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Journey of the Universe Book Review

Reviewed by Bruce McCabe
Glastonbury Abbey e-Newsletter
May 17, 2012

Title: "Journey of the Universe"
Author: Brian Thomas Swimme and Mary Evelyn Tucker
Publisher: Yale University Press, New Haven, 2011

This astonishing and remarkable book of knowledge, history and wisdom about the origins of the universe makes our own particular world appear to be little more than a mite. Epochs and eras are cited with quick but telling dispatch. The times, evolutions and revolutions covered here range from the beginning of our observable universe billions of years ago to the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Nature and the Earth Charter +10 conference in Ahmedabad, India in 20l0.

The book is a historical feast of epochal events quite beyond our wildest imagining. The events include the emergence of the first nuclei and, within half a million years, the forming of the first atoms of hydrogen, helium and lithium. Also included are the formation of some 100 galaxies, including our Milky Way, the birth of the sun, the formation of the earth, an atmosphere, oceans and continents. All of this is cheek by jowl with the first Ice Ages, the emergence of sexual reproduction and the elimination of 80 to 90 percent of species.

There are appearances like that of Jesus, the evolution of the fin, flat worms, the Gutenberg bible, insects, lungs in fish, reptiles, dinosaurs and the birth of the Atlantic Ocean. Also, birds, primates, rodents, bats, early whales, early cats and dogs, first apes, gorillas, modern cats, elephants, modern dogs, baboons, and the Black Death.

Movements and events are covered from the abolition of slavery in the British Empire to the fall of Rome. Yet, this account of the history of the universe begs the question of where, how and why it evolved. Dare we say a higher power had something to do with it, a power with another power, so transcendent that countless generations have marveled if not worshipped at the miraculous mystery of it. This is a good read.

The book is available on line at www.glastonburyabbey.org or in the Abbey bookstore. A companion film has been shown on public television and was recently shown at the Abbey.


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