Brian Greene’s book, Until the End of Times, depicts the author’s views of the Universe in a concise version, founded on physics. With its distrust of religion but openness to human-centered wonder, admiration of nature, a celebration of humans, and recognition of the power of physical law, the story has an undeniable scent of transcendentalism.
The story depicts humanity as a short moment when the matter became self-aware. Today’s physical and cosmological hypothesis suggests that this condition cannot last; ultimately, proton decay, a control of dark energy or thermodynamic heat death, will sentence all matter and thought.
Greene, on the other hand, implies that intelligent beings could enhance their thought process almost endlessly by steadily slowing them to reduce their inevitable thermodynamic cost. He finds the comfort that religion usually offers in the idea that the ‘small collection of the universe’s particles’ that represents humanity can develop and ‘with a flitting burst of activity create beauty, establish a connection, and illuminate mystery.’
The Place Greene Seeks Out the Cause is Not Where He Should
Besides his fundamental physics, Greene is a distinct summarizer of other renowned accounts, which can make the story a bit uneven, and sometimes even deceptive. His explanation for why water is an important element needed for life gives it all to the molecule’s polar kind, which wouldn’t be special at all. Life, in his account, is all closed up in the genome, and as soon as molecular clones appeared on Earth, the rest was only an evolutionary record.
Talking about the human behavior, such as creativity, art, and so on, Greene sets an ablative faith in evolutionary psychology. He is correct to state that many of our intricate behaviors are supported by basic adaptive motivations, but he doesn’t properly admit how culture forms them.
For instance, he backs up psychologist Steven Pinker’s infamous description of music as ‘auditory cheesecake.’ The notion might or might not be correct, but to understand what music really is, we have to take into consideration its cultural, historical, and social attributes, and not just assign it to our ‘our ancient adaptive sensitivity to sounds with elevated information content.’ Therefore, Greene remains linked to the notion that the most reductive view has the final say – that it amounts to particles, entropy, and evolution.
“Perhaps one day we will invoke a unified theory of particulate ingredients to explain the overwhelming vision of a Rodin,” he writes.
Paula is an outstanding reporter for Henri Le Chat Noir, always finding new and interesting topics to bring to the portal. She mostly crafts Science and Technology news articles, covering everything one needs to know about those niches. Paula studied at Concordia University.