and vanish into one another
according to necessity...
in conformity with the order of time.
-- Anaximander, On Nature
My second favorite book is called The Life of the Cosmos. Originally published in 1997, it details physicist Lee Smolin's ideas about cosmological natural selection, a mind-expanding intellectual panorama depicting the universe itself as a manifestation of deep laws that trigger self-organization at literally all scales. Beyond physics' usual fundamental forces and constants, Smolin's natural laws suggest that even the cosmos itself emerges from -- and resembles, though not exactly-- its predecessors.
Inspiring for reasons that are as poetic as they are scientific, Smolin's thinking bridges physics, biology, and even philosophy. With his latest book, Time Reborn (hardcover | Kindle edition), Smolin suggests a radical reconception of the nature of time. With his trademark sincere and curious reverence for nature, Smolin kindly entertained a few questions for Omnivoracious readers.
***How do you think about conveying your ideas to readers not instinctively drawn to science?
Everyone is interested in the question of what time is because how you think about time affects everything we think about our own lives. Are our futures determined already? Are our experiences of willing, choosing, imagining, and inventing all illusions because the future is already written? Or are they true and real and in fact deep hints as to the nature of reality? Is it already fixed what kind of life my child will have or how bad global warming will be, or does what we choose to do really matter? These are the questions my book addresses, and I offer a hopeful answer explained in a way that all can understand.