How to Make a Human Being

What is a human being but the question what is a human being? What is the universe but the question what is the universe?


The mystery of our existence has exercised us ever since humankind first began to think about its origins, an investigation which will never end. Science – the measuring of nature – is an endless endeavour, and though the universe may be explicable in principle, it seems highly unlikely that scientists will ever find it so in practice. We may well be ‘just a bunch of neurons’ as Francis Crick has it, but our mystery doesn’t go away, rather the reverse. As science progresses, we instead find out what it is about being human that cannot be reduced.


Christopher Potter elegantly bridges the supposed gulf that divides science and religion, that sometimes seems to divide science and art, science and philosophy, or even science and human beings. Science attempts to describe a world made out of things. That it so nearly tells a story of how all things were made out of nothing is one of humankind’s supreme achievements. Philosophers, poets and theologians instead see first the oneness of nature, and wonder how we are to account for the separateness of things. Whichever way we approach reality, it becomes, on investigation, more mysterious not less.


Commingling his own evidence with that of scientists, philosophers and poets, Christopher Potter explores the big questions – What is science? Is there a God? What is love? What is reality?  -- building a body of material that thrillingly explains both what it means to be human and how we escape the net of scientific reductionism. This startlingly original book is essential to anyone who wonders about the nature of their existence.





Christopher Potter