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The SCIENCE OF GOD Hardcover – November 10, 1997

4.2 out of 5 stars 252 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Schroeder (Genesis and the Big Bang, LJ 9/15/90) is an Israeli physicist and scholar of Genesis who maintains that a properly understood Bible and a properly understood science provide consistent sets of data. In recent decades, scientific discoveries in cosmology, paleontology, and quantum physics do not demonstrate or prove the activity of God, but they do remove conflict with that activity. Rapprochement occurs when believers read the Bible on the Bible's terms, avoiding literalism, and when scientists realize that science is powerless to pronounce on a purpose for life. Schroeder is very lucid in explaining difficult scientific concepts, such as the passage of time according to the theory of relativity, and religious data, such as the original Hebrew words. Schroeder's careful and responsible handling of the data on origins from science and Genesis 1, combined with a fresh, judicious correlation between the two, is compelling. Highly recommended.?Eugene O. Bowser, Univ. of Northern Colorado, Greeley
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

This account of creation is the latest entry in the current endeavor to drag science and religion within shouting distance of each other. Schroeder, a physicist and Bible scholar (Genesis and the Big Bang, 1990), attempts to reconcile the Genesis account of creation with current scientific knowledge about the origin of life. No doubt he is well versed in both the Bible and biology; he's also a skilled pedagogue, explaining abstract or counterintuitive concepts in lay terms. But this book will fail to convince many readers because the author so relentlessly seeks to persuade the reader of the validity of some strange theories, and because his biblical interpretations draw on an exclusively Jewish tradition, including Kabbalah, Maimonedes, and selected passages from the Talmud, which he claims ``anticipated'' later scientific discoveries. Admittedly, some of his arguments (for instance, that the sequence of Genesis creation is congruent with evolution's progression from prokaryotic to human life) are compelling. But elsewhere Schroeder less convincingly rejects the notion of random, mutation-driven evolution, arguing instead that evolution is ``channeled'' toward an outcome preprogrammed into existing DNA. Schroeder's other theories include an odd insistence upon a pre-Adamic, soulless hominid ancestor. It's important to Schroeder that the literal Adam be the first ensouled human being, and since Genesis chronology (almost 6,000 years since Adam) doesn't mesh with what science tells us of the age of humankind, Schroeder sets out to prove that the Bible only picks up the story near the close of human development. Such hermeneutical gymnastics seem strangely outdated and obscure in an often intelligent, cogently argued book. Though respectful of both science and faith, this book is unlikely to convince either scientist or theologian. (b&w illustrations, not seen) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; 1st edition (November 10, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684837366
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684837369
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (252 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #439,537 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gerald L. Schroeder is the author of Genesis and the Big Bang and The Science of God. He earned his Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before moving to laboratories at the Weizmann Institute, the Hebrew University, and the Volcani Research Institute in Israel. His work has been reported in Time, Newsweek, Scientific American, and in leading newspapers around the world. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife and their five children.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As a scientist in an ongoing search for truth, I have been disappointed by ham-handed efforts of the creation crowd to cling to extreme minority viewpoints of credentialed scientists from diverse fields of science that would collectively be required to support a *literal* interpretation of Genesis. Similarly, I have been mystified by scientists who reflexively dismiss the idea of some kind of intelligent design outright by way of circular reasoning, arguing that since intelligent design can never be disproven, it is not scientific and thus could not be truth, since only science can properly assess truth.
It is hard to understate, then, the moxie of Schroeder's innovative attempt to reconcile with Genesis scientifically DOMINANT paradigms (i.e. universe many billions of years old, terrestrial life hundreds of millions of years old, species variation to extensive degree by alteration or differential expression of genes). Schroeder introduces his intent thus: "In the following chapters, I attempt to avoid the subjective tendency of bending Bible to match science or science to match Bible." (softcover p.19) Whether he was successful or not is in the eye of the reader, but the explicit intent is refreshing.
This book, then, would be of particular interest to two groups:
1) Scientists who wonder how their mainstream conclusions could possibly be reconciled with ancient accounts of creation from the Hebrew Torah.
2) Jews and Christians who are discomforted by the apparent incompatability between the text of their faith versus the observed truth about our planet and universe as collected and interpreted by the VAST MAJORITY of professional scientists.
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Format: Paperback
Here we have one more crusader, a distinguished physicist and Biblical scholar, trying to bridge the gap between religion and science, showing that what might appear as diametrically opposed descriptions of the creation of the universe, of the start of life on Earth, and our human origins, are in fact identical realities viewed from different perspectives. His theological sources are the hewbrew Bible, the Talmud, and the 13th century kabalist Nahmanides.
Schroeder tackles the issue of Darwin's theory of evolution and its flaws ("nature does not make jumps" versus "natures only makes jumps"), quantum uncertainty, relativity, cosmic background radiation, convergent evolution, anthropic argument, and other recent scientific innovations. All of these issues are placed side by side with Biblical and kabalist commentaries.
The result is an amazing tapestry where the six days of creation match scientific description (time dilation), the Biblical "bere'shith" is the beginning of time, matter, and space, quantum mechanics is the graveyard of determinism and confirmation of free will, and the scientific "insufficient caused event" is the age-old Biblical definition of a miracle. There is room for concepts such as: God was to chose Abraham only long after Abraham had chosen God, scientific confirmation that less-than-human creatures with human-like bodies and brains existed before Adam, and pre-programmed DNA.
It is in fact an "Amazing Technicolor Raincoat," weaved by a brilliant mind. Schroeder may be accused for "seeing reality as he assumes it to be," and for far-fetching his Biblical interpretations. It is clear, however, that his honest intentions are not to bring disruptions but rather contribute to the convergence of science and theology. Needless to say, strict believers on each side of the fence will have to open their minds.
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Format: Paperback
Several have said that this book is completely unconvincing for various reasons. The reasons tend to be as follows:

1. The author quotes non-Biblical sources such as Kabbalistic writings, therefore they have no relevance to the Bible.

2. The author does not read the Bible in a literal fashion from a person's perspective on Earth (and that's what the Bible was intended to be, damn it!).

3. The author is an idiot because he is trying to prove the existence of God, and it's clear God doesn't exist.

4. This book is no more than this person's opinion, and therefore has no value.

Each of these reasons contains a kernel of truth, but little more. All of them show inconsistency in reasoning. To refute:

1. The non-Biblical sources such as commentary on Scripture CAN be true, even though they are not the primary source, i.e., the Bible itself. The logic in point one is presented thusly:

a. The Bible is true.

b. Source A is not the Bible.

c. Ergo, Source A is not true.

This is a non sequitur fallacy that implies that only the Bible contains truth, and everything else is false. Even the Bible itself says that there are things (specifically, other miracles of Christ) not mentioned in the Bible. Other works besides the Bible can be sources of truth, even if those works are not divinely inspired. (Example of inconsistency in reasoning in this logic: most who agree with number 1 will claim the above and then read other authors like Billy Graham or Hal Lindsey. If the writings of Billy Graham can contain truth, why not the writings of Josephus or the writings of Rambam?)

2. The whole point of this book is to attempt to square the text of the Bible with modern science.
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