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The Secret Melody: And Man Created the Universe [Paperback]

Our Price $ 19.51  
Retail Value $ 22.95  
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Item Number 257679  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   320
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.1" Width: 6" Height: 1.1"
Weight:   1.1 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 2005
Publisher   Templeton Foundation Press
ISBN  1932031952  
EAN  9781932031959  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
In this book, originally published in English by Oxford University Press in 1995 and now back in print, Thuan explores the universe, life, and human consciousness in terms of a musical score. As prelude, Thuan describes the many other cosmologies that preceded the Big Bang theory of creation: the magical universe of cavemen, the ancient Chinese concept of the universe, the mathematical universe introduced by Pythagoras, and the heliocentric universe of Copernicus. He then explores the work of Galileo, Thycho Brahe, and other early scientists before moving on to our current understanding of the universe, the ways in which modern astronomers study the universe, the equipment they use, and their major discoveries. An examination of the origin and nature of the universe inevitably raises philosophical and religious questions. Thuan addresses these questions, presenting a provocative case for the anthropic principle and illuminating the place of God in a Big Bang cosmology. Blending up-to-the-minute descriptions of the forefront of astronomy with thoughtful reflections on science's possible impact on philosophical and religious belief, this sweeping monograph explores the boundary between science and philosophy, science and art, and science and religion. With many beautiful and informative illustrations, The Secret Melody presents an enthralling look at our endless efforts to understand the cosmos and to hear the music of the stars.

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More About Trinh Xuan Thuan

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Mattieu Ricard is a Buddhist monk residing at the Shechen monastery near Kathmandu in Nepal. He is coauthor of the critically acclaimed "The Monk and the Philosopher" and is the official French translator of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Trinh Xuan Thuan is a professor of astronomy at the University of Virginia and the author of the critically acclaimed "The Secret Melody" and several other popular science books.

Trinh Xuan Thuan has an academic affiliation as follows - University of Virginia.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Tendentious, but interesting and well-written  Mar 10, 2001
I was very fond of this book until the end. As has been pointed out in the reviews, the author has a narrative talent absent from most science writing for the layman. He is also an aesthete with polymathic talents and interests. But herein lies the problem with the book. One of those interests is theology. One would have thought that most professional scientists would have learned by now to leave God out of the equation, since the question or even the meaning of the question, "Does God exist?" is scientifically unanswerable. Carl Sagan, to whom one reviewer compares Thuan is acutely aware of this fact in all his writings. Thuan doesn't exactly "believe" or have "faith" that God exists, but he concludes with a "scientist's bet" that something so complex and beautiful could not have arisen from chance. His reasons for doing so are thus really aesthetic, not scientific. He chooses to ignore that this world is not all art and beauty, but also massacres, bloodshed and mayhem: Wars and rumors of wars. His secret melody is really "the music of the spheres" a very poetic and understandable notion that originated in Ancient Greece(perhaps with Pythagoras), and which some relatively modern scientists, such as Kepler, were obsessed with, reformed to fit the discoveries of modern science.-Ultimately, Thuan, like Einstein, cannot bring himself to believe that our world evolved by chance. His argument is basically, though he denies it, a first cause argument heavily disguised. The orderliness of our world is caused by the secret melody. But what caused that? And what was the cause of what caused that? etc etc etc And what, by the way, is the evidence for a "secret melody" or "music of the spheres" to begin with beside man's mystical aesthetic experience. These are ideas scientists eschewed long ago as, well, not scientific. There is an invidious whitewash of the darker side of human nature in all of this which one would think one glance at the last hundred years of human history would warrant at least some taking account of. But to Thuan, as to Browning, "God's in his Heaven an all's right with the world." At times, considering the things men have done to each other, one is glad to be informed that in a few million years our Sun will expand and burn any humanity left to a crisp, thus ending the atrocities (as well as the beauty Thuan is so enraptured with of course)that man has perpetrated and created.-Ultimately, Thuan cannot bring himself to consider honestly what the great British scientist and philosopher J.B.S. Haldane pointed out: that not only is the universe stranger than we imagine. It's stranger than we CAN imagine.-Thuan takes the anthropic view, that the universe was created for the beauty enjoyed by us. This is terribly unscientific and egotistical. As Bertrand Russell pointed out, we are told that evolution from the earthworm to man constitutes "progress." But nobody has asked the earthworm his opinion on the subject.
Wonderful Cosmology  Sep 22, 2000
The author, T.X. Thuan--with the mind of a scientist and the heart of a poet--has been called the 'Carl Sagan of France" for his lucid science writing. No wonder this book is such a beautiful overview of contemporary cosmology! Unmarred by the weak writing style, materialist reductionism, or scientific arrogance that plagues other, more popular authors (Gribbin, Davies, Smolin), this book presents an eye-opening tour of contemporary scientific cosmology that is a real pleasure to read. This popular work is written with clarity, charm and erudition, along the lines Timothy Ferris' works. He suggests there is an underlying divinity--the "Melody" of the title--not a wind-up deity but instead an emergent wholeness. Materialists will read every line in a book and, not finding the plot any where, conclude that there is none. But its only a secret because you have to listen. This is a marvelous book and I loved reading it. And afterwards, you'll look forward to his new book, too!

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