The Wonder of the Universe

Hints of God in Our Fine-Tuned World

by Karl W. Giberson

The Wonder of the Universe
paperback
  • Length: 216 pages
  • Published: February 2012
  •  In stock
  • ISBN: 978-0-8308-3819-6
  • Item Code: 3819
  • Case Quantity: 44

Like detectives sleuthing out the greatest mystery of all, scientists over the centuries have uncovered clues about the structure and origins of the universe. The work of Galileo, Newton, Einstein, and a host of other tenacious researchers and thinkers reveals a cosmos of almost unimaginable wonder and beauty.

If we then honestly follow the evidence of science wherever it leads, where do we end up?

Karl Giberson takes us on a fascinating guided tour of planets and protons, galaxies and gamma rays. We discover that if gravity were slightly stronger, neutrons a tiny bit lighter, the size of our sun somewhat larger or a dozen other factors altered by fractions, there would be no life.

The author shows that for many observers, even those who do not embrace religious faith, all of this looks suspiciously like the expression of a grand plan--a cosmic architecture capable of both supporting life such as ours, and inspiring observers like us to seek out hints of a creator.

Join this cosmic expedition and discover the wonder of it all.

"The Wonder of the Universe is written in a style easily accessible to a broad audience. Avoiding the extremes of too much science jargon or sidestepping the science altogether, Giberson explains his scientific arguments in terms and examples that engage both scientist and layperson alike. He weaves a rich tapestry of the history of science, scientific discoveries and the many great—albeit sometimes quirky—minds of groundbreaking scientists themselves. Observing the remarkable lawful order and suitability for life we find in our universe, Giberson explores the fine-tuning 'problem' and cautions his readers not to simplify the debate between the competing explanations of the multiverse hypothesis versus purposeful design as merely science versus religion. He comments on the shortcomings of science when it comes to questions of meaning and purpose, and asserts that while evidence for fine-tuning in nature does not prove God's existence, it 'fits comfortably, supportively and logically' within a belief system holding God as Creator. This book is a very well-written, thought-provoking and enjoyable read."

Leslie Wickman, Center for Research in Science, Azusa Pacific University

"Giberson lays out the case that the universe is 'wonderful, surprising and provocatively friendly to life' in an appealing and readable way. This book will be a welcome addition to the library of books on science and faith, one in which the reader is encouraged to see scientific advances as 'encouragements to faith, rather than challenges.' Individuals, churches and student groups will find it helpful."

Dorothy Boorse, professor of biology, Gordon College

"In The Wonder of the Universe, Karl Giberson takes us on a delightful journey through space and time, offering enlightening insights into key historical events that shaped our understanding of the universe with glimpses of the wonder and glory of our Creator."

Randy Isaac, American Scientific Affiliation

"Readers looking for a clear, accurate and interesting account of modern cosmology and the religious questions it raises should buy this book."

Edward B. Davis, professor of the history of science, Messiah College

"Giberson finds hints of God in our fine-tuned world . . . His restraint in writing the first nine chapters of the book ?through the lens of a scientist sifting evidence? makes the book a useful resource for pastors to recommend to seekers with scientific backgrounds."

Christina M.H. Powell, Enrichment, Fall 2012
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CONTENTS

Introduction: Following the evidence where it leads
1. Learning to Read the Book of Nature: the beginning of science
2. A Wonderful World: Science learns to walk
3. Learning to see the Universe: Science learns to run
4. The Wonder of the Cosmos: How the Universe got a history
5. Living on a Goldilocks Planet: Why the earth is such a great place to live
6. Monkeying with the Physics: The Wonder of the World within the World
Interlude: Crossing the Uncertain Bridge: Can we get from science to religion??
7. Is this the ?Best of all Possible Worlds?? The Design of Design Arguments
8. Following the Evidence: Is There Purpose in the Universe??
9. Cautious Optimism: The real scoop on the fine-tuning of the universe
10. It?s a Wonderful World
Acknowledgements
Bibliography
Notes
Index

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Karl Giberson (PhD, physics) is an internationally known scholar, speaker, and writer. He has written or coauthored nine books and lectured on science and religion at the Vatican, Oxford University, London´s Thomas Moore Institute and many prestigious American venues including MIT, The Harvard Club, and Xavier University. Dr. Giberson has published more than two hundred reviews and essays, both technical and popular, in outlets that include the New York Times, CNN.com, The Guardian, USA Today, LA Times, and Salon.com. He is a regular contributor to the public dialogue on science and faith, and has appeared as a guest on NPR´s Morning Edition and Talk of the Nation as well as other radio programs. He blogs at The Huffington Post where his articles have generated thousands of comments and are frequently featured. From 1984 to 2011, Dr. Giberson was a professor at Eastern Nazarene College (ENC) where he received numerous recognitions and awards. From 2007 to 2010 he headed the Forum on Faith and Science at Gordon College. For three years, ending in 2009, he was the program director for the prestigious Venice Summer School on Science & Religion. Dr. Giberson now teaches writing and science and religion in the Cornerstone Program at Stonehill College.

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