Privus Press
  • 1. Auflage
  • |
  • erschienen am 15. Juli 2020
  • |
  • 476 Seiten
E-Book | ePUB mit Adobe-DRM | Systemvoraussetzungen
978-952-94-3365-0 (ISBN)

What is time? What is space? What is matter? What is life? What is consciousness?

These fundamental questions may seem distinct, even unrelated. However, take a closer look, and you will find that there is an essential unity to Nature. As surprising as it may be, the same patterns are found everywhere. For instance, the lengths of words vary like the lengths of genes; the strengths of earthquakes vary like those of the impulses in the brain. Innovations spread like epidemics. Mollusk shells, flower heads, cyclones, and galaxies spiral in a similar way.

Galileo long ago recognized the universality of these patterns, but the reason for them has remained a mystery until now. This Grand Regularity is explained by the fact that everything that exists is made up of the same primary constituents, quanta of light. Through this insight, we find answers to many foundational questions concerning anything from elementary particles to the expanding universe and from the evolution of biotas to the ascent of cultures.

This profound view also sheds light on the fate of humankind. Can we question our beliefs? Can we discern the whole? Are we once again heading toward a new worldview?

The author Arto Annila, former professor of biophysics at the University of Helsinki, provides plenty of food for thought with scientific realism, spiced up with personal experiences about the reality of science.

1. Auflage
  • Englisch
  • Windows
  • 19,68 MB
978-952-94-3365-0 (9789529433650)
The author Arto Annila is a former professor of biophysics at the University of Helsinki.


Preface ix

Part I The nature of existence 1

1. Why? 1

What is the cause? 2

Are there signs of regularity? 4

What explains the Grand Regularity? 9

How are the laws of nature found? 16

2. What is time? 23

What is the problem of time? 25

Is time an attribute? 32

Why is time relative? 40

Why does time move forward? 43

How does time choose its course? 48

Why is the future unpredictable? 55

What is the meaning of time? 62

3. What is everything made of? 69

What is light? 72

What is the vacuum? 74

Where do the photons come from? 89

What is matter? 96

What does the electron look like? 104

What do the proton and neutron look like? 112

What happens in a nuclear reaction? 121

What is the Higgs boson? 124

Which view on reality is right? 129

4. Why does the universe expand? 139

What is gravity? 145

Why are galaxies not expanding? 153

What are the fundamental forces? 158

Why is the distant horizon uniform? 161

What is dark energy? 170

What is dark matter? 178

What is a black hole? 192

Is the worldview complete? 200

5. What does mathematics mean? 205

What equates with change? 209

What is math telling us? 212

What is solvable? 215

How do we model reality? 220

Part II The significance of the worldview 227

6. How did life originate? 229

What is evolution? 235

Why are the molecules of life single-handed? 245

Why is the genome cluttered with dross? 251

Why reproduce sexually? 256

Is there extraterrestrial life? 260

What does the worldview entail? 266

7. What is consciousness? 271

How does experience follow from sensation? 279

Is thinking computing? 287

What is information? 291

Why do we sleep? 296

Is free will an illusion? 298

8. What is our destiny? 303

Why do cultures flourish and fade? 307

What is the purpose of the economy? 312

What is going on in the economy? 322

What are values? 326

9. Why will the worldview change? 331

Are we in for a change? 335

Is the old principle a new paradigm? 341

How do we face the change? 349

Is the scientific community up to date? 363

What is the meaning of the revision? 372

Concluding words 375

Epilogue 379

Acknowledgments 381

Appendices 383

Notes 413

Index 445

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