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11 November 2009

The Secret Life of the Universe

Written by Published in Book Reviews

Amy Corzine begins with a quote from poet Kathleen Raine: "There is an invisible way across the sky/Birds travel that way, the Sun and Moon/And all the stars travel that path by night"... 

The Secret Life of the Universe by Amy CorzineThis ambitious book attempts to investigate that connectivity between us, our world and the entire universe; her hypothesis being that this connectivity, once the domain of religious faith, is now under close scrutiny from science. Accordingly, Corzine sets out the principal theories of philosophers and physicists from antiquity to the present day, bringing in quantum and theoretical physics, genetics, biology and biomimicry, religion and spirituality to show how opinions on both sides of the science/faith divide are converging.

Corzine’s quest comes out of a desire to see healing for a broken world, and she is clearly inspired by a visit to the Findhorn Foundation in Scotland. Unfortunately, she overplays her New Age hand, with the credence she gives to its founders’, Dorothy Maclean and Brian Nobbs’s, testimonies of seeing and communicating with fairies (‘sensitivity in these realms is a natural outcome of being centred on the inner divinity’, she records Nobbs as saying), undermining the otherwise engaging interplay between science and faith.

She is eminently better when sticking to summaries of the significance of the big names in science and philosophy – Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Descartes, Einstein – comparative religions, practical and creative ways of reconnecting with nature and our own bodies, building community in a more sustainable world, than looking for the godhead within, which is the subtext of this otherwise engaging quest for the soul of science.

The Secret Life of the Universe by Amy Corzine (Watkins) £10.99 

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