The possibility of life

Gregory Schrempp


In a 2012 critique of John D. Barrow’s The artful universe, I explored the problems inherent in attempting to predict what can andcannothappen—what is and is not possible—in the universe, with special reference to the emergence of life, consciousness, andculture. In the present essay, I revisit my arguments in light of new works that have appeared on this topic. I also argue that such cosmic debates have counterparts in familiar anthropological dilemmas, such as those that developed around the idea of “totemism.”


life, mind, culture, universe, totemism, fire, possibility, randomness, luck

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/701066