- Paperback: 229 pages
- Publisher: McGraw-Hill (February 12, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0071372318
- ISBN-13: 978-0071372312
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 28 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #424,543 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Brother Astronomer: Adventures of a Vatican Scientist Paperback – February 12, 2001
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From the Back Cover
Praise for BROTHER ASTRONOMER:
"Congenially conveying both meaty science and meaty theology, Consolmagno contributes vitally to the rapprochement of science and faith." - Booklist
"Consolmagno spills the contagious cheer of a man happily married to two loves - religion and science." - The Philadelphia Inquirer
"Deft writing" - Library Journal
"Memorable" - Natural History Magazine
Brother Astronomer is a wonderful contribution to the ongoing science-and-religion debate, from someone living in both worlds. Blending memoir, science, history, and theology, Brother Guy takes readers on a grand adventure. Revisit the infamous "Galileo affair" and discover the circumstances and misconceptions of the times that influenced what really happened. Glimpse into a world of working scientists and see how scientific discoveries are proposed and advanced. Learn the inside story of the "Mars meteorite": how can we be sure it's really from Mars, and why can't scientists agree on whether or not it contains evidence of life? Through Brother Guy's recollections, science and religion fuse together in one individual, and by extension, explain how they both are needed in order to answer the big questions: What would it mean to us if we did find life elsewhere in the universe? How did the world begin, and does it follow natural laws?
About the Author
Brother Guy Consolmagno, S.J., Ph.D. is an astronomer at the Vatican Observatory where he serves as curator of one of the largest meteorite collections in the world. He obtained his Ph.D. in Planetary Science from the University of Arizona and went on to teach at MIT until 1983, when he joined the Peace Corps. Consolmagno's writing has appeared in numerous journals and magazines, including Leonardo, Jesuits in Science, and Ad Astra. He is also the author of several books, including The Way to the Dwelling of Light and coauthor of Turn Left at Orion.
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The most important thing I learned in this book was a spiritual thing. Most of the book is not religious, although he certainly talks about his journey to the Jesuits. What I found most interesting, however, was the comment science and Catholicism mix very well and that studying the universe was, for a religious scientist, a way of worshiping God, as it is studying God's creation and revealing His work. I'd never thought of it that way, but, for a religious person that makes perfect sense.
An autobiography tracing a career in science and a path toward a religious calling.
A discussion of meteor and planetary science.
An adventure set against the harshness of Antarctica.
A discussion of the Occidental attitude toward nature which has led to the historical development of the scientific method.
A meditation on life as a gift and love superceding both obligation and duty as a motive for action.
Finally, a gentle reminder that the threadbare proposition that science is incompatible with religious belief is far too facile and much too simple. Brother Consolmagno portrays a reality that is more complex, more ambiguous and flat out more interesting.
By the way, it's all related with a winning sense of humor