: How the Arts and Sciences Reveal the Genius of Nature
Meaningful or meaningless? Purposeful or pointless? When we look at nature, whether at our living earth or into deepest space, what do we find? In stark contrast to contemporary claims that the world is meaningless, Benjamin Wiker and Jonathan Witt reveal a cosmos charged with both meaning and purpose. Their journey begins with Shakespeare and ranges through Euclid's geometry, the fine-tuning of the laws of physics, the periodic table of the elements, the artistry of ordinary substances like carbon and water, the intricacy of biological organisms, and the irreducible drama of scientific exploration itself. Along the way, Wiker and Witt fashion a robust argument from evidence in nature, one that rests neither on religious presuppositions nor on a simplistic view of nature as the best of all possible worlds. In their exploration of the cosmos, Wiker and Witt find all the challenges and surprises, all of the mystery and elegance one expects from a work of genius.
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7 The Genius of the Elements
8 The Reemergence of the Living Cell
9 The Restoration of the Living Organism
10 The End of the Matter
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abstract actually amino acids animals anthropic argue argument atmosphere atomic weight beauty biological calx carbon cause cell century chemical elements chemistry chemists complex compounds cosmos creatures Darwin Darwinian Dawkins depth disanthropism discovered discovery drama Earth elegance Euclid everyday evolution existence explain fine-tuning fire function genes genius geometrical Guillermo Gonzalez Hamlet heat human hydrogen imagination intellectual intelligent J. B. S. Haldane kind laboratory Lavoisier living things materialism materialist mathematics meaning meaningful meaningless mercury merely metal Miller-Urey experiment Miranda modern natural selection nature’s noted Oparin order of nature organism origin oxygen particular periodic table philosopher phlogiston physical play Polonius prebiotic prebiotic soup Privileged Planet protein protons reality reduced reductionism reductionist regard rich scientific scientists sense Shakespeare specific ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss stars strange structure Tempest theory tion triangle truth ultimate understand weasel William Shakespeare words York