Why are we alive? Most things in the universe aren't. And everything that is alive traces back to things that, puzzlingly, weren't. For centuries, the scientific question of life's origins has confounded us. But in Every Life Is on Fire, physicist Jeremy England argues that the answer has been under our noses the whole time, deep within the laws of thermodynamics.
Mr. England aims to show how life could have arisen spontaneously through natural processes in a God-given universe. In order to do that, he needs a clear definition of what counts as life ... The spiritual dimension also falls by the wayside, though thankfully he takes this up at the end of what is frankly a difficult, though potentially very important, book ... Every Life Is on Fire comes to us from the forefront of scientific inquiry; a novel species whose fate remains to be determined.
England, a physicist and rabbi, debuts with an ambitious but disappointing multidisciplinary inquiry into the origin and meaning of life ... the bulk of the book deals with physics, including entropy, the nature of time, and energy flow ...Amid all this, biology is often lost. Similarly, though each chapter begins with a quotation from Exodus or Genesis, these are only fleetingly integrated into the text. Those attracted by England’s lofty premise are unlikely to be satisfied by the diffuse execution.