Get Your Free Audiobook

Non-member price: $34.76

After 30 days, Audible is $16.45/mo. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

Over the last 40 years, scientists have uncovered evidence that if the universe had been forged with even slightly different properties, life as we know it - and life as we can imagine it - would be impossible. Join us on a journey through how we understand the universe, from its most basic particles and forces to planets, stars, and galaxies, and back through cosmic history to the birth of the cosmos.

Conflicting notions about our place in the universe are defined, defended, and critiqued from scientific, philosophical, and religious viewpoints. The authors' engaging and witty style addresses what fine tuning might mean for the future of physics and the search for the ultimate laws of nature. Tackling difficult questions and providing thought-provoking answers, this volumes challenges us to consider our place in the cosmos, regardless of our initial convictions.

©2016 Cambridge University Press (P)2017 Geraint F. Lewis and Luke A. Barnes

What listeners say about A Fortunate Universe

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • NM
  • 04-08-2020

Brilliant Big History listening

Having had the pleasure of meeting Professor Geraint Lewis recently I was eager to read his publications. A Fortunate Universe is a fantastic voyage of learning to find out just what needed to happen to create the human nursery. Lewis narrates most of the book personally in a very pleasant and compelling voice. What struck me most was how the authors "tweaked" the various cosmological and quantum forces each in turn to see how the Universe might change. What if the speed of light were different? What if gravity were weaker? How does Dark Energy interact with matter? I cannot recommend this book more for the keen home astronomer or student who wants a better understanding of their place in the universe based on the current understanding of the 2 models.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Michael
  • Michael
  • 13-02-2018

Dubious but Interesting

Scientific speculation without experimental falsification is impotent. The authors seem to know this and attempt to cast their theories about theories as experiments. Most of the chapters discuss what they calculate might happen if one or more physical constants were varied more than a tiny amount and determining life as we know it might not exist. They seem to hope these speculations might yield some insight into the actual nature of our physical reality. I am more than a bit dubious.

I did find the last two chapters interesting (I listened to these two chapters many times). I always appreciate a speculative book directly addressing key objections and Chapter 7 (Audible chapter 11) was a long list of objections to their ideas with their refutations. Most of these challenges are reasonable (not strawman) and well refuted. Those refutations are simply stated and make sense Objection N & O (14 & 15) were the last and strongest objections with the weakest and least understandable refutation, and are my own primary objections. These objections is how do we know the myriad (if not infinite number) of universes they consider are actually possible and if so, how can one hope to apply sensible probabilities to these universes. They contend that those universes are internally consistent since the equations & parameters are only tweaked from our real universe in ways keeping them internally consistent. Unfortunately the authors are assuming existing theories are internally consistent while we are virtually certain they are not (as general relativity is inconsistent with quantum field theory). They through it back to the objector to prove why their twiddling of knobs might not be realistic. This seems a bit like a paranormal investigator insisting that I prove the ghosts don't really exist.

Early in the book the 2nd law of thermodynamics is described as absolute and unavoidable (and sloppy entropy language is used). Much later in the book (during objections) it is more correctly described as statistical and context dependent. This is not unusual in this genre, and entropy is very often misunderstood, even by most physicists. Nevertheless entropy seems to be a key concept in understanding our universe and sloppy entropy language should be edited out.

I am generally quite dubious about author narration, particularly in science books, but in this case the narration was excellent. There were a few cases were accents clouded my understanding but jump back eventually fixed that.

Although I was not convienced by this book I am very glad I read it, particularly for the last two chapters.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for IPA India Pale Ale
  • IPA India Pale Ale
  • 24-03-2020

make sure you pay attention

Lots to think about here. You don't have to be a scientist but it's not a casual read either. I especially like the narration by the authors as the listener has the sense of attending a well rehearsed lecture.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Orc
  • Orc
  • 03-05-2018

Horrible

Great subject, horrible writing and execution. Had to turn off after enduring 5 chapters. Like author got paid by the word. Drones on and on, rarely making a point. Spent forever thanking everyone he ever met, had contact with etc for book. Terrible!

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.