Logo - springer
Slogan - springer

Astronomy | The Beginning and the End - The Meaning of Life in a Cosmological Perspective

The Beginning and the End

The Meaning of Life in a Cosmological Perspective

Vidal, Clement

With a Foreword by Steven J. Dick

2014, XXXIV, 379 p. 42 illus., 23 illus. in color.

Available Formats:

Springer eBooks may be purchased by end-customers only and are sold without copy protection (DRM free). Instead, all eBooks include personalized watermarks. This means you can read the Springer eBooks across numerous devices such as Laptops, eReaders, and tablets.

You can pay for Springer eBooks with Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Paypal.

After the purchase you can directly download the eBook file or read it online in our Springer eBook Reader. Furthermore your eBook will be stored in your MySpringer account. So you can always re-download your eBooks.


(net) price for USA

ISBN 978-3-319-05062-1

digitally watermarked, no DRM

Included Format: PDF and EPUB

download immediately after purchase

learn more about Springer eBooks

add to marked items


Hardcover version

You can pay for Springer Books with Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Paypal.

Standard shipping is free of charge for individual customers.


(net) price for USA

ISBN 978-3-319-05061-4

free shipping for individuals worldwide

usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days

add to marked items

  • A remarkable book that will inform and enlighten all readers interested in where it all came from and where we are going
  • Despite the deep and subtle content the text is easy to follow and a stimulating read
  • Attempts to answer some of the biggest questions posed by humans about themselves and the universe
  • Includes a fascinating and illuminating look at the entire framework with which and within which, these big questions are posed and debated

In this fascinating journey to the edge of science, Vidal takes on big philosophical questions: Does our universe have a beginning and an end, or is it cyclic? Are we alone in the universe? What is the role of intelligent life, if any, in cosmic evolution? Grounded in science and committed to philosophical rigor, this book presents an evolutionary worldview where the rise of intelligent life is not an accident, but may well be the key to unlocking the universe's deepest mysteries. Vidal shows how the fine-tuning controversy can be advanced with computer simulations. He also explores whether natural or artificial selection could hold on a cosmic scale. In perhaps his boldest hypothesis, he argues that signs of advanced extraterrestrial civilizations are already present in our astrophysical data. His conclusions invite us to see the meaning of life, evolution, and intelligence from a novel cosmological framework that should stir debate for years to come.

Content Level » Popular/general

Keywords » Anthropic principles - Cosmic selection - Cosmological worldview - Evolutionary ethics - Far-future universe - Fine-tuning of physical constants - High energy astrobiology - Philosophical methodology

Related subjects » Astronomy - History & Philosophical Foundations of Physics - Philosophy - Popular Astronomy

Table of contents 

Part I Overview of Worldviews.- The Six Dimensions of Philosophy.- Criteria for Worldview Comparison.- Religious, Scientific and Philosophical Worldviews.- Part II The Beginning of the Universe.- Origins of the Origin.- Capturing Free Parameters.- The Fine-Tuning Conjecture.- Part III Our Future in the Universe.- The Future of Scientific Simulations.- Cosmological Selections.- High Energy Astrobiology.- Cosmological Ethics and Immortality.- Appendix I: A Cosmic Evolutionary Worldview.- Appendix II: Argumentative Maps.

Popular Content within this publication 



Read this Book on Springerlink

Services for this book

New Book Alert

Get alerted on new Springer publications in the subject area of Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology.