Wonder: When and Why the World Appears Radiant


By Paul R. Fleischman

cover image of Wonder: When and Why the World Appears Radiant

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What do a marigold, starlight over South Africa, and the birth of a child have in common?

Every person, plant, and star springs up from information compounded by interaction.

We are embedded in an ancient, intricate world. Changing combinations of atoms pass

through the long filter of history and natural law, to form planet Earth, whales, and our

own thoughts. Based on the growth of evidence explaining how the world is put together,

we have become the first generation to have a narrative that unites electron motion to

our breath, and that connects hydrogen fusion in the sun to the energy that powers our

own minds. We can describe how the proteins in our mitochondria pinch and place into

perfect position metal ions that were forged in exploding stars. We cohere for a moment,

suspended between information, order, and transformation of all things.

This book is a scientific and literary exploration of those discoveries that reveal our

deepest identity. Through our urge to understand and communicate, we have uncovered

new meanings that infuse our days with wonder.

Wonder: When and Why the World Appears Radiant