A Course in Butterflies: A Novel
“There is only one ultimate belief upon which we can base our interior life – the belief that there is an absolute direction of growth to which our duty and our happiness demand that we conform; and that life advances in that direction, taking the most direct road.”
Teilhard de Chardin
What do butterflies have to do with astrophysics? Was the God of Einstein really God? What is humanity’s role in the evolving universe? All of these questions and more converge during one important year in Katherine’s life.
Katherine Ayers, an astrophysicist at a popular American university, grapples with life’s most daunting questions – about the origins of the universe, the fate of the globe we inhabit, the laws that govern both. Her “Course in Butterflies” is offered as part of an interdisciplinary initiative designed to engage undergraduates in a meaningful exploration of the learning process itself.
Together with her students, during the academic year concurrent with the turn of the millennium, Katherine confronts the even more daunting questions about life here on Earth.
Butterflies, Science & Religion, Environment, Complexity Theory, Education, Relationships,The role of young people in the fate of our world.
Responses to A Course in Butterflies:
Beautifully written and a beautiful ride! Goes a long way toward bridging the divide between science and religion. As a physicist, I found the conversations among scientists intriguing. And I have to admit to being taken in by the romance as well! Well done! –Jim Tichy, Sausalito, CA
I loved this insightful and inspiring book. It goes right to the core . . . McGinley’s perspective on education, the environment, and spirituality resonates with what so many of us feel but struggle to articulate. This is a thoughtful and beautifully written book. – Diane Lloyd, Lake Forest, IL
Is contemplation of the many metaphysical issues dealt with in this book a privilege or a necessity? . . . We only get so many trips around the sun and one must choose. Thank you for the gift of your novel. – Christian Klaus, Clayton, NC
A truly novel novel. This book is a work of art. I marveled especially at the created conversations, so effortless and insightful. And I loved being back on campus at U-M! – Joan Dedo, Mill Valley, CA
This is a fascinating novel, unlike anything I’ve ever read. Katherine’s experience and her inner journey remained with me for a long time. So deep and philosophical and at the same time an engaging story. – Sally Smuclovsky, Miami, FL
The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Sundance Utah, San Francisco
Katherine Ayers, Professor of Physics, The University of Michigan
Mary Claire Henley, Professor of English Literature, The University of Michigan
Charles Lewis, Professor of Physics & Director of The U-M Center for the Study of Complexity
Michael Cavanaugh, Stanford Physicist and Director of “The Center” in San Francisco
Jonathan Delcourt, President of The University of Michigan
Albert Finn, Chairman, Herbert B. Finn Memorial Foundation, San Francisco
David Maize, Professor of Art, The University of Michigan
Debra Lewis, Professor of Psychology, The University of Michigan
Hardcover, 358 pages
Gleam of Light Press, 2018
Dimensions: 9.5″ x 6.5″ x 1.5″
Shipping weight: 1 lb