Book Reviews for September 1996

QUARKS, CHAOS AND CHRISTIANITY: Questions to Science and Religion by John Polkinghorne. New York: The Crossroad Publishing Company, 1996. 102 pages, bibliography; no index. Paperback; $9.95.
PSCF 48 (September 1996): 192.

This is the seventh in a series of volumes by John Polkinghorne, President of Queen's College, Cambridge. Polkinghorne is a former Cambridge Professor of Mathematical Physics, a Fellow of the Royal Society and, recently, an Anglican priest. This book is an overview of his first six books, all of which deal with some aspect of how the religious and scientific worldviews relate to one another. Reviews on three of these have appeared recently in Perspectives. Walt Hearne looked at Faith of a Physicist in December 1995, Richard Bube reviewed Reason and Reality in June 1993, and Daniel Wray analyzed The Way the World Is in March 1993.

In 1896, A. D. White's The Warfare of Science and Theology in Christendom presented the case for antipathy between these worldviews; Polkinghorne's thesis, splendidly expounded, is an account of the friendship between them, which he believes to be the truer assessment.

In a manner reminiscent of C. S. Lewis, Polkinghorne writes both clearly and concisely on issues of substance. He sees both science and religion to be searches for truth. He writes: "The central religious question is the question of truth. Of course, religion can sustain us in life, or at the approach of death, but it can only do so if it is about the way things really are" (p. 97).

The science/religion relationship is explored in eight short chapters. In Chapter 1, Fact or Opinion? he explains how experiment and theory, and fact and interpretation are always intertwined in science, and that matters of judgment must be considered. As he develops this theme into religious matters, he finds interesting differences: "Religious knowledge is much more demanding than scientific knowledge. While it requires scrupulous attention to matters of truth, it also calls for the response of commitment to the truth discovered." And: "Nearly all that makes life worth living slips through the wide meshes of the scientific net" (p. 13).

Subsequent chapters address questions of clues to God's existence, his ways of creation (p. 46, "He did not create a magic world because he is not a magician", problems of reductionism (p. 52, "A few H20 molecules by themselves are not wet"), issues of miracles and resurrection, and questions of how a scientist can believe. This last topic is, perhaps, the most important. Certainly, the popular image of a scientist in today's secularized world does not include a Christian faith relationship! For example, Margaret Wertheim asserts in her otherwise well-written book Pythagoras' Trousers that "today most physicists no longer maintain formal ties with any religion" (p. 7). "I do not know that to be a fact; Wertheim does not cite documentation. But when I was a young Carnegie Tech physics student in 1949, I remember thinking this must be so." Counteracting this impression (thankfully) were the writings of a science popularizer of that day, Sir Arthur Eddington, a Quaker, who found science and religion compatible. John Polkinghorne continues this tradition. His writings are heartily recommended. This is an excellent book to slip in the hands of your young loved one as he or she sets off for a college education in the sciences!

Reviewed by John W. (Burgy) Burgeson, 6715 Colina Ln, Austin, TX 78759.

VISIONS THAT SHAPED THE UNIVERSE: A History of Scientific Ideas about the Universe by Joseph L. Spradley. Dubuque, Iowa: Wm. C. Brown Publishers, 1995. 277 pages, index. Softcover; $23.00.
PSCF 48 (September 1996): 192.

This book provides an excellent history of science that chronicles science's quest to explain how the world came into being. In ten chapters, the book explores answers provided by Egyptian science through the Middle Ages and on to modern particle physics. The history is presented with exceedingly lucid explanations of phenomena that make this an ideal textbook and reference for those who want to become scientifically literate without becoming scientists.

Spradley compiled much of the book's content while teaching a general science course for nonscience majors at Wheaton College. The book was produced for Wheaton and is formatted as a text, being somewhat larger than normal (8x10 in.) with the text in two-column format. References are not indexed in the text but instead are collected at the end of each chapter.

The first four chapters consider the sun. Spradley begins with prehistoric cultures and their fascination with the heavenly motions. The religious or philosophical significance is presented in concert with the limitations that this engendered within Greek, Islamic, and Christian cultures. The result is a balanced treatment covering many philosophies, and it illustrates how and why scientific progress stagnated at different points in history.

Chapters 4-8 build on the theme of rapid scientific progress that began with Copernicus and Galileo. The development of heliocentrism is followed by three chapters describing the genesis of physical and inorganic chemistry, evolutionary biology, and electricity. These chapters provide a background to atomic structure that make a smooth transition into the final chapters on relativity and quantum theory (A Relational Universe, Chapter 9) and particle physics (An Expanding Universe, Chapter 10).

The beauty of this book is the way that complex ideas are clearly explained and made easy to understand. Spradley prevents the content from becoming dry by liberally peppering the book with snippets, some may say trivia, relevant to the topic at hand. Did you know that the days of the week are named after planetary deities e.g., Saturday (Saturn) or that Pasteur who had developed cowpox inoculation to prevent smallpox [called] it `vaccination' (from the Latin vacca for cow) (p. 162)?

This book is a true asset for all those that teach introductory science courses and I urge ASAers to consider adopting this text.

Reviewed by Fraser F. Fleming, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA 15282.

BANGS, CRUNCHES, WHIMPERS, AND SHRIEKS: Singularities and Acausalities in Relativistic Spacetimes by John Earman. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995. 257 and xi pages, bibliography, index. Hardcover; $35.00.
PSCF 48 (September 1996): 193.

Earman is Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh. In the Preface he writes that philosophers do not appreciate the seriousness of the foundational issues posed by singularities in general relativity. These issues are important for the philosophy of space and time. He wants to end that neglect with this book. Earman wrote the book primarily for philosophers who have some acquaintance with relativity theory and secondarily for philosophically-minded physicists. This book is not a comprehensive survey; such a survey would require too much history, philosophy, physics, and mathematics. Reading this book requires knowledge of differential geometry.

Scientists are interested in spacetime singularities. What causes singularities? Chapter three (on Cosmic Censorship) discusses what Penrose called the most important unsolved problem of classical relativity theory: the breakdown in classical predictability and determinism (p. 65). Laws of nature codify certain deep regularities (p. 97), but we are not (yet) able to predict naked singularities: points where the laws of General Relativity Theory break down. Is there cosmic censorship? We don't know. We should research the scientific problems posed. We cannot reach big bangs, black holes etc. and do not know what is on the other side of a singularity, but we know that God created laws and regularities. From Scriptures we learn that we will not know when the world will end. It is a naked singularity caused by Divine law, not understood by physicists.

God created the universe. Some theologians say that God used the Big Bang. Unfortunately scientific literature dealing with singularities like the Big Bang is difficult for theologians to read. This book is no exception. Theologians who open the book and see the mathematical symbols may close the book immediately. They should read about God's work on pages 207-210. Earman reasons that time is open-ended since we cannot learn the moment of the first singularity by going back in time. A similar argument exists for the end of time. Earman thinks it is sacrilegious to see God's creative force operating only at a singularity (p. 209). It is more to his glory if he operates everywhere and anytime.

Scientists who are Christians should be interested in this book. They will realize that we have hardly started talking about the consequences of relativity theory. What happens when we die? Does time continue for us? Are we in a timeless eternity? If God is eternal, what is eternity? Time without end? Before we start talking about these problems we should really know what spacetime is. Is space four-dimensional, or ten-dimensional? Foundational problems discussed in this book are important for all believers. Philosophizing physicists should lead the way.

This is an interesting technical and philosophical book. The book will mainly attract philosophers of science, physicists, and mathematicians.

Reviewed by Jan de Koning, Instructor of Mathematics, Box 168, St. Michael's College (University of Toronto), 81 St. Mary Street, Toronto, Ont., M5S 1J4, Canada.

THE THREE BIG BANGS: Comet Crashes, Exploding Stars, and the Creation of the Universe by Philip M. Dauber and Richard A. Mullet. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1996. 207 and viii pages, bibliography, index. Hardcover; US $25.00, CAN $34.00.
PSCF 48 (September 1996): 193.

Dauber and Mullet want this book to be read by the general public and used as a supplementary text in physics and astronomy classes. To keep it manageable for both purposes, the 23 chapters are short. Both writers teach physics. Muller still works as researcher in Berkeley, California, where Dauber used to be as well. Dauber is also a film maker.

This book is easy to read. Part I describes collisions of comets and asteroids with planets, ending with the crash that caused an almost total annihilation of life on earth 65 million years ago. Part II describes exploding stars and how these explosions created the necessary elements for life on earth. The creation of the universe is the subject of Part III. In the beginning of the book, we read that the violence of nature is key to answering the questions: How did we get here? If we believe in God, how did he do it? The authors acknowledge: "Omitted from our account of origins thus far is the biochemical (or possibly divine) step by which mere atoms and molecules became living beings" (p. 187). Further down the page we read: "So far, however, no one has been able to take chemicals from the shelf, combine them somehow, and make an infective virus, priori, or bacterium."

This book is quite up to date. There are no footnotes or endnotes in the book. However, the short bibliography suggests some books for further reading. This book is a good first introduction to physics and astronomy.

Reviewed by Jan de Koning, Instructor of Mathematics, Box 168, St. Michael's College (University of Toronto), 81 St. Mary Street, Toronto, Ont., M5S 1J4, Canada.


SCIENCE & RELIGION: From Conflict to Conversation by John F. Haught. Mahway, NJ: Paulist Press, 1995. 203 pages, notes, index. Paperback; $14.95.
PSCF 48 (September 1996): 194.

Haught, Professor of Theology at Georgetown University and well-known author on similar topics, indicates that his purpose in writing this book is to provide an introduction for non-experts into the central issues in science and religion. He treats religions semi-genetically, lumping Judaism, Christianity, and Islam together as God-religions with a common perspective, described by their leaders Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad. The book takes its place along with others of a similar orientation, helpfully distinguishing between different ways that people relate science and religion, and then showing how these different ways express themselves when considering nine basic questions: AIs Religion Opposed to Science? Does Science Rule Out a Personal God? Does Evolution Rule Out God's Existence? Is Life Reducible to Chemistry? Was the Universe Created? Do We Belong Here? Why Is There Complexity in Nature? Does the Universe Have a Purpose? and Is Religion Responsible for the Ecological Crisis?

Each of four principal ways of relating science and religion is described fairly completely in each chapter from the perspective of one holding that position. The author suggests to the reader: 'imagine that you have in front of you representative spokesperson for each of the four ways of relating science to religion. Allow each of the four groups to present its case directly to you here without interruption." It is an effective technique.

All four positions represent corrections on a basic fifth position that the author names conflation, the undifferentiated merging of aspects of religion with a few carelessly understood scientific ideas. The first position treated in each issue discussion is conflict. This is the position that religion is utterly opposed to science or that science invalidates religion. It represents a virtually total rejection of the other perspective by advocates of one of them. The second position is contrast, the view that religion and science are so clearly different from each other that conflict between them is logically impossible. The third position is contact, the view that although religion and science are distinct, science always has implications for religion and vice versa. Interaction between them is inevitable and essential. The fourth position is confirmation, emphasizing the positive ways in which religion supports the scientific enterprise of discovery, and even gives a special kind of blessing  to the scientific quest for truth. The author himself essentially rejects the conflict position, sympathizes with the contrast position, and lends support primarily to the contact and confirmation positions.

Haught, realizing that most readers will support more than one of these four positions to some extent, rather than being an advocate of one to the exclusion of all the others, concludes that the four ways seem to resemble less a fixed typology than differentiated phases of a single complex process. As he anticipated, some of the distinctions between the chosen positions can be confusing to the reader. The contrast position is often treated as if it argued for a compartmentalization and separation of all insights obtained from science and religion, which he opposes. Although Haught made strong efforts to avoid misstatements, it is difficult to consistently keep the reader aware that authentic science and religion provide us with intrinsically different descriptions of reality which the author mostly supports  without being led to the false conclusion that this inevitably involves us in a compartmentalization of science and religion.

The contact position is advanced as the remedy for this compartmentalization of science and religion in the contrast position. Once again the reader may be a little uneasy with the assertion that contact is a new point of view that overcomes the compartmentalization of the contrast position. As a matter of fact, many people who hold to a complementary perspective with respect to science and religion, hold to both the different kinds of description that come to us through science and religion (as in the contrast position), while at the same time strongly urging that these insights must be integrated (as in the contact position). It would appear therefore that a complementarity position adopts both aspects of contrast and contact advocated by Haught, but the term complementarity does not even appear in the index.

I endorse and applaud the many efforts Haught made in this book to clarify differences and uphold defensible and desirable positions. In most of the book, this kind of support can readily be given once the reflections above have been understood. But occasionally Haught makes a statement that seems to simply say too much, e.g., "Today we need to recast all theology in evolutionary terms;  it now seems that the prospect of mind's evolving may have been a factor in shaping the cosmos as early as the big bang; [scientists] are now asking why nature tends toward emergent complexity." Doesn't this new `why' question bring science to the brink of theology? As in the case of other comments like these, we try to decide whether he is really being literal or simply poetic.

The scientific reader may be surprised at Haught's surprise: What is the purpose of science? We thought it was to explain and predict, not just describe; scientists who study chaos and complexity are less inclined to claim that science explains than that it describes.  But now scientists are starting to recognize how exquisitely sensitive most natural outcomes are to their initial conditions. These new insights are certainly the old insights of anyone actually involved in science, except for those who regularly confuse metascience and philosophy with actual science.

There is a lot that can be learned by reading this book, and grappling with its various inputs can lead the reader to clarify thoughts on the subject.

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


IN SEARCH OF INFINITY by N.Ya. Vilenkin. Boston, MA: Birkh”user, 1995. 145 pages, biographical notes. Hardcover.
PSCF 48 (September 1996): 195.

This book is meant for readers who want to know how the notion of the infinite has changed in time. The author succeeded in writing an easy-to-read book. It explains the difficulties any study of infinity encounters in mathematics. Vilenkin brings us from old Babylonian mathematics via mathematicians like Cusa, Copernicus, Newton, Leibniz, etc. to the modern age. In the process, he talks about curved space and its difficulties. In Chapter Two, he described in story form the mysteries of the infinite in mathematics.

Vilenkin tells about the paradoxes which appeared at the end of the nineteenth century. He mentions difficulties arising in cosmology and physics when people use Aold theories. He discusses the idea of curved space. All this is done so that a non-scientist can understand it. I even recommend it for reading in a History of Mathematics and Science class. The book is helpful for someone who has difficulty with concepts of modern mathematics.

Mathematicians and philosophers of science should read In Search of Infinity. Reading it does not take much effort, and it may help in teaching.

Reviewed by Jan de Koning, Instructor of Mathematics, Box 168, St. Michael's College (University of Toronto), 81 St. Mary Street, Toronto, Ont., M5S 1J4, Canada

THE PHYSICISTS AND GOD: The New Priests of Religion? by Anthony Van den Beukel. North Andover, MA: Genesis Publishing Co., 1995. 182 pages, bibliography, index. Paperback; $24.50.
PSCF 48 (September 1996): 195.

This book was originally published in Dutch in 1990 in The Netherlands, and the current issue referred to here is an English translation by John Bowden. The author tells us that "I have more than thirty years of teaching science and scientific research behind me. During that time I have tried to be a believing Christian." The book is an interesting personal reflection on several issues involved in the interaction between science and Christianity. In certain places, the author appears to be stating crucial decisions in ways that might be misunderstood; some of this may lie in the problems of translation.

One issue that appears several times is whether it can be claimed that there is an objective reality. In one place such objective reality is pictured as a philosophical commitment to a reality which exists outside human beings, but which can be known by them. The author then goes on to tell us that the existence of such objective reality has been a major question in twentieth-century science and that the answer is definitely, No. One might prefer a definition of objective reality as the nature and properties of the created order which do not depend on human intentions. Modern science has accentuated the essentially common-sense realization that human actions affect the world around them, but this does not remove the claim that such an objective reality, defined as the structure of all interactions including human observations, does indeed exist.

It may still be maintained that the properties expressed in the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle give valid insights into the nature of reality, and that no human being by exerting his willpower or expressing his intentions can change the nature of created reality that gives rise to the properties currently expressed by the Uncertainty Principle. It is particularly troubling when the author says, The percipient and the perceived are one and indivisible. A possible insight into the author's thought comes up later when he treats commonsense reality as almost synonymous with objective reality. One has the feeling that one might agree with most of what the author is trying to say, but not necessarily with the way he says it.

On the other hand we can totally agree with the author when he says that modern science has brought us the triple relativizing of scientific knowledge as `an approximate description of a limited number of physical phenomena which in their turn are only a limited part of our human experience.' Nor can enough warnings be given against making a scientific theory the basis of a worldview.

After the first five more or less introductory chapters, the author indicates the path he intends to follow: Is God an obsolete notion which has been made superfluous by the process of science? Or is God, as some contemporary scientists claim, to be found precisely through science? Or are there perhaps other ways which lead to God? Can anything be `proved' in this area? The lives and outlooks of four prominent scientists are considered: Newton, Pascal, Einstein, and Hawking.

The author then turns to a consideration of whether science can lead us to God. He rejects the claim of Davies that science forms a more certain way to God than religion, and comments "I cannot help finding this final stage of this `scientific way to God' extraordinarily poverty-stricken, to put it too mildly. It doesn't mean anything to me at all.  Physics is made a pseudo-religion of which the physicists are the priests."

In considering the possibility of proof, the author offers his own definition of proof as the collecting of evidence to make something acceptable `beyond reasonable doubt.' This is the legal language of the courtroom, and its introduction here has its usual confusing effects because it is not the meaning of the word prove in its normal mathematical or scientific context. On the other hand, when he completes this discussion it is with words with which we could heartily agree: "The conclusion to be drawn from all the evidence can never be an incontrovertible proof that `God exists'; but for me the existence of God, his presence and effect in the lives of many people, is beyond any reasonable doubt."

The final three chapters are primarily a summary of personal beliefs. First the author describes his attraction to such personalities of faith as St. Francis, his teachers Master Bergsma and C. C. de Bruin, and finally his own father. Then he turns his attention to describing the common characteristics between the ways of science and religion. "Since I had started a chapter on Physics for a Christian several years ago with the words, Physics is fun, I was surprised to read in this book, It is unique, it is exciting and fascinating, and it is no fun"; again I suspect a problem with semantics, particularly because later in the book he says, "In this book I have tried to give some indication of the joy that the explorations of physicists bring them now and then." He concludes with A believer is someone who has taken a way, just as a physicist is someone who follows a way, which may be equivalent to saying that fundamental choices, whether in science, religion, or other aspects of life, must all be faith choices.

Finally the author considers intersections between science and Christian faith. How do physicists who are believers practice their discipline in relationship to their faith? Has faith anything to do with the social consequences of science and technology? Here confusing semantics causes trouble: Why should the laws of nature be sacred? Doesn't the God who made them have the power to suspend them at times? This assumes the usual misunderstanding that laws have some independent existence, and are not simply human descriptions of God's regular activity. The author is outspoken in the simple declaration, "There is no such thing as Christian physics."

With his treatment of the scientist's responsibility for the social consequences of his work, the author leaves us uncertain. First he says that it is impossible for science researchers to have a sufficiently clear idea about the social applications of their work, so that it is therefore hard to make the practitioners of fundamental physics responsible for the consequence of their work. To illustrate this he speaks of the consequences of research aimed at military goals and concludes that arms manufacturing is not in principle a dirty job. But then he moves in the other direction, If scientists have become involved, can they not at least do everything possible to limit the damaging consequences? and back again, In by far the great majority of instances, these consequences are outside their reach. Which is it: responsible or not responsible?

Let me conclude this review with the positive conclusion offered by the author: Believers must not belittle science, but show science its due place, that of a servant of humanity and not its idol. That is what I have tried to do in this book. If the reader can come away with this conclusion, then the book as a whole can be recommended for thoughtful reading and guidance in living.

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

Evolutionism and the Return of Natural Theology by M. A. Corey. New York: University Press of America, 1995. 446 pages, bibliography, index. Paperback; $42.00.
PSCF 48 (September 1996): 196.

The writer wants to prove that scientific research about natural evolution since the Big Bang agrees with the Bible's creation story. His purpose is great, since we understand God's invisible power end divine nature through the things he has made. However, I don't think that anyone can ever prove the correctness of Genesis 1.

Corey says in the preface that he proved earlier the existence of a Grand Designer in a formal probabilistic proof using the Strong Anthropic Principle as a theoretical guide. Corey describes the basis of his reasoning (p. 35) as going backward to the beginning to discover that the values for constants were exactly right at the beginning. If any constant had been slightly different, the universe would not have formed stars. Thus natural laws are more basic then the Creator of the laws.

Freedom for man in all respects is a recurring theme. Corey says that moral evil is necessary so that man can be responsible for his own development (p. 330). In other words, the fall in sin in Gen. 3 was necessary; only then can we develop ourselves. This interpretation of the fall makes God the author of sin. In the last chapter, Corey talks about ecological disasters caused by men. I would have said by sin. Corey should have mentioned Jesus as Restorer of creation here.

Another problem is the relationship between time and eternity. On the one hand, Corey realizes that God created time at the Big Bang; on the other hand, he ponders about what probably preceded the Big Bang. If it were possible to talk about Abefore the Big Bang, then the exactness of the natural constants should not surprise Corey. In unlimited time, an unlimited number of trials are possible, even if each trial takes billions of years. Corey knows that eternity is not extended time, but explores the consequences insufficiently.

The author realizes that all scholarly disciplines describe the same world. He complains that a schism exists between philosophical theology and the various scientific disciplines (p. 345). Corey concludes that every scientist should know some philosophy. I agree. Corey's philosophical thinking starts with the pagan philosopher Plato. His theory of soul and spirit is more Greek than biblical. Corey mentions Image of God, but he excludes the physical side of man (p. 148). He says, that it is clearly impossible for God to be physical. However, Jesus became human, though he was God.

The book may interest scientists who study philosophical foundations of their science.

Reviewed by Jan de Koning, Instructor of Mathematics, Box 168, St. Michael's College (University of Toronto), 81 St. Mary Street, Toronto, Ont., M5S 1J4, Canada.


EVOLUTION: Fact, Fraud or Faith by Don Boys. Largo, FL: Freedom Publications, 1994. 353 pages, name and subject index. Paperback; $15.00.
PSCF 48 (September 1996): 197.

Don Boys earned a Ph.D. at Heritage Baptist University and is a columnist, author, Baptist evangelist, politician, and frequent guest on TV and radio talk shows. As an author, he has written 10 books, numerous magazine and newspaper articles, and was a regular contributor to USA Today from 1985-1993. As a member of the Indiana House of Representatives, Boys co-authored legislation to require the teaching of creation on an equal basis with evolution in Indiana public schools. He now resides in Ringgold, Georgia.

In this book, written from his creation science perspective, Boys is responding to evolutionists like Stephen Gould who admitted that creationist-bashing was in order for our time by bashing back. In his words, "I'm willing to bare-knuckle it with any evolutionist; we are in a battle for the minds and souls of men, so I have approached this subject like a war. And in this war I am not a conscientious objector. I will elaborate on this in a moment."

This book has 21 chapters which give reasonably good coverage of the usual creation science arguments against Darwinian evolution and for a young earth and recent creation. Boys begins Chapter 11 very emphatically: According to the Bible, God created the universe, the world, and man in six literal days less than 10,000 years ago! He is equally emphatic in his opinion of evolutionists. For example, in Chapter 19 he writes, "The thing that surprises me when an evolutionist spouts his drivel about how they can `prove' the great age of the Earth is that informed people don't fall to the floor, gasping and holding their sides with raucous laughter!" This quote should give you a good idea of the attitude with which this book was written. Boys has included an extensive listing of references at the back, some thirty pages. However, many are pre-1980 and only very few are less than five years old. The book also has several black and white photographs, (e.g., one of an iron hammer found encased in stone) and one chart (of the geologic column which seems to be placed in the wrong chapter).

If the main intent of this book is to bash evolutionists, it may be considered a success. According to Boys, evolutionists are: skunks, vicious and vitriolic (p. 12), pathetic and pompous (p. 47), vain, venal, and venomous (p. 299), unfair, unreasonable, unacceptable, unblushing, unbecoming, uncivil, unconscionable, and ungentlemanly (p. 302), dishonest (p. 308), and unkind and unscholarly (p. 318). As to Darwinism, Boys says, The only people who believe in the gradualism of Darwin are deceived children, fools, half-wits and college professors who get paid for teaching it (p. 14).

In reading this book, I find that the character of Boys is more like a politician who delights in name-calling than one with any background in science. I agree with much of what Boys has to say, but I have significant problems with his style of presentation. Certainly many unkind and uninformed words have been expressed about Christian views of origins, but I wonder if we should respond in the same way.

If you want another book which summarizes many of the creation science arguments for a young earth and recent creation with rhetoric that goes well beyond that of Henry Morris, maybe you will want to read this book. If you want a book written from a well-informed scientific perspective that argues for creation by the hand of Almighty God, perhaps you will want to look elsewhere.

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

APE OR ADAM? Our Roots According to the Book of Genesis by William R. Van der Zee. North Andover, MA: Genesis Publishing Company, 1995. 107 pages, index. Paperback; $19.50.
PSCF 48 (September 1996): 197.

This book is a book that I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone, scholar or not. The only requirement is love for God and a Bible nearby. My main criticism is the title. I anticipated that the book would discuss controversies between creation and evolution using the Bible as source for proof texts. That was not so. The Dutch title suggests the contents better: The world becomes home. About beginnings: Genesis 1-12. Van der Zee tells how he first heard the stories of Genesis. He then explains how that might cause troubles in our faith later in life. After that he starts telling the story as he teaches it. The book is the result of a series of radio talks.

While reading the first few pages, I felt uncomfortable, probably due to the title of the book. We are so used to precise definitions that I inwardly started criticizing some ways the author talked about nature as directed by God. In our scientific work, we use very precise definitions. As a result, we say creation or evolution, ape or Adam. We often want either this or that, and are uncomfortable if we have to say this and that. Saying either creation or evolution sounds as if God stopped working when there was a man. It sounds as if, after God had created, evolution took over. Worse, it may sound as if no god created. It is all chance. In that way chance becomes God. We believe, however, that God's hand is in everything. Therefore, any evolution that happened, or might still happen is in the hand of God. We should not contrast creation and evolution.

There are a few spelling mistakes. More serious is the error on page 56 where we read that there are 10 generations between Adam and Abraham. That should read 10 generations between Noah and Abraham. In the first few chapters, the writer should formulate some statements more carefully to prevent misunderstanding.

I am glad that this book is available. It is a book of connected meditations. The author uses only the actual biblical text or other Bible passages to justify a particular exegesis. For me it made sense; more than that, I enjoyed the connections the author made with other passages. Many people should read this small book.

Reviewed by Jan de Koning, Instructor of Mathematics, Box 168, St. Michael's College (University of Toronto), 81 St. Mary Street, Toronto, Ont., M5S 1J4, Canada.


EVOLUTION AS GROWTH OF ONE EARTH-ORGANISM by Thomas A. Morrill. 1995. 200 pages, index. Softcover; $10.
PSCF 48 (September 1996): 198.

In his mid-seventies, Morrill independently publishes this book which covers a lifetime of ideas and opinions on the subjects of evolution and religion. A retired high school biology teacher, he describes himself as naturalist, poet, scientist, in that orde, idiot and genius in that order also (p. 16). In Evolution, Morrill is at times inventive and poetic, though hardly rigorous scientifically. Maybe it is for this reason that the many articles and books he purports to have written were, he admits, never accepted for publication.

Morrill begins with the assumption that evolution is a fact (p. 2). Darwinism's natural selection operating on genetic mutations strikes the author as too random. As introduced here, Morrill's growth evolution positions intelligence, or the whole organism as the prime mover in the process (p. 23). In this way, life organizes. He finds support in recent speculations of directed mutation in bacteria.

Morrill defines evolution as the development of living complexity. Drawing from examples of African Rift Lake cichlids, he interprets an historical cooperative proliferation of life, rather than a diversification via competitive elimination (p. 62). His aversion to competition and extinction is such that at one point he suggests that the dinosaurs disappeared because they were in a process producing life higher than dinosaurs (p. 97, italics mine).

In the evolution of the planet, intelligence was apparent in the very first molecular interactions. Upon increasing in complexity, life's evolutionary soul or consciousness (p. 83) reached cellular, organismal, and now, community and biospheric levels of organization. Developing this analogy of evolution as growth of one earth organism, Morrill suggests that we, and our (dinosauran?) ancestors, represent the Earth's Agerm lineages and that all other organisms are the somatic body, buffering, protecting, and feeding us (p. 84). The full implications of this idea are not explored. However, Morrill sees evidence that evolution has culminated in man; all traits are trending toward, or are brought to perfection in humanity (p. 45). Finally then, the greater purpose of evolution is heavening. What Morrill means by this is unclear, though the book's final paragraph lists cultural works of Western civilization which, presumably, represent our proximity to perfection.

Creative as Morrill is in Evolution, the work remains weak due to the absence of peer reviewers or an editor. Morrill misquotes, misrepresents, and inadequately cites many of his sources, a fundamental problem in the work. His grasp of evolutionary thought is immature. He is unable (or unwilling) to incorporate the evolutionary metaphor of a bush of diverging and introgressing lineages into his work, but he is willing to use, inappropriately, the metaphor of a ladder with humans at the topmost rung. As religious speculation, his teleological approach might seem appropriate, but as a posture taken towards science, he cripples his theory of growth evolution. Finally, while parts of the work are colorful and descriptive, entire chapters are clumsy. Morrill suggests that the book is for the defrocked priest and scientist, but I could not even recommend it to them. For those yet interested in obtaining a copy of the book, it is available from the author at Route 16, Box 9047, Tallahassee, FL 32310 for $10 plus postage.

Reviewed by Austin R. Mast, Department of Botany, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 430 Lincoln Drive, Madison, WI 53706-1381.


ENVIRONMENTAL VALUES IN AMERICAN CULTURE by Willett Kempton, James S. Boster, and Jennifer A. Hartley. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1995. 226 pages, 4 appendices, notes, references, index. Hardcover; $39.95.
PSCF 48 (September 1996): 198.

LIVABLE PLANETS ARE HARD TO FIND by Irving W. Knobloch. East Lansing, MI: Irving W. Knobloch. 153 pages, appendices. Paperback.
PSCF 48 (September 1996): 198.

These are two books with a common theme: concern about the environment. Neither book deals directly with the interaction between the science and the theology of environmentalism. They are in many ways about as different as two books on the same topic could possibly be. Perhaps it was this striking difference that led me to consider reviewing them together. The first seeks to inform the reader about what diverse groups of people believe about environmental issues; the second presents the heartfelt convictions on environmental issues of a lifelong professional environmentalist.

Environmental Values in American Culture is an anthropological study of how Americans regard a variety of environmental changes. Its goal is to understand American environmentalism and to investigate possible sources of support for environmental solutions. It is essentially an academic undertaking designed to find out what people think about environmental issues and why. Its authors are Willett Kempton, Assistant Professor and Senior Policy Scientist at the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy at the University of Delaware; James S. Boster, Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine; and Jennifer A. Hartley, a doctoral student in the Department of Anthropology at Brown University. They have adopted anthropological techniques semistructured interviews and a fixed-form survey  to determine public opinion on a range of environmental issues, using samples of that public opinion drawn from a variety of positions. In the appendices at the end of the book, 56 pages are devoted to a summary of the information and opinion-gathering techniques used. In the major text itself, a total of about six pages is devoted to the general subject of Areligion and environmental values. Major topics considered include cultural models of nature, cultural models of weather and the atmosphere, environmental values, and cultural models and policy reasoning.

The diversely representative groups involved in the survey are Earth First!, Sierra Club, the general public, dry cleaners, and sawmill workers. Their major conclusions are: Among the surprising findings are that the public and scientists have completely different understandings of some critical environmental problems and proposed policy solutions, that environmental values have already become intertwined with other American values  from religion to parental responsibility  and that an environmental view of the world is more universal than previous studies have suggested. The major unanswered question emerging from the study is If American environmental values are so pervasive and strong, why is there not more environmental action?

Livable Planets are Hard to Find, on the other hand, is a passionate exposition of the problems and the need for solutions of a variety of environmental issues, by Irving W. Knobloch, Professor Emeritus of Botany with specialization in plant pathology, at the Michigan State University in East Lansing. The author is motivated by his Christian commitment to subscribe to the belief that God's resources must be managed to keep the earth livable. It is the purpose of this book to provide the information so that people not trained in science will understand the nature and the urgency of the situations in many areas. In the words of the author, AIs it possible for those with means to properly care for the billions who have little or nothing? Is it possible for the world's citizens to learn to live with the natural world, thus ensuring a continuing existence of life on the planet Earth? Appendix A gives a list of suggestions for AWhat You Can Do, and Appendix B a list of organizations to consider supporting.

Starting with the realization that the only organism here, among many millions, who is seriously befouling the earth is the human animal, the author proceeds to a consideration of people's basic needs: water, food, soil, and air. He then devotes a chapter to the issues related to the tropical rain forests, followed by a discussion of extra-tropical developments.

Finally he considers that central issue for all understanding of environmental responsibility in the future: the issue of overpopulation. If present trends in many areas continue on into the future, it may be possible to argue that the ultimate effects will not be seriously or ultimately destructive for life on earth; but in the area of overpopulation, this is simply not the case. If the world's population continues to grow at the present rate, only chaos and misery lie ahead: the population will be stabilized by the death of all those needed to stabilize it through starvation, disease, war, or other catastrophe. Here contraception, abortion, and immigration are related critical issues. The author concludes, "The first step is to prevent the human population from doubling."

Whether one adopts the academic attitude of the anthropological researcher seeking to find out the opinions that people hold on environmental issues, or the personal commitment and involvement of the informed Christian scientist, these two books each contribute helpfully in their own way to the growing literature on the nature of environmental problems and the need for large-scale commitment to their resolution.

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


THE BIBLE MAY AGREE WITH EVOLUTION by Marjorie Mary Gilfillan. Long Beach, CA: Wenzel Press, 1995. 306 pages, index, footnotes. Hardcover; $29.95.
PSCF 48 (September 1996): 199.

The author, a researcher on folk dancing with three photo books on this art form published (all in 1995), makes the observation that dance costumes are much the same the world around. She has concluded that this data is a proof of the Genesis flood and has compiled her speculations about this and other origins questions in this book.

Claiming no scientific expertise, Miss Gilfillan liberally sprinklespossibly, maybe, and probably throughout the text, in which are discussed such concepts as: evolution ending at the end of the last ice age; the races originating with the wives of the sons of Noah; the probable location of Atlantis; Cain's mark he was very tall; and Adam a crossbreed Neanderthal/Cro-Magnon.

The work may have usefulness for someone interested in compiling data on origins speculations, particularly because of the extensive footnotes. Otherwise, file it with Velikovsky.

Reviewed by John W. Burgeson, 6715 Colina Lane Austin, TX 78759.

JUDAISM AND THE DOCTRINE OF CREATION by Norbert M. Samuelson. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995. 362 pages. Hardcover; $54.95. 200.
PSCF 48 (September 1996): 200.

Samuelson, a Professor of Religion at Temple University and prominent philosopher of Judaism, has an unusually keen interest in relating Jewish thought to modern science and philosophy. In many ways this book is the culmination of numerous earlier works on Jewish philosophy, with special emphasis on the relationship between revelation (faith, ethics) and reason (science, logic). He poses the question: How does modern Jewish philosophy relate to contemporary scientific thought, particularly in regard to the concept of creation as understood in terms of cosmology (what does the universe look like) and cosmogony (the origin of the universe)? The nineteenth century Jewish philosopher Franz Rosenzweig serves as the focal point because he provides the fullest account of creation in modern Jewish philosophy (p. 202).

The author divides the book into four parts, the first being an analysis of Rosenzweig's magnus opus, Star of Redemption. In an effort to demonstrate that Rosenzweig reflects basic Jewish thought and tradition, parts two and three provide a sometimes quite detailed overview of classical rabbinic commentary on Genesis and later medieval philosophical perspectives that were greatly influenced by Plato's Timaeus. From this Samuelson concludes that to qualify as a valid Jewish perspective of philosophy or science, existence/reality must be seen as (1) something that is nothing out of which God, (2) through an act of will, (3) creates eternally and/or continually a universe. Furthermore, (4) the created universe, in virtue of God's intention, has meaning and moral value (p. 151). Samuelson contends that Rosenzweig does qualify as a validly Jewish perspective.

In part four, the author takes this one step further by asking the question, Is a Jewish interpretation of existence compatible with modern views of physics and contemporary philosophical perspectives? He answers Yes by going beyond shortcomings he sees in Rosenzweig to propose a more up-to-date cosmology/cosmogony that he thinks finds a greater harmony with modern thought.

Samuelson does not provide concrete answers, in part because much of modern philosophical and scientific thought, particularly in the area of physics, is itself so theoretical that precise answers are elusive. On the other hand, he notes that enigmas in physics offer possible keys for explaining a greater compatibility between revelation and reason than many contemporary scientists might imagine. For example, (to condense an elaborate thought sequence), physicists have difficulty meaningfully defining the space between the nucleus and an electron. Is it nothing, something, or not nothing? Does space have reality? If the space actually defines the object (nucleus, electron), then space, in a sense, has a greater reality than the object, reflecting concepts inherent in the Hebrew terms in Genesis 1. This also would be compatible with classical Jewish views which tend to define statements of scientific laws [as] ideal-limit claims and not descriptive generalizations (p. 238). In other words, even in the world of science, whose rational basis is limited to the human senses, there are realities inadequately explained without a philosophical or spiritual reference.

Modern philosophy, which tends also to be very mechanistic, has several prominent philosophers who define reality in terms of non-physical entities, e.g., A. N. Whitehead's ontological process and Martin Buber's relational explanation of reality. These, of course, express a considerable affinity with traditional Jewish philosophy and its emphasis on ethics and purpose in creation. Thus, Samuelson suggests that much in traditional Jewish thought is far more compatible with than antagonistic to modern philosophy and science.

The modern dialogue/conflict between religion and science has been almost exclusively the realm of Protestants and Catholics. Samuelson's work is indeed a Avoice crying in the wilderness in regard to contributions from the Jewish perspective. He provides an impressive overview of key Jewish authors, ancient, medieval and modern, whose works provide the most meaningful insight into this dialogue. His grasp of modern physics is also impressive. Surprisingly, no attention is given to the theory of evolution, other than one reference in passing (p. 52).

The readers should be warned that more than occasional tough sledding through philosophical Aesoteria, mathematical complication, and Hebrew linguistics awaits them. Those with some background in philosophy will find the sledding provocative and rewarding.

Reviewed by Wes Harrison, Alderson-Broaddus College, Philippi, WV 26416.

AT THE FRINGES OF SCIENCE: Science, Science Contested, and Pseudo-Science by Michael W. Friedlander. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1995. 196 pages, index. Hardcover; $24.95.
PSCF 48 (September 1996): 200.

Friedlander is a professor of physics at Washington University. He has written a related book, The Conduct of Science, as well as Astronomy: From Stonehenge to Quasars and Cosmic Rays.

The purpose of At the Fringes of Science is twofold. First, by explaining how science works, Friedlander hopes to keep laymen, particularly journalists, from being taken in by non-science masquerading as science. Second, to help in the development of a healthy skepticism, he discusses the scientific method in detail, delineating its strengths and weaknesses. The book is well ordered, with a summary appearing at the end of each chapter, and a final chapter summarizing the entire book.

Friedlander considers in detail science's set of filters for excluding junk. He distinguishes between three types of possible junk, giving several examples in each category: strange ideas which arise from well-credentialed experts or which are plausible given what is already known (the K-T impact hypothesis); strange ideas which seem to cross the line separating the revolutionary from the incredible (cold fusion), and strange ideas which have the common distinction of being labeled as nutty by the experts (Worlds in Collision).

Friedlander devotes less space than one might expect to true pseudoscience, though there is the obligatory, and thankfully brief, discussion of Velikovsky. He devotes a single chapter to tabloid science, in which he discusses sensational or popular pseudoscience: astrology, the Jupiter effect, lben Browning's earthquake predictions, and UFOs. This chapter is a stick with which to beat journalists, whom he sees rushing the sensational into print without bothering to check its accuracy. He also uses a chapter to discuss pseudoscience with a political motivation, under which are included Lysenko, Aryan physics, and Creation Science.

Friedlander places more emphasis on Apathological science, in which effects are claimed based on results at the limit of delectability (polywater or psychic research) or in an area in which the experimenter has little or no experience (cold fusion). He is careful to distinguish these from deliberate fraud, and presents examples ranging from data massage (Millikan's oil-drop results), to over enthusiastic scientists seeing what isn't there (N-rays), to out-and-out falsification of data (Cyril Burt's data linking heredity and IQ is a probable case, and several proven cases are also cited).

Friedlander makes two main points. First, science, though imperfect, is the best system for evaluating the world and will eventually sort out truth from falsehood if left to itself. Second, science should be left to the scientists with minimal interference. He takes a position between Aquestion authority and Aonly scientists should be permitted to speak on science, but leans toward the latter.

At the Fringes of Science is a well-written discussion of how science is done, as seen by a scientist. It takes care to point out the fuzzy boundaries of science, and how today's maverick idea may be tomorrow's paradigm. Especially interesting is the short but excellent discussion of Awhat makes an expert. Friedlander has covered most of the bases.

Nevertheless, he is perhaps too sanguine about the ability of peer review and the judgment of posterity to keep fraud, rare as it may be, from influencing the future course of science. I grant that if one takes the long view one will find that results which cannot be reproduced will be abandoned; but meanwhile how many hours of valuable time are wasted chasing chimeras? Only one method for the detection of deliberate scientific fraud is presented, send skeptical, professional magicians into the suspected laboratories!  and much is left up to self-policing.

I found the book a mine of information. At least two examples of revolutionary science or pseudoscience are presented per chapter, and yet Friedlander manages to carry it off without the book seeming cluttered. He accomplishes this through judicious selection of facts, coupled with careful referral of the reader to bibliographical notes and a list of recommended further reading.

I recommend this book for those who deal with the public, particularly those who teach survey and introductory science courses. It is also designed to be useful to science journalists and to the general public. As a novice in the area of weird science, I found it full of good examples and excellent references.

Reviewed by Daniel J. Berger, 313 Owens Street, Apt. P-3, Blacksburg, VA 24060.

JESUS, THE WISDOM OF GOD: An Ecological Theology by Denis Edwards. Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 1995. 208 pages, notes, index. Paper; $19.95.
PSCF 48 (September 1996): 201.

Father Edwards is very well qualified both by previous publications and by his mastery of relevant literature to produce this book. For the present reviewer, Edwards' main contribution is his effective reinforcement of the holistic-relational argument for Christian ecology. In Part 1 of the book, Edwards demonstrates the implications of God's creative work C through God the Son seen as Wisdom/Sophia. In Edwards' own words, he offers Aa trinitarian theology which springs from a Wisdom Christology and leads to human ecological praxis (p. 15).

The argument opens with a thorough review of Wisdom/Sophia materials in the Judeo-Christian tradition (Chapter One) including a heavy emphasis on Wisdom's relationally-oriented creative work. Edwards quotes Kathleen O'Conner in arguing for the relational character of Athe Wisdom Woman (p. 20). This quality of the Creator and creation then becomes the major ideological foundation for a relational, ecological theology. The argument is advanced by the identification of Wisdom/Sophia (with all the feminist overtones usually found in contemporary scholarship) with Jesus of Nazareth (Chapter Two). The reader need not accept all the feminist detail to appreciate the positive contribution of AWisdom Christology to the evangelical ecological debate. Chapter three can be roughly summarized by two quotations. First, Wisdom Christology can show the interrelation between the expanding, inter-connected and self-organizing universe and all its creatures, and the saving work of Jesus Christ. A second quote exposes what the cross tells us about the love that moves the universe, and what the resurrection means for the creatures of the universe (p. 69). The relating of these themes to God's love for all creatures in the saving work of Christ may be the most significant emphasis of this work for evangelicals.

In contrast to the relative clarity and unity of Part 1, Part 2 is less focused. The concern remains ecological but the goal seems to be to grasp at any theological straw which can be construed as support for ecological responsibility without any sense as to whether or not these many theologies form a cohesive, structured statement. The disunited, fragmented character of this bundling of theologies diminishes the moral authority needed to demand ecological responsibility. However, Part 2 still demonstrates very well the breadth of the writer's scholarship.

Most informed evangelicals will appreciate Edwards' argument that ecological responsibility honors the fruits of God's loving fecundity as seen in traditional Roman Catholic thought (Chapter 4). Chapter five states six ecological theses which the reviewer saw as relating holistic and relational ecology to the holism and inter-relationality of the Trinity, another approach which any evangelical should appreciate.

As Chapter Six opens, the unity of argument based upon a relational perspective is maintained as expressed in the following words: Athe theology of the trinitarian God revealed in Jesus leads to a view of human beings which is inter-subjective, and interrelated with the Earth, the universe and all its creatures (p. 133). But, then unity is lost in an eclectic, opportunistic methodology which takes a little bit from every current theology. Concepts such as Moltmann's 'livingness of life' (p 136), Rahner's bodilessness (p. 137), ourstardust origins on the material side with an unnecessarily detailed exposition of Big Bang cosmology (pp. 139-142), Sally McFague's anti-evolutionary, Liberation perspectives (p. 144), and Gustavo GutiÈrrez' Liberation Theology (p. 148) all combine to produce a treatment which lacks the clarity, unity, and authority of Part 1.

Edwards doses his book with a number of general proposals for ecological praxis (Chapter 7). These are generally instructive but some details seemed to the reviewer to go beyond the demands established by the positive arguments presented in the book. For example, the theological framework of the book does not demand that we enter into a family relationship with the animals (p. 166) or a Schweitzer-likereverence for life (p. 157). Further, while some of us might agree that the poor always merit special attention and grace, we also might suspect that Edwards' usage of this concept moves too close to the violent Marxist excesses of GutiÈrrez' Liberation Theology.

Overall this is a scholarly, effective treatment of the issue, one from which any reader can learn and by which any reader can be challenged.

Reviewed by Andrew Bowling, Division of Biblical Studies, John Brown University, Siloam Springs, AR 72761.

THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE: Science without Legend, Objectivity without Illusions by Philip Kitcher. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993. 421 pages, index, bibliography. Hardcover; $39.95.
PSCF 48 (September 1996): 202.

Philip Kitcher received his Ph.D. from Princeton in the department where Thomas Kuhn and Carl G. Hempel both taught. As Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, San Diego, he has written three highly acclaimed books: Abusing Science: The Case Against Creationism (1982); The Nature of Mathematical Knowledge (1983); and Vaulting Ambition: Sociobiology and the Quest for Human Nature (1985), where he demonstrates a good command of knowledge in biology, mathematics, and philosophy.

This book's aims are to probe the notions of progress and rationality, to correct the excess of Kuhn (1962) and Feyerabend (1970), to incorporate their insights, and to re-establish science as a body of objective knowledge achieved through a communal exercise. Kitcher's effort to rehabilitate the Legend is similar to the neo-orthodoxy of Karl Barth in Christian theology. Kitcher's synthesis is reasonable and should appeal to a practicing scientist.

Chapter 2, Darwin's Achievement, provides an example for the later discussion of goals, methods, progress, rationality, individual scientific behavior, and the social structure of science.

Chapter 3, The Microstructure of Scientific Change, treats the growth of science as a naturalistic process in a social context. From the thoughts and actions of individuals, scientific change results in complex ways. Kitcher argues against theory-laden perception and affirms intersubjective agreement of perceptually induced belief. He defines the consensus practice of a community as consisting of a language, an assessment of significant questions, a set of accepted statements, a set of explanatory schemata, a set of paradigms of authority, a set of experiments and instruments, and a set of methodological exemplars and principles.

In Chapter 4, Varieties of Progress are defined as conceptual, explanatory, and instrumental. Kuhn's problematic cases (Priestley's phlogiston theory vs Lavoisier's oxygen) of conceptual incommmensurability are re-analyzed through a correspondence of key reference terms, thus negating the existence of communication gaps. Explanatory progress is illustrated by Dalton's atomic theory which introduced schemata, lately refined, generalized, and extended. Instrumental progress is exemplified by Galileo's telescope. These progresses eliminate falsehood in favor of truth, the mundane for the genuinely significant questions, and use improved language to reformulate prior truths.

Chapter 5, Realism and Scientific Progress, defends the coherence of the realist conception of truth and the author's account of true knowledge. He espouses a correspondence theory of truth which is verified through common sense in our daily experience. A non-realist position will impoverish life; besides, the past history of science shows the unusual stability of scientific knowledge in many fields despite occasional errors. The scientific process depends mainly upon the objective, Areal nature instead of human social forces.

In Chapter 6, Kitcher agrees with Kuhn's insight in Dissolving Rationality for individual scientist; however, he endeavors to salvage the rationality for the scientific enterprise through a compromised model. Rationality is not the logical connection among beliefs as logical positivists claimed, but rather a mental attitude, a psychologically connected state of mind which can promote cognitive goals. Rationality is achieved through debates within the scientific community and emergence of a new well-argued consensus practice.

Chapter 7, AThe Experimental Philosophy, articulates individual methodology to attain the epistemic goals which pay attention toencounter with nature in addition to conversation with peers. Here, Popperian's falsification of alternative hypotheses is achieved through instruments, experiments, measurements, and interpretation. Kitcher demolishes Kuhnian epistemological relativism through careful analysis of historical cases.

In the final chapter,The Organization of Cognitive Labor, Kitcher discusses how the variety of individual strategies can combine to advance community, epistemic goals. Many social phenomena, like authority, cooperation, calibration, prestige, entrepreneurs, credit distribution, response to innovation, theory choice, and cognitive variation, are analyzed through simplified mathematical models. Kitcher concludes that there are advantages in cognitive diversity for a scientific community, just as the democratic process is beneficial for a political system.

This book presents an optimistic view about the progress of science. Christians have a basis for this optimism since God is the Creator and the Sustainer of this universe, and humans are endowed with the image of God. Newton understood nature as another book given by God. Everything is in God's control and science will progress as it reveals God's glory. This book describes the characteristics of science which are compatible to the thinking of a bench scientist. We sometimes are captivated by the recent trend of scientific relativism; this book provides a well-argued synthesis which demonstrates that a common-sense, realist approach is still commendable. I highly recommend this book to the readers of PSCF.

Reviewed by T. Timothy Chen, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD 20892.


THE WORD OF GOD AND THE LANGUAGES OF MAN: Interpreting Nature in Early Modern Science and Medicine by James J. Bono. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1995. 317 pages, index. Paperback; $22.95.
PSCF 48 (September 1996): 203.

This was a difficult book to read and even more difficult to understand. I attribute this to two factors, the author's style and the complexity of the subject. On the first, note the following sentence (p. 172): AWhile `form' gave evidence to the relationship of a particular entity to a divine archetype and hence its `resemblance' to other material forms, the different `virtues' of similar forms establish the particular place of individual entities within the analogically organized hierarchy of created things and hence each one's difference within this divine text. Imagine 300 pages of this kind of writing covering history and philosophy of science and its interaction with religion!

Despite the tough going and slogging through Latin and French quotes, I was inexplicably drawn into the topic. Being a plant taxonomist, I deal with the concept of typology, albeit usually unwittingly. I learned much about the origin of typology from this book as well as the philosophy behind the concept of Natural History.

Before the Enlightenment Period, science tried to understand nature by trying to know the language of God, that is, the language spoken and understood by Adam in the Garden of Eden. Postlapsarian (a favorite term of Bono's) man was cut off from this God-given source of knowledge best exemplified by Genesis 2:19 where God "brought all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air." "He [God] brought them to man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name." In other words, it was the language of Adam that was important rather than the animals themselves because the name incorporated the essence of the object. In present western civilization, we are far removed from this concept. Not so with our scientific forefathers of the Middle Ages. A great effort was placed on trying to determine the mystery of the language through cabalistic approaches and mysticism.

The Protestant Reformation and especially the Puritan impact in England changed all that. Although Bono does not state it as such, it was the acceptance of the Bible as a divine revelation, completely outside human ken, that drew attention towards understanding the creation. Francis Bacon exemplified this approach and stimulated interest in what we now call scientific research. This change to an inductive study was more revolutionary than I realized before I read this book.

Despite the writing style and the scholarship included in the volume, I have been rewarded by the effort put into reading this book. It has helped me to understand how we arrived where we are in the scientific community and gives valuable insight into the current questioning in science regarding objectivity. The book also helped me understand the origin of the Doctrine of Signatures, so important in ethnobotany. Bono gives insight into some sources of mysticism carried into present day practices of homeopathic medicine and other alternative medicines.

It was disappointing to find numerous typographical errors as well as references cited in the text not included in the references cited section.

Reviewed by Lytton J. Musselman, Eminent Professor of Biological Sciences, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA 23529-0266.

MISSIONARIES TO THE SKEPTICS by John A. Sims. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1995. 234 pages, bibliography, index. Softcover; $22.95.
PSCF 48 (September 1996): 204.

Sims is professor of Religion and History at Lee College, Cleveland, TN. I am not aware of any other books he has written. This book is a summary of the life and teachings of three twentieth-century apologists: C. S. Lewis, E. J. Carnell, and Reinhold Niebuhr. These three are presented as examples of theologians who attempted to defend the Christian faith intellectually. We live in a world where skepticism abounds, and it is imperative that Christian truth not be presented as simply a blind leap of faith, but as a religion which can be defended intellectually.

The three men reviewed by Sims are quite different in their apologetic approach. Lewis was an academic atheist who was converted to Christianity, and who became an able defender of the gospel. His influence has been profound. Many skeptical intellectuals have found Christ appealing after reading C. S. Lewis. Many ministers (myself included) have recommended Lewis to those who struggle with the truth claims of Christianity.

Sims reminds us of how impatient Lewis was with biblical scholars who were so quick to dismiss certain biblical materials as mythical. Lewis was a professor of literature and was very familiar with the nature of mythological writings, and affirmed that the New Testament does not fit into the typical mythical style of writing.

Carnell is one of the founders of neo-evangelicalism. He reacted against the rigidity of fundamentalism and sought to bring orthodox Christianity into the mainstream of academia. As the first president of Fuller Theological Seminary, he worked to bring academic respectability to Christianity while refusing to compromise on basic biblical truth claims. Camell believed that the Christian worldview is intellectually satisfying, giving solid answers to the basic questions of epistemology and metaphysics, sensibly outlining the nature and destiny of man, and making possible a relationship with the living God. No other worldview can accomplish these results.

Reinhold Niebuhr differs from the other two in that he must be placed in the liberal theological camp. He was more of a social action apologist than a doctrinal apologist. While Lewis and Camell accepted the orthodox Christian position regarding the inspiration and authority of Scripture, Niebuhr rejected the historicity of many biblical stories. He was enamored with some aspects of Marxism/socialism and advocated a Christianity which was active in the political realm, working for justice and human rights. While not as strong on the truth claims of Christianity as Carnell and Lewis, Niebuhr did argue that the Christian interpretation of life and history is truer to the facts of human experience than any other interpretation.

Sims gives a summary of each man's personal life followed by a review of their basic ideas as reflected in their writings. For persons who are unfamiliar with these three theologians, Sims book gives an adequate introduction. It would hopefully then lead into a first hand reading of these three apologists. As is probably true with any book about the beliefs of others, the summary is not nearly as interesting as the source material. This is especially true of C. S. Lewis who must be read first hand to be appreciated. The bibliography at the end of each section directs the reader to the source materials.

The book serves to remind us that the gospel has always had able apologists. Those who dismiss Christianity as intellectually indefensible only reveal their ignorance. While one may not agree entirely with these three defenders of the faith, their intellectual ability is undeniable. Those who question the Christian truth claims should not be cast aside by the church. They should be led into the writings of the great Christian apologists who may be able to answer their doubts.

Reviewed By Richard M. Bowman, Director of Research & Publications, Disciple Heritage Fellowship, PO Box 109, Lovington, IL 61937.

WHY FREUD WAS WRONG by Richard Webster. New York: Basic Books, 1995. 673 pages, bibliography, index. Hardcover; $35.00.
PSCF 48 (September 1996): 204.

Richard Webster is a British scholar who also wrote A Brief History of Blasphemy. He is the author of many articles for The Critical Review, The Observer, and The Times Literary Supplement. While his degree is in literature, he has obviously done considerable homework in the field of psychoanalysis. His criticisms of Freud are well documented and profound.

The book contains three main sections. The first addresses the background and development of psychoanalysis, which Webster calls a pseudoscience. The second part would be of interest to Christians. It is titled, AThe Church and the Psychoanalytic Gospel. The third main section is a summary and conclusions, with a look towards the future.

Freud continues to be honored, if not revered, in some circles. However, few of those who work in the mental health field use his methods. When I worked for a mental health center some 15 years ago, the techniques of psychoanalysis were regarded as much too lengthy and complex, and of doubtful value. However, there are psychiatrists in practice who use some Freudian methodologies.

This rather long but very interesting book by Webster argues persuasively that Freud was wrong. Freud is pictured as an egotistical man who deliberately set out to make a name for himself, a man driven to achieve fame and recognition. While he succeeded in his goal, he did so by creating a theory of human behavior based on very faulty research. He often misdiagnosed organic problems in his zeal to explain things through mental categories. In several lengthy studies of Freud's own case notes, the author shows how certain patients undoubtedly had organic problems (brain lesions, epilepsy, etc.) but were treated as though their symptoms were mental. His own daughter, Anna, is a prime example. Freud believed she was suffering from hysteria, a disease which does not even exist according to Webster.

The author shows that one of Freud's problems was his tendency to follow other charismatic physicians of his day (Charcot, for example) whose theories later proved to be false. Webster presents much evidence suggesting that many of Freud's patients fit themselves into his system, accepting his explanations of their problem. One suspects that the power of suggestion and Freud's growing reputation caused many to accept his analysis. Most of Freud's psychoanalytic theories have little relationship to science.

One of Freud's more interesting errors was his discovery of the benefits of cocaine. Freud was able to wean one of his friends, Fleischl-Marxow, from morphine addiction by substituting cocaine for morphine, but then his friend died from cocaine addiction. As Freud describes this case, he shifts the blame from himself to his unfortunate friend, seeking to cover up his own role in his friend's death.

In Freud's lengthy analysis of Anna, he delved deeply into her secret fantasies. He reconstructed her daydreams (which she did not even remember having!) and got her to believe his reconstructions, reminiscent of today's recovered memory therapy. Webster claims that Anna was never cured by her father because she did not have the illness he claimed she did.

In the second section of the book, the author points out how psychoanalysis was more of a religious cult than a scientific fact. Freud saw himself in Messianic terms, and others promoted this image. Carl Jung recalls how Freud tried to persuade him never to abandon the theory of infant sexuality, much in the manner of a father asking his son to always remain faithful to the church. Psychoanalytic teachings were dogmas not to be questioned. It is somewhat amusing to realize that many of Freud's followers imitated him by taking up cigar smoking, growing beards, and in some cases trying to imitate his speech and mannerisms.

Christians reading this book (or Freud's own writings) will note Freud's dislike for Christianity and his Jewish heritage. In some ways Freud attempted to replace biblical understandings of human behavior with his own theories. Those who believe that the Scriptures reflect the mind of God are not surprised to learn how widely Freud misunderstood human behavior. Those who turn away from divine truth to create their own version of reality usually end up where Freud did  in mythology, pseudoscience, and just plain nonsense. Sadly, some Christian theologians have embraced psychoanalysis and tried to make it compatible with Christian doctrine. Webster gives several examples of this phenomena. While Webster is not a friend of orthodox Christianity, his book should caution Christians against embracing theories promoted by those who set themselves up as new Messiahs. This book is must reading for those who continue to be enamored with Sigmund Freud.

  Reviewed by Richard M. Bowman, Director of Research and Publications for Disciple Renewal, Box 109, Lovington, IL 61937.


CHILD REARING AND PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT by Paul D. Meier, Donald E. Ratcliff, and Frederick L. Rowe. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1993. 244 pages, index. Hardcover; $12.99.
PSCF 48 (September 1996): 205.

As the authors indicate, AIt is always easier to prevent problems in the first place than to cure them after they develop. This book offers biblically sound, parenting guidance, especially for the first six years. It provides a comprehensive look at many aspects of child development.

This book describes development from a prenatal stage through adolescence. The challenges of demanding respect when children are young, rewarding good and productive behavior, avoiding confrontation in front of the child's friends, using more reasoning and adult-to-adult style communication are explained. This book not only encourages parents to understand their children better but also provides them with general guidelines about seeking professional help when their children are having great difficulty. The authors share personal experiences as parents and offer unique insight as professionals.

Throughout the book, the importance of a father figure is repeated in different chapters; so is the parents' responsibility. The authors say, The father and mother's first responsibility from God is the family. All else comes in a distant second. Our children are our first calling from God, no matter what occupation God may call us into. The family has to be our first and utmost calling from God.

The repetition concerning the importance of a fatherly figure may not be necessary, because some readers may be offended by the strong and repeated emphasis on a fatherly figure but not on a motherly figure. Also, the statement, "Children learn academic subjects faster and better if they do not begin school until eight years of age," is debatable; at least it is contrary to the experience of my family members. Love and stability at home are vital for children. However, it may not be quite right to compare the situation of a domineering mother and a weak father to the fatherless home. A weak father can still be a loving father who can comfort and support his children financially, emotionally, and spiritually.

As we face a society gripped by conflict and despair, this book provides a clear path for our confusing age. It urges parents to teach children the values of good character, desirable behavior, and hard work. It will be helpful for parents to read this book while children are young because much of the adult personality is formed during childhood.

Reviewed by Meei-ming L. Chen, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892.

HEALING WORDS: The Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine by Larry Dossey. San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1993. 207 pages, 4 appendices, notes, index. Hardcover; $22.00.
PSCF 48 (September 1996): 206.

Dossey is a medical doctor internist who noted in his practice that prayer for healing of disease worked. He decided to look into the experimental evidence for or against the effectiveness of prayer in this area, and this book is the result of that research. Dossey is not a neophyte in this area, having written four previous books on Aconsciousness in health. Furthermore, the book jacket says he is co-chairman of the Panel on Mind/Body Interventions, Office of Alternative Medicine, National Institutes of Health. Raised a fundamentalist Protestant in rural Texas, he became an agnostic in college and later developed an interest in spiritual things, manifested by his involvement with Eastern and Western mysticism. He believes in an unnameable absolute, not necessarily God.

From this background, he has attempted to evaluate in a non-judgmental way the evidences for healing, giving all the reports and studies equal consideration, regardless of their source. He judges them on the basis of their scientific merit and finds substantial statistical evidence for healing through prayer. The healing comes whether the prayer is local or distant, or focused or unfocused. The healing can be immediate or delayed or even before the disease occurs. He finds there is no formula for prayer, and it doesn't seem to matter who offers it, what they pray for, or to whom they pray. He concludes that the success of prayer may simply be aligning ourselves with unconscious divinity, from which healing comes, whether specifically requested or not.

Dossey deals in detail with the evidence, listing 131 trials of which 77 showed, based on statistical analysis, that prayer was effective. Most of the experiments dealt with living organisms other than humans, such as bacteria and mice, but 37 dealt with humans. He spends several pages discussing the article by cardiologist Randolph Byrd published in the Southern Medical Journal in 1988. It showed that patients in a coronary care unit who were prayed for in a double-blind experiment did statistically better than those not prayed for. Although Dossey congratulates Byrd on his courage in doing the experiment, he raises several questions, both ethical and procedural, about his study.

He describes three eras in medicine: the mechanical era where we have been for a while, in which every effect has a distinguishable cause; the mind-body era, where we are gradually understanding that one's mind has a major effect on one's well-being; and the transpersonal era to come, in which the body is affected by nonlocal events such as prayer, not measurable by any energy fields. Dossey optimistically predicts that we are moving towards the third era in which the rift between science and religion will be thus healed as each recognizes a soul-like quality of consciousness.

This book is well researched, thorough, and well written. Believers will be interested to know that there is statistical evidence that prayer works, even though the experimental setting may not correspond to our idea of prayer. However, we would be more comfortable reading a classic on Christian healing such as Healing and Christianity by Morton Kelsey.

Reviewed by Edward M. Blight, Jr., Professor of Surgery, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA 92354.

THE SEA OF GALILEE BOAT: An Extraordinary 2000 Year Old Discovery by Shelley Wachsmann. New York: Plenum, 1995. xviii + 420 pages, index, endnotes, maps, diagrams, photographs. Hardcover; $24.95.
PSCF 48 (September 1996): 206.

Several years ago we were fascinated by reports that Jesus' boat had been discovered. The truth, as is so often the case, is somewhat less sensational, but electrifying enough in its own right. We are treated here with a popularized version of the preliminary report (`Atiqot v. 19). Wachsmann is a nautical archaeologist and expert on seacraft of the Ancient Near East (Inspector of Underwater Antiquities in Israel from 1976 to 1989, Assistant Professor of Biblical Archaeology in the Nautical Archaeology Program at Texas A&M, excavator of several wrecks, author of three books on ancient seafaring and numerous journal articles), and a master storyteller. Fast-paced chapters narrating the discovery, excavation, and troubles of the expedition more or less alternate with background chapters. For instance, Chapter 6, an adventure tale of the background, conduct, and results of the great First Revolt naval Battle of Migdal, sets the stage for the chapter evaluating the possibility that the boat had been a part of this battle. Comprehension is greatly enhanced by a large number of fairly clear photographs, maps, diagrams illustrating the shipwright terms and construction that he describes, a photograph of a detailed model of the boat as preliminarily reconstructed, and a glossary with two diagrams clearly showing the nautical terms.

The excavator's de facto motto, Never a dull moment (p. 295), appears to be the one stable condition of the entire campaign. Premature announcement of the find, rumors that it was full of gold, and a serious shortage of funds got things off to a tension-filled start. More crises and problems followed in rapid succession: demand of a neighboring kibbutz for possession of the boat, including a brief armed interference, endangered the boat's very existence. Tight deadlines, weather threatening the boat early in the excavation, storm waves nearly eroding away the preservation tank and its hut after excavation, and bacteria fermenting the water and eating the boat in the preservation tank are a few of the events providing excitement after work started. Experts in many fields, diplomats, and lay people from all walks provided ingenuity, all out effort, technical skills, donation of materials, and dirty, cold, back-breaking work in the mud.

Wachsmarm writes a detective story interweaving evidence from the remains of the boat, a mosaic picture, incidental information from the Gospel accounts, the writings of Josephus, knowledge of shipbuilding and seafaring elsewhere in the Mediterranean world at that time, and other sources. He discusses the dating problems and possibilities in detail, concluding that the boat was in use for a couple decades somewhere between 100 B.C. and 67 A.D. It is statistically improbable that Jesus or the disciples were ever in the boat, but it is the type of boat that they did use and they could have been in it. Also, it is not too likely that the boat was in the great naval battle. Nevertheless, preliminary results do include a tentative solution to the problem of rafts that Vespasian built for the naval Battle of Migdal; they were probably catamarans, constructed by building platforms across pairs of commandeered fishing boats like the Galilee boat being excavated.

Prior to the excavation of the Galilee boat, we knew nothing about how watercraft had been built on the Sea of Galilee in antiquity (p. 15), but the amount of information that will be gained from this discovery is amazing. Its final resting place was the salvage yard of a shipbuilding area; the few still useful parts were removed for reuse before it was abandoned and forgotten nearly 2,000 years ago. Because it was found in a remarkable state of preservation due to its rapid and nearly complete burial, the cleaning and preservation processes are revealing tool marks which will illuminate the shipbuilding tools and techniques used. The wide variety of materials used in building and repairing the boat indicates the difficulties faced by a master shipwright working in a poor area with a scarcity of nimble material. The results of studying this boat will provide very important data for interpreting the life and culture of the times and geographic locale of Jesus. We will have to wait for most of it, however, because the long, complicated preservation process will not be complete until 1996 or 1997.

In sum, this is an exciting adventure tale, complete with an improbable string of near disasters averted by teamwork, selflessness, and ingenious improvisations just in the nick of time. It also contains a remarkable amount of information on the milieu of the boat, shipbuilding of the period, and nautical archaeology. Highly recommended.

Reviewed by: Eugene O. Bowser, Reference Librarian, James A. Michener Library, The University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO 80639.

CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURE: An Evangelical Perspective on Inspiration, Authority and Interpretation by David S. Dockery. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1995. 257 pages, indexes. Paperback.
PSCF 48 (September 1996): 207.

Those who have followed the Southern Baptists' acrimonious debate over Scripture in recent years will recognize the urgency with which this book was written. Dockery, Vice President for Academic Administration and Dean of the School of Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has produced an exposition and defense of the inerrantists' position. He rejects the extremes of liberal and fundamentalist interpretations and Aseeks to offer an evangelical understanding of the inspiration, interpretation, and authority of Scripture (p. 2). Dockery laments that twentieth-century developments in Southern Baptist teaching have left their people unable to understand the infallible vs. inerrant debate, and he is apparently writing to help correct this deficiency. He does a remarkable job of clear, lively writing and avoids most of the opaqueness so frequently found in theological discussions.

Christian Scripture uses a quite detailed and cautious definition of inerrancy which gives a very high view of the full inspiration of Scripture, its truthfulness, reliability, and authority, while avoiding the excesses many attribute to the doctrine. He insists on full recognition of human authorship as well as the divine authorship: the human authors wrote in their own words and understanding, but God superintended the authors' human creativity so that Scripture says what he intended and there is no error in what it affirms. Dockery recognizes that different genres, such as poetry, laws, and proverbs, have different effects on the hermeneutical task. This definition seems to allow one to avoid being boxed in by excessive literalism, yet he does not spell out what it means in actual exegesis. We are not given even a hint of how much latitude he would allow in, for instance, the interpretation of Genesis 1-11. Must it be history and science, albeit a simplified history and science expressed in ancient words but without varying from modern scientific description, or can we recognize it as a more symbolic work inerrantly and infallibly expressing the theological truths that God wants us to know? Given the rancor and intransigence of the debate, perhaps this vagueness is wise in a book that hopes to reach both sides.

While his comprehensive and basic sketch of the doctrine of Scripture is placed within a historical framework  from earliest Christian times through the modern worldwide crisis on biblical authority, it is focused on the Southern Baptist experience. In fact, Dockery may have spread himself too thin by trying to cover too much material in such a short span of pages. After a survey of the present crisis and attitudes in the universal church, he goes into a discussion of the writing, inspiration, transmission, and authority of Scripture, followed by an extensive sketch of the history of interpretative approaches from that of Jesus through modern times. This is supposedly the basis for his final presentation of the proper use and interpretation of Scripture in the church today. An appendix summarizes the use and interpretation of Scripture in the history of the Southern Baptist Convention.

The problem is whether this book presents enough detail to do the job. There is some very good material in it on revelation, inspiration, authority, Jesus' method of interpretation, inerrant vs. infallible, etc. However, this reviewer kept finding himself wishing that there was a bit more information, a bit more tying things together, and pointing toward additional sources. The historical section on interpretation is a case in point. It was included to form a basis for the final section on the proper use and interpretation of Scripture, yet there is a hiatus between them; it's like there is a 52-page insertion of extraneous material. No doubt the connection is quite clear in Dockery's mind, but we are left to guess at his views.

In spite of the criticisms, this is a good book for the purpose for which it was written. There is much food for thought and the extensive footnotes and bibliography provide a pathway for further study for those who are interested.

Reviewed by Eugene O. Bowser, Reference Librarian, James A. Michener Library, The University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO 80639.