Christopher Potter, You Are Here: A Portable History of the Universe, Harper, 2009.

During our December, 2010 meeting we will be discussing the following book selected by Ron Boothe:

Christopher Potter, You Are Here: A Portable History of the Universe,  Harper, 2009.


About Ron Boothe

I am a Professor Emeritus at Emory University, currently living in Tacoma Washington USA.
Aside | This entry was posted in 2010 Selections, You Are Here and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Christopher Potter, You Are Here: A Portable History of the Universe, Harper, 2009.

  1. Ron Boothe says:

    Here are some questions and issues I would like us to consider as we prepare to discuss Potter’s book.

    First, one way to read this book is as a “show and tell” description of many amazing facts about the universe in which we live. During our discussion I plan to ask each of you to share two or three of the most “amazing facts” you learned about our universe that you did not know before reading this book.

    Second, a major theme of this book is that the scientific method is leading to a paradox. Scientists have been working for centuries trying to arrive at a description of the universe that is objective rather than egocentric. However, modern scientific descriptions of the world are becoming increasingly subjective. As a psychologist, I find it fascinating that there is an increasing convergence between phenomena studied by the “soft” science of psychology (consciousness), and the “hard” science of physics (relativity and quantum events). Lets talk some about that issue.

    Third, this is a book that is nominally about science, but actually deals with issues that have traditionally been thought of as “theological”. It deals in a serious way with issues such as “Where did we come from?, Where are we going?, What is the meaning of our existence?” Much like the “religious works” written in previous centuries by theologians, such as Augustine and Aquinas, who were trying to grapple with these kinds of issues, this book by Potter lays out a fairly sophisticated “materialistic theology” that addresses the same kinds of issues. In his metaphor in the final chapter, Potter paints a picture of scientists and theologians both climbing a high peak (but climbing from opposite sides and unaware of each other), and then suddenly meeting when they reach the summit and realize that they were both climbing the same mountain all the time. Lets talk some about that issue as well.

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