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A Tear at the Edge of Creation: A Radical New Vision for Life in an Imperfect Universe

3.63  ·  Rating Details  ·  126 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
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 notio ...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published April 6th 2010 by Free Press (first published 2010)
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Gendou
Jul 14, 2011 Gendou rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The first chapter is riddled with theistic bull twankey.
The (silly) argument from the first cause, for example.
Also, the (false) assertion that to be without being a part of a divine plan, mankind has no purpose.

The second chapter is about, I'm not kidding, Vampires....

Chapter 5: Gleiser talks shit about Dawkins, Hitchens, and Harris, calling them "extremists".

Chapter 7: Gleiser compares Ionian "oneness" with the modern goal of unification between the forces. As if the stumbling nonsense of Gree
...more
Erica Miles
I cannot hope to do this book justice. I am deeply humbled by the author’s talent, knowledge, and communicative skills. However, I can say that listening to it as an Audio book lifted me to a higher plane of consciousness for several hours, during which time, I was released from my usual petty concerns and self-centeredness, as I contemplated the majesty of the Universe, the history of science--mainly Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and even Science Fiction, with Mathematics explained as a tool for ...more
Sarah
Nov 02, 2010 Sarah rated it really liked it
Gleiser has made an incredible point in this book- one that I hadn’t heard before. The relationship between humans and creation has always been one of rift, devastating uncertainty, and the passionate search for the meaning of it all. Generally speaking, the arguments are fairly dichotomous; supernatural or all natural. God reigns over the former half and science over the latter. The two seem worlds apart (no pun intended) however, Gleiser argues that the search for the Ultimate Truth, in either ...more
Gary
Jul 22, 2014 Gary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 bi
...more
Voijarisa
The main notion of this book is that science in general (and physics/cosmology in specific) is fixated on trying to find unified theories that are beautifully elegant and simple. There's a belief that there must be a simplest, unified form from which all natural laws spring, if only we could understand it.

Gleiser's argument is that perhaps it's time to give up on this idea; To get past the notion that the universe must inherently make sense and that all forces must be tied together by some uniti
...more
Ryan Casey
Took me forever to get through. I found I least understood what I thought I knew well enough and absolutely couldn't stand his writing style by the end. I'm mad at wasting my time when I could have been reading another book. He did do a nice job of explaining some things that I had previously not understood like the Higgs.
Wilder
Nov 07, 2015 Wilder rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I actually couldn't finish this. The author's new-agey voice is grating. It may be that I just disagree with the author, but I found it really difficult to continue reading.
Chimezie Ogbuji
Jun 10, 2012 Chimezie Ogbuji rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent book about the dogma underlying scientists who try to replace religion with the desire to find a unifying principle behind all of nature and on an alternative motivation for science based on a more humble understanding of how the universe and life on the planet was formed. The argument is very well supported and developed. The only downside is the heavy emphasis on particle and quantum physics details which are a bit much and even boring for the non-theoretical physicist.
Nikole
Mar 24, 2013 Nikole rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's an ok book but I was disappointed. About halfway through it becomes poorly written, doesn't flow well, too much autobiographical content (sorry but I don't care what your career aspirations were when you were 14), repetitive and jumps around a lot. I feel like he could have expanded on and explained his ideas better. If you've read other physics books this one prob won't give you much new to chew on and it's not radical. But I do like his overall point that a Theory of Everything isn't nece ...more
David
May 27, 2010 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to David by: Rod Rodriguez
Today, I'm about half-way through Gleiser's book and again, as I've said in other notes, I both agree and disagree. I have yet to fully in whether he thinks reality is fully inconsistent in and of itself or if he is pointing at doubting in the human ability to take hold of the fullness of reality. Nonetheless, I recommend this work to everyone interested in pushing aside expectations.

By the time I'd finished Gleiser's work I had deepened my contradictory enjoyment of his work.
Christian Dechery
At first this seemed like a very good book, with a solid argument: the Universe and life are basic assymetric. They both resulted from imperefections. While trying to put a theoric foundation to this, the author, which I admire, gets lost in too many details making it a very boring read for the lame public - myself included. On the other hand, Gleiser has come to be a gifted writer which is rare among the "nerdy" crowd of physicists.
Jon
Dec 07, 2010 Jon is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
This book as an amazingly approachable read for its topic matter. the thesis is intriguing, but most of all for me, it is a great synopsis of the the leading theories related to how our cosmos was formed and how life emerged on our planet. the book is dense enough to do the theories justice yet can be understood by a reader with only basic high school knowledge of chemistry biology and physics
David Dort
Brilliant and unexpected moments of Gleiser's asymmetric are convoluted by a clumsy delivery. His overarching theme is refreshing: we need no perfect symmetry or unified theory and no theology...the unusual properties of particle physics that led to the growth of the universe and subsequently apogenisis are exceptionally rare enough to embrace and protect and propagate life with all our energy.
Lusine
Mar 18, 2013 Lusine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing book! Nicely summarizes the achievements of cosmology up till today, pointing out our knowledge gaps and prospects to the future. Creation is not perfect, and truth is not beauty and harmony...Easy to read, powerful analysis of scientific quest and its relevance to everyone's life...
Mishehu
Jul 14, 2013 Mishehu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very unpromising start. Set up expectation that book would devolve into series of new age science/philosophy musings. A few chapters in, though, became quite rigorous (as popular science treatments go) and highly thought provoking. Overall a very interesting book.
Chuck
Feb 12, 2015 Chuck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heavy!!!!
Art
Jul 11, 2010 Art rated it it was ok
Shelves: science
Interesting, but a bit scattered. Going from physics to evolution and biology to make his point was a bit distracting and just left me feeling bored rather than enlightened.
Warren Wallace
A rehashing of the history of physics with a self serving slant. No new information for someone familiar with the subject.
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