The Universe and Life


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H.S. Jennings

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Dr. Jennings states that his purpose in The Universe and Life is to “try to show what positive outlook on life and the world is given by the study of biological science; and how this differs, if at all, from the outlook based on physics, or from the outlook presented in some of the religions of the world.”  He believes that the study of biology aids in getting a unified view of the universe and of man in his relations with it, and that it helps particularly in the problems of managing life, the problems of conduct, and in the determination of our attitude toward the world.  Did life always exist?  Does development produce what is really new?  Do feelings, ideas, and knowledge have a function in the world?  Was what occurs today predictable before life came into the world?  Is man indispensable to the advancement of life?  Does the study of biology lead to the belief that life tends toward a goal that is already existent?  Does it lead to the divine right of the aristocrat?  Do individuals continue to live after the event we call death?  Professor Jennings sets forth his answers to these and other provocative questions in simple and clear-cut style, and concludes that life “is progressing in the present as it has in the past.  In the future it may be expected to advance as it has done in the past—to heights that no one can predict, to which no one can set limits.” 

H. S. Jennings is Henry Walters Professor of Zoölogy and Director of the Zoölogical Laboratory, The Johns Hopkins University.

“A strikingly sincere, frank, and logically thought out presentation… Dr. Jennings takes up every point necessary to the complete exposition of his subject, makes it lucid and simple, and links it with what has gone before.  When he gets through he has neither ‘popularized,’ emasculated, nor cheapened his account of a biologist’s outlook on the world.” –New York Times

“It would be difficult to imagine how anyone could… present a more precise or illuminating discussion of the larger implications of a biologist’s researches….Few books will be more rewarding than Professor Jennings’.” –The Nation

ISBN: 9780300136524
Publication Date: March 1, 1933
100 pages, 5 1/4 x 8
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