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“In every true searcher of Nature 
there is a kind of religious reverence.”
Albert Einstein

The evolution of the universe and the evolution of life provision the religious naturalist with a wondrous grand narrative.

The 13.8-billion-year saga includes the generation of our star and our planet ~4.6 billion years ago and our species ~150,000 years ago. All of modern life shares a common chemistry and a common ancestry, and inhabits countless interdependent ecosystems.

Offered below are links to books, videos, and websites that present accessible accounts of our current science-based understandings of the natural world.

If you have suggestions of additional materials, please use the form at the right to let us know.


Cosmology and Physics

A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing
At Home in the Universe: The Search for Laws of Complexity
Between Birdsong and Boulder
Big Bang: The Origin of the Universe
Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries
From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time
QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter
Something Deeply Hidden: Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetimeby Sean Carroll
Spacetime and Geometry: An Introduction to General Relativity by Sean Carroll
The Accidental Universe
The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality
The Grand Design
The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos
The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World

The Periodic Table: Its Story and Its Significance by Eric Scerri

The Serengeti Rules: The Quest to Discover How Life Works and Why It Matters
The View From the Center of the Universe: Discovering Our Extraordinary Place in the Cosmos by Joel R. Primack and Nancy Ellen Abrams
Universe, Third Edition

Earth history

Annals of the Former World
Reading the Rocks: The Autobiography of the Earth
The Story of Earth: The First 4.5 Billion Years, from Stardust to Living Planet


A (Very) Short History of Life on Earth: 4.6 Billion Years in 12 Pithy Chapters
A Short History of Nearly Everything
Improbable Destinies: Fate, Chance, and the Future of Evolution
Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged from Matter
Journey of the Universe
Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution
Origin Story: A Big History of Everything
Teaching Big History
The Ancestor’s Tale
The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself
The Evolution of Everything
The Serengeti Rules: The Quest to Discover How Life Works and Why It Matters
The Social Conquest of Earth
The Vital Question
Why Evolution Is True
Your Inner Fish: The amazing discovery of our 375-million-year-old ancestor

Multicellular development

Brilliant Green: The Surprising History of Plant Intelligence
Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo
The Regulatory Genome: Gene Regulatory Networks In Development And Evolution
Your Inner Fish


Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest
The Songs of Trees: Stories from Nature’s Great Connectors by David George Haskell

Books for Young Readers

Before the Beginning: A Child’s First Book of the Great Story
Born with a Bang: The Universe Tells Our Cosmic Story: Book 1
Duck, Death, and The Tulip
Everybody Needs a Rock
From Lava to Life: The Universe Tells Our Earth Story: Book 2
Grandmother Fish: A Child’s first book of Evolution
I’m In Charge of Celebrations
I’m Lucy: A Day in the Life of a Young Bonobo

It Started with a Big Bang: The Origin of Earth, You and Everything Else

Mammals Who Morph: The Universe Tells Our Evolution Story: Book 3
Origins, Being Human, and Other Stories for Children
Our Family Tree: An Evolution Story
The Great Story
The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True

The Magic School Bus Explores Human Evolution


The Other Way to Listen

The Snail with the Right Heart

The Stuff of Stars
The Turtle and the Universe
The Universe Verse
The Way To Start a Day


Arrow of Time
Cassiopeia Project Evolution
Connecting Kids to the Cosmos (TEDx, Bob Blain)
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
Earth on Edge
Emergence (NOVA video)
Emergent Universe Oratorio (#1 The Great Flaring Forth) – a musical and visual interpretation
Evolution Will Change How You See The World
Journey of the Universe
Journey of the Universe (Mary Evelyn Tucker, Chautauqua)
Journey Through the Universe Beyond the Speed of Light
Life’s Greatest Miracle (NOVA video)


13.7 Cosmos and Culture (blog)
Astronomy Picture of the Day
Big History Project
Deep Time Journey Network
Environment 360
Exploring Life’s Origins (Boston Museum of Science)
Frans de Waal (public page; animal intelligence)
Nature’s Depths
NOVA Nature
Towards The Moon Blog



Do know of a resource not mentioned here?

If so, please let us know by filling out and submitting the form below.