The physicist Brian Greene recently came out with a book, Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter and Our Search for Meaning. An excellent review of the book was done by the journalist Maria Popova, who waxes poetic in her praise. But she misses what Brian either ignored or never saw—what the cave painters of Lascaux were onto—that by painting the marvels they saw they were establishing an ownership. Their minds were grasping the whole of a gift of sustenance, beauty, and wonder. They looked for the giver; Brian for all his mathematical knowledge, attributes it to chance.
Chance? Has his study of physics led him no further than this? Sure there is chance in quantum mechanics, but that only covers for what we still don’t know. As Brian says, “The mental faculties that allow us to shape and mold and innovate are the very ones that dispel the myopia that would otherwise keep us narrowly focused on the present.” Use those faculties, Brian, to ask, “Who gave them, from three billion years ago, when there was nothing but rock and water?”