In The Accidental Universe renowned expositor Paul Davies grapples with the most fundamental questions of all. What is our purpose and the purpose of the universe? Are both an accident of nature? Paul Davies guides us through the mysterious coincidences underlying the structure and properties of the universe we inhabit. He sets out the intriguing hypothesis that the appearance of the universe and its properties are highly contrived. Paul Davies gives a survey of the range of apparently miraculous accidents of nature that have enabled the universe to evolve its familiar structure of atoms, stars, galaxies and life itself. This remarkable book concludes with an investigation of the anthropic principle, which postulates that much of what we observe around us is a consequence of the presence of observers in the universe. This thesis of a cosmic biological selection effect is fiercely debated among scientists and is here set out clearly for a general readership.