Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine by Alan Lightman

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Does he end up much the wiser after this latest record of attention to his pattern-making mind? Of course not. Does that make the effort of tracking his progress worthwhile? Of course.
-Guardian

Synopsis

From the acclaimed author of Einstein's Dreams, here is an inspires, lyrical meditation on religion and science that explores the tension between our yearning for permanence and certainty, and the modern scientific discoveries that demonstrate the impermanent and uncertain nature of the world.

As a physicist, Alan Lightman has always held a scientific view of the world. As a teenager experimenting in his own laboratory, he was impressed by the logic and materiality of a universe governed by a small number of disembodied forces and laws that decree all things in the world are material and impermanent. But one summer evening, while looking at the stars from a small boat at sea, Lightman was overcome by the overwhelming sensation that he was merging with something larger than himself—a grand and eternal unity, a hint of something absolute and immaterial. Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine is Lightman's exploration of these seemingly contradictory impulses. He draws on sources ranging from Saint Augustine's conception of absolute truth to Einstein's theory of relativity, from the unity of the once-indivisible atom to the multiplicity of subatomic particles and the recent notion of multiple universes. What he gives us is a profound inquiry into the human desire for truth and meaning, and a journey along the different paths of religion and science that become part of that quest.
 

About Alan Lightman

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Alan Lightman was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and educated at Princeton and the California Institute of Technology. His books include the novels Good Benito, The Diagnosis, and Reunion; a collection of essays and fables, Dance for Two; and several books on science. His latest, a collection of essays, A Sense of the Mysterious, will be published by Pantheon books in January 2005. He lives in Massachusetts.
 
Published March 27, 2018 by Pantheon. 240 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Science & Math, Law & Philosophy, Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine
All: 3 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Above average
on Dec 05 2017

...Lightman presents a distilled but comprehensive survey of the search for meaning, or the lack thereof, in our longing to be part of the infinite.

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The Maine Edge

Excellent
Reviewed by Allen Adams on Apr 04 2018

“Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine” will make you think. It will also make you feel. You will think about your feelings and feel things about your thoughts. It’s a straightforward and sometimes beautiful rendition of a fascinating conceptual tangle, a chance to consider the myriad mysterious ways in which the universe works.

Read Full Review of Searching for Stars on an Isl...

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Tim Adams on Apr 02 2018

Does he end up much the wiser after this latest record of attention to his pattern-making mind? Of course not. Does that make the effort of tracking his progress worthwhile? Of course.

Read Full Review of Searching for Stars on an Isl... | See more reviews from Guardian

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