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p. 1457. The quintessentiallocked

  • J. L. Heilbron


The modern evolution of the physicists’ world picture continues the ancient programme of locating human beings in a directionless universe. Physics has given civilization a sombre, disturbing, and challenging world picture, many fertile and some terrifying inventions, and notice of responsibility for the outcome of the human story. ‘The quintessential’ explains that there is still much to learn and suggests that if humankind accepts the responsibility and the concomitant loss of providential deities and sacred dicta, the human species might beat the odds against the survival of an electromagnetic civilization; preserve the Earth; and, in the fullness of time, arrive at several satisfactory theories of everything.

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