A dispassionate, exhaustive examination of God, mankind and seemingly everything else under the sun.
The author, in his debut, may hold dear his own understanding of the ultimate nature of reality, but it doesn’t prevent him from giving diverse viewpoints their due. On the contrary, this intelligent, consistently provocative discourse on who we are, where we come from and where we might be headed appears to revel in possibilities. Many examples of perceived truths that humankind has attained through revelation or experimentation are put center stage for close scrutiny. One moment, the book provides a careful overview of Galileo Galilei’s run-in with the Inquisition; the next, it offers an in-depth analysis of color and its fundamental properties. Quantum physics gets equal time with ontological uncertainty, epistemic anxiety, free will and the philosophy of David Hume. The book also treats readers to generous helpings of hermeneutics, causality, determinism, evolution, cosmology and more. History’s greatest philosophers are balanced against the world’s great religions: “Science is based on a belief in a real world whose governing principles can be determined by observation, experimentation and reason….Religion is based on a belief that the universe has a purpose, and that human beings should seek to discover this purpose.” Curiously, the author notes, it’s at the intersection of science and religion that things get most unpredictable; stout men of science are revealed to be fundamentally faithful, while some of the most outwardly devout historical figures are found to harbor the most acute pessimism. After he painstakingly peels all the layers away, the author intriguingly finds lots of faith in science and plenty of cleareyed reasoning in religion.
A refreshing intellectual discussion of religious and scientific themes.