This book is a critical philosophical journey, starting in the world of science, but ultimately in pursuit of the Great Unknown that has become more and more known in the lives of so many people. It is not about an anthropomorphic God or religious projection, but a Creator who can be better known through the discoveries of science. It is not limited to scientific evidence, but thoroughly grounded in an easily readable and well-presented account of the latest scientific discoveries and theories developed by astronomers, physicists, and geneticists. It is about the Great Unknown beyond and behind all that we can see through our telescopes and microscopes.
The book is not a religious apologetic, speaking to those inside the fold of any church, but to those living in its Diaspora, who are conversant with the latest science and critical philosophy. It is a book for rational people who know something about the barren interstellar space of our universe, surrounded by black holes, quasars, and pulsars, and may feel quite lost in its vastness and extreme coldness. It is for all those doubters, skeptics, and even nihilists in our midst, who have an open mind and do not hold scientific dogma with religious fervor. The reader will learn that it is not so much science, but misguided and narrow philosophy that tells us that there is nothing beyond or behind the Big Bang providing purpose and destiny to the universe to which we belong.
“Curious readers can find in this book a welcome help to integrate scientific knowledge into their world view in conformity with their philosophical concepts and religious beliefs. They will end up strengthening their curiosity regarding life in a marvelous universe.”
— Professor Werner Arber
Nobel Laureate in Medicine 1978
Department of Microbiology, University of Basel, Switzerland
President of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences
"Gerard M. Verschuuren, human geneticist and philosopher of science, is a person of faith, who seeks to bring together, without commingling them, scientific knowledge and religious beliefs.
The Destiny of the Universe: In Pursuit of the Great Unknown is a profound, yet eminently readable, exploration of where God and spiritual values fit in a world of galaxies, biological evolution, and brain processes. I am sure other readers will enjoy reading it and will learn much from it, as I did."
— Francisco J. Ayala
University Professor and Donald Bren Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of California, Irvine.
Recipient of the Templeton Prize in 2010
"While microscopes and telescopes have enormously increased our understanding of the world, they can also lead to a kind of tunnel vision. In this very readable and reasonable book, Verschuuren tries to show those who are so afflicted that reality encompasses more than can be measured, most notably the minds that conceived those microscopes and telescopes and the Mind that conceived the world they study."
— Stephen M. Barr
Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy
Director of the Bartol Research Institute
Researcher in theoretical particle physics
University of Delaware
“The search for life’s meaning today is ever more human; it stimulates, provokes, and questions us in ways that drive us beyond science in the search for satisfaction, while at the same time scientific data furnish the stimuli.
In this book Gerard Verschuuren provides an excellent example of his journey through the world of science in search of ultimate meaning. With his autobiographical style he invites us to join him in the journey.”
— George V. Coyne, SJ
Professor of astronomy at Le Moyne College, Syracuse, NY
former Director of the Vatican Observatory in Rome and Tucson, AZ
“Gerard Verschuuren’s philosophical pilgrimage here leads to a lucid interface between science and religion. His distinction between the ‘Big Bang’ and creation, between purpose and function, and his critique of why there is something rather than nothing are illuminating and thought-provoking. This is a volume full of insights, apt quotations, and clear-headed reasoning.”
— Owen Gingerich
Professor Emeritus of Astronomy
and of the History of Science at Harvard University
Senior astronomer emeritus
at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory