Marcelo Gleiser

Imperfect Creation

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For millennia, humankind has searched for an intellectual Holy Grail – a unifying theory to explain the origins of the universe and our place in it.

Our greatest minds, from Pythagoras and Aristotle to Galileo, Newton and Einstein, have explained the universe in terms of symmetry, harmony and order. Yet despite their best efforts, a ‘theory of everything’ has remained elusive, and for good reason.

In Imperfect Creation, Marcelo Gleiser argues that there is no grand plan, cosmic blueprint or overarching explanation for our existence. In fact, the latest evidence reveals that not only are there imperfections in the fabric of the universe – they are the driving, creative forces behind its very existence. The universe, it turns out, is not elegant. It is gloriously messy.

In an absorbing narrative, Gleiser takes us to the first moments of creation, where an imbalance produced more matter than anti-matter – the birth of the physical universe. He explains the role of imperfection in the formation of galaxies and planets, and the accidents that led to the appearance of life on Earth. And his enquiries go beyond science: if there is no ‘guiding principle’ behind creation, then what is the nature and role of intelligent life?

Imperfect Creation offers a fresh new perspective on life in an evolving cosmos. It will change the way we see ourselves and our place in the universe.

‘This is a masterful, even thrilling account of how we happen to exist. It is personal, clear and as wide-ranging as the imagination and the latest science allows. As we reach a turning point in physics and the understanding of some amazingly contradictory theories, Imperfect Creation is the briefing on what may come next.’ —Robyn Williams, ABC Radio National, The Science Show

Marcelo Gleiser is a professor of physics, astronomy and natural philosophy at Dartmouth College. His lectures are as popular with literature students as they are with science students. He is the author of The Dancing Universe and The Prophet and the Astronomer.
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