At the Heart of the Web: The Inevitable Genesis of Intelligent Life. George A. Seielstad. Harcourt.

At the Heart of the Web: The Inevitable Genesis of Intelligent Life Book Cover At the Heart of the Web: The Inevitable Genesis of Intelligent Life
George A. Seielstad
June 1989)

Just as individuals are curious about the circumstances surrounding their birth, the human race has always been interested in its own beginnings. Was the evolution of intelligent life an inevitable outgrowth of the physical nature of our universe? Is life on our planet the only life in the universe? Is this the first time humans have been capable of looking into the past for life’s origins and into space for other inhabitants?

Astronomer George Seielstad attempts to demonstrate that the origin and evolution of life were as naturally the consequences of the Big Bang as were planets and stars. “A basic premise of At the Heart of the Web,” Seielstad writes, “is that life is an integral component of the universe. Cosmology and biology are not separate disciplines, since life cannot be understood without tracing the origin and evolution of the universe, nor can the universe be comprehended without considering the life residing within it.”

This truly interdisciplinary examination of man’s unique place in the universe draws on the latest findings in astronomy, physics, anthropology, and biology to formulate a new, highly original view of space, time, and the creation of life.

From the evolution of humanity to the evolution of star systems, At the Heart of the Web details this interconnectedness between the daily and the universal, with a particular focus on the potential of human intelligence. The present, for Seielstad, is a moment of immense significance. Our self-awareness makes possible a limitless future for humanity – and thereby for the universe.

George A. Seielstad studied physics at Dartmouth College and received his doctorate from the California Institute of Technology. In addition to 20 years’ research at Caltech’s Owens Valley Radio Observatory, he was a Guggenheim Fellow at Sweden’s Onsala Space Observatory from 1969 to 1970. Now assistant director of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, D. Seielstad lives in Greenbank, West Virginia.