'Life' by Laurentiu Mihaescu briefly chronicles the journey of Matter, Evolution, Consciousness, and Intelligence.
"It was a very long journey", the book says, "It all started with the granular fluid and its special mechanics, with those hydrogen atoms that filled the space about 14 billion years ago" and tries to answer some of the pertinent questions, one may have.
Are we able to offer coherent answers to some specific questions related to our existence, such as:
Where do we come from?
Who are we, the humans, in fact?
Are we a unique kind of life form?
What is the purpose of our existence?
The author's perspective is very clear on these matters and involves just the fields of reason and science.
It formulates our exact "address" in the Universe as: Planet Earth, Solar System, Orion Arm, Milky Way Galaxy, Local Group, Virgo Cluster, Laniakea Super-cluster, and goes ahead with the definition of life. Here it asks a question that I myself found relevant. "Can we, the humans, analyze and understand our own life?"
Further chapters examine Evolution and adaptation, followed by Principles and rights, where the follies committed by the human race since time immemorial are recalled. "We have paid a great price because of the animal that existed within us, because of our initial ignorance. The evil things done over thousands of years by the religions and their fairy tales, the crimes made by the followers in the name of their "faith", all of these will be forgiven and forgotten, and the humanity will take the path of normal, pure scientific knowledge, which only involve the human reason." The book also propose a desired path for human race to progress further. Like the following three principles.
"1. The surrounding environment is purely material, at any scale it would be regarded. All structures, alive or not, and all their interactions bear the unique feature of materiality.
2. Human knowledge is simply possible, to any extent. We have no other objective limitations, beside the well-known ones: the space and time.
3. The good can be identified with the prosperity of each human, with the perpetuation of our species in general, with its growth and peaceful development up to the cosmic scale."
The book hopes that our race could travel even farther, on the way to the starlight, leaving behind all their inner contradictions and becoming a normal, real cosmic civilization.
I liked the book, it asked certain questions that is pestering me often, and is resulting in many of my books. Unlike all those who dwell on these topics, the author has successfully avoided abstract discussions.