Ursula Goodenough is an internationally recognized cell biologist; she is also an accomplished amateur theologian--an unusual combination of interests in a time when science and religion are widely divided. In The Sacred Depths of Nature, she proposes what she calls a "planetary ethic" drawing on the lessons of both science and metaphysics, celebrating some of the mysteries that are central to both: "the mystery of why there is anything at all, rather than nothing," for one, and "the mystery of why the universe seems so strange," for another. Exploring scientifically based narratives about the creation of the universe and the origins of life, Goodenough forges a kind of religious naturalism that will not be unfamiliar to readers of New Age literature--save that her naturalism has the hard-nosed rigor of a laboratory-trained scholar behind it. Goodenough offers a crash course in the life sciences for her readers, encompassing the basics, for instance, of biochemistry in just a few paragraphs (and getting it right in the bargain), touching on Darwinian biology and population dynamics and even chaos theory to make "an epic of evolution" that has all the hallmarks of an origin myth. Faith and reason, in her view, are not mutually exclusive, and her well-written treatise makes a good argument for bridging the gap between the two. --Gregory McNamee --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
In eloquent prose, Goodenough, a noted molecular biologist, offers a scientist's insight into the dialogue between science and religion. The book's structure is similar to the Daily Devotionals found in some Protestant denominations, but with a decidedly broader approach to the vast ontological questions being pursued. Beginning with an autobiographical sketch, Goodenough moves resolutely through the major questions of being. Her inquiries cut across the boundaries of cosmology, astrophysics, cell biology, evolutionary theory, sexuality and death, moving into the realms of philosophy and theology. The author, while no theist, recognizes the eternal human quest for meaning engendered by the essentially non-quantifiable mystery of consciousness. Displaying open-mindedness to non-scientific approaches in her search for ultimate understanding, she writes with equal respect of Taoism's enigmatic, ironical credo and of 19th-century Transcendentalists' humanistic vision. This spiritual diversity, accompanied by scientific observations drawn from such authorities as Stephen Hawking and Edward O. Wilson, makes for a stirring, enlightening read. In part a reverential memoir by a dedicated scientist, this book provides a meeting place for the revelations of advanced science and technology and the universal, unanswerable questions of humanity. 18 line drawings.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Every American, whether researcher in some aspect of the evolutions from physics, "physics" being energy, mass and space-time, should re-read this book. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Phillip R. Beaver
Dr. Ursula Goodenough aptly named her book, The Sacred Depths of Nature. Her view of Nature as sacred has brought to the front and center the notion that the emotional aspects of... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Benjamin Godfrey
Received this item quickly and packaged securely. Described accurately. Thank you.Published 7 months ago by I. Desiderio
This book is very science-based and way beyond my total understanding, but the science gave a different perspective that was quite interesting to me. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Lana
I was expecting much more from this book - I was not really interested in the fact that the authors Christian beliefs or how she attempts to tie them into her science based... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Amira
I have owned this book for at least ten years. I like it so much that I put it on my Kindle so that it travels with me. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Susan J. Parr
I absolutely love this book. I recommend it to those who think that science takes all the awe and wonder out of understanding nature. Nothing could be further from the truth. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Alice Sanvito, Licensed Massage Therapist
In her introduction, Ursula says that the goal of her book is to present an accessible account of our scientific understanding of Nature and then suggest ways that this account... Read morePublished 13 months ago by John Turnbull
What a beautiful book. The clearest discussion of evolution possible, followed by sections on the sacred nature of emergent qualities. The writing on religion is poetic. Read morePublished 14 months ago by S.T. Campagna-Pinto