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Comment: A well-cared-for item that has seen limited use but remains in great condition. The item is complete, unmarked, and undamaged, but may show some limited signs of wear. Item works perfectly. Pages and dust cover are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine is undamaged.
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The Universe Is a Green Dragon: A Cosmic Creation Story Paperback – June 1, 1984

4.5 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Seldom, if ever, within the scientific tradition, has the excitement of the universe been expressed in such memorable phrasing." (Thomas Berry, Creation magazine)

About the Author

Brian Swimme, Ph.D., a specialist in mathematical cosmology, was educated at Santa Clara University and the University of Oregon. At the present time, he is the director of the Center for the Story of the Universe, a research affiliate of the California Institute of Integral Studies, in San Francisco.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Bear & Company; Original ed. edition (June 1, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0939680149
  • ISBN-13: 978-0939680146
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,863 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
There is probably no better way to introduce the non-scientist to the philosophical implications of the emerging 'quantum' worldview. As a mathematical cosmologist, Brian understands the details behind the amazing revelations of the 'new physics' and with unique talent weaves a wonderful tale of the complementary meaning we must see in these details. I have used this book as a primary text in courses I have taught in science and society and years later had students recall with great fondness the sense of awe, spirit and personal vision it awakened in them. This is not another work of the nice but limited science-and -religion-are-the-same school, but a truly deep and accessable presentation of the new scientific worldview that combines technical understanding with spiritual meaning. A true gem that educates and inspires hope!
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Format: Paperback
As a supplement to the thoughts of Lonergan, Ursula Franklin, Thomas Aquinas, and Plato, this book serves to put into poetic terms the dance of physics, biology, cognitive thought, creation, evolution, spirituality, psychology, love, life, death, meaning, and essentially everything else this universe holds. It was interesting to see this work done in the matter of the dialogues - it worked for the Greeks for teaching difficult topics. The book holds much more meaning if you have already studied concepts of life, such as those expressed by Lonergan. The reader is really forced to think in a completely different manner in order to understand Swimme's thoughts. You look at everything differently after reading this; you gain a new love of life and in the process become more human. I would whole-heartedly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in life and existence, no matter what your background knowledge is. Best thing out there!
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Format: Paperback
I couldn't stand looking at the one star review on the Amazon page that doesn't show that almost all the rest gave five stars. Hands down this is my favorite book -- for all the reasons the eloquent writers of the five star pieces cited. I've bought 400 plus copies -- if you are my friend, you've read it, and if you are someone I've brushed by who is listened to by others, I've pressed a copy in your hands. Understanding the concepts in this book changes you into what it is that hopefully us humans are becoming, where our gratitude for the privilege of human life in this wondrous creation supercedes our proclivity to blow each other up.
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Format: Paperback
This book is terrific. Using the classical dialogue between teacher and student, the dynamics of the universe unfold like gentle breezes on an Autumn afternoon. There is just too much in this book to praise. It is a rare blend of science and poetry. Clearly Brians best book to date. It's the best book ever written by anyone associated with Creation Spirituality (Matthew Fox and Thomas Berry included). If you are a scientist, teacher, spiritual, or any human; if you look at a butterfly and are happy, or gaze up at the Milky Way and are filled with awe, this book was written by the universe to call you into the stupendous dance of joy, creativity, and love.
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Format: Paperback
Swimme writes about our authentic maturation as a species. Let us then consider one splendid example of authentic maturity: the shark. Unquestionably, the shark is essentially perfect in fit, form, and function. That need not surprise us: the shark is the result of tens of millions of years of change. No one would argue the shark prevents the Earth from blooming.
The shark also provides a useful test of the assertion that the shark got to its present state of maturity by continuing to question, develop, hope, live in awe and in the depths of wonder. We are to believe the shark developed a greater awareness by the process of "self-reflexion" and that explains its perfect fit in the universe. I believe the opposite is true: the shark is a "matured" species precisely because it was (and is) incapable of any of the activities Swimme claims as prerequisites for maturation.
One paragraph in Swimme's book reads:
"Can Earth sustain our violence? Can a great beauty grow from the ruins we leave? Concerning this question, it is important to understand the temporal nature of the Earth's creativity. The Earth at one time was able to create life, but that time has gone. The first life forms consumed the very conditions that enabled life to emerge. The fertility of the Earth is different now. If the higher life forms disappear, they cannot be re-created. When life forms vanish, they vanish forever."
Several thoughts come to mind. In the geologic past at the Cretaceous-Tertiary transition, current evidence suggests an immense event took place. Just about all life forms vanished. We can safely assume that one of those life forms qualified as the "highest". It very likely vanished too.
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Format: Paperback
I am a scientist, and I do appreciate and feel the vastness and beauty of the universe, and the elegance of biological evolution. But I don't think Swimme's romanticizing of science, cosmology, and particle physics is going to lead us to build a better society or better individual lives. Educated people have already tried making a god of science in this culture, I presume because of the seeming miracles it has performed, and the result has been people with empty spiritual lives and a desperate need to fill the void with stuff - food, things, travel - anything to avoid facing the sense of meaninglessness they get when they feel like tiny insignificant cogs in a vast machine. It doesn't really matter whether the machine is the military/industrial complex or the universe, in terms of its effect on the human spirit. Granted, the current state of much organized religion is not ideal, but I don't think Swimme's approach is going to have any better results. There are many alternative approaches between religious fundmentalism on one pole and an exclusive devotion to matter on the other.
This particular book is also painful to read, due to its patronizing tone and the way science is mixed with the subjective speculations and opinions of the author. There is a lack of respect for logic or fact in this book, which is surprising considering its topic and the author's credentials. Swimme is misusing the hard-won authority of science, which has performed its seeming miracles by a rigorous attention to observable facts. He owes it to his trusting readers (note the many 5-star reviews at this site) to distinguish clearly between the facts and his interpretations. There is a lack of intellectual humility here, which ironically mirrors his complaint of inappropriate human grandiosity in relation to nature.
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