- Hardcover: 208 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (September 10, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0195320379
- ISBN-13: 978-0195320374
- Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 0.8 x 6.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,145,456 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Science and Christianity in Pulpit and Pew 1st Edition
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"Once again Ronald Numbers opens the story of evolutionary thought in America to a wide audience. He has the capacity to lead readers to unexpected conclusions and to demonstrate that many of our most cherished assumptions about the debate over science and religion, the reception of evolution, and the reading of the Bible in the light of science and science in the light of the Bible must be re-examined and rethought. In this volume he is especially sensitive to the thinking of figures who have long remained unexamined. To read Numbers's scholarship is to come to the most welcome if unexpected experiences of historical enlightenment." --Frank M. Turner, Yale University, author of John Henry Newman: The Challenge to Evangelical Religion
About the Author
Ronald L. Numbers is Hilldale and William Coleman Professor of the History of Science and Medicine, University of Wisconsin.
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For instance, on page 4 of this book Mr. Numbers writes "the claim that Christianity gave birth to science--most glaringly, it ignores or minimizes the contributions of ancient Greeks" while at the same time citing Reijer Hooykaas's Religion and the Rise of Modern Science as one of the books with this supposedly flawed thesis. Yet the back cover of Hooykaas's Religion and the rise of Modern Science provides the conclusion of the text as "'metaphorically speaking, whereas the bodily ingredients of science may have been Greek, its vitamins and hormones were biblical.'"
Besides complaing about the lack of understanding of ancient Greek contributions, Numbers also whines about Rodney Stark's and Reijer Hooykaas's lack of understanding of Islamic contributions to modern scientific thought. As one who has actually read some of Aydin Sayili's The Observatory in Islam (The Development of Science) and A. I. Sabra's Theories of Light: From Descartes to Newton (1981 Cambridge University Press), I don't get the sense that Numbers is at all a fellow traveler in trying to unravel the origins-of-science connections between Islam, Christianity, and Judaism (even in merely cultural as opposed to a doctrinal basis).
In fact in this book Numbers appears to be picking up slogans and broad conceptual strokes from 50 years ago such as those found in Richard Westfield's book Science and Religion in Seventeenth-Century England, which even Westfield himself has backed away from. With a surprisingly and obviously shallow religious framework almost surely rooted in poorly resolved personal issues with his own 7th-day-Adventist-view-of-creation background, Numbers proceeds to bolster his weak and ultimately junk scholarship through silly appeals to mindless newspaper and TV press headline grabers and soundbites.