Few questions are as fundamental in man's timeless quest to understand himself and his surroundings as "Where did the universe come from?" Its amazing orderliness and complexity, and especially the intricate structure and enormous variety of life on Earth, are often taken as evidence for a Grand Design -- some intelligence beyond our experience that is responsible for the patters of the cosmos. "How is it possible," people ask, "that all this could have happened by chance?"
In language easily grasped by the non-specialist, Victor Stenger explains the fundamental structuring of the universe as a chance event, with space, time, matter, and the laws of nature the results of spontaneous processes. Historical and philosophical material is intertwined with numerous examples from everyday life in order to show how this picture is consistent with a universe devoid of original plan or design.
The idea that the universe and everything in it was created by some divine law-giver's Grand Design is a romantic notion whose mystique holds much appeal for many philosophers and theologians, but Stenger demonstrates that all the evidence points to the hypothesis that the order we observer around us evolved from the exponential inflation of the universe from an original featureless black hole approximately 10-33 centimeter in diameter, which is even more awe-inspiring.
VICTOR J. STENGER is professor of physics at the University of Hawaii, and has been visiting professor at Oxford University, Heidelberg University, and the National Institute for Nuclear Physics in Italy.
Hardcover. 203 pp.