Location and Times
 

Featured Book: The View from the Center of the Universe: Discovering Our Extraordinary Place in the Cosmos


Once upon a time, the ancients thought that they, and their little corner of the earth, were at the centre of the universe: everything—like those lights in the night sky—revolved around them. In his scienceshelf.com review of this Featured Book, physicist Fred Bortz observes, “Older cosmologies not only placed people at the physical centre of the universe, but at the spiritual centre, as well.” And that made them pretty special.

We now know better—and may be the poorer for that: “…it’s small wonder that many people felt lost,” according to the Kirkus Reviews’ critique, “when the old cosmologies of Egypt, Babylon, and Greece gave way to the impersonal talk of Big Bangs, black holes, and the like.”

It’s why professor of physics Joel Primack, and his wife, Nancy Abrams, a lawyer by trade, but science writer by avocation, want to create “a society that both reveres and engages in science,” naturalism.org reckons, “so that scientific cosmology might someday serve as the basis for a natural religion.” Bortz, for one, has reservations: “…they assert that the way to save the world is to adopt…their spiritually centring cosmology. It makes them seem like religious zealots recruiting for a cult.”

The View from the Center of the Universe: Discovering Our Extraordinary Place in the Cosmos
By Joel Primack and Nancy Ellen Abrams
Riverhead Books, 2006