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Paperback The Soul of Science: Christian Faith and Natural Philosophy Volume 16 Book

ISBN: 0891077669

ISBN13: 9780891077664

The Soul of Science: Christian Faith and Natural Philosophy Volume 16

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Book Overview

I consider The Soul of Science to be a most significant book which, in our scientific age, should be required reading for all thinking Christians and all practicing scientists. The authors demonstrate how the flowering of modern science depended upon the Judeo-Christian worldview of the existence of a real physical contingent universe, created and held in being by an omnipotent personal God, with man having the capabilities of rationality and creativity,...

Customer Reviews

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How the Christian Faith Gave Birth to Modern Science

A metanarrative has become ingrained in our culture which states that science is the means by which we threw off our religious superstitions and entered a brave new world of reason and progress. Does this metanarrative itself need to be overthrown? In this work Discovery fellows Nancy Pearcey and Charles Thaxton explain how Christian theism has played a vital role in the historical development of science. Moreover, the next scientific revolution may bring science back to a point where it will reconsider the possibility that life was designed. First, Pearcey and Thaxton shed light on the fact that the "Dark ages" were not quite so dark. While the medieval scholars lacked much of our accumulated knowledge, medieval scientists like Jordanus de Nemore anticipated the work of subsequent scientists through his work on statics. When the scientific revolution swung into full force, early scientists like Newton were devoutly religious and motivated by religion. As one historian they quote put it, "God had designed the universe, and it was to be expected that all phenomena of nature would follow one master plan. One mind designing a universe would almost surely have employed one set of basic principles to govern related phenomena." (pg. 129) Even today, they find that "the DNA code originated from a cause similar in relevant aspects to human intelligence." (pg. 244) The authors begin by observing that "the idea of a war between science and religion is a relatively recent invention--one carefully nurtured by those who hope the victor will be science." (pg. 19) After reviewing all of the contributions which theists, the church, and Christianized societies have made to science, they conclude, "The Christian religion, hand in hand with various philosophical outlooks, has motivated, sanctioned, and shaped large portions of the Western scientific heritage." (pg. 248)

The best Christian introduction to philosophy of science

In this book, Pearcey and Thaxton lay bare the foundation and motivation for science: philosophy. They reveal how science is pushed along by philosophy, and how philosophical views lead to scientific theories (see esp. the chapter on interpretations of quantum mechanics). Before reading this book I had not realized just how strong the influence of philosophy was upon science, but this book opened my eyes. They also do an excellent job of showing the relationship between science and theology, though if this you are looking for anything beyone a basic introduction to this subject, better books are available (try John Polkinghorne and Stanley Jaki, though be warned that they are not easy reads).

Surprisingly Impressive

I bought this book because I was looking for material that discusses the supposed link between Christianity and the development of modern science. In my class on western thought and culture my professor said that Christianity was the foundation for the modern scientific method. I was extremely skeptical about this claim, and I started searching for literature on the subject that I could really trust. I was pleasantly surprised when I found this very well-documented and readable book. This is easily the best treatment of the topic I have ever found. And yes, it did convince me that Christianity really is the mother of science.

Well-balanced and well-informed discussion

This was a solid presentation of the history of Science in the context of the rest of human experience. It did an excellent job of refuting the positivist mythos that we grow up with in Science classes. It also was a good discussion of the origin and evolution of ideas, the metaphysical context of scientists, and the biases that we all bring to determining what is truth/what is verifiable in the world around us. The last chapter felt somewhat weaker, but I got the sense that it was because scientists in the topic addressed were still wrestling with the issues and no majority consensus on the concepts had yet been established. I highly recommend this for academics and laypeople alike. It was the first time that I ever saw the basic mathematical logic that brought Einstein to his theory of time dilation. It was so simple and obvious (rather than obscured by a sensationalized example like the Twin Paradox) and the explanation was straightforward. An excellent read; stick with it, it's worth it.

The Soul of Science

A truly scholarly and excellent work! A must have for any serious Christian and/or scientist who is interested in the role Christianity played in fostering the western/modern science. I like the chapter 1 in particular as it gives a well-organized, rational, consise and methodical account on the histroy of science. I agree with one reviewer, though, that this book might seem to be a little bit ponderous for some readers, but it is a must have so you can read it over and over as a good classical textbook. I am a Christian and I hold a Ph.D from Caltech in Electrical Engineering with minor studies in Applied Physics and I am becoming a lecturer in UC San Diego's ECE department next year. If I ever teach a class on the history of science in a university in the future (I am already doing some of that for my church's Sunday school class), this book will definitely be one of my textbook.
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