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The Mind of the Universe: Understanding Science and Religion Paperback – September, 2001


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Product Details

  • Series: Understanding Science and Religion
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Templeton Foundation Pr (September 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1890151548
  • ISBN-13: 978-1890151546
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #949,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Artigas takes on the ambitious task of building a philosophical "bridge between science and religion" along pragmatic and humanistic lines. A professor of natural science at the University of Navarra (Spain), the author intends this book to be an expanded version of a previous project, and it shows. The leisurely pace and references to a generous collection of authors and arguments give the book an unnecessarily academic tone, considering that the main argument is quite simple and informal. Unlike many bridge-builders attempting to mediate between science and religion, Artigas has little hope that direct "dialogue" is going to accomplish much, barring a major compromise (or confusion) in scientific or religious methodology. He focuses instead on the presuppositions of science, viewed not as metaphysical postulates but as "states of affairs" pragmatically assumed whenever science is done--the sense in which going fishing "presupposes" that there are some fish in the lake. Artigas's discussion of scientific presuppositions turns up some of the usual suspects (an ordered universe, competent human rationality, value commitments to truth and some idea of social improvement through science), but he gives them an unusual treatment by reflecting on how "feedback" from scientific progress informs and vindicates these presuppositions. As portrayed here, the philosophical stance presupposed by science is actually a liberal humanism set in an orderly and apparently purposeful universe, something not unlike the philosophy called for by Pope John Paul II in Fides et Ratio. Coincidence? Perhaps, though as Artigas's mentor says, coincidence may just be God's way of remaining anonymous. (Apr.)

Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Mr. Artigas has a good command of the English language.
Payman Saghafi
The Mind of the Universe is the best book that I have yet read on the subject of science and religion.
David Withun
At the end of the book, Artigas draws very interesting conclusions.
Rafael Estartús

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Rafael Estartús on November 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
October 6th, 2000
The book "The Mind of the Universe" is an important step in the dialogue science-christianity. The Templeton Foundation is well-known amongst other things because encourages studies about Science and Christianity. The reading of this book constitutes a challenge, because of its size, the profoundness of its analysis, the previous knowledge that it implies and the detail in which it studies the affirmations made by other authors about the same subject (many of these authors being contemporary and some belonging to past generations). It accepts acceptable remarks made by other authors and delicately criticizes those thoughts, which the author considers as unacceptable or he exposes in better form. He grants nothing neither to science nor Christian faith, or to those fifty or more investigators whose ideas he analyses with deep precision. Everything is explained with the maximum clarity that is possible withouth lacking to the depth. To acknowledge the true value of this book, the two of the quotes of the cover should be read:
"The Mind of the Universe" should be considered not only as an outstanding contribution, but also as an important step towards contemporary dialogue between faith and science." (Cardinal Paul Poupard, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture).
"Artigas' book should be read by all of those who are starting to study science, and by those who dedicate themselves to teaching it." (Martin Hewlett, Molecular and Cellular Biology Department, University of Arizona, USA).
The study that Artigas makes about the assumptions (which he prefers to name with more appropiate words) of science, is exhaustive and perhaps final. He keeps distance from Kant's a priori approach, from scientist's prior believes, etc.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Payman Saghafi on May 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
Mariano Artigas is no idiot. His faith in God is coupled with a deep and passionate desire to make sense of his beliefs.

I respect that. This fact motivated me to give this book its first "star".

Mariano Artigas is not obnoxious, offensive, or sarcastic toward agnostics in his writing. Mr. Artigas simply lays out his arguments, weighs them accordingly, and draws his conclusions.

I respect this too and was motivated to give the book a second star.

Mr. Artigas has a good command of the English language.

This fact prompted me to give the book a third star.

Mr. Artigas discusses some of the strongest arguments in favor of belief in a possible higher being; self-organization of the cosmos and the rational features of the universe are some key examples.

I certainly respect this. The book deserves a fourth star.

Finally, Mr. Artigas does a better job than most apologetics when it comes to countering analytical arguments used by atheists to dissuade belief in higher power. For instance, Artigas doesn't deny that evolutionary processes exist, he is well aware that they do, he simply denies that they can account for all the rational features of the known universe.

This type of argument is far more believable than a complete dismissal of human evolution.

I have to respect this. I gave him his fifth star.

Overall an interesting, intellectual and very deep read. Although there is redundancy, and the book can be unnecessarily complex at times, it does a far better job of addressing controversial aspects of Christian faith than almost any other source out there.

Artigas appears to be the type of guy that you could truly respect both as a man and as a person of spiritual faith.

You may or may not agree with his conclusions, but you have to give him credit for a deep, reasonable and thoughtful perspective.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on November 8, 2001
Format: Paperback
Written by the professor of natural science and dean of Ecclesiastical Faculty at the University of Navarra (Pamplona, Spain), Mariano Artigas' The Mind Of The Universe: Understanding Science And Religion is a unique volume that dares to question the widespread assumption that science and religion are utterly irreconcilable. Examining both the ethical implications of scientific values and the plausibility of naturalistic and theistic viewpoints, The Mind Of The Universe seeks to find a center ground and an ultimate meaning for scientific progress. Highly recommended for students of science/religion reconciliation issues, The Mind Of The Universe is an erudite, literate, informed presentation on matters both physical and spiritual.
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