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Perfect Symmetry Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 1986


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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Bantam (June 1, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553240005
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553240009
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,471,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Splendid." -- The New York Review of Books

"Eloquent.... Pagels has shown a flair for graceful exposition....He is also a wry philosopher." -- Kirkus Reviews --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Worldreels on November 8, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book should be in print. This is an excellent primer for understanding cosmology-the birth of the universe. Although pre-string, little quantum theory is left out. But what I liked most was the last twenty pages of his reflections. There he says that scientific truth must be third person, the sharing of collective truth and not a first person ego trip. He quotes Einstein that personal truth is a kind of optical delusion-"a kind of prison for us." Like many others Pagels found some tranquility in the noosphere of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin who asserted the big bang will eventually culminate in the Omega point, an ocean of consciousness where every drop of water remains conscious of itself. His message is purely scientific- liberate yourself "from the obsession with certainty and hope" since these close you "to new experiences about reality."
Pagels realized that most theoretical physics has become a belief factory and that nothing we hold as truth today will suffice for tomorow's world. He urges his reader to develop tolerance for complexity and to welcome contradiction in order to escape the fallacies inherent in simplicity and certainty. He urges his reader to live as he died-an explorer of the unknown.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By flashgordon on November 13, 2007
Format: Paperback
I've reread this book several times over the years, and I find it a pleasure each time.

I decided to write a review today after starting yet another rereading. An observation that made me want to write a little bit of a review was some of the historical tidbits in the book. He mentions Alvin Clarke discovering a white dwarf star around the star system Serius(sorry if I got the spelling a bit off on the star system serius). Alvin Clark as noted by Heinz Pagels made the optics for the last refracting telescopes before the giant reflectors pretty much put the refractors in their places historically. Because I had read 'The Glass Giant of Palomar' I almost knew the name intimatelly. This is why books like the Perfect Symmetry' and 'the Glass Giant' have their place in the intellectual life. It's like hearing the words of Thales himself or whoever made the number patterns on the those bones tens of thousands of years ago. I then started rereading it and found even more appreciation for our time and place.

I of course have read this book before, but after writing about alot of the intellectual historic highpoints of humanity on my blog, I saw the historical viewpoint that Heinz Pagels presents of William Hershel. The fact that Hershel thought of galaxies and lookback time due to the finite speed of light . . . way back in the 1700's as oppossed to the 1900s makes all of Hershel's astronomy remarkable indeed. People have to realize that mathematical science at the time needed a certain amount of development before it could go much further than what Newton had done in the 1600's - the work of Leonard Euler and his associates.
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0 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Laurentius on June 26, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mr Lovelock presents a theory that must be seriously considered by anyone who has an interest in keeping our planet alive. I would recommend this book highly, and I intend to find the author's previous books and read them, as well.
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