Book Reviews for December 1990

THE GOD WHO WOULD BE KNOWN: Revelations of the Divine in Contemporary Science by John M. Templeton and Robert L. Herrmann. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1989. 412 pages, index. Hardcover; $19.95.
PSCF 42 (December 1990): 257.

John M. Templeton is known best as an international financier compiling the Templeton Growth Fund, the Templeton World Fund and others. In recent years, he has demonstrated his interest in science by selecting Stanley Jaki and Thomas Torrance as recipients of the annual Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion. Perhaps less well-known is his intellectual portfolio of a wide range of scientific and religious publications, a fact that first came to my attention when I noticed that his earlier book The Humble Approach: New York: The Seabury Press, 1981) contained a 116 page bibliography. An ASA member, Mr. Templeton has teamed up with ASA Executive Director Bob Herrmann to write this book.

"This is a book about signals of transcendence," the authors say in chapter one, "about pointers to the Infinite that are coming to us not from mystics but instead through the most recent findings of science." When science was celestial mechanics and immutable laws, God became difficult for many scientists to believe. But the uncertainty principle in physics and the anthropic principle in biology reversed that trend. They continue, "...something has been happening in the past few decades of this century. Science appears to be leading us back to a profound respect and an expansive attitude toward nature. God's activity has been seen to be far more open-ended and immediate than the clockwork image would allow."

Chapter two is "Science Expands Our Understanding of Nature and Reality." Here they explain how changing paradigms made "Nature and supernature split apart," and how newer paradigms make the two realms less mutually hostile. "Einstein's God takes on some of the biblical character of the Giver of Light, the Great Revealer, who rejoices when any of the vast truth of the creation is brought to light and obeyed in humility."

Other chapters include: Recent Scientific Contributions to Meaning and Purpose in the Universe, God Reveals Himself in the Astronomical and in the Infinitessimal, The Vast Unseen and the Genetic Revolution, Deep and Powerful Ordering Forces in the Universe, The Vast Arena of Faith, The Remarkable Evolution of Mankind, Mysteries Multiplied, and God and the Future.

The book's content is made even more palatable by the frequent use of well-turned phrases"some original, others compiled from two lifetimes of copious reading. For example, they quote the late Donald MacKay, saying, "The God in whom the Bible invites belief is no `Cosmic Mechanic.' Rather is He the Cosmic Artist, the creative Upholder, without whose continual activity there would be not even chaos, but just nothing."

Much of the book's content appears in other sources, usually scattered and written in varying degrees of academic jargon. This volume is comprehensible to the undergraduate and may be useful as a text in philosophy of science. It and Hugh Ross's The Fingerprint of God might be suitable vehicles to fulfill an aspiration of Richard Bube's: "I wish we had a routine course on science and Christianity in the seminary curriculum."

Reviewed by David Fisher, Editor, Radio Academy of Science, Wheaton, IL 60187.


PHYSICS, PHILOSOPHY, AND THEOLOGY: A Common Quest for Understanding by Robert John Russell, William R. Stoeger, S.J., and George V. Coyne, S.J. (eds.). Notre Dame, Indiana: Notre Dame Press, 1989. 408 pages, index. Cloth; $30.00. Paper; $14.95.
PSCF 42 (December 1990): 257.

This book consists of most of the papers (eighteen out of twenty-one) presented at a September 1987 conference at the Papal Summer Residence at Castel Gandolfo, a later message of John Paul II, as well as additional ideas that resulted from a meeting at the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences in Berkeley in January 1988. Fifteen of the participants came from the United States or the United Kingdom, with three from Italy, and one each from Canada, Denmark and Switzerland. One of the editors tells us in the Preface, "Each and every part of this book, including, in my opinion, the Papal message, is exploratory."

In his special remarks (printed with a different text layout and paper quality from the rest of the book), John Paul II sets forth a moderate approach, "Science can purify religion from error and superstition; religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes."

The eighteen papers of the volume are divided into three major sections: (1) Historical and Contemporary Relations in Science and Religion, in which seven authors discuss the historical interaction between science and theology, the possiblity of natural theology today, and related topics; (2) Epistemology and Methodology, in which three authors discuss topics related to realism and myth; (3) Contemporary Physics and Cosmology in Philosophical and Theological Perspective, in which eight authors explore implications of modern science for theology, especially in the areas of cosmology and quantum physics.

It took me many months to read through this book; it is difficult material and often written in a difficult style. Much of the early material is helpful and serves to warn against excesses and extremes. Ian Barbour of Carleton College concludes his paper, "Christianity should never be equated with any metaphysical system" (p. 45). Ernan McMullin of Notre Dame University summarizes his paper by saying, "One clear moral would seem to be that physico-theology is not to be trusted...I am persuaded that this attempt to bring about a rapprochement between the quantum theory of measurement and Eastern religious cosmologies does justice to neither" (pp. 71, 72). Michael Buckley, National Council of Catholic Bishops, concludes his paper with the words, "in turning to some other discipline to give basic substance to its claims that God exists, admitting an inner cognitive emptiness...Inference cannot substitute for experience, and the most compelling witness to a personal God must itself be personal" (p. 99).

Nicholas Lash, Divinity Faculty at Cambridge, has written an excellent and perceptive paper, "Observation, Revelation, and the Posterity of Noah," with such quotable statements as, "I am simply protesting against the fatuous illusion that we could discover or come across God as a fact about the world" (p. 209), or, "Fundamentalism is not as is sometimes supposed, an anachronistically surviving precursor of modern rationalism, but a byproduct of it" (p. 210), or "We are as close to the heart of the sense of creation in considering and responding to an act of human kindness as in attending dominate everywhere in this book, and particularly in the third major section. Here Sallie McFague of Vanderbilt University develops an evolutionary model of God as mother, which leads her to conclude that God is "the mother of her own body" (p. 261), but she does admit in closing that "this theology `says much,'" but "it `claims little'" (p. 262). John Leslie from the University of Guelph considers "How to Draw Conclusions from a Fine-Tuned Cosmos," and concludes that "the God hypothesis has no advantage over multiple worlds" (p. 310). Perhaps the furthest departure from biblical Christianity comes in Frank Tipler's further exploration of the anthropic principle and his "model of an evolving God," which he infers from "the naturalistic ethical postulate that it must be possible for life never to die out in the universe" (p. 326).

In the final subsection that focuses particularly on the implications of quantum theory for theology, the nine-page chapter by John Polkinghorne of Cambridge stands out as a gem, a succinct assessment of the issues involved. He concludes with a summary of what quantum theory does not do, which ought to be must reading for all those who would see some revolutionary theological insights being gained from science: "it does not license the attitude that anything goes," it "is not of itself a sufficient basis for a universal metaphysics," it "does not endorse the essential rightness of Eastern religious thought," and it "does not approve the idea of an observer-created world" (pp. 340, 341).

This is a book that could profitably be studied in a group including people with some maturity in science philosophy and theology, who could meaningfully distinguish between some of the extremes that are presented.

Reviewed by Richard H. Bube, Professor of Materials Science and Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305.


THE WORLD WITHIN THE WORLD by John D. Barrow. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1988. 398 + xiv pages with preface, select bibliography, and index. Hardcover.
PSCF 42 (December 1990): 258.

Are there laws of nature? If so, are they objective realities, or simply ways in which we try to organize our experience? Is it possible that ultimately there are no laws? Working scientists have instinctive answers to such questions in the philosophy of science, but usually give them little thought. Barrow, a lecturer in astronomy at the University of Sussex, deals with such qustions as a working scientist interested in, and familiar with, philosophical issues. He discusses intelligently the theological matters which are encountered, though these are not his major concern here.

The first chapter sets out some fundamental concepts. Possible views of science, empiricism, operationalism, idealism, and realism, are presented, with critical comments. Barrow intends to "subscribe to the `common-sense' realist view until we run into definite evidence against it," adding, "Almost every working scientist is a realist, at least during working hours" (p. 16). He will point out that quantum theory does pose problems for realism. A realist understanding is still possible, though introducing something like the many-worlds interpretation of quantum theory to maintain it carries us out of the "common-sense" realm.

Chapters 2 and 3 sketch the development of science from Hebrew and Greek beginnings through quantum theory. Barrow argues that the biblical tradition did not contribute directly to the development of science, but that by elimination of mythological world-views and insistence upon God as the supreme lawgiver, it provided a background for the rise of science. He contrasts this with the stillbirth of Chinese science, and brings that theme up to date with criticisms of attempts to link quantum theory with Eastern mysticism.

"Inner space and outer space" (Ch. 4) describes today's understanding of elementary particles and scientific cosmology and the linkages which exist between them. These adumbrate a world-view which is both scientific and wholistic, and to be differentiated from the a priori wholistic views of mysticism, in which science was unable to develop. The book's title is echoed in that of a section introducing the atomic idea, but also refers to the three "worlds" of Popper (physical objects, states of consciousness, and objective knowledge) in Chapter 1. The problem of the unity of the universe involves attempts to provide a unified description of it ("theory of everything") and attempts to show how our mental states are correlated with the external world.

"Why are the laws of Nature mathematical?" (Ch. 5) must be asked, for our formulations of them assuredly are mathematical. Barrow discusses different concepts of the nature of mathematics, together with ideas of computability and chaos which computer science has made available, and concludes with the suggestion that the mathematical character of natural laws is related to their having an "optimal coding" which makes it possible for the same message about nature to be deciphered by us in spite of noise.

But "Are there any laws of Nature?" That basic question is confronted in Chapter 6. One can imagine chaotic universes in which apparent order emerges randomly. Even if laws describe most of our experience, the existence of space-time singularities,as in black holes or the Big Bang, means that space-time is incomplete.

The final chapter, "Selection effects," deals with ways in which humans pick out particular phenomena and types of order, and with the need to penetrate behind those selection effects. Kuhn's view, which sees the development of science essentially as a sociological phenomenon, is rejected. But the co-author (with Tipler) of The Anthropic Cosmological Principle views that priniciple positively, and responds to some criticisms of it. He moves explicitly onto theological ground to ask whether the Anthropic Principle is an argument for the existence of God, and concludes that it is not, though the two ideas are compatible. Possible linkages with christological eschatology ("theanthropic principle") are not explored.

The fact that we experience only one world makes testing even a good "theory of everything" problematic. Such a theory might be true but untestable, leaving us essentially with a decision of faith to make. And that is the conclusion about laws of nature: "Sight must give way to faith" (p. 373).

This is a fine book, and limitations of space here require the omission of any discussion of many of its insights. Though physics is sketched from the ground up, the degree of sophistication keeps it from being "popular" in the usual sense. But I hope that this, and the presence of some equations, will not scare off those without scientific training. The World Within the World deals well with some very basic questions about the nature of reality, and it will be worth the time of anyone interested in such questions to read it carefully.

Reviewed by George L. Murphy, Pastor, St. Mark Lutheran Church, Tallmadge, OH 44278.

DOES GOD PLAY DICE? THE MATHEMATICS OF CHAOS by Ian Stewart, UK: Basil Blackwell Ltd, 1989. 317 pages, index. Hardcover; $19.95.
PSCF 42 (December 1990): 260.

Chaos is a hot topic these days, as evidenced by the explosion of scientific and popular literature devoted to the subject. No longer restricted to mean a formless primordial condition or other state of disorder and confusion, in modern scientific parlance the term chaos has become associated with the complex, apparently stochastic behaviors produced by some deterministic systems. In this book, Ian Stewart provides a mathematician's view of the history of ideas which has led to this new, expanded understanding of dynamical systems. Contrasting this book with another recent popular account of chaos (Chaos by James Gleick), I would say that while Gleick provides a more thorough account of the personalities involved in the emerging science of chaos, Stewart offers a better exposition of the fundamental concepts. And these concepts are explained in an entertaining and intuitive fashion, without recourse to the formal rigors of advanced mathematics.

The book is nicely produced and easy to read. The 124 figures (all black and white) serve to illustrate the concepts under discussion. In keeping with the popular, rather than technical, tone of the book, detailed citations to the work discussed are not provided, but a brief list of further readings is furnished. The only substantive error I detected is in Figure 117, in which the raw data are on the right and the power spectra on the left, despite the caption indicating the reverse.

The book begins by considering the scientific mindset which prevailed prior to the discovery of chaos. On one hand, the clockwork universe of Newtonian mechanics: simple, predictable. On the other hand, the world of chance and statistics: random events, unpredictable in detail, with regularity appearing only in average quantities. Two world-views, and no middle ground.

The deficiencies of the established view were perhaps first clearly perceived in the nineteenth century by the French mathematician Henri PoincarČ. Working on a classical problem of Newtonian mechanics, the dynamics of three bodies interacting by gravitation, PoincarČ invented a new branch of mathematics (topology) and glimpsed a new world of exceedingly complex, and ultimately unpredictable, behavior.

But the study of dynamical chaos did not flourish until our own time, with the advent of the computer making it possible to more clearly visualize and explore this complex realm. Stewart considers the significant contributions made by persons such as Stephen Smale (a topologist), Edward Lorenz (a meteorologist), and Mitchell Fiegenbaum (a physicist). He examines the application of chaos theory to an almost bewildering array of phenomena, including turbulent fluid flow, gaps in the asteroid belt, the tumbling of Saturn's moon Hyperion, a dripping faucet, population dynamics, epidemic outbreaks, and the beating of the heart. In the course of this broad survey, such important concepts as strange attractors, sensitive dependence on initial conditions, quasiperiodicity, phaselocking, renormalization, universality, and fractals are introduced.

In the final chapter, Stewart offers some informal musings on the limits of predictability and the nature of chance. Chaos may spell the end of Laplace's dream of a vast intellect which, given an appropriate set of initial conditions, is capable of completely predicting all past and future events. Yet, to Stewart and others, chaos suggests the possibility of a new sort of determinism. Complex, apparently stochastic behavior can arise naturally in simple, deterministic systems. Perhaps true randomness, in the sense of non-deterministic behavior, does not exist.

It should be said that the book's title is somewhat misleading in two respects. First, it alludes to Einstein's famous aversion to the idea of a dice-playing God. Yet, for Einstein, this image arose in the context of quantum uncertainty, not in the world of complex macroscopic dynamics which is the principal focus of chaos theory. The issue of quantum uncertainty is considered only briefly in the last chapter, and the suggestion that chaos may play a pivotal role in resolving Einstein's dilemma is at the moment, as Stewart admits, "pure speculation." Second, the word "God" in the title, and throughout the book, serves primarily as a euphemism for "the natural world" or "the laws of nature." Although Sterwart speculates about a determinism which incorporates the rich dynamical possibilities of chaos, the implications for such classic problems as the existence of free will or the nature of God and divine activity in the physical world are not even broached. Readers wishing an insightful, entertaining, non-technical introduction to the mathematics of chaos will be delighted by Stewart's book. Readers desiring a serious consideration of the philosophical and theological issues raised by the title will have to look elsewhere.

Reviewed by Alan R. Johnson, Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131.

DOES GOD PLAY DICE? A Look at the Story of the Universe by John Houghton. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1989. 160 pages, index. Paperback.
PSCF 42 (December 1990): 261,

Drawing the title from a well-known statement from Einstein, the noted British scientist, John Houghton, has written a brief discussion of the relationship between Christianity and modern science. The theme of the book can best be summed up in this statement from the preface.

"In order that we be whole human beings, I believe that different parts of our lives should relate together in an integrated way. The exploration of this book brings together, so far as I am able, two important strands of my life<,namely my experience and career as a physicist and my experience as a Christian believer."

The book is divided into twelve chapters on topics ranging from the "The Big Bang and All That" to "Waves, Particles and Incarnation." Various scientific topics are interwoven with religious and theological concepts with both areas discussed in a fair and objective manner. Houghton relies heavily upon the writings of C.S. Lewis and Donald MacKay. This is especially apparent for example, in his criticism of reductionism in science.

Probably the most interesting part of the book is the discussion of the "fifth dimension analogy." The author begins with the concept of a scientific model and then moves toward a discussion of the spiritual realm. He correctly identifies the difficulties which humans living in a finite, four dimensional world (three dimensions in space plus time makes four dimensions) have in understanding a being without such limitations of space and time. Houghton uses an analogy taken from a book written in the 1880s by Edwin Abbot called Flatland. In the book, Abbot described an imaginary world with only two dimensions. The inhabitants of this world are confined to movement only in one plane and have no knowledge of anything outside of this plane. A sphere from Spaceland visits Flatland and tries to explain to the inhabitants what it means to live in a three dimensional world.

The sphere may pass through the plane, be a part of the plane and also be outside of the plane at the same time. To Houghton this is analagous to God's relationship with the physical world. As he states,

"In a similar way, with the analogy of an extra dimension, we can imagine God in the spiritual dimension being outside the material universe yet being all-seeing and all-knowing regarding events within it, and having the ability to be present anywhere within it."

I found the book to be interesting and encouraging to me as a scientist-Christian. Houghton has excellent scientific credentials. He is currently Director General of the Meteorological Office of England and has been professor and head of the Department of Atmospheric Physics at Oxford University. Yet, he has written this book in an unashamed manner of respect for biblical principles.

This is a small and inexpensive book and would be quite suitable as a gift for someone who is seeking to understand the relationship between science and Christianity. The one, perhaps not negative but at least limiting, aspect of the book is the heavy emphasis upon the physical sciences. A person lacking at least a general knowledge of physics would find parts of the book a bit overpowering. Otherwise, I would recommend the book to anyone interested in this topic.

Reviewed by Phillip Eichman, Ball State University, Department of Biology, Muncie, IN 47306-0440.


THE DAWN OF MODERN SCIENCE by Thomas Goldstein. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1988. 297 pages, index. Paperback.
PSCF 42 (December 1990): 262.

The author is an historian whose speciality apparently is the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Unfortunately the book provides no information about his educational and professional background. Nevertheless, his writing demonstrates a high level of scholarship and competence in that field.

Goldstein approaches the history of science from a background in the humanities rather than the natural sciences. He brings to his subject a wealth of information and perspective not usually found in histories of modern science. In turn, he acknowledges that his study of the history of science has opened up a world of cultural flavor and color of which he had been unaware.

The book deals primarily with the centuries before Copernicus, who has been viewed as firing the opening guns of the scientific revolution. In other words, the author sets the stage for the important 150 years between Copernicus and Newton. His aim is "to convey a lively, all-around picture of the major currents and their links with surrounding cultural history." Goldstein does not attempt to include all the important names or achievements of science in the Middle Ages and Renaissance; he selects several influential figures, largely unknown, and presents the colorful details.

The first chapter deals with the idea of the earth in Renaissance Florence. The focus is on Paolo Toscanelli, who set up an observatory, made remarkably accurate calculations and observations of the sun's path, and developed a concept of the earth as a globe. He sent a letter to a young man named Christopher Columbus, describing his geographic theories regarding the nature of the globe. Ironically, that is the only manuscript of his many writings that has survived.

Toscanelli's contribution to modern geography consisted of two equally important concepts: an earth in which the whole ocean was accessible to people in their ships, and solid land portions of the whole earth as inhabitable. Credit for exploration breakthroughs by the early Portuguese, Columbus, Vespucci and Magellan, goes largely to him.

Chapter two traces the ancient roots of science in Greek civilization and philosophy. Goldstein notes that histories of science available in today's bookstores fail to relate the evolution of science to the overall historical process; they treat it as a hermetically-sealed development of the mind apart from the ups and downs of life. The author traces the eclipse of Western culture in the fall of the Roman Empire and its revival in the twelfth century Renaissance. In that context he traces the rise, fall and rise again of science. His understanding of culture with its various strains makes fascinating reading. "Western science developed in the seats of Medieval learning, which by the twelfth century were the cathedral schools."

Chapter three sketches the development of science at Chartres where the great cathedral embodied the new thought. It never occurred to those scholars to sever the natural universe from God's world. In their vision, the laws of nature were all encompassed within the divine universe and its design. The cathedral statuaries stand as a visual manifestation of that conception: Christian religion and scientific thought, the world of the Bible and the ancient world of Greece and Rome, the liberal arts and science. That culture reached its full flowering in the 1170s as a handful of men were striving to launch the evolution of Western science. "The abiding fact is that modern science grew out of the lovely Medieval idea of Ordo Mundi, the faith in the universal order, a religious feeling for the ultimate unity of life."

In his lectures on Genesis, Thierry of Chartes taught that the story of creation in the Bible was compatible with the scientific approach. He prompted the idea of the gradual "beautification" or "decoration" of the world by God, which some of the Fathers of the Church had already begun to distinguish from the mere act of creation itself. Under his leadership in the 1140s, the school attracted students from all over the Western world. Thierry stimulated a search for ancient and Arabic scientific manuscripts in Spain. His situation sounds amazingly modern: surrounded by international students, propounding his idea of "continous creation," that is, God's continuing beautification of the world. Someday Thierry will be recognized as one of the true founders of Western science. He courageously advanced scientific thought in the face of his outraged critics, yet he preserved his vision of nature as merely one aspect of the world.

His successor, William Conches, wrote: "to seek the reason of things and the laws of their origins is the great mission of the believer, which we must carry out by the fraternal association of inquiring minds. Thus, it is not the Bible's role to teach you the nature of things; that is the domain of philosophy (science)." He helped launch science as an independent collective enterprise, an intellectual community. The masters of Chartres had a powerful vision that included the whole natural world within the scope of the divine. The house that they built as a philosophical framework for modern science was based on Medieval faith in the all-pervasive spirit of God.

In chapter four Goldstein describes "The Gift of Islam." The rich store of ancient manuscripts discovered by the Arabs became available through military conquest in Spain just as the West was ready to receive them. He sketches the phenomenal rise of Islam as the Arabs conquered the Middle East and North Africa, weaving the various cultural strands together into a new fabric. Islam made its own contributions to science mainly through a host of measuring instruments and observational data. Europe received Arabic science by no means for its own sake alone, but very largely as part of a cultural movement for which Europe was ready.

Succeeding chapters sketch the contribution of Medieval mystics and alchemists, the builders of cathedrals and practitioners of medicine. The author has an excellent chapter on art and science in the Renaissance. During that period artists easily switched from an aesthetic to a scientific approach to the earth and back again. Leonardo daVinci's dual mastery of science and art was not unique; it was embedded in the Renaissance. Although his status as a scientist seems doubtful, his indirect influence in this area was valuable.

As a cultural history, the book provides for study of the new emerging science a rich-textured background that dispels the common misconception of the Middle Ages as a period of marking time until the Renaissance. A weakness in form, however, is the author's tendentious style with frequent sentences of eight to ten sentences in length, whose shortening would have made easier reading.

Nevertheless, Goldstein achieves his purpose of presenting the fascinating cultural soil in which modern science began to flourish. It is especially valuable for those in the natural and social sciences whose education is weak in the arena of cultural history.

Reviewed by Charles E. Hummel, 17 Worcester Street, Grafton, MA 01519.

THE NEW FAITH-SCIENCE DEBATE: Probing Cosmology, Technology, and Theology by John M. Mangum (ed.). Minneapolis: Fortess Press, and WCC Publications: Geneva, 1989. 165 + x pages. Paperback; $9.95.
PSCF 42 (December 1990): 263.

There are some promising signs that the science-theology dialogue is being taken seriously as part of the agenda of mainline churches today. The present volume is one sign of that interest. It contains the papers and recommendations of the 1987 Cyprus consultation on the dialogue sponsored by the Lutheran Church in America and the Lutheran World Federation. The papers give a good introduction to the area by an international group.

The papers begin appropriately with a sketch of the modern scientific picture of the world by Bengt Gustafson, a Swedish astrophysicist, and an attempt at integration of science and Christian theology by the biochemist and Anglican priest Arthur Peacocke. This attempt is made from a process theology standpoint and has the strengths and weaknesses of that approach. Vitor Westhelle, a Lutheran Pastor from Brazil, looks at the issues from a Latin American position and suggests that education about science and technology is really part of the Church's task of helping to liberate people. A German involved with environmental concerns, Gerhard Liedke, gives an interesting typology of ways in which churches have related to the world, and the late American theologian Harold Nebelsick describes the modern mission of the Christian Church in Reformed terms.

"High-tech" and its impact on American society are described by Judith Larsen, a research scientist in this area, while the specific challenge of genetic engineering is discussed by the theologian Ronald Cole-Turner. His discussion of the idea of "co-creation," with the argument that human activity must serve the will of God as it has been shown to us in Jesus Christ in order to qualify as co-creation in a theologically meaningful sense, is valuable.

In recent years there has been a good deal of discussion of possible relationships between Asian religions and the scientific picture of the world. Here a Japanese Lutheran theologian, Naozumi Eto, offers some insights on this issue. This is followed by discussions of science as a Christian vocation by a biochemist from Cameroon, Vincent P.K. Titanji, and an American theologian, Ted Peters. The summarizing remarks, by physicist and theologian Robert John Russell, are quite helpful. His arguments against overemphasizing the sociological element in the development of scientific theories need to be heard today. And Russell brings out the important fact that we do not have to settle simply for a "science-theology dialogue" (though that may be a convenient shorthand expression), but with a four-way conversation between science, theology, technology, and ethics.

Six daily Bible studies by Paulos Mar Gregorios provide important theological insights for this conversation from the Eastern Orthodox tradition. That tradition has not always been attended to very well in western discussions of religion and science, and it is good that the globalization of those discussions is bringing it into greater prominence. The book concludes with some results from an international roundtable and several regional groups.

One might at first wonder about the title of the book. Are we to continue with old-fashioned confrontations between faith and science? But the title is well-chosen. There is indeed "debate" - all of the partners in the theology-science-technology-ethics conversation present some challenges for the others. But the focus here is on the "new" aspect of the debate, new issues brought about by scientific and theological developments, and also a new attitude of mutual respect maintained even when significant differences and challenges are seen.

This book provides a good introduction to this modern conversation. If you know leaders in the church who do not really see the importance of the conversation, you could do a lot worse than to get them to read it.

Reviewed by George L. Murphy, Pastor, St. Mark Lutheran Church, Tallmadge, OH 44278.


THE LONG WAR AGAINST GOD: The History and Impact of the Creation/Evolution Conflict by Henry M. Morris. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1989. 344 pages, subject, name and scripture indices. Hardcover.
PSCF 42 (December 1990): 264.

Henry Morris, president of the Institute for Creation Research, is well known to PSCF readers as a long-time leader in the creation/evolution debates for more than 40 years. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and among various teaching positions served as Chairman of the Civil Engineering Department at VPI for 13 years. Morris has been a prolific writer and among his many books are The Genesis Flood, Scientific Creationism, and The God Who is Real.

The book's thesis is that the creation/evolution conflict is not just a scientific controversy, not just a battle between science and religion, but an agelong conflict between world views. Ever since Satan's rebellion, his "long war against God is founded upon the premise of evolution and is implemented through a wide-ranging variety of applications of evolutionism in every area of human thought and life" (p. 304).

Denial of God has always been the cause of all human problems. Evolutionism, which Morris views as essentially synonymous with atheism, naturalism, humanism and materialism, provides the philosophical basis for denial and rebellion against God. "The ancient universal `world religion' of evolutionary pantheism was first introduced at Babel by Satan...then carried around the world by the dispersed immigrants from that wicked city" (p. 257). Evolution is the world's religion and evolutionary cosmogonies have dominated most of the world since the sixth century B.C.

The all-pervading influence of evolutionary thinking and philosophy is developed in six chapters which have very descriptive headings: The Evolutionary Basis of Modern Thought; Political Evolutionism Right and Left; Evolutionist Religion and Morals; The Dark Nursery of Darwinism; The Conflict of the Ages; and The Everlasting Gospel.

Morris has taken a somewhat more charitable tone in this book than in some of his other books: "I am not suggesting that any particular person who believes in evolution is therefore `evil' or immoral. The only issue is the evolutionary philosophy itself, not the people who believe it." In the first three chapters Morris details the worldwide impact of evolutionism, including Marxism, Nazism, communism, humanism, racism, abortion and the general decline of morality. For example, Hitler himself became the supreme evolutionist and Nazism the ultimate fruit of the evolutionary tree. Although Morris has indeed taken a more charitable approach, ASA has been singled out for its compromising position: "Its supposedly `intellectual' approach has undoubtedly been significantly responsible for the widespread defections of evangelical colleges and seminaries" (p. 106).

Chapters four and five trace the history of evolutionary theory. In his discussion of Darwin's Origin, Morris marvels that a book which had no original ideas and "is most notable for its complete lack of documentation," "could have so profound an influence on the subsequent history of human life and thought" (p. 156). Morris has put forth a significant effort in this section of the book and I find it a valuable addition to the creation/evolution debate.

The final chapter reemphasizes the main point made throughtout the book that commitment to evolutionary theory is not made on a scientific basis but from commitment to a particular world view. Morris maintains that evolutionary theory has provided "the pseudo-rationale for all that is false and harmful in the world." In contrast, special creation is the most certain truth of science and Christ's resurrection is the best-proved fact of history.

After having read many of Morris's books, I find this one adds some new and significant contributions to the creation/evolution debate. Morris continues to use terms like "hard data," "real data" and "genuine data" of science which support creation and do not support evolution. Nevertheless, I find the tone of this book more charitable at least toward individuals (if not toward the ASA) who may disagree with him. In my opinion this book contributes something more than rhetoric to the creation/evolution debate and is worth reading, even if you strongly disagree with Morris.

Reviewed by Bernard J. Piersma, Houghton College, Houghton, NY 14744.

ANTI-EVOLUTION: An Annotated Bibliography by Tom McIver. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland and Company, 1988. 385 pages, indexes. Hardcover; $39.95.
PSCF 42 (December 1990): 265.

This book contains an annotated bibliography of more than 1850 books, tracts, pamphlets, and a few audiovisual materials on the general subject of evolution and creation. The author defines the subject area as "anti-evolution" and includes not only Protestant and fundamentalist works, but also anti-evolution works written by members of other religious groups (i.e., Catholic, Jewish, and Islamic) and several nonreligious challenges to the theory of evolution.

The author has written objective and nonpolemical annotations for most of the works cited. These annotations include information on the author, such as academic training, affiliation (i.e., university, etc.), occupation, and religious affiliation, as well as a brief explanation of the type of approach taken by the author (e.g., strict creationism, Gap-Theory, catastrophism, etc.).

The book also has 60 pages of extensive indexes. These are arranged by name, title, and subject and make the book much more useful.

The cost of the book is somewhat prohibitive for most individuals, but the book would make a valuable addition to college and university libraries. Anyone interested in this subject will find this to be a very useful and interesting resource.

Reviewed by Phillip Eichman, Ball State University, Biology Dept., Muncie, IN 47306-0440.