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November 22, 2005

Galileo, Darwin and Hawking

(the interplay of science, reason and religion)
Phil Dowe – ISBN 0802826962

Written by an Australian philosopher, the book explores the tension between religion and science, reason and faith, the harmony and disharmony between these endeavors thruout history.

He expresses a subtle nihilism in dealing with the faith of religion, and is too optimistic in glossing over “faithful” positivity in science—which is always factual while religion is opinion. While often true it is not always so.

Religion and science are deemed complementary and perhaps interdependent, but I object to his minimization of faith in unresolved (and unresolvable!) science: creation and life itself come to mind.

Using the principals mentioned in the title, the broad (and many individual) fields of science and religion are carefully explored and explained in a fashion understandable and interesting to the average reader. Science, the exercise of reason and the scientific method, he believes (or implies) will eventually provide all answers. He tends, generally, to champion Hawking and Darwin, minimizing the deep Catholicism of Galileo.

I remain bemused by philosophers and scientists who walk us thru the rational human mind of quantum physics, mathematics, cosmology, randomization, etc., all the way back to “the big bang,” without allowing that some incomprehensible force or power just might (and in my opinion had to) have been involved in creating that unimaginably dense little golf-ball sized hunk of matter that went bang in the first place.

And why, with the myriad possible permutations of that explosion, did we end up with this perfectly balanced universe?

Hmmmmm! Still, an interesting read for content and explication.

Posted by respeto at November 22, 2005 1:40 PM