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Origins : the scientific story of creation / Jim Baggott.

By: Baggott, J. E.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Oxford, England : Oxford University Press, 2018Copyright date: ©2015Edition: Revised impression.Description: xvii, 403 pages : illustrations (some colour), maps (some colour) ; 25 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 0198826001; 9780198826002.Subject(s): Beginning | Cosmogony | Life -- Origin | Cosmology | Astronomy -- Philosophy | Solar system -- Origin | Universe | Earth (Planet) -- OriginSummary: There are many different versions of our creation story. This book tells the version according to modern science. It is a unique account, starting at the Big Bang and travelling right up to the emergence of humans as conscious intelligent beings, 13.8 billion years later.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

What is life? Where do we come from and how did we evolve? What is the universe and how was it formed? What is the nature of the material world? How does it work? How and why do we think? What does it mean to be human? How do we know?There are many different versions of our creation story. This book tells the version according to modern science. It is a unique account, starting at the Big Bang and travelling right up to the emergence of humans as conscious intelligent beings, 13.8 billion years later. Chapter by chapter, it setsout the current state of scientific knowledge: the origins of space and time; energy, mass, and light; galaxies, stars, and our sun; the habitable earth, and complex life itself. Drawing together the physical and biological sciences, Baggott recounts what we currently know of our history,highlighting the questions science has yet to answer.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

There are many different versions of our creation story. This book tells the version according to modern science. It is a unique account, starting at the Big Bang and travelling right up to the emergence of humans as conscious intelligent beings, 13.8 billion years later.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • About the author (p. ix)
  • Acknowledgements (p. x)
  • List of figures (p. xi)
  • Preface (p. x)
  • 1 In The 'Beginning': The Origin of Space, Time, and Energy (p. 11)
  • 2 Breaking The Symmetry: The Origin of Mass (p. 35)
  • 3 The Last Scattering Surface: The Origin of Light (p. 61)
  • 4 Setting The Firmament Alight: The Origin of Stars and Galaxies (p. 88)
  • 5 Synthesis: The Origin of Chemical Complexity (p. 121)
  • 6 Sol: The Origin of the Sun and its Planets (p. 146)
  • 7 Terra Firma: The Origin of a Habitable Earth (p. 171)
  • 8 The Cosmic Imperative: The Origin of Life (p. 201)
  • 9 Symbiosis: The Origins of Complex Cells and Multicellular Organisms (p. 237)
  • 10 A Song of Ice And Fire: The Origin of Species (p. 274)
  • 11 The Human Stain: The Origin of Humanity (p. 307)
  • 12 Cogito Ergo Sum: The Origin of Human Consciousness (p. 339)
  • Epilogue (p. 367)
  • Appendix: Powers of Ten (p. 371)
  • Notes (p. 373)
  • Bibliography (p. 386)
  • Index (p. 391)

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

This is an ambitious undertaking, but Baggott, a science writer with a doctorate in chemical physics, is up to the task. Given the author's background, the physical sciences content in the book is more hard-edged than content dealing with the evolution of living things. Baggott's previous books, such as The Quantum Story (CH, Oct'11, 49-0924), are a good complement to Origins. The section on human evolution is similar to that of Carl Zimmer's Smithsonian Intimate Guide to Human Origins (CH, Jun'06, 43-5979). Baggott's style of writing, with comments interspersed, makes reading a pleasure, even for difficult material. The first part of the book is more demanding than the last, but clearly worth the effort. There are many treatises on evolution--one of the best is Evolution: The First Four Billion Years, edited by Michael Ruse and Joseph Travis (CH, Jul'09, 46-6183)--but Baggott has done a very good job of making the subject more approachable. Even though there are constant changes and almost daily discoveries in both the physical and the life sciences, this does not diminish the value of this excellent, well-conceived, and well-written work. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All library collections. --Francis W. Yow, Kenyon College