Review: Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution


Author: Neil deGrasse Tyson

Original publication: 2004

Page count: 352


Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of my favorite smart people in the whole world. He has written numerous books on astrophysics and science in general, narrated the incredible science documentary TV show “Cosmos,” leads the “StarTalk Radio” podcast, and does a million other things that help and enrich our world.

I’ve read a couple of Tyson’s books before, but “Origins” in particular is special to me:

As a person whose mind sincerely attempts to grasp (but doesn’t always…) the denser concepts of astronomy, cosmology, and physics, I appreciate pop science books like these. Thanks to Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking, and Neil deGrasse Tyson I have begun to learn about our infinitely marvelous, magical, and unknowable universe.

If you are not well-versed in the area of astrophysics and cosmology, please don’t let the topic discourage you from reading this book. The language is accessible and concise without compromising the complexity of the subject matter. Learning about the life cycles of stars and how they are responsible for EVERYTHING that we see in the observable universe, is one of the most gratifying things I have ever experienced. Educating ourselves in the fields of science is one of the best things we can do for our progress as a civilized species. These words may sound grandiose and dramatic, but I genuinely mean it.

“Origins” is a book specifically suited for my interests because I like knowing how and why things ARE. There are plenty of people who think like me, and hopefully you’re one of them! The first few chapters are fascinating and should be recommended reading for every adult, and certainly for college students. Tyson does his best to help us little people understand what happens in the earliest moments imaginable after the beginning of our universe. We don’t yet know exactly what caused (though, there are theories I like and accept) the Big Bang, but learning about how photons eventually became all the matter we see and feel today is an incredibly rewarding experience.

Do you have questions about dark matter, dark energy, black holes, the life cycle of a star, how elements are created, or the potential of life in our galaxy and beyond? Please read this book and learn about it.

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