For millennia, shamans and philosophers, believers and nonbelievers, artists and scientists have tried to make sense of our existence by suggesting that everything is connected, that a mysterious Oneness binds us to everything else. People go to temples, churches, mosques, and synagogues to pray to their divine incarnation of Oneness. Following a surprisingly similar notion, scientists have long asserted that under Nature's apparent complexity there is a simpler underlying reality.
In its modern incarnation, this Theory of Everything would unite the physical laws governing very large bodies (Einstein's theory of relativity) and those governing tiny ones (quantum mechanics) into a single framework. But despite the brave efforts of many powerful minds, the Theory of Everything remains elusive. It turns out that the universe is not elegant. It is gloriously messy.
Overturning more than 25 centuries of scientific thought, award-winning physicist Marcelo Gleiser argues that this quest for a Theory of Everything is fundamentally misguided, and he explains the volcanic implications this ideological shift has for humankind. All the evidence points to a scenario in which everything emerges from fundamental imperfections, primordial asymmetries in matter and time, cataclysmic accidents in Earth's early life, and duplication errors in the genetic code. Imbalance spurs creation. Without asymmetries and imperfections, the universe would be filled with nothing but smooth radiation.
A Tear at the Edge of Creation calls for nothing less than a new "humancentrism" to reflect our position in the universal order.
©2010 Marcelo Gleiser (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
"Peppered with personal anecdotes and wisdom from one of the science’s most eloquent statesmen, this sweeping exploration of the imperfections at the heart of existence culminates in a hopeful message for humanity’s self-fulfilling purpose in an otherwise meaningless universe." (SEEDmagazine.com)
Letting the rest of the world go by
The books I've been reading lately have been to help me learn about the universe and our place in it. This book has helped in that goal better than any other single book I've read in the past year or so.
He starts with a theory that beauty comes from imperfection and the theories of everything need a perfect universe to make sense and our real understanding comes about realizing the imperfections in nature and that the universe is imperfect. He goes on to explain how it takes imperfections and biases to make a universe and intelligent life to occupy the universe.
Everything he discusses he explains clearly and with marvelous analogies. He talks about how the imbalance of matter with anti-matter led to our universe and that all life on earth is left handed at the molecular level. He talks about the big bang to dark energy and dark matter, life on other planets, evolution of man and what makes us humans so special.
Inflation Theory was based on a Grand Unified Theory that turned out to not be true, but it led to an understanding of Inflation Theory which is widely accepted. Having a perfect science is not as important as continually to learn about our place in the universe.
This book is one of the best survey science books about what is needed to know about our place in the universe. I highly recommend it. The book is so good, I'm hoping the Discovery Channel does a ten part series on it!
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