Many Worlds by Steven Dick
The New Universe, Extraterrestrial Life, and the Theological Implications

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In Many Worlds, renowned scientists in fields from physics to astronomy discuss the possibility of a cosmic evolutionary process that guides not only our universe, but other planets and universes as well. Physicist and author Paul Davies observes that “if it turns out to be the case that the universe is inherently bio-friendly, then the scientific, theological, and philosophical implications will be extremely significant.”

Many Worlds first focuses on what lessons might be learned from the latest knowledge of the origin and evolution of life. After establishing a well-grounded relationship between science and religion, authors such as Arthur Peacocke and John Leslie evaluate the intricate configuration of events that must occur to create a dynamic and chemically enriched environment capable of not only supporting life, but evolutionary processes as well. The final section addresses the provocative question of extraterrestrial life. What we may find could drastically change our relation to the universe and our creator.

As we reflect on the possibilities that the universe presents, author and contributor Christian de Duve aptly states, “Many myths have had to be abandoned. But mystery remains, more profound and beautiful than ever before, a reality almost inaccessible to our feeble human means.” Is our existence part of a divine scheme ingenuously designed to support life, or is it an extraordinary chain of accidents that culminate in a life-permitting environment? The scientific advancements of the past century cannot help but capture the imagination and inspire renewed hope for the future. This volume will add dimension and insight to these yet unanswered questions.


About Steven Dick

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\Dr. Steven J. Dick is the historian of science at the United States Naval Observatory and president of the International Astronomical Union's Commission 41 (History of Astronomy).
Published May 1, 2000 by Templeton Foundation Press. 232 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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A few of the essays are disappointing and utterly derivative—such as John Leslie’s “Intelligent Life in Our Universe” (which does little more than rehearse Platonic ideas about God) and Christian de Duve’s banal assertion that though “advances of biology” have forced us to abandon “many myths .

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Several others, including editor Steven Dick and Jill Tarter, director of the private-sector continuation of SETI and the model for Ellie in the 1997 movie Contact, look forward to a time when humanity will outgrow its native spirituality, perhaps disposing of such notions as transcendence and fa...

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