The Dancing Universe
From Creation Myths to the Big Bang
By Marcelo Gleiser
By Richard Edward Noble
Marcelo Gleiser is a scientist and a professor of Physics and astronomy at Dartmouth College. He also dabbles in theoretical Cosmology and speculative particle physics. He was born in Brazil and lives in New Hampshire.
He is a great writer and “translator” of the scientific class and their “jargon.”
Professor Gleiser begins this work with a brief review of some ancient myths concerning the origins of this Universe. He divides these myths into “Creation Myths” and “No-Creation Myths.”
The Creation Myths imply a beginning to the Universe and lead the reader into the notions of God, theology, religion, mysticism etc.
The No-Creation Myths are those that imply that the Universe always was and always will be in one shape, form or another – more Hindu or Buddhist or A-theistic than Judao-Christian.
He then gets into Philosophy and the ancient Greeks. This is a prime area of interest to me and I always enjoy refreshing my memory in this area.
This book is basically a synopsis of the evolution of what we call “science.”
We begin with the ancient myths, then proceed to the Greek and Roman philosophers as we explore the root thoughts on the possible answers as to how we have this universe around us. We explore all the early suggestions with professor Gleiser as our guide and interpreter.
I have decided to use this book as my workbook on improving my knowledge of the evolution of cosmological thought.
I have already started looking up each and every name brought forward by the professor and have been reading and researching more about each of them. The professor tells us briefly what each has to say and the value of their contribution.
But this subject interests me and I would like to know more.
I have now read and reviewed two books by Professor Gleiser A Tear at the Edge of Creation and this one. I have enjoyed both immensely.
The author deals with and discusses religious and theological thoughts and its influences on this subject but make no mistake, this is a “secular” work and in no way a defense of any religious point of view.
“How necessary is this separation between science and religion? Very. It serves as a protective device against subjectivism in the practice of science, insuring that it remains a common language in a very diverse community. The scientific discourse is, and should be, devoid of any theological content. Invoking religion to fill in the gaps of our scientific understanding today is, in my view, an anti-scientific attitude. If there are gaps in our knowledge (and there are plenty of them!) we should try to fill them with more science and not with theological speculation.”
He makes this distinction clear throughout the book.
The book and the Professor should stimulate any reader in deeper thoughts.
A few of my thoughts:
1) It is becoming more and more clear to me how science is so easily spun back into religion and mysticism. Cosmology, for example, is so very speculative and hypothetical that the door to Voo-doo is left wide open.
2) The science of light … it is a big problem but very interesting area for more research on my part.
3) Newton posited God and His invisible hand in the regulation of the Universe to solve his problem with motion and other discrepancies in his theory of gravity. God supposedly threw the initial stars and planets into the sky. Einstein has a similar problem trying to justify his theory’s shortcomings – the cosmological constant. And now we have Hubble’s Constant. All of which points out the hidden personal agenda of even the supposed objective scientists. Readers therefore must always be critical of whatever and whoever they are reading. Skepticism comes with the territory.
4) I feel even Professor Gleiser may have his own deity and Cosmological constant permeating his blanket acceptance of the Big Bang Theory. I still haven’t bought the idea.
5) Unlike Stephen Hawking who stated that Philosophy is dead, professor Gleiser gives due credit to Philosophy and blends the Philosophers into his story. A much more realistic and historically accurate point of view in my opinion.
The Dancing Universe (re: Ocillating Universe – expanding/contracting) is written for the non-scientist and I must repeat, the author does a wonderful job in this respect. Although much of science/math is above my head, this author is able to bring these lofty concepts and thoughts down to my level. He knows how to talk to the regular guy. He has a third book, The Prophet and the Astronomer – A Scientific Journey. It is on my list. This is a wonderful, wonderful book, for the science student and amateur, scientific explorer.
Books by Richard Edward Noble. Click on covers below for more info and purchasing instructions.
Classic Tragic Novel
Don't Laugh - This Could Have Been Your Life
Funny stories and some strange characters.
Monkey Dishes and Cocktail Fawks
My Harrowing days in the restaurant business. Great Read.
It's a Long Story
Long Short Fiction - Great stories!
Bloggin' Be My Life
"Bloggin' be My Life" contains a selection of some of my more popular Hobo Philosopher blogs.If you enjoy reading this blog, you should love Bloggin' Be My Life.
It's All About Love
It's All About Love is ... all about love. This is the 2nd book of poetry from The Bard From Chelmsford off Arlington. Every poem in this book comes with a prose introduction. If you enjoy poetry this is a simple choice. Have fun!
A Little Something
Traditional poetry from The Bard From Chelmsford Off Arlington with some poignant prose introductions. If you enjoy any type of poetry, you will enjoy this volume. Thanks.
Talking To Myself
This is my third book of poetry.
Bits and Pieces
The Hobo Philosopher - My first book using the Hobo Philosopher brand. Featuring a variety of writing styles and ideas. Look for the Thoughtful Hobo on the cover.
A Baker's Dozen
The Hobo Philosopher: My Second book of Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction and Short Stories. All varieties of short stories - lots of laughs!
Cat Point - and Them Dang Oyster People
Cat Point is the sequel to "The Eastpointer." Both books contain humorous tales about life in a fishing community on the Florida Panhandle. Lots of laughs.
Won 1st Place award for humor in 2007 from Florida Press Association. More wit, wisdom and humor from the yet to be world famous author, R.E. Noble
A Summer with Charlie - Lawrence
Fiction - Salisbury Beach, Lawrence, Mass. Featured in Merrimack Valley Magazine July /Aug. issue 2010
Travel, Humor, Commentary on migrant farm work and illegal immigration still very pertinent today.
"Just Hangin' Out Ma"
Thank God for the Street Corners of Lawrence, Mass. Anecdotes and humorous escapades about growing up in an industrial mill town in the 40s,50s and 60s.
This is the sequel to "Just Hangin' Out, Ma"
That Old Gang of Mine
This is # 3 in my Lawrence Hometown series. The series is about growing up in the 40's, 50's and 60's in an industrial mill town. Sorta like a Huck Finn goes to vist Uncle Ralph, the bus driver, who lives in a big, rundown city. Lots of fun.
Come On-A My House
This is # 4 in my Lawrence Hometown series.The old homested at 32 Chelmsford ST is pictured on the cover..
Down By The Old Mill Stream
# 5 in the Lawrence My Hometown series.
Standing on the Corner is # 6 in the lawrence My Hometown series.
The old Howard Playstead on Lawrence St.
Eat, Drink and Be Merry
# 7 in the Lawrence my Hometown series.
Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother
Classic tragic novel written from child's perspective. Deals with abuse, poverty, unemployment. Pulls no punches.
Noble Notes on Famous Folks
Humorous, satirical notes on everybody from Constantine to Bill Clinton. Inspiration: Willy Cuppy.
America on Strike
History - documented survey of labor strikes in America
Mein Kampf - An Analysis of Book One
Who are the American Nazis - the Liberals or the Conservatives?
MY NAME IS RICHARD EDWARD NOBLE. I AM A FREELANCE WRITER AND I HAVE PUBLISHED 12 BOOKS:"THE EASTPOINTER" - SELECTIONS FROM AWARD WINNING NEWSPAPER COLUMN - "A LITTLE SOMETHING" - POETRY WITH PROSE -"HONOR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER" - A NOVEL ABOUT GROWING UP IN THE NEW ENGLAND MILL TOWN OF LAWRENCE, MASS, "HOBO-ING AMERICA" - A WORKINGMAN'S TOUR OF THE U.S.A. - "A SUMMER WITH CHARLIE" - THE STORY OF A YOUNG SAILOR'S LAST DAYS AT SALISBURY BEACH, "NOBLE NOTES ON FAMOUS FOLKS" - HUMOROUS ANECDOTES ON FAMOUS FOLKS IN HISTORY,
"AMERICA ON STRIKE" HISTORY BOOK - A SURVEY OF LABOR STRIKES IN AMERICA; "A BAKER'S DOZEN" A BOOK OF HUMOROUS SHORT STORIES; "JUST HANGIN' OUT, MA" - GROWING UP IN THE 40'S, 50'S AND 60'S IN LAWRENCE, MY HOMETOWN, "TENEMENT DWELLERS" - SEQUEL TO JUST HANGIN OUT, MA; MEIN KAMPF - ANALYSIS OF BOOK ONE - HISTORY. CAT POINT - AND THEM DANG OYSTER PEOPLE - SEQUEL TO THE EASTPOINTER
All 12 BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM, BARNES AND NOBLE AND OTHER INTERNET SOURCES OR FROM NOBLE PUBLISHING. ALL 12 OF MY BOOKS ARE NOW ON KINDLE AT BARGAIN PRICES TOO. IF YOU WOULD LIKE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT DISCOUNTS AND SPECIAL OFFERS E-MAIL ME. MY EMAIL IS ON MY PROFILE PAGE.