Jim Holt’s book also addresses why we people exist and what happens when we die. I struggled to understand about half the book, and gave up trying to understand the other half. The bits on philosophy were hardest and, of course, contradictory. The physics of how something can arise out of nothing I got, sort of. The text was dense; the reader has to pay attention to every word and every idea, but the ideas expressed are well worth it.
I read these books to better understand myself and the world I live in. Holt presents, among a thousand others, Descartes old idea of I think, therefor I am. Then he finds fault with the logic. My concept of how I know I exist is to say: I will be missed, therefor I exist. I’d like to see him criticize that (no I wouldn’t).
He also ponders the nothingness of death. I don’t see that either. Death is merely Mother Nature reclaiming the body she loaned us for an unspecified length of time and Mother Nature has promised us there will be no nothingness. All we will ever be aware of is life. I don’t think that’s a bad bargain.
If you like deep reading about the universe and us, this is a must.