38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
What a book!,
This review is from: The Ghost in the Universe: God in Light of Modern Science (Hardcover)
I have an interesting perspective on Taner Edis. As a fourth-year biology undergraduate at Truman State University (where Edis teaches), I have heard him speak twice. The first time was a short speech to a small group of Freethinkers about the subjects covered in his book. The second time was an afternoon Science Hall lecture on design in the universe. In that lecture, he identified the two elements of "design": chance and necessity. Purpose was not one of them, which may have been one of the many things that upset a fellow science professor (a rather belligerent old Creationist) to the point that he referred to Edis as "the Inquisition." I assure you, the label is unwarranted. I have never run into a more intelligent, unbiased "skeptic" in my life ...
Edis's book synthesizes a lot of material from history, theology, philosophy, and science. He deftly addresses not only Christianity, but also Judaism and Islam. The material is very in-depth, though, requiring some sort of elementary understand of the aforementioned subjects prior to reading the book.
In stark contrast to Christian apologists, Edis takes a rather passive approach to God and other theological matters, free from insults and judgements. He never identifies himself as an atheist - only as a skeptic. And it becomes clear to the reader at several points in the book that Edis has a profound and legitimate interest in the concept of God - far from the idea, perpetuated by many Christians, that non-Christians are just out to get Jesus. Edis has a quiet respect for some elements of religion, and a quiet disgust for some of the fundamentalist interpretations of reality.
Because Edis's book is so full of all kinds of information, there is little I want to say about the arguments presented against God. It's not like that, really. I mean, the book has a lot of value, in a lot of different areas. Edis merely shows the reader that the arguments FOR God are lacking quite a bit - especially evidence and coherence! He does not attack God or believers, though.
A very fulfilling read for anyone with a little background or a little interest in these subjects.