Human life is a staggeringly strange thing. On the surface of a ball of rock falling around a nuclear fireball in the blackness of a vacuum, the laws of nature conspired to create a naked ape that can look up at the stars and wonder where it came from. What is a human being? Objectively, nothing of consequence. Particles of dust in an infinite arena, present for an instant in eternity. Clumps of atoms in a universe with more galaxies than people. Yet a human being is necessary for the question itself to exist, and the presence of a question in the universe - any question - is the most wonderful thing. Questions require minds, and minds bring meaning. What is meaning? I don't know, except that the universe and every pointless speck inside it means something to me. I am astonished by the existence of a single atom and find my civilisation to be an outrageous imprint on reality. I don't understand it. Nobody does, but it makes me smile.
This book asks questions about our origins, our destiny, and our place in the universe. We have no right to expect answers; we have no right to even ask. But ask and wonder we do. Human Universe is first and foremost a love letter to humanity - a celebration of our outrageous fortune in existing at all.
I have chosen to write my letter in the language of science, because there is no better demonstration of our magnificent ascent from dust to paragon of animals than the exponentiation of knowledge generated by science. Two million years ago we were apemen. Now we are spacemen. That has happened, as far as we know, nowhere else. That is worth celebrating.
©2016 Professor Brian Cox and Andrew Cohen (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
"Cox's romantic, lyrical approach to astrophysics all adds up to an experience that feels less like homework and more like having a story told to you. A really good story, too." (Guardian)
"He bridges the gap between our childish sense of wonder and a rather more professional grasp of the scale of things." (Independent)
"If you didn't utter a wow watching the TV, you will while reading the book." (The Times)
"Engaging, ambitious and creative." (Guardian)
"In this book of the acclaimed BBC2 TV series, Professor Cox shows us the cosmos as we have never seen it before - a place full of the most bizarre and powerful natural phenomena." (Sunday Express)
"Will entertain and delight...what a priceless gift that would be." (Independent on Sunday)
Kildonan by the sea
Here you have a book that makes you feel better about being human, that makes you look at the stars and think of your cells and the unlikely reality we experience by being here in a universe full of wonders full of impossibilities by being human.
I loved the historical references, the history of our history not as nations or races but as humans, the reverence for the accumulation of knowledge for the sake of understanding a little bit more, while knowing we do not know so much, that we will wander forever not having all the answers, but seeking to understand because there is no better way to be, because belief is not knowledge.
Some times watching Brian's TV shows I get a bit frustrated as he has a tenancy to linger on a point. However through the delivery of the narrator his casual style lends very well to the delivery of complex scientific subjects.
A beautifully written and delivered piece of work that make you want to bang heads for crass stupidity and hug the person next to you because of their achievements. It illustrates our insignificance in this vast cosmos, yet demonstrating our importance. The fact that I can write these words and you understand them illustrates this point perfectly.
Everyone should read this and stand back in wounder at life, the universe and everything.
Brain stretching but excellent. Still not sure I understand some of the explanations and I don't consider myself daft! A great performance from Brain Cox.
A beautiful piece of work which in part; was beyond me, but inspired me to understand the world around me. Restored faith in what is too often portrayed in the media as a chaotic, violent, short-termist, self centred world of consumer excess.
At times it made me feel dumb with some long words I've never read before. But definitely glad I persisted. Got me thinking outside of the box and wanting to learn more about the universe!
I really enjoyed this, Professor Brian Cox's possible greatest talent is his ability to communicate complex ideas into understandable, enjoyable listening. I'd recommend it to anyone enjoyed the TV show or has an interest in the history of science.
Given the immense improbability of being, Prof. Brian Cox attempts to answer those questions we all ask about what is it that we can know is true and does life have meaning and purpose.
I thoroughly enjoyed the ideas and stories presented.
I really enjoyed this book. I am no physicist but the way this is written makes it easy to understand all the concepts covered. It is full of facts and figures but somehow is given just enough whimsy and the odd song lyric to keep it entertaining. It shows an insight into science through the ages and Brian tells us his own opinions and take on the universe and our place in it. The narrator has a real talent too. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
As an artist and a lover of science, I could not give this book any more praise than it deserves. Well read, well written and easy to understand to the casual listener. I'll have to listen to this again soon.
"Poetic and informative"
I never knew science could be so poetic and informative in the same time, like this!
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