Monday, June 27, 2011

Book Review: Real Scientists, Real Faith

Real Scientists, Real Faith is a collection of essays by Monarch Books that each contain a short personal essay from a scientists who are Christians talking about their science and their faith. The broad spectrum of disciplines is inspiring, and there is a good international mix too, although if anything it's tilted toward British scientists I personally don't get to see that often, so much the better. (Many spoke in the Faraday lectures I listened to recently.) It's actually a bit much to read all at once and I took it in smaller bits. The Simon Conway Morris essay alone is worth the price of admission; I really need to read one of his full-length books one of these days. Another standout to my eyes is Wilson Poon, a physicist from the University of Edinburgh whose essay is titled "The Laboratory of the Cross." Most essays are substantially autobiographical, and if you take that as your expectation, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the deep debates that get touched upon from time to time. But this is more summer reading than deep reading (with the possible exception of the two essays I mention above). I guarantee that any reader going through it will be struck by how prevalent the science-faith so-called dichotomy is in just in the air in the common media. This book shows there's no such dichotomy, sometimes directly, but more effectively indirectly, showing how lives can be lived reading from both "Books" of knowledge with joy. It's just in the air for this book, quite the opposite of what's "in the air" for the way science is usually described. Breathe deep.

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