111 pages, no illustrations
In this scientific 'Credo', Peter Atkins considers the universal questions of origins, endings, birth, and death to which religions have claimed answers. With his usual economy, wit, and elegance, unswerving before awkward realities, Atkins presents what science has to say. While acknowledging the comfort some find in belief, he declares his own faith in science's capacity to reveal the deepest truths.
"a paean to science"
– Times Literary Supplement
– Times Higher Education Supplement
"Peter Atkins answers [...] succinctly and elegantly."
"An effortless read – a real page turner."
– BBC Focus
"Few can match the chiseled beauty of Peter Atkins's prose as he reflects on the nature of life and death, of beginnings and endings."
– Richard Dawkins
"A delight to read. Who else can cover the grand sweep of existence with such clarity and wit as Peter Atkins? The text sparkles with lively metaphors and arresting insights."
– Paul Davies
"Crisp with good sense, clear with scientific knowledge effortlessly imparted, and delicious with the sort of wit that makes you stop and put the book down just to enjoy it the more fully. It presents a vision of life and death, of matter and space and time that is honest and consistent and miracle-free."
– Philip Pullman
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Peter Atkins is Fellow of Lincoln College, University of Oxford. He is the author of almost 60 books, which include the world-renowned textbook Physical Chemistry (published in its ninth edition in November 2009). His other textbooks include Inorganic Chemistry: Chemical Principles and Molecular Quantum Mechanics. He has also written a number of books for a general readership, including Galileo's finger: The Ten Great Ideas of Science, The Periodic Kingdom, Molecules, and The Laws of Thermodynamics: A Very Short Introduction. He has been a visiting professor in France, Israel, New Zealand, and China, and continues to lecture widely throughout the world.