Magnificent, Rational, Strange
By: Ian Breckenridge - Iff Books, $15.95
Description: In Magnificent, Rational, Strange, you will take a voyage of discovery to explore the entire universe as we know it today.
Notice its magnificent rationality, its deep complexity, and some of the paradoxes seemingly built into it. Ponder the strangeness of time and of vast numbers, black holes, Big Bangs, and quantum dimensions.
What are our human origins? Are we alone in our mysterious uniqueness? Or are we part of a natural pattern characteristic of this universe?
The human voyage continues, but travel back first, to celebrate life, how it emerged and how it works. Examine the ancient roots of humankind and our journey thus far.
Circle back to the biochemical underpinnings of human understanding. Where will this voyage take us now?
Ian Breckenridge, a layman, has for many years been immersed in the indescribable wonder of our universe. In a single compact volume, this book manages to raise quite a few deep questions.
Verdict: The search for life beyond Earth is really just getting started, but science has an encouraging early answer: there are plenty of planets in the galaxy, many with similarities to our own. But what we donít know fills volumes.
Observations from the ground and from space have confirmed thousands of planets beyond our solar system. Our galaxy likely holds trillions. But so far, we have no evidence of life beyond Earth. Is life in the cosmos easily begun, and commonplace? Or is it incredibly rare?
In Ian Breckridgeís rather wondrous, and for a smaller-paged book, wholly expansive Magnificent, Rational, Strange: A beginnerís guide to the universe, we learn that as much as there are way more questions than answers, life may well be all the things that the title suggests its wonderment to be, but in his words, the author brings forth rational answers to a lot of our burning questions.
In the thousands of years humanity has been contemplating the cosmos, we are the first people to know one thing for sure: The stars beyond our Sun are teeming with planets. They come in many varieties, and a good chunk of them are around the size of Earth.
That then begs the question: Are we alone in our mysterious uniqueness? Or are we part of a natural pattern characteristic of this universe?
Thus we travel back first, to celebrate life, how it emerged and how it works. Examining the ancient roots of humankind and our journey thus far - before circling back to the biochemical underpinnings of human understanding - it has always been clear (at least to myself) that for too long many Christians have doubted the stories in Genesis; such as creation and the Great Flood.
But more and more today we see Christian scientists finding evidence to prove that these stories are in fact true, disproving the theories of mainstream scientists.
Furthermore, our history books today donít even acknowledge our creator God or the stories of Genesis (even though most, if not all, ancient civilizations had similar stories like the ones we find in Genesis); therefore, itís impossible with todayís history books to study ancient civilizations and historical figures before and after the Great Flood.
But I digress, for Magnificent, Rational, Strange: A beginnerís guide to the universe tackles a lot of these questions and more, all be they responses from Breckenridge that (and admittedly) sometimes themselves struggle to find the exact words which can bring full justice to its extraordinary subject.
About the Author - Ian Breckenridge has for many years been immersed in the indescribable wonder of our universe. He is a Quaker, living in Norfolk, England.
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