Into the Unknown

The Quest to Understand the Mysteries of the Cosmos

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By Dr. Kelsey Johnson

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$41.00 CAD

A leading astronomer and gifted teacher takes readers on a wondrous tour of how science confronts the big questions—about the universe’s origins, destiny, and fundamental nature—and how it contends with the limits of our knowledge
Humans have learned a lot about the world around us and the universe beyond. We have had powerful insights and created profound theories about the universe and everything in it. Surely the ultimate theory must be waiting, just beyond our current knowledge.
Well, maybe. In Into the Unknown, astrophysicist Kelsey Johnson takes us to the edge of scientific understanding about the universe: What caused the Big Bang? What happens inside black holes? Are there other dimensions? She doesn’t just celebrate what we know but rather what we don’t, and asks what it means if we never find that knowledge. Exploring the convergence of science, philosophy, and theology, Johnson argues we must reckon with possibilities—including those that may be beyond human comprehension. The very places where we run smack into total ignorance are the places where the most important questions—about the philosophy of knowledge, the nature of our cosmos, and even the existence of God—await.
As accessible as it is profound, Into the Unknown invites each of us to join in the great quest for knowledge.
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  • "Johnson takes us on a delightful journey through all the big questions that modern astronomy and cosmology evoke. Rather than dazzling us with equations, she clearly and humorously outlines the wonders and dilemmas of time, space, and life in the universe. Her refreshing humility recognizes that reason and experiment alone cannot adequately address all aspects of the cosmos and our existence – those pinnacles where science, religion, and philosophy converge."
    Jennifer Wiseman, astrophysicist and Director Emeritus, American Association for the Advancement of Science Program of Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion
  • "This book is tremendous. Kelsey Johnson asks all the big questions. Are we alone in the universe? What is the meaning of time? Are there hidden dimensions?  It should be more than enough to make your head hurt but somehow… it doesn’t. Johnson is always accurate and never dumbs down, and yet her writing is so smooth, so light, that it’s never hard to follow.  If you want to tickle your imagination with all the stuff we still don’t know, read this book!"
    Antonio Padilla, author of Fantastic Numbers and Where to Find Them

On Sale
Oct 15, 2024
Page Count
416 pages
Basic Books

Dr. Kelsey Johnson

About the Author

Kelsey Johnson is a professor of astronomy at the University of Virginia, former president of the American Astronomical Society, and founder of the award-winning Dark Skies, Bright Kids program. She has won numerous awards for her research, teaching, and promotion of science literacy. She lives in rural Virginia with her family, including two very large dogs.

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