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Reinventing the Sacred: A New View of Science, Reason, and Religion Paperback – February 23, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Kauffman, an outstanding thinker who has devoted much reflection to complexity theory, offers some insightful perspectives on the physical world in "Reinventing the Sacred,.".. This is an interesting book that will generate much discussion."
"Kauffman's book is a rigorous intellectual quest not only to find the sacred in nature but to remove the taint of atheism from science."
"[Kauffman's] provocative argument for a different understanding of God is compelling."
"["Reinventing the Sacred"] sparkles from every angle as its author gallops through the relevant science, philosophy, economics, history, ethics, poetry and - well, we had better use the word because Kauffman does: religion.... Bringing science and religion together globally in the way that Kauffman wishes is not going to be easy - as other ecumenical movements have repeatedly found - but it is necessary."
"[Kauffman] offers a fresh angle in the ongoing debates concerning creationism, intelligent design, and evolution."
"Provocative.... Kauffman raises important questions about the self-organizing potential of natural systems that deserve serious consideration."
Brian Goodwin, Co-author of "Signs of Life: How Complexity Pervades Biology"
"This brilliantly-argued book takes science into novel territory with clarity and conviction, and in Kauffman's inimitable style it challenges some scientific taboos. With this book a new biology is emerging, and with it a new culture."
Owen Flanagan, Author of "The Really HardProblem"
"Stuart Kauffman is the new Spinoza. "Reinventing the Sacred" is a pedagogical tour de force as well as an uplifting metaphysics for the 21st century."
Gordon D. Kaufman, Mallinckrodt Professor of Divinity, Emeritus, Harvard University
"This is a brilliant, new, comprehensive, scientific world-picture, and it deserves a wide reading in the educated public."
Philip Clayton, Author of "Mind and Emergence"
""Reinventing the Sacred" is a tour de force and a brilliant manifesto for a new emergence-based scientific worldview. But science alone will never be enough; humanity must also invent new categories of the sacred that speak to this naturalistic age. Stuart Kauffman courageously challenges fundamentalist pretensions on both sides, seeking to mold a new partnership of science and religious values...an epoch-making book."
Kenneth Arrow, Nobel Laureate in Economics
"Stuart Kauffman has long studied the nature of complexity in biological systems. His new book shows in a startling way the power of these ideas in our understanding of ourselves and how we relate to the world around us. The sense of agency and of values, seemingly banished by the scientific viewpoint, are restored and enriched by a fuller perception of science deriving from biology as well as physics. Any reader's views will be dramatically altered."
Lee Smolin, Author of "The Trouble with Physics"
"Stuart Kauffman has written a wonderful book, as optimistic as it is provocative. He proposes a new scientific world view that not only incorporates reductionism, but goes beyond it to a vision of a self-constructed and continuously creative universe whichcan be understood and revered, but not always predicted. Knowledge and wisdom are different aspects of our humanity in Kauffman's universe."
"Well-written and rigorously argued.... For this meaningful contribution to the quest for an era of sustainability, atheists and believers alike should be most grateful." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The main theme of the book is that nature is endlessly creative and it is through this creativity that we experience the sacred. His first point is that nature is non-reductionistic, that is we can't use elementaty physical laws, as Laplace's demon does, to derive the complexity of the universe. These more complex laws are emergent and nonergodic. He then applies these principles to explain a variety of phenomena, including the origin of life, genetic diversity, markets, and even consciousness. He concludes the book paying homage to the spititual gifts of pantheistic creationism. In this comprehensive endeavor, he sometimes falls short.
His arguments for eschewing reductionism are generally well taken. He invokes Godel's incompleteness theorem and quantum physics to bolster his argument. Outside of non-Boolean non-commutative mathematical attempts to eliminate the randomness of quantum physics, I see no other objections. On the other hand, I see it as the duty of any self respecting scientist to carry redutionism as far as it can go. It is not clear to me how Kauffman determines when a system is truly emrgent. Even when he runs his computer simulations to the point of criticality, he can't be sure he isn't missing some reductionist principle.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
In this book, Kauffman acknowledges the need by humans to have something beyond themselves to respect, be in awe of, or even to worship. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Forrest E Ladd
Stuart Kauffman (born 1939) is an American theoretical biologist and complex systems researcher concerning the origin of life on Earth. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Steven H Propp
While I thoroughly enjoyed the material presented, and while it definitely caused me to reconsider some of my positions, when I finally finished this rather challenging book, I... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Deirdre A. Hebert
Interesting exploration of several topics including autopoiesis - the self-organization/maintenance of natural systems, quantum mechanics, emergence, reductionism, and pantheistic... Read morePublished 12 months ago by booklover
I recommend this book for all the people who is interested in complexity.
The author really knows how to keep you interested and explains difficult scientific concepts... Read more