Book Review: The Accidental Universe: The World You Thought You Knew by Alan Lightman

I’m not sure if I can review this book. Not in a proper sense. As I read it, my mind kept wandering on things, being only able to pick up a thought here and there. It was like a stream-of-consciousness meeting another. The book is composed of several essays published before. They handle subjects like religion, limits of our knowledge, art, symmetry, and our need for meaning. The book asks a question: what if this is just an accidental universe?

Yet here we are, governed by the laws of nature, forming our beliefs about it while trying to fulfill our spiritual needs. Those laws that have made it possible for life to exist. To some, the answer to such pondering stems from a supreme being or intention, but to others, the answer lies in physics. Alan Lightman argues that our science is limited to answering all our questions. He takes a jab at Richard Dawkins and his argumentation even when Lightman himself is an atheist (if I understood correctly.) It’s just that he doesn’t care for Dawkins’s argumentation.

This is not a pure physics book, even when Lightman is a theoretical physicist. Instead, this is more of ruminations about life and living. It’s beautifully written and compelling, but as I wrote, it flowed past me, not really sticking. Who knows why? Still, it was a nice little book about the meaning of existing according to physics.

Thank you for reading and have a beautiful day ❤

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