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show signs of recovery from this selfinflicted wound. This book is a revised version of Mudrak’s doctoral thesis and does show an academic intent. Shehas reconstructed some of the social scene with lists of attendees of studios, shows and salons. Thesedetails show thereach of prominent figures such as Archipenko into more obscure art circles. The book is really for the art history or Slavicstudies specialist, but Mudrak’s writing style is not dry and occasionally echos the grandiloquence of her sources.The black-and-white illustrations make clear the various artists’ developments in texture, form and composition , concepts which they were deliberately reworking and which must be seen for one to appreciate parts of the text. My only complaint is the incorrect reference, given on p. 135,to two figures of sculptureby Yermilovplaced elsewhere in the book. Although mainly of interest to the specialist the book provides a look at Ukrainian participation in world cultural developments, which those with more general interest in art and its relation to technologywillfind instructive. THE ANTHROPIC COSMOLOGICAL PRINCIPLE by John D. Barrow and Frank J. Tipler. Oxford University Press, New York, NY, U.S.A., 1986. 706 pp. $29.95. ISBN: 0-19-851949-4. Reviewed by James A. Goldman,Division of Continuing Education, New York City Technical College of the City University of New York, 300 Jay Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201, U.S.A. In the history of ideas, every so often there emerges an integrative theme that engages the scientific imagination and provokes intellectual controversy and excitement. Such an idea surely is the anthropic cosmological principle, which posits an intriguing perspective about humanity’s place in the universe. Paraphrasing thepsalmist,theoretical physicist John A. Wheeler, in the Foreword, asks, “What is man that the universe shouldbe mindful of him?” He continues: “It is not only that man is adapted to the universe. The universe is adapted to man.” Questions immediately ensue: “Is this so? If it is, then how?” In this comprehensive and apparently exhaustive account, actually a treatise, the first 300 pages present a lively excursion into the history of this idea, from the sixth century B.C. to the theoretical physics of the 1980s. A universe viewed as an organism of constituent parts constantly adjusting was indeed proposed by Aristotle. Later chapters in the book are concerned with the anthropic principle in physics and astrophysics, classical cosmology, quantum mechanics and biochemistry. The concluding chapter is about the possibility of extraterrestrial intelligent life. It isargued that there probably exists within our own Milky Way galaxy no other intelligent lifewith the capability of interstellar communication. The ‘weak’anthropicprinciple (WAP) states that the basic features of the universe such as its size, shape, age and laws of change are compatible with our existence as observers. For example, the universe must be sufficiently old for our life form to have developed. This is least controversial because it is a subtle restatement of the accepted scientific axiom that in any scientific observation one must take intoaccount the limitations of one’s measuring apparatus when interpreting one’s observations. The authors argue that the WAP therefore is neither solipsistic or hubristic. The possibility of our existence as “carbonaceous beings” seems to “hinge precariously ” upon coincidences between the numerical values of the fundamental constants of the universe. The delicately balanced relations between the fundamental physical constants seem to determine very narrowly the possibilityof our existence. Therefore the anthropic axiom, as it were, at its simplest, is that human beingscannot conceivablyobserve a universe with properties that do not permit our existence. Ironically,asthehuman racefiguratively was progressively displaced from the center of the universe through the advancement of scientific thought successivelyfrom Copernican to Newtonian, and then to Darwinian,perspectives (and more recently to quantum interpretations of the world), increasingly it became more acutely recognized not only how sensitively balanced in the cosmos was human existence but possibly how significant it was. The anthropic perspective appears to be part of the current zeitgeist. For example, in an article in the February 1988issueof ScientijicAmerican, nuclearphysicistRobert K. Adaircontends that if the approximate symmetrybetween matter and anti-matter that has been observed were precisely perfect, the “universe would be elegantly simple but...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1530-9282
Print ISSN
0024-094X
Pages
pp. 333-334
Launched on MUSE
2017-01-04
Open Access
No
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