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Book review: “The Big Picture” by Sean Carroll

9 May 2016, 10:13 UTC
Book review: “The Big Picture” by Sean Carroll
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself Sean CarrollDutton (May 10, 2016) Among the scientific disciplines, physics is unique: Concerned with the most fundamental entities, its laws must be respected in all other areas of science. While there are many emergent laws which are interesting in their own right – from neurobiology to sociology – there is no doubt they all have to be compatible with energy conservation. And the second law of thermodynamics. And quantum mechanics. And the standard model better be consistent with whatever you think are the neurological processes that make you “you.” There’s no avoiding physics.In his new book, The Big Picture Sean explains just why you can’t ignore physics when you talk about extrasensory perception, consciousness, god, afterlife, free will, or morals. In the first part, Sean lays out what, to our best current knowledge, the fundamental laws of nature are, and what their relevance is for all other emergent laws. In the later parts he then goes through the consequences that follow from this. On the way from quantum field theory to morals, he covers what science has to say about complexity, the arrow of time, and the ...

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