“There is little doubt that Gardner’s ideas will change yours.”
—Seth Shostak, Senior Astronomer at the SETI Institute
What is the ultimate destiny of our universe? That is the striking question
addressed by James Gardner in The Intelligent Universe.
Traditionally, scientists (and Robert Frost) have offered two bleak answers to
this profound issue: fire or ice.
The cosmos might end in fire—a cataclysmic Big Crunch in which galaxies,
planets, and life forms are consumed in a raging inferno as the universe
contracts in a kind of Big Bang in reverse.
Or the universe might end in ice—a ceaseless expansion of the fabric of
space-time in which matter and energy are eternally diluted and cooled; stars
wither and die , and the cosmos simply fades into quiet and endless oblivion.
In The Intelligent Universe, James Gardner envisions a third dramatic
alternative—a final state of the cosmos in which a highly evolved form of group
intelligence engineers a cosmic renewal, the birth of a new universe.
Gardner’s vision is that life and intelligence are at the very heart of the elegant
machinery of the universe. It is a viewpoint that has won outspoken praise from
an array of leading scientists, including Sir Martin Rees, Britain’s Astronomer
Royal, and Templeton Prize winner Paul Davies.
The Intelligent Universe is both a look into the past and a road map for the future
of the universe. It explores the mysteries of the universe and of consciousness,
and provides a frank and fascinating look at where our minds are taking us.
James Gardner, a well known and widely published complexity theorist, lives in
Portland, Oregon. His first book, Biocosm, was selected as one of the ten best
science books of 2003 by the editors of Amazon.com and was featured in major
stories in TIME, U.S. News & World Report, Harper’s, and National Geographic
and other major publications. Gardner’s path-breaking scientific articles have
appeared in Complexity (the scientific journal of the Santa Fe Institute), Acta
Astronautica (the scientific journal of the International Academy of
Astronautics), the International Journal of Astrobiology, and the Journal of the
British Interplanetary Society. He is a regular lecturer at prominent institutions
around the world.