'The Love Hypothesis' won Amazon's best romance book of 2021, has a near-perfect rating on Goodreads, and is all over TikTok. Here's why it's such a unique love story.

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  • " The Love Hypothesis " grabbed the attention of romance readers everywhere in 2021.
  • It was named Amazon's Best Romance Novel of 2021 and was nominated for a Goodreads Choice Award.
  • This book checks off all my boxes for a great romance read and is definitely worth the hype.

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This year, Amazon named " The Love Hypothesis " by Ali Hazelwood the best romance book of the year. Even though it was only recently published in September 2021, "The Love Hypothesis" has quickly become a fan-favorite, with 88% of Goodreads reviewers giving it four- or five-star-level praise .

It was also nominated for a Goodreads Choice Award and is hugely popular amongst Book of the Month members , with only 1% of readers giving it a "disliked" rating.

the hypothesis book

"The Love Hypothesis" is about Olive Smith, a third-year Ph.D. candidate studying pancreatic cancer at Stanford. In an attempt to convince one of her best friends that she's moved on from an old crush, she impulsively kisses Dr. Adam Carlsen, the department's notoriously brutal (but undeniably attractive) professor. After the kiss, Adam and Olive agree to fake a relationship so she can prove to her friend that she's happily dating and he can convince their department that he isn't planning to leave anytime soon.

I'm a little picky about my romance novels , so giving this read every bit of a five-star review didn't come lightly. My standards are high because the best romance novels have the potential to expose readers to authentic and imperfect relationships and offer new topics of discussion without making us feel like it's a story we've already read. 

With all the hype surrounding this new romance read, I couldn't resist picking it up.

Here's why "The Love Hypothesis" is one of my favorite recent romance books:

1. the story focuses a lot on olive and adam's lives outside their romance, making their love story more believable and interesting..

Romance novels tend to fall into a few popular tropes such as " enemies-to-lovers " or "forbidden love." "The Love Hypothesis" combines two of the most popular tropes right now, "Fake dating" and "grumpy/sunshine," really well — I loved the contrast between Adam's serious attitude to Olive's bright and sugary one. 

But despite following these tropes, the story feels fresh because it's also largely about Olive's work and its meaning to her. The only other romance book I've read featuring a STEM heroine is "The Kiss Quotient" , so I loved seeing that representation and learning about something new. 

The story honestly reflected the challenges Ph.D. candidates face in academia and that authenticity — deepened by the author's personal experiences — brought the characters, the settings, and the romance to life even more as Olive and Adam faced challenges with funding, time-consuming research, and questioning their sense of purpose.

2. The steamier scenes are also awkward and realistic, which made them even better.

In romance books, there are a few different levels of how graphic a steamy scene can get , from little-to-no detail to explicitly outlined movements. (I personally prefer mine to "fade to black.")

There was only one chapter with adult content, and it was definitely graphic. While I made a ton of ridiculous faces while reading and tried to skim past the parts that made me audibly gasp, I loved that it wasn't a movie-made, perfect sex scene with graceful movements and smooth dialogue. The scene was a little awkward, imperfect, and full of consent and conversation, making it refreshingly real.

3. The book deals with other topics besides the main love story, making it a much deeper read.

While it's wonderful to get swept up in the magic of a romantic storyline, having a secondary plot that addresses real issues is what makes a romance novel truly great . 

Mild spoilers and content warnings ahead: While "The Love Hypothesis" is a fun romantic read, it also addresses the pain of familial death, power differentials, intimacy challenges, and, most prevalently, workplace sexual harassment. 

Love is beautiful, fun, and amazing, but "The Love Hypothesis" takes the opportunity to also include conversations about serious issues. While these topics may be tough for some readers, I think these plot points, hard conversations, and complicated emotions take "The Love Hypothesis" to the next level and make it a five-star read. 

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The Love Hypothesis

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Ali Hazelwood

The Love Hypothesis Paperback – Sept. 14 2021

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  • Print length 400 pages
  • Language English
  • Publisher Berkley
  • Publication date Sept. 14 2021
  • Dimensions 13.92 x 2.69 x 20.83 cm
  • ISBN-10 0593336828
  • ISBN-13 978-0593336823
  • See all details

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Product description, about the author, excerpt. © reprinted by permission. all rights reserved..

Chapter One

Hypothesis: When given a choice between A (a slightly inconveniencing situation) and B (a colossal shitshow with devastating consequences), I will inevitably end up selecting B.

In Olive's defense, the man didn't seem to mind the kiss too much.

It did take him a moment to adjust-perfectly understandable, given the sudden circumstances. It was an awkward, uncomfortable, somewhat painful minute, in which Olive was simultaneously smashing her lips against his and pushing herself as high as her toes would extend to keep her mouth at the same level as his face. Did he have to be so tall? The kiss must have looked like some clumsy headbutt, and she grew anxious that she was not going to be able to pull the whole thing off. Her friend Anh, whom Olive had spotted coming her way a few seconds ago, was going to take one look at this and know at once that Olive and Kiss Dude couldn't possibly be two people in the middle of a date.

Then that agonizingly slow moment went by, and the kiss became . . . different. The man inhaled sharply and inclined his head a tiny bit, making Olive feel less like a squirrel monkey climbing a baobab tree, and his hands-which were large and pleasantly warm in the AC of the hallway-closed around her waist. They slid up a few inches, coming to wrap around Olive's rib cage and holding her to himself. Not too close, and not too far.

It was more of a prolonged peck than anything, but it was quite nice, and for the life span of a few seconds Olive forgot a large number of things, including the fact that she was pressed against a random, unknown dude. That she'd barely had the time to whisper "Can I please kiss you?" before locking lips with him. That what had originally driven her to put on this entire show was the hope of fooling Anh, her best friend in the whole world.

But a good kiss will do that: make a girl forget herself for a while. Olive found herself melting into a broad, solid chest that showed absolutely no give. Her hands traveled from a defined jaw into surprisingly thick and soft hair, and then-then she heard herself sigh, as if already out of breath, and that's when it hit her like a brick on the head, the realization that- No. No.

Nope, nope, no.

She should not be enjoying this. Random dude, and all that.

Olive gasped and pushed herself away from him, frantically looking for Anh. In the 11:00 p.m. bluish glow of the biology labs' hallway, her friend was nowhere to be seen. Weird. Olive was sure she had spotted her a few seconds earlier.

Kiss Dude, on the other hand, was standing right in front of her, lips parted, chest rising and a weird light flickering in his eyes, which was exactly when it dawned on her, the enormity of what she had just done. Of who she had just-

Fuck her life.

Fuck. Her. Life.

Because Dr. Adam Carlsen was a known ass.

This fact was not remarkable in and of itself, as in academia every position above the graduate student level (Olive's level, sadly) required some degree of assness in order to be held for any length of time, with tenured faculty at the very peak of the ass pyramid. Dr. Carlsen, though-he was exceptional. At least if the rumors were anything to go by.

He was the reason Olive's roommate, Malcolm, had to completely scrap two research projects and would likely end up graduating a year late; the one who had made Jeremy throw up from anxiety before his qualifying exams; the sole culprit for half the students in the department being forced to postpone their thesis defenses. Joe, who used to be in Olive's cohort and would take her to watch out-of-focus European movies with microscopic subtitles every Thursday night, had been a research assistant in Carlsen's lab, but he'd decided to drop out six months into it for "reasons." It was probably for the best, since most of Carlsen's remaining graduate assistants had perennially shaky hands and often looked like they hadn't slept in a year.

Dr. Carlsen might have been a young academic rock star and biology's wunderkind, but he was also mean and hypercritical, and it was obvious in the way he spoke, in the way he carried himself, that he thought himself the only person doing decent science within the Stanford biology department. Within the entire world, probably. He was a notoriously moody, obnoxious, terrifying dick.

And Olive had just kissed him.

She wasn't sure how long the silence lasted-only that he was the one to break it. He stood in front of Olive, ridiculously intimidating with dark eyes and even darker hair, staring down from who knows how many inches above six feet-he must have been over half a foot taller than she was. He scowled, an expression that she recognized from seeing him attend the departmental seminar, a look that usually preceded him raising his hand to point out some perceived fatal flaw in the speaker's work.

Adam Carlsen. Destroyer of research careers , Olive had once overheard her adviser say.

It's okay. It's fine. Totally fine. She was just going to pretend nothing had happened, nod at him politely, and tiptoe her way out of here. Yes, solid plan.

"Did you . . . Did you just kiss me?" He sounded puzzled, and maybe a little out of breath. His lips were full and plump and . . . God. Kissed. There was simply no way Olive could get away with denying what she had just done.

Still, it was worth a try.

Surprisingly, it seemed to work.

"Ah. Okay, then." Carlsen nodded and turned around, looking vaguely disoriented. He took a couple of steps down the hallway, reached the water fountain-maybe where he'd been headed in the first place.

Olive was starting to believe that she might actually be off the hook when he halted and turned back with a skeptical expression.

"Are you sure?"

"I-" She buried her face in her hands. "It's not the way it looks."

"Okay. I . . . Okay," he repeated slowly. His voice was deep and low and sounded a lot like he was on his way to get ting mad. Like maybe he was already mad. "What's going on here?"

There was simply no way to explain this. Any normal person would have found Olive's situation odd, but Adam Carlsen, who obviously considered empathy a bug and not a feature of humanity, could never understand. She let her hands fall to her sides and took a deep breath.

"I . . . listen, I don't mean to be rude, but this is really none of your business."

He stared at her for a moment, and then he nodded. "Yes. Of course." He must be getting back into his usual groove, because his tone had lost some of its surprise and was back to normal-dry. Laconic. "I'll just go back to my office and begin to work on my Title IX complaint."

Olive exhaled in relief. "Yeah. That would be great, since- Wait. Your what?"

He cocked his head. "Title IX is a federal law that protects against sexual misconduct within academic settings-"

"I know what Title IX is."

"I see. So you willfully chose to disregard it."

"I- What? No. No, I didn't!"

He shrugged. "I must be mistaken, then. Someone else must have assaulted me."

"Assault-I didn't 'assault' you."

"You did kiss me."

"But not really ."

"Without first securing my consent."

"I asked if I could kiss you!"

"And then did so without waiting for my response."

"What? You said yes."

"Excuse me?"

She frowned. "I asked if I could kiss you, and you said yes."

"Incorrect. You asked if you could kiss me and I snorted."

"I'm pretty sure I heard you said yes."

He lifted one eyebrow, and for a minute Olive let herself daydream of drowning someone. Dr. Carlsen. Herself. Both sounded like great options.

"Listen, I'm really sorry. It was a weird situation. Can we just forget that this happened?"

He studied her for a long moment, his angular face serious and something else, something that she couldn't quite decipher because she was too busy noticing all over again how damn towering and broad he was. Just massive. Olive had always been slight, just this side of too slender, but girls who are five eight rarely felt diminutive. At least until they found themselves standing next to Adam Carlsen. She'd known that he was tall, of course, from seeing him around the department or walking across campus, from sharing the elevator with him, but they'd never interacted. Never been this close.

Except for a second ago, Olive. When you almost put your tongue in his-

"Is something wrong?" He sounded almost concerned.

"What? No. No, there isn't."

"Because," he continued calmly, "kissing a stranger at midnight in a science lab might be a sign that there is."

"There isn't."

Carlsen nodded, thoughtful. "Very well. Expect mail in the next few days, then." He began to walk past her, and she turned to yell after him.

"You didn't even ask my name!"

"I'm sure anyone could figure it out, since you must have swiped your badge to get in the labs area after hours. Have a good night."

"Wait!" She leaned forward and stopped him with a hand on his wrist. He paused immediately, even though it was obvious that it would take him no effort to free himself, and stared pointedly at the spot where her fingers had wrapped around his skin-right below a wristwatch that probably cost half her yearly graduate salary. Or all of it.

She let go of him at once and took one step back. "Sorry, I didn't mean to-"

"The kiss. Explain."

Olive bit into her lower lip. She had truly screwed herself over. She had to tell him, now. "Anh Pham." She looked around to make sure Anh was really gone. "The girl who was passing by. She's a graduate student in the biology department."

Carlsen gave no indication of knowing who Anh was.

"Anh has . . ." Olive pushed a strand of brown hair behind her ear. This was where the story became embarrassing. Complicated, and a little juvenile sounding. "I was seeing this guy in the department. Jeremy Langley, he has red hair and works with Dr. . . . Anyway, we went out just a couple of times, and then I brought him to Anh's birthday party, and they just sort of hit it off and-"

Olive shut her eyes. Which was probably a bad idea, because now she could see it painted on her lids, how her best friend and her date had bantered in that bowling alley, as if they'd known each other their whole lives; the never-exhausted topics of conversation, the laughter, and then, at the end of the night, Jeremy following Anh's every move with his gaze. It had been painfully clear who he was interested in. Olive waved a hand and tried for a smile.

"Long story short, after Jeremy and I ended things he asked Anh out. She said no because of . . . girl code and all that, but I can tell that she really likes him. She's afraid to hurt my feelings, and no matter how many times I told her it was fine she wouldn't believe me."

Not to mention that the other day I overheard her confess to our friend Malcolm that she thought Jeremy was awesome, but she could never betray me by going out with him, and she sounded so dejected. Disappointed and insecure, not at all like the spunky, larger-than-life Anh I am used to.

"So I just lied and told her that I was already dating someone else. Because she's one of my closest friends and I'd never seen her like a guy this much and I want her to have the good things she deserves and I'm positive that she would do the same for me and-" Olive realized that she was rambling and that Carlsen couldn't have cared less. She stopped and swallowed, even though her mouth felt dry. "Tonight. I told her I'd be on a date tonight ."

"Ah." His expression was unreadable.

"But I'm not. So I decided to come in to work on an experiment, but Anh showed up, too. She wasn't supposed to be here. But she was. Coming this way. And I panicked-well." Olive wiped a hand down her face. "I didn't really think."

Carlsen didn't say anything, but it was there in his eyes that he was thinking. Obviously.

"I just needed her to believe that I was on a date."

He nodded. "So you kissed the first person you saw in the hallway. Perfectly logical."

Olive winced. "When you put it like that, perhaps it wasn't my best moment."

"But it wasn't my worst, either! I'm pretty sure Anh saw us. Now she'll think that I was on a date with you and she'll hopefully feel free to go out with Jeremy and-" She shook her head. "Listen. I'm so, so sorry about the kiss."

"Please, don't report me. I really thought I heard you say yes. I promise I didn't mean to . . ."

Suddenly, the enormity of what she had just done fully dawned on her. She had just kissed a random guy, a guy who happened to be the most notoriously unpleasant faculty member in the biology department. She'd misunderstood a snort for consent, she'd basically attacked him in the hallway, and now he was staring at her in that odd, pensive way, so large and focused and close to her, and . . .

Maybe it was the late night. Maybe it was that her last coffee had been sixteen hours ago. Maybe it was Adam Carlsen looking down at her, like that. All of a sudden, this entire situation was just too much.

"Actually, you're absolutely right. And I am so sorry. If you felt in any way harassed by me, you really should report me, because it's only fair. It was a horrible thing to do, though I really didn't want to . . . Not that my intentions matter; it's more like your perception of . . ."

Crap, crap, crap.

"I'm going to leave now, okay? Thank you, and . . . I am so, so, so sorry." Olive spun around on her heels and ran away down the hallway.

"Olive," she heard him call after her. "Olive, wait-"

She didn't stop. She sprinted down the stairs to the first floor and then out the building and across the pathways of the sparsely lit Stanford campus, running past a girl walking her dog and a group of students laughing in front of the library. She continued until she was standing in front of her apartment's door, stopping only to unlock it, making a beeline for her room in the hope of avoiding her roommate and whoever he might have brought home tonight. It wasn’t until she slumped on her bed, staring at the glow‑in‑the- dark stars glued to her ceiling, that she realized that she had neglected to check on her lab mice. She had also left her laptop on her bench and her sweatshirt somewhere in the lab, and she had completely forgotten to stop at the store and buy the coffee she’d promised Malcolm she’d get for tomorrow morning. Shit. What a disaster of a day. It never occurred to Olive that Dr. Adam Carlsen— known ass— had called her by her name.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Berkley (Sept. 14 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 400 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0593336828
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593336823
  • Item weight ‏ : ‎ 304 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 13.92 x 2.69 x 20.83 cm
  • #14 in Feel-Good Fiction
  • #50 in Workplace Processes & Infrastructure
  • #52 in Workplace Romance

About the author

Ali hazelwood.

Ali Hazelwood is a multi-published author—alas, of peer-reviewed articles about brain science, in which no one makes out and the ever after is not always happy. Originally from Italy, she lived in Germany and Japan before moving to the U.S. to pursue a Ph.D. in neuroscience. She recently became a professor, which absolutely terrifies her. When Ali is not at work, she can be found running, crocheting, eating cake pops, or watching sci-fi movies with her two feline overlords (and her slightly-less-feline husband).

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Ali Hazelwood

The Love Hypothesis

When a fake relationship between scientists meets the irresistible force of attraction, it throws one woman’s carefully calculated theories on love into chaos.

As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn’t believe in lasting romantic relationships–but her best friend does, and that’s what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.

That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor–and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford’s reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend. But when a big science conference goes haywire, putting Olive’s career on the Bunsen burner, Adam surprises her again with his unyielding support and even more unyielding…six-pack abs.

Suddenly their little experiment feels dangerously close to combustion. And Olive discovers that the only thing more complicated than a hypothesis on love is putting her own heart under the microscope.

If you would like to read a list of content warnings for The Love Hypothesis (warning for mild spoilers), please click here . 


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IndieBound Bestseller

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by Ali Hazelwood ‧ RELEASE DATE: Sept. 14, 2021

Fresh and upbeat, though not without flaws.

An earnest grad student and a faculty member with a bit of a jerkish reputation concoct a fake dating scheme in this nerdy, STEM-filled contemporary romance.

Olive Smith and professor Adam Carlsen first met in the bathroom of Adam's lab. Olive wore expired contact lenses, reducing her eyes to temporary tears, while Adam just needed to dispose of a solution. It's a memory that only one of them has held onto. Now, nearly three years later, Olive is fully committed to her research in pancreatic cancer at Stanford University's biology department. As a faculty member, Adam's reputation precedes him, since he's made many students cry or drop their programs entirely with his bluntness. When Olive needs her best friend, Anh, to think she's dating someone so Anh will feel more comfortable getting involved with Olive's barely-an-ex, Jeremy, she impulsively kisses Adam, who happens to be standing there when Anh walks by. But rumors start to spread, and the one-time kiss morphs into a fake relationship, especially as Adam sees there's a benefit for him. The university is withholding funds for Adam's research out of fear that he'll leave for a better position elsewhere. If he puts down more roots by getting involved with someone, his research funds could be released at the next budgeting meeting in about a month's time. After setting a few ground rules, Adam and Olive agree that come the end of September, they'll part ways, having gotten what they need from their arrangement. Hazelwood has a keen understanding of romance tropes and puts them to good use—in addition to fake dating, Olive and Adam are an opposites-attract pairing with their sunny and grumpy personalities—but there are a couple of weaknesses in this debut novel. Hazelwood manages to sidestep a lot of the complicated power dynamics of a student-faculty romance by putting Olive and Adam in different departments, but the impetus for their fake relationship has much higher stakes for Adam. Olive does reap the benefits of dating a faculty member, but in the end, she's still the one seemingly punished or taunted by her colleagues; readers may have been hoping for a more subversive twist. For a first novel, there's plenty of shine here, with clear signs that Hazelwood feels completely comfortable with happily-ever-afters.

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-33682-3

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021


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Hoover’s ( November 9 , 2015, etc.) latest tackles the difficult subject of domestic violence with romantic tenderness and emotional heft.

At first glance, the couple is edgy but cute: Lily Bloom runs a flower shop for people who hate flowers; Ryle Kincaid is a surgeon who says he never wants to get married or have kids. They meet on a rooftop in Boston on the night Ryle loses a patient and Lily attends her abusive father’s funeral. The provocative opening takes a dark turn when Lily receives a warning about Ryle’s intentions from his sister, who becomes Lily’s employee and close friend. Lily swears she’ll never end up in another abusive home, but when Ryle starts to show all the same warning signs that her mother ignored, Lily learns just how hard it is to say goodbye. When Ryle is not in the throes of a jealous rage, his redeeming qualities return, and Lily can justify his behavior: “I think we needed what happened on the stairwell to happen so that I would know his past and we’d be able to work on it together,” she tells herself. Lily marries Ryle hoping the good will outweigh the bad, and the mother-daughter dynamics evolve beautifully as Lily reflects on her childhood with fresh eyes. Diary entries fancifully addressed to TV host Ellen DeGeneres serve as flashbacks to Lily’s teenage years, when she met her first love, Atlas Corrigan, a homeless boy she found squatting in a neighbor’s house. When Atlas turns up in Boston, now a successful chef, he begs Lily to leave Ryle. Despite the better option right in front of her, an unexpected complication forces Lily to cut ties with Atlas, confront Ryle, and try to end the cycle of abuse before it’s too late. The relationships are portrayed with compassion and honesty, and the author’s note at the end that explains Hoover’s personal connection to the subject matter is a must-read.

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ISBN: 978-1-5011-1036-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016


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by Ali Hazelwood ‧ RELEASE DATE: Feb. 6, 2024

Sink your teeth into this delightful paranormal romance with a modern twist.

A vampire and an Alpha werewolf enter into a marriage of convenience in order to ease tensions between their species.

As the only daughter of a prominent Vampyre councilman, Misery Lark has grown accustomed to playing the role that’s demanded of her—and now, her father is ordering her to be part of yet another truce agreement. In an effort to maintain goodwill between the Vampyres and their longtime nemeses the Weres, Misery must wed their Alpha, Lowe Moreland. But it turns out that Misery has her own motivations for agreeing to this political marriage, including finding answers about what happened to her best friend, who went missing after setting up a meeting in Were territory. Isolated from her kind and surrounded on all sides by the enemy after the wedding, Misery refuses to let herself forget about her real mission. It doesn’t matter that Lowe is one of the most confounding and intense people she’s ever met, or that the connection building between them doesn’t feel like one born entirely of convenience. There’s also the possibility that Lowe may already have a Were mate of his own, but in spite of their biological differences, they may turn out to be the missing piece in each other’s lives. While this is Hazelwood’s first paranormal romance, and the book does lean on some hallmark tropes of the genre, the contemporary setting lends itself to the author’s trademark humor and makes the political plot more easily digestible. Misery and Lowe’s slow-burn romance is appealing enough that readers will readily devour every moment between them and hunger to return to them whenever the story diverts from their scenes together.

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ISBN: 9780593550403

Page Count: 416

Review Posted Online: Oct. 21, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2023



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the hypothesis book

Adventures of a Bookworm

Books, crafts & story time, book review: the love hypothesis by ali hazelwood, the love hypothesis by ali hazelwood.

the hypothesis book

Description: “As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn’t believe in lasting romantic relationships–but her best friend does, and that’s what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.

That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor–and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford’s reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend. But when a big science conference goes haywire, putting Olive’s career on the Bunsen burner, Adam surprises her again with his unyielding support and even more unyielding… six-pack abs.

Suddenly their little experiment feels dangerously close to combustion. And Olive discovers that the only thing more complicated than a hypothesis on love is putting her own heart under the microscope.”

Review: I loved this book! Some romance books are too cheesy for me but I thought this book was the perfect balance of cheesiness. I found Olive to be a relatable character; she was smart, funny, pretty and yet she still wasn’t always sure of herself. The trope of fake boyfriend turned to actual crush is a little overused but I liked how the author was aware of that and even poked fun of it. The first half of the book was a little slow, we all knew where the story was heading and I wish it got there a faster. Once the half way point was reached the story started to pick up and even got a little steamy. Personally I would have liked some more hot and heavy parts!

Not only was the romantic part of it great but I loved seeing the friendships in the book. Olive and Adam were able to build a strong friendship throughout the book even if their relationship was originally built on a lie. Olive has two best friends, Anh and Malcom. Olive has a different type of relationship with each of them but they are such pure friendships. It was nice to see a group of friends that was truly looking out for one another. The characters of Olive and Adam seemed a little flat and stereotypical at times but I think their outside friendships gave the reader a better view of who they are.

I was able to binge this book in two days (a little hard when you have a husband and a 2 year old)! This book is the perfect summer beach read, I highly recommend it to anyone who likes fun, lighthearted romances.

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The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

The Love Hypothesis

Each year thousands of members vote for our Book of the Year award—congrats to The Love Hypothesis !

We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Ali Hazelwood, on your first book!

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After a fake relationship generates real sparks, a rising scientist must decide if she's ready to experiment with love.

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As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn't believe in lasting romantic relationships—but her best friend does, and that's what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.

That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor—and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford's reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend. But when a big science conference goes haywire, putting Olive's career on the Bunsen burner, Adam surprises her again with his unyielding support and even more unyielding... six-pack abs.

Suddenly their little experiment feels dangerously close to combustion. And Olive discovers that the only thing more complicated than a hypothesis on love is putting her own heart under the microscope.

Free sample

Frankly, Olive was a bit on the fence about this whole grad school thing.

Not because she didn’t like science. (She did. She loved science. Science was her thing .) And not because of the truckload of obvious red flags. She was well aware that committing to years of unappreciated, underpaid eighty-?­hour workweeks might not be good for her mental health. That nights spent toiling away in front of a Bunsen burner to uncover a trivial slice of knowledge might not be the key to happiness. That devoting her mind and body to academic pursuits with only infrequent breaks to steal unattended bagels might not be a wise choice.

She was well aware, and yet none of it worried her. Or maybe it did, a tiny bit, but she could deal. It was something else that held her back from surrendering herself to the most notorious and soul-?­sucking circle of hell (i.e., a Ph.D. program). Held her back, that is, until she was invited to interview for a spot in Stanford’s biology department, and came across The Guy.

The Guy whose name she never really got.

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Why I love it

Rachael Burlette

Rachael Burlette

Botm editorial team.

What is the formula for a perfect romance? For me, it’s about the sweet moments, the witty banter, and amazing chemistry. I’m particularly drawn to love stories that also go beyond falling in love, which is why I was excited to read about Olive’s journey as a young scientist. I loved her drive and ambition. Once I began reading The Love Hypothesis , I knew that it had all the right elements to become one of my new favorite romances.

Set in the world of academia, Olive is a Ph.D. biology student who spends most of her time in a lab. She certainly doesn’t have time for dating. So when she kisses a random person at her university to convince her best friend, Anh, that she is doing just fine, she finds herself entering into a fake dating agreement with the infamously grumpy Professor Carlsen. It’s the perfect plan: Olive’s friends will stop worrying about her and Adam’s bosses will believe he’s not leaving for a new job anytime soon. Adam and Olive just need to follow a few ground rules and not fall in love. What could possibly go wrong?

On the surface, this book is a fun romance about a hilarious fake dating scheme. But it’s also more than that. It’s a glimpse into the world of academia and the obstacles women face in the male-dominated STEM field. I found myself reading this book whenever I had the chance. I felt completely invested in Adam and Olive’s love story and how everything would unfold. The Love Hypothesis is everything that you’ll want in your next read. I have a theory you’ll love this book—I know I did!

Member ratings (71,129)

Lindsay P .

Portland , OR

Don’t mind me, as I add Ali Hazelwood’s 2 upcoming STEM-inist novels to my TBR. Best Rom-Com I’ve read in 2021.The worst part of this book, is that’s it a debut and I have for more ???? ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Metamora , MI

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I read this in one sitting, could not put it down. Adam has single-handedly destroyed my standards for men. Hazelwood’s wit has yet to be matched. Can’t wait to read more of her work :)

Allison A .

Prosper , TX

Could not have loved this book more! Finished it in 24 hours, I stopped only because I had to go to work. I absolutely love the characters, the storyline, the brains, the chemistry. It’s a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.

La Mesa , CA

Slow to develop the characters/their story line but halfway through it picked up. I absolutely loved how it all came together. A little cheesy but that’s exactly what it was supposed to be. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Belton , TX

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ O.M.G. So good! I totally lost sleep cause I couldn’t put it down!! Great hidden romance plot. I would have loved to have more steam, but what we did get - phew watch out! Best add-on ever!

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the love hypothesis by ali hazelwood book review plot summary synopsis recap discussion spoilers

The Love Hypothesis (Review, Recap & Full Summary)

By ali hazelwood.

Book review, full book summary and synopsis for The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood, a delightful rom-com about a fake relationship between a biology Ph.D. student and a professor.

In The Love Hypothesis , Olive is a third-year biology Ph.D. candidate who shares a kiss with a handsome stranger in order make her friend think that she's in a relationship. She's horrified when she realizes the "stranger" is Dr. Adam Carlson, a prominent professor in her department who is known for being a hypercritical and moody tyrant.

She and Adam each have reasons for needing to be in a relationship, and they agree to pretend to date for the sake of appearances. Of course, as she gets to know Adam, it's only a matter of time before she starts feeling something for him, and it becomes clear that her little experiment in fake-dating just might combust...

(The Full Plot Summary is also available, below)

Full Plot Summary

Three years prior, Olive Smith talks to a guy when she's in the bathroom fixing her contacts (and can't see) after her Ph.D. candidate interview. She tells him about her passion for her research. She doesn't catch his name but remembers the conversation distinctly and wonders about the guy she met.

In present day, Olive is a biology Ph.D. student researching early detection methods for pancreatic cancer. She kisses a guy randomly in order to trick her best friend into thinking she's dating someone (so that her best friend Anh won't feel bad about dating Olive's ex). That guy turns out to be Dr. Adam Carlson , a young, handsome and highly-respected tenured faculty member in her department. He's also known for being hypercritical and moody.

Meanwhile, Adam's department chair is worried that he's planning on leaving for another university and has frozen some of his research funds. So, Adam he agrees to pretend to be in a relationship with Olive in order to give the impression he's putting down "roots" here, in hopes they will unfreeze the funds.

As Olive and Adam fake-date, they get to know each other. Olive sees that Adam is demanding and blunt towards his students, but not unkind or mean. Olive confides in him about her mother getting pancreatic cancer, which is why she's doing her research.

Olive soon realizes that she has feelings for Adam, but she's afraid to tell him. When he overhears her talking about a crush, she pretends it's about someone else. Olive also hears someone else refer to a woman Adam's been pining after for years and is surprised at how jealous she feels.

In the meantime, Olive needs more lab space and has been talking to Dr. Tom Benton for a spot at his lab at Harvard. When Tom arrives in town, it turns out he's friends with Adam. Adam and Tom are friends from grad school, and they have recently gotten a large grant for some joint research that Adam is excited about. After Olive completes a report on her research for Tom, he offers her a spot in his lab for the next year.

Olive and Adam's relationship continues to progress until they attend a science conference in Boston. Olive's research has been selected for a panel presentation, while Adam is a keynote speaker. There, Olive is sexually harassed by Tom, who makes advances on her. When she rejects him, he accuses her of someone who sleeps around to get ahead. He also says that he'll deny it if she tells anyone and that they won't believe her.

While Olive does finally sleep with Adam at the conference, she soon tearfully breaks things off since she doesn't want to complicate things with Adam's joint research project with Tom. Adam is also in the process of applying for a spot at Harvard.

Olive is certain no one will believe her about Tom until she realizes that the accidentally recorded the conversation where he made advances and threatened her. Meanwhile, Olive's roommate Malcolm has started seeing Dr. Holden Rodriguez, a faculty member who is a childhood friend of Adam's. Olive and Malcolm turn to Holden for advice, who encourages them to tell Adam about the recording. He points out that he thinks the main reason that Adam is considering a move to Harvard is because Olive is supposed to be going there.

Olive finds Adam and shows him the video. He is incensed at Tom and reports it to their faculty. When Adam returns from Boston, he reports that Tom has been fired. Meanwhile, Olive has been reaching out to other cancer researchers for spots at other labs, and she's gotten promising responses. Olive tells Adam that she loves him and that she never liked anyone else. Adam admits that he remembered her from the day he met her in the bathroom and that she's the one he's been interested in for years.

Ten months later at the anniversary of their first kiss, Olive and Adam re-create the kiss to mark their anniversary.

For more detail, see the full Chapter-by-Chapter Summary .

If this summary was useful to you, please consider supporting this site by leaving a tip ( $2 , $3 , or $5 ) or joining the Patreon !

Book Review

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood came out a few months ago, and I didn’t really pay much attention to it. However, people seem to really be enjoying this book, and after reading The School for Good Mothers , I was really in mood for something light and fun.

In the Love Hypothesis, Olive is a third-year biology Ph.D. student at Stanford who ends up fake-dating a young and handsome tenured professor in her department. All the usual rom-com shenanigans ensue.

The Love Hypothesis is an unapologetically cheesy rom-com novel — with an upbeat attitude, meet cutes, fake-dating tropes, etc. — but it’s also a genuinely fun and often funny book. It hits a lot of familiar notes if you’re familiar with this genre, but somehow Ali Hazelwood has arranged them in a way that ends up being delightful and entertaining.

The book is super melodramatic at parts, uses so many tropes I couldn’t even list them all here if I was inclined to do so and is predictable in the way that rom-coms are always kind of predictable. That all said, I still had a fantastic time reading it and it flew by.

This is a short review because honestly it’s not that complicated to explain that this book is super cheesy and super fun.

the hypothesis book

Read it or Skip it?

If you like “chick lit” and rom-coms, you should definitely look into this book. I tend to be a little hypercritical of books in this genre, but I really enjoyed The Love Hypothesis . I found myself smiling and chuckling quite a bit as I read it.

This book is a straight-up cheesy rom-com — it is funny, melodramatic and fun as hell. I thought it was great.

See The Love Hypothesis on Amazon.

The Love Hypothesis Audiobook Review

Narrated by : Callie Dalton Length : 11 hours 8 minutes

I listened to about half of this on audiobook. I think the audiobook is solid. The narrator is easy to listen to and does a good job with it.

Hear a sample of The Love Hypothesis audiobook on Libro.fm.

Book Excerpt

Read the first pages of The Love Hypothesis

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Bookshelf -- A literary set collection game

As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn't believe in lasting romantic relationships--but her best friend does, and that's what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.

That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor--and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford's reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend. But when a big science conference goes haywire, putting Olive's career on the Bunsen burner, Adam surprises her again with his unyielding support and even more unyielding...six-pack abs.

Suddenly their little experiment feels dangerously close to combustion. And Olive discovers that the only thing more complicated than a hypothesis on love is putting her own heart under the microscope.

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Return of the God Hypothesis

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  • Buy  Hardcover
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  • Pages:  552
  • Publisher:  HarperOne
  • Published:  March 30, 2021

the hypothesis book

The  New York Times  bestselling author of  Darwin’s Doubt  presents groundbreaking scientific evidence of the existence of God, based on breakthroughs in physics, cosmology, and biology. 

Beginning in the late 19 th  century, many intellectuals began to insist that scientific knowledge conflicts with traditional theistic belief — that science and belief in God are “at war.” Philosopher of science Stephen Meyer challenges this view by examining three scientific discoveries with decidedly theistic implications. Building on the case for the intelligent design of life that he developed in  Signature in the Cell and  Darwin’s Doubt , Meyer demonstrates how discoveries in cosmology and physics coupled with those in biology help to establish the identity of the designing intelligence behind life and the universe. 

Meyer argues that theism — with its affirmation of a transcendent, intelligent and active creator — best explains the evidence we have concerning biological and cosmological origins. Previously Meyer refrained from attempting to answer questions about “who” might have designed life. Now he provides an evidence-based answer to perhaps the ultimate mystery of the universe. In so doing, he reveals a stunning conclusion: the data support not just the existence of an intelligent designer of some kind — but the existence of a personal God. 

the hypothesis book

Meyer’s book is a masterclass, lucidly exploring every alternative from multiple points of view. It persuasively shows that the God Hypothesis is the best explanation of the fine-tuned, information-laden universe. The book does irreparable damage to atheist rhetoric. John C. Walton , PhD, DSc, Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Research Professor of Chemistry, University of St. Andrews
A comprehensive and lucid argument for theism as the best explanation for the scientific evidence.  Stephen Meyer has a true gift for conveying complex concepts clearly. Dr. Robert Kaita , former Principal Research Physicist, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory.
Reviewing all relevant evidence from cosmology to molecular biology, Meyer builds an irrefutable “case for God” while delivering an unanswerable set of logical and scientific broadsides against the currently fashionable materialistic/atheistic worldview. Meyer builds his argument relentlessly omitting no significant area of debate. The logic throughout is compelling and the book almost impossible to put down. Meyer is a master at clarifying complex issues making the text accessible to the widest possible audience. Readers will be struck by Meyer’s extraordinary depth of knowledge in every relevant area. The book is a masterpiece and will be widely cited in years to come. The best, most lucid, comprehensive defense of the ‘God hypothesis’ in print. No other publication comes close. A unique  tour de force .  Dr. Michael Denton , former Senior Research Fellow, Biochemistry, University of Otago, Author, Nature’s Destiny
This book makes it clear that far from being an unscientific claim, intelligent design is valid science. Brian Josephson , Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Cambridge, Fellow of the Royal Society, Nobel Laureate in Physics
 More than 400 pages of straightforward, engrossing prose, close reasoning, intellectual history, and cosmology, all in the interest of asking the most important questions about existence itself. An astonishing achievement. Peter Robinson , Murdoch Distinguished Policy Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University and former White House speechwriter.
A meticulously researched, lavishly illustrated, and thoroughly argued case against the new atheism. Even if your mind is made up — especially if it is — Meyer’s refreshing take on humanity’s most unbridgeable divide—between secular and divine accounts of origins of the Universe—is a joy to read. You may not come away convinced, but you’ll be richer for the journey.  Dr. Brian Keating , Chancellor’s Distinguished Professor of Physics, University of California, San Diego. Author, Losing the Nobel Prize: A Story of Cosmology, Ambition, and the Perils of Science’s Highest Honor.  
A marvelous compendium of indisputable scientific evidence in support of the existence of God. Dr. Marcos N. Eberlin , Professor of Chemistry, Mackenzie University. Brazilian Academy of Sciences, Thomson Medalist, International Mass Spectrometry Foundation. 
With this book, Stephen Meyer earns a place in the pantheon of distinguished, non-reductive natural philosophers of the last 120 years, from the great French savant Pierre Duhem, through A.N. Whitehead, to Michael Polanyi…He has written a profound, judicious book of great value bringing to bear both advanced, detailed scientific expertise (Pascal: “l’esprit géométrique”) and philosophical, integrative wisdom (“l’esprit de finesse”). Dr. Michael D. Aeschliman , emeritus professor Boston University, author The Restoration of Man: C.S. Lewis and the Continuing Case Against Scientism .
Meyer masterfully summarizes the current evidence from cosmology, physics and biology showing that the more we learn about the universe and nature, the more relevant the ‘God hypothesis’ becomes.  Dr. Anthony Futerman , Joseph Meyerhoff Professor of Biochemistry, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
Anyone who wants a state-of-the-art treatise on arguments and counter arguments for intelligent design must get this book. It performs a gigaton task of covering the origin of everything from molecular machinery to the entire universe. A much-needed book. Dr. Stuart Burgess , Professor of Engineering Design, Bristol University; Research Fellow, Clare Hall, University of Cambridge.
 When you don’t understand the details of living systems, ignorance permits discounting a Creator.  But when the details of science are thrust upon you, you’re forced to ask: How on Earth — literally — did that happen? Thus, the God hypothesis returns.  Stephen Meyer convincingly drives the point home: How could it be this way?  Only God! James M. Tour , Ph.D., T. T. and W. F. Chao Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Nano-Engineering, Rice University.
 Stephen Meyer is a genuine renaissance person.  His work tears down many purported barriers between science, philosophy, and religion.  An important book of both breadth and depth. Dr. Henry F. Schaefer III , Graham Perdue Professor of Chemistry, Director, Center for Computational Quantum Chemistry, University of Georgia
No one else in my experience can explicate such complex material with the grace and clarity that seem so effortless to Stephen Meyer. With cold logic and meticulous rational analysis of the latest discoveries in cosmology, physics, and biology, Meyer confirms a truth that the ideologues find too frightening even to consider. By the  ad hominem  nature of their attacks on his brilliant work, they confirm its importance and suggest an eventual end to the scientism that warps our culture. Dean Koontz , New York Times #1 Best-Selling Author
Dr. Meyer does a superb job in accurately describing the physics and cosmology that show the universe had a beginning. He also convincingly shows that quantum mechanics will not eliminate a cosmological singularity. Dr. Frank Tipler , Professor of Physics, Tulane University; Co-Author, The Anthropic-Cosmological Principle (Oxford University Press).
This is a long overdue book that until now neither scientific experts nor religious believers have had the courage to write. Readers will appreciate Meyer’s consistently patient and humble style of exposition and argumentation. And for those genuinely curious about the God hypothesis, this book provides the fairest, most comprehensive statement available.  Dr. Steve Fuller , Auguste Comte Chair in Social Epistemology, University of Warwick, author of Knowledge: The Philosophical Quest in History.
This is a truly superb analysis of the relevant evidence.Stephen Meyer convincingly demonstrates that the God hypothesis is not just an adequate explanation for the origin of our fine-tuned universe and biosphere: it is the best explanation. David J. Galloway , MD DSc FRCS FRCP, Honorary Professor of Surgery at College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences University of Glasgow; Former President, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow.
Leaving no materialist, reductionist or determinist stone unturned and unrefuted,  Return of the God Hypothesis  exposes atheistic materialism as a modern superstition. Meyer reveals atheism as a feckless faith that resorts to ever more preposterous hypotheses — from an infinitude of multiple parallel universes, infinite expanses of missing matter, imaginary time, and other far-fetched canards — all to conceal the academic emperor’s intellectual nudity, vanity, and obesity, riding on a high horse in a pompous parade of self-defeating nihilism. Intelligent scientists will benefit greatly from this newly coherent philosophy of their sciences. George Gilder , Author, Telecosm and Knowledge and Power
Exhibiting deep and broad research, familiarity with recent developments, and forged in a life of debate and dialogue with those with whom Meyer differs, it is hard to imagine a more important book on this topic. Stephen Meyer is one of those generational thinkers whose courage, thought and influence are pervasive on the world-stage. Dr. JP Moreland , Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Biola University; Author, Scientism and Secularism.
Meyer not only meticulously documents his scientific case for the God hypothesis, but he presents the story of the discoveries that support it in an engaging way. The arguments Meyer makes helped fuel my own personal transition from atheistic materialism to a rational belief in classical theism. Günter Bechly , Ph.D. in paleontology, Eberhard-Karls University of Tübingen; Former Scientific Curator, State Museum of Natural History , Stuttgart, Germany; Senior scientist, Biologic Institute.
Since his Signature in the Cell , Stephen Meyer has been a beacon of humility, humanity, and courageous thinking in that ever-changing interface between science and religion. His new book does not prove the presence of a designing intelligence or supermind, but it certainly renders the “God hypothesis” more plausible, coherent, and respectable. Thoughtful people need no longer assume materialism, mechanism, and meaninglessness. Turns out: anything but.  Dr. Jeffrey J. Kripal , J. Newton Rayzor Professor of Philosophy and Religious Thought, Rice University, author of The Flip: Epiphanies of Mind and the Future of Knowledge.
Few public intellectuals can rival Stephen Meyer’s range and depth of scientific knowledge or, critically, his insight into the  meaning  of science.  Return of the God Hypothesis  reads like a detective story … beautiful and profound.  Michael Egnor, M.D. ; Professor and vice-Chairman for Research; Department of Neurological Surgery; Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University
Weaving together philosophy, history and science in lucid prose, Meyer skewers materialism for its inability to create the information necessary to a universe teeming with life. The claim that the God hypothesis is unscientific is laid bare as a red herring. Paul Ashby , Ph.D., Physical Chemistry, Harvard University; Staff Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
 An illuminating investigation of the intersection between science, religion, and philosophy. Meyer provides deep historical context for understanding current controversies. He deftly demonstrates the stark consequences for scientific knowledge of materialist attempts to avoid the theological implications of recent scientific discoveries. Dr. Robert C. Koons , Professor of Philosophy, University of Texas, Austin; Author, Realism Regained (Oxford University Press).
Following a sweeping overview of recent discoveries in cosmology, physics and biology, Meyer makes a compelling case for a cosmic designer, the God of theism. Meyer is following in the footsteps of Boyle, Kepler, and Newton. Guillermo Gonzalez , Ph.D. in Astronomy, The University of Washington, Co-author, Observational Astronomy (Cambridge University Press); The Privileged Planet.  
 Meyer’s book provides an especially valuable analysis of biological and cosmological fine-tuning arguments in a single, coherent narrative. Dr. David Snoke , Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pittsburgh
Not since Robert Jastrow’s God and the Astronomers , has a book touched me with the power of science to declare the glories of God. Jastrow kept me from the deism and atheism of college physics, and this book will surely have that same effect on the next generation. Whereas Jastrow left off too soon, Meyer skillfully follows the evidence to its logical and scientific conclusion, by examining recent developments not only in physics and cosmology, but also in biology. Warmly written with a historian’s eye, illustrated profusely, a perfect graduation gift for all those embarking on a lifetime of discovery.  Rob Sheldon , Ph.D. in Space Plasma Physics, University of Maryland; former NASA analyst and instrument designer, Author, The Long Ascent  
Stephen Meyer’s fine new book is aptly summarized by the opening line of Beethoven’s magnificent musical composition ‘Die Himmel rühmen des Ewigen Ehre’: ‘The heavens praise the glory of the Eternal.’ He mounts a powerful case that the best, the most reasonable, explanation for the full suite of scientific evidence about the origin and fine tuning of the universe and life is — as he puts it — ‘the God hypothesis.’” Matti Leisola , DSc, Professor Emeritus of Bioprocess Engineering, Aalto University, Finland
Meyer shows how the theistic world view, creation theology and design argument have long been part of the structure of western science and motivated key figures who invented it in its modern form — including Kepler, Boyle and Newton. But Meyer also shows that today’s science makes the ‘God hypothesis’ as compelling today as it ever was. Stephen D. Snobelen , Ph.D. in History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge;   Associate Professor, History of Science, University of King’s College, Halifax
Meyer’s trilogy ( Signature in the Cell, Darwin’s Doubt,  and now Return of the God Hypothesis ) is now the most powerful challenge to scientific materialism in print today. His analysis of the central issue of the origin of genetic information is the best I’ve seen. Readers will enjoy Meyer’s brilliantly lucid and engaging style of writing, including illuminating personal anecdotes in the development of his thought. A very gratifying read indeed! Dean Kenyon , Ph.D. in biophysics, Stanford University, Professor Emeritus of Biology, San Francisco State University; Co-Author Biochemical Predestination
Dr. Meyer’s book, impeccably researched, clearly and concisely spells out the modern scientific case for the existence of God. It begins two centuries ago, when science ran away from God and ends with a shocking twist. Namely, just when scientists thought they’d left God in the dust, recent startling discoveries are leading them right back to him! Michael Guillen , PhD in Physics and Astronomy, Cornell University, former ABC Science Correspondent; Author, Five Equations That Changed the World .
Meyer’s challenge to the current consensus is comparable in magnitude to that of Copernicus’ in 1543. Like Copernicus, Meyer compels us to rethink our entire understanding of the cosmos. His book provides overwhelming evidence in support of “the God hypothesis. Leonard Sax , MD, PhD, University of Pennsylvania; New York Times bestselling author. 
Philosopher of science Stephen C. Meyer builds a clear, cogent, and compelling case for theism based on the most current findings of cosmology, physics, and biology. He bases his stunning conclusion — that the evidence points toward a personal Creator — on persuasive facts and convincing logic. This masterful book should be required reading for anyone grappling with the ultimate mysteries of the cosmos. Lee Strobel , New York Times best-selling author
Meyer tackles fundamental questions of origin systematically and rigorously, providing an enormous amount of physical and biological evidence pointing to an intelligent designer — indeed, one responsible for two trillion galaxies and life in all its overwhelming complexities. Does this designer deserve the title GOD? Evaluate this book critically and draw your own conclusions!  Dr. Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig , Senior Scientist emeritus; Institute of Genetics, the University of Bonn and the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research.
This book presents a captivating overview of a range of scientific evidences that cumulatively point to the existence of a Creator, and a compelling refutation of the superficial objections of the New Atheists. A must-read for anyone interested in the Big Questions. Andrew T. Loke , PhD, King’s College London, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Hong Kong Baptist University, Author, God and Ultimate Origins
Clear, compelling, and entertaining to read, Return of the God Hypothesis makes a strong case that the identity of the intelligent designer as a personal God, and that the scientific discoveries of the last 75 years support the God hypothesis as the better, and indeed best, explanation. Russell W. Carlson , Emeritus Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and the Complex Carbohydrate Center, University of Georgia
Stephen Meyer has written a masterpiece. The evidence for God is extensive, and now much more accessible due to his lucid exposition. Scientists and philosophers who wish that God did not exist will hate this book. Newton would have loved it. Michael Newton Keas , Ph.D. in the History of Science, University of Oklahoma; author of  Unbelievable:   7 Myths About the History and Future of Science and Religion.
This thinking-person’s tour of the universe visits all the important discoveries without losing the reader in facts. Meyer pulls this off brilliantly by keeping it personal, putting faces to names and displaying each not only in historical context but also within his own search for meaning. Above all, his answer is personal — not blind, pitiless forces, but a Creator who is intimately involved in our lives. Douglas Axe , Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering Caltech; Maxwell Professor of Molecular Biology, Biola University, author of Undeniable: How Biology Conforms Our Intuition That Life Is Designed
This book is the crowning opus in a masterful and transformative trilogy in which Stephen Meyer challenges the pretensions of presumptive naturalism in science. As Meyer shows, the God hypothesis is indispensable to science. Its return, and the re-enchantment of the world with it, is most welcome. Bruce L. Gordon , Ph.D. in Philosophy of Physics, Northwestern University; Professor, History and Philosophy of Science, Houston Baptist University
This magnum opus is a must-read for students, historians of science, philosophers, theologians and scientists. Meyer’s scientific arguments supporting the God hypothesis are thoroughly and convincingly presented; counterarguments are objectively presented with equal clarity, and forthrightly rebutted with compelling reasoning and evidence.  His philosophical arguments are equally compelling and will inevitably have an indelible impact on the worldview of the reader. Stephen Meyer is one of the finest minds in this field and with this work he has done a great service to science and society. Dr. Frik van Niekerk , Nuclear Engineer, Faculty of Engineering, Northwest University, South Africa
Return of the God Hypothesis balances the author’s personal intellectual journey with objective fact-based analysis in an engaging style. Weaving sound historical inquiry with the latest theories in physics and biology into a rich explanatory tapestry, this book shows how science is rediscovering the foundational worldview principles that launched modern science in the first place — the inescapably resilient God hypothesis. A must-read and a convincing argument. Michael A. Flannery , author of  Nature’s Prophet: Alfred Russel Wallace and His Evolution from Natural Selection to Natural Theology . Professor emeritus, UAB Libraries, University of Alabama at Birmingham.  

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Is the Earth itself a giant living creature?

An old, much-ridiculed hypothesis said yes. It’s time to take it seriously.

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In the 1970s, chemist James Lovelock and microbiologist Lynn Margulis put forth a bold theory: The Earth is a giant living organism .

When a mammal is hot, it sweats to cool itself off. If you nick your skin with a knife, the skin will scab and heal. Lovelock and Margulis argued that our planet has similar processes of self-regulation, which arguably, make it seem like the Earth itself is alive.

The idea wasn’t unprecedented in human history. “The fundamental concept of a living world is ancient,” says Ferris Jabr , a science journalist and author of the upcoming book Becoming Earth: How Our Planet Came to Life . The book explores all the ways life has shaped our physical world and, in doing so, inevitably revisits the question “Is the Earth alive?”

Lovelock and Margulis called the idea “the Gaia Hypothesis” — named after the ancient Greek goddess of the Earth. It was openly mocked by many in mainstream Western science. “For many decades, the Gaia hypothesis was considered kind of this fringe sort of woo-woo idea,” Jabr says. “Because for biologists,” Jabr says, life is a specific thing. “It is typically thought of as an organism that is a product of Darwinian evolution by natural selection. And Earth as a planet does not meet those criteria.”

It didn’t help that the original articulation of Gaia granted Earth a certain degree of sentience. The hypothesis argued “all of the living organisms on Earth are collaborating to deliberately create a climate that is suitable for life,” as Jabr says. But yet, this idea has persisted, for a few reasons. Scientists have never been able to precisely define what life is . So, it’s been hard to dismiss Gaia completely.

The Gaia hypothesis has also evolved over the years. Later iterations deemphasized that life was “collaborating” to transform the Earth, Jabr explains. Which still leaves a lot to be explored: Certainly living things don’t need to be thought of as conscious, or have agency, to be considered alive. Consider the clam, which lacks a central nervous system.

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Jabr found in the years since Gaia was first introduced, scientists have uncovered more connections between biology, ecology, and geology, which make the boundaries between these disciplines appear even more fuzzy. The Amazon rainforest essentially “ summons ” its own rain, as Jabr explains in his book. They learned how life is involved in the process that generated the continents. Life plays a role in regulating Earth’s temperature . They’ve learned that just about everywhere you look on Earth, you find life influencing the physical properties of our planet.

In reporting his book, Jabr comes to the conclusion that not only is the Earth indeed a living creature, but thinking about it in such a way might help inspire action in dealing with the climate crisis .

Brian Resnick spoke to Jabr for an episode of Unexplainable , Vox’s podcast that explores scientific mysteries, unanswered questions, and all the things we learn by diving into the unknown. You can listen to the full conversation here. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Brian Resnick

Do you think the Earth is alive?

Ferris Jabr

I do. I think Earth is alive. We can think of Earth as a genuine living entity, in a meaningful sense, and in a scientific sense. There are four parts to the argument that substantiate that statement.

What’s the first?

Life isn’t just on Earth. It literally came out of Earth. It is literally part of Earth. It is Earth. All of the matter that we refer to as life is Earth animated — that’s how I come to think about it. If you accept that, then at a bare minimum, you have to accept as a scientific fact that the surface of the planet is genuinely alive, because it is matter that has become animated.

Earth animated? What do you mean by that?

Every single living organism is literally made of Earth. All of its constituent elements and components are parts of the planet. We all come from the planet. We all return to the planet. It’s just a big cycle. And so life, the biological matter on the planet, is literally the matter of the planet, animated. It is living matter.

Imagine a vast beach and sandcastles and other sculptures spontaneously emerge from the sand. They are still made of sand, right? They’re not suddenly divorced from the beach just because they’ve arisen from the beach. Those castles and sculptures are still literally the beach. And I think it’s the same with life and Earth.

So, the physical components of Earth are the material of life. And so distinguishing these two — Earth and life — seems silly because they comprise each other?

The more you think about this, the more the boundaries dissolve.

Every layer of the planet that we’ve been able to access, we find life there. And in the deepest mines that we have dug, we continue to find microbes and sometimes even more complex organisms like nematodes, these tiny, worm-like creatures.

So all life contains Earth, and Earth contains life?

There are components of the Earth that are not alive in any way. The center of the planet, it’s all molten rock and there might be some solid metal in the core.

But think about a redwood tree: It is mostly dead wood in terms of its volume and mass. It is mostly nonliving tissue. And then a little bit of tissue that is laced with living cells. So, you know, most complex multicellular living entities are a jumble of the animate and inanimate. Earth is not unusual in that way.

What is part two of your argument?

All these organisms [on Earth], they give Earth a kind of anatomy and physiology. Life dramatically increases the planet’s capacity to absorb, store, and transform energy, to exchange gases, and to perform complex chemical reactions.

What’s a good example of this?

You can think of all of the photosynthetic life on the planet acting in concert. It’s not that they’re deliberately collaborating to do something, but they’re all doing their own thing at the same time.

NASA has made these amazing videos and animations and they’ve literally called them “ Earth breathing ,” because you can see how the levels of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the atmosphere fluctuate with the seasons. The amount of vegetation that rings the continents, especially in the Northern Hemisphere, in the mid-latitudes, it changes dramatically with the seasons. It has a sinuous rhythm. It looks like a pulse or like breathing.

So, are you saying something like all of the algae or plankton in the ocean are generating this together? … Is that kind of like how all of the cells in my lungs are working together to exchange gases? Or is that not quite the right way to think about it?

I think we have to be careful with making too direct a comparison. You as an organism are a product of evolution by natural selection. Your structure, your anatomy is something that was written into your genome. That’s not how the Earth system formed.

I’m realizing a key to this conversation is what you just corrected me on. When we’re discussing this notion about the “Earth being alive,” we’re not suggesting it’s not alive in the same way you and I are. But there’s these equivalent processes that look very similar to the way my body maintains homeostasis, for example. It’s not like the Earth is exchanging gases and doing metabolism-like things in the way I’ve been evolved to. It’s not achieving homeostasis the way you or I do. But yet it is doing something that seems analogous. Is that the kind of thing that you’re arguing here, overall?


When we’re looking at the planet, we see life-like qualities, things that resemble the characteristics of the organism, which is the most familiar life form to us. But it is not exactly the same. It is still genuinely alive, in my opinion, but is not exactly an organism.

Life is a phenomenon that occurs at multiple scales. The way I think of it is that it’s not identical at all of those scales, but it rhymes and there are analogies between each of those scales.

I like to think of a leaf on a tree in a forest on a planet.

There’s no disagreement whatsoever within science that the cells that compose that leaf are alive. The tissues that those cells form are alive. The leaf as a whole is a living tissue. The tree we consider an organism that is also alive. We consider each of those layers to be alive. There’s no debate or controversy about that.

Once we go above the scale of the organism, this is where the debate begins. Can we think of the forest, the ecosystem, as alive as well? And then one more level higher. Can we think of the planet as alive?

My argument is, yes, that each of those levels, each of those scales is equally alive but not identical. And there are analogous processes that happen at each. But they’re not exactly the same.

What is the next plank of your argument?

Life is also an engine of planetary evolution. The planet evolves over time dramatically. It is not exactly the same as standard Darwinian evolution through natural selection, but it is very much a type of evolution.

Organisms and their environments continually co-evolve. Each is profoundly changing the other.

This reciprocal transformation is responsible for many of the planet’s defining features: for our breathable atmosphere, our blue sky, our bountiful oceans, our fertile soils. This is all because of life and because of the way that life has changed the planetary environments. These are not default features of the planet. Life has created them over time.

What is the most stunning example of how life has actually changed the planet?

In the beginning, Earth had essentially no free oxygen in its atmosphere, and the sky was probably a hazy orange. And when cyanobacteria began to oxygenate the atmosphere through the innovation of photosynthesis, the sky probably started shifting toward the blue part of the spectrum.

The entire chemistry of the planet changed. I mean, you suddenly had an oxygen-rich environment, whereas before it was an oxygen-poor environment. That changes absolutely everything.

Okay, so to get back to what you were saying before, it’s not that Earth evolves in the same way that organisms evolve. But it evolves with a different mechanism, is that right?

Evolutionary biologists will say a planet cannot evolve because it doesn’t have a cohesive genome. There’s no genetic inheritance going on; there’s no sexual reproduction going on.

But there are analogous processes by which changes are passed down from generation to generation that are not genetically encoded.

If we think about a bunch of large mammals, they’re transforming their landscape by walking through it with their immense hefts. They’re tearing down vegetation. They’re digging in, uprooting things. They’re changing the landscape.

Those changes persist. And so their descendants now are evolving in a new environment changed by their predecessors. These environmental changes are not themselves genetically encoded, but they are being passed from generation to generation, and they are inevitably influencing the evolution that follows.

If a fundamental part of life is that it changes the world in which it exists, how are we different for accelerating the climate crisis? Because you look at the history of the Earth and you say, well, life has powerfully changed it. Who’s to say what we’re doing is necessarily not a natural process?

It’s simultaneously humbling and empowering to recognize ourselves as simply the latest chapter in this long evolutionary saga of life changing the planet. It is a basic property of life to change its environment, and we’re not an exception to that.

But I do think there’s a major distinction between what our species has done and what has happened before in terms of the combined scale and speed and the variety of our changes to the planet. I don’t think there’s any species or creature before us that has changed the planet on such a large scale so quickly and in so many different ways simultaneously.

We have radically altered the atmosphere, the oceans, and the continents. We’ve done it in a couple of centuries. That’s a huge part of the reason for why the crisis we’re going through right now is a crisis. It has so much to do with the scale and the speed of it.

What’s part four of your argument?

This co-evolution, on the whole, has amplified the planet’s capacity for self-regulation and enhanced Earth’s resilience. Earth has remained alive for, you know, around 4 billion years, despite repeated catastrophes of unfathomable scale, unlike anything that we have ever experienced in human history. We have to account for that resilience, for that incredible persistence through time.

It is not a deliberate thing. You know, it is not a conscious or collaborative thing. It is simply an inevitable physical process, just as evolution by natural selection is an inevitable physical process.

Even in the mass extinctions in Earth’s history, life recedes to its most fundamental and most resilient forms: microbes . And then life sprouts from there.

Are you sure you’re right about all this? Is the scientific community coming around to accept this notion that Earth is indeed alive?

I mean, this book is my personal synthesis, an argument. You know, this is my viewpoint. This is how I have come to see the Earth. There are scientists who agree with me, but I would not say that this is the consensus of modern mainstream science. I think the statement that Earth is alive remains quite controversial and provocative. However, everything else we’ve been talking about, the co-evolution of life and environment, the fact that life has profoundly changed the planet. These are all well-accepted points.

Which part are you most likely wrong about? Or which part do you feel like has the most room for doubt?

We do not have a precise, universally accepted definition of life. We haven’t explained it on the most fundamental level. Like 100 years from now, will we have a fundamental explanation for life that we’re missing right now? And if we do, will that make thinking of planets as alive defunct? And so, I think open-mindedness is fundamental to any scientific thinking or scientific process. And we have to be open to the idea that a century from now, or even sooner, all of this will be wrong.

And that’s part of what I find thrilling: We don’t have all of the answers yet. Right? These are incredibly challenging ideas and concepts that we are still working out. If we had figured it out, then we wouldn’t be talking about the Gaia hypothesis anymore. The Gaia would have been officially dead a long time ago. But I think the reason that it remains relevant and continues to be debated means that we just haven’t figured it out yet.

Why is it useful to think of the Earth as alive?

There’s a massive difference between thinking of ourselves as living creatures that simply reside on a planet, that simply inhabit a planet, versus being a component of a much larger living entity. When we properly understand our role within the living Earth system, I think the moral urgency of the climate crisis really comes into focus.

All of a sudden it’s not just that, oh, the bad humans have harmed the environment and we need to do something about it. It’s that each of us is literally Earth animated, and we are one part of this much larger, living entity. It’s a realization that everything that we are all doing moment to moment, day to day, is affecting this larger living entity in some way.

So, the simple point that you’re making is that we are Earth, and don’t self-harm.

Right, exactly.

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The Clot Thickens: The enduring mystery of heart disease

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Malcolm Kendrick

The Clot Thickens: The enduring mystery of heart disease Paperback – November 2, 2021

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“Malcolm Kendrick's masterly survey of the enduring mystery of heart disease reads like a detective story. With great verve he marshals the evidence for the two main contending theories, exonerates the presumed suspect and makes a formidable case for thrombogenesis (blood clotting) as the perpetrator. Witty, provocative and entertaining, 'The Clot Thickens' packs a powerful scientific punch. Highly recommended.”

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“Malcolm Kendrick's new book brings to mind the quote from Thomas Huxley when he first learned of Darwin's theory of evolution: ‘how extremely stupid (of me) not to have thought of that’. What Kendrick presents is nothing less than a unifying theory of heart disease, that explains why everything from sickle cell disease to diabetes to a stressful lifestyle increases cardiovascular risk (and he does it with a large dollop of humour). After decades stuck in the blind alley that is the LDL hypothesis, this book is a revelation. It should be read by anyone with even a slight interest in understanding heart disease and what they can do to protect themselves from it.” Dr Sebastian Rushworth M.D. Sweden

  • Print length 332 pages
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    The relationships are portrayed with compassion and honesty, and the author's note at the end that explains Hoover's personal connection to the subject matter is a must-read. Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of the survivors. 881.

  11. The Love Hypothesis

    CONNECTED BOOKS: THE LOVE HYPOTHESIS is a standalone book. STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars. Read more. 18 people found this helpful. Helpful. Report. Kerstin Upmeyer. 5.0 out of 5 stars A fan fic inspired romance I actually liked! Reviewed in the United States on February 22, 2022.

  12. Book Review: The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

    Suddenly their little experiment feels dangerously close to combustion. And Olive discovers that the only thing more complicated than a hypothesis on love is putting her own heart under the microscope.". Review: I loved this book! Some romance books are too cheesy for me but I thought this book was the perfect balance of cheesiness.

  13. The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

    Synopsis. As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn't believe in lasting romantic relationships—but her best friend does, and that's what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof.

  14. The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

    Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group. ISBN: 9781408725764. Number of pages: 400. Weight: 260 g. Dimensions: 196 x 126 x 28 mm. MEDIA REVIEWS. Contemporary romance's unicorn: the elusive marriage of deeply brainy and delightfully escapist...The Love Hypothesis has wild commercial appeal but the quieter secret is that there is a specific audience ...

  15. The Love Hypothesis

    The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood came out a few months ago, and I didn't really pay much attention to it. However, people seem to really be enjoying this book, and after reading The School for Good Mothers, I was really in mood for something light and fun.. In the Love Hypothesis, Olive is a third-year biology Ph.D. student at Stanford who ends up fake-dating a young and handsome tenured ...

  16. The Love Hypothesis : Ali Hazelwood : Free Download, Borrow, and

    An illustration of an open book. Books. An illustration of two cells of a film strip. Video. An illustration of an audio speaker. Audio An illustration of a 3.5" floppy disk. ... the-love-hypothesis-by-ali-hazelwood Identifier-ark ark:/13960/s27jthxd7jf Ocr tesseract 5.2.0-1-gc42a Ocr_autonomous true Ocr_detected_lang en ...

  17. Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood

    445,036ratings57,350reviews. Kindle $11.99. Goodreads Choice Award. Nominee for Best Romance (2022) From the New York Times bestselling author of The Love Hypothesis comes a new STEMinist rom-com in which a scientist is forced to work on a project with her nemesis—with explosive results.Bee Königswasser lives by a simple code: What would ...

  18. Amazon.com: The Love Hypothesis: 9780593336823: Hazelwood, Ali: Books

    The Love Hypothesis has wild commercial appeal but the quieter secret is that there is a specific audience, made up of all of the Olives in the world, who have deeply, ardently waited for this exact book."—Christina Lauren, New York Times bestselling author "Funny, sexy and smart, Ali Hazelwood did a terrific job with The Love Hypothesis ...

  19. The Happiness Hypothesis

    The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom is a 2006 book written by American social psychologist Jonathan Haidt.In it, Haidt poses several "Great Ideas" on happiness espoused by thinkers of the past—such as Plato, Buddha and Jesus—and examines them in the light of contemporary psychological research, extracting from them any lessons that still apply to our modern lives.

  20. The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom

    The Happiness Hypothesis is a book about ten Great Ideas. Each chapter is an attempt to savor one idea that has been discovered by several of the world's civilizations — to question it in light of what we now know from scientific research, and to extract from it the lessons that still apply to our modern lives and illuminate the causes of ...

  21. Return of the God Hypothesis

    Meyer's book is a masterclass, lucidly exploring every alternative from multiple points of view. It persuasively shows that the God Hypothesis is the best explanation of the fine-tuned, information-laden universe. The book does irreparable damage to atheist rhetoric.

  22. Hypothesis Series by Penny Reid

    The Elements of Chemistry, the Laws of Physics, and The Fundamentals of Biology are subset trilogies of the Hypothesis series. Book 1. Elements of Chemistry: Attraction. by Penny Reid. 3.93 · 24198 Ratings · 2150 Reviews · published 2015 · 1 edition.

  23. Is the Earth itself a living creature just like us?

    The Gaia hypothesis said the Earth is a living organism. It's time to take it seriously. An old, much-ridiculed hypothesis said yes. ... a science journalist and author of the upcoming book ...

  24. Return of the God Hypothesis: Three Scientific Discoveries That Reveal

    It is worth noting that Stephen Meyer's book begins with an incident during a debate with Lawrence Krauss that led him to write Return of the God Hypothesis. This was a significant turning point for Meyer because up until this book, he has consistently referred to the scientific evidence as support for Intelligent Design and has sidestepped ...

  25. The Clot Thickens: The enduring mystery of heart disease Paperback

    This book gives an alternative, very compelling hypothesis for the primary cause of heart disease, that answers all these questions, and many more. The hypothesis is so obvious, that you are almost left saying, why didn't I think of that? The last part of the book is devoted to recommendations on how to avoid heart disease which logically follow.