Book Reviews December 1998

BEFORE THE BEGINNING: Our Universe and Others by Martin Rees. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1997. 291 pages. Hardcover; $25.00.

Rees is a Royal Society Professor and Great Britain's Astronomer Royal. Educated at Cambridge University and based there for most of his career, Rees has traveled extensively and is a member of several foreign academies. He is a leading researcher on cosmic evolution, black holes, and galaxies. While in his doctoral program, he would open and hold books for Stephen Hawking to read as Hawking's paralysis progressed. In the Foreward to this book, Hawking writes:

While I have been primarily interested in developing the theory and much of my work has not yet been confirmed by observation, Martin has always worked closely with the observations and what they tell us about the universe. This book brings the reader in contact with the real stuff of astronomy without mentioning the word God that Martin seems so uneasy with.

While this book is written from an agnostic or atheistic worldview (I'm not quite sure which), it represents the work and insights of a recognized expert in the field of cosmology. Although it is not easy or particularly interesting to read, I consider it essential reading for the lay-person in science who wants to know what is happening in the field of cosmology. The first half of the book was tough going for me, partly because each chapter is broken up into numerous topics, many of which seemed to be unrelated. I was experiencing the problem of too many trees to see the forest. I am happy to say that after about 140 pages everything began falling into place and I began to see the big picture. (This, no doubt, is due to my lack of knowledge of cosmology and not Rees' organization.) Perhaps the best way to provide an overview of the book is to simply list a few of the 15 chapter titles: From Atoms to Life: Galactic Ecology, The Cosmic Scene: Expanding Horizons, Pregalactic History: The Clinching Evidence, Black Holes: Gateways to New Physics, and Toward Infinity: The Far Future, Coincidences and the Ecology of the Universe.

Rees asks many questions throughout the book and states he has no answers for some of them, e.g., Why is there a universe at all? or Why should the universe expand so uniformly and symmetrically? Rees struggles with the question: Why are the basic physical constants so fine-tuned? Examples of these constants include the strengths of fundamental forces, the masses of elementary particles, and the ratio of photons to baryons. To avoid the concept of a creator or intelligent designer, Rees prefers the idea of a multiverse which would encompass all possible universes and all possible values of fundamental constants. Rees writes:

Nothing, perhaps, could seem to violate Ockham's razor more drastically than postulating an infinite array of universes. Nor does it, at first sight, seem properly scientific to invoke regions that are unobservable, and perhaps always will be. But the concept helps to explain basic (and previously mysterious) features of our universe, such as why it is so big, and why it is expanding.

Rees' writing is not without humor at times. For example, he quotes Lev Landau: "Cosmologists are often in error but seldom in doubt." And from Roger Penrose: "Inflation is a fashion the high-energy physicists have visited on the cosmologists; even aardvarks think that their offspring are beautiful."

  Although I found the book difficult to read, it was worth the effort. This book is not written for the popular audience, as is Hawking's A Brief History of Time, but it is far more satisfying to read. I was particularly interested in Rees' struggles to explain the creation of the universe without acknowledging the Creator.

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


  TIME'S ARROW AND ARCHIMEDES' POINT by Huw Price. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. 306 pages. Paperback; $14.95.

The mathematical formulation of the microscopic laws of physics are invariant under time reversal and yet many of the processes of nature seem to be asymmetric in time. This book is a profound attempt to study these puzzles of the direction of time from a new viewpoint outside time, or from Archimedes' Point meaning a view from nowhere. Price claims that it is common for both physicists and philosophers to fall prey to an anthropocentric subjectivity of interpreting and regarding the world in terms of human experiences.

Price, a philosopher, has been bouncing his ideas off physicists and philosophers for over ten years and has become very good at presenting, in lay language, philosophical arguments to physicists and physics concepts to philosophers.

The first part of the book concentrates on the Second Law of Thermodynamics and the historical struggle of Boltzmann and others to understand the source of the Second Law's time asymmetry. Price points out persistent mistakes or hidden assumptions which physicists often make when they think about the direction of time. For example, Boltzmann can prove the Second Law by assuming that two particles are uncorrelated before they collide but correlated (i.e., know each other) after they collide. This assumption violates the time symmetry and elegance of the basic laws of physics and is a questionable assumption without any direct empirical justification.

Next, Price looks at electromagnetic radiation in terms of the Wheeler-Feynman absorption theory. Keeping the same mathematical formalism of outgoing (retarded) and incoming (advanced) solutions of the wave equation, Price reinterprets some key concepts in this theory. He argues that radiation processes are inherently time symmetric and that any asymmetry results from boundary conditions.

Price contends that all processes at the microphysics level are probably time symmetric and that all of the asymmetries at the macrophysics level result from the boundary condition of Big Bang cosmology. The early state of our universe as studied in the cosmic background radiation is known to be very smooth and structureless. With the gravitational force as the dominant influence on our universe, this beginning is a very improbable (low entropy) state. All of the time asymmetries at the macrophysics level, e.g., thermodynamics and radiation, result from the universe evolving into statistically more probable states, or higher entropy.

The middle section of Price's book, in which he examines causality, is mostly philosophical. Specifically, if state A evolves into state B, what justification do we have stating that A can cause B, but B cannot cause A? He considers the case of an astronaut on a star sending a photon through a polarizer to Earth. Another person, on Earth, detects the photon after passing it through another polarizer. Why can we conclude that the polarization of the photon during its multiyear journey is determined solely by the polarizer on the star and not by the polarizer on the Earth?

There is no empirical test to verify our causality assumption. Humans certainly have a temporal asymmetry. We deliberate and act for the future and consider the knowable past to be unchangeable. But what about the inaccessible past, i.e., the polarization of the photon? Price argues for Aadvanced action in microphysics where future events can affect the inaccessible past. He argues against those who might disparage this hypothesis as nonempirical or metaphysical by justifying it on factors such as simplicity and symmetry. Even more so, he justifies advanced action as leading to an interpretation of quantum mechanics which preserves the principles of locality, unlike the Copenhagen interpretation.

The last third of the book deals with the philosophical interpretation of quantum mechanics and the confrontation of Einstein's realism with the Copenhagen interpretation. In the Copenhagen interpretation, reality depends upon the observer's choice of measurement. Price examines the EPR paradox in which two particles are moving in opposite directions away from an entanglement. The Copenhagen interpretation says the measurement of momentum or position of one particle gives reality to the momentum or position of both particles. However, if the momentum of one particle and the position of the other are measured, then conflicting realities result. Since the time-ordering of the measurements depends on the inertial frame, different reference frames give different realities. This is the nonlocality problem which is caused by the effects of a measurement propagating instantaneously across space.

As an alternative to the Copenhagen interpretation, John Bell, in considering a hidden variable theory, proved that it also must be nonlocal unless the hidden variables of one particle are correlated with the choice of measurement of the other particle. He rejected such correlation as a violation of free will of the person making the measurement. Price points out that locality can be restored and free will maintained if the choice of measurement of one particle has advanced action on the hidden variables of the other particle.

Price omits theology in his book, but his advanced action raises many theological questions. Is the inaccessible past also inaccessible to God? Does God act in the future to affect the present? Is our free will constrained somewhat by our future as well as our past? This profound book opens up possibilities for further study.

  Reviewed by William Wharton, Physics Department, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL 60187.

KINSHIP TO MASTERY: Biophilia in Human Evolution and Development by Stephen R. Kellert. Washington, DC: Island Press, 1997. 240 pages, notes, index. Hardcover; $25.00.

Kellert is a professor at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Among his other books are: The Value of Life: Biological Diversity and Human Society (1996) and The Biophilia Hypothesis (1993) which he coedited with Edward O. Wilson. Kinship to Mastery continues the exploration of the concept of biophilia introduced by E. O. Wilson in his landmark book, Biophilia (1984). Kellert is considered a leading authority on the multifaceted relationship which exists between humans and the natural world.

In the first chapter of the book, Kellert defines biophilia as the deep and enduring human desire to connect with living diversity. A biologically-based attraction for nature reflects the human tendency to impute value and importance to the natural world. This inherent inclination to affiliate with nature and living diversity represents a collection of relatively weak biological tendencies that depend on adequate learning and experience. Without repeated experience and social support, the various strands of biophilia remain dormant and unfulfilled. Kellert argues that our physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual well-being are dependent upon the maintenance of rich and healthy connections with natural diversity. As he points out, opportunities to interact with natural diversity are becoming more difficult in many parts of the world because of the recent wave of biological destruction and environmental degradation that has accompanied economic development and technological advancement. Kellert believes that a healthy and diverse natural environment is an essential condition for a satisfying and fulfilling life. The overarching goal of the book is to convince the reader that the preservation of natural diversity represents more than an act of human kindness. It is, in his words, a profound expression of our own self-interest and ultimately, a celebration of our humanity.

Chapters two through ten explore aspects of the extraordinary variability and intricacy of the human response to natural diversity. The first aspect visited is the material basis for biophilia which recognizes nature's provision of food, medicine, clothing, and other products. The third chapter presents the aesthetic appeal of nature. Like all expressions of biophilia, the aesthetic response is shaped and nurtured by learning and experience. One adaptive benefit of the aesthetic response focuses on the ways in which natural surroundings can promote physical healing and mental restoration. In chapter four, the intellectual benefits provided by contact with the natural world are highlighted. Kellert suggests that increased knowledge of nature will lead to a deeper awareness and appreciation of nature's inherent value. The next chapter, ANature as Metaphor, considers the natural world as a source of communication and thought, providing humans with opportunities for language acquisition, psychosocial development, and symbolic imagery. Chapter six presents nature as a source for exploration and discovery. Through intimate contact with nature, our physical fitness can be enhanced, our curiosity expanded, and our self-confidence increased. A more emotional aspect of biophilia, which stresses the desire for kinship with other creatures, is discussed in chapter seven. This is followed by a chapter on the competitive aspect of biophilia which involves the urge to master and subdue nature. In chapter nine, religious aspects of biophilia are surveyed, including a brief summary of the different ways in which Judeo-Christian traditions have understood humankind's relationship to the natural world. Chapter ten concludes Kellert's overview of the various expressions of biophilia with a discussion of what could be described as biophobia: the ways in which the natural world can be a powerful source of human fear and anxiety.

In the last two chapters, Kellert highlights the ways in which modern society has compromised and diminished our need for connecting with nature and living diversity. He also discusses the problems of habitat destruction, the introduction of non-native organisms and diseases, and the excessive exploitation of natural resources, all of which are responsible for the precipitous decline in worldwide biological diversity. He outlines three strategies for dealing with this problem. The first strategy emphasizes the protection and restoration of biologically rich and diverse natural systems. His second strategy focuses upon the need to break the vicious cycle of disaffection and alienation from nature which persists in many of our cities today. Last, but not least, Kellert stresses the need for education and the importance of ethics in order to arrest the current decline in biodiversity.

Kellert presents the various aspects of biophilia in a clear, concise, and organized manner. It is his hope that this book will be as meaningful for the layperson as it is for the scientist. In my opinion, this hope has been fulfilled. Interspersed throughout are fictional vignettes which he uses to illustrate the role of natural diversity in human development. These vignettes serve the purpose of connecting the concept of biophilia to real-life situations, making the book all the more interesting for the general public. Biologists and other scientists will benefit not only from the book's content, but also from the notes provided. Many of these notes refer to Kellert's previous books and to E. O. Wilson's publications, which suggests that this book is offering previously published material in a nonscientific manner to reach a wider audience.

The book ends with an extended vignette about a family living in New York City that is on the verge of disintegration. An extended vacation on an island off the coast of Nova Scotia not only saves this family from self-destruction, but also serves as the beginning of a series of lifelong interactions with the natural world. This vignette illustrates Kellert's main thesis, that connecting with nature is the key to our physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual well-being. The Scriptures also teach the importance of maintaining a proper relationship with creation. However, Scripture emphasizes two other types of relationshipsCour relationship with God and our relationships with our fellow human beings. A true sense of well-being can only be enjoyed if all three of these relationships are nurtured and properly maintained!

Reviewed by J. David Holland, Biology Instructor, Springfield College in Illinois, Springfield, IL 62702.

PHILOSOPHY OF BIOLOGY by Michael Ruse, ed. 2d ed. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1998. 370 pages, notes. Paperback; $18.95.

Ruse, the founding editor of the journal Biology and Philosophy, has long been involved in scholarship in the philosophy of biology. The first edition of Philosophy of Biology was published in 1989. Given the advances in biological sciences since then and the new philosophical issues emerging as a result, this second edition incorporates several new essays, such as those of Arthur Peacocke, Philip Hefner, and Ronald Lindsay. These more recent essays are organized under new topics which have assumed a central place in current philosophical debates arising out of advances made in biological sciences. For instance, the essays of Hefner and Lindsay address the issues related to the topic of human cloning. At the same time, this edition has retained the Aclassical pieces which address the more fundamental philosophical questions, such as the essays by Aristotle, Darwin, and Huxley.

The essays are organized under sections, which, in turn, are presented in an order that maintains a certain degree of continuity between the sections. The sections represent a progression from fundamental (age-old) questions, such as What is life? to more contemporary issues such as the matter of human cloning. At the same time, they also represent a progression from the purely philosophical issues such as matters of design and teleology to more ethical or moral issues related to human behavior. Between the Introduction at the beginning and a Bibliographic Essay at the end (both written by Ruse), there are thirty-seven essays organized under thirteen sections. The sections represent the following topics in the order of their appearance in the book: Life, Design, Darwinism, Classification, Teleology, Molecular Biology, Genetic Engineering, Sociobiology, Extraterrestrial Life, Evolution, Ethics, God and Biology, and Human Cloning.

The essays selected for each topic collectively address the fundamental biological concepts or principles involved, the nature of the philosophical or ethical issues arising from these concepts, and the ways in which the principles themselves can be used to address the issues. For instance, under the topic of teleology, there are three essays. The first one by Williams provides a commentary on the concepts of biological adaptation and natural selection. Then Kramer argues that the problem regarding the question of teleology arises as a result of the misuse of the term Astrategy in relationship to biological adaptation and natural selection. Finally, Ayala clarifies the nature of teleological explanations of biological phenomena using Webster's definition of the term Ateleology (Webster's Third New International Dictionary, 1966).

Ayala points out two forms of teleological explanations: (1) Natural (or internal) teleology teleological features attributable to some natural phenomenon, and (2) Artificial (or external) teleology teleological features attributable to purposeful action consciously carried out by an agent. He further distinguishes natural teleology into determinate (or necessary) and indeterminate (or nonspecific). Determinate teleology is represented by phenomena which lead to a specific end-state (such as homeostasis) or features which serve specific functions (such as wings of birds). Indeterminate teleology refers to events for which the end-state served is not specifically predetermined, but rather results from the selection of one from several available alternatives. Thus, biological adaptations (such as wings) represent determinate teleology, whereas the availability itself of specific genetic alternatives upon which natural selection could act (to lead to the formation of wings) represents indeterminate teleology. Ayala's purpose in all this is to illustrate the role teleological explanations can play in describing evolutionary phenomena, rather than address the issue of whether teleological explanations point to divine creative activity. To be sure, such is the case in all sections of the book, namely that the issues are treated from within the perspective of natural biology and do not address any questions related to supernatural involvement. An exception to this observation is the second to last section titled God and Biology in which the specific issue of divine creation as presented in the Bible versus Darwinian evolution is addressed.

In the Introduction, Ruse provides a summary of each section highlighting the nature of questions addressed and the way they are dealt with by the authors in each section. At the end of the book, Ruse provides a Bibliographic Essay, which cites several important works the reader can go to for further exploring the issues addressed in various sections of the book. The bibliographic essay is superior to the usual bibliography at the end of the book in two ways. First, it contains Ruse's comments regarding the nature and significance of the works cited so that the reader can see why these might be important for further study. Second, the paragraphs in this essay pertain to literature on specific themes, areas, or topics so that the reader can focus more easily on literature related to particular topics rather than search through an alphabetized list of references.

Philosophy of Biology presents a quick access to literature important to both biology and philosophy students. It is a useful reference resource for scholarship in biology as well as philosophy and can also serve as text for philosophy courses focusing on biological sciences.

Reviewed by Pradeep M. Dass, Assistant Professor of Biology and Science Education, Northeastern Illinois University, 5500 N. St. Louis Ave., Chicago, IL 60625-4699.

THE HUMANIZING BRAIN: Where Religion and Neuroscience Meet by James B. Ashbrook and Carol Rausch Albright. Cleveland, OH: The Pilgrim Press, 1997. 272 pages, index. Paperback; $20.95.

Ashbrook and Albright Aregard the [human] brain as a primary lens with which to study and understand the cosmos and its dynamic source, namely, God (p. 163). They do not believe that the human brain was brought into existence ex nihilo, but rather accept the main scientific view that the structures and functions of the brain seem to track the eons of evolution that gave rise to it. (This sentence appears on p. 132 and on p. 146.)

The human brain contains three regions: (1) an inner, lower reptilian brain inherited from ancient lizards and snakes; (2) a mid-cap Amammalian brain inherited from early viviparous animals; and (3) the upper, frontal, uniquely primate cortex.

The reptilian region produces the basic traits of self-preservation, self-propagation, and the establishment and defense of territory.

The mammalian region is the seat of human emotions, empathy, and memory. Senior author Ashbrook, professor emeritus of religion and personality at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, has written several books and articles on the connection between these matters and God. This book is a treasure trove of insights into how our minds work: We humans have the old brain-mind in common with other vertebrates. It connects us with nature itself and, in faith, with God (p. 97).

With what kind of God do the authors connect? Not a miracle-worker. God does not 'pull strings' (p. 149). God is often referred to as the Ground of Being. The authors liberally and approvingly quote the process philosophers Whitehead, Cobb, and Griffin. And from Hartshorne we have the social structure is the ultimate structure of all existence (p. 87).

Concerning the human cortex and forebrain, the following is typical:

[the left and right halves of the human cerebral cortex] are analogues of the two main characteristics of God in that the step-by-step analytic process of the interpreting (left) hemisphere can be discerned in God's redeeming power of straightening life up, and the all-at-once, holistic process of the integrating (right) hemisphere can be seen in the radiant goodness throughout all of God's creation (p. 111).

Will theologians ever get their physics right in print? We read: "Einstein  has shown us  matter may be transformed into energy, energy becomes matter, and for some purposes the two may be seen as one and the same "(p. 139). But not for the purposes of this book! E = mc2 is relevant in the million- or billion-electron-volt energy range, whereas the brain operates at energies of a few electron volts. Einstein did not turn physics into mush.

The assertion that those working on the forefront of science  no longer believe in Astrict predictability and causality (p. 154) does not apply to those who have studied the time-dependent Schr–dinger equation, which describes how one quantum state is transformed into another in a nice causal fashion.

The reader also should take the technical information on neurobiology with caution. The glossary contains this definition: ACENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM: those parts of the brain and spinal chord that respond to conscious or deliberate intentions (p. 192). Actually, the central nervous system incorporates all of the brain and spinal cord; it involves unconscious and reflexive signals.

One wishes that coauthor Albright, executive editor of Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science, had limited this book to fields of science with which the authors were more authoritatively acquainted, or had engaged a consultant. If you pick up this book in a bookstore, I suggest that you first peruse Chapters 3-7, which address the various functions of the brain and their theological significance. In the first two introductory chapters, some readers might find pearls of deep wisdom leaping from every page; other readers might find a flood of abstract generalizations. Beginning on p. 51, the writing becomes less abstract and easier to follow.

Reviewed by Lee A. Young, 144 Chestnut Circle, Lincoln, MA 01773.

TRANSFORMING HUMAN CULTURE: Social Evolution and the Planetary Crisis by Jay Early.l Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1997. 359 and xiii pages, bibliography, index. Paperback; $19.95.

This book is a volume in the SUNY series in constructive postmodern thought. Early, a psychotherapist, has doctoral degrees in psychology and computer science. He wrote this book because he thinks we are facing an ecological disaster which evolving man can solve. This environmental crisis is only a symptom of a much broader social crisis. However, we now have an opportunity to create a healthy global society, a new level of evolution. The present situation is a natural outgrowth of social evolution which the author sketches from about 35,000 BC. He shows what he thinks is progress made at each stage of evolution.

The treatment is superficial, which is to be expected in a book of this size which covers social developments stretching over about 400 centuries. The author acknowledges that his academic background is in psychology, but the theory he is presenting Adeals with social, political, and economic issues; with technology and ecology; with science and religion (p. 7). Christianity and its influence are barely mentioned, and where they are mentioned, it is only in a general way. The fact that this book gives an idea where postmodern thinking is headed might be of interest to some people. Near the end of the book, Early writes: "We could rely on our cognitive understanding of ecological reality to motivate us to care for our environment, but if we also identify with earth as a whole using our emotional and spiritual capacities, we are more likely to succeed."

Reviewed by Jan de Koning, 20 Crispin Crescent, Willowdale, ON, Canada M2R 2V7.

GENETIC ETHICS: Do the Ends Justify the Genes? by John F. Kilner, Rebecca D. Pentz, and Frank E. Young, eds. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1997. xii and 291 pages, glossary of genetic terms, index. Paperback; $22.00.

When investigating new theories or using new methods, we often concentrate only on our own particular area of expertise. Even when asking the question, What will the result be if we do this? we usually think of our own discipline, and rarely about other disciplines. Still, many theories have ethical implications where we do not expect them. For example, the discovery of the inner workings of atoms eventually resulted in the atom-bomb. A biologist working in a laboratory studying genes wonders what will happen if he does a certain experiment. He may never think of the larger political and ethical consequences of his work.

After the preface by the editors, three writers introduce the subjects to be treated about recent developments in genetics under the general heading, The Experience of Genetic Challenges. Are experiments in cloning ethically neutral? Should ethical and religious limits be placed on experiments? After the Introduction follows Part I, Genetic Perspective; Part II, Genetic Information; and Part III, Genetic Intervention. The writers are from many disciplines: biology, ethics, biblical religion, medicine, genetics, philosophy, law, education, politics, nursing, technology, politics, and theology. Some essays are easy to read, with others outside our own specialty may cause trouble.

All chapters have information which we should know before passing judgment on problems in these areas. For example, the same or similar techniques that may be used for cloning can be used to repair certain diseases. Should we teach these techniques, and if so, for what purpose?

This book shows once again that nobody can act in his own area as if it were an independent area of study. Beautiful results in one discipline may cause disastrous results in other disciplines. These Christian authors come from several different denominations, seminaries, colleges, and other institutions. They may not all agree with solutions others propose, but all agree that it is necessary to talk together about the problems caused by new findings in genetics. I recommend this book for study and as an example of Christians working together.

  Reviewed by Jan de Koning, 20 Crispin Crescent, Willowdale, ON, Canada M2R 2V7.

WRONGNESS, WISDOM, AND WILDERNESS: Toward a Libertarian Theory of Ethics and the Environment by Tal Scriven. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1997. 218 pages (including 18 pages of notes, bibliography, and index). Paperback; $20.95.

Scriven is professor of philosophy at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. In this book, he demonstrates his facility in using ideas from some of the major voices in philosophy and ethics, including Plato, Hume, Rousseau, Kant, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche. He self-references two papers, one titled Utility, Autonomy And Drug Regulation published in the International Journal of Applied Philosophy, and the other titled APlato's Democratic Man and the Implausibility of Preference Utilitarianism published in Theory and Decision.

This book has three parts titled Wrongness, Wisdom, and Wilderness. Part I discusses the historical and theoretical perspectives of utilitarianism (with special emphasis on the writing of J. S. Mill), social ethics, and individual ethics. In these seven chapters, Scriven concludes that utilitarianism fails as a social theory because pleasure and goodness, or the well-being of individuals, is not an adequate basis for social decisions. The meaning of pleasure or goodness has received no consensus. He suggests that a better basis is the concept of harm, since the idea that pain is bad finds general agreement. Pain, claims Scriven, is the only thing that is universally held to be intrinsically evil. Further, there are certain types of activity that can have such damaging consequences to a person's moral and psychological well-being that the activity ought to be considered harmful. But the prohibition of certain types of actions should be very limited and the burden of proof must rest with the state. Utilitarianism is not a mechanism for guaranteeing rights but for restraining government.

Part II (five chapters) outlines theories of individual ethics or morality, which is what Scriven means by the term wisdom. He strongly advocates the idea that social morality and individual wisdom are about different things; social morality should concern itself with the prevention of harm; individual wisdom should concern itself with the pursuit of good. Our behavior as individuals should not be dictated by the demands of social morality. There is a limited range of activity that the state or community can make a legitimate claim to be able to control on the basis of its wrongness. Of the rest of life, not only does the community have no right to control the lives of individuals, it has no right to even proclaim them as wrong. Scriven maintains that government has no business addressing moral behavior in the private sphere. In the private sphere, the individual need have no justification or even explanation for what he or she does. The range of social morality, where there is a genuine fact of the matter about right and wrong, stops at the private sphere. He then discusses how one ought to live one's life, regardless of how others behave.

Part III is a discussion of how Parts I and II relate to nature. His argument suggests that ecocentrism should be rejected because either it is incoherent or not in sync with the best available accounts of how nature really works. Scriven finds it more than coincidence that environmental concerns emerge in times of increasing exploitation of natural resources. He discusses the writings of Callicott, Garret Hardin, Cheney, and Eckersley, among other ecocentrists, ecofeminists, and postmodernists. According to Scriven, postmodernism cannot be criticized since any critique is just so much more Western, patriarchal, sexist, racist, capitalist, Cartesian, linear, hierarchical, hegemonic, colonizing, totalizing asceticism.

I did not find this book particularly easy reading, but it does present a very interesting perspective on how to look at the environment and environmentalism. At times, the author strays rather far (in my opinion) from his central thesis, but he does try to tell us in each chapter where he intends to go. I find much in the book to think about and some things to agree with, e.g., in the dark age of academic postmodernism, it is only threat, idle rhetoric, harassment, and embarrassment that count. I also find things with which I strongly disagree, e.g., I am not even committed to the view that humans, per se, are intrinsically valuable. On abortion Scriven says, Athe burden of proof would seem to fall squarely on the shoulders of the antiabortionists, it is up to them to prove that the fetus is the sort of thing that can be harmed. It is not up to the proabortionist to prove that abortion is harmless  the issue should be settled in favor of the proabortionist. What does all this have to do with the environment? Read the book and find out.

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

HEALING A WOUNDED WORLD: Economics, Ecology, and Health for a Sustainable Life by Joseph Wayne Smith, Graham Lyons, and Gary Sauer-Thompson. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 1997. 209 and xviii pages, bibliography, index. Hardcover; $65.00.

In the 1990s the environmental debate is about such things as human biomass appropriation, declining bio- diversity, global warming, and the rupture of the Earth's ozone shield. The authors want to show how the world is hurtling toward anarchy and social chaos due to overusing economic goods. They divide the users of economic goods into two categories: limitationists, those who believe that we are fast approaching the limits of growth; and economists, those who believe that there are no such limits. Economists believe that neoclassical economics, utilitarianism, the rational-economic-man model of human behavior, and the free trade theory are true and adequate. The authors of this book are limitationists. They attack the idea that economics is the most basic science for understanding human society because it is a reductionist approach, related to reductionist approaches in other sciences.

In the first two chapters, A Wounded World: Can Civilization Be Sustained? and Global Meltdown: Population Growth and Environmental Destruction, they state their case: There are limits to population growth. They mention R. L. Sassone who quotes Gen. 1:28: "subdue the earth" and says that there is no limit to growth (p. 33). Since the Bible says subdue not destroy, the authors reject that argument. Not all societies in history considered progress a social construction. In 2050, the world will face an incredible problem dealing with ten billion people. More people will mean more pollution. Quoting Harrison, they show that the rich are greater polluters than the poor, thus causing more pollution. This in turn causes increased global heating, higher sea levels, and more rain. Rich countries can defend themselves against this by dikes and other means. Poorer countries probably cannot, causing migrations which are not welcome in rich countries.

Chapter three, The Unreasonable Silence of the World: Postmodernity and the Crisis of Philosophy, Science and Knowledge, discusses the downfall of the Enlightenment, and thus the lack of an all-encompassing philosophy of knowledge. Even in the natural sciences, no unity of vision exists. Reason is often impotent in the political sphere, especially regarding environmental issues. But politicians avoid tough issues, or worse, choose the course not leading to environmental sustainability.

Chapter four is titled Economic Irrationalism: Against Cosmopolitan Economics. The writers are afraid of the problems an unrestricted global economy will bring: the breakdown of national economies and more free trade. As unskilled workers become plentiful, their incomes in developed countries will go down. That will be especially dangerous for the United States, where economic stratification of society is greater than anywhere else, the writers claim. In 1996 the rate of child poverty in the United States was four times higher than in other developed nations. The poor are worse off in absolute terms than twenty years ago. According to the Grace Commission Report, in the year 2000 the accumulated US government debt will be 13 trillion dollars, or nine times the amount collected in income taxes (pp. 104, 105). The authors hope to stimulate the development of an ecologically responsible economic theory in which nature is not taken as a limitless pollution sink.

Despite the hopeful title of chapter five, Endgame: Healing a Wounded World, they conclude:

The conclusion of our study is unfortunately a negative one: the basic minimum conditions for a healthy, ecologically sustainable life for all people on Earth cannot be met. Sadly, the technological and economic optimists are wrong. We are entering a new dark age; an age of the great dieback in the exuberant growth of the human species.

The authors are Australians. Smith is Senior Research Fellow in Geography at the University of Adelaide; Lyons is a leading businessman, cattle rancher, and environmentalist; Sauer-Thompson is a lecturer in philosophy at the Flinders University of South Australia. In North America, we have the tendency to look at the world from a strictly American point of view. In this book, we see how others view the world. I recommend this book to everyone for study and possible action. Even if you do not agree with everything, the book shows areas where action needs to be taken.

  Reviewed by Jan de Koning, 20 Crispin Crescent, Willowdale, ON, Canada M2R 2V7.

AN INTRODUCTION TO BIOETHICS by Thomas A. Shannon. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1997. 189 pages. Paperback; $14.95.

This book is an excellent guide for discussing ethical problems caused by using biological materials. Shannon is a professor of religion and social ethics in the Department of Humanities and Arts at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Shannon mentions five essential dimensions of technology: function, energy, fabrication, communication, and control. A technology assessment should also examine the impact of technical rationality on personal and professional relationships and society. Technology is a way of thinking which leads to compartmentilization, a distrust or diminishment of subjectivity and a preference for instruments and objectivity. Technology makes it necessary to reconceptulize and re-imagine humans and their social relationships. Those observations are foundational to the book and the way the book is organized.

At the end of each of the sixteen chapters are discussion questions, notes and a bibliography. This makes it easy to use the book as a textbook and as a discussion guide for church and other groups. The book has four parts: General Issues, Birth Technologies, Death and Dying, and Specific Problems. In the last part the writer introduces questions related to genetic engineering, organ transplantation, research on human subjects, patients' rights, and whole earth ethics.

Reviewed by Jan de Koning, 20 Crispin Crescent, Willowdale, ON, Canada M2R 2V7.

ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP: Images From Popular Culture by Dorothy J. Howell. Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey, 1997. 280 pages, index. Hardcover; $59.95.

Stewardship is a distinctly Christian term used by the church to advocate a biblical ethic of sharing (mostly money) and caring for God's creation. The term is adopted by the title of this book but, unfortunately, its historical biblical meaning is diluted by other (hi)stories recounted in the author's search for a contemporary environmental ethic.

Howell, formerly an applied microbial ecologist, environmental counsellor and educator, is a Ph.D. candidate in Environmental Studies at Antioch New England Graduate School. She claims Aan active vocation in Christian theology with a firm foundation in the teachings and foundations of the Old Testament (p. xviii). However, the book does not delve deeply into this foundation. Her brief writings about biblical stewardship are accepting of the Judeo-Christian view, but only as one narrative among many.

A premise of this book is that everyone is searching for an environmental ethic, but no one individual, discipline, or culture enjoys a monopoly over the concept of stewardship. This search arises from western culture's estrangement from nature. Options for reconnection are explored through an array of ideas (Greek philosophy, Gaia, biophilia, Jungian psychology, Thomas Berry's dream of the earth), religions (Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism), and stories from primal cultures (African, Australian, Polynesian). Particular attention is given to worldviews of First Nations peoples (Amerindians), especially their relationship to the land.

Alienation from nature in western culture is characterized by ambivalence about our sense of place. We oscillate between bringing civilization to nature (resource exploitation, industrialization, urbanization) and bringing nature to civilization (urban parks, home gardens). This ambivalence is reflected in images of popular culture, the book's subtitle. The continuous search for a renewed human/nature relationship is manifested in popular mythical characters that portray the pastoral Puritan, wilderness man, or noble savage. The book examines at length our fascination with feral individuals in fiction (Tarzan series by Edgar Rice Burroughs), cinema (Planet of the Apes), and television (Spock in Star Trek). These popular images symbolize our search for reconnecting with nature and our place in it.

Howell recognizes that a relationship with nature is as much spiritual as it is ecological. An important source of insight here is the integration of science and theology. She even gives a glowing tribute to the American Scientific Affiliation and this journal for being in the forefront of this integration (p. 212).

In exploring the spiritual dimension of a new environmental ethic, biblical tenets are briefly summarized. These include the Abrahamic covenant, Fall of creation, Christ's incarnation, and redemption of all creation. However, the theological conclusion is not a call for redeemed relationships among Creator, humans (stewards), and creation but rather biocentrism: " humans are ontologically one with nature and   the relationship between humans and  creation must proceed from that fact"(p. 217).

This book has eighteen chapters organized into five parts. It generally progresses from broad philosophical musings about the origin of alienation from nature in western culture to specific expressions of this alienation in images of popular culture to a call for reconnecting with the natural world via personal environmental ethics and national environmental policy.

Much of the text consists of quotations from other sources that are strung together with concurring commentary. Except for the reflections on popular culture (four chapters on Tarzan and his contemporaries), there is not much new. Sadly for the Christian, insights based on a biblical understanding of stewardship do not accompany the co-opted title.

Reviewed by Harry Spaling, Director of Environmental Studies, The King's University College, Edmonton, Canada.

HUMAN NATURE AT THE MILLENNIUM: Reflections on the Integration of Psychology and Christianity by Malcolm A. Jeeves. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1997. 249 pages, index. Paperback; $19.99.

Jeeves is honorary research professor at the University of St. Andrews School of Psychology in Scotland and well-known author of several books tracing interactions between psychology and Christian faith. He wrote this book especially with Christian psychology students in mind. It has thirteen chapters focusing on such central topics as neuropsychology; human nature; consciousness; and determinism, freedom, and responsibility. As an aid to the reader, Jeeves has added a section, Taking Stock, at the end of each chapter to put specific emphasis where it is needed in as straightforward a way as possible.

The focus of the book is primarily on basic sensory and cognitive processes and their biological substrates; on the part played by psychological, neural, and genetic factors in determining behavior; and on issues arising from such research for Christian beliefs. For most areas of psychology his position is clearly stated: Any attempt to mix Christian beliefs with psychological accounts is guaranteed to cause confusion and to make nonsense of both. Jeeves does not mean that Christian beliefs and psychological accounts should be put into noninteracting compartments. He means that we should not expect a psychological theory of development to be different between Christians and non-Christians. Also we should not develop a theory that incorporates Christian beliefs with empirical evidence.

Next the author considers the role of neuropsychology in linking mind and brain ever more closely together, which raises the question of how this picture can be related to a biblical, Hebrew-Christian view of humankind. He stresses the importance of parallel descriptions on different levels: AExplaining what is happening at one level is not the same as explaining away the phenomenon under investigation. Consideration is given to such historically adopted options as dualism, epiphenomenalism, and psychophysiological parallelism, choosing for his view Mackay's comprehensive realism. The irreducible duality of human nature is, on this view, seen as duality of aspects rather than duality of substance. This discussion then leads naturally to considering the role of neuropsychology and spiritual experience, with examples of the tight link among neural processes, psychological states, and spiritual awareness. The point is simple: With neural changes there are psychological consequences and these, in turn, affect spiritual awareness.

In the fifth chapter, Jeeves turns to a consideration of the link between the brain and human behavior, choosing homosexuality and aggressive behavior as two relevant areas. He argues that our personal characteristics are not determined by our genes, but what our genes do is predispose us to certain characteristics and behaviors, which can nevertheless be altered by changing environmental conditions. He concludes:

The general pattern of evidence from studies in the field of neurogenetics and behavior is to alert us to the pressures that tend to shape our behavior. Above all, it should sensitize us to the power of such influences and, in so doing, should induce a greater compassion toward those who may be struggling.

The author next considers specific biblical and psychological representations of human nature, inquiring as to the salient features of a biblical view of human nature. He faces the issue that the kinds of questions posed by twentieth-century scientists were not even framed by the biblical authors, let alone answered by them. He finds in the subject of human nature the interplay of different complementary accounts, with a stark contrast between the ways in which theologians write about human nature and the vocabulary, concepts, and theories of scientific psychologists, primarily because the purposes of the two are quite different. The author defends the view that Man is a psychophysical or somatopsychic unity, a statement with meaning both in this present earthly life and in some new form in the new heavens and new earth.

The seventh chapter raises the question of whether there are meaningful differences between human and animal nature. The author concludes that distinctive differences between humans and animals will not be found in physical and mental differences, but in the realization that humankind has the unique capacity for a personal relationship with our Creator.

Jeeves next considers the subject of personology, those parts of psychology which deal with theories of personality and the theory and practice of psychotherapy. Such theories are especially vulnerable to the intrusion of the personal beliefs and values of the theorists. He believes that it is not appropriate to incorporate Christian beliefs in personology. Rather, Christian beliefs should motivate research and practice in psychotherapy, and Christian values should inform the compassionate practice of psychotherapy. But above all, the Christian commitment is to `telling the story as it is' and this must remain paramount in an area of psychology where personal values can so readily intrude.

The following chapter continues this theme in developing attitudes toward human needs from psychological and theological perspectives, and reviews the views of five of this century's most influential personality theorists: Freud, Erikson, Maslow, Rogers, and Fromm. This is followed by a look at four theological traditions: Augustine, Aquinas, Jonathan Edwards, and Karl Rahner. Again the complementary aspects of the two approaches are most important.

Chapter 10 considers the subject of consciousness, giving several detailed examples of the developing scientific debate. While appreciating the mysterious nature of consciousness and the enormous task involved in understanding it scientifically, still this does not constitute an excuse (or even a reason) for going on to assert `so far science cannot explain consciousness so this is where God is to be seen at work.' To follow that route would be to resurrect the God-of-the-gaps approach. Although no easy answers are available from the scientific study of consciousness, there is a strong warning against two of the suggested solutions of the past: dualism and eliminative monism. At the end of the chapter, Jeeves raises an emergent properties perspective in suggesting:

Could it be that the same material stuff, brains, of animals as well as humans, due to changes in structural complexity, at some point undergo something analogous to a phase change so that new properties of mind, consciousness, and a capacity for spiritual awareness emerge in humans?

n the following chapter, he considers the perspectives of four Nobel Prize winning biologists: Francis Crick (materialist reductionist), Sir John Eccles (dualism of mind and body), Gerald Edelman (neural Darwinism), and Roger Sperry (dynamic emerging property of brain activity). A comparison of the views expressed is a warning against any simplistic solutions to the problems we face, but it appears that a dualist view of mind and brain must give way to the ontological priority of mental life.

In Chapter 12, Jeeves tackles the persistent problems associated with the concepts of determinism, freedom, and responsibility. He emphasizes a needed distinction between methodological determinism (an approach that presupposes the possibility of orderly description), empirical determinism (the assumption that descriptions without exceptions are possible), and metaphysical determinism (an ontological worldview in which all human psychological events follow universal laws). Increasing evidence for a link between mind and brain has led to the question of whether human beings do have genuine freedom of choice. The author concludes a description of proposed possibilities with the call:

Let us at least hold fast to our basic personal experience of choice and responsibility without denying the neurological insight that our mental activity is incarnated in our brains. These are complementary aspects of the whole person, just as wave and particle are complementary aspects of light.

The ideological reductionist claim that our experience of freedom of choice is an illusion must be seen as Ablatantly unscientific special pleading. The concept of freedom also has at least two possible interpretations: the liberty of spontaneity (a compatibilist view) and the liberty of indifference (a libertarian view). He argues that the liberty of spontaneity can be more readily reconciled with God's sovereignty, than the liberty of indifference. After comparing the positions of Polkinghorne, Peacocke, and Mackay, the author casts his vote to the liberty of spontaneity and the logical indeterminacy view of Mackay, on the grounds that Ait seems to do most justice to the theological teaching about God's general providential care of all things at all times.

The book concludes with a final chapter that is an excellent and perceptive summary of the various points of debate discussed earlier in the book.

This is an excellent book, with carefully developed distinctions and positions. It is a prime example of outstanding work of a Christian in the field of psychology. The significant nuances are so great that the writing of a book review of ordinary length becomes almost impossible.

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

THE HOLY LAND: An Oxford Archaeological Guide from Earliest Times to 1700 by Jerome Murphy-O'Connor, ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. 489 pages. Paperback; $18.95.

This book will appeal to anyone interested in Holy Land archaeological sites. For its moderate price, the reader receives extensive word descriptions of Holy Land locations significant to its three major religions and cultures. In addition, the reader is provided with 150 site plans, maps, diagrams, and photographs. The alphabetical listings plus a comprehensive index make it easy to locate topics of particular interest. It is touted as by far the best popular guide to its subject ever written. This book does not venture beyond AD 1700 because nothing created after that date is classified as an antiquity.

This book will provide pleasures for the curious, nostalgic, and religiously motivated. Even the nontraveler may find value in the brief historical outline which introduces the volume. About a third of the space is devoted to the city of Jerusalem, while the remainder is a guide to the land. The editor not only provides information but also makes editorial judgments about it. For instance, of Gordon's Garden Tomb, he says: Athere is no possibility that it is in fact the place where Christ was buried. On the other hand, of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre he writes: AIs this the place where Christ died and was buried? Very probably, yes. Sometimes biblical sites may be discussed under a less familiar name, i.e., Latrun for Emmaus.

This revised and expanded fourth edition provides coverage of all the main sites in Jerusalem (including routes through the Old City) and throughout the country. To help the visitor prioritize, sites are rated, museum times provided, and desert areas described. Practical advice is offered on travel and lodging, appropriate dress, and export of artifacts. Jerome Murphy-O'Connor, a New Testament professor in Jerusalem, is author of Paul: A Critical Life. Other guides published by Oxford University Press in this series include those on Rome, Scotland, and Spain. Christians who find their faith strengthened by having it firmly rooted in history and archaeology will find this book an inspiration.

  Reviewed by Richard Ruble, John Brown University, Siloam Springs, AR 72761.

NEW AMERICAN COMMENTARY (GENESIS 1-11) by Kenneth A. Mathews. Nashville, TN: Broadman and Holman Publishers, 1996. 528 pages, index. Hardcover; $34.99.

Mathews is professor of Old Testament at Beeson Divinity School, Samford University. He is an acknowledged expert in the Dead Sea scrolls, text criticism, biblical Hebrew, and the literary study of the Old Testament, having written or edited books and articles in these areas.

His commentary on Genesis 1-11 thoroughly covers foundational doctrines. The freewill of man (pp. 211-12), the explanation of evil (pp. 226-31), and the divine model for marriage (pp. 222-25) are all dealt with in detail. Moreover, Mathews puts special emphasis on explaining what it means to be made in the image of God (pp. 164-75). Later he concludes that Ahuman life must be treated with special caution because it is of singular value as life created in the image of God (p. 402).

Mathews convincingly argues that the biblical flood was worldwide according to the Bible (pp. 365, 380) and that it was not based on other ancient pagan flood myths (pp. 86-100). He explains that these epics differed from the biblical flood story (pp. 339-40) and that the biblical flood story has no chronological inconsistencies (pp. 377, 385, 492).

The issues of creationism and naturalism are covered (pp. 101-7). Mathews points out that Aphilosophical naturalism denies the existence of God, while methodological naturalism, though not explicitly rejecting deity, excludes God in developing a theory of the universal process (p. 102). He shows that creationists have their different views too, but the disagreement is Anot about who? but about how? and how long? and when? (pp. 106-7). Mathews cites the works of J. P. Moreland, Phillip Johnson, K. P. Wise, Henry Morris, John Whitcomb, Hugh Ross, H. J. Van Till, Bernard Ramm, W. L. Bradley, and C. B. Thaxton.

Mathews spends a good deal of time discussing the documentary hypothesis and the historical-critical approach that many modern scholars use when examining the pentateuchal witness (pp. 63-85, 353-56, 377, 435-36). Mathews disagrees with the critical approach, and he gives some evidence that seems to nullify the liberal view that the Pentateuch was written during the first millennium B.C. The literary evidence indicates a much earlier date of authorship. Mathews observes:

Several lines of internal evidence, while unable to prove traditional Mosaic authorship, indicate the concurrence of a second millennium date, such as the antiquity of Deuteronomy's literary structure having similarity to international treaty formulas of the Late Bronze Age (p. 79).

Mathews is not alone in this view. He cites the works of other scholars such as M. G. Kline, P. C. Craigie, E. Merrill, P. J. Wiseman, D. J. Wiseman, G. C. Aalders, G. Archer, R. K. Harrison, K. A. Kitchen, O. T. Allis, E. J. Young, I. Abrahams, M. H. Segal, and B. Jacob (p. 79). Furthermore, Mathews notes:

The names of the coalition of kings in Genesis 14 and the political circumstances accord well with what we know of this early period. The author was an eyewitness of the events in Exodus Deuteronomy and was well acquainted with Egyptian language and geography. Egyptian loanwords from the second millennium are found in Hebrew (p. 79).

Obviously Mathews has extensive knowledge of ancient Near Eastern languages, literature, and culture. The New American Commentary series is one of the finest on the market today, and Mathews continues the scholarly tradition with his work on the first eleven chapters of Genesis. I highly recommend it to the readers of PSCF.

Reviewed by Everette Hatcher III, P.O. Box 23416, Little Rock, AR 72221.