- Hardcover: 464 pages
- Publisher: Tyr Publishing; 1 edition (December 15, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0972347313
- ISBN-13: 978-0972347310
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 26 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,067,898 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Wonder of the World: A Journey from Modern Science to the Mind of God 1st Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Varghese, an impresario of science-religion dialogues who is perhaps best known as co-editor of Cosmos, Bios, Theos, uses scientific insights to build a broad, if somewhat uneven, case for theistic belief. Although Varghese is obviously familiar with contemporary science and its interpreters, he highlights four thinkers of the premodern era: Avicenna (Ibn-Sina), Aquinas, Maimonides and Madhvacharya. Although each figure represents a different philosophical/religious tradition, their worldviews coincide at many essential points. But more importantly, Varghese argues, their vision of an orderly and intelligible universe was the "Matrix" required for the development of modern science. If theism provided the first foundations of science, then the naturalistic or skeptical perspective assumed in scientific circles today might be exposed as unnecessary or even self-defeating. These arguments have been made before, at least where the first three figures are concerned; but Varghese's discussion of Madhvacharya and the theistic school of Hinduism he represents adds a distinctive note. Unfortunately, readers interested in Varghese's distinctive insights must wade through the book's somewhat sprawling construction and competing organizational themes. Several sections of the book are set up as an online dialogue between "Geek" and "Guru," a device that succeeds at points but becomes somewhat stilted as the book unfolds. Geek poses a few hardball questions just where Guru has effective answers; but on the whole he is a soft opponent, never pressing an advantage and often too yielding to Guru's arguments to come across as a convincing skeptic.
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...a highly illuminating and thought-provoking discussion of all the important issues on the borderline between science and religion. -- Robert Jastrow - founder of NASAs Goddard Institute of Space Studies, Director of the Mount Wilson Observatory and author of God and the Astronomers
...a sensitive, profound and clear discussion of the important issues of our universe and our existence. -- Charles H. Townes - Nobel Prize winner and inventor of the laser
...helped me to challenge and refine my...answers to the ultimate questions that each one of us must ask. -- Arno Penzias - Nobel Prize winner; discovered Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation establishing the Big Bang theory
I intend to reread The Wonder of the World at leisure. I was hugely impressed and substantially challenged by it. --Antony Flew - the world's best-known atheist and a critic of theism for more than 50 years
Though I found myself arguing with both protagonists, the issues raised and Guru s lucid outline of modern science s framework of understanding, helped me to challenge and refine my own answers to the ultimate questions that each one of us must ask. --Arno Penzias Nobel Prize winner; discovered Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation establishing the Big Bang theory
Varghese explores the basic and critical questions we face concerning this remarkable and wonderful universe. Why are we here? Where are we going? This is no doctrinaire treatise, but a sensitive, profound and clear discussion of the important issues of our universe and our existence, including questions, answers, and uncertainties. It is written with a deep understanding of philosophy, spirituality, and the complex science involved, yet expressed in a way which is interesting and very understandable to the non-specialist. --Charles H. TownesNobel Prize winner and inventor of the laser
Top customer reviews
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The book presents an argument for God which does not require you to check your brain at the door. Varghese does not ask you to take anything at all on faith. The tone of the book is casual, even conversational, but clearly it is the result of many years of dedicated study and hard work.
I suspect this book will take some time to attract public notice, if only because it slaughters so many sacred cows. The most important of these may be, "Well, belief in God may have worked for people in the olden days, but we moderns have advanced beyond that, and are now happily facing the future as `brights' (Dawkins' new term for atheists)."
Another endangered cow is the idea that disproving, or discrediting, Christianity (or Islam, or Judaism) automatically disproves the idea of God. A moment's thought will show anyone that this is absurd. Just for example, a Muslim rejects Christianity but does not reject the idea of God.
One last bovine living in fear might be the idea that modern philosophy is automatically better than older philosophy. Varghese's team consists of Avicenna, Maimonides, Thomas Aquinas, and an Indian philosopher named Madhvacharya. (I'll take them against Heidegger, Sartre, and Derrida any old day!) These four great philosophers agreed on a set of principles which Varghese calls "The Matrix." Not to be confused with the movie, the Matrix is a set of ideas which enabled the take-off of modern science. The set of ideas includes a creator of infinite intelligence, a world which is something different from the force which created it and sustains it, and the human mind. These three things are DIFFERENT. They do not collapse into one another at "higher levels" of thought. What is most striking is that this model explains why we can understand the world: we and the world have a common creator. (The Ancient Greeks knew this as the Doctrine of the Logos, and it went into Christianity with much other Greek philosophy.)
The God presented here is not the God of Christianity (or Islam, or Judaism). He might well be called "The God of the Philosophers" or "The God of the Scientists."
In any case, this book made me change my mind. I removed the letter "A" and now consider myself a Theist --- like many of America's Founding Fathers.
Suggested companion reading: The Devil's Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions and The Hidden Face of God: Science Reveals the Ultimate Truth.
Sir Vargheese answers all of our basic questions that arises from our self within.
The details on space and time are explained very clearly.
Information on my guru Sri Madhvacharya are Inspiring to every individual.
I would like to thank Sir Vargheese for this wonderfull and very knowlegable gift
given to all of us.