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James N. Gardner, Mark Burnett, Foreward by Seth Shostak

Is intelligent life merely a bit player in the enormous pageant of the cosmos? Or is it destined to become something vastly more important: the architect of the universe and of other universes to come?

James Gardner carefully reviews all the best ideas on how to understand the cosmos’s apparent biological imperative and then puts forth a new, and strikingly dramatic, suggestion of his own, one that makes use of the exciting field of complexity science: the “Selfish Biocosm” hypothesis.

Ever since Newton, scientists have tried to understand existence by discovering its underlying rules. The result has been a massive edifice of natural law, and biology has been seen as a consequence of the universe’s construction, rather than an instigator.

Only on Earth’s surface, where life has molded the seas, the continents, and even the atmosphere, is biology thought to have had an important role in shaping physical conditions –- the so-called Gaia hypothesis. But Gardner had taken Gaia to its further conceivable magnitude: extending the role and influence of life to the stars and beyond.

There is little doubt that his ideas will change yours.