A faith-based examination that tries to square Genesis with astrophysics, with mixed results.

WHAT IS TIME?

ANSWERS: DID GOD CREATE THE UNIVERSE

An eager inquiry into how time works, invoking Christian theology to braid together diverse strands of theoretical science, including cosmology, evolutionary biology and quantum mechanics.

Predicated on the reasoning that God’s influence is unavoidable, the author’s theory on the origin of time winds back to when God created the universe and, with it, “universal time.” (Humans, on the other hand, define “relative time” with clocks, calendars, histories and timelines.) Driver describes the three states of time (past, present and future) and connects faith to the nature of time, observing that humans rely on the supposition that the future will happen in a certain way. “The expected future is based upon collective information on the aging process of many who have gone before us,” he says. “These are life expectations due to time.” Driver delves into astrophysics and illustrates some working theories with memorable metaphors. To describe how cosmologists have observed the expansion of the universe, he explains that the universe is like a curtain, its unfolding accelerating so that it expands faster than the speed of light; the hand pulling the curtain, according to Driver, is God. Even further, Driver argues that the Big Bang theory, the operating assumption most astrophysicists use for the creation of the universe, relies on a supernatural force that defies the laws of physics, which, in Driver’s mind, makes it as equally plausible an explanation as a divine creator forming the universe. Driver uses this explanation to set up a theory that God uses science to reveal his ways to humans, one discovery at a time. One of his pivotal points describes God as an intelligent creator, setting forth the material for the creation of the universe and the laws that correspond to how it will behave and then letting the universe develop on its own. He points to evidence supporting evolution as the workings of a divine creator rather than a theory drawn from natural observations: “Darwin, in his limited theology, did not understand that nature is another name for God.” To prove God’s presence in creation, Driver delineates biblical evidence for later scientific discoveries. Yet the argument’s reasoning gets murky when taken to its logical extremes. For Driver, at the beginning and end of time, there exist two realms—spiritual and temporal—and God’s omnipotent governing of the universe is greater than time itself. But the conversational tone treats scientific theory with broad sweeps of generalization, as with his explanation for quantum physics: “Subatomic particles that make up the atom are broken down to lower elementary particles….According to the Scripture, the universe is all made of that which is not seen, elementary particles.” Often switching to the collective “we,” Driver attempts to speak for humanity in reasoning that only Christianity provides a comprehensive explanation for the universe’s existence—a notion with which some readers might disagree.

A faith-based examination that tries to square Genesis with astrophysics, with mixed results.

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2012

ISBN: 978-1622952571

Page Count: 156

Publisher: Tate Publishing

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Not an easy read but an essential one.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 15

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2019

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST

Title notwithstanding, this latest from the National Book Award–winning author is no guidebook to getting woke.

In fact, the word “woke” appears nowhere within its pages. Rather, it is a combination memoir and extension of Atlantic columnist Kendi’s towering Stamped From the Beginning (2016) that leads readers through a taxonomy of racist thought to anti-racist action. Never wavering from the thesis introduced in his previous book, that “racism is a powerful collection of racist policies that lead to racial inequity and are substantiated by racist ideas,” the author posits a seemingly simple binary: “Antiracism is a powerful collection of antiracist policies that lead to racial equity and are substantiated by antiracist ideas.” The author, founding director of American University’s Antiracist Research and Policy Center, chronicles how he grew from a childhood steeped in black liberation Christianity to his doctoral studies, identifying and dispelling the layers of racist thought under which he had operated. “Internalized racism,” he writes, “is the real Black on Black Crime.” Kendi methodically examines racism through numerous lenses: power, biology, ethnicity, body, culture, and so forth, all the way to the intersectional constructs of gender racism and queer racism (the only section of the book that feels rushed). Each chapter examines one facet of racism, the authorial camera alternately zooming in on an episode from Kendi’s life that exemplifies it—e.g., as a teen, he wore light-colored contact lenses, wanting “to be Black but…not…to look Black”—and then panning to the history that informs it (the antebellum hierarchy that valued light skin over dark). The author then reframes those received ideas with inexorable logic: “Either racist policy or Black inferiority explains why White people are wealthier, healthier, and more powerful than Black people today.” If Kendi is justifiably hard on America, he’s just as hard on himself. When he began college, “anti-Black racist ideas covered my freshman eyes like my orange contacts.” This unsparing honesty helps readers, both white and people of color, navigate this difficult intellectual territory.

Not an easy read but an essential one.

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-50928-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: One World/Random House

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

THINKING, FAST AND SLOW

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

more