To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Science and Spirituality: Making Room for Faith in the Age of Science Hardcover – March 8, 2010
Top 20 lists in Books
View the top 20 best sellers of all time, the most reviewed books of all time and some of our editors' favorite picks. Learn more
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"Ruse's book is one that tries to examine the issue from several points of view, from the matters that can be explained by science to those that cannot ... Ruse does a good job of striking what feels like a proper balance that leaves the reader to come to his own conclusion."
"... The value and pleasure of Science and Spirituality for the lay reader is in embarking upon a fast - moving journey from the Ancient Greeks to the present while wrestling with our metaphysical Godzilla, to choose a name that invokes both divinity and the primitive lizard brain that continues to issue so many of our marching orders ... Ruse offers an accessible distillation of the most pertinent great western thinkers and their great thoughts ..."
Literary Review of Canada
"... The first half of this book is an episodic survey of the role of various metaphors (mechanism, organism) in the history of science through the 20th century. Readers familiar with this story - or comfortable with the idea of "metaphor" in science - can profitably start with the second half and capture the full thrust of the argument ... this book does extend Ruse's argument and bring it up to date ... Recommended ..."
"... lays a broad foundation for understanding the debate between science and religion ... Those investigating philosophies regarding morals, conscience or purpose of life will benefit from information [he] provides ... Ruse does impressive work presenting others' beliefs, information and discoveries with little personal bias ... a good overview of the evolution of scientists' philosophies ..."
"Michael Ruse is considered one of the most prolific and influential authors in the study of the philosophical, religious and cultural impact of scientific theories. He is particularly well known for his studies on Darwin and evolution theory. They have had large diffusion among both specialists and the general public, and constitute a landmark on how to deal with the relationship between science and other human dimensions ... Before this book, Ruse had never attempted to give any general insights on the relationship between science and religion. Science and Spirituality serves to cover this gap, offering a broad consideration of how to reconcile religion and science. He does not, however, lose the sharp and direct approach that has always characterized his work."
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
He also speaks amply of historical figures and their deeds, although I was early in the book discouraged by careless inaccuracies. He writes (pp.12-13): "The Egyptians...knew that a 3, 4, 5 triangle is right-angled. It was Pythagoras or someone in his group who generalized it to all right-angled triangles (the square on the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares on the other two sides)..." But the "it" only speaks a right-angled triangle, not mentioning squares. Worse, the author then describes Euclid's fifth postulate (he also oddly applies "postulate" to "common notion") as stating that "parallel lines never meet". This is the definition of parallel lines; the postulate states that certain lines meet.
Notwithstanding such weaknesses, the author takes us through numbers of progressions in scientific, philosophical and spiritual thought, the progressions in my view not always constituting progress. Here I will concentrate on alluded to recent views and arguments the author concurs with and I find decidedly faulty.
The author cites (pp.138-9) philosophers Paul and Patricia Churchland as making "some very good points" about us being "hung up on folk psychology. We think that what we believe today must be the absolute bedrock of inquiry. Our sense of consciousness must be untouched. However, they argue that that is not the way things go in science".Read more ›
The problem with each of these approaches is that both sides cherry pick arguments from philosophy and proofs from science to refute either view. In reality, this does a disservice to both sides of the discussion. What we end up with is an us vs. them mentality and a watering down of two rich and very important disciplines. Luckily, we have Dr. Ruse and this fantastic text in which he tries to show a way forward. As it turns out, both sides have been getting this wrong!
Ruse does a fantastic job of first answering the questions of science and showing the different forms of understanding that people who employ and believe in the theory of evolution approach this scientific task. It is during this phase of the book that one comes to the conclusion rather quickly (with the assistance of Ruse's clear and well thought out prose) that yes, evolution is accepted by anyone doing serious science.Read more ›
At any rate this is a warning that this is, sadly, a dishonest book, with a curious agenda against many who are and will be powerless to respond. A philosopher as confused as Ruse can't seem to realize that Kant is a great threat to Darwinism, in the way he raised in classic fashion the issue of the teleological antinomies lurking in biological theory and all discussions of the organism. Ruse's purpose in life is apparently to return the Darwinian fold to the second-rate scientism that came into being in the generation after Kant, the Hegelians and Naturphilosophie.Read more ›