on October 20, 2002
This is a dense and demanding read and, unless you have a basic comprehension of the deeper issues of both science and Christianity, you will be zooming around in Twilight Zone.
In Barbour's book quantum physics meets process theology, thrashes around and out comes... hum, well, I'm not actually sure. I got a bit lost in post-Darwinian evolution, genetics, neuroscience, astronomy, thermodynamics and relativity. I almost had it when Barbour threw in a dose of genetic engineering and global environmental issues. I felt like I was back at Cal State in a 400 level class as a freshman. Get the drift? "Genetic Drift"?
It is best to give you an example of his writing from a portion of his opening statement, Chapter 4;
"I hope to show that it is consistent with neuroscience, computer science and a theological view of human nature to understand a person as a multilevel, psychosomatic unity.... In the first three sections (of this chapter) I look at neuroscience, theology and research on artificial intelligence. I then examine some philosophical interpretations of consciousness. Finally I suggest that process philosophy (Albert Whitehead) can provide a conceptual framework for integrating these varied prospective on human nature."
When you consider his astute, erudite writing, and that he is tackling some of the thorniest issues confronting contemporary science and theology today, you have a slow and demanding read.
Dr. Barbour seldom uses stories or examples, but, when he does, they are like rain on parched earth. Relished.
Conditionally Recommended for any science or theology student or professional.
on May 19, 2014
I learned from all the symposium members about this complex subject, especially from John Archibald Wheeler's insight into Quantum Mechanics with a joke about three baseball umpires:
One says, "I call 'em as I see 'em," the second says, "I call them the way they really are," the third says, "They do not exist until I call them"