A provocative and well-researched stand for intelligent design, weakened somewhat by overconfident conclusions.

GOD IS A PARTICLE?

WAKE UP, THIS IS YOUR LIFE!

A debut book argues that recent discoveries in science confirm the existence of God and a transcendently purposeful life. 

According to Peterson, readers are confronted with two mutually exclusive options for understanding the universe: either it is the inadvertent result of random physical forces and human life is shiftlessly arbitrary, or the cosmos was thoughtfully designed by a supreme intellect and individuals are guided by a profound spiritual destiny. The scientific community, he contends, has been far too dismissive of the argument for intelligent design, assuming that a very narrow conception of physical causation commandeers a monopoly on the market of reason. But all that changed in 2012 when scientists discovered the long sought-after Higgs boson particle, commonly referred to as the “God Particle,” because of the extraordinary scope of its causal and explanatory power. Really a field rather than a particle, the Higgs boson is the ultimate building block, both the cause of all matter and the source of its rational organization. Everything that exists is essentially energy, and the Higgs boson provides the DNA-like instructions for all energy particles, which are the core constituents of the atoms that make up molecules. This level of order and perfection, Peterson avers, repudiates the view that the world is an accident, a cosmic fluke. The author considers other recent scientific revelations as well, including a new understanding of infinity, black holes, gravity, and magnetism to further cast a pall of suspicion on the rejection of intelligent design. Peterson is a lawyer, not a scientist, but his grasp of the most recent advancements in physics and cosmology is impressive, and he’s skilled at marshaling a persuasive argument. He also knowledgably highlights the empirical gaps in evolutionary theory, especially with respect to human life and the emergence of consciousness. But despite his commitment to epistemological openness, Peterson’s tendency is to convert thousands of years of philosophical disputes into an open-and-shut case, declaring the outright victory of intelligent design. He’s at his best when, instead of intellectual stridency, he acknowledges the irresolvable mystery of the universe. 

A provocative and well-researched stand for intelligent design, weakened somewhat by overconfident conclusions. 

Pub Date: Jan. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5127-5731-6

Page Count: 166

Publisher: Westbow Press

Review Posted Online: June 13, 2017

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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THE MYTH OF SISYPHUS

AND OTHER ESSAYS

This a book of earlier, philosophical essays concerned with the essential "absurdity" of life and the concept that- to overcome the strong tendency to suicide in every thoughtful man-one must accept life on its own terms with its values of revolt, liberty and passion. A dreary thesis- derived from and distorting the beliefs of the founders of existentialism, Jaspers, Heldegger and Kierkegaard, etc., the point of view seems peculiarly outmoded. It is based on the experience of war and the resistance, liberally laced with Andre Gide's excessive intellectualism. The younger existentialists such as Sartre and Camus, with their gift for the terse novel or intense drama, seem to have omitted from their philosophy all the deep religiosity which permeates the work of the great existentialist thinkers. This contributes to a basic lack of vitality in themselves, in these essays, and ten years after the war Camus seems unaware that the life force has healed old wounds... Largely for avant garde aesthetes and his special coterie.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1955

ISBN: 0679733736

Page Count: 228

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1955

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