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For many of us, the scientific breakthroughs of our times--the Big Bang, evolution, quantum physics, and relativity--denote an existence that is bleak, devoid of meaning, or pointless. But here, eminent biologist Goodenough shows how the scientific worldview need not be a source of despair. Indeed, it can be a wellspring of solace and hope. This eloquent volume reconciles our contemporary scientific understanding of reality with our timeless spiritual yearnings for reverence and continuity. Addressing ideas like evolution, emotions, sexuality, and death, The Sacred Depths of Nature brings rich, uncluttered detail to the workings of nature in general and of living creatures in particular. Goodenough's clear thinking and writing will allow even non-scientists to appreciate that the origins of life and the universe are no less meaningful in light of our scientific understanding of them. At the end of each chapter, her spiritual reflections respond to nature's complexity with a vibrant emotional intensity and sense of reverent wonder.

""For a scientist like myself, Goodenough's elegant narratives provide a refreshing way to encounter familiar material. I was especially impressed with her ability to cut right to the quick, so that within a few short pages the reader is whisked from the big bang to the emergence of our planet and the birth of life on earth."" - Scientific American

""A celebration of molecular biology, with meditiations on the spiritual and religious meaning that can be found at the heart of science....Makes an important contribution to the ongoing dialog between science and religion. This book will engage anyone who has ever been mesmerized--or terrified--by the mysteries of existence."" - Biology Digest

""Unique....Goodenough has accomplished what few scientists dare to try: to provide a clear, even reductionist, account of the most modern concepts in science."" - San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle

Ursula Goodenough is Professor of Biology at Washington University. One of America's leading cell biologists, she is the author of a bestselling textbook on genetics, and has served as President of the American Society of Cell Biology and of the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri, and in Chilmark, Massachusetts, on Martha's Vineyard.

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