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The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself

af Sean Carroll

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
5771531,229 (4.03)2
The award-winning Caltech physicist and author of The Particle at the End of the Universe shares sweeping perspectives into how human purpose and meaning naturally fit into a scientific worldview,"--Amazon.com."Sean Carroll is emerging as one of the greatest humanist thinkers of his generation as he brings his extraordinary intellect to bear not only on Higgs bosons and extra dimensions but now also on our deepest personal questions. Where are we? Who are we? Are our emotions, our beliefs, and our hopes and dreams ultimately meaningless out there in the void? Does human purpose and meaning fit into a scientific worldview? In short chapters filled with intriguing historical anecdotes, personal asides, and rigorous exposition, readers learn the difference between how the world works at the quantum level, the cosmic level, and the human level--and then how each connects to the other. Carroll's presentation of the principles that have guided the scientific revolution from Darwin and Einstein to the origins of life, consciousness, and the universe is dazzlingly unique. Carroll shows how an avalanche of discoveries in the past few hundred years has changed our world and what really matters to us. Our lives are dwarfed like never before by the immensity of space and time, but they are redeemed by our capacity to comprehend it and give it meaning."--Dust jacket.… (mere)
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I enjoyed the book. Carroll gets a few things wrong, important things. Primarily he is a Bayesian which is inductivist by a different name. He makes mistakes because of this.

His scientific explanations are accessible and engaging. ( )
  SeekingApatheia | Apr 13, 2021 |
I agree with every point the author makes, except maybe I'm not comfortable with the term poetic naturalism because it sounds somewhat pretentious. Unfortunately most of the book deals with language and not the big picture or science. I think this book was written for spiritual people and is lost on me because I'm already on-board with the gut punching, purpose denying train to oblivion. ( )
  Paul_S | Dec 23, 2020 |
What is the meaning of life?



These are the Rules:



1) Survive in good health;

2) Reproduce; but not to the extent of overpopulation and the detrimental effects thereof;

3) Learn about this World / Universe in whichever field(s) of study best suits you;

4) Work smart and efficiently, but a little hard work now and again is probably a good thing too;

5) Be happy, keep a good sense of humour and enjoy the pursuits of life (recreation);

6) Try to get along with others. If you can't get along, graciously walk away or try to negotiate a mutually agreeable separation (friendship, family, love and property, etc.);

7) Be charitable, but not to the point of dependency (A hand up is better than a hand-out);

8) Do not impose your beliefs on others. Healthy discussion / debate is allowable;

9) Live within your means. Try to live a moderate life. Do not overindulge;

10) Be honest with yourself and others. Be polite and courteous with others;

11) Conserve energy and resources. Limit your use of plastics;

12) Be respectful of the natural environment. Do your part to prevent / control the spread of exotic and invasive flora and fauna. Encourage natural biodiversity;

13) Do not submit to corruption and criminal intent;

14) Use violence only in cases of self-defense, last resort or preemptive measures;

15) Make a plan. (For all applicable points above);

16) I freely admit that I have not fulfilled all of the above (to the letter), but that I try to do my best.



Any person is welcome to challenge the Rules.

Any person is also welcome to change, make additions to, make deletions from, or otherwise alter or modify the Rules (for improvement thereof), with the strict proviso that the Rules should be ideally universally acceptable to all persons, and that, this is done in accordance with a majority consensus in any administrative region. (This would then be acknowledged in that particular administrative region only).

Any person is also challenged to produce a better set of rules, with the proviso above, should they disagree with the Rules.

They will do this of their own accord and expense, then share this with the human inhabitants of this world.

Some questions Carroll forgot to ask (I’ll answer them myself):

17) Where do we go when we die?

You do not go anywhere when you die, unless someone or something physically moves your body. To 'go somewhere' requires 'relative direction'. Relative direction does not exist in this universe, or in any other universe.

18) If our consciousness is made up of electrical impulses, where do these impulses go?

Due to the law of conservation of energy, the electrons that constitute part of your nervous system and brain, simply become absorbed into the surrounding matter when you die.

However, please do not despair. Luckily we have friends. These friends are very highly technologically advanced relative to us.

What they do, is continually scan the universe, using quarkenergy, and they record this information in a ternary data form. They then use this information to re-create the universe when they have gathered enough quarkenergy to do so.

There are minute differences between universes, but typically they are very careful not to interfere in a physical way. They do however, sometimes communicate with sentient creatures (including humans). This effectively changes timelines between universes. It is likely that you are alive in one universe, dead in another, and non-existent in many others. This has been occurring throughout your life, very frequently. It takes them much time to gather enough quarkenergy to re-create the universe in null space (billions of years).

You are, however, limited by your natural lifespan, but you will live again billions of years from now. But to you it will seem instant and seamless, as it just happened again and again.

NB: Sean, as you can see, I can do this too, you know... ( )
  antao | Aug 25, 2020 |
This is one of those books that will not only teach you things about how the world works, but also sticks with you for days and weeks as you realize it has subtly shifted the way you think about everything. In short, a well written general survey of what we know about how the world works. Carroll does a very good job of describing in understandable terms areas of physics and biology and scientific thinking in general. One example is that he managed to get me to finally understand Bayesian reasoning even though I have read specific books on the topic.

But perhaps the most affecting part of this book is Carroll's description and thoughts on poetic naturalism and how it helps us to understand and describe the world around us appropriately. That's the part that has stuck with me as I looked back out on the world and saw how there were different and appropriate "levels" for different types of speech. And it's one of the reasons I have recommended this book to so many of my friends during and after reading it. ( )
  23Goatboy23 | Jan 17, 2020 |
A travers ce livre, l'auteur montre en quoi les innombrables découvertes des siècles passés ont profondément changé notre compréhension du monde. Si notre existence semble plus dérisoire que jamais face à l'immensité du temps et de l'espace, notre capacité à la comprendre et à lui donner un sens la rend d'autant plus précieuse et exceptionnelle.
  ACParakou | Nov 29, 2019 |
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The award-winning Caltech physicist and author of The Particle at the End of the Universe shares sweeping perspectives into how human purpose and meaning naturally fit into a scientific worldview,"--Amazon.com."Sean Carroll is emerging as one of the greatest humanist thinkers of his generation as he brings his extraordinary intellect to bear not only on Higgs bosons and extra dimensions but now also on our deepest personal questions. Where are we? Who are we? Are our emotions, our beliefs, and our hopes and dreams ultimately meaningless out there in the void? Does human purpose and meaning fit into a scientific worldview? In short chapters filled with intriguing historical anecdotes, personal asides, and rigorous exposition, readers learn the difference between how the world works at the quantum level, the cosmic level, and the human level--and then how each connects to the other. Carroll's presentation of the principles that have guided the scientific revolution from Darwin and Einstein to the origins of life, consciousness, and the universe is dazzlingly unique. Carroll shows how an avalanche of discoveries in the past few hundred years has changed our world and what really matters to us. Our lives are dwarfed like never before by the immensity of space and time, but they are redeemed by our capacity to comprehend it and give it meaning."--Dust jacket.

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