The subtitle of this book is
“Scientists Reflect on Science, God, and the Origins of the Universe,
Life, and Homo sapiens.” A
book written by 60 leading scientists including 24 Nobel prizewinners
may be written off by many people as being impossible to have any
value. I have to confess that I was very skeptical of the use of the
book, because all I did when I first got it was to leaf through it and
see that each writer only had a few pages. When I finally sat down to
actually read the book, I found that its primary value was in its
science explanations, not in the opinions of each of the 60 scientists
who lent their name to it.
edited by Henry Margenau and
Roy Abraham Varghese,
Open Court Publishing Co., 1994, 285 pages,
$36.00 (paperback) ISBN-10: 0-8126-9186-5
The book is worth buying just for the first 25 pages
which contain an excellent essay by Roy Abraham Varghese. This essay is
an objective survey of modern science. If someone wants an objective
discussion of cosmology, relativity, quantum mechanics, and modern
theories such as multiple universes, vacuum fluctuations, and the like,
this is a wonderful quick summary of all of that. After that
introduction, the book contains the responses of 60 leading scientists
to the following questions:
1. What do you think should be the
relationship between religion and science?
2. What is your view on the origin
of the universe: both on a scientific and — if you see the need — on a
3. What is your view on the origin
of life: both on a scientific level and — if you see the need — on a
4. What is your view on the origin
of Homo sapiens?
5. How should science — and the
scientist — approach origin questions, specifically the origin of the
universe and the origin of life?
6. What are your thoughts on the
concept of God and on the existence of God?
The book also contains a debate between Antony Flew
and H. D. Lewis as well as some secondary essays by William R. Stoeger
and Eugene Wigner.
The problem with this book is that outside of the
essay by Varghese, it is all opinions, and the opinions are all over
the intellectual block. What is useful is that a vast percentage of the
opinions are very positive about the existence of God and the value of
religious faith. This is not a book about the Bible or Christianity,
but the validity of belief in the existence of God. Most of the book is
fair and even-handed. For a person wanting a better understanding of
cosmology and quantum mechanics, the book is very useful.
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Does God Exist? JanFeb11.