We are connected to distant space and time t only by our imaginations but also through a common cosmic heritage. Emerging w from modern science is a unified scenario of the cosmos, including ourselves as sentient beings, based on the time-houred concept of change. From galaxies to swflakes, from stars to planets to life itself, we are beginning to identify an underlying ubiquitous pattern penetrating the fabric of all the natural sciences - a sweepingly encompassing view of the order and structure of every kwn class of object in our richly endowed universe. This is the subject of Eric Chaisson's new book. In Cosmic Evolution Chaisson addresses some of the most basic issues we can contemplate: the origin of matter and the origin of life, and the ways matter, life and radiation interact and change with time. Guided by tions of beauty and symmetry, by the search for simplicity and elegance, by the ambition to explain the widest range of phemena with the fewest possible principles, Chaisson designs for us an expansive yet intricate model depicting the origin and evolution of all material structures. He shows us that neither new science r appeals to nscience are needed to understand the impressive hierarchy of the cosmic evolutionary story, from quark to quasar, from microbe to mind.
Eric J. Chaisson is Research Professor of Physics and Astronomy and Director of the H. Dudley Center for Innovative Science Education at Tufts University. He is the author of Cosmic Dawn, nominated for the National Book Award for distinguished science writing.