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  • Fire in the Mind
  • Written by George Johnson
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  • Fire in the Mind
  • Written by George Johnson
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Science, Faith, and the Search for Order

Written by George JohnsonAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by George Johnson


List Price: $13.99


On Sale: October 06, 2010
Pages: 400 | ISBN: 978-0-307-76544-4
Published by : Vintage Knopf
Fire in the Mind Cover

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Synopsis|Table of Contents


Are there really laws governing the universe? Or is the order we see a mere artifact of the way evolution wired the brain? And is what we call science only a set of myths in which quarks, DNA, and information fill the role once occupied by gods? These questions lie at the heart of George Johnson's audacious exploration of the border between science and religion, cosmic accident and timeless law. Northern New Mexico is home both to the most provocative new enterprises in quantum physics, information science, and the evolution of complexity and to the cosmologies of the Tewa Indians and the Catholic Penitentes. As it draws the reader into this landscape, juxtaposing the systems of belief that have taken root there, Fire in the Mind into a gripping intellectual adventure story that compels us to ask where science ends and religion begins.

"A must for all those seriously interested in the key ideas at the frontier of scientific discourse."--Paul Davies

Table of Contents

Introduction: Kivas, Moradas, and the Secrets of the Nuclear Age

I. Four Magic Mountains
1. Phaedrus's Ghosts
2. The Depth of the Atom
3. The Height of the Sky
Tesuque Interlude: The Riddle of the Camel

II. "The Cold, Gray Cave of Abstraction"
4. The Demonology of Information
5. The Undetermined World
6. The Democracy of Measurement
San Ildefonso Interlude: The Mystery of Other minds

III. "A Fever Matter"
7. The Dawn of Recognition
8. The Arrival of the Fittest
9. In Search of Complexity
10. In the Eye of the Beholder
Truchas Interlude: The Leap into the Unknown

Conclusion: The Ruins of Los Alamos
George Johnson

About George Johnson

George Johnson - Fire in the Mind

Photo © Kerry Sherck

George Johnson writes regularly about science for The New York Times. He has also written for National Geographic, Slate, Discover, Scientific American, Wired, and The Atlantic, and his work has been included in The Best American Science Writing. A former Alicia Patterson fellow, he has received awards from PEN and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and his books were twice finalists for the Royal Society’s book prize. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

  • Fire in the Mind by George Johnson
  • September 17, 1996
  • Science; Religion
  • Vintage
  • $17.95
  • 9780679740216

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