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The Common Link Between Religion and Science
on March 30, 2005
The link is awe and admiration of creation and a reverence for all life from the micro to the macro. Although brought up in Catholicism, Raymo was later schooled in science (physics and astronomy) and has been attempting to rectify the rifts between religion and science ever since. This he does just about as good or better than anyone. In "Skeptics and True Believers", one will find close parallels to the writing of environmentalist Thomas Berry, biologist E.O. Wilson, et al.
Raymo's writing style is lyrical, poetic, anecdotal, scholarly and very insightful- most of all, compelling. One will find this book full of great citations with his own thoughts thrown in, such as: ["Put on your jumping shoes," cried the fourteenth-century mystic Meister Eckhart, "which are intellect and love." Religion without science is idolatrous. Science without religion might be even more dangerous: amoral power without constraint, without wisdom, without love.] Indeed! And Raymo's take on reductionism: "No theory conceived by the human mind will ever be final. The universe is vast, marvelous, and deep beyond our knowing; its horizons will always recede before our advance. All dreams of finality are (probably) futile."
Although skeptical of the efficacy of some of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin's conclusions in the "Phenomenon of Man", he concurs with him with: [He insisted that the surest way to know God is through his creation, and the truest knowledge of creation is that provided by contemporary science. "Less and less do I see any difference now between research and adoration."]. And with that, keep in mind that Teilhard was a French Benedictine Monk and paleontologist /geologist who often ran afoul of the church for his thoughts, so he left his works to a friend in the U.S. to be published posthumously.
Although I read this great work of Raymo's almost 2 years ago, I was inspired to write this review after reading his latest book, "Climbing Brandon" which is a continuation of his efforts to balance religion and science and he wrote that book while residing at his second home on Ireland's Dingle Peninsula near the foot of Mt. Brandon. It is a beautiful piece of work and makes a fine sequel to "Skeptics".