It explores the latest theories on the origins of the universe and what came before it, including:
- Why there is more doubt about the Big Bang theory than is often stated
- How our current best ideas on the origins of the universe came into being
- How the universe could have been started by a collision of membranes in multidimensional space
- Why the Matrix isn’t necessarily all fantasy
- How the universe could be in a black hole or a hologram
- How ‘before’ is meaningless in the standard Big Bang theory
- … and much more.
Excellent popular history of how humans understand the universe... British science writer Clegg (Upgrade Me: Our Amazing Journey to Human 2.0, 2008, etc.) excels in recounting the struggle over our universe’s origin, which most—but not all—agree lies in a vast primeval expansion known as the Big Bang. Readers may roll their eyes as brilliant scientists propose explanations of how the Bang led to the universe we see today, only to confront new, unsettling astronomical phenomena—dark energy, dark matter—that create questions faster than they can be answered. The author emphasizes that, unlike relativity or evolution, Big Bang cosmology is not a coherent system backed by overwhelming evidence but a clumsy, ad hoc premise whose gaps are plugged with theoretical band-aids or simply left open to frustrate scientists. Clegg follows the footsteps of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, Steven Hawking’s A Brief History of Time and Timothy Ferris’s Coming of Age in the Milky Way. He shares his predecessors’ enthusiasm, eloquence and ability to explain complex ideas but provides a bonus by covering startling developments of the past decade...
See more at my website. The book is available at this Amazon.co.uk page, and this Amazon.com page.
If you'd like to see the latest hot story in this area, take a look at Marcus Chown's excellent piece in New Scientist on the evidence that missing mini-galaxies gives for and against dark matter or modified gravity.