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For Immediate Release Contact: Sharon Heede, Publicist
February 28, 2007 (212) 491-8194
THE INTELLIGENT UNIVERSE: AI, ET,
and the Emerging Mind of the Cosmos
A Controversial Look Into The Future Of The Universe
by Renowned Complexity Theorist James Gardner
Following his first groundbreaking book, Biocosm, which argued that the purpose of cosmic evolution is the propagation of baby universes exhibiting the same life-friendly physical qualities as their parent-universe, James Gardner’s new book, The Intelligent Universe: AI, ET, and the Emerging Mind of the Cosmos (New Page Books, February, 2007; $25.99), tells an extraordinary story of the probable future of the universe. Gardner’s provocative examination of the most cutting-edge theories about the future of our universe and humanity itself, includes a substantial foreword by artificial intelligence guru Ray Kurzweil, bestselling author of The Age of Intelligent Machines, The Age of Spiritual Machines, Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever and The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology. Gorgeous color photographs and easy-to-read diagrams and illustrations enhance the text.
Pondering the deep mysteries of life in a 21st-century cosmic context, Gardner examines the nature of the soul, the origins of life, the future of religion following the possible discovery of extraterrestrial intelligence, the limitations of Darwinian theory, and whether there could be extraterrestrials among us that we have never noticed. Citing the most current and to some, most “out of this world” scientific theories being presented today by leaders in the fields of physics, computer technology, cosmology and statistics, including the “Intelligent Design crowd,” Gardner explores M-theory, the Singularity, the Internet as “wild” territory where computer generated viruses might come to life, and dozens of other ideas that attempt to explain our universe – its beginning and end.
“Clearly, the universe we live in does appear to be an intelligent design, in that the constants in nature are precisely what are required for the universe to have grown in complexity,” writes Ray Kurzweil in his exciting, information-packed foreword. “If the cosmological constant, the Planck constant, and the many other constants of physics were set to just slightly different values, atoms, molecules, stars, planets, organisms, humans, and this book would have been impossible. As Jim Gardner says, ‘A multitude of...factors are fine-tuned with fantastic exactitude to a degree that renders the cosmos almost spookily bio-friendly.’ How the rules of the universe happened to be just so is a profound question, one that Gardner explores in fascinating detail.”
James Gardner’s book was inspired by British Astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle’s most famous and controversial statement that the peculiar process of stellar alchemy by which elemental carbon (the basis of all life) is born, is so delicate and improbable that, “Some super-calculating intellect must have designed the properties of the carbon atom, otherwise the chance of my finding such an atom through the blind forces of nature would be utterly miniscule.”
The Intelligent Universe proposes the possibility that the universe will end in intelligent life, but not life as we know it. Rather, it will end in life that has the ability to shape the cosmos as a whole just as life on Earth has acquired the ability to shape the land, sea and atmosphere. Gardner agrees with renowned physicist Freeman Dyson that the tendency of the mind to infiltrate and control matter is a law of nature. James Gardner’s powerful book will no doubt be an invaluable resource to anyone interested in understanding state-of-the-art thinking about artificial intelligence and the workings of our universe.
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About the author
James Gardner, a well-known and widely-published complexity theorist, lives in Portland, Oregon. His first book, Biocosm, was selected as one of the 10 best science books of 2003 by the editors of Amazon.com and was featured in major stories in TIME, U.S. News & World Report, Harper’s, National Geographic, and other major publications. Gardner’s path-breaking scientific articles have appeared in Complexity (the scientific journal of the Santa Fe Institute), Acta Astronautica (the scientific journal of the International Academy of Astronautics), the International Journal of Astrobiology, and the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society. He is a regular lecturer at prominent institutions around the world.
The Intelligent Universe
Foreword by Ray Kurzweil
Price: $25.99; 271 pages with color photographs
Publication date: February 2007
Published by New Page Books