The taste of fresh berries, the quiet cadence of waves lapping a lakeshore, the song of an owl in the night, the glory of a sunset: so many details manifest the reality that Earth is not merely the place where we are, but that it is truly our home, and is meant to be our home.
Most modern scientists dismiss this notion as romantic nonsense, arguing instead that Earth, and, indeed, the entire universe, is actually a cosmic accident, the mystifying result of billions of years of random events.
Here in this work of basic science written for nonspecialists, scientist Gerard Verschuuren confronts those men and women on their own territory, force for force, atom for atom, cell for cell, and even planet for planet.
With clear, well-documented explanations, he shows that the latest findings of modern cosmology, physics, chemistry, geology, and other sciences tell a remarkably different story. Instead of the vaunted "randomness" of our immense universe, scientists have recently discovered indisputable patterns in the structures of matter and energy. Over the eons, these distinctive patterns drove the universe inexorably toward formation of the Earth as what we experience it to be: our secure, exceptional, and singularly welcoming home.
Table of Contents
BEFORE WE GET STARTED
The Book of Scripture
The Book of Nature
WHERE SCIENCE AND RELIGION MEET
3.CREATION OR THE BIG BANG?
The Big Bang
What Is Creation?
Creation And Big Bang
Who Is the Creator?
4.WHAT COMES WITH CREATION?
Physical Laws of Nature
The Anthropic Principle
Does Science Have the Last Word?
5.THE EVOLUTION OF THE UNIVERSE
The Milky Way Galaxy
Our Solar System
Randomness And Providence
6.HOW THE EARTH DEVELOPED
The Earth-Moon System
The Role of Chance in God’s Plan
7.THE EVOLUTION OF LIFE
The Dawn of Life
What Propelled Life?
What Threatened Life?
The Dawn of Humanity
8.WERE WE MEANT TO BE HERE?
Science May Not Have an Answer
The Cosmic Design
At the Mercy of Natural Selection?
A FINAL WORD
Is God at the Mercy of His Cosmic Design?
A Purpose-Driven World
Is Planet Earth Unique?
"One of the great masters of making exactly these points clear to everyone is Gerard Verschuuren.... A fascinating scientific review of the latest findings of the physical sciences."
"A fascinating book.... In this 175 page book, he brings together the best of science ("always a work in progress"), with the wisdom of philosophy ancient and new, the faith of Christian believers, and the Catholic doctrine in particular."
"Despite the weightiness of its subject, it is rather easy to read. The author has done us a great service and has provided us with a more coherent explanation of the beginning and the purpose of the universe than have the less coherent but trendy popularizers. I recommend it without reservation."
"It is important to note that Verschuuren... is comfortable in both the worlds of science and theology. In fact, his abilities and achievements as a philosopher of science underscore the value of this book."