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The Universe Story: From the Primordial Flaring Forth to the Ecozoic Era--A Celebration of the Unfolding of the Cosmos
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The Universe Story: From the Primordial Flaring Forth to the Ecozoic Era--A Celebration of the Unfolding of the Cosmos

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  207 ratings  ·  22 reviews
From the big bang to the present and into the next millenium, The Universe Story unites science and the humanities in a dramatic exploration of the unfolding of the universe, humanity's evolving place in the cosmos, and the boundless possibilities for our future.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 11th 1994 by HarperOne (first published 1992)
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 ·  207 ratings  ·  22 reviews

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Ric Winstead
Aug 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
For all who deeply feel the environmental crisis, this is the story we all need to understand as a grounding context for action to promote the transition to the Ecozoic era and to avoid the end of life guaranteed by the current Technozoic disaster. Powerful description of the current understanding of cosmology told as a compelling and understandable story. A must read. What you were not taught in school. The primordial coming forth of improbably life on a planet in a solar system which has alway ...more
Jesse Goldberg
Jan 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
A 250 page book of amazing scope from the earliest moments of the universe though billions of years to the rise of world governing bodies that argues for a fundamental shift from human-first to earth-first perspective. Swimme and Berry do a great job of highlighting the primordial "self organizing principles" that have guided and bound the entire course of the universe story.
William Schram
This book was disappointing. I expected that I would enjoy it, or at least glean something positive from it, but I just couldn't stand it. First off, this book is pretty epic in scope. It starts with the big bang and goes all the way to the modern era. My main problem with the book is this; it personifies everything. It is irritating to read about the universe itself having a will and sentience. What does it do with these qualities you ask? It goes and creates galaxies and other things. It speak ...more
Bob Nichols
Aug 25, 2011 rated it liked it
The authors trace our presence back to the beginnings of the universe (Big Bang and the "flaring forth"). In a summary way, the book unravels the journey stage by stage, moving from matter and energy to life, to the development of life on earth, and then to human civilization (including its negative impacts on earth).

The authors theme is that humans reflect an underlying, universal pattern to come together, to form communities, to bond with the other. With gravity and the curvature of the univer
Bart Everson
Apr 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A unique and remarkable book. As the title indicates, it's nothing less than an attempt to relay the story of the universe, and thus to locate ourselves in the cosmic scope of things. The prologue alone is worth the price of admission, as it does all that in just a few pages.

The book that follows simply recapitulates the prologue in greater detail. The first chapter covers the Big Bang. The second chapter is on the emergence of galaxies. The third chapter is on supernovae. The fourth chapter is
Abner Rosenweig
Apr 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Everyone should read this more than once. It's a modern myth, deeply rooted in the latest science and cosmology, which discusses how our universe burst forth from a spacetime singularity, how it evolved, and what role humans play in the grand scheme of unfolding creation.

It's an inspirational blend of object and subject, secular and sacred, science and poetry. It celebrates the universe as an awesome, self-organizing, autopoetic process which undergoes distinct and irreversible phases of transf
Jan 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Read this for an Indian philosophy class. I found this book to be very philosophically comforting. Great read. Highly recommend to everyone who wants to think a bit. The book may not present both sides of the coin, but it's still worth reading & thinking about.
Nov 08, 2008 rated it liked it
My review of this book is on my blog here.
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wow: This is a lyrical account of cosmology from the time of the very beginning until now. Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry have teamed up well in this sweeping history which summarizes current scientific understanding of traditional cosmology and other natural sciences with human history. Their account is a fresh spin of spirituality as people have come to make sense of their world and lives. Thus, they tell a modern history which calls forth the future -- either as technologically dominated or as ...more
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Truly the story of the universe - from the "flaring forth" to the present day. Begins with the development of the first atom and ends with the sobering thought of our Earth in decay. This should be mandatory reading in schools so kids leave knowing that our mother, our home, Earth - is not immortal, and neither are they and that everyday on this beautiful planet is nothing short of a miracle. The future depends on our ability to change...everything. Change is not just good, it is vital...or else ...more
Jack Laschenski
Jan 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
An interesting account of the geologic and life history of the universe. Facts are all OK.

The thesis is that all development is "natural and inevitable" - a process of evolution.

The authors believe that humans are the enemy of life and of the earth, and must modify their behavior to avoid disaster.

But this contradicts the basic thesis that whatever happens is "natural". Are humans the only exception to the "Natural and inevitable"?
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The first half of this book, devoted to the story of the universe creating itself, is awe-inspiring; almost magical. It is the synthesis of narratives from physics, astronomy, biogeochemistry, and natural history imbued with a tone of religious reverence. By establishing the processes at work in the world as not mere local events but as activities of the universe itself, the authors provide an understanding of science which does not dismiss the experienced, aesthetic, and sacred elements of exis ...more
Peter Whitaker
Feb 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I love science but I am not a scientist unfortunately. However, the style adopted by the author is very engaging and does not demand too much from the reader as far as previous scientific knowledge is concerned. They adopt a story telling approach to the whole mystery of life on earth, almost to the point of assuming a mythical quality. I found it very entertaining as well as informative but more serious minded individuals might not. Persaonally I support most attempts to popularise science and ...more
Phila Hoopes
Dec 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Combine astronomy, physics, biology, anthropology, and history with poetry, modern mythmaking, and sheer awe, and you’ll have a rough idea of the scope of this profound volume. Approaching the cosmos as self-aware and self-organizing living system of immanent divinity, Swimme and Berry imbue this history of the universe and our planet with reverence and a plea for humanity’s awakening to its responsibilities and rightful role within the balance.
Aug 28, 2008 added it
I found this one amazing, and amaazingly difficult at the same time. It begins with theoretical beginnings and is very poetic. It becomes less poetic as the story unfolds and there are greater amounts of written documented history to back up the story. Then it finishes with us, now, and what do we do?
Mar 23, 2010 rated it liked it
a bit too scientific for me . i am fascinated that we all come from 'star dust' and a friend thought i might like it.
now i know the name of the star that gave birth to our many elements and for that it was a good read...even tho' i didn't finish it!

TIAMAT is our star!!
J Simpson
Jun 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
i love this guy! y'all do yrself a favor to check him out. Wonderful mixture of science, cosmology, and an underlying faith.
Dec 02, 2007 rated it really liked it
A good review of the evolution of the cosmos
Mar 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The teeeniest bit out of date cosmologically, but otherwise an inspirational read.
Oct 23, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: ecophychology
Not my cup of tea, it started out so well then disintegrated into stupid. Still it was a good concept to begin with the problem was in the delivery.
Linda Kutzer
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“Each being in the universe yearns for the free energy necessary for survival and development. Each existence resists extinction. The consequent history of violence in the universe is as inevitable as the gravitational pull between the Earth and the Sun.” 6 likes
“[O]ur human economy is derivative from the Earth economy. To glory in a rising Gross Domestic Product with an irreversibly declining Earth Product is an economic absurdity.” 4 likes
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