THE SCIENCE OF GOD by Gerald Schroeder


The Convergence of Scientific and Biblical Wisdom
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 This account of creation is the latest entry in the current endeavor to drag science and religion within shouting distance of each other. Schroeder, a physicist and Bible scholar (Genesis and the Big Bang, 1990), attempts to reconcile the Genesis account of creation with current scientific knowledge about the origin of life. No doubt he is well versed in both the Bible and biology; he's also a skilled pedagogue, explaining abstract or counterintuitive concepts in lay terms. But this book will fail to convince many readers because the author so relentlessly seeks to persuade the reader of the validity of some strange theories, and because his biblical interpretations draw on an exclusively Jewish tradition, including Kabbalah, Maimonedes, and selected passages from the Talmud, which he claims ``anticipated'' later scientific discoveries. Admittedly, some of his arguments (for instance, that the sequence of Genesis creation is congruent with evolution's progression from prokaryotic to human life) are compelling. But elsewhere Schroeder less convincingly rejects the notion of random, mutation-driven evolution, arguing instead that evolution is ``channeled'' toward an outcome preprogrammed into existing DNA. Schroeder's other theories include an odd insistence upon a pre-Adamic, soulless hominid ancestor. It's important to Schroeder that the literal Adam be the first ensouled human being, and since Genesis chronology (almost 6,000 years since Adam) doesn't mesh with what science tells us of the age of humankind, Schroeder sets out to prove that the Bible only picks up the story near the close of human development. Such hermeneutical gymnastics seem strangely outdated and obscure in an often intelligent, cogently argued book. Though respectful of both science and faith, this book is unlikely to convince either scientist or theologian. (b&w illustrations, not seen)

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-684-83736-6
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Free Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 1997


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