Virtually all Westerners hold the claims of scientists incontrovertible, seeing religion as fundamentally at odds with the factual truth of science. What is forgotten is that modern science grew from a Christian worldview in which scientists understood the world to be a contingent reality created by God and able to be investigated successfully by rational human beings.
Nancy Pearcey and Charles Thaxton expose these Christian roots in The Soul of Science, but they go further. Instead of resting on the ideological laurels of the past, they go on to explore the true nature of the first scientific revolution, discuss the history and philosophical underpinnings of the mathematization of science, and uncover the so-called "second scientific revolution" and its implications both for the future and for previously received scientific theories.
Writing for non-specialists, the authors explain difficult concepts without oversimplifying them. This isn't an easy-chair-by-the-fire book, however; it's accessible, but it demands the intellectual engagement of readers, as any book on the topic should. This also isn't a treatise on creationism; it's a history and philosophical exploration of science from a Christian perspective.
A Christian perspective isn't necessarily a biased perspective. The authors are evenhanded, citing sources and offering proof for their less-than-orthodox ideas (by scientific community standards). Pearcey is a trained philosopher and Thaxton is a chemist and science historian, and they've made an essential contribution to the dialogue between science and religion.
Part one is something of a revisionist history of science, with common myths rectified and clarified. The second part deals with the Christian basis of the first scientific revolution, revealing how it has been misinterpreted and misrepresented during the successive centuries. Part three deals with the revolution in mathematics, and part four considers recent revolutionary ideas in science, particularly Einsteinian physics, quantum theory, and the new science of DNA.
The Soul of Science is readable and academically rigorous, accessible and intellectually challenging. Promoted by such Christian luminaries in the fields of science and philosophy as Phillip E. Johnson and J.P. Moreland, it's a book to be read by all thoughtful Christians, particularly those interested in the intersection of faith and science. But the book has a much broader potential readership: namely, those secularists who've been systematically deceived by a propagandistic ideological cadre in the name of Science. For such doctrines, this is a much-needed corrective.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here
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