Book Reviews September 1997

THE END OF SCIENCE: Facing the Limits of Knowledge in the Twilight of the Scientific Age by John Horgan. New York: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Inc., 1996. 308 pages, index and footnotes. Hardcover; $24.00.

An American fable, probably apocryphal, tells of an executive in the Patents Office resigning his job in 1890 because, he said, Nearly everything that can be invented now has been! Now comes John Horgan, science writer for the Scientific American (that journal which has the self-appointed task of telling us how to think about science), interviewing dozens of scientists and philosophers on a similar issue. Horgan poses the question this way:

1. Have the BIG questions all been answered?

2. Is the age of great discoveries now behind us?

3. Are scientists now reduced to puzzle-solving, just adding details, and possibly precision, to today's existing theories?

Horgan argues persuasively for endism, a yes answer to all the questions above. As a result, he sees science losing its place in the hierarchy of disciplines and eventually becoming much like the field of literary criticism. His arguments are based, not so much on his own ideas, but on the ideas freely shared by the people he interviews. Most of the big names are included: Popper, Kuhn, Feyerabend, Weinberg, Wheeler, Dawkins, Chomsky, Eccles, and many others.

This is a frustrating book; one wishes to enter into the interview, to ask the questions Horgan glosses over, to clarify points. It is also an exciting book, for it covers a common topic across many disciplines. But it is a depressing book as well; one comes away from it with an impression similar to the writer of Ecclesiastics: all is vanity. Yet, it is an uplifting book for the Christian; I see in it the logical end of treating science as a faith position.

This may be a short-lived book, for it is very much bound to the state of the art of the early 90s. The subject it covers, however, will continue to be an issue for decades to come, and I foresee extensive quotations from it for many years to come.

Horgan writes with insight into the end of progress, philosophy, physics, cosmology, evolutionary biology, social science, neuroscience, and so on. In an epilogue, titled The Terror of God, Horgan speculates what this means. He writes:

The ostensible goal of science, philosophy, religion and all forms of knowledge is to transform the great Hunh of mystical wonder into an even greater Aha of understanding. But after one arrives at THE ANSWER, what then? There is a kind of horror in thinking that our sense of wonder might be extinguished, once and for all time, by our knowledge. What, then, would be the purpose of existence? There would be none (p. 266).

The book ends with this plaintive wail, And now that science true, pure, empirical science has ended, what else is there to believe in?

I recommend this book to all ASA members. It ought to be readable by most persons at the college level and perhaps even by some advanced high school students. The issues raised are important. The views it collects under a single cover are a unique look at science not found in the textbooks. Much time and effort went into its research, and the results are well worth our attention. It is easy to read, controversial and, above all, entertaining.

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

From PSCF 49 (September 1997): 200.


GOD, CHANCE AND NECESSITY by Keith Ward. Oxford, England: Oneworld Publications, 1996. 212 pages, index. Paperback; $14.95.

Ward is Regius Divinity Professor at the University of Oxford. His previous publications include The Concept of God, Defending the Soul, and Images of Eternity. The current book is a dedicated refutation of scientific atheism. It is not, as one might conclude from the title, a sustained attack on Jacques Monod. It is an attack on metaphysical materialism, as exhibited by Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking, Peter Atkins, Richard Dawkins, and others. Darwin's uncertainties and ambivalences are explicitly mentioned. Ward's fundamental point is that scientific knowledge does not undermine belief in God; on the contrary, God is the best explanation for the total set of properties of the universe and all contained therein. Materialism, he argues, can present a coherent picture only by eliminating (ignoring) complexity, which is called exclusive simplicity. There are ten chapters with headings such as: The Origin of the Universe, Is There Any Point? Where the Universe Is Going, Darwin and Natural Selection, The Metaphysics of Theism, and The Future of Evolution.

In discussing the origin of the universe, Ward begins with the issue of reason or purpose. Hume was the first to assert that there is no reason for the universe, that it just is. The Big Bang just happened, for no particular reason. By applying this kind of logic to the existence of physical law, complexity, quantum indeterminism, and moral freedom, Ward shows the absurdity of this position. (One might add to the list the irreducible complexity analyzed so powerfully by Michael Behe.) He asks rhetorically about the origin of physical law. The whole of science proceeds on the assumption that a reason can be found for why things are as they are, [and] that it is the end of science if one finds an `uncaused' event. He also mentions, but does not discuss the implications of, the behavior of systems far from equilibrium. This would have been a good opportunity to distinguish between predictability and determinism. Chaotic systems are perfectly deterministic and totally unpredictable. While not doubting statements about quantum indeterminacy, I am not satisfied that this has relevance above the sub-atomic level. Ward uses indeterminacy in support of an open, i.e. unpredictable, world. He has thereby sidestepped a very large problem; he treats it with alacrity, not with rigor.

Ward devotes considerable attention to Atkins, who, it would seem, has made some highly provocative metaphysical assertions. Among other things, Atkins claims that physical reality is mathematics and mathematics is physical reality. Ward identifies this as espousal of the fallacy of misplaced concreteness, and catches Atkins in a breathtaking non sequitur. He goes on to conclude that Atkins is actually committed to theism but does not know it. The chapter dealing with Atkins' claim that everything is extraordinarily simple is quite cogent and well argued.

In the chapter dealing with Darwin, Ward correctly observes that Darwin did not think that natural selection was the only principle accounting for evolution. So the attack here is against Darwinism, the fundamental premises of which are the randomness of mutation and the absence of purpose in the process of evolution. (Ward did not cite the work of John Cairns which demonstrates apparently directed mutations.) With regard to the highly contentious and post hoc concept of biological fitness, Ward observes that the fittest are not known in advance. If humans should become extinct, then maybe ants would be considered the most fit. In my opinion, Ward devotes too much space to demonstrating that Darwinism, with its tunnel vision focused on fitness, cannot account for many of the properties of humans, for example, consciousness. This is described as requiring a very high standard of story-telling or myth making[which] with the aid of hindsight can explain absolutely anything. He seems to get caught up in a contradiction with regard to Donald Campbell's top-down causation and Whitehead's mutual causation, but it occurs in such a way as to have no importance for the sequel. Ward is not the first nor the most eloquent to point out that much of Darwin's thinking seems to come directly from Adam Smith; specifically the fundamental assumption by Darwin, and later in a more strident and dangerous form by the Darwinists, that the essence of life is competitive. Explaining the clear existence of widespread cooperation in the organic world has been a long-standing problem for Darwinists. In fact sociobiology owes its existence to an offhand remark by J. B. S Haldane: "I would give up my life for two brothers or four cousins."

When I began writing this review, I re-opened Ward to check something and wound up re-reading the whole book a second time. It is a highly readable little book, which probably means that it is not tightly argued. But it covers so much ground that this would be expecting too much. It is most enjoyable and highly rewarding.

Reviewed by Braxton M. Alfred, Professor of Biological Anthropology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1.

From PSCF 49 (September 1997): 201.


 A THEORY OF ALMOST EVERYTHING: A Scientific and Religious Quest for Ultimate Answers by Robert Barry. Oxford, England: Oneworld Publications, 1996. 200 pages, index. Paperback; $13.95.

What is the meaning of life? Robert Barry's answer lies in a mystical synthesis of modern physics with world religions. The book is partitioned into three sections beginning with self-consciousness, progressing through consciousness of the physical universe, and culminating in mystical consciousness. References are collated at the end of the book and are further referenced to a bibliography that spans everything from the theologically orthodox to the not so orthodox.

The Selfish Universe (Part 1) demonstrates that people have limited control over the external world. Society imposes rules and regulations and even other people's opinions influence individuals in becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. The philosopher Ecclesiastes sums up our situation when he declares his life useless, despite his possessing everything in this world that most of us desire. His dilemma, however, and ours, arises from living life for the illusory self and failing to live life for the whole (p. 34). Ecclesiastes, the wisest man that ever lived, is wrong, or at least unenlightened according to Barry, and Barry graciously provides a history of consciousness to help us become enlightened.

In the beginning was the big bang followed by the evolution of man, and Somewhere along the line, simple consciousness arose (p. 37)a mere trifling problem in evolutionary theory. The Bible's analogy says that Adam rose (or fell, according to the story) to a new level of consciousness that of self consciousness (p. 38). Unfortunately people have remained in this deprived state until God here Barry means that bad Christian God was replaced by the self.

Barry digresses from the search for complete self-consciousness for a chapter while he summarizes modern physics. The point is to show the indeterminacy of the space-time model of physics. Barry proposes an extension of the basic idea behind relativity in an attempt to account for both mind and matter in a single theory. I suggest that we consider a reality consisting of seven dimensionsCthree of space, one of time, and three of mind (pp. 99-100). After all Is there really any difference between the Infinite encountered by scientists (in concepts such as `black holes,' quantum `waves,' or the big bang `singularity') and the infinite (or God) of religion? (p. 123). The logic is superb, so let's hypothetically agree with Barry that God and the concept of black holes are essentially the same. Now, however, we encounter a problem since Barry states that God is above these seven dimensions not in a dimension (p. 108). The author modestly states "My proposed dimensions of mind require some development" (p. 105) with which this reviewer heartily concurs.

The way to understand this rather complicated situation is to realize that, above all else, we live in The Mystical Universe (Part 3). Barry uses a history of religion to show that mysticism is an intrinsic part of all faiths. Barry's chronology implies an unusual religious evolution beginning with Hinduism, progressing through Christianity (with some unique exegeses) and culminating in the Baha'i faith. We must embrace this new-found mysticism because this is the common essence of religion [and is the basis] I believe, for the latest scientific thinking (p. 146). We are at the dawn of a new age and a new physics, at least according to those who know best: James Lovelock (founder of the Gaia hypothesis); Sir George Trevelyan (founder of the British New Age Movement); and Alvin Toffler (author of The Third Wave) to name a few. There is no mention of how the new age is being heralded in such places as Bosnia, Rwanda, and Algeria but the author assures us that if this theory serves you in any way helps you to integrate existing knowledge, enables you to make some reliable prediction, helps you to extract some meaning from life, reduces your feelings of alienation, or gives you a sense of purpose you will adopt it (p. 108).

Barry tackles a difficult task of harmonizing science and philosophy and supports his position with several interesting psychological studies. Barry has a knack for making seemingly innocuous statements that on greater reflection have huge ramifications for Christianity. For example, Does it really matter whether God spoke directly to us in Jesus, or whether He spoke to us indirectly through Jesus (p. 133, italics in original). ASA members will not agree with Barry's conclusions but may find the book useful as a summary of the spirit of our age.

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

From PSCF 49 (September 1997): 202.

THE NATURE OF SPACE AND TIME by Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996. vii + 141 pages. Hardcover.

In a book I reviewed for the December 1996 issue of this journal, the Rev. Dr. David Wilkinson claimed that philosopher William Craig was wrong to label Cambridge physicist Stephen Hawking an anti-realist because of his use of Aimaginary time. (See Craig's incisive critique of A Brief History of Time in his Theism, Atheism, and Big Bang Cosmology [Oxford]). Says Wilkinson, It is wrong to write off Hawking as just an idealist or having just an instrumentalist view of his theory. He is using a mathematical technique in order to describe the real Universe (p. 156). However, this recent book by Hawking and Roger Penrose, a professor of mathematics at the University of Oxford, contradicts Wilkinson's assertion and vindicates Craig: Hawking, in fact, does not believe in a real Universe, and he is an instrumentalist in the idealist camp!

The Nature of Space and Time is an illuminating book that requires a good grasp of physics to be fully appreciated. There are pertinent philosophical and theological questions raised by the book: how we are to understand science, the origin of the universe, and God's existence. In the first six chapters, Hawking and Penrose alternately present their respective positions regarding space-time, relativity theory, quantum mechanics/quantum cosmology, the nature of space-time singularities, and related issues. The final chapter is an interesting debate between them.

On the one hand, Penrose does not consider quantum mechanics a sufficient answer to our questions about the origin and nature of the universe (we need more [p. 106]). Penrose uses classical general relativity to explain how the universe works. Hawking, on the other hand, appeals to quantum mechanics and quantum cosmology to fill the gaps of classical theory. Hawking states that "while general relativity reveals that there should be a singularity in our past, it itself cannot predict the universe"(p. 75). Contrasting their positions, Penrose comments: "If one compares this debate with the famous debate of Bohr and Einstein, I should think that Stephen [Hawking] plays the role of Bohr, whereas I play Einstein's role!" (p. 134).

What is a significant and recurring theme in the book is the different philosophical positions that Hawking and Penrose maintain. Hawking unashamedly admits, "I'm a positivist" (p. 121; cf. p. 123)a glaringly unscientific, philosophically problematic pronouncement. (Does this not appear to rule out God a priori as having anything to do with the origin of the universe?) Penrose, on the other hand, is a realist, who believes that good scientific theories correspond to a real world (p. 134).

Like Bohr, Hawking is an anti-realist of the instrumentalist stripe. Along with Wilkinson, many have taken Hawking's ideas to be describing the physical world (the real Universe). But Hawking does not care if theories have any physical significance (p. 3): a physical theory is just a mathematical model and it is meaningless to ask whether it corresponds to reality (p. 4). Again, "I don't demand that a theory correspond to reality because I don't know what it is. All I'm concerned with is that the theory should predict the results of measurements" (p. 121).

As one reads Hawking here and elsewhere, one gets the impression that he would like to eliminate God as the possible Originator of the universe despite his claims to be open to such a proposal. He attempts to do so by eliminating the initial singularity through the positing of imaginaryCnot actualCtime. Thus [the universe] would quite literally be created out of nothing: not just out of the vacuum, but out of absolutely nothing at all, because there is nothing outside the universe (p. 85).

Massive philosophical questions remain to be answered by Hawking, however. How can the universe emerge from mathematical abstractions, which have no efficient causal power to instantiate anything at all? Why (as Craig asks elsewhere) should we think imaginary duration makes any more sense than imaginary length or imaginary volume? How can Hawking coherently justify his spatialization of time? Why should we prefer Hawking's understanding of tenseless, Euclidean time (B-theory) over an intuitively-preferable view of time that accounts for past, present, and future (A-Theory)? (For instance, why should we embrace his reductionist view of time as exclusively physical time when a succession of mental events would be sufficient to ground time?) How has Hawking in any intelligible sense eliminated the need for a Creator?

These questions aside, Hawking and Penrose present a lively and instructive discussion about some of the current issues in physics and cosmology. Whatever side one takes on such matters, the debate should not be ignored.

Reviewed by Paul Copan, Marquette University, Coughlin Hall, 132, P.O. Box 1881, Milwaukee WI 53201-1881.

From PSCF 49 (September 1997): 203.


COSMIC BEGINNINGS AND HUMAN ENDS: Where Science and Religion Meet by Clifford N. Matthews and Roy Abraham Varghese, Eds. Chicago: Open Court Publishing Co., 1995. 427 pages, $21.95.

The editors have collected 22 essays based on presentations at the Symposium on Science and Religion held in Chicago in October 1993 in connection with the Parliament of the World's Religions. The title of this book was the theme of the Symposium. There were 7000 attendees at the Parliament.

The authors of the essays at the Science/Religion Symposium were requested by the editors to address the following questions: (1) What are your views on cosmic beginnings, particularly with reference to the origin of the universe, of life and of homo sapiens? (2) What are your views on human ends, especially as this relates to the framework of cosmic beginnings? (3) What do you think should be the relationship between religion and science?

As expected, the answers given depended upon the religious or philosophical positions of the authors and their academic disciplines. Fifteen of the authors are college professors (two emeritus) and three are astronomers. There is one medical doctor, one university president, two Nobel prize winners, and one retired NSF program director. All contributors, therefore, had respectable intellectual and educational credentials, and were qualified to bring a reasoned approach to the theme. Only two of the 22 essayists referred to themselves as Christians. The atheistic position was quite evident in some essays. Some essayists wrote from Confucian, Taoist, or Buddhist backgrounds.

The answers to the three central questions were very interesting. With regard to origins (question 1), the answers could be summarized in the following statements. Nine had Ano opinion or else neglected to reply. Seven accepted the big bang cosmological theory, two could only speculate, two said that there are many universes in addition to ours, one said that the universe is not real, and one believed in a Creator.

For question 2, five had vague non-answers, four failed to answer or did not know, four said that it is a mystery or an open question, two said human life is insignificant, and one said human destiny was to be in harmony with the Supreme Being. The remaining essayists made statements like the answer is only valid in the realm of faith, it depends on the future evolutionary steps, we need to change the goals of the old patriarchal religion, we must work for social justice, and we should go with the flow consistent with natural law.

The third question evoked even more diverse answers than the first two. Four essayists did not respond; three said, Science and religion need each other; three said, No reconciliation is needed since there is no conflict (due in large part to their definition of religion); and two said that science and religion should have mutual respect for each other. One author made the assertion that dogmatic religion is the cause of all the evil in the world. Another author contended that religion must become scientific. One essayist made the point that both science and religion are based on faith-filled assumptions. Another essayist espoused the philosophy of Gaia and concluded that there is no conflict with science if one believes in Gaia.

One would not expect a unity of viewpoints on the book's theme with contributors from such diverse backgrounds and experience. I believe the book has value as a summary of the collective mind of contemporary academia. As I read the book, I was impressed with the deep-rooted atheism of many intellectuals in academic circles. It is well recognized that the prevailing worldview in academia is scientific naturalism. Several notable Christian writers such as Charles Colson and Phillip E. Johnson have made frequent reference to this state of affairs in their recent writings. I was impressed with the following statement in the Introduction by James Kenney: "A culture necessarily depends upon a set of assumptions so interwoven that to challenge one strand is to threaten the entire structure." Johnson has challenged the evolutionary strand in Darwin on Trial and Reason in the Balance. Although Cosmic Beginnings does not offer confirmation of Kenney's thesis, it does offer some examples in support of it. In my opinion, this book points out the need for Christian scientists, theologians, and philosophers to stand up, be counted, and challenge the methodological naturalism prevailing in contemporary intellectual circles. If one desires a taste of the worldview of many contemporary academic leaders, then I suggest that they read this book.

Reviewed by O. C. Karkalits, Dean, College of Engineering and Technology, McNeese State University, Lake Charles, LA 70609.

From PSCF 49 (September 1997): 203.


THE GREAT DINOSAUR EXTINCTION CONTROVERSY by Charles Officer and Jake Page. Reading, MA: Addison Wesley Publishing Company, Inc., 1996. 200 pages, index. Hardcover; $25.00.

Officer is a research geology professor at Dartmouth College, and speaks with some authority on the geological considerations of extinctions. He refers to some of his own studies as well as hundreds of others in a well done bibliography. Page is a science writer, previous founder and director of Smithsonian Books, and Editorial Director of Natural History. He has experience with the politics and recent history of science.

This book discusses, refutes, and offers a plausible alternative to the Alvarez hypothesis for the extinction of the dinosaurs. Alvarez hypothesized that an impact of an extraterrestrial object may have caused their demise (and that of other life forms) 65 million years ago. After laying a groundwork including background on meteorites, comets, dinosaurs, geology, and species extinctions, the authors look both at the scientific evidence (or lack thereof), and the fascinating (and sobering) politics of science involved in this particular issue.

They discuss the paradigm shift which occurred when Luis and Walter Alvarez and others proposed a meteorite as a possible mechanism for the mass extinctions at the end of the Cretaceous, 65 million years ago. This hypothesis was accepted by many scientists in an unusually quick and complete way, perhaps due to the reputation of Nobel laureate Luis Alvarez, whereas the evidence to support it is actually relatively incomplete. The authors look at the strengths and weaknesses of this hypothesis, and then go on to explore alternative hypotheses which may conform to more of the available data. For the many, like myself, who have been dinosaur aficionados since childhood, and also for scientists who believe science to be fully objective or who realize they may need to learn to be wary of overly objectifying science, this is a good book.

A few geologists examined the data and found various flaws with the hypothesis, including many detail flaws rocks and fossils which did not match a single event or an impact type of hypothesis. They review three major facts which may not be common knowledge: (1) the dinosaurs did not die out suddenly, but apparently slowly died out over several million years, (2) the dinosaurs were not the only creatures wiped out by whatever eventor more likely, events wiped out about half of all living species then in existence over the course of a few million years, 60-70 million years ago, and (3) that major extinction event was not the only event. Many other extinctions have occurred, and one larger event did occur about 250 million years ago, wiping out roughly 80-90% of all species then in existence. In addition, evidence regarding iridium and shocked quartz is supposedly consistent with only extraterrestrial objects. However, there is mounting evidence that these may be formed by volcanism, which is what the authors hypothesize. One more flaw with the impact theory is that to date, there is no crater clearly in evidence which corresponds to the supposed impact of 65 million years ago.

The politics of science is the other major theme of this book. The authors accurately note, Scientists, contrary to the popular archetype, are often quite unobjective in the pursuit of truth. This is a highly relevant topic for all scientists, as well as others, to consider. A discussion of the silly season explores how the impact group came up with many ways to change the story to fit the facts, once facts came to light which clearly refuted the hypothesis. The authors refer to this as degenerative science, and propose that progressive science advances hypotheses which suggest new expected discoveries which can then be proven or disproved through experiment or evidence.

The authors did more than poke numerous holes in the impact theory. They proposed alternate and plausible theories, and presented evidence which has been found, as well as further expected discoveries. If further investigation reveals that indeed, linkages among volcanism, sea level, reasonable related changes in the atmosphere (including acid rain, ozone depletion, and weather changes), and global temperature exist and correspond to the geologic record of extinctions, this theory will gain further credence.

Readers may find this book useful in discussions of objectivity (or lack thereof) in science, and it may be useful for all of us to get a dose of humility about our knowledge. None of us know it all, and we would be wise to continue to seek sincerely, rather than jump to judgmental conclusions. Awareness of how the media can further warp the fabric of science may help to avoid some of these pitfalls. By the end of the book, the reader may feel even more humble than previously, as well as more doubtful of almost all the publications which one reads. Perhaps this is wise, even if it seems to make us less trusting of individual investigators or even of whole schools of science.

However, even if the impact theory proposed by the Alvarez group is conclusively proven to have been the wrong hypothesis, it will still have started the ball really rolling towards what has been for many a childhood fantasy: understanding more clearly what really caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. One final note from the authors that the extent (to which) this furor distracted humanity's attention from the ways in which it is itself inaugurating a period of mass extinctions (p. 187), reminds us to consider the goals of our scientific objectives, as well as the means. The authors conclude happily, the very processes of sciences have so far tended to overcome these human shortcomings over time. This will be true as long as we question hypotheses and continue to sincerely seek the truth.

Reviewed by Steven G. Hall, P.E., Doctoral Candidate, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, 419 Riley-Robb Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.

From PSCF 49 (September 1997): 204


BIOETHICS: A Primer for Christians by Gilbert Meilaender. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing, 1996. 120 pages, index. Paperback, $10.00.

Meilaender has written a brief but profoundly contemplative book covering the essentials of bioethics, primarily for a Christian audience. However, others will not be disappointed as he presents complicated issues clearly, giving an overview of the why and what of evangelical thinking on bioethics.

He starts with a chapter on Christian Vision, briefly stating the theological principles that he applies to his thinking in bioethical issues. I found it very relevant and helpful because he uses these principles to weave his arguments together with a remarkable level of coherence. He repeatedly draws on these principles as he considers each topic in detail. He covers all the current ethical dilemmas in society that have emerged with the development of technology. Chapters include AProcreation Versus Reproduction, abortion, Genetic Advance, Prenatal Screening, Suicide and Euthanasia, Refusing Treatment, Who Decides? Gifts of the Body: Organ Donation, Gifts of the Body: Human Experimentation, and Sickness and Health.

The book is generously peppered with nuggets, for example, in the chapter on Procreation Versus Reproduction, he states we tempt ourselves to think of the child as the product of our rational will, and we destroy the intimate connection between the love-giving and life-giving aspects of the one-flesh marital union. The book gently reminds us of how easy it is to slip into perspectives that give credence to the spirit of the age.

My only major concern with his arguments was in his chapter on abortion. In it he suggests reasons why one may conclude that human life begins a little later than conception. He also states reasons why one may consider life to begin at conception. However, both conclusions I believe are drawn from a shaky presupposition. His reasons for fixing the beginning of unique human life arise from knowledge of human development which implies that scientific reasoning alone can determine the origins of human life. That our life begins at conception is transcendent truth; natural reasoning alone cannot fix the beginning of unique individual life. We do not create life nor do we own it: the definition of life transcends natural ways of knowing, and we can only accept life as a sacred gift from our Creator.

I would highly recommend this book to those of us who find most books on bioethics dry and pedantic. This book represents gracious scholarship intended, as the title states, to equip the Christian in the pew with a biblical view on bioethics. Here is a proclamation of Kingdom ethics in an ever changing world.

Reviewed by Joseph Gladwin, Department of Forest Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331.

From PSCF 49 (September 1997): 207.