The Grand Design: Book summary and reviews of The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking

The Grand Design

by Stephen Hawking

The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking X
The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking
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Book Summary

When and how did the universe begin? Why are we here? Why is there something rather than nothing? What is the nature of reality? Why are the laws of nature so finely tuned as to allow for the existence of beings like ourselves? And, finally, is the apparent "grand design" of our universe evidence of a benevolent creator who set things in motion—or does science offer another explanation?

The most fundamental questions about the origins of the universe and of life itself, once the province of philosophy, now occupy the territory where scientists, philosophers, and theologians meet - if only to disagree. In their new book, Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow present the most recent scientific thinking about the mysteries of the universe, in nontechnical language marked by both brilliance and simplicity.

In The Grand Design they explain that according to quantum theory, the cosmos does not have just a single existence or history, but rather that every possible history of the universe exists simultaneously. When applied to the universe as a whole, this idea calls into question the very notion of cause and effect. But the "top-down" approach to cosmology that Hawking and Mlodinow describe would say that the fact that the past takes no definite form means that we create history by observing it, rather than that history creates us. The authors further explain that we ourselves are the product of quantum fluctuations in the very early universe, and show how quantum theory predicts the "multiverse" - the idea that ours is just one of many universes that appeared spontaneously out of nothing, each with different laws of nature.

Along the way Hawking and Mlodinow question the conventional concept of reality, posing a "model-dependent" theory of reality as the best we can hope to find. And they conclude with a riveting assessment of M-theory, an explanation of the laws governing us and our universe that is currently the only viable candidate for a complete "theory of everything." If confirmed, they write, it will be the unified theory that Einstein was looking for, and the ultimate triumph of human reason.

A succinct, startling, and lavishly illustrated guide to discoveries that are altering our understanding and threatening some of our most cherished belief systems, The Grand Design is a book that will inform - and provoke - like no other.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. This is an amazingly concise, clear, and intriguing overview of where we stand when it comes to divining the secrets of the universe." - Publishers Weekly

This information about The Grand Design was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

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Rene Araneta

Realities To Ponder Upon
A humble attempt to react on Stephen Hawking's new book 'The Grand Design', where he asserts there is no need for an idea of God to explain what sparked creation. Furthermore he takes away everything from life which is worth living. He leaves us in a world where there is no need for righteousness, affection, consciousness, spiritual evolution and purpose of Life as he absolutely denies the existence of a spiritual being.

Hawking's ideas are based solely on his own mental speculation. The mind is so limited as it belongs to the subtle material dimension.. He is trying to understand the eternal, infinite and limitless spiritual dimension employing his temporary , limited and finite mind and senses. It is just not possible. Why can't he just be man enough to say that he doesn't know and do not have any concepts of these higher nature rather than babble that there is no such thing as a life force or a creator? If he is such an intelligent person as he poses to be, he would find it fitting to understand that any creation calls for a creator, any design calls for a designer. How can a 'something' be produced from nothingness?

Even in advanced scientific labs one can't find any scientist coming up with something that came from nothing. One has to utilize any of the five elements of gross matter namely earth, water, fire, air and ether to form a 'something'.- With all due respects, if Hawkings insists that it is possible then let him prove it scientifically in any of the modern science laboratories available. Spontaneous creation has never been proven scientifically beyond reasonable doubt. Any energy calls for an Energetic (Source of energy). It is basic Science 101. Modern Science is still clueless on the question of what Life is. They can't even produce a body of a one tiny mosquito in their labs out of nothing, they are likewise clueless on the nature of consciousness what to speak of Life?'

I personally do not recommend this book to any intelligent and sincere individual seeking the truth.

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Author Information

Stephen Hawking Author Biography

Stephen Hawking is the former Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge and author of A Brief History of Time which was an international bestseller. Now the Dennis Stanton Avery and Sally Tsui Wong-Avery Director of Research at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics and Founder of the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at Cambridge, his other books for the general reader include A Briefer History of Time, the essay collection Black Holes and Baby Universe and The Universe in a Nutshell.

In 1963, Hawking contracted motor neurone disease and was given two years to live. Yet he went on to Cambridge to become a brilliant researcher and Professorial Fellow at Gonville and Caius College. From 1979 to 2009 he held the post of Lucasian Professor at ...

... Full Biography
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