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




Dartmouth
2013 • 312 pp. 1 illus. 5 1/2 x 8 1/2"
Cosmology / Philosophy of Science

$22.95 Paperback, 978-1-61168-397-4

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“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.”—Seed Magazine

Includes a new afterword on the discovery of the Higgs Boson

The search for universal truth, the underlying “oneness” connecting all things, has been the abiding obsession of philosophers and alchemists, prophets and string theorists. We would cross a bridge from Occam’s razor to quantum theory on a path of symmetry and elegance toward a grand, unifying Theory of Everything—a place, just over the horizon, where the physical laws governing very large bodies (Einstein’s theory of relativity) and those governing tiny ones (quantum mechanics) unite in a single, orderly framework. Yet somehow, despite the strivings of some of history’s best minds, it turns out that the universe is probably not elegant. It is most likely gloriously messy. In A Tear at the Edge of Creation, the award-winning physicist Marcelo Gleiser argues that the quest for a Theory of Everything is fundamentally misguided: imbalance, asymmetry, and imperfection—not order—are the engines of creation. In this lucid, down-to-earth narrative, which has been translated into twelve languages, Gleiser walks us through the basic and cutting-edge science that fueled his own transformation from unifier to doubter: a fascinating scientific quest that leads him—and us—to a new understanding of what it is to be human.

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“This fascinating account reminds us . . . we may be playing for all the marbles.”—Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet



MARCELO GLEISER is a theoretical physicist and Appleton Professor of Natural Philosophy at Dartmouth College. He is a Fellow and General Councillor of the American Physical Society, author of The Dancing Universe and The Prophet and the Astronomer, and co-founder of and regular contributor to a blog on science and culture hosted by NPR, 13.7.



Sat, 2 Dec 2017 12:08:06 -0500