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The Science of God: The Convergence of Scientific and Biblical Wisdom, by Gerald L. Schroeder Ph.D.



The Science of God: The Convergence of Scientific and Biblical Wisdom, by Gerald L. Schroeder Ph.D.

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The Science of God: The Convergence of Scientific and Biblical Wisdom, by Gerald L. Schroeder Ph.D.

For the readers of The Language of God, another instant classic from "a sophisticated and original scholar" (Kirkus Reviews) that disputes the idea that science is contrary to religion.

In The Science of God, distinguished physicist and Biblical scholar Gerald L. Schroeder demonstrates the surprising parallels between a variety of Biblical teachings and the findings of biochemists, paleontologists, astrophysicists, and quantum physicists. In a brilliant and wide-ranging discussion of key topics that have divided science and religion—free will, the development of the universe, the origin of life, and the origin of man—Schroeder argues that the latest science and a close reading of the Bible are not just compatible but interdependent.

This timely reissue of The Science of God features a brand-new preface by Schroeder and a compelling appendix that addresses the highly publicized experiment in 2008 in which scientists attempted to re-create the chemical composition of the cosmos immediately after the Big Bang. It also details Schroeder’s lucid explanations of complex scientific and religious concepts, such as the theory of relativity, the passage of time, and the definitions of crucial Hebrew words in the Bible. Religious skeptics, Biblical literalists, scientists, students, and physicists alike will be riveted by Schroeder’s remarkable contribution to the raging debate between science and religion.

  • Sales Rank: #22165 in Books
  • Published on: 2009-06-16
  • Released on: 2009-06-16
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 8.44" h x .70" w x 5.50" l, .50 pounds
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 256 pages

From Library Journal
Schroeder (Genesis and the Big Bang, LJ 9/15/90) is an Israeli physicist and scholar of Genesis who maintains that a properly understood Bible and a properly understood science provide consistent sets of data. In recent decades, scientific discoveries in cosmology, paleontology, and quantum physics do not demonstrate or prove the activity of God, but they do remove conflict with that activity. Rapprochement occurs when believers read the Bible on the Bible's terms, avoiding literalism, and when scientists realize that science is powerless to pronounce on a purpose for life. Schroeder is very lucid in explaining difficult scientific concepts, such as the passage of time according to the theory of relativity, and religious data, such as the original Hebrew words. Schroeder's careful and responsible handling of the data on origins from science and Genesis 1, combined with a fresh, judicious correlation between the two, is compelling. Highly recommended.?Eugene O. Bowser, Univ. of Northern Colorado, Greeley
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews
This account of creation is the latest entry in the current endeavor to drag science and religion within shouting distance of each other. Schroeder, a physicist and Bible scholar (Genesis and the Big Bang, 1990), attempts to reconcile the Genesis account of creation with current scientific knowledge about the origin of life. No doubt he is well versed in both the Bible and biology; he's also a skilled pedagogue, explaining abstract or counterintuitive concepts in lay terms. But this book will fail to convince many readers because the author so relentlessly seeks to persuade the reader of the validity of some strange theories, and because his biblical interpretations draw on an exclusively Jewish tradition, including Kabbalah, Maimonedes, and selected passages from the Talmud, which he claims ``anticipated'' later scientific discoveries. Admittedly, some of his arguments (for instance, that the sequence of Genesis creation is congruent with evolution's progression from prokaryotic to human life) are compelling. But elsewhere Schroeder less convincingly rejects the notion of random, mutation-driven evolution, arguing instead that evolution is ``channeled'' toward an outcome preprogrammed into existing DNA. Schroeder's other theories include an odd insistence upon a pre-Adamic, soulless hominid ancestor. It's important to Schroeder that the literal Adam be the first ensouled human being, and since Genesis chronology (almost 6,000 years since Adam) doesn't mesh with what science tells us of the age of humankind, Schroeder sets out to prove that the Bible only picks up the story near the close of human development. Such hermeneutical gymnastics seem strangely outdated and obscure in an often intelligent, cogently argued book. Though respectful of both science and faith, this book is unlikely to convince either scientist or theologian. (b&w illustrations, not seen) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Review
"This engaging and humane book advances the dialogue beyond the clich├ęs and stereotypes of which both scientists and religious believers have been guilty." -- Washington Post

"Schroeder offers fresh evidence for the eternal argument that science and religion, matter and spirit, need not be seen as conflicting or mutually exclusive." -- Publishers Weekly

Most helpful customer reviews

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
Best Explanation Yet!!!
By S. Harris
Excellent mathematical geological anthropological astrophysical and theological support provide remarkable credibility to the outside of the box thinking and sheer genius of this most intriguing book.

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
Three Stars
By Amazon Customer
Ok

86 of 99 people found the following review helpful.
Thinking outside the box,-- a seminal effort worth a read
By A Customer
As a scientist in an ongoing search for truth, I have been disappointed by ham-handed efforts of the creation crowd to cling to extreme minority viewpoints of credentialed scientists from diverse fields of science that would collectively be required to support a *literal* interpretation of Genesis. Similarly, I have been mystified by scientists who reflexively dismiss the idea of some kind of intelligent design outright by way of circular reasoning, arguing that since intelligent design can never be disproven, it is not scientific and thus could not be truth, since only science can properly assess truth.
It is hard to understate, then, the moxie of Schroeder's innovative attempt to reconcile with Genesis scientifically DOMINANT paradigms (i.e. universe many billions of years old, terrestrial life hundreds of millions of years old, species variation to extensive degree by alteration or differential expression of genes). Schroeder introduces his intent thus: "In the following chapters, I attempt to avoid the subjective tendency of bending Bible to match science or science to match Bible." (softcover p.19) Whether he was successful or not is in the eye of the reader, but the explicit intent is refreshing.
This book, then, would be of particular interest to two groups:
1) Scientists who wonder how their mainstream conclusions could possibly be reconciled with ancient accounts of creation from the Hebrew Torah.
2) Jews and Christians who are discomforted by the apparent incompatability between the text of their faith versus the observed truth about our planet and universe as collected and interpreted by the VAST MAJORITY of professional scientists.
The prime example of this reconciliation is Schroeder's attempt to fit a 15-billion year old universe with the six-day account of Genesis by arguing that: 1) from a collective, "Creation-wide" perspective, time advanced differently in the primordial hot universe (time dilation), and 2) that "days" in the ancient hebrew text only adopted the terrestrial perception (instead of universal perception) of time passage upon the creation of man late in the "creation" process.
Later chapters address other issues, such as the likelihood that genetic variation by mutation at rates observed in today's laboratories (or even much greater rates) were sufficient to generate the speciation evidenced in the fossil record within the abbreviated time-frame indicated by the fossil record itself.
By virtue of his theological background and professional training (MIT-trained physicist), Schroeder is uniquely qualified to attempt such a reconciliation. However, as evidenced by several previous reviews, this training is not enough-- at least not enough to win over skeptical scientists. It may be that the sheer enormity of burgeoning data within each of the fields (molecular genetics, population genetics, paleontology, geology, as well as cosmology and particle physics) is simply too great for one individual to incorporate into solid perspective within *each and every* discipline to present an airtight case on all scientific fronts.
Previous reviewers have asserted gross inaccuracies with the science presented in this book. As a clinical neuroscientist, I am not in a position to assault or defend Schroeder on evolution, genetics, particle physics or cosmology. However, I would argue against throwing the baby out with the bathwater. For example, the latest data on cosmic background radiation indicates an accelerating expansion of the universe, and an approximate age of 13.7 billion years instead of the 15 Schroeder cites. Must this nullify the core of his whole premise? Maybe so, but not enough to discard this book out of hand.
The strength of this work is in its innovation. Schroeder rightly notes that the Bible is silent on many subjects, and actually leaves room for many observed phenomena, such as speciation and niche-filling by DNA alteration. It is only the rigid mindset of many religious individuals that closes this possibility.
The weaknesses of the book lie in the specific physical science undergirding Schroeder's arguments, as well as in his over-reliance on conjecture. I thus was left with the same mind-set I had before I read the book, namely that the simplest explanation for why the Genesis account is not borne out by the findings of mainstream science is that Genesis was inspired and spoke great *truth* on a metaphorical and didactic level-- but not at a literal level.
On the whole, I found it a fascinating read. In accord with previous reviewers, I liken this effort to a Model-T. Crude in the light of today, yet innovative at its introduction, with the potential to be honed with further investment in this line of reasoning. This whole line of inquiry would benefit enormously by some kind of COLLABORATIVE work, with each chapter penned by a bona-fide expert in that field of the physical sciences, where this expert can build a much more solid case in conjunction with the totality of data in his or her field. I could even envision anonymous contribution, inasmuch as publicly arguing for some kind of intelligent designer is probably not conducive to garnering tenure in the Paleontology Department of Secular State University....

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