Tuesday, July 25, 2006

More Books on Science and Religion

There's a nice article in yesterday's New York Times on the relationship between science and faith.

In The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief,” Dr. Francis Collins, the geneticist who led the American government’s effort to decipher the human genome, describes his own journey from atheism to committed Christianity, a faith he embraced as a young physician. C.S. Lewis's Mere Chrsitianity was instrumental in Collins' conversion.

The Washington Post book review of Collins' book states: "Reason persuaded him that the universe could not have created itself; that humans possess an intuitive sense of right and wrong, which he calls, following Immanuel Kant, "the Moral Law"; and that humans likewise feel a "longing for the sacred." The source of this longing, the Moral Law and the universe, he came to believe, was the God described in the Bible, a transcendent Creator, Companion, Judge and Redeemer. He found additional evidence of a Creator in the eerie ability of mathematics to map the universe and in the numerous material properties -- from the slight imbalance between matter and anti-matter in the Big Bang to the binding energy within the atomic nucleus -- that seem to have been exquisitely tuned to fashion a world that would give rise to complex forms of life."

In God’s Universe, Dr. Owen Gingerich, an emeritus professor of astronomy at Harvard, tells how he is “personally persuaded that a superintelligent Creator exists beyond and within the cosmos.” Hilary Putnam comments: "In God's Universe Owen Gingerich makes the case that the probability is miraculously minute, first, that a planet hospitable to life could form after the Big Bang and, second, that once it had formed, intelligent life could develop there. Whether one agrees or disagrees, one will learn from this beautifully presented account of the relevant astronomy and physics. But that isn't all; Gingerich's reflections (as a liberal Christian) on the theological significance of all this are sensitive and deep. A truly fascinating read."

The NYT article states that "the theory of evolution says nothing about the existence or nonexistence of God." Of course this is controversial since philosophers such as Plantinga et. al. claim that evolutionary theory strongly implies methodological naturalism.