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.read more
Reviews for The Science of God by Gerald L. Schroeder
This book has sold a lot of copies and generated a lot of discussion since its publication in 1997, but it really just didn’t do it for me. Schroeder’s premise is that Bible thumpers and secular scientists need to put their heads together, compromise a little here and there, and realize that the Bible story goes hand-in-hand with 20th-century scientific discovery.That means the seven-day creation story is true (Einstein’s theory of relativity helped us out a little on this topic) by measuring time from God’s perspective. The cosmic clock of Genesis is based on the characteristics of cosmic background radiation. The dinosaurs were created on day five, a day that lasted roughly a half billion years. The flood really happened when the Bible says it did, but it wasn’t a universal event. Before the flood, people lived extraordinarily long lives, because the climate was less demanding. You get the idea.I agree with Schroeder that the conditions of our universe and our own little world are incredibly fine-tuned, and thus a bit difficult to explain. Schroeder quotes Weinberg’s famous calculation that if the energy of the big bang fifteen billion years ago were different by one part out of 10 to the 120th power, there would be no life anywhere in the universe. It’s as if the universe is tuned for life from its inception. There have been a number of thought-provoking responses to Weinberg’s conclusion, but it’s still difficult for me to put out of my mind the idea that something really special has happened for our benefit … something quite carefully planned.It’s a puzzle without easy explanation, alright. I just don’t get why anyone would choose the Bible’s myths as the foundation for their explanation. As carefully as Schroeder has put his theory together, it still just feels contrived and overly complex to me. If Schroeder wants believers and scientists to hold hands and sing Kum Ba Yah, he’s going to need to write down to the non-scientist level. But why bother? Don’t the earliest Bible stories make a whole lot more sense as theological or political or moral treatises than as history books? Why not let religion be religion and science be science?read more
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The magic is the way Schroeder adds exponentially to the conventional wisdom to weave a great explanation of life and the universe that is consistent with both the Torah and modern science. He also encourages both sides to back down from extreme stances, giving examples for both sides to show the error of the blinded way. At the forefront of the argument is the observation that even Moses himself declared the Pentatuech to have deep and profound levels of meaning. Simultaneously, he shows that the die-hard scientic views of evolution and an eternal universe have both been countermanded in the last 20 years. His most impressive point concerns the big bang and the duration of creation. Using Einstein's relativity to explain the slowdown of time relative to the original first 6 days after the "light" was let to be there, the author shows that modern science places each of the events described each day at about that point in time as the Bible's version. Time then is essentially an exponential curve until the creation of man, at which point the Bible's schedule is the same as our modern duration. Onward to the advent of man, the author consistently uses the meaning of the original Hebrew to clarify exactly how man was first made and then created with the breath of a soul. Until that time, Cro-Magnon man could look exactly like us but not have a soul, which the Bible defines as that which separates us from the animals. Further comparison involves the similarity of DNA across all living things and the inclusion of more advanced DNA (such as for building eyes) in organisms that will never implement the information. The discussion of evolution concentrates on the difference between micro evolution (changes within phyla) and macro evolution (all of those dubious missing links). Solid evidence is given that with one exception, no missing links have been found. And of course, the one missing link, known to science as Archeopterix, is described in the Bible, which uses the same word in clarifying what birds and what reptiles cannot be eaten. All of this must strengthen an open mind toward realizing that something more than just random circumstances led to the world we know and the life that we see in it. In fact, the author repeatedly shares the skepticism of other great scientists and mathematicians who had calculated such odds. This book is an instrumental foundation to anyone who wants to have an intelligent conversation about life.read more
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